No one is happier than I am to hear that the hip Nick Jr. series Yo Gabba Gabba is changing its tunes. The show airs almost daily in my apartment and I am getting pretty sick of that Shins segment. Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips lent a song to YGG! a few years ago, but it was animated (Britta has some experience with that); now the ex-Luna couple finally gets to wear costumes and ride a double bicycle in the sky. The song’s called “Let’s Ride,” and I have no idea when it will air, but you can watch it here:
In other D&B news, 13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests (in which the duo set 13 silent Factory “film portraits” to music) is still going strong: the 50th performance hits NYU’s Skirball Center 10/22. And more exciting, Dean and band will be touring a Galaxie 500-only set across the country starting with a sold-out show tomorrow at Park Slope’s excellent new Rock Shop. All dates here.
Dean recently talked to Village Voice about the nostalgia trip:
VV: You’re reviving Galaxie 500 songs. You remember all of these? Your voice has changed since back then, if you listen now to On Fire.
DEAN WAREHAM: I can still hit those high notes. A song like “Strange,” I don’t think I’ll get there. Maybe with a little more practice. The songs are fairly simple; it’s not like we were amazing musicians. But on the other hand, I was listening to these old live recordings and there was a lot more going on that I remembered. We did [Galaxie 500 songs] in Spain earlier this year and it was kind of fun. The promoter had asked, “Why don’t you do one night of Dean & Britta material and one where you play only Galaxie 500?” So that put the idea in my head. I saw some video clips of that show on YouTube and thought our band sounded really good. And of course the records were all re-released this year on Domino, outside the U.S., and [Damon & Naomi's label] 20-20-20 Records here, and it’s 20 years later. So for all of those reasons, I thought now would be a good time.
VV: Well, after the memoir, I didn’t think you’d be nostalgic anymore.
DEAN WAREHAM: [Laughs.] It’s partly these songs you wrote 20 years ago–they take you back, to old girlfriends, to this and that. To tell you the truth, part of me is sad that I’m not doing it with Damon and Naomi. But sometimes relationships are so damaged to a point where you can’t go back. Maybe if it was a four-piece band, but that fact that it was a trio, where they were a couple, and there’s this tension of one of me and two of them. It wouldn’t be fun, riding with them in a van.
More here. He also reveals that the most difficult screen test to score was Dennis Hopper’s.