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Excellent Danish live show sharing site From The Basement is currently sharing Luna’s recent show from Brooklyn where they played the whole of their first album, Lunapark. The show also featured a guest appearance from Justin Harwood.

You can either grab the show in lossless FLACs from Dimeadozen or lossy mp3s direct from the site.

The site has also uploaded a bunch of great videos from the show to YouTube. Here’s I Can’t Wait…

Luna - I Can't Wait

… and here’s Bonnie and Clyde with Justin on bass.

Luna - Bonnie and Clyde

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Dean & Britta - L'Avventura UK press release (2003)

I’m actually not sure how this came into my possession. I do have a promo copy of L’Avventura but I think I got that from Dean and don’t remember getting a press release with it. Plus, it’s a UK presser and the scribbled out bits at the top seem to be a email address and a possibly a phone number/extension which I think makes it more unlikely that it came from Dean.

Maybe I was sent it by another fan - if so thanks.

Joining Dean and Britta on ‘L’Avventura’ is the great Tony Visconti, producer of some of the finest rock records ever made. Known for his amazing work with David Bowie and T.Rex, as well as Thin Lizzy, the Stranglers and the Moody Blues, Tony not only produced but also played additional guitar and keyboard on this record, and contributed to a number of sweeping string arrangements.

Back in 2003, when this video was released, my internet connection was not really up to scratch so I was never entirely sure if the jerkiness of it was the video struggling to get to me down my narrow pipes. Turns out it was intentional.

Dean & Britta - Night Nurse (2003, dir Stefano Giovannini)

I thought I’d just go through some of the stuff I’ve acquired over the years and post about it here… how interesting the posts (and artefacts) are will undoubtedly vary!

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Luna at The Bowery Ballroom (photo: Ellen Qbertplaya)
Luna at The Bowery Ballroom (photo: Ellen Qbertplaya)

The always excellent NYCTaper has just posted a lovely recording of the last night of Luna’s tour at The Bowery Ballroom last weekend. The show featured the band performing the whole of Penthouse followed by a wonderful crawl through the bands past. Former bassist Justin Harwood guested for part of the show.

Sunday night at Bowery was a Penthouse night and the band’s first set was a meticulous performance of the album, with personal favorite “23 Minutes in Brussels” as my highlight. After a brief intermission, the band returned to play the bonus or hidden track of “Bonnie and Clyde”, followed by a neat set of favorites, oddities, and a couple of covers. The final encore was “IHOP”, the lead track from the Pup Tent album that is virtually never played live — it was a personal request from a band superfan who despite travelling all over the country and indeed internationally to see Luna had never experienced this song live. This tour was like that — tricks and treats for the superfans and just plain great music for the rest of us.

You can head over to NYCTaper and download the full show in lossless or lossy formats - or stream the show if you prefer.

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Some things take so long - but how do I explain

On Fire CD
On Fire CD

As the closing track on the On Fire album, this track fits in the neat tradition of well-chosen covers by the band. Today gave us Jonathan Richman’s Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste, while This Is Our Music offered up Yoko Ono’s Listen, the Snow Is Falling, as sung so well by Naomi. I for one, never imagined I would be sat listening to, and enjoying, Yoko Ono songs back in 1989.

The songs all seem to fall into the category of ‘cool songs you may not know, but should have a listen to’. I must confess, that although I was a fan of The Beatles music, I hadn’t really followed George Harrison’s solo career, so the Galaxie version was the first time I had encountered it. Even now, it remains the definitive version to me, despite, or maybe because of, it being a cover version.

The sleeve notes may credit Kramer’s overdub as ‘cheap organ’, but it adds perfect punctuation to the song, with Damon’s laid-back, almost sleepy drums bringing up the rear. Dean’s take on the words and the plaintive vocal melody are just right, and the song is pitched expertly into the quiet, melancholy area that Galaxie were to get so good at, and hone to a tee, particularly on their next long playing record.

  • David Duffin

Dean Wareham - Isn't It a Pity (Malmo, 2010)

As On Fire approaches it’s 30th birthday I thought I’d post a series of posts of randomness about each of the tracks on the album - some from me and some from other fans.

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I managed to be away from a computer on the 30th anniversary of On Fire - which is why my Plastic Bird post is a little… half-arsed - but still - Plastic Bird!

Dean Wareham - Plastic Bird (Liquid Room, Tokyo, 2011)

Dean’s lyrics as published in Esopus 11:

Esopus 11 (Plastic Bird)

As On Fire approaches it’s 30th birthday I thought I’d post a series of posts of randomness about each of the tracks on the album - some from me and some from other fans.

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Galaxie 500 - On Fire (Rough Trade, 1989)
Galaxie 500 - On Fire (Rough Trade, 1989)

‘On Fire’, the new LP, is altogether a more considered - “slower, more lush, and more live” (Damon) affair than Today, proving conclusively there’s more to GALAXIE 500 than their amps.
‘On Fire’ is released on Rough Trade Records on 16th October 1989.
Press release, 1989

Today is the 30th anniversary of the release of Galaxie 500’s masterpiece On Fire - there’s not much more than I can say that hasn’t been said repeatedly on this website over the last 25 years - so, just dig out the LP, or head over to the streaming service of your choice and ride the fiery breeze.

Galaxie 500 Melody Maker review of On Fire
Galaxie 500 Melody Maker review of On Fire

Galaxie 500 haven’t “gone” anywhere since “Today” because there’s nowhere for them to go. They’re all washed up, come to rest at the beautiful composure in defeat. If a Pyrrhic victory means triumph won at such a cost you might as well have lost, then Galaxie 500’s music is the exact opposite; a statement of defeat that resounds like a glorious triumph. Let it bleed.
Simon Reynolds (Melody Maker, 28th October 1989)

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Leave The Planet
Leave The Planet

Now… here’s a thing - I love the whole of On Fire so putting together a post about each of the tracks would be easy… right!?

Nope - Leave The Planet, doesn’t appear to have been performed live (except in Dean’s recent On Fire shows), doesn’t seem to have been picked by bands to cover, and doesn’t seem to have folk on the internet waxing lyrical about it. Which is a shame - it deserves better.

Luckily, what it does have is a band named after it - well, I’ll assume that Leave The Planet are named after the Galaxie 500 song which I think is a fair assumption given that this happened for Record Store Day a few years ago…

Leave The Planet - Strange (Galaxie 500 cover)

You can buy it, and lots more Leave The Planet on their Bandcamp page.

As On Fire approaches it’s 30th birthday I thought I’d post a series of posts of randomness about each of the tracks on the album - some from me and some from other fans.

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Unlike Blue Thunder which has been done by everyone, Another Day was, for many years, one of the Galaxie 500 songs that never got an outing. In fact I don’t think it often got an outing while Galaxie 500 were a going concern.

But, this all changed this year.

Firstly at a lovely book event in Walthamstow, London in June Damon & Naomi performed a beautiful version of the song:

Damon & Naomi - Another Day (London, June 2019)

And then a couple of days later Dean played On Fire in full for the first time - and you can’t do that without playing Another Day. He did a couple more On Fire shows over the summer. Here he is performing Another Day in San Francisco in July with Britta on vocals.

As On Fire approaches it’s 30th birthday I thought I’d post a series of posts of randomness about each of the tracks on the album - some from me and some from other fans.

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Decomposing Tree

If I’m going to be completely honest, Decomposing Trees was not the song that served as my gateway to the Galaxie. Back in the spring of 2011, during my final days at Loyola University Maryland, it was Ceremony that left me dumbstruck on the front stairs of our campus library. Whenever I felt like I needed to let my brain breathe for a minute I would scour the nostalgic best-of lists on Being that I was born in 1989, it seemed only natural to tackle “The Top 100 Albums of the 1980s” (2002). And since I’ve always been intrigued by the color orange, I found it entirely logical to immerse myself within the world of that tiny square slated at #16.

I obsessed over Galaxie 500’s catalogue – with a concentration in their sophomoric effort On Fire – for the better part of the next two years. I devoured Dean Wareham’s “Black Postcards,” ordered the two DVD boxset off of Amazon and briefly considered buying my own Ampeg bass amp. September 2012 saw my fandom reach its peak, as I found a pristine copy of the LP at Reykjavík’s Lucky Records and decided to tattoo a lyric from Snowstorm” on my thigh only a few hours later. I treasured every facet of the fiery breeze, but by that time, nothing captivated me quite like the sixth track, Decomposing Trees.

my toes can talk
and they’re smiling at me
‘come down,’ they say
not afraid anymore

and they talk to me
and they smile at me

I was waiting tables in Sheepshead Bay, not entirely sure of what I was going to do with my future. My life’s trajectory seemed to be progressing at the pace of a Galaxie track, as if Damon Krukowski was leading the charge on tambourine and a few solid thwacks of the snare. I found comfort in Dean’s words; consistently warmed by the welcoming whispers of his altered appendages. Naomi Yang’s bassline – sliding high up the neck into Peter Hook territory – nurtured my soul like few others could. And that sax! How can I possibly highlight the finesse of Ralph Carney’s tenor skills? The trio created a song that is transportive on its own, but Carney truly soothes the audience into this new dimension of rainfall and rebirth. (I must give a nod to Kramer as well; whose production so perfectly brought every aspect together).

I walked upstream
and I sat in the mud
life starts again
watching trees decompose

and they talk to me
and they smile at me

Impeccably placed at the opening of record’s second side, Decomposing Trees helps the listener turn over a new leaf just after turning over the vinyl. The track spoke directly to my 23-year-old self because it mirrored the magical weekends when I would disappear into the woods Upstate to wander. I don’t want to make it seem like I’ve figured it all out in the years that have passed, but there was a sense of innocence and naivety back then that I can no longer grasp. In my own experience, Galaxie 500’s music has always served as the aural equivalent of pining for the past. Longing for the days when life was just a little bit easier, though doing so with a curious smile as we gaze upon the unknown. They are undoubtedly my go-to band in times of transition because they make me feel like I have a place to belong, regardless of where I end up.

I discovered On Fire just as I was preparing to leave behind four years in Baltimore, as well as a sizable circle of friends I knew I’d rarely get to see again. When my parents were temporarily displaced due to Hurricane Sandy, I spent months listening to Galaxie 500 in my best friend’s basement after his family so graciously took me in as their own. And now, as both myself and the album prepare for our 30th birthday, I listen back with new ears as I find myself sharing my whole heart with someone for the first time. My life has truly “started again” over these last few months and I could not be more thrilled to see where I stand the next time we choose to celebrate the efforts of our favorite trio.

Michael Williams

P.S. I found Andy/A Head Full of Wishes on Instagram, so be sure to follow me at @mjwilliams1023. My band Counterspace are working out our own take on Decomposing Trees, only with 7/8 and 3/4 time signatures, as well as flute in the auxiliary instrument position. If it sounds good enough in performance, we’ll put it to tape and gladly email it to any interested parties. Just reach out! Follow us at @needmorecounterspace or email us.

As On Fire approaches it’s 30th birthday I thought I’d post a series of posts of randomness about each of the tracks on the album - some from me and some from other fans.

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Here’s a quick collection of videos from Luna’s current US tour.

Watchin Luna live from 4000 miles away

Paradise, Boston - 1st October

Luna - Double Feature (Paradise, Boston)

Odeum, East Greenwich - 2nd October

Luna - I Want Everything (Odeum, East Greenwich)

Space Ballroom, Hamden - 3rd October

Luna - Season of The Witch (Space Ballroom, Hamden)

Union Transfer, Philadelphia - 4th October

Luna - Most of the Time (Union Transfer, Philadelphia)

9:30 Club, Washington DC - 5th October

Luna - Bonnie and Clyde (9:30 Club, Washington DC)

Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro - 7th October

Luna - Tracy I Love You (Cat's Cradle, Carrboro)

Paste, Atlanta (live stream) - 9th October

Luna - Paste live (Atlanta)

to be continued

On Fire | 30

A 30th anniversary celebration of Galaxie 500's masterpiece

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