Last Yearís Stock
Shop Around pt 5
Am I the only person to laugh hysterically at Damon and Naomiís Song To The Siren DVD? You see, it had been a particularly difficult day at work, and I thought a good way to unwind would be to watch their video tour diary. And there they are on a train from London to Birmingham, sitting in first class, chatting away, having just sold a business traveller a copy of their wonderful Damon and Naomi with Ghost CD, which is what set me howling for all sorts of reasons. Now I wouldnít like to think how many times Iíve done that journey on business, and have never had the fortune to be approached by Naomi Yang with a handheld camcorder. But one lives in hope Ö

I have listened to Damon and Naomiís music more than any other records this year. It followed on naturally from spellbound watching of the Galaxie 500 DVD over Christmas. It just struck me that I had never really heard the music Damon and Naomi had been making for the past dozen years or so since their oh-so-important outfit folded. So with the aid of cheap CDs via the Ďnet I set out to make up for lost time. And itís been a wonderful voyage of discovery.

I remember someone recently saying they felt rather guilty that it was only now that they were approaching 40 that they were discovering Wyndham Lewis and Guy Debord. As if it matters! You discover things when the time is right. I would be the first to admit I listen now a lot to certain Sonic Youth and Nick Cave records that I once would never have considered investigating. So itís only in 2005 that I have been playing to death the records Damon and Naomi have poured so much into since Galaxie 500 reached the end of their rainbow.

I somehow suspected that the sum of the parts would never equal that of the whole, but I would aver that D & N made better records without Dean Wareham. If like me your paths have not crossed those of More Sad Hits, The Wondrous World Of, Playback Singers, the one with Ghost, and Song To The Siren, which is the document of a tour with Kurihara of Ghost, then please steep yourself in the natural beauty of these records.

All the best aspects of Galaxie 500 are teased out in these recordings, which also anticipate a new interest in folk music in all its strange shapes and sizes. I love the word vulnerability, and itís a quality very much present in D&Nís music. I guess it is seen at its best on the DVD which accompanies Song To The Siren. The live performances are incredibly warm and intimate, and the boldness of performing 'Song To The Siren' (and succeeding) is to be admired. But it is on the rendition of the exquisite 'Judah and the Maccabees' that you see them lose their selves completely in the music in a way that makes me rejoice.

And a new record is on the way I understand. In the meantime Tangents fans will want to know that DVD also features a piece of footage of The Clientele playing live, in some sort of show of underground pop solidarity as part of a network that is alive and thriving just as it always did.

© 2005 John Carney

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