Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
“She will never be all mine, she says my songs are sad,” sings Dean Wareham on the assaultive and motorik “I Can Only Give My All,” one of the best, most surprising numbers on the former Galaxie 500 and Luna singer’s new album. “She’s an evergreen, a drum machine, a lonely date, an 808.” Whoever she is—his wife and frequent musical partner Britta Phillips, probably—she’d probably snooze through the first half of Dean Wareham, which dwells in the same sleepy, autumnal place as Galaxie 500’s influential On Fire but lacks its Velvets-circa-’69 minimalism and its fuzz-caked emotional payoffs. Still, while Dean Wareham is a self-titled album by a man who just turned 50, it doesn’t find Wareham trying to make a statement about his own career; in an unintentional way, he did that on the 2010 Dean and Britta album 13 Most Beautiful, an Andy Warhol tribute featuring songs mostly written in the style of Lou Reed. The best stuff on Dean Wareham is touched by wanderlust, foiling his understated vocals with anxious, anthemic melodies, precise beats, and the right amount of guitar clang. “Living in a holding pattern, this is not my choice,” he sings, offering an appropriate mantra on an album partly about winning the fight against middle-age complacency. Dean Wareham performs with The Vacant Lots at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $15. (202) 588-1880. ustreetmusichall.com.