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Concert Wed May 25 2011

Preview: Damon and Naomi @ Lincoln Hall, Friday, 5/27

To anyone who doesn't already know Damon & Naomi, a little background is certainly useful. It is impossible to fully appreciate where Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang have arrived without rewinding the clock to the late 1980s and their original band, Galaxie 500. Though the term "seminal" is tossed about quite frequently, and the pop music landscape is littered with sad tales of bands that could have or should have been bigger, few bands have achieved the sort of post-mortem street cred of this Boston-based group. Formed in 1986 by then drummer Kurkowski, bassist Yang and vocalist/guitarist Dean Wareham, Galaxie 500 went on to record three excellent albums for Rough Trade before Wareham quit the band and the label went bankrupt. Since the unceremonious end of Galaxie 500, that band has achieved a certain mystique that had evaded them when they were actually a functioning band. Though they were criminally under appreciated during their short lifespan, group's minimalist instrumental style and plaintive vocals undoubtedly helped influence the direction of modern post-punk.

After the breakup, Damon & Naomi dusted themselves off and, somewhat reluctantly, it seems, managed to stake some territory of their own as a duo. Beginning with the 1992 release of More Sad Hits, the couple has released eight albums, including this year's False Beats and True Hearts. The pair has also collaborated with the Japanese psych-folk outfit Ghost, and their guitarist Michio Kurihara has formed an integral part of their live act.

Certainly the music made by Damon & Naomi in the years since Galaxie 500's flameout tips its hat to the past. There are still the minimalist leanings and somewhat ethereal vocal style, but with the release of their fourth album in collaboration with Kurihara, the band has certainly claimed a territory of its own; a mature, well-crafted folk rock where the elements of the music tie together in a lush, but subtle flow.

Friday's show at the intimate Lincoln Hall should play well to the masses. For those who were around during Galaxie 500's brief lifespan, there will be enough familiarity in the music to satisfy the sentimentalist. More importantly, however, Damon & Naomi's post Galaxie work amply demonstrates that the bands we consider seminal are just that, in that they plant the seeds for the music to progress.

Damon & Naomi play this Friday, May 27 at Lincoln Hall. Show starts at 9:00 pm. Tickets are $12. Openers are Amor de Dias and Good Night & Good Morning. Lincoln Hall is at 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-525-2501.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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