I have been a big fan of the wry, late Velvet-y New York band Luna since I first heard Smile from their debut album Luna Park back in 1992. I subsequently saw every live gig they did in Vancouver from supporting The Cocteau Twins (!) at The Vogue Theatre to their farewell shot at Richards on Richards in 2004. They were like comfort food. Every couple of years they’d release a very solid record that inevitably grew to perfection on repeated listening.
But after more than a decade on the road achieving a level of cult success that looked unlikely to wear well into their “golden years”, they called it a day. The final hurrah was beautifully documented in Matthew Buzzell’s film Tell Me Do You Miss Me, a rock doc that acutely and wryly observes the travails endured by Luna on their “farewell” tour and lays bare the endless comic ironies of being a cult band facing endless adoration but without the much deserved financial reward and requisite audience growth.
Then came Dean & Britta (who produced several wonderful, glittering pop records), Dean’s hilarious, enlightening and touching memoir Black Postcards and, finally, an eponymous solo album. True to form, Dean & Britta returned time and again to Vancouver and Dean came both as a solo artist and to revisit his Galaxie 500 material from the late 80s. And again, the same venues. Richards on Richards and…The Biltmore. All of these worthy post-Luna projects arrived at precisely the time that the music industry finally gave up the ghost. Yet there was always a bit of Luna hanging in the air.
Now they are back. And 50 is the new 26 (or thereabouts). Luna have reformed with the late period line-up of Dean, Britta, Sean Eden and Lee Wall to tour the world again but hopefully with a much improved tenor in the tour bus. The response has been fantastic and they’ve once again played New York’s Bowery Ballroom and San Fransisco’s Fillmore West and now they arrive back in the pacific northwest on November 4th to play The Biltmore.
Why do I mention all this? Because I first met Dean in 2003 to do his portrait when he was at the Vancouver International Film Fest promoting the film Piggie which he starred in. After that we touched base whenever he was in town and upon hearing of Luna’s potential return, I offered to do the Vancouver concert poster. So here we are! Some Photoshop and font work on an iPhone shot I took of a used car lot in Spokane in 2013 resulted in this image. I was going for an understated drama with a feel of the pacific northwest and a nod to the idea of this being a second time around. Perhaps there’s even a whiff of Ed Ruscha here. Given Dean’s relocation from New York to LA it seems fitting. In any event this became the limited edition print on sale at the concert. We made 30 of them in addition to an alternate version used by the promoter for postering around town. If you are a fan and would like to get one, please get in touch!
Now we can hope it all sticks and there will be a new recording, a follow up to 2004’s Rendezvous. Perhaps when we’re all 60? If it hasn’t become a condo tower by then, I’m sure The Biltmore will book them again! No, scratch that. Headlining The Vogue!