In the 6 years following the release of Wolf Parade's debut album Apologies to the Queen Mary in 2005, the two lead singers of the band, Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, released a total of 8 albums for both Wolf Parade and their main side projects Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, respectively. Apologies to the Queen Mary came out during the debut year of this web site and ended up as my #2 favorite album of the year, an impressive spot for a debut band. But even more impressive was that the 8 albums that followed would dominate the top spots on the Vague Space countdowns -- Sunset Rubdown would land the #2 album of 2006, the #1 of 2007, and the #1 of 2009. Wolf Parade would follow up its 2005 success with the #1 album of 2008 and #1 album of 2010. And Handsome Furs three albums would include the #2 album of 2007 and the #7 album of 2011, this past year. Spencer and Dan were everything I absolutely adored about music while writing this blog, everything I absolutely loved about seeing music live (I've seen Spencer 10 times and Dan 5 times), and everything I lived for in the way that music has touched and changed my life. For that, I (and this blog) are forever grateful. Spencer suspended the operations of Sunset Rubdown sometime in 2010 and officially announced its end about a year later. Wolf Parade went on pretty permanent hiatus at the end of 2010 and officially ended with a concert during Memorial Day weekend one year ago. And now, one year later, Dan has confirmed that Handsome Furs is no more.
The band that he started with his then-girlfriend and current wife Alexei Perry back in 2006 -- which produced three amazing albums that couldn't quite capture the majesty of their 2-person stage performances -- is done. The announcement was brief, a little over a week ago, and devastating to me. Speculation ran rampant about the reason -- was it related to the "health scare" that had them cancelling their overseas tour back in February? what of the marriage between the two? what will we do without Dan in our lives?????? To his credit, Mr. Boeckner came on the Wolf Parade forums -- an incredible website of devoted fans to all things Spencer and Dan -- and... well, he didn't clear anything up but said he completely appreciated all the support of the fans through the years but that he wasn't going to say anything further about the breakup of the band and about the personal nature of he and Alexei's life, and he was sorry if we thought he owed us an explanation, but it wasn't going to come. I'm probably paraphrasing incorrectly here but I don't want to reprint exactly what he said because I feel like he made this message just for us, the diehard Wolf Parade forum fans, and not the general Internet world. And more than anything, Dan has earned my respect for all of the years of joy he has given me. He apparently is in fine health so if the health scare was related to him it's passed. And Alexei released a statement of her own, thanking the fans for their support and their love of the band for all these years.
In the "good news" department, Dan is already involved in a new project - a band called Divine Fits that features Britt Daniel of Spoon and New Bomb Turks' drummer Sam Brown. So Dan and Britt Daniel, huh? Yeah, that's kind of super-exciting. I've never been a huge Spoon fan, I hate to say, but I am quite eager to see Britt's collaberation with our man Dan and see if they can continue the magical beauty of everything Wolf Parade members touch. They are already signed to Merge Records (Spoon's label and, of course, Superchunk and Arcade Fire's label) and will be releasing a new album this fall I believe. So that's kind of cool. I don't really have any news on Alexei yet but it's been said that she was writing a novel and certainly I would love to read it.
Dan's old bandmate Spencer continues on as Moonface of course, releasing his second album under that name a month ago, the Heartbreaking Bravery project with Finnish rockers Siinai. I will be seeing Spencer and Siinai in late June at the Bowery Ballroom and I am already planning to stalk him, so there's that. And Spencer and Dan are continuing to make music, which is excellent news. But more than a little part of me died with the news that Handsome Furs -- the last of the initial triumverate of Wolf Parade bands -- was ending. It was such a magnificent run of such perfect music that touched me so deeply, it's almost shocking to me that it's over so soon. But perhaps if those 9 albums between the three bands had come out spaced apart like a normal artist would, over a couple decades or so, they wouldn't have had such an incredible impact. Thank you Dan and Alexei for five great years of music. Here's hoping that you both keep on keeping on.
And lastly, I believe I actually cried watching this video I just found from 2007 -- at the start of their career together -- and how young they looked and how beautiful this song is, still I think my favorite Handsome Furs song ever made (although "Serve the People" is close). In a tamale shop in San Francisco to an audience of no one. Just beauty. Thank you Dan and Alexei again.