Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

On their second album and first for Run For Cover Records, Horse Jumper of Love perfect their driving slowcore while discarding some of the moping that characterized their self-titled debut. This time around, the Boston trio’s desolation is mostly confined to the dejected guitars, which exude as much angst as a pop-punk chord progression, as much muscle as a metal riff and as much sonic weight as a shoegaze solo.

Memory looms large on Horse Jumper of Love’s hypnotic sophomore album, ‘So Divine,’ but it remains elusive. Throughout the record, tiny snapshots from the past float to the surface, baring themselves for brief moments before diving back into the ether. Like abstract collages, the Boston-based three-piece’s songs jumble richly detailed scenes and vivid imagery, papering over one moment with the next until each string of seemingly unrelated thoughts coalesces into a breathtaking work of art, one that reveals deep truths about ourselves and our psyches.

“A lot of these songs are about making small things into huge deals,” says guitarist/singer Dimitri Giannopoulos. “They all start with these very specific little memories that, for some reason or another, have stuck in my mind. Memories morph and change over time, though, and they become freighted with all these different meanings. We’re constantly adding to them.” Giannopoulos officially launched the group with bassist John Margaris and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran in 2013, taking their moniker from a Latin phrase that had gotten more than a little lost in translation. The band would spend the next three years refining their studio craft and live show, garnering a devoted following playing DIY gigs around New England as they climbed their way into what Pitchfork described as “the top tier of the Boston house show scene.” In 2016, they released their self-titled debut to rave reviews, with NPR praising the band’s “slow, syrupy rock songs” as “cautiously measured and patiently curious” and Audiotree hailing the “soft spoken, contemplative trio” for their “unique sonic palette and precise compositions.” In 2017, the group released a vinyl and digital re-issue of the album along with a limited edition demo anthology.

“Nature” by Horse Jumper of Love from the upcoming album ‘So Divine’ out June 28th via Run For Cover Records

I have a new side-project, Droneflower, out on Sacred Bones Records with my friend Stephen Brodsky. Steve, a fellow Massachusetts native and member of Cave In and Mutoid Man, worked on this full length collaboration mostly at my old apartment in Jamaica Plain and some at his place in Brooklyn. We co-produce this album and I can’t wait for you to hear the whole thing!

Brodsky met Nadler for the first time in 2014 at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar when he came to see her play on her July tour, and they quickly became friends. Both of them had been wanting to explore songwriting that didn’t fit into their existing projects, and they soon became energized by the prospect of working together. One of the first ideas they discussed was a horror movie soundtrack, and while Droneflower isn’t that, it is a richly cinematic album. It’s easy to imagine much of the record set to images, though it wasn’t composed that way.

The first song that came together was “Dead West,” based around a beautiful acoustic guitar piece Brodsky wrote while living on Spy Pond, just outside of Nadler’s home base in Boston. By the time they started working on the song earnest, Brodsky had moved to Brooklyn. Nadler added lyrics and vocal melodies remotely, and even from a distance it was obvious there was real kismet in the collaboration.

http://

“It’s is a sprawling and expansive exercise in contrasts. It is the sound of the war between the brutal and the ethereal, the dark and the light, the past and the present, and the real and imagined.” The limited edition sold out really fast of this, but the vinyl is available at Sacred Bones. You can also  order a limited edition by joining the Sacred Bones Record Society : Edition of 150 hand-numbered copies, comes with alternate screen printed, wrap around sleeve, wax sealed LP pressed on Society-exclusive clear-and-yellow marble vinyl and with Society-exclusive mixed tape,

All the songs on Droneflower were recorded in home studios.
released April 26th, 2019

Praised by Stereogum as a “delightfully distorted mess of energy,” the band’s sound is absorbing and urgently hypnotic, with songs that develop at a glacial pace, progressing forward with almost imperceptible momentum to carve deep canyons and valleys through walls of solid rock. Giannopoulos officially launched the group with bassist John Margaris and drummer Jamie Vadala-Doran in 2013, taking their moniker from a Latin phrase that had gotten more than a little lost in translation. The band would spend the next three years refining their studio craft and live show, garnering a devoted following playing DIY gigs around New England as they climbed their way into what Pitchfork described as “the top tier of the Boston house show scene.” In 2016, they released their self-titled debut to rave reviews, with NPR praising the band’s “slow, syrupy rock songs” as “cautiously measured and patiently curious” and Audiotree hailing the “soft spoken, contemplative trio” for their “unique sonic palette and precise compositions.”

They have soft/loud dynamics that remind me of early Mission of Burma. In 2019 Run For Cover Records announced they had signed them.

http://

The Band:
Dimitri Giannopoulos – Vocals / Guitar
John Margaris – Bass
Jamie Vadala- Doran – DrumsCo-released by Joy Void x Disposable America.
Originally released March 11th, 2016

Boston-based Palehound have returned with a brand new observe known as “Killer,” which we known as one in all the most effective songs of the year. It was a welcome comeback, and it continued final month with the discharge of the track“Aaron” and information of a brand new album known as Black Friday.

Right now, Ellen Kempner’s band is again with one other new track and video for “Worthy.” In a press launch, Kempner says the observe is “about feeling unworthy of affection even inside a relationship. It’s about years of being conditioned to hate my physique and the shock of discovering somebody who isn’t telling me to vary. Selecting to consider the one that believes in you is a wild journey particularly when it correlates with ebb and stream of a partnership.”

The “Worthy” video was directed by Home Of Nod’s Robert Kolodny, who additionally helmed the “Aaron” video, and touches on comparable themes and imagery. Kempner confirms that this one is a continuation: “It’s the identical characters however on this one I’m mask-less and speaking my approach in direction of my companion, our shrinking distance represented by a string that ties us collectively.”

Howdy everyone!

Hope y’all are enjoying “Aaron.” It’s been really special for me to put that song out into the world. I was having anxiety about it but y’all put that to rest with your overwhelmingly kind response. Also the video by House of Nod is the best music video we’ve ever had!! Makes me feel excited about doing/ releasing more.

The full album, Black Friday, will be out on 6/7 on Polyvinyl Records who have been ultra amazing. I feel the proudest of this record of all the things I’ve done. Gabe Wax was my co-producer again and he’s a magician. We’re also gearin’ up to take these songs to a city near you with our favorite band Big Thief in October. Counting down the days!!

Thanks so much for everything, love y’all can’t wait to see you on the road

Juliana Hatfield: <i>Weird</i> Review

Juliana Hatfield  is back with another album of wry alt-rock storytelling. Weird is her first album since last year’s Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, which was you guessed it an Olivia Newton-John covers album. This new one doesn’t disappoint, with her signature brand of fuzzy guitar rock constantly evolving to reflect the times.

Juliana Hatfield skirted on the fringes of punk with various early outfits The Lemonheads, Blake Babies and her own Juliana Hatfield 3 but she never entirely gave in to its edgier extremes. That’s not to say that she’s ever been prone to restraint and reserve. She can rock to a fearsome degree, and as a woman in a predominantly man’s world, she stands toe to toe with Joan Jett, Heart and Chrissie Hynde when it comes to taking an assertive stance.

Hatfield has been especially busy of late, overseeing a re-release of her seminal solo album Hey Babe this past March and releasing her delightful and unexpected covers album Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John just a few months back. The fact that she chose to follow it up with an album titled Weird hardly seems a surprise.

Nevertheless, despite its worrisome title, Weird isn’t the eccentric invention of an artist determined to defy convention. Hatfield said she chose the title as a reflection of the fact she feels disconnected and alienated in today’s impersonal, high tech, decidedly divisive world.
As she noted in a press release accompanying the album, “I feel weird, I feel like I’m dreaming my life and that I am going to wake up some day.”

Given those sentiments, it’s little surprise that the songs are bolstered by a generally unsettled sound throughout. Yet rather than opt for a tumult, Hatfield maintains a persistent pulse and an air of determination. That’s especially evident in such songs as “Lost Ship,” “Staying In,” “Do It To Music,” and “All Right, Yeah,” although in reality there’s not a single selection here that isn’t marked by Hatfield’s arched attitude and a decided mix of determination and defiance. “You can’t talk to anyone because you might get cut off, you get these strange signals,” she declares on Receiver,” one of several songs that describe today’s off-kilter attitude. Hatfield, who handles all the instruments save the drums played by Freda Love Smith (Blake Babies, Sunshine Boys) and Todd Phillips (Lemonheads, The Juliana Hatfield Three) gives her guitar a fidgety, slightly left of center sound, raucous to a degree but never far afield of any melodic parameters.

http://

Still, there are some songs that tone down the overt anxiety. “Paid To Lie” purveys a more settled stance while “Sugar” and “Everything’s For Sale” are practically effusive compared to the commotion that pervades the album as a whole.

Taken in tandem, Weird provides an apt analogy for those who feel out of touch with a world that’s so askew. To some degree, it should also provide assurance for all those who feel the same.

Boston-based trio Palehound have announced their third album, “Black Friday”, marking the occasion with the release of their lead single “Aaron.” The forthcoming record, due out on June 7th via Polyvinyl Record Co., examines love and the many different ways it can take shape in our life. “Aaron,” in particular, explores love of one’s own body, and connects to singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner’s partner.

Kempner says of the track and its music video in a statement:

“Aaron” is a character that represents my partner, who is trans. It’s not specific to his experience though, the song is about change in relation to our bodies in general. It’s about learning to be comfortable in our skins, whether that means changing our bodies or mindsets. Robert Kolodny directed the video and captured this theme perfectly through portraying physical insecurity as living in an unruly, amorphous body and gradually shedding it.

The video for “Aaron” takes Kempner’s gentle, heartfelt storytelling and gives it an artistic texture that is both fitting and unexpected. Kempner sings underneath a knitwear mask, crafted by Gaudmother, as a figure runs around the streets in a ghillie suit made out of yarn. In the end, both figures take off their knit masks and are haloed by light, a visual representation of their own newfound self-love and body empowerment.

On Black Friday, Kempner and bandmates Jesse Weiss (drums) and Larz Brogan (bass) hope that their art will help others who are struggling. She herself knows the therapeutic benefits of music, explaining:

What I always want to do with my songs is to help people heal in some way, or come to some new understanding about whatever it is that they’re going through. Even if it’s just hearing a song and feeling less alone than they were before, that would mean so much to me.

Kempner produced the record with Gabe Wax (Beirut, Soccer Mommy). Palehound recorded their latest project at Panoramic House in Stinson Beach, Calif.

Watch the video for “Aaron” (dir. Kolodny) check out the album art for Black Friday and the band’s national tour dates with Big Thief

Image may contain: 2 people

Timing is everything, they say. Of course, when you’re ahead of the curve, timing can also throw a wrench in the works. Give enough passage, however, and others eventually catch-up, understand… even emulate.
Such is the case for self-proclaimed micro-legendary weirdoz The Prefab Messiahs. Originally together from 1981-1983, they played basement and club shows fairly often. Armed with borrowed guitars, puny amps and a mission to confound the status quo, the Clark U. undergrads began a unique post-punk musical trajectory through the burgeoning-yet-insular “Wormtown” (Worcester, MA) underground. Aside from the 1983 cassette Flex Your Mind, though, no recorded material was available from them until 1998’s Devolver CD-R – an anthology of their recordings from the early ’80s. Several songs on the album were produced by their friend and outsider psychedelic singer-songwriter Bobb Trimble.
Fast-forward three decades later with the official remastered release of Devolver via Burger Records, followed by a well-received eight-song maxi-EP of new material entitled Keep Your Stupid Dreams Alive (2015), and it seems the stars have finally aligned for this art-damaged psych-pop collective. These two releases witnessed not only a new appreciation from a younger fan base (not much older than the original one the band first started out with over 35 years ago), but also rave reviews from media, who traced the lineage from the Prefab Messiahs to many of today’s garage-psych scuzz-pups, such as Oh Sees, King Tuff, White Fence, Ty Segall, et al.
Now The Prefab Messiahs are set to release their latest full-length platter of new material, Psychsploitation Today. On it, the fuzzed-out foursome of Xerox Feinberg, Trip Thompson, Doc Michaud and Mattyboy Horn have cooked-up, arguably, their most far-out and fantastical effort to date. The new record continues the path of melding timely social commentary with equal measures of jangle, left-field garage-pop and hooks aplenty.
Prefabs’ front dude Xerox Feinberg, a self-described “Lost Generation Wanna-be Spokesperson,” describes the the band’s approach on Psychsploitation Today thusly, “The new album is really a mental and sonic continuation of the things we were obsessed about from the beginning — mashing up the sounds and attitudes of ’60s garage-psychedelia with post-punk ’80s stuff and dragging all that into whatever ‘today’ is — while generally trying to poke people in the ribs and skewer some of the Big Shams behind all the Shiny Facades. We still don’t do songs about girls’ names or feeling good. We’re still trying to toss everything into the mix including the kitchen sink. We’re still bemused and shocked and disgusted with The State of Things — and also in love with the noises in our heads and guitars. We like to think that The Prefab Messiahs’ work is never done.”

Micro-legendary DIY Garage-Pop-Psych provocateurs! Evolutionary genre grinders practicing art-damaged power pop, rock, crunch, jangle and general mind-infiltration.

released January 18, 2019
The Prefab Messiahs: 
Xerox Feinberg, Doc Michaud, Trip Thompson, Mattyboi Horn

Amanda Palmer Voicemail for Jill Cover Picture

“There Will Be No Intermission” is out Friday, March 8th Amanda Palmer’s third solo effort and first in more than six years, is the multi-faceted artist’s most powerful and personal collection to date, with songs that tackle the big questions: life, death, grief and how we make sense with it all. While the themes may be dark, the album’s overall sonic and lyrical mood is one of triumph in the face of life’s most ineffably shitty circumstances. Beginning with the epic Bill-Hicks-inspired “The Ride”, it sees Palmer revealing her heart in total, turning the coals of fraught experience into musical diamonds. Themes of death and reproduction recur throughout, including “A Mother’s Confession”, a funny, honest, slice-of-life ramble detailing Palmer’s failings as a new mother, and “Machete” written in tribute to her best friend, Anthony following his untimely passing from cancer. “Voicemail For Jill” chronicles a different sort of death as Palmer reaches out to a friend on her way to an abortion clinic. Lead single “Drowning In The Sound” explores hidden connections between political unrest, the impending uncertainty of Hurricane Harvey, climate change, the solar eclipse, internet-hate and, bizarrely, Taylor Swift. One of the more lavishly produced songs on the album, the song combines Palmer’s singular style of piano-taming with a restrained chorus that pays sonic homage to two diverse but connected mentors: Prince and Ani DiFranco.

This album is the most personal and painfully vulnerable thing she has ever made, containing 10 of the most honest, funny, sad, dark songs. THE ALBUM, THE ARTBOOK and tickets for THE TOUR . the beautiful images you’re seeing (which are included in the artbook and are available as prints and select merchandise) were all captured by kahn & selesnick.

Amanda says, I know I say it a lot, but it bears repeating: this album would not have happened without the emotional and financial support of my 14,000 patrons. in so many ways, it just would not have been possible. if you are one of my patrons and reading this, i hope you are as proud today as I am. we did it.

The reviews and critics are weighing in….and the accolades mean a lot, but they don’t mean fuck all compared to what this music means to me and my community, and what it has meant over the past years as i’ve played these piano and ukulele in people’s houses, and in small clubs, and in living rooms, and in theaters for the people I really care about: you. you you you. fuck the critics. you’re my critics, and I listen. sometimes you make the art, and sometimes the art makes you. this record and tour feels more like the latter.

http://

Listen. these songs are the most vulnerable and personal I’ve ever recorded, and they all provided some kind of relief from each life-situation I was facing over the last seven years since I out our my last album (theatre is evil), it was just non-stop, the gamut of human emotion and highs and lows. everything feels inseparable now: my crowdfunding through patreon, the birth of our son, the election of trump, my TED talk, two abortions, the kavanuagh hearing, the death of my best friend, writing a book, being in Ireland for the repeal, the miscarriage i had alone on a christmas day.

i sat in a theater in london and watched hannah gadsby decimate the blurted lines between entertainment and naked truth, i saw the brave women of #metoo standing up against their rapists, and I saw nick cave in concert and on record working through his grief using art as a necessary and generous tourniquet that others could re-use. they all reminded me to try harder and harder still to tell the real, unadorned truth. I love you all so much.

Thank you for coming on this ride with me.

watch this, and you will understand everything. I made this video in our living room (w/ two of my closest friends, Michael Pope & Coco Karol to announce my forthcoming solo album,

Amanda Palmer, performer, writer, giver, taker, listener, love-lover, rule-hater and co-founder of the Brechtian punk cabaret duo, The Dresden Dolls.

Musicians:

jherek bischoff – double bass, guitar, vibraphone, prepared piano, backing vocals
john congleton – drums, synths, sequencing
max henry – synths
amanda palmer – piano, ukulele, organ, synths, vocals
joey waronker – drums
jason webley – accordion

There Will Be No Intermission is a triumphant return of an uncompromising artist. It is singularly the best piece of work that Palmer has produced in her career.” – popmatters.com

Released March 8th, 2019

Amanda Palmer Voicemail for Jill Cover Picture

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and indoor

One listen to Springtime And Blind may have you loving the raw sound…quite unpolished indie rock/grunge.  Fiddlehead’s debut album is not punk or hardcore in a traditional sense, but it’s played by people from those worlds while translating the spirit of those scenes. Featuring Pat Flynn of Have Heart on vocals, the record sees him stretching his vocal range further than ever, as he sings almost solely about the death of his father in ways that are evocative but never cloying. In a scant 24 minutes, Fiddlehead makes the kind of music that falls somewhere between post-hardcore and indie rock, finding ways to take songs about uniquely personal experiences and transform them into cathartic anthems. And really, that’s what the best hardcore music has always done.

http://

Image result for galaxie 500

Galaxie 500 were a really well-regarded indie rock band at the time. They signed to a big indie label, they got to tour a lot, to record extensively with the single producer on Earth they were most suited to work with, and they were absolutely adored all over in Europe. Galaxie 500 made three great records that people bought thousands of copies of, Galaxie 500 have later emerged as one of the pivotal underground groups of the post-punk era, dreamy and enigmatic, their minimalist dirges presaged the rise of both the shoegaze and slowcore movements of the 1990s. The group formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 and comprised vocalist/guitarist Dean Wareham (a transplanted New Zealand native), and bassist Naomi Yang and drummer Damon Krukowski, longtime friends who first met in high school in New York City before all three attended Harvard. Wareham and Krukowski initially teamed in the short-lived Speedy & the Castanets, which split after their bass player experienced a religious conversion; upon re-forming, the duo recruited Yang to play bass, although she had no prior musical experience.

Named after a friend’s car, Galaxie 500 began performing live throughout Boston and New York before recording a three-song demo tape which they sent to Shimmy Disc head honcho Kramer, who agreed to become the trio’s producer. After bowing in early 1988 with the singles “Tugboat” and “Oblivious” (the latter track featured on a flexi-disc included in an issue of Chemical Imbalance magazine)

Today

They issued their full-length debut, “Today” in 1988, which highlighted the group’s distinct, evolving sound pitting Wareham’s eerie, plaintive tenor, elliptical songs, and slow-motion guitar textures against Yang’s warm, fluid basslines and Krukowski’s lean drumming.

Damon Krukowski: said ,We had been listening to a Half Japanese record produced at Noise [Music to Strip By]– it sounded very spacious. All the other Boston bands were turning out a very heavy, dense sound. We were looking for something else. We weren’t a heavy band after all. We called to ask the rates– they were cheap! So we booked time. That’s how we came to record the “Tugboat” single at [his studio] Noise, and how we met Kramer. It turned out he was the only employee.

Galaxie 500’s debut doesn’t merely live up to the sweet promise of the band’s debut single “Tugboat,” Today’s final song, but almost without trying becomes its own gently powerful touchstone. While the influences are clear — third album Velvet Underground, early non-dance New Order, psychedelic haze and fuzz thanks to the reverb Kramer piled on as producer. By never feeling the need to conventionally rock out, the Krukowski/Yang rhythm section comes up with its own brand of intensity. Sometimes the two are persistently skipping along without Krukowski having to bash the hell out of the drums (the downright delightful “Oblivious” is a good example), other times they simply play it soft and slow. Meanwhile, Wareham’s low-key chiming and slightly lost, forlorn singing, at places wry and whimsical, often achingly sad, forms the perfect counterpoint to the songs’ paces, feeling like a gauzy dream. When he comes up with his own brand of electric guitar heroics, it’s very much in the Lou Reed and such descendants vein of less being more, setting the moods via strumming and understated but strong soloing. One particular Descendant gets honored with a cover version: Jonathan Richman, whose “Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste” is turned into a deceptively calm epic, with marvelous playing by all three members.

Dean’s smallish high voice, subtle accent, and laconic guitar were seated by Damon’s spacious sound– long cymbal splashes, bottom heads on his sparkly Gretsch kit– and Naomi’s unique, wide toned high on the neck melodies made a big, wide, slowly moving cloud.

It’s easier to lose oneself in the flow of the sound rather than worry about any deep meaning, making the stronger images that come to the fore all that more entertaining, like “watching all the people fall to pieces” in “Parking Lot.” “Tugboat” itself, meanwhile, remains as wonderful as ever, a cascading confession of love at the expense of everything else, somehow mournful and triumphant all at once.

On Fire

After signing to the U.S. branch of Rough TradeGalaxie 500 issued its defining moment, 1989’s evocative “On Fire”, a remarkably assured and rich record including the superb singles “Blue Thunder” and “When Will You Come Home.” Having already made a fine account of themselves on “Today”, the three members of Galaxie 500 got even better with “On Fire”, recording another lovely classic of late ’80s rock. As with all the band’s work, Kramer once again handles the production, the perfect person to bring out Galaxie 500’s particular approach. The combination of his continued use of reverb and the sudden, dramatic shifts in the music — never exploding, just delivering enough of a change — makes for fine results.

We were signed to Rough Trade by Robin Hurley, who ran the American label, and Geoff Travis, who was our A&R man and the head of the company back in England– both great people. It’s kind of amazing the list of things he has been involved with: Swell Maps, Jonathan Richman, Shockabilly, the Smiths, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Pulp, the Strokes.

Consider “Snowstorm,” with Krukowski’s soft-then-strong drums and Wareham’s liquid solo and how they’re placed in the mix, leading without dominating. Yang’s vocals became more prominent and her bass work more quietly narcotic than before, while Krukowski adds more heft to his playing without running roughshod over everything, even at the band’s loudest. Wareham in contrast more or less continues along, his glazed, haunting voice simply a joy to hear, while adding subtle touches in the arrangements — acoustic guitar is often prominent — to contrast his beautifully frazzled soloing. Lead off track “Blue Thunder” is the most well-known song and deservedly so, another instance of the trio’s ability to combine subtle uplift with blissed-out melancholia, building to an inspiring ending. There’s more overt variety throughout “On Fire”, from the more direct loner-in-the-crowd sentiments and musical punch of “Strange” to the Yang-sung “Another Day,” a chance for her to shine individually before Wareham joins in at the end. Again, a cover makes a nod to past inspirations, with George Harrison being the songwriter of choice; his “Isn’t It a Pity” closes out the album wonderfully, Kramer adding vocals and “cheap organ.” Inspired guest appearance  Ralph Carney, Tom Waits‘ horn player of choice, adding some great tenor sax to the increasing volume and drive of “Decomposing Trees.” CD pressings included the bonus tracks from the Blue Thunder EP.

After a limited-edition 7″ release featuring live renditions of the Beatles’ “Rain” and Jonathan Richman’s “Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste”.

The group returned in 1990 with This Is Our Music, a diffuse collection spotlighting the wry, sunny single “Fourth of July” and a haunting cover of Yoko Ono’s “Listen, The Snow Is Falling” .

What turned out to be the final Galaxie 500 album was also arguably the band’s most accomplished. Not that the earlier records lacked either charm or ability, but right from the charging, chugging start of “Fourth of July,” the amazing single and lead off song from This Is Our Music (even including a cheeky Velvet Underground reference from “Candy Says”), the trio here sounds like they could take on anyone. Kramer’s production and the use of reverb from past releases all once again contribute to Galaxie 500’s magic, while the individual members continue to sound fantastic. Somehow, though, everyone aims higher, Wareham’s singing among his finest and his guitar going for the truly epic more than once, Krukowski and Yang even more perfectly in sync than before, often being very bold without losing their intrinsic warmth.

From a generally different approach, Galaxie 500 here easily equaled the heights of their U.K. shoegaze contemporaries and often trumped them — “Summertime” in particular is a stunner , while making a lot of contemporary American indie rock seem fairly dull and workaday. The choice of cover version this time out is astonishing Yoko Ono’s “Listen, the Snow Is Falling,” with Yang singing beautifully over, initially, Wareham’s echoed guitar strums, and Krukowski’s barely-there percussion cascade. The switch to a full-band arrangement, far from destroying the song’s spell, makes it even more intense and gripping a listen.

The subtle touches throughout the album add immeasurably to its magic — the soft ringing bells shimmering through “Hearing Voices” quiet synth on “Spook,” and Kramer’s self-described “cheap flute” on “Way up High.” It all concludes with “King of Spain, Part Two,” a reworking of the flip side to “Tugboat” while it wasn’t a planned finale, as an unexpectedly right bookend to a career, it ends both Galaxie 500 and This Is Our Music on a perfect note.

Later CD versions include a cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Here She Comes Now,” originally the B-side from “Fourth of July.”.

Galaxie 500 recorded two sessions for John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 programme, these later released on the Peel Sessions album. Their cover of Jonathan Richman’s “Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste” was also voted into number 41 in 1989’s Top Festive 50 by listeners to the show. Dean Wareham: The first Peel Session we did was engineered by Dale “Buffin” Griffin, formerly the drummer in Mott the Hoople. I remember him being impatient. We were amazed at how big the studio was, and this computer they had that could mark the different sections of the song and take the tape machine right to them. My favorite Peel Session recording was our cover of the Sex Pistols’ “Submission”. People always say that’s an unlikely cover but Damon and I had been playing that one since our days in Speedy and the Castanets; it was one of the first songs we learned together.

Following a subsequent tour, Galaxie 500 disbanded after Wareham phoned Yang and Krukowski to say he was quitting the group.

A few months later, after Dean Wareham formed his new band, Luna, Rough Trade went bankrupt, and with the label’s demise went the trio’s three albums, as well as their royalties. In 1991, at an auction of Rough Trade’s assets, Krukowski purchased the master tapes for the group’s music, and five years later the Rykodisc label issued a box set containing Galaxie 500’s complete recorded output. A previously unreleased 1990 live set, dubbed Copenhagen, followed in 1997.

Copenhagen

A presumably final punctuation mark on Galaxie 500’s work, “Copenhagen”, released in 1997, is actually a recording from the last date of the band’s late 1990 European tour, captured for radio broadcast in the Danish capital in front of a vocally appreciative crowd. One main reason to listen in is hearing how the band’s studio approach clearly differed from the concert arena — while Kramer handles the live sound, the cocooning web of reverb familiar from the records isn’t present here. As a result, the performances have a more direct approach, Wareham’s voice a little more naked, his thoughts on emotional connection, and the oddities of life easier to capture. Yang’s bass gains in prominence as well, almost more so than Wareham’s guitar at points, while Krukowski as always keeps the beat well, adding subtle flourishes and touches as he goes. All this would be mere technical notation if the performance itself wasn’t worthy, though, and that it is. Touring for “This Is Our Music” as the trio was, the set list is mostly focused on that, though a fine version of “Decomposing Trees” starts things off. Three of the band’s favored covers close the set — Yoko Ono’s “Listen, the Snow Is Falling,” the Velvet Underground’s “Here She Comes Now,” and a version of Jonathan Richman’s “Don’t Let Our Youth Go to Waste” that provides a great final kick. For all the excellence of the show, one can hear a little more than once in Wareham’s soloing what Yang and Krukowski later described as his tendency to play the big rock star toward the end of the band’s life. It’s not bad work, but the cracks were starting to show.