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Dean Wareham’s shows in Paris, The Hague, Cologne, Berlin and Copenhagen have all been cancelled because of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions imposed on travel.

Currently (14 March) the UK dates have not yet been cancelled - but… watch this space.

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Because of the current Coronavirus pandemic the organisers of Record Store Day have decided to postpone the event until 20th June, this means the double LP vinyl release of Galaxie 500’s live album Copenhagen will not happen until then.

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Galaxie 500 - Copenhagen
Galaxie 500 - Copenhagen

Galaxie 500’s live album Copenhagen will be getting its first ever vnyl release as part of Record Store Day 2020.

The record will be a 2LP set with three sides of music and the fourth an etching by tattoo artist Matt Crcoker which will also be available as a T-shirt.

Galaxie 500 - RSD 2020 T-shirt
Galaxie 500 - RSD 2020 T-shirt

Damon leaked a clue on Twitter a couple of weeks back with a pic of a test pressing

Galaxie 500 - Copenhagen vinyl test pressing
Galaxie 500 - Copenhagen vinyl test pressing

And then in the RSD lists appearing in various places, most notably on Reddit this little nugget crept in…

Galaxie 500 - Copenhagen - 2LP/etching (202020 Records)

At just under an hour the show would be too long for one LP, so I suspect the etching is filling up the space on the fourth side.

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Luna - The Underworld, 27th February 1992 (advert)
Luna - The Underworld, 27th February 1992 (advert)

OK, I’ve shared this plenty of times before, but what’s the harm in sharing it again - it’s a good memory!

In 1991 Galaxie 500 split. I was heartbroken, and a little baffled. I had no idea of the ins and outs - I only became aware of the true sadness of the split many years later - but the brief Melody Maker news item was sad enough and hinted that things were not amicable.

A month or so later Damon & Naomi released the Pierre Etoile 12” and some time after that Dean’s Anesthesia 12” arrived - and both started to put my mind at ease. While Galaxie 500 were no more - all three still had something special to offer.

On 27 February 1992 Luna played in London at the Underworld (a room in the basement of the World’s End pub in Camden). Ken, Stuart, Graham and myself went along. Arriving with a little trepidation, unsure of what Dean had to offer, and unsure if folk would turn out to see whatever it was.

Now, not many shows stick in my head as clearly as this one - this is what I remember of the evening:

  • One of the support bands (Winterset) had Gina Morris, journalist and one-time Stereolab member, guest on a track. They also distributed free 7” singles - not their own, but some they’d obviously picked up in bulk in a second-hand shop somewhere. After an online reminiscence I was contacted by a member of Winterset - which was nice. You can hear lots of demos of them here and a bit more info here.
  • I had recently acquired a Sony Walkman Pro and this was the first show I taped with it - set-up all wrong, the recording was awful - except for the encore after I fiddled with the settings.
  • Grasshopper of Mercury Rev played guitar (this was before Sean joined the band)
  • Luna played Beat Happening’s Indian Summer - I was unaware that Dean had a little history with the song so it came as a pleasant surprise!
  • Two Galaxie 500 songs!
  • I left reassured that things looked like they were going to be just fine.

Here’s my recording of the show - far from perfect but … mine all the same. Also included is the Winterset track I recorded, the one with Gina Morris guesting.

And here’s Joe’s recording, far better, and with Joe yelling, unsuccessfully for Tugboat in the encore.

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Luna’s recent Penthouse show at The Independent in San Francisco is currntly being seeded on Bittorrent site Dimeadozen - you will need to be regsitered to download it.

Luna - 2020-02-08 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA (44/16)

Luna (plays “Penthouse”) 2020 February 08 The Independent, San Francisco, CA

Source: Sony PCM-M10 + Audio-Technica AT831b (x2)

Transfer: Sony PCM-M10 (48/24) –> Audacity (44.1/16) –> Trader’s Little Helper –> FLAC 8

Length: 01:36:24

01 - Intro
02 - Chinatown
03 - Sideshow by the Seashore
04 - Moon Palace
05 - Double Feature
06 - 23 Minutes in Brussels
07 - Lost In Space
08 - Rhythm King
09 - Kalamazoo
10 - Hedgehog
11 - Freakin’ and Peakin’
12 - Bonnie and Clyde
Encore
13 - California Blue
14 - Tracy I Love You
15 - Broken Chair
16 - Car Wash Hair
Encore 2
17 - Fuzzy Wuzzy
18 - Season of the Witch

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One of the gaps in Galaxie 500’s vinyl back-catalogue is about to get filled with a release of their splendid live album Copenhagen coming to an LP soon.

Damon just posted a sneaky peek at a test pressing on his Twitter

Galaxie 500 Copenhagen test pressing
Galaxie 500 Copenhagen test pressing
Listening to Galaxie 500 live in Copenhagen for first time in ages... slowcore/dreampop my ass. Anyway yup it’s a test pressing, more info soon. Bass is big! Naomi is a monster

Watch this space for more info.

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While @britta_phillips didn't make it onto the marquee or the poster she did make it onto the tickets, and like Cher and Madonna she only needs one name!

Luna finished their 2016 European tour on a boat in Paris and while the rest of the band headed home Dean and Britta (and Hazel and I) hung around for a couple of days as Britta was doing a solo show supporting Keren Ann at the legendary Olympia. Today’s artefacts are my comp tickets for the show.

I love that the tickets say Britta - only her first name is needed like Cher and Madonna!

It was an absolute treat seeing her and Dean performing a sweet set for a sizeable crowd in such a great venue.

I had actually already bought tickets for the show which is why my pics of Britta are from the comps in the stalls, and the pics of Keren Ann from the paid for seats in the circle!

e-tickets for Britta at L'Olympia 2016
eTickets for the show
Britta with her setlist before the show
Britta with her setlist before the show
Britta
Britta on stage at L'Olympia Paris, 2016

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 - Aftershow passes (2005-01-17)

Fifteen years ago tonight Luna played their last London show and today’s artefacts are mine and Hazel’s aftershow passes. Mine’s the better condition one as Hazel’s lived stuck inside her jacket for months - not for any close-to-her-heart-fan stuff but because it just was.

It was a perfect farewell: met up with a bunch of other fans; hung out (briefly) in the aftershow squash court; got interviewed for Tell Me Do You Miss Me (that thankfully ended up on the cutting room floor); and the show ended with Indian Summer which I’d seen the band play when they first came through London in 1992.

Off course most farewells aren’t farewells any more and Luna were back in London just over ten years later.

Luna (with Sonic Boom) @ ULU, London

You can download the full show, and see pictures (including fat me ligging with the band), over here.


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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Rutles Highway Revisited

Earlier this week the lovely and brilliant Neil Innes passed away. Now, I understand that his relevance to A Head Full of Wishes may be rather slight but nevertheless I felt that even that warranted celebrating.

In case you were unaware Neil wrote all the perfect Beatles pastiches recorded by The Rutles including Cheese and Onions that Galaxie 500 covered on the Shimmy Disc tribute album Rutles Highway Revisited. Neil did a lot more than just that - read the many obits to see just how prolific he was - and don’t imagine that because The Rutles (and The Bonzos) might have been considered comedy acts that what he wrote was comedy songs. Neil wrote great songs that happened to often be funny too.

Neil Innes was a musical genius (and by all the many accounts a nice guy too) and will be sorely missed.

The Rutles - Cheese and Onions

Back in 1974/5 my dad upgraded to a swanky new “Music Centre” - a large record/tape/radio amalgam that was briefly popular back then. To celebrate our entry into high-fidelity he brought a few new LPs - one was The History of The Bonzos, a recently released compilation. From that moment on and through Rutland Weekend Television, The Rutles, and The Innes Book of Records my love of Neil just grew.

When Galaxie 500’s cover of Cheese and Onions appeared it was like a divine collision of things I loved.

I’m not sure that Galaxie 500 ever played the track live but Dean has taken a couple of pops at it, usually in response to shouts from the audience - here in Australia in 2011:

Dean Wareham - Cheese and Onions

and here in Japan:

Dean Wareham - Cheese and Onions

I only saw Neil play once, with Yo La Tengo back in 2000 - I always meant to see him more but for various reasons it never happened - and now I can’t and for that I’m rather sad. RIP Neil, you’ll be missed.

The Rutles - Cheese and Onions (London 2013)

Originals: Cheese and Onions by The Rutles (covered by Galaxie 500)

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The results of the 2019 A Head Full of Wishes survey are in - thanks to the 72 folk who responded from 17 different countries. I have been in touch with the two whose names were pulled out of the hat - if you haven’t heard from me… better luck next time!

You can see the summary results.

Galaxie 500

Unsurprisingly I guess in the wake of its 30th anniversary On Fire topped the album poll more emphatically than ever. In the votes for favourite track Fourth of July just edged out Tugboat and Strange consolidated its recent strength in third place. Interesting that neither of the top two tracks are from the album that wins so resoundingly - I guess that shows the strength in depth Galaxie 500’s catalogue has!

Galaxie 500 survey results 2019

Because that album just speaks volumes to my soul. Today was the first one I listened to but On Fire just clicked with me.

Because every single piece of this record is imperfect (voices, guitars, mixing, all) but magically putting all together it sounds perfect

Luna

Luna’s first three albums take the vast majority of the votes again with Penthouse, as ever, winning out. 23 Minutes in Brussels is top track, as it pretty much always has been in recent years!

Luna survey results 2019

Has most of my favorite Luna songs. I really like the fluid rhythm on the tracks with lush, languid guitars.

it has the best songs! it’s where the band seemed to gel.

Damon & Naomi

More Sad Hits topped the album poll as always - this year leaving the rest of the pack quite far behind. This Car Climbed Mt. Washington topped the track poll, as it always does - with E.T.A. pushing up behind.

Damon & Naomi survey results 2019

It was like a gift after Galaxie 500 split. For that it’s special for me.

It’s exactly what it says on the tin ;-)

For Dean & Britta and Dean solo check the full results here - when I get round to cleaning up the data I’ll publish the full spreadsheets if anyone cares!

Summing up

Thanks again to everyone for contributing - and thanks for so many nice things that were said in the comments box - I don’t do it to fish for compliments but it is lovely to get them all the same!

On Fire | 30

A 30th anniversary celebration of Galaxie 500's masterpiece

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

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