On June 3 Jetset Records released L'AVVENTURA,an album by Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham. Produced by Tony Visconti.
L'Avventura was recorded in 2002. Britta and Dean played guitar and bass and keyboards,with drummer Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley, Beth Orton, Elysian Fields). Producer Tony Visconti made many of the greatest rock records ever, he is known for his work with David Bowie and T.Rex, as well as the Stranglers and the Moody Blues and many others. Tony plays additional guitar and keyboard on this record, and contributed a number of string arrangements, performed by the Scorchio String Quartet (who can also be heard on Bowie's recent Heathen album). The record was produced at Tony's studio in New York City (since he lived in London for many years, many people assume that Tony is English, he was in fact born in Brooklyn, NY).
The album contains 11 songs, half of them covers, some of them duets in the tradition of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood,Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, and Dolce and Gabbana.
The songs are:
- Night Nurse. A duet, written by Dean, featuring a splendid string arrangement by Mr Visconti.
If you're looking for Nyquil at a drugstore in England, you purchase something called Night Nurse instead.
- Ginger Snaps. Another duet, with the feel of early disco, a simple beatbox, dirty fake strings, pseudo-funky guitar and Dean's sly wordplay. A little bit of "Rock Yr Baby", a little bit of Mary Tyler Moore.
- I Deserve It. This song was written by Madonna and Mirwais, it's from her Music album.
- Out Walking. Written and sung by Britta, with a great mellotron track by Tony.
- Moonshot. Written by native American folksinger Buffy St. Marie, who wrote songs that were made famous by Elvis, Donovan and Nancy Sinatra. This one is more obscure, it was a protest song penned when we were putting people on the moon. Interestingly, Galaxie 500 recorded this song many years ago during a Peel Session (that's a BBC radio thing).
- Hear The Wind Blow. By Opal, the band that later became Mazzy Star. Opal's Early Recordings album is out of print but well worth tracking down, they were the best of the Paisley Underground bands that came out of the West Coast in the late 80's.
- Your Baby. Another written and sung by Britta Phillips, featuring her sultry "just woke up" voice, all smoke and cobwebs Guest musicians: the amazing vibraphone player Sean McCaul, and Luna's keyboard player Lara Gray.
- Threw It Away. By Dean's good friend Angel Corpus Christi, from her White Courtesy Phone album. Angel Corpus Christi is a San Francisco based singer and accordionist with a unique style.
- Knives From Bavaria. Penned by Dean, sung by Britta. A creepy lovesong with lilting "La-las" in the chorus. There's another version of this song, with different lyrics, in the movie Piggie.
- Random Rules. Written by David Berman of the Silver Jews. Berman is one of the very best lyricists we have, and a respected poet to boot. Random Rules is a hilarious and sad poem about adultery
- One of the best Doors' songs, "Indian Summer" from their Morrison Hotel. There are many songs titled "Indian Summer". Do not confuse this with the Beat Happening song that Luna covered. Or the Lee Hazlewood title "L'Ete Indien".
L'Avventura is a soundtrack to get lucky to, a record to fall in love with, filled with songs of infatuation, desire, addiction, regret and bliss.