2. Sideshow By The Seashore
3. Moon Palace
4. Double Feature
5. 23 Minutes In Brussels
6. Lost In Space
7. Rhythm King
9. Hedge Hog
10. Freakin' And Peakin'
11. Bonnie And Clyde
guitars rush and roar. The guy you're standing next to at the bar
mutters out of the corner of his mouth : "I don't know what
you're saying, but I hate it anyway." Is this the place ? "Have
you been out all night" ... "Were you late to work ...
Did you go home early ?" You're living on a diet of stale cigarettes
and warm beer and maybe, today, you're not in the same time zone
that you were yesterday ... Welcome to "Chinatown", the
leadoff track of Penthouse, Luna's new album.
has to commit a painting," said Degas, "the way one commits
a crime." If the same axiom applied to rock music, the members
of Luna would all be career criminals. Dean Wareham has a penchant
for effulgent guitar solos and he wears his mordant wit on his sleeve.
On the sublime "Lost In Space", Luna combine black humour
with the aching regret of a thousand hangovers. The fragile melody
rings like a bell, and Wareham assures us that we deserve "time
off ... for good behaviour."
has exquisite range. Consider the juxtaposition of "Moon Palace"
- a melange of not-so-popular cultural references (to Christopher
Boyce (fallen spy) and Paul Auster (oblique novelist)) - and "Rhythm
King", a sarcastic beat-box driven footstomper which offers
a sincere prayer that Richard Nixon's death be continuous and everlasting.
That eclecticism can be accounted for by the various members, and
their various pasts.
Dean Wareham (guitar / vox) was the leader of Galaxie 500, which
to conjure, even for a moment, is like trying to gather the hyacinth
colours of the distance into your arms.
Stanley Demeski (drums) once played in a band called The Feelies.
Here was a band to get worked up about. A typical Feelies gig would
end with Stanley being smothered under a deluge of flowers. (Stanley
left the band in Summer 1996)
Harwood (bass) played in the New Zealand group known as The Chills.
His bass playing is the aural equivalent of reading Mickey Spillane
by lightning flash.
Eden (guitar), the lone Canadian, is a man of wonderful mathematic
capabilities. You might give him the circumference of a wheel, and
he will tell you how many revolutions it would make in going around
matter of Luna's songs can be found, on any given day, in Dean Wareham's
pockets. He scribbles notes to himself on candy bar wrappers and
match book covers. Often, a song isn't finished until laundry day,
when the jottings are collected and collated. Like the collage artist
Joseph Cornell, he wanders the streets of lower Manhattan amassing
detail and experience, synthesising pop gems from the minutiae and
miscellany of daily life.
was formed following the dissolution of Galaxie 500 in 1992. Wareham
first met Harwood at Bath dog track, and the two developed an immediate
rapport. When he found out that The Feelies were no more, Wareham
put in a call to New Jersey : "Stanley, you don't know me,
but you're in my new band ..."
really ... what's it called ?"
flipped through his worn Tarot cards and replied :
recording Lunapark, it was agreed that the band would benefit from
the addition of a fourth member. The redoubtable Sean Eden was brought
into the fold and Luna embarked on a rigorous schedule of touring.
In support of Lunapark and Bewitched, they played with The Screaming
Trees, The Velvet Underground and The Cocteau Twins. Look for them
to maintain their hectic, globetrotting, lifestyle following the
release of Penthouse.
features contributions from the divine Tom Verlaine, who plays guitar
on "Moon Palace" and "23 Minutes In Brussels".
A special treat is the unlisted hidden track - the band's universally
acclaimed version of "Bonnie And Clyde", on which Stereolab's
Laetitia Sadier plays the Brigitte Bardot to Dean Wareham's Serge
regale you with paragraph on paragraph of relevant detail ... how
"Sideshow By The Seashore" chronicles Justin Harwood's
unhappy experiences tuning a theremin, or how Sean Eden ended up
making strange dog noises on Bonnie And Clyde. Instead I think it
is more important that Luna's genius as a modern rock band is made
up of a thousand and one observations, modelled upon a series of
tiny incidents which they have been gathering collectively since
grade school, remembering with vivid distinctness, and using on
stage and on record when the occasion demands.
- Bucky Wunderlick, NYC