Thursday, August 12th, 2004

This Is Our Music

Glory be – Splendid has an interview with Dean Wareham and Damon Krukowski of Bostonian slowcore/shoegaze/indie legends Galaxie 500 about their former band’s place in history and their new DVD retrospective Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste (link from The GPC). The interview is a nice compliment to the DVD liner notes/interview, wherein all three G500-ers are interviewed by Yo La Tengo’s James McNew. While the interviews make it seem as though the acrimony that resulted when Galaxie 500 split has receded somewhat, things aren’t necessarily mended. Damon says, “We haven’t been in the same room since the band broke up. We are extremely estranged but it’s receding rapidly into the past”, while Dean is quoted as saying, “Damon, Naomi and I are on better terms than we have been, which is nice. We still don’t really speak — they were really angry when I quit — but I think it’s hard to say angry at someone.” Seeing as how all three have gone on to forge respectable solo careers (Dean with Luna and Damon and Naomi as, uh, Damon & Naomi), it’s nice that they can look back on their former band’s accomplishments with pride and affection, if not their interpersonal relationships.

As for the DVD itself, it’s an interesting document of the band’s short career. It comprises their three appropriately arty videos and a bunch of live performances, most culled from bootlegs and amateur videographers. The quality runs from pretty damn decent to pretty damn laughable (watch for the basketball hoop in the gymnasium). The only bit of commentary comes from an interview for some unidentified UK television station wherein the band talks about their perceived “wimpiness”. Still, the music and performances are great and it’s fun to see just how absurd Naomi’s earrings got over time and how much mileage Dean can get out of a single Spacemen 3 t-shirt (To which Dean says, “It didn’t occur to me that there would be a DVD later — otherwise I would have had different outfits and I wouldn’t have worn the same thing twice”).

Besides the DVD, a new/old compilation called The Uncollected Galaxie 500 was released just last week. Featuring live and unreleased tracks, it was originally the bonus disc in the Galaxie 500 box set that came out in 1996 and but is now available on its own, obviously for fans only. For the unconverted but curious, check out The Portable Galaxie 500, a compilation released the same time as the box set. It’s as advertised, a good introduction to the underground legends pulling together tracks from their three studio albums and the live Copenhagen disc. Finally, there’s a tribute album – Snowstorm – featuring a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of and a handful that I have. No idea if it’s any good.

And to close the topic, one little fun bit of G500 trivia: when the band first formed in university, they had some trouble rounding up the necessary gear to perform. They ended up borrowing their kit from a fellow Harvard freshman, name of Conan O’Brien.

It’s funny how the Splendid interview touched on the topic of Galaxie 500 living in the shadow of fellow Beantown indie gods the Pixies during their original lifespan, and now more than a decade later when they’re getting some posthumous recognition, the Pixies come back from the dead for a reunion tour and cash grab. Some bands can’t catch a break, not even in this blog – all that G500 love and I have to follow up with a Pixies bit: Frank Black has just revealed exactly what his next solo record Frank Black Francis will comprise – one disc of pre-Pixies demo material and one disc of Pixies material re-recorded as “this sort of freeform, not jazzy, but kind of new-age-y weirdo thing” with members of Two Pale Boys. There’ll also be a new album of original material coming out next year called Honeycomb, which was made in Nashville with session musicians.

And finally, to wrap up today’s Boston content, Tanya Donelly talks to The Boston Herald about Whiskey Tango Ghosts and what to expect from the next album being recorded live at the end of the month.

Shows announcements: Las Vegan hype machine The Killers are at the Opera House October 11 and New York arty-pants Blonde Redhead and The Liars are at the same venue October 22.

So I got my TIFF coupon book in the mail yesterday. It’s literally a sheet of ten perforated coupons that say “This coupon is valid for one Toronto International Film Festival film ticket”. Um. What? I have no idea what to do with these, nor was the accompanying letter of much use. Seriously, if someone can explain to me exactly what the Hell I’m supposed to do with these, I’d really appreciate it. They look like I should be able to trade them in for beer. Really really expensive beer.

np – Old 97’s / Too Far To Care

By : Frank Yang at 8:50 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. solace says:

    that re-recorded Pixies stuff from FBF leaked quite a few months ago, and is pretty bad :(

  2. Frank says:

    I’m not surprised. The whole release sounds like a pretty bad idea. People really wanted to hear his pre-Pixies demo material? Seriously?

    His Nashville album might be interesting, though. I confess I haven’t heard any of his post-"Teenager Of The Year" stuff, since he went lo-fi. Just too damn much of it.

  3. Mike says:

    The TIFF ticket’s so far are just coupon for the actual tickets. At the end of the month (august 31), movie times will be released, and you can pick yup another booklet and then you have to fill out some form and send in your tickets to be entered (you have three days) into a two -part random drawing, at which point you may or may not have the movies you wanted to see. Then you tap your heels together three times or something.

  4. solace says:

    oh wow, there’s TONS of great FB stuff post Teenager, and i wouldn’t call it "lo-fi" at all really.

    a lot of it is very alt-country-ish, almost even rockabilly at times.

    i’d def check out some of his later solo stuff. i can recommend a few albums if you’re interested.

  5. cyn says:

    jules and i were also utterly confused when our coupons came in the mail. according to TIFF’s site, you can pick up the film list and order form on the 31rst but the list and part of the schedule will be online as of the 24th. i’m convinced it’s all part of a conceptual art project to make festival going more of a real-life mystery adventure.

  6. james says:

    Yeah, the TIFF rituals are sort of arcane, but it seems to be the only way to handle the overwhelming crush of people who want to go. Be prepared for many many lineups over the next few weeks. After you pick your films and write them in the schedule booklet, you drop that off (queue #1). Then a few days later, you pick up your tickets (queue #2). You won’t get all ten choices, so you’ll jump back in line to pick alternates (queue #3). Then, just when you think you’re done, you will show up at the cinema on the date and time indicated and stand in a huge line of "ticket holders" (queue #4, 5, 6, ….)

    Should be fun, though. I always overhear the most inane conversations in the lineups!

  7. Carla says:

    Hey Frank, some of what the others have explained regarding your TIFF tickets pretty much cover all of it, but there’s more to explain when I see you Friday (I worked at the main TIFF box office a couple of years ago).

  8. Frank says:

    Thanks for the TIFF crash course, y’all. so there’s actual physical waiting in line to be done? MAN. If I can get passes to I Heart Huckabees (even if not the gala, which my passes don’t seem to be good for – boo) then everything else is gravy.

    Solace – by lo-if, I mean I heard when FB started recording with the Catholics it was very raw, off-the-floor straight to 2-track. I just assumed that you;re limited in the amount of fidelity you get out of a set up like that. If you can recommend one album to check out, I would likely do so.

  9. luna says:

    The "Snowstorm" tribute album you mention was released by the Spanish indie label, Elefant Records some years ago. I think that at least 6 of the bands are Spanish though there are many others like Ladybug Transistor, Hefner or BMX Bandits.

  10. christina says:

    the secret to less TIFF line-waiting: volunteer. you can get into press & industry screenings _and_ your volunteer vouchers are also valid for galas.

    damn, i’m sure gonna miss going to the fest this year.

  11. Ieinz says:

    Good to read about Galaxie 500. They don’t seem to get much attention, and they are one of my personal favorites.