“Galaxie 500’s singsongy psychedelic “Oblivious” was so sweet and lo-fi that it might have been actual innocence instead of the Velvet Underground’s received ghost.” — Trouser Press
Tonight’s selections from Galaxie 500’s third and final album, This Is Our Music.
Galaxie 500 didn't last long. They formed in Boston in 1986, released three albums between 1988 and 1990, got great notices in the press (especially the UK), and then dissolved. Following their breakup, after which lead singer and guitarist Dean Wareham went on to Luna and the rhythm section of Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang formed Magic Hour and Damon and Naomi, Galaxie 500 albums went out of print. Krukowski bought the master tapes in an auction, the albums were gathered with bonus material in a box set by Rykodisc in 1996 and then reissued separately. They fell out of print again.
This Is Our Music, from 1990, has a few of Galaxie 500's best tunes and it also has the richest production, with greater focus on keyboards and layered guitars. "Fourth of July" is funny, "Summertime" has an almost blinding sparkle, and Yang's vocal on the cover of Yoko Ono's "Listen, the Snow Is Falling" is a pretty good argument that she should be fronting her own project. — Pitchfork
Fourth of July 
Lastly, in this spate of reissues, is This is Our Music. Here the band ramp up their game. The album begins with ‘Fourth of July’ and feedback that slams into a bittersweet melody, intersected with brief spoken word sections from Wareham, talking about getting drunk in New York and an ear-pleasing rhyming couplet chorus of "Maybe I should just change my style, but I feel alright when you smile". For a moment they sound like Sonic Youth. The next track ‘Hearing Voices’ shows off more of their auditory richness, including backing vocals and hand percussion. And then ‘Spook’ takes a super slow turn for the weird with Wareham singing about an extra eyelid. Then ‘Way Up High’ takes a different twist with bits of (cheap) flute and a cozy swing on the drums, soon followed by Yang stepping up to the mic on Yoko Ono cover ‘Listen, the Snow is Falling’ - she takes lead vocals for the first time, indicating future aspirations. This is Galaxie 500 at their peak, with a smattering of pop sensibility and allowance for each band member to contribute more to the project. Here are signs that they could have gone on to greatness, if they’d wanted to. — Drowned in Sound
Hearing Voices 
Though only active from 1986-1991 and leaving behind no more than three studio albums and a handful of EPs, Galaxie 500 is a band often cited by many of today’s indie luminaries as not only a primary influence, but a holy relic much in same terms of other short-lived icons such as Neutral Milk Hotel and My Bloody Valentine. Somehow, in those five crucial years, Dean Wareham, Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski harnessed musical alchemy to create songs that sound not only out of time, but a harbinger of where the music world would go next.
The trio met in Boston, made its music and then dissolved before many people caught wind of its existence. True, they did receive great press and were championed by the likes of John Peel, yet the fervent cult following that now surrounds Galaxie 500 didn’t appear until years after the group’s demise. — Spectrum Culture
Summertime always reminds me of the summer I enrolled in both summer sessions at college one year (how else ya gonna graduate in four years with two majors?). That summer I spent a lot of my downtime jamming with a couple of townies in a barn south of the city. A lot of meandering, minor chord jamming that never developed into anything serious. I can still feel that sweltering Midwestern heat and humidity when I listen to this song. It’s one of my fondest memories.
Wareham left the band shortly after a tour in support of This Is Our Music .“Why did we call it quits?” he mused. “Let me see if I can remember. I guess we were getting on each other’s nerves!”
“It was really confusing at the time,” recalled Krukowski. “Many, many bands go through this — you leave your little circle and enter this wider world with all of these commercial aspects. And it puts all kinds of pressures, and everybody responds differently. And Dean and we responded quite differently. There were a lot of disagreements rising up in the band. And that was the moment when the major labels woke up to everything that was going on. They all kind of swept down.”
“They had just signed Nirvana, so they were like, 'What else is out there?‚’” said Yang. “Everyone we knew was being courted. It was some kind of frenzy.”
“Suddenly everybody had the chance of making money, and making it big and having fame and fortune,” continued Krukowski. “And people went nuts. There was a lot of awful behavior, a lot of awful people on the scene. We were at the time negotiating with major labels. We were very much enmeshed in all of that. And that’s when the band split up. And in retrospect, it’s like bands either get through those times or they don’t. And we didn’t. We just couldn’t. We hadn’t developed a way to deal with those things as a group or to mutually agree on them.” — Doom and Gloom from the Tomb
John Lennon & Yoko Ono cover. Naomi on vox. The song builds to an explosion of guitar backed by melodic bass and muscular drumming then settling into psych drones and feedback swells before blowing the lid off again for the ending. A satisfying ride.
Listen, the Snow Is Falling 
I don't know if you know this, but Rough Trade never accounted to Galaxie 500 for any royalties. None. And then shortly after the band broke up, the New York office declared bankruptcy, which threw all our masters into a court auction. I went to Geoff [Travis] for help, and he said, "There's nothing I can do." But there was loads he could have done, even if only provide us with the paperwork we needed to help make our case to the bankruptcy court. I ended up getting that instead from a sympathetic employee in London. It was those documents I used to help us win our rights back at auction. I needed to convince the court that the band was owed a lot of royalties, in order to make it possible to buy the rights to our masters for an amount we could afford. I built up a claim, and then waived it as a part of the offer we made. Anyone could have come in and outbid us, but they would have had to match both our (small) cash bid, plus the (large) lien I had placed against our contracts. No one did, so the band won back its rights. My father always wanted me to be a lawyer! But thank God that was my only day in court. The process took months, and I remember feeling sickened by the whole thing, more than anything. Who ever thought you could auction off band contracts? It was so perverse. — Damon Krukowski
Lastly, a Velvet Underground cover to cap things off!
Here She Comes Now 
WHO’S TALKING TO WHO?
Jimmy Kimmel: Taron Egerton, Kelsea Ballerini, guest host Chelsea Handler
Jimmy Fallon: Dan White
Stephen Colbert: Heidi Klum, Ibram X. Kendi
Seth Meyers: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Cazzie David, Jonathan Ulman
James Corden: Jamie Dornan, Tessa Thompson
The Daily Show: Dr. Veronica Ivy, Moses Ingram
A late night gathering for non serious palaver that does not speak of that night’s show. Posting a spoiler will get you brollywhacked. You don’t want that to happen to you. It's a fate worse than a fate worse than death.
Early demo of I’m Waiting for the Man. Later appeared on The Velvet Underground and Nico.
Lou Reed :: I’m Waiting for the Man (Demo) 
LAST WEEK'S POLL: THE FLINTSTONES
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HAVE A SAFE & FUN 4TH OF JULY!
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