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Dean & Britta - Massachusetts (We Love The Betsey, June 2020)

Another lovely Dean & Britta sofa perfromance - this, their cover of The Bee Gees Massachusetts was recorded for the (first) We Love The Betsey stream in support of London’s fabulous Betsey Trotwood pub/venue.

The whole evening was packed with good stuff (including contributions from Robyn Hitchcock, Darren Hayman and The Clientele) and you can view the whole thing over here.

A different performance of Massachusetts turned up on the Quarantine Tapes release last year which, if you didn’t manage to get one of the the lovely lathe-cut box sets, you can buy digitally from Bandcamp for $7 (or more)!.

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Back in 1996, while still a member of Luna, Justin Harwood teamed up with Pete Buck (REM) and Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) to form the instrumental collective/supergroup Tuatara.

They’ve been an off/on thing ever since, releasing a number of albums of cinematic instrumental music.

Their fourth album East of The Sun (from 2007) however was a bit of a departure in that it included contributions from guest vocalists such as Mark Eitzel, Victoria Williams and John Wesley Harding. It was also a departure in that it didn’t include Justin since he’d moved back to New Zealand by the time it was recorded - he is however still involved with the project, having played (from NZ) on their 2016 album Shamanic Nights.

Dean Wareham lent his voice to two tracks on the album.

Most of Tuatara’s output can be found on Spotify - and there’s some video of a great 1998 performance on YouTube.

Tuatara promo photo from 1997
Tuatara promo photo from 1997

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Poster for Galaxie 500's final show
Poster for Galaxie 500's final show

Back in 2003 Dan got in touch with me out of the blue and sent me this poster promoting what turned out to be Galaxie 500’s final show at Bowdoin College 30 years ago today. He also sent me some photos he took - all of which has been shared before … but - now it’s being shared as an artefact.

My post from earlier today has more on Galaxie 500’s sad and bitter end.

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GALAXIE 500 split
GALAXIE 500 split

GALAXIE 500 have split after guitarist/vocalist Dean Wareham quit unexpectedly. All band commitments, including a June tour of Japan, have been cancelled.

The break-up occurred when the band returned from a successful tour of the States with Cocteau Twins.

Drummer Damon Krukowski told the Maker, “One day we were planning for a tour of Japan, and the next day he just quit. twas a big surprise for me and Naomi”. Galaxie 500 Split - Melody Maker (4th May 1991)

Thirty years ago today Galaxie 500 played their last show, three days later the band was no more.

It’s hard to write this because three people I love who were once friends aren’t friends any more - that’s sad. Of course a band splitting up is bad, but a friendship disolving is so much sadder. Maybe I should have just let this anniversary go by unmentioned, after all the stories around the split have been out there a while now and kicking up the dust again won’t change anything, but … this is a Galxie 500 web site and it’s hard to let this week pass without thinking back to 30 years ago.

This is just a collection of snippets related to those last few days of Galaxie 500, taken from various publications and interviews - it’s not comprehensive and it’s here just as a record - without any comment or editorialising. Nothing I say can change the fact that 30 years ago a band and a friendship died.

Read on…

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Everything's Swirling #2
Everything's Swirling #2

On Monday it will be the 30th anniversary of Galaxie 500’s last show - three days later a phone call brought it all to a sad end. So, it seemed time to publish issue #2 of Everything’s Swirling.

I opened the Melody Maker in the first week of May 1991 to the news that Galaxie 500 had split after “guitarist/vocalist Dean Wareham quit unexpectedly” - to be honest I don’t really remember noticing what was written, I don’t think I picked up on the undercurrent of bitterness in that news item. I maybe just noticed that headline, and that first sentence.

I think I was just sad that a band that I loved could do this to me. My past had seen me drifting away from my music loves - this was the first time one had been torn away from me. This was them breaking up with me, not me breaking up with them. Perhaps selfishly all I felt was my hurt. How could they do this to ME!

This is the second edition of Everything’s Swirling - the first celebrated the 30th anniversary of the band’s birth - it seemed only right to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its demise. To bookend the fans-eye view of Galaxie 500.

Read on…

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So it’s been a year since the current shitshow kicked in good and proper and I have hardly been on a train since then. We had one trip to the North East in the brief period of relaxed restrictions in late Spetember but otherwise my primary mode of transport for a year has been my feet… and I LOVE being on trains - and over the years I’ve loved having my train journeys soundtracked by Galaxie 500.

Over tha past four years in my regular searches of YouTube for Galaxie 500 stuff - in amongst all the videos of cars being stripped down or rebuilt - have been Walter Carlton’s lovely videos. They have been shot through the windows of trains all around the world and have been soundtracked with Galaxie 500’s. I’ve loved them but somehow coming across one this week after a year of almost no train travel made them seem more beautiful than ever.

Departing Buenos Aires’ Estación Constitución southbound to the tune of Galaxie 500’s “Decomposing Trees.” Shot & edited on iPhone February 6, 2018.

Buenos Aries train ride

There is also…

Read on…

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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 collection of AHFoW related releases on Bandcamp

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