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Cheval Sombre - Days Go By sleeve
Cheval Sombre - Days Go By sleeve

Sonic Cathedral have just announced that the promised second Cheval Sombre album of the year will be released on 28th May and will be available form pre-order from tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Like the first, Time Waits for No One that was released last month, this one Days Go By, was produced by Sonic Boom and will feature “appearances” by Dean Wareham - the nature of those appearances are as yet unclear.

Pre-orders will be up on the Sonic Cathedral shop tomorrow.

Read on…

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The always excellent blog Doom & Gloom From The Tomb have shared a recording of Galaxie 500 playing at the See/Hear benefit at CBGB’s in December 1988.

Primal Galaxie 500! Thanks to Dan for passing along this new-to-me tape of Damon, Naomi and Dean back in the day. Sonic Youth released their Daydream Nation-era set from this evening on the Bowery as part of their live archive series, so this fills out the picture nicely. Like the SY recording, it’s a soundboard, but a wobbly/watery one … a tape flaw or was this how Kramer wanted the band to sound? I wouldn’t put it past him.

Read on…

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A well thumbed copy of Black Postcards
A well thumbed copy of Black Postcards

Dean Wareham has just started reading Black Postcards (with occasional footnotes/asides) for his Patreon subscribers so for today’s artefact here is my first edition of Dean Wareham’s Black Postcards, which raises the question what should a fan’s copy of Black Postcards look like?

  • Should it be treasured, carefully read, and filed away in as near mint condition as is possible? Or better still not read at all, with a second viewing copy for use?[1]
  • Should it be a constant source of research so that the repeated reference to it wears it down? So it looks like an invaluable source!
  • Should it look like it’s been loved?
  • Should it look like it’s been cherished?

Mine, as you can see, fits into the repeated reference and been loved categories!

My copy of Black Postcards falling apart
My copy of Black Postcards falling apart

Read on…

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While I loved hearing Dean & Britta playing Homeward Bound what I loved more was them doing this fab cover of Scott Walker’s Duchess - maybe because I love the song a tiny bit more than the Simon & Garfunkel one … (and that just reinforces what a great ear they have for a cover!

They played the song during both their early and late livestreams in September - this is from the evening performance. In the earlier one Dean explained how Luna’s Slow Song was “not accidentally”[1] similar to Duchess.

Dean & Britta - Duchess (September 2020)

Read on…

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Britta Phillips has recorded a cover of Sleepy People which will be released on a new album, The Good Lyre, being release next month in aid of Sweet Relief.

During the shitshow of last year Wesley Stace (the artist formerly known as John Wesley Harding) started a project where “friends and fans suggested artists they would like to cover Wesley Stace AKA John Wesley Harding’s songs” - this developed into the Community Coronation Covers Project which was shared on Soundcloud.

Now those and other recordings, including Britta’s recording of Sleepy People are being released as The Good Lyre and will be available to buy on Bandcamp (in time for next Bandcamp Friday - 2nd April).

The project started purely as a way to lift spirits at the beginning of the lockdown; a way for musicians to cheer people up. Now we’re bringing it full circle: all the proceeds from this album will benefit Sweet Relief, and specifically musicians affected by the Covid pandemic. It’s a beautiful way to mark the end of the project’s journey. I immediately think of John Prine, Adam Schlesinger, Dave Greenfield, Matthew Seligman, Hal Willner and other friends and/or musical influences lost to complications from the virus.

Details here - there doesn’t seem to be a bandcamp link yet but I’ll post one as soon as I find one.

The Good Lyre
The Good Lyre

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Damon & Naomi promo postcard, front - 1999
Damon & Naomi promo postcard, front - 1999

This promo postcard was sent to me by Andrea Troolin with a copy of the single that Damon & Naomi had released on her label Grimsey Records. This is actually Andrea’s second appearance in the artefacts series as she was the person who helped make the Galaxie 500 box set a reality and sent me the promo of Copenhagen that featured in Artefacts #001.

Read on…

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Luna’s second album Bewitched is getting a vinyl repress courtesy of Gotta Groove Records - head over to their web site to grab yourself a copy.

The album was originally released only on CD but in 2012 Gotta Groove Records released it on vinyl for the first time - and in the originally planned sleeve that had been replaced at the last minute by Elektra. The 2012 release was limited to 1500 copies so it is long overdue a repress.

Grab your copy over here for $25

Luna - Bewitched LP
Luna - Bewitched LP

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Damon & Naomi’s online store has a new topaz T-shirt with the Galaxie 500 Eclipse design and it looks rather lovely - topaz it seems is blue (although Googling what colour is topaz just made things more confusing) - luckily Naomi posted a pic on her Instagram to help me out:

Galaxie 500 Eclipse T-shirt (topaz)
Galaxie 500 Eclipse T-shirt (topaz)

Head on over there to grab one for $20.00.

Now… I wear my band T-shirts mostly in black, and occasionally in white - but I make exceptions for Galaxie 500 ones - although I resisted until Naomi encouraged me to try an orange one … and then an antique gold one (which I’ve become very attached to)…

Washing line
Washing line

But… if you prefer to stick with rock tradition they’re also available black!

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Back in March 2009 Dean & Britta played a low-key (and sparesely attended) show for Worcester College Consortium students at The Grind at Clark University, shortly after Matt sent me a recording of the show (and a pictures of the setlist) - he said…

The sound is not perfect, as I was front and center and just had the recorder sitting in a bag, but it is certainly listenable.

I’d have to say that actually the sound is much better than “listenable” (especially considering it was “sitting in a bag”); the setlist was a lovely mix of Dean & Britta (and 13 Most Beautiful), Luna and Galaxie 500; and the atmosphere seemed beautifully relaxed.

And Bewitched has a trumpet … which always gives me chills!

Enjoy…

Dean & Britta at The Grind, 2009

If you prefer you can download the whole show zipped up over here.

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A collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp

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On Fire | 30

A 30th anniversary celebration of Galaxie 500's masterpiece

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