Dean Wareham

Singer/guitarist Dean Wareham is more influential than he is usually given credit for. Often sounding like a depressed slacker, Wareham has inspired a number of indie rockers to express their sadness with a wistful tenor. Wareham was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on August 1, 1963. In 1977, Wareham and his parents relocated to New York City. Wareham then moved to Boston to attend college. After spending a year in Germany, Wareham returned to Boston in 1987 and formed Galaxie 500 with his high-school and college buddies Damon Krukowski (drums) and Naomi Yang (bass). Galaxie 500 were signed to Shimmy Disc and released their first album, Today, in 1988. Although Galaxie 500 received little mainstream recognition, the band's languorous, narcotic rhythms -- recalling the Velvet Underground and Joy Division -- had a significant impact in shaping alternative subgenres such as shoegazer and slowcore. Wareham recorded three albums with Galaxie 500 before leaving the group in 1991. Galaxie 500's label, the U.S. division of Rough Trade, also folded that year, leaving the band's LPs in limbo until Krukowski later bought the master tapes at an auction. Wareham then moved back to New York City, releasing the EP Anesthesia and contributing vocals to Mercury Rev's "Car Wash Hair."

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