It was 20 years ago "Today"
Oh I've been looking forward to using that clever post title for weeks.
To be honest I'm not 100% certain of the exact date that Galaxie 500's first album was released. But I do know, thanks to a picture in the Box Set booklet, that the launch party took place at The Rat in Boston on 21 October 1988 and that was 20 years ago today.
At the start of the summer of '88 we went back to Noise New York and recorded the Today album. We arrived at 2pm to find Kramer sleeping. We set up and did the basic tracks in about four hors on day1. Day 2 we did vocals and lead guitars, most everything in one take. I remember being completely lost during "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste" - there are strange harmonic overtones at the ned of that song that I was never able to replicate - sometimes it's good to have no idea what you're doing [...]. On the third day Kramer mixed the record, adding things as he went..."You know what would be hilarious here?"
Dean Wareham - Galaxie 500 1987 - 1991, p23-25
To celebrate I've hastily thrown together a little gift...
I decided to try and put together an alternative "Today" from live tracks and/or cover versions but in a couple of places it proved tricky (and I only thought about it last night so there wasn't much time for research) - but here you go...20 Year Ago "Today"...
- Flowers - Galaxie 500
(15 November 1989: Galaxie 500 @ Burgerweehuis, Deventer, Netherlands)
- Pictures - Galaxie 500
(11 February 1990: Galaxie 500 @ Falcon, London, UK)
- Parking Lot - Galaxie 500
(19 December 1987: Galaxie 500 @ Rat, Boston MA, USA)
- Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste - Galaxie 500
(15 October 1990: Galaxie 500 @ Kennel Club, San Francisco CA, USA)
- Temperature's Rising - Luna
(27 February 1992: Luna @ Underworld, London, UK)
- Oblivious - Hefner
- It's Getting Late
- Instrumental - Galaxie 500
(Acura "Engineering is Our Art" commercial)
- Tugboat - Dean & Britta
(Friday evening at the Studenterhuset)
If anyone (that'll be Hefner I guess) objects to having there track here please get in touch and I'll remove it.
I couldn't find an alternative version of It's Getting Late or Instrumental (I could have raidedagain but didn't really want to), if anyone has anything (or wants to make anything!) to fill these gaps please get in touch. In the meantime you can enjoy the Acura advert that featured Instrumental.
...and go dig out Today - it is, after all, one of the greatest albums ever made...
Melody Maker called the LP "an astonishing debut by anybody's standards," and indeed it is. The incredible, supple beauty that Galaxie spun like straw was so sweetly melancholic that it all but smothered you. Damon's drums drift with the simmering presence of jazz classicism, Naomi's bass is rich with dreamy emotional content, Dean's guitar completes the aural landscapes begun by '69-era Sterling Morrison, and the vocals emerge from the Ouija board of eternity. A highlight of Today is the incredible primal-drone-hunch treatment the band gives to Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste."
Byron Coley - Box Set website 1997
Previously: On the 20th anniversary of Galaxie 500.