Galaxie 500

"Two parts wimpy, one part atmospheric, a little dash of pastoral imagery...all that crap." That's how smart-aleck front man Dean Wareham describes Galaxie 500's sound to an interviewer after a terrific 1990 in-studio performance taped for British television--one of the more engaging moments on this hit-or-miss two-DVD, four-hour visual documentary of the drowsy, dream-poppy Boston trio that poured concrete for '90s indie/slocore culture before acrimoniously disbanding in 1991 (Wareham then moved on to form Luna). The first disc is far more compelling than the second: You get that rare U.K. TV spot; the four trippy, blue-tinted videos the band did with director Sergio Huidor; and 20-some live songs drawn from five different shows, including two at San Francisco's late Kennel Club (the most surreal is a 1989 gig in the gymnasium of Beantown's Commonwealth School, where Galaxie's staid stage demeanor is comically subverted by the basketball net that dangles directly over Wareham, bassist Naomi Yang and drummer Damon Krukowski). Disc two is composed entirely of bootlegged concerts in Atlanta and London--the set lists are delicious, but the spotty (to put it kindly) video and sound quality makes it a slog for all but the most devoted G500 fan.
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Michael Alan Goldberg