A Head Full of Wishes

A Head Full of Wishes is a site for Galaxie 500, Luna, Damon & Naomi, Dean & Britta and Dean Wareham. With news, articles and lists of releases and past and future shows.

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My record collection
#147: The Wondrous World of Damon & Naomi (promo CD)

Some time in the spring of 1997, somebody posted on The Galaxie 500 Mailing List that they had seen a promo CD of Damon & Naomi’s second album “The Wondrous World of…” in a box on the counter in Selectadisc on Berwick Street. I have a feeling I sent Hazel along to buy it for me, she was possibly working at Broadcasting House at the time.

The Wondrous World of Damon & Naomi (promo)
The Wondrous World of Damon & Naomi (promo)

The disc is a Sub Pop promo and clearly states that it is an “IN STORE PLAY COPY NOT FOR SALE” - I’d be surprised if it ever got in-store play but I hope it did. The Wondrous World was Damon & Naomi’s first album for Sub Pop and it seems that the label’s UK marketing machine was put to work because you do see an awful lot of these promos on eBay/Discogs (there are currently four copies on Discogs, three of which are on this side of the pond).

I printed out a sleeve and also Damon’s promo blurb using a work printer on some second-hand paper - the reverse has some BBC film library film changes report from March 1997.

Here are Damon’s notes:


Naomi Yang: bass, vocals
Damon Krukowski: guitar, drums, vocals
Kramer: electric guitar, mellotron, emulator, clarinet, tapes, bass, backing vocals
Produced, arranged, and engineered by Kramer at Noise New Jersey, Summer 1995

Less than a month after the first D&N record was finished, Kramer asked us to come down and start another one. We said we'd let him know when we had the material. So here we are, three years later. It didn't take that long just to write more songs, but it seems like it did take that long until we really felt like making another record. Partly the first one felt somewhat final; there's a little farewell at the end of it. Partly we needed to do something else with our music without feeling like we were simply repeating ourselves, and that was solved by Magic Hour. Partly we needed to get away from the mood of that record; bitterness is a one-shot deal, unless you want to dedicate your life to it. And we don't.

More Sad Hits carried a heavy (and angry) quote from Ezra Pound, about what is left two years later etc. etc. This record, three years from the last, begins with a question, 'what will you say when there's no one left to fight?'--a lyric written about others, but which seems like it could be redirected at ourselves. I've been trying to figure out how we answer that challenge of the first song --what will we say?-- and what I hear us say is full of regret and nostalgia: three years must have aged us more than I knew! The Tour Of The World is very much over, but a tinge of mysticism has replaced the wonder we used to feel at more worldly things. Weary and knowing Pound gives way to mystics--welcome to the Wondrous World!

The title, by the way, is lifted from Sonny and Cher's second album. Sorry to be so post-modern. We couldn't resist the self-parody, because we really could have named our second album that. So we did.

As for the previous record, we put the songs down more or less first take, me on (acoustic) guitar and Naomi on bass, overdubbed our vocals and some drums, and left. Kramer did the rest. It's a true collaboration; Kramer feels that he chose to put down less on this album than on the last, but I'm not so sure. It does seem to be more focused on the singing, and I played an acoustic guitar through the entire album, perhaps making it more folky and song-oriented. Naomi feels that because of Magic Hour, we had less cause to build in long instrumental sections, but whatever the reason, I agree that the songs are more tightly constructed, and I think Kramer responded to that. I think his arrangements are like "settings," casting the songs in various moods.

There are three cover songs.

  • Life Will Pass You By is originally by the (American) band Kaleidoscope, and it sounded to me and Naomi like a song Kramer could have written.
  • Who Am I is from a Country Joe and The Fish record, and it's more pitiful than even our sad songs.
  • Whispering Pines is by The Band, and is an old favorite of ours.

These are all pretty depressing songs. I guess they each express something we wanted on the album, but which we wouldn't or couldn't write on our own.

Damon Krukowski, July 1995

  • Catalogue Number: AHFOW 10/121
  • Artist: Damon & Naomi
  • Title: The Wondrous World of Damon & Naomi
  • Notes: In-store promo
  • Packaging: PVC sleeve with printouts
  • Format: CD
  • Bought from Selectadisc in Berwick Street, probably for peanuts!
  • Buy ‘The Wondrous World of Damon & Naomi’ on Bandcamp although only the “bootleg version” is available

Previously in my record collection: