“The breezy melody and instrumentation proves to be pleasant listening alongside some more serious topical issues that humans face in modern times. Whether the focus is on their message or on tapping your toe along, The Luna Programme deserves a listen.” – Cindy Howes
The Luna Program is an chamber folk pop duo from Pittsburgh who recently released their debut full length Whatever The World Is. Sharing songwriting duties between them, I want to thank John Stuart (Guitar/Banjo/Bass/Vocals) and Sam Stucky (Guitar/Piano/Drums/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
John Stuart: I think the first alum I bought was Alice in Chains’ Dirt. It’s not something I still listen to regularly, but a solid rock album.
Sam Stucky: Definitely U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb… listened to that every morning on the way to middle school for a good year or two!
Your last album bought?
John: I just bought Elliott Smith’s self-titled album on vinyl. I also contributed to a Kickstarter for this band called Archabald, so I guess I bought their album that’s not out yet too.
Sam: Just bought JR JR’s self-titled last week.
John: This is too difficult. I really don’t want to pick one, but if I absolutely have to I might also pick Helplessness Blues.
Sam: That’s a super hard one that probably changes a lot. But right now it’s probably Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
John: I feel bad saying this because it’s not actually a terrible album, but I have to say the only album I can remember being disappointed at was Bon Iver’s second album. For Emma, Forever Ago was a really important album for me and I just felt like the self-titled didn’t come close to measuring up, despite some stand out tracks. I don’t really listen to stuff I don’t like, so I can’t say I have a least favorite album.
Sam: I was pretty disappointed when Coldplay came out with Ghost Stories, just because their sound has changed so much over the years from Parachutes, which is one of my favorite albums of all time. I really wish they would go back to a more rock, less electronic feel. But at this point they can honestly do whatever they want, so why not experiment? It’s just not their best sound in my opinion.
First concert attended?
John: As far as I remember, the first show I saw may have been Gov’t Mule at the Three Rivers Arts festival with my dad. They’re a cool blues/jam band.
Sam: The first concert that I actually paid my own way for was Coldplay in Pittsburgh with my brother and some of his friends.
John: The last concert I went to was Cursive in Columbus, Ohio. That’s also the farthest I’ve driven for a show. It was good.
Sam: I just saw JR JR in Nashville just this past week.
Favorite concert ever?
John: This is a really tough one. Andrew Bird is probably the best musician I’ve seen live. I also saw both Jeff Mangum’s solo tour and the Neutral Milk Hotel tour and those were pretty important shows for me as well.
Sam: It’s definitely got to be The Front Bottoms for me. I saw them in Cleveland this past summer. I’ve never seen every person know and be singing every single word. I think they probably have some of the best/most loyal fans. And the venue was tiny, so it was super intimate. They’re on a much bigger label now, so chances are they won’t be playing at such small venues anymore. So I’m glad I got to see them before that.
Least favorite concert?
John: I saw The Antlers this past summer with my girlfriend. I’ve never been a super hardcore fan of them, but everything at this show just seemed to go wrong, which is really what made it so bad. A pipe burst somewhere and the whole place smelled like poop. The power went out in between the opening act and The Antlers, so the place got really hot because the air conditioning wasn’t on. Someone actually fainted in the middle of their set too, which is the second time I’ve seen that happen at a show.
Sam: I recently saw Brand New and Manchester Orchestra. I like both bands, but the venue was seated (Ryman in Nashville) and Manchester Orchestra played a WAY too short set. Then Brand New played a way too long set. Granted, I should have gone to a Brand New concert knowing more of their songs, but I was hoping Manchester would be playing a similar length set. Neither artist was bad though, just the atmosphere and the timing!
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
John: I’ve lived near Pittsburgh my whole life, so I mean really my whole life has happened here. There’s some good local beer and whiskey here.
Thanks, fellas. It’s very cool that you both have the same favorite album. I can assume ‘creative differences’ won’t be a term in your future together. Plus, I always thought that venue was a shitty place and you kind of proved it with that story, John.