Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips Do Galaxie 500: Gallery/Words/Setlist

Dean Wareham, Mikala Taylor photo

I never saw Galaxie 500 when they were actually DeanDamonNaomiWhoDon’tReallyLikeEachOther.

No, dreamy Dean Wareham came into my life – rather, I came into his – on March 2, 1993, only once he’d started his next band, Luna.

I walked into my university’s campus hotel/dorm house thingie in Toronto wearing a “Yerself is Steam” shirt. Stan Demeski, Justin Harwood and Wareham were checking in, and I was picking up a weekly newspaper. “Hey, she’s got on a Mercury Rev shirt” someone said to Dean (who’d played on the Rev song “Car Wash Hair“). We started talking in the lobby.

I was going to interview them later that day at a Jamaican restaurant in Toronto called the Real Jerk and the run-in was totally random. Dean, Justin and I (and my friend Steve who introduced me to the band) talked about stuff over goat curry and Red Stripes. They liked Canada’s Tim Horton’s donuts. Krispy Kreme had not yet come to America, see. They were opening for UK band The Sundays (whom I later described in my music diary as “really boring” while, Dean, apparently, “was God”) They dedicated “Anaesthesia” that night to us via “Tim Horton’s”. I then became known as the “Donut Girl” for years, because I brought them…well, you know. I saw Dean and Luna over the years in Toronto (hangin’ out upstairs at the Dance Cave! Goin’ to a fun house party! Chillin’ backstage!) and then in London, and then in Vancouver, once Luna broke up and he and his wife Britta Phillips formed Dean & Britta.

But Galaxie 500? No, never saw them live. The threesome had a famous falling out, but the band’s three albums (pegged somewhere as “slowcore” bwahahahahahaha) remain part of the indie rock fabric. Dean’s falsetto, lovely guitar, and brushy drums made the somnolent Galaxie 500 a rather shortlived, but pretty, entity.

So, how nice to see them again in 2010. Okay, it was minus Damon and Naomi, but it was plus Britta, drummer Jason Lawrence and guitarist Matt Sumrow. And while a Galaxie 500 show is never going to rock your black-rimmed glasses off, Dean said it had been a good week-long tour and that he’d been enjoying playing the old songs. “At least you’re out on tour with people you like,” I said. “Oh yeah,” he said, “I wouldn’t have done it with the others,” he chuckled in that sorta KiwiBostonNooYoik accent of his. “No way.” \m/

For a witty, well-written look at the life of Dean Wareham, Galaxie 500, Luna and being an indie musician at the not-glamorous “cult hero” level, check out Dean’s biography Black Postcards. Brilliant stuff. For more Britta, check out the Top 11 Things Britta Thinks Are Sexy on THIS VERY WEBSITE. And for more on D&B, visit

Dean & Britta perform the music of Galaxie 500, Vancouver, November 15 Set List*

  • Flowers
  • Pictures
  • Temperature’s Rising
  • Snowstorm
  • Decomposing Trees (with obligatory reference to sitting by a stream and looking at mud whilst on acid)
  • Strange
  • Blue Thunder
  • Plastic Bird
  • When Will You Come Home
  • Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste
  • Tugboat (my fave!)
  • Listen, the Snow is Falling (lovely Britta on vocals)
  • Fourth of July


  • I’ll Keep It With Mine (from Dean & Britta’s 13 Most Beautiful – Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests)
  • Ceremony

*Seriously,  I was SO tempted to write under the Setlist: “Galaxie 500 songs” and leave it at that, but I didn’t want to let all the former record store clerks down.

Posted by Mikala   @   16 November 2010

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Nov 17, 2010
12:19 pm
#1 Robyn :

Ahhh, thanks for the recap. What a great show. Thanks again for letting me tag along (somewhat). So little did Britta know that she was my childhood (circa 1986) hero for reasons I will not say.

Nov 17, 2010
7:36 pm
#2 giselle :

great review and photos … dean wareham liked tim horton’s!?!? please tell me that’s changed …

Author Nov 17, 2010
7:48 pm
#3 Mikala :

LOL, Giselle, I think we probably all grew out of donuts. Though I just found a postcard Dean sent me, dated January 1, 1998 that says “Dear Mikala, Happy New Year. We now have Krispy Kreme donuts here in NYC. Life is good.” 😀

Nov 20, 2010
12:18 pm
#4 Sam :

Saw Luna a couple of times in high school before I even heard Galaxie 500. Now I am buying a plane ticket and quitting a job just so I can see them at their two-night Chicago stand in two weeks! This review just got me even more excited.

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