Cover illustration of Space Science Fiction magazine Volume 1, Number 5, March 1953
It's no secret that dream-pop trio Galaxie 500 was influenced by the Velvets - their recordings are, in large part, a modern distillation of the pop simplicity that the Velvet Underground specialized in. It is interesting, though, to hear the band's very first recordings and see how much the VU sound was a foundation that they built on with their three near-perfect albums. "Walking Song" , from the band's first three-song cassette demo circulated among their friends in 1987, is the song that sounds the most VU-esque to me. For one thing, it's quite a bit peppier than most of Galaxie 500's later work. Dean Wareham's whine is an obstacle for a lot of people when it comes to Galaxie 500, but you can hear in "Walking Song" how the band is already figuring out how to create a whole much greater than the meager parts they had to work with.
It's kind of sad for me to listen to "Walking Song" in the wake of Pitchfork's recent "history" of the band, which is excellent. Galaxie 500's breakup was so bad and so full of animosity that Wareham and the band's other two members, Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski, haven't spoken since it happened, which is too bad considering the amazing string of albums the group put together. Like the Velvet Underground, they weren't really appreciated until they were already gone.
"Walking Song" by Galaxie 500