Ep. 13: Damon Krukowski of Damon & Naomi

Ep. 13: Damon Krukowski of Damon & Naomi

And Galaxie 500. Talking music and natural wine with the influential musician, writer, activist - and lifelong wine appreciator.

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Damon Krukowski during Damon & Naomi’s performance in Paris, Sept. 2023.

It takes a whole set of skills to communicate at very big levels [in music.] But you sacrifice communication in certain ways to do that. And I'm sure it's the same with food and wine. You cannot assume that you can convey the [same] subtleties at scale. - Damon Krukowski

Damon Krukowski is a musician and writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Inscribed in the annals of indie rock since his time as drummer in the influential dream-pop band Galaxie 500, Krukowski has since released music with his wife (and former Galaxie 500 bandmate) Naomi Yang as Damon & Naomi. Krukowski is also the author of several poetry collections, and two books on the changing nature of music and listening (2017’s The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World and 2019’s Ways of Hearing). In recent years, he has emerged as a noted advocate for the rights of recordings artists in the face of systematic exploitation by streaming companies.

Krukowski is also a lifelong wine lover, whose tastes were formed during childhood family trips throughout France with his father, a Polish World War II refugee and abiding Francophile. It’s an interest Krukowski has kept alive throughout his career, whether via the Kermit Lynch newsletter, or through avid exploration of local “grandfather” cuisine during tours abroad.

Following a comically ill-starred Damon & Naomi concert in Paris this past September, Krukowski kindly joined me to talk music1 and wine over a bottle of Matassa. Check out the episode for Krukowski’s recollection of seeing Led Zeppelin at age thirteen; his take on Taylor Swift’s stadium performance technique; and the surprising parallels between the economics of indie rock and those of natural wine.


This is a free episode of the NOT DRINKING POISON podcast. For access to all the episodes - plus years of vigneron interviews, profiles, tasting reports, and commentary - please subscribe!


Damon Krukowski’s November 30th piece in The Guardian decrying Spotify’s recent decision to cease paying artists whose recordings do not reach a certain threshold of streams.

NDP Podcast Series I: Paris Natural Wine Lifers, Part I
NDP Podcast Series I: Paris Natural Wine Lifers, Part II

NDP Podcast Series II: Contemporary Paris Natural Wine, Part I
NDP Podcast Series II: Contemporary Paris Natural Wine, Part II

Damon Krukowski’s excellent Substack: Dada Drummer Almanach


During the episode, Krukowski and I discuss Bandcamp as a more artist-friendly alternative to streaming companies like Apple, Spotify, etc. Our conversation took place on September 10th, 2023, a few weeks before news broke that Bandcamp had been sold again, this time to the music licensing platform Songtradr. The latter promptly announced vicious layoffs, further clouding Bandcamp’s future as an artist-friendly platform.

Natural wine culture, by Aaron Ayscough. Reporting from Paris since 2010. Roughly a third of this podcast is available for free. For access to the other episodes - and to heaps of wine interviews, profiles, translations, commentary, and more - subscribe to