Archive for Dean&Britta

Is Dean Wareham Saying What We Think He’s Saying?

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by johnbuckley100

Yesterday, Dean Wareham (Luna, Galaxie 500, Dean & Britta) posted an excellent review of the new Mazzy Star albumSeasons of Your Day.  It was a smart, thoughtful take on an album that, frankly, we’d found disappointing.  It led us back to the album, and yes, its quiet charms revealed themselves as we listened to it longer.  We’re appreciative of  Dean Wareham’s impetus for a reconsideration.

That Wareham is — in addition to being an elegant guitarist and the writer of some the best songs of the last 25 years — a strong writer is not a surprise to us.  Black Postcards, his autobiography, sits on a nearby shelf.

And that his new solo album, out Tuesday, is available for streaming over at Spin.com has been one of the delights of our week.  It’s a partial album — six songs, plus a bonus track — and like 2010’s 13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol — it has tantalizing morsels that remind us of why, when we launched Tulip Frenzy several years ago, our description of it was as “a blog focusing on favorite artists such as Luna…”  There’s a reason why Luna came first in our list of favorite artists.  From 1995 til their breakup in 2005, Luna was, by a long margin, our favorite band.  While we understood why they broke up — an inability to have their music heard by, and their records sold to, a large enough audience; the hard life of a mid-tier band — when they walked away from their goodbye show in New York, it was a dark day around our house.  Wareham’s book was a revelation — other than Keith Richards’ Life, the best rock’n’roll autobiography of all time — but his recorded work with wife Britta Phillips has come out in smallish batches, we missed his touring last year with his Galaxie 500 songbook, and as excited as we are about the gorgeous Emancipated Hearts, we know already it will only pique our yearning for something more, something bigger, a fuller album.

Which is why, when we read yesterday’s review of Mazzy Star’s first record in 17 years, this jumped out at us:

“I have to think that maybe an extended hiatus is a good idea for a band — if you can afford it — just step off the treadmill of touring and writing and recording, and return when you have something to say, when the songs are ready. Aside from the challenge of having to write new songs year in and year out, making records over a long period of time means you have to make an effort to remember your strengths, or what inspired you to make music in the first place, and stay true to that, blocking out extraneous noise from radio, from advisers, fans and critics, magazines and blogs (this last one not even a word when the previous Mazzy Star album came out in 1996).”

Is Dean Wareham hinting that Luna could, under the right circumstances, be reformed?  Is he envisioning a moment when the time for a Luna reunion could be ripe? We can only hope.

Tulip Frenzy’s #7 Best Album of 2010: Dean & Britta’s “13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol”

Posted in Music with tags , on November 30, 2010 by johnbuckley100

What is this link between Dean Wareham and Andy Warhol?  Yes, they both glommed The Velvet Underground’s vitality, and Luna’s version of “Season Of The Witch” first appeared on the soundtrack of I Shot Andy Warhol.  But there is something deeper at work here, which is why it was brilliant of Andy Warhol’s museum curators to have commissioned Dean & Britta to record songs for showing during an installation of Warhol’s films.  Having adored Luna, and been somewhat less than enamored of Dean & Britta’s post-Luna output, we were more than pleasantly surprised by this record when it came out.  The obscure VU song they covered, “Not A Young Man Anymore,” is as catchy as “Plundered My Soul” or anything by Chappo, and we’ve found ourselves humming it all fall.  The best thing was the way Dean & Britta play with a kick, for even on Britta’s songs, there’s nothing fey about these performances.  Lou Reed and John Cale’s Songs for ‘Drella was a drag; this tribute to Warhol was one of the best albums of the year.

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