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Saturday 30 October 2021

All My Chords Were Minor Chords

I've been enjoying Dean Wareham's singles, three of them, leading up to the release of his second solo album a couple of weeks ago, the snappily titled I Have Nothing To Say To The Mayor Of LA. Last year Dean and Britta put out a beautiful cover of Neon Lights, one of the standouts from their Quarantine Tapes (recordings the couple made from their home during lockdown). Galaxie 500 and Luna are never that far away from me so an album of Dean Wareham solo songs has come at exactly the right time. This song, Cashing In, is a wry, self deprecating and at times very funny take on where Dean sits in the musical landscape. 'I'm not selling out, I'm cashing in' he sings. In a lot of ways there's nothing here Dean hasn't been doing for over thirty years but he's carved out a space for himself and that's what he does. There's some Michael Rother style guitar leading the way on Cashing In among the familiar nods to Jonathan Richman and The Velvet Underground.

Back in 1989 Galaxie 500's second album, On Fire, was a minor sensation- reverb drenched, hushed, shimmering indie guitar pop that hooked me early on and has never let go. Their cover of New Order's Ceremony is legendary and has been posted here before. Previously, in 1988, there was a single called Tugboat. Tugboat is a gorgeous, frazzled, small hours love song (and tribute to Sterling Morrison who quit The Velvet Underground in 1971 to captain tugboats in Houston). 


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