Damon & Naomi – The Sub Pop Years [reissue]

January 01, 1970





After the demise
of Galaxie 500 the rhythm section of Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, a married
couple, felt they had nowhere to go. In an interview I did with Naomi shortly
after they formed Damon & Naomi, Yang had told me that no one was returning
their phone calls and they were sad and frustrated. They ended up going back to
their old pal Kramer and recording their debut, More Sad Hits (which was initially issued on Kramer’s Shimmy Disc
label but then got reissued by Sub Pop and has since been reissued on the
band’s own 20/20/20 label).  This
collection spans the 7 years they spent on the Seattle label from 1995-2002 and it cherry
picks some of their best material (though, oddly, doesn’t include any material
from More Sad Hits).


Opening with the
hypnotic “Eulogy to Lenny Bruce” (a Tim Hardin cover) the record then sweeps
into the gorgeous, Naomi-sung, “I’m Yours”, an understated beauty that you’ll
want to go on forever. The downcast Damon-sung “Forgot to Get High” is another high point that is a
Kramer production if ever I heard one (reverb and tape loops). Elsewhere there
is a splendid, live Tim Buckley cover of “Song to the Siren” (the collection
also includes 4 other songs from 2002’s Song
to the Siren: Live in San Sebastian
from a 2001 gig in Spain). Other than wishing they’d
included some cuts off the stellar debut and a few other omissions (No “The New
Historicism” ?!) The Sub Pop Years is
still a sublime collection from some music biz veterans who seem to be from a
different era (and would probably not want to be called music biz anything).  This is psychedelic folk music done right.


Recommended Tracks: “I’m Yours”, “Forgot to Get High”, “Tour
of the World”, “The Navigator” TIM



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