Friday, July 28, 2006

Luna - Tell Me Do You Miss Me

"I think when a band breaks up people get sad because they feel like it's part of their youth that has been lost" - Dean Wareham, Luna

Last night I watched Tell Me Do You Miss Me which is a documentary set on the band Luna's final tour. It was one of the more bittersweet films I have seen.

We'll all go mad together, cause that's what friends are for...

Luna has been one of my favorite bands since my sophmore year in college. I was late arriving to the party, but I heard a copy of their album Penthouse and was immediately taken by them. The vocals, the sinewy guitars, the imagery of the lyrics it all fit together so well to me. From that moment on, I bought all Luna cd's that I could get my hands on. They were as band that recieved so much critical acclaim but never really burst through to the mainstream. They filled the smaller clubs that they played in though, and all of us sang along with every word to their songs. Because of that, I sort of always felt like they were "my band" as I think numerous fans did. There were at least a handful of fans that echoed that sentiment throughout this film. But, in the end, among the pressures of touring, and just getting by the band had chose to call it quits.

Fancy drinks and lucky toasts, I like this town the most...

I spoke with my roomate before we even watched this about how odd it would be to see the band in a van taking about money issues and just getting by, living just like any other struggling band. The sound of their music and the tone of their lyrics just seemed so elegant. The road shots in teh film are incredible. You have the band singing of fancy drinks and lucky toasts and being out all night chasing girlies and the images of them in the van from town to town. Small club to small club. The thing is that the band never seemed bitter about the situation. Compare this film to Radiohead's Meeting People is Easy and Luna come across as a very grateful group of individuals. They come out and say that to an extent they are fortunate to be able to go out and play music and do these tours for a living, even if they come home with no money to show for it. Still, looking back I find the mood and images of their music such a contrast from the life that they actually led on the road. It was a bit of an eye opener.

Maybe if I yell at you, you'll trust in what I'm saying...

Since college their hasn't been any girl I have dated that hasn't been suscepted to Luna. If not by me playing it in my car, at least I have made certain parts of their catalogue a soundtrack to certain parts of my relationship. I know this was mentioned by a fan in the liner notes to their live CD, but Luna is the perfect kind of band to fall in and out of love too. It's innevitable. They cover it all. I saw Luna live only two times. That is a lifelong regret. The two times I saw them, somehow I wound up in a argument with my girlfriend at the time. We would wind up at odds before the show, I yelled to prove a point. By the end of the show after the music had washed over us both we were fine. The music fixed it. It always did. When, relationships went pear shaped, as they more than often did in my case, I would turn to Luna for moments of solace and to mope for a while, before they innevitably encourged me to stop moping and go out and live a bit.

Say a prayer for me, tell me do miss me...

The documentary begins and ends with Luna's final show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. You see the band at various points on the road talk about the final few shows and how it's gonna be hard. You hear them discuss what will be their final song. You see Dean read a telgram from a former band member the wishing them luck and offering advice. You see fans outside the venue talking about what Luna meant to them. But mostly you see the band enjoying playing their songs, and the fans very appreciative towards the band.

I has a smile on my face througout the whole film, that fought it out with an overwhelming sadness watching the band deal with their final tour and knowing that I would not be able to see them play live again. For those who aren't fans of Luna, I would still say this film is very watchable. The band is engaging and honest. It's edited so damn well. It does look great. And, of course, it sounds excellent too.

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