Since forming in New York City in the summer of 1987, Galaxie 500 has influenced a generation of shoegaze and dream-pop bands.
Despite disbanding in 1991, the band's presence was never forgotten. Today, Galaxie 500 guitarist Dean Wareham is keeping the spirit of his band alive with fellow musician and wife, Britta Phillips, in his latest project, Dean and Britta. Phillips played bass in Wareham's post-Galaxie 500 band, Luna.
The couple is joined by Anthony LaMarca on drums, bass and guitars and Matt Sumrow on guitars and keyboards in the current lineup. It's the same lineup that recorded 2010's "13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol's Screen Tests." This release was the duo's score to accompany Warhol's silent film portraits that he shot from 1964 to 1966 at his New York City studio The Factory. Wareham and Phillips also wrote the score for Noah Baumbach's 2005 film "The Squid and The Whale."
Galaxie 500 came together when Wareham and drummer Damon Krukowski were auditioning bass players before settling on Krukowski's girlfriend, Naomi Wang.
"Then it all started happening," Wareham said. "We certainly got better and better with our instruments. My favorite Galaxie 500 release is the first album, 'Today.' We didn't know what we were doing or how to play our instruments very well, but it has a great energy nonetheless."
In 1989 and 1990, the band did some recording sessions on the British program John Peel's "BBC Radio 1" program, which has featured artists such as the Police, the Cure and the Smashing Pumpkins over the years.
WHO: Dean & Britta and The Building
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Cedars Lounge, 23 N. Hazel St., Youngstown
HOW MUCH: $10
"'The Peel Sessions' album is comprised of two different sessions for the BBC. You don't get to meet John Peel, but you do get to have tea and sandwiches at the BBC ... that was pretty cool," Wareham said.
Wareham's next musical chapter began in 1991 with the formation of Luna.
"I always knew I wanted to start another band, rather than being a solo artist," he said. "I need the help from band members, and I'm interested in the textures that bands create over a period of time. Frankly, in that period, which was the early '90s, I would argue that the singer-songwriter was out of favor, and the band was king."
Phillips joined the band in 2000. Before that, she played in the shoegaze band the Belltower, which also included Fountains of Wayne guitarist Jody Porter. During Luna's later period, Wareham and Phillip's started laying the groundwork for Dean and Britta, which released its debut, "L'Avventura," in 2003.
"We made our first album while Luna was still operative, so it was the obvious next move when Luna broke up. For us, it has been a better way to organize our lives. As you enter your 40s, being in a rock 'n' roll band is not the same proposition as it is when you are 25," Wareham said.
Wareham said that Phillips is currently in the studio recording a new solo album with producer Scott Hardkiss, and Wareham also is quite busy, working on two batches of songs, one produced with Jason Quever of the band Papercuts, the other with Jim James, singer-songwriter and guitarist of My Morning Jacket.
"Instead of doing another Dean & Britta album, we have been both very involved with each other's recordings. Anthony LaMarca from The Building is right there too, playing drums and pedal steel guitar and whatever he is called upon to do. He is a great weapon to have in the studio," Wareham said.
Wareham's flexibility includes the band's change of the base of operations from the East Coast to California.
"Britta and I are moving to Los Angeles in 2013. We will definitely have some new music out, but logistics will be more complicated. The last four years or so we have mostly had the same four-piece band, which is myself, Phillips, LaMarca and Sumrow. Sumrow has his own band, Heaven, and LaMarca plays in The Building. We will at least continue to get back together whenever we play the Andy Warhol Screen Test show."
As for the Cedars show on Saturday, "We are going to play a lot of Galaxie 500 songs because that is what we are doing lately, but we will also throw in some recent Dean and Britta tunes and probably a couple of Luna songs too," Wareham said.