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Artist Spotlight

The Sexy Murmurings of Dean Wareham

by Dan Weiss

The Sexy Murmurings of Dean Wareham


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Few artists have poured themselves into a tilted glass quite like Dean Wareham, who is his generation's Lee Hazlewood, spiked with Tom Verlaine and a healthy dose of The Velvet Underground at their most urbane. He's often revered for his baby-bird voice among the stark, effects-scrambled guitars and drones of Galaxie 500, whose song "Tugboat" defiantly has him announcing that he doesn't want to go to your party. That changed with his next band, Luna, who often made the party -- the dinner party that is, as he whispered everything from "I can stare at your face/ For oodles and oodles" to "I had to be drunk just to look at your face/ And that was all right by me." From the wrenching Coney Island guitar heroics of "Sideshow by the Seashore" to his and Britta Phillips' pocket disco glitter on "Ginger Snaps," the man has never met a romantic tone he couldn't nuzzle. And on songs like "I Can Only Give My All" from his new self-titled solo debut, he's as warm, bookish and charming as ever.

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