Can’t Get Dean Wareham’s “Holding Pattern” Out Of My Head

When Luna broke up nine years ago this week, we were melancholy and resigned, appreciative of the pleasure this favorite band had given us, on record, and in the 20 or so shows of theirs we’d seen over a 10-year period.  We remembered, with poignancy, that free show we saw in the courtyard between the two World Trade Center buildings that evening in late August 2001, walking away from the show to catch a taxi that would take us to our Shuttle flight back to Washington after a day of work in New York, listening to “Bonnie and Clyde” as we entered the cab, gazing back one last time to see our favorite band, maybe two weeks before the towers were destroyed.  We remembered all the hours we’d listened to Penthouse.  We were satisfied to have what we had, with low expectations about what was to come.  Would Wareham ever again produce music equal to what he’d done with Luna and Galaxie 500?

It took a few years, really until the release in 2010 of Dean & Britta’s 13 Most Beautiful, to listen to new music from Dean Wareham that not only was as good as, but in terms of its beauty and emotional effect actually surpassed what he’d done with Luna and Galaxie 500.  Then this past fall, he released the Emancipated Hearts mini album, and honestly, it had songs that were on a par with “Black Postcards” and “Weird and Woozy.”  The production by Justin Quaver was gorgeous, with a chamber pop delicacy on the best songs — cello and piano augmenting Wareham’s oddly affecting singing and, of course, his gorgeous guitar playing.

But now we have the first single from the eponymous Dean Wareham solo album, produced by Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and due out on March 11, and let us just say that “Holding Pattern” is gorgeous, catchy, and has wormed its way into my head.  It shows little of the delicacy of, say, “The Deadliest Day Since The Invasion” on Emancipated Hearts.  Yet it’s a reminder why, for more than 10 years, Luna was the band we paid the most attention to.  Can’t wait for the solo album to be released.

One Response to “Can’t Get Dean Wareham’s “Holding Pattern” Out Of My Head”

  1. Luna!! One of my most favorites! Dean was such a beatuy and still looks really good. Check out the video of him singing California All the Way back in the 90s. His hair literally breaks my heart! The girl is his wife, by the way. Britta. As Dean & Britta, they are also really great. Hey, they named one of their albums L’Avventura. It’s funny, I watched Bonnie and Clyde not too long ago and became obsessed with her haircut. It’s great, isn’t it?

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