Dean & Britta talk Luna on the Little Squares podcast

Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips are guests for a lengthy interview on episode 6 of The Little Squares Culture Crush podcast – covering the Luna reunion, the state of the music industry, social media and the tightness of trousers.


Monday morning with @deanwareham and the lovely @britta_phillips to record @thelittlesquares #culturecrush podcast and talk all things LUNA tour on Instagram

Audio: Lost tracks: Mr Jealousy Luna Suite by Luna

As another Noah Baumbach movie is hitting cinemas this weekend here’s a related Luna obscurity. Dean first worked with Noah Baumbach on his 1997 film Mr Jealousy and has been involved in some capacity or another with most of his subsequent work.

MP3: Mr Jealousy Suite – Luna

A couple of years back Dean interviewed Noah for Salon and talked about their work togther.

Mr Jealousy poster

Actually it’s not that obscure because you can pick up Mr. Jealousy: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack from Amazon for peanuts.

See also:
Originals: Jealous Guy by John Lennon (covered by Luna)
Dean Wareham’s extracurricular activities 2 (film version)

This night, ten years ago – Luna’s last waltz

Luna NYC 050228

Luna played their last show ten years ago tonight – here’s how it ended…

luna's last

I kept asking myself, “How do you feel?” I should have felt sad, right? And I was sad, but also knew that I was ready for all this to be over. We played “Indian Summer” for the very last time, and I thought, we’re playing this for the last tim e. I had always enjoyed listening to Sean’s beautiful guitar solo, the way he bent certain notes on his Jazzmaster. Tonight I moved stage left, so I could hear it better. Then I counted down to the end, the two notes that go back and forth all through the song, and we were done playing that particular song…

Dean Wareham – Black Postcards

MP3: Luna – Indian Summer (2005-02-28 – Bowery Ballroom, NYC)

… and launched into “23 Minutes in Brussels,” which builds to a pounding climax but then falls apart softly and slowly. We exited the stage, and it was a relief to be walking upstairs, knowing that we would not be back the very next night

Dean Wareham – Black Postcards

MP3: Luna – 23 Minutes in Brussels (2005-02-28 – Bowery Ballroom, NYC)

Luna, final show, after party


Luna will be back, they’re playing a comeback show in Los Angeles in April (that apparently sold out in about seven minutes!) before heading off for a fortnight in Spain (and one night in Portugal – where you’ll find me), and then playing some more3 dates around the US (and hopefully elsewhere) during the summer and autumn.

Keep your eyes on A Head Full of Wishes for the dates as they break!

“We shouldn’t do this but we’re going to” – a kazootastic cover of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side by Luna

Picture lifted without permission from Lew Stringer’s comic blog Blimey!

Just sorting through the chaos that is my hard drive and came across this lovely cover of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side covered by Luna in San Francisco in 1995:

We shouldn’t do this but we’re going to

Enjoy it… I did.

MP3: Luna – Walk on the Wild Side (1995-10-16: Slims, San Francisco, CA, USA)

Happy 25th birthday to Galaxie 500’s ‘On Fire’ – come ride the fiery breeze

Galaxie 500 – On FIre, available on LP CD MC

Today[1] is the 25th anniversary of the release of Galaxie 500’s masterpiece 2nd album On Fire.

THEN there was The Great Chicago Fire. I was there. The stories of how the fire began were wildly contradictory, but I was there. Some people say the fire was started by a stampede of cows. Some say it was just one cow. Some tried to blame it all on someone they didn’t like. One fella tried to blame it all on his own brother, just because his brother had stolen away his girlfriend and married her. The wedding took place in Las Vegas. It was a modest affair of about 150 guests, non-denominational (which really pissed off the parents of the bride, but hell, you can’t please everybody). During the ceremony, some rotten little punks yelled “Fire! Fire!” and the whole place cleared out in no time. The maid of honor even broke her ankle in two places after being shoved down the altar by the always overly zealous justice of the peace. Well, the ankle was pretty back and the maid of honor had to be shot, and exactly one week later the entire block burned to the ground. Even the bricks burned.

But at least nobody tried to blame it on a cow. And the wedding went ahead as planned.

And some people actually believe that Nero fiddled as Rome burned, and that he really did look like a badly aging Peter Lorre. On Sunday nights we’d all gather ’round the television set to watch the Disney show, and I would always fall asleep from boredom. But I had a big old Siamese cat named Butch who’d always loved to play with my face moments after my head hit the pillow. So I’d awake startled, sometimes, crying, sometimes covered with blood and crying, staring into the idiot box. Sometimes I’d see Walt himself, sometimes Mickey or Goofy. But sometime I’d see a thousand bright blue caribou racing a dust storm to the finish line, neck and neck all the way like nature’s own Indy 500! Flesh and blood against the elements! And I remember wondering to myself, “Why are they racing?” THEN one fine day I understood why the race took place. It was because the hairs on those caribou necks were being tickled by the instinctual knowledge of a fire raging not too far away, and most certainly headed this way. Humans often get the same feeling…like an oddly warm breeze malevolently fueled by the maddening flames behind it. Come ride the fiery breeze of GALAXIE 500!
-Kramer, NYC, July 1989

Galaxie 500 - On Fire

If a Pyrrhic victory means triumph won at such cost you may as well have lost, then Galaxie 500’s music is the exact opposite: a statement of defeat that resounds like a glorious triumph
-Simon Reynolds – Melody Maker 28th October 1989

Here are some quotes lifted from the thoroughly brilliant “Temperature’s Rising: Galaxie 500 an oral and visual history” by Mike McGonigal…

We made that record so easily! I’m not even sure there were any second takes. It’s one of the easiest records I ever made.

Making On Fire was a very happy experience. I think we were at a point where we were accomplished enough musicians that we were able to play what we had in our head. There was a generally optimistic feeling about the direction of the band and we were getting attention from the critics. It was a lot of fun and the possibilities seemed endless, something that I feel I was very lucky to experience. A very joyful, youthful moment.
-Naomi Yang

On Fire - Galaxie 500 cassette

On Fire inhabits an awesome, distorted reality. The band, ostensibly a trio of guitar, bass and drums, sound more like a sun carriage. Damon Krukowski’s cymbals and Dean Wareham’s falsetto become lead instruments. Naomi Yang doesn’t so much play as paint with her bass. These abstract tones and spots of primary colour are the sound of three people locked somewhere in a beautiful space, the midpoint between telepathy and propulsion. From the languorous opening bars of ‘Blue Thunder’ to the euphoric closing refrain of “What a pity, what a pity” the record moves back and forward allowing waves of electricity to swell and break across its ten tracks. Few songs have been more appropriately titled than ‘Snowstorm’ and few bands have been in such graceful control of a maelstrom. Has anyone played a wah-wah with such equine grace as Dean Wareham? Each note in the solo crystallizing the reverie of a snowflake hitting the ground.
-Richard King – sleeve notes to the 2010 Domino reissue

Snowstorm lyrics
Snowstorm lyrics
Why today?
I haven’t figured out exactly when Galaxie 500’s On Fire was released but I think 23rd of October is the most likely date – I came up with it becuase…

  • Simon Reynolds review of the album was in the 28th October edition of Melody Maker
  • MM always came out the Wednesday before the date on the cover which would have been 25th October
  • Records in the UK were released on the Monday and you’d want the record to be in the shops when folk opened their MM on Wednesday – so On Fire must have been released on the 23rd October

A US press release dating from August 1989 when Galaxie 500 signed to Rough Trade, suggests the album would be released on 20th October, but as that’s a Friday I’ll dismiss it.

Records in the US are apparently released on a Tuesday – so US release date was possibly the 24th October… so we can party tomorrow as well!

Feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong.