Luke Haines isn’t very well known in America, and that’s a damned shame. He got a little attention here back in the early ’90s when his first band, The Auteurs, released their fantastic debut, New Wave. And then – it was like he never existed. Maybe this is because his music is so quintessentially English – after all, he was arguably a significant influence on the Britpop movement, and even the most popular of those bands – Blur, Oasis, Supergrass – never made much noise on this side of the Atlantic.
Nonetheless, he’s made a living for himself Over There, and has done so in a number of incarnations: The Auteurs, Baader-Meinhof, Black Box Recorder, and now simply as Luke Haines. Each version of his genius has its own interesting character (Black Box Recorder, for instance, was a trippy electro-pop collaboration with singer Sarah Nixey and John Moore, formerly of The Jesus and Mary Chain). In a world with better radio, he’d have had monster hits with all of these projects.
So today TunesDay honors all the Luke Haines iterations as our collective Band of the Week, and if you’re new to his music, you can learn more at his official Web site.
Now, on with the show. Up first, the 1993 vid for the first Haines song I ever encountered, The Auteurs’ somewhat jaded “Showgirl.”
That “quinessentially English” thing I mentioned? Yeah, this is what I was talking about.
“The Facts of Life,” from the CD of the same name, scored Haines his biggest commercial hit to date.
Finally, this is the title track from Haines brilliant 2006 solo effort, Off My Rocker at the Art School Bop. A little meta/self-reflexive, you’re thinking. Yeah, I’d say so…
Luke, if you’ll come play Denver I can promise you at least a couple people in the audience and you can stay in my guest room…