Luna (band)

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Luna
Origin New York City, New York, USA
Genres Indie pop, indie rock, dream pop
Years active 1991–2005, 2012
Labels No.6, Beggars Banquet, Elektra, Jericho, Jetset, Arena Rock Recording Co.
Website www.fuzzywuzzy.com
Past members Dean Wareham
Sean Eden
Britta Phillips
Lee Wall
Justin Harwood
Stanley Demeski
Byron Guthrie
Matt Quigley

Luna was a dream pop/indie pop band formed in 1991 by singer/guitarist Dean Wareham after the breakup of Galaxie 500. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “the best band you’ve never heard of,” Luna combined intricate guitar work, traditional rock rhythms and poetic lyrics to elegantly capture the romance of the late night.

The earliest edition of the band also included drummer Stanley Demeski and bassist Justin Harwood (Demeski formerly of The Feelies and Harwood formerly of New Zealand band The Chills). The original line-up was expanded with the addition of guitarist Sean Eden for their second album, 1994's Bewitched. Lee Wall replaced Demeski on drums in time for 1997's Pup Tent, and Britta Phillips of The Belltower (also known as the singing voice of animated character Jem) joined when bassist Justin Harwood departed in 2000. Phillips and Wareham became romantically involved and eventually married in 2007.

After announcing plans to break up in 2004, they played their final concert at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on February 28, 2005

History[edit]

In 1991, after the end of Galaxie 500's US tour supporting the Cocteau Twins, Dean Wareham told his bandmates Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang that he was quitting the band. Wareham then signed a demo deal with Elektra Records and recorded a number of tracks with Mercury Rev drummer Jimmy Chambers. Some of these recordings were later released on the "Anesthesia" single on No.6 Records in the US and Mint Tea in the UK under the name "Dean Wareham."

Elektra's VP of A&R, Terry Tolkin, was impressed and Wareham signed a deal with Elektra, and started pulling together a band. He first contacted Justin Harwood, whom he had met while Harwood was playing with The Chills, and they recruited drummer Byron Guthrie, formerly from Ultra Vivid Scene. The trio recorded demos (produced by Dave Fridmann) and played a series of live dates with Mercury Rev guitarist Grasshopper. Guthrie was replaced by former Feelies drummer Stanley Demeski, and this line-up recorded the first album, Lunapark, produced by Fred Maher and released by Elektra under the name Luna² to avoid confusion with a new-age musician known as "Luna." (Later an accord was reached which allowed the band to use the name Luna.)

Shortly after the release of Lunapark, the band placed an advertisement in the Village Voice for a guitarist, and Canadian former drama student Sean Eden was recruited. The new four-piece recorded a number of cover versions that would become the Slide EP, and then toured the US. In mid-1993 the band supported the reformed Velvet Underground on their European tour, after which they recorded their second album. Bewitched was recorded in New York City and co-produced by the band with Victor Van Vugt. Velvet Underground guitarist Sterling Morrison played guitar on two tracks. The album was released in 1994.

In 1995 the band went into Sorcerer Sound studio in New York City with producer Pat McCarthy and engineer Mario Salvati to record their third album Penthouse. The album featured Television guitarist Tom Verlaine on the tracks "Moon Palace" and "23 Minutes in Brussels." "23 Minutes in Brussels" plays at the opening of a short film "The H is O" by Adam McKay, which aired on Saturday Night Live. The album was released in August 1995 to critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone declaring it one of the essential albums of the 90s.[1] The album featured a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's Bonnie and Clyde as a hidden track, the song featured Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab duetting with Dean Wareham. Bonnie and Clyde was released as a single in the UK and was named Melody Maker single of the week.

Luna recorded a cover version of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" for Engine Room Recordings' compilation album Guilt by Association, which was released in September 2007.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • This Time Around
  • Chinatown (Radio Edit)/Chinatown (Album Version) (1995)
  • Hedgehog/23 Minutes in Brussels/No Regrets/Happy New Year (1995)
  • Bonnie & Clyde (Bonnie Parker Version)/Chinatown/Thank You For Sending me an Angel/Bonnie & Clyde (Clyde Barrow Version) (1995)
  • Bonnie & Clyde/Chinatown (1995)
  • Season of the Witch (Edit) (1996)
  • Season of the Witch/Indian Summer/Lost in Space/23 Minutes in Brussels (1996)
  • Bobby Peru (Radio Edit)/Audio Biography (1997)
  • IHOP/Fuzzy Wuzzy/Words without Wrinkles (1997)
  • Bobby Peru/In the Flesh/Beggar's Bliss (Demo)/Bob le Flambeur (1997)
  • Hedgehog/23 Minutes in Brussels (1997)
  • Beautiful View/Bobby Peru(U.S. Radio Edit)/California (Live) (1998)
  • Superfreaky Memories/Neon Lights/the Bad Vibe Merchant (1999)
  • Lovedust/Black Postcards/Only Women Bleed (2002)
  • Speedbumps/Astronaut/Eyes in my smoke (2004)

DVDs[edit]

Other releases[edit]

  • Dean Wareham Anesthesia containing songs Anesthesia/I Can't Wait/Tomato Poodle
  • Dream Baby Dream from the guest album Invitation to a Suicide (1997)
  • Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham L'Avventura (2003)
  • Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham Back Numbers (2007)

Soundtracks[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rolling Stone Essential Recordings of the '90s last accessed: October 19, 2006

External links[edit]