Groove is in the Bandbox
That’s right music fans, Bandbox is now a premiere online record store offering you the chance to fill your mail box with albums from artists spanning every genre. As their slogan goes, it’s pretty much like having the record store delivered to your front door. And Bandbox is indeed boasting a record store style variety of artists and albums, with a treasure trove of exclusive pressings you do not want to sleep on.
Having it your way is the Bandbox mantra. With a storefront offering exclusive color pressings of albums from an artist you adore, and a fresh edition of the signature artist-specific fan zine, the B-Box crew has effectively made it possible to do a little legit bin-diving from the comfort your very own home.
As for this month, I honestly could not grab a copy of Bandbox’s exclusive pressing of a live set from one of my all-time favorite bands. Here’s a look at Luna Live Bewitched.
Let the Great World Spin
Apart from being able to take a risk on something I’ve never heard before, one of the things I continue to love about record clubs is that they also give you a chance to revisit releases from well-known bands in a different way … like a never-before pressed live set. For the record, this pressing is beyond first-rate and Bandbox is the only place you can cop this live Luna release if you’re interested.
If you are interested, know those LPs come housed in this stunning gatefold sleeve which boasts some jaw-dropping artwork from Juan Pablo Celestino Sanz inspired by the album’s original cover.
There’s liner notes, a set-list, and pics from the show inside too.
Luna – Live Bewitched
Oh Luna, how do I love the? Let me count the ways … Oh fine, I’ll spare you what would likely be a lengthy list of loving asides I could assemble for indie rock stalwards Luna. Just know said list would indeed be quite long, ’cause I’ve got more love for this band than just about any other out there. And I could barely contain my joy when Bandbox announced they were pressing not one, but three live sets from the band with Live Bewitched, Live Rendezvous, and Live Penthouse
Those albums were taken from a three-night run of shows Luna performed in 2017, during which the band blessed guests of San Franscisco’s fabled The Chapel with performances of each album in its entirety over concurrent nights. Those who were lucky enough to attend any, or even all three of the shows have for years boasted at just how electric each set was, with the band opting to release them to fans only in digital format for years thereafter.
Yes, these Bandbox pressings are the first time those sets have been released on vinyl. And by all accounts so far, they were worth the wait. Alas, I could choose only one of the three releases for my own collection. As I already have pristine copies of both Penthouse and Rendezvous in their original studio format, I opted for Live Bewitched as I’ve somehow failed to pick up a copy over the years.
I’m still not sure how that happened as Luna’s sophomore release one of my favorites from their oeuvre, with “Tiger Lilly,” “Friendly Advice” and the title track rounding out the strongest three-songs stretches on any album the band released. I’m happy to report that stretch of songs is just as potent on Live Bewitched, with Dean Wareham (guitar/vocals), Britta Phillips (bass), Sean Eden (guitar), Lee Wall (drums) pumping through each with the same effervescent cool the band has been renowned for since the early 1990s.
As it happens, only Wareham and Eden were full-time members of Luna when the band cut Bewitched in 1994. But Phillips and Wall have been around long enough for most of the tracks in the set to be second nature. In all honesty, at this point Luna wouldn’t really feel like Luna without the pair keeping the beat. Their contributions to Live Bewitched are not to be overlooked either, with the duo providing a lush sonic soundcape for Wareham and Eden to do their respective things.
Luna’s last remaining original members bring it and then some on Live Bewitched, traversing dreamy indie pop and crunch rock with a deceptively casual ease througout. Yes, this lineup is beyond sharp for the 12-track set here, with “Anesthesia” and “Bobby Peru” rounding out the night as encore additions. And quite frankly, if you call yourself a fan of the band, these live releases are beyond essential additions to your collection. Ditto if you’ve never been fortunate enough to Luna live.
As Luna fans tend to be well-versed in the band’s history, it’s likely few actually need another insider’s look at their story or their legacy. But even the savviest of the Lunafied freaks out there might learn a thing or two from Bandbox Issue #105, which features a treasure trove of band photos, as well as interviews with band members.
If you’re wondering about the wax, I’ll admit I was a bit dubious of the white smoke/white vinyl combo. But I’ll be damned if this is not one of the best-looking color variants Bandbox has ever delivered.
Purely in terms of aesthetics, those discs tie the entire package together in ways I never really knew vinyl could. Yes, they sound effing immaculate too – though that combo of style and substance still arguably ranks it behind Bandbox’s recent pressing of The War On Drugs’ Live Drugs.
It’s the Bandbox You Want and the Bandbox You Need
I’ll be the first to admit to being bummed Bandbox is no longer a strict subscription service. But given the way supply chain delays have been affecting them in recent months, it’s not hard to understand why the change was necessary.
Changes aside, I’m happy to report Bandbox product is as solid as it’s ever been. And now, I’m unfortunately forced to drop a little bit of bad news on you, which is that Bandbox’s pressing of Luna Live Bewitched is already sold out on the site. So too is their pressing of Live Rendevous. Thankfully, if you’re hot to get your hands on their pressing of Live Penthouse, you can still do so over at the ole Bandbox store. As of this writing, stock is reportedly quite low, however. So claim your copy today if you’re interested. Happy spinning, friends!
A thousand THANK Yous to the folks at Bandbox for sponsoring this subscription. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can head over to the Bandbox website and sign up to have a sexy new Bandbox delivered to your own front door every single month. While you’re there, feel free to check out their podcast and merch section too! And be sure to check back soon to see what goodies we find in our next Bandbox!