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Dean Wareham - Duchess
Dean Wareham - Duchess

This leaked out last week so you may have already seen it but if you haven’t your in for a treat. Dean has just shared the new video for his gorgeous cover of Scott Walker’s Duchess and the video is as lush as the song.

Dean Wareham - Duchess (dir: Robert Ascroft)

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Luna promo (1992)
Luna promo (1992)

So at some point in January, Luna will become 30 years old - first gig with Stanley was at Maxwells so might be this one in February 1992 where Dean says “This is Stanley Demeski, our newest member” -

But there were shows before that with Byron Guthrie on drums - so … I don’t have an exact date - I have a pre-Stan recording from CBGBs on 17th Jan and Dean mentions a show at Bunratty’s in Black Postcards.

When we arrived at Bunratty’s, Byron announced that he had forgotten his sticks. A small thing. He forgot his sticks. It could happen to anyone. But it seemed significant to Justin and me. When we came back from Boston, I called Stanley Demeski, the drummer for the Feelies.

But … all of that is by-the-by… what I’m really thinking is that this is a good excuse for the next issue of the Everything’s Swirling fanzine!?

And this is, kind of, a call for submissions - it can be of any sort – documentary, fictional, poetic, visual, photographic, etc. – possibly even considering a (download only) audio annexe if anyone fancies it…

Everything’s Swirling #1 celebrated Galaxie 500’s birth

Everything’s Swirling #2 memorialised Galaxie 500’s demise

Everything’s Swirling #3 will celebrate Luna’s 30th birthday - get in touch if you have anything to contribute!

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On Monday afternoon Dean Wareham was a guest on WFMU’s Three Chord Monte. The show featured a nice playlist of Dean, Dean & Britta and Luna tracks and an interview with Dean over the phone from Austin ahead of the short Luna tour that was about to kick off.

You can listen to the whole show and he confirmed that he was going to be playing a couple of tracks from his solo album with Luna including Corridors of Power that got it’s debut at a Luna live stream earlier in the year.

Luna - The Corridors of Power (live, May 2021)

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Luna 1999
Luna 1999

A couple of Luna shows from the late 90s are currently being seeded on bittorrent site Dimeadozen.

The first is a nice audience recording from a show in Austin, TX in April 1998, and well worth grabbing - here’s an mp3 sample of them playing Firnedly Advice.

Dimeadozen: Luna - 1998-04-04 - Austin TX registration required

The second is a beautiful recording of them while touring The Days of Our Nights in Burlington, VT in December 1999 - it’s a treat to hear the songs from that album that so rarely get an outing these days! Here’s an mp3 sample of them playing Hello Little One. This was one of Justin’s last shows with the band (it may even have been his very last). I suspect that’s him on the trumpet here.

Dimeadozen: LUNA - Burlington, VT 1999-12-13 (SBD Master - Stellar!) registration required

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Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre poster
Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre poster

A new video for Midnight from Damon & Naomi’s recent album A Sky Record has just been shared. The beautiful watercoloured/animated/illustrated video was made my Elisa Ambrogio (of Magik Markers).

Damon & Naomi - Midnight (Elisa Ambrogio, 2021)

So this bull is not Zeus, but they are not a regular bull either; they are special. This bull has a robe. The bull meets a reflective spinning sphere, and suddenly is not alone.

There are many subtle layers to this song, it has a wonderful momentum and purity of purpose, and it has so much water lyrically: rain, beaches — the first words are being washed by floods (of feeling). It made me think about a type of love that can feel secret but is all-consuming, and I thought of the type of love a vocation becomes.

I started with movement of watercolors that do not immediately saturate but run, and then soak the page, creating patterns like veins and waves hitting the shore, staining the table, turning the paper delicate and easy to tear. Leonora Carrington conferences of anthropomorphic creatures, a Laurie Anderson instructional diagram, Gary Larson’s The Far Side and old Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons all informed the vibe.

The sphere leads the bull to the places they can go together. The forbidden quality of midnight, nighttime, and the newly forbidden quality of the crowd, the absent cacophony of voices. Together they find a return to the cacophony, the chaotic joy of others. That is fraught in its own way, things have been forgotten and must be relearned. To feel alien is alien. Or is the bull still alone in a bare bulb room, projecting into rooms filled with hands and mouths, being visited not by the bluebird of happiness but the chicken of depression? There’s a place we can go, this song promises, and I chose to believe it.

– Elisa Ambrogio

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Dean Warheam - I Have Nothing to Say to The Mayor of L.A.
Dean Warheam - I Have Nothing to Say to The Mayor of L.A.

It’s been one week since the release of Dean Wareham’s fantastic I Have Nothing to Say to The Mayor of L.A. so here’s a quick round-up…

Reviews

For listening

For reading

Upcoming On Saturday (23rd October) Dean will be presenting a listening party via Zoom:

join us while we listen to Dean Wareham’s new album I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY TO THE MAYOR OF LA with a video premiere and a short Q & A with Dean and others who worked on the record, this will happen Saturday via Zoom, starting at 11 a.m PST. It’s limited to the first 100 who sign in that morning

… limited to the first 100 who sign in so… bookmark that link!

11:00 PST is…

  • 13:00 EDT
  • 19:00 BST
  • 20:00 CET

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Damon & Naomi - A Sky Record Companion
Damon & Naomi - A Sky Record Companion

Here are a few bits and pieces that have appeared since Damon & Naomi’s gorgeous A Sky Record was released a couple of months back:

Reviews

  • Tyler Wilcox reviews the album for Aquarium Drunkard

    This is one of Damon & Naomi’s most purely gorgeous sounding records — and considering the glories of what’s come before, that’s a real accomplishment.

  • Louder Than War gives the album 4/5

    There isn’t a dramatic re-invention here, picking up at a similar end point. But there’s renewed clarity and purpose with A Sky Record all the same.

  • Pitchfork give the album 7.2

    A Sky Record is especially generous with Kurihara’s majestic guitar, which is as much of a draw as Damon & Naomi’s calming melodies.

For listening

For watching
You can still watch the lovely film they made at The Peabody Essex Museum premiering the album

PEM Presents: Damon & Naomi

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Dean Wareham’s covid-cancelled … plays Galaixe 500 tour of early 2020 is looking like it might finally go ahead after (at least) two postponements. The UK dates have mostly been rearranged (although there doesn’t seem to be one scheduled for the North West as yet) for late January / early February and he has also added dates in France, Germany, Norway and Spain. There are still a few gaps in the schedule so there may ne more dates to come.

Read on…

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Damon & Naomi / Aquarium Drunkard
Damon & Naomi / Aquarium Drunkard

Damon and Naomi are the guests on the latest edition of the Aquarium Drunkard podcast

Our talk covers the duo’s days in Galaxie 500, Naomi’s interest in boxing, Damon’s ever fascinating and insightful takes on the state of the industry, and their gorgeous new album, A Sky Record.

Damon has also recently launched a Substack newsletter, The Dada Drummer Almanach which promises…

new music, old music, my own music, my friends’ music, music I’ve found while traveling on tour, music that’s found me at the flea market, record store, or on my favorite AM radio station (there is still one where I live, in Cambridge MA, although at night it’s only audible within a mile or so of the transmitting tower).

I’ll be writing about sounds I hear at art exhibitions, in books, in my garden, and in my head (no drummer doesn’t have at least a touch of tinnitus).

I’ll be writing about drums.

You can sign-up for free, or pay $5 per month and join Damon in subscriber-only roundtables.

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A collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp

A collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp
Bandcamp releases

On Fire | 30

A 30th anniversary celebration of Galaxie 500's masterpiece

On Fire 30 CD sleeve (design: John Conley)
Buy On Fire | 30