Jetset Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


Fed up with having to answer the obvious "Why is your band quitting" questions posed by journalists, Dean Wareham, founding member of Luna, posted the following reasons on their web site at

1. Rock and Roll is killing my life. 2. The Universe is Expanding. 3. There are too many bands out there, travelling(sp) around, singing their songs etc. 4. Too much time spent in 15-passenger vans. According to 20/20, these things flip over. 5. Too many hands to shake, that means germs. 6. Too many dinners at Wendy's. 7. People are dying in Iraq. 8. This is what bands do (with a few exceptions, like R.E.M. and Metallica, and the Rolling Stones). Those bands, however, are multibillion dollar corporations. You don't break that up unless the government forces you to. 9. Hotel Electravision. 10. Time to Quit.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Be it in Galaxy 500 or with Luna, Wareham's sardonic sense of humor has been a signature in his work. That sense of humor is evident on Rendezvous, Luna's final release. Along with quirky, witty one-liners, Rendezvous contains the stoney, oftentimes jammy guitar riffs by Wareham and Sean Eden that make Luna a perfect 2 a.m. after hours soundtrack.

The first thing that needs to be said about Rendezvous is that it's a great improvement from Romantica, which was inexplicably lauded by critics while their 1999 album The Days Of Our Nights received lukewarm reviews. Those great, extended grooves that oftentimes drew comparisons to The Velvet Underground are once again evident in tracks like "Malibu Love Nest" and "Star Spangled Man."

Though Rendevous is the band's final album, the overall chemistry of the band doesn't show any signs of animosity. Nor does the album show any signs of urgency. It doesn't have the "greatness" feel that oozed from Penthouse. The tunes take a few listens to sink in. If you were to listen to the album at face value, you would take it as another good Luna album and you would most likely wonder how far the band would be willing to move from their formula on their next album, if they were going to move at all.

If there is a sense of fatigue in Rendezvous, it most likely comes in the lyrical department. The title and lyrics to tunes like "Motel Bambi" and "Cindy Tastes of Barbecue" seem to overreach in the irony department. And "Astronaut," a song already featured in their excellent Close Cover Before Striking EP once again resurfaces on Rendezvous. Still, other bands have included songs that were featured on EPs and soundtracks on their full-length album. And "Astronaut" does fit in to the overall "feel" of Rendezvous.

Luna will be embarking on a lengthy farewell tour in late 2004 and they'll tour through 2005. After that, it's anyone's guess where the members will end up. Most likely Wareham and bassist Britta Phillips will collaborate on another album to follow up their L'Avventura album. Like Soundgarden and Luscious Jackson, the members of Luna mercifully realized they could go as far as they could with their sound. As a result, Rendevous will remain a rarity in music; a final swan song of an album that retains much of the greatness that made the band so beloved in the indie world.

Rating: B+

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© 2004 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Jetset Records, and is used for informational purposes only.