Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips are New York City’s most effortless mod couple, a duo whose sleek, icily romantic pop can serve as both sophisticated art-gallery soundtrack and lovey-dovey fireplace music. In the four years since the breakup of former band Luna, Wareham and Phillips have pursued boutique careers in the best possible sense: in literature, film, fashion and the music business. Fittingly, their latest project, 13 Most Beautiful … Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, sets a series of Warhol’s short films to music. The couple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all this week. Read our Q&A with Dean & Britta.
Britta: Why? Because they’re back on tour and they were the best band I saw at last year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties! Spectrum is Sonic Boom‘s band. Sonic was in Spacemen 3 before he went on to form Spectrum. I was a big fan of both bands when I lived in London back in the early ’90s. I really got to know Sonic around the time Dean and I made our first album together, L’Avventura. Sonic really liked it and offered to do some remixes for us. We jumped at the chance and the result was the Sonic Souvenirs EP, which came out beautifully. (Sonic Souvenirs is out of print, so we included a few tracks on our re-release of L’Avventura.) Since then, we’ve gotten to know Sonic very well. He’s been our houseguest when he comes to New York and vice versa. He played on Back Numbers and he’s played with us live. Last September, I got to see Spectrum for the first time when they opened for us at the Knitting Factory. I was totally blown away. So much so that I caught a ride with them to the ATP festival, where they were playing the next night. Spectrum was the best band I saw there. (I heard J Mascis said the same.) Sonic has one of the coolest and most original voices, and his band is primal and truly exciting. It is rare and thrilling to see a friend transform into a rock star.
Sonic Boom’s “Lonely Avenue” from 1990’s Spectrum (download here):