Category: Certain Songs

Certain Songs #1048: Luna – “U.S. Out of My Pants!”

Album: The Days of Our Nights
Year: 1999

As it turned out, Penthouse was the peak of Luna’s music. Two decades on, it remains their one indisputably great record, a fact that even Dean Wareham would admit.

But that isn’t to say they still weren’t capable of pulling off great songs — every single one of their albums had at least one killer track, even if I’m not going to write anything about “Tracy I Love You” or “Fuzzy Wuzzy” or “Speedbumps” or “1995” or even the brilliant cover of Mercury Rev’s “Car Wash Hair” they put out just a couple of months ago.


Certain Songs #1047: Luna – “23 Minutes in Brussels”

Album: Penthouse
Year: 1995

Dean Wareham has always been upfront about his love for both The Velvet Underground and Television, and indeed, the influences of each band run deep in Luna’s songs, so it’s no surprise one of their very greatest songs combines an easy rolling Lou Reed-type rhythm guitar with a typically exploratory Tom Verlaine-type guitar solo.

But this time, that guitar solo is played by Tom Verlaine himself.


Certain Songs #1046: Luna – “Sideshow By The Seashore”

Album: Penthouse
Year: 1995

But it was Penthouse where Luna finally put it all together.

Featuring the strongest collection of songs that Dean Wareham had (or has, really) ever written, 1995’s Penthouse also remained a showcase for his effortlessly unique guitar playing, a perfect example of which was the dreamy “Sideshow by the Seashore.”


Certain Songs #1045: Luna – “Indian Summer”

Album: Slide EP
Year: 1993

Beat Happening’s “Indian Summer” is one of those songs, like “Train From Kansas City” or “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” that seems to lend itself to endless covers, all of them somehow slightly different while retaining its beautiful charm.

And while Dean Wareham called it indie’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” he also produced what I think is the definitive version of it, ignoring the off-beat percussion of the original recording for a more stately, measured approach.


Certain Songs #1044: Luna – “Slash Your Tires”

Album: Lunapark
Year: 1992

I’ll admit it up front: at first I was incredibly cynical about Luna, the band that Dean Wareham put together after the dissolution of Galaxie 500, a band I respected more than, you know, liked, given that many of their songs turned me into Ray Goulding in Bob & Ray’s “Slow Talkers of America” skit.

So despite the critical hosannas for Lunapark, I didn’t rush right out and buy it, finally grabbing it at Ragin’ a month or so after it came out. And could instantly tell the difference: Stanley Demenski. For those of you who don’t know the name, Demenski replaced Anton Fier in The Feelies and played on such great records as The Good Earth, Only Life and Time For A Witness.