After Galaxie 500 broke up, while Dean Wareham formed the more
up-tempo, but still Velvet Underground-obsessed, Luna, the group’s rhythm
section–Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang–recorded an album, More Sad
Hits, for producer Kramer’s Shimmy Disc label.
On May 6, that 1992
album, a beautifully-crafted suite of frail love songs and downbeat anthems,
will be re-issued by Sub Pop. “In 1992, Naomi [Yang] and I thought we were
retired from the music business–Galaxie 500 had broken up very bitterly, Rough
Trade (Galaxie 500′s record label) had gone bankrupt, and we had decided the
hell with it, and packed our instruments in a closet,” writes Krukowski,
explaining how the album, released under the name Damon & Naomi, came about.
“We nonetheless kept writing songs from time to time, without any thought of
what we would ‘do’ with them.
“Then Kramer started calling and asking us
to make a record with him for Shimmy Disc,” continues Krukowski. “After
summarily saying no for months, Naomi had a change of heart and decided that
even if we were giving up on making records, we needed to do it on our own
terms and not just have the plug pulled on us–a record of our own would give
us a chance to close it on ourselves. Eventually I was convinced by Naomi and
worn down by Kramer, and in the summer we went down to Noise with the bunch of
songs we had collected since the end of Galaxie 500.”
The songs Krukowski
speaks of range from the ethereal jangle of “Little Red Record Co.” with its
hypnotic and revealing refrain, “and when the bubble breaks/ will we fall too
far?/ will we fall in place/ or will it move us on?” to the “Space Oddity”-like
“Information Age” which seamlessly blends Krukowski and Yang’s vocals in a
wavering lament on the collapse of computers, love and everything that used to
Other songs range from the dirge “This Car Climbed Mt.
Washington” with its Neil Youngian guitar solo to the dreamy “Boston’s Daily
Temperature,” on which Krukowski’s breathy vocals joust with cellos, violins
and cryptic lyrics about storms and driving. Krukowski and Yang, who released
another Damon & Naomi album on Sub Pop in 1995, The Wondrous World of Damon
and Naomi, were last seen jamming with Wayne Rogers’ neo-psychedelic
outfit, Magic Hour.