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Friday, July 7th, 2006

Tell Me Do You Miss Me

I will admit, right off, that I teared up during the opening of Tell Me Do You Miss Me, the documentary film of Luna’s farewell tour over the end of 2004 and early part of 2005. In the sequence in question, the band has just finished playing “Fuzzy Wuzzy” to finish the main set of their last-ever show on February 28, 2005 at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom (at least according to the setlist) and are bidding farewell to the audience and to themselves.

Tell Me Do You Miss Me is full of these wistful, bittersweet moments – watching the band going about the shows knowing full well that the end was nigh is a strange perspective. The interviews with each of the band members are also quite revealing, particularly when it addresses the dynamic between Dean Wareham and Sean Eden, which is logical since they’re the longest-serving remaining band members. It’s not hostile or Some Kind Of Monster dyfunctional, but is interesting to watch. I haven’t listened to the commentary track with all the band members yet, but I can’t wait to hear what, if anything, Wareham and Eden have to say about the scenes where they talk about one another. I am actually holding off on watching it a second time through with the commentary because, well, this DVD is probably the last new Luna release of any kind there’ll ever be and I’m loathe to finish it for good. Stupid? Yes. It’s also worth mentioning that the film itself is beautifully shot and assembled, perfectly balancing the live, backstage and interview footage.

But mainly, watching this film really brought home just how much I loved this band. Certainly enough to get me, who is loathe to hoof it to a venue more than 20 minutes away, to fly to Chicago not one week after seeing their farewell Toronto show to say goodbye one more time. Though I arrived a little late to the party (I only discovered them after taking a complete flyer on Bewitched in Summer 1999, note unheard) they’re easily one of my top two or three favourite bands ever. Cryptic, playful, laid back and musically perfect, there will probably never be another band that will be for me what Luna was. Read over some of the rememberances in the farewell tour fan blog and you’ll see I’m not alone.

Obviously, the DVD is a must-have for any Luna fan, if only to see this photo in the booklet and to see me get a liner note credit. There are some murmurs that the soundtrack to the film, which was comprised of instrumental pieces contributed by all members of the band, may be released at some point. Now’s a good time to repoint you to the interviews Head Full of Wishes, who has been on a tear posting old Luna audio and video, did with all the principals of the film – Britta, Lee, Sean and Dean as well as director Matthew Buzzell.

Rhino, who released the DVD as well as the Best Of Luna and Lunafied comps, has got the trailer of the film online as well as a complete performance of “Bewitched” that doesn’t appear in the film. There’s also some live downloads available from Luna’s own website.

Trailer: Tell Me Do You Miss Me
Video: Luna – “Bewitched” (MOV)
MP3: Luna – “Friendly Advice” (live)
MP3: Luna – “The Slow Song” (live in Toronto)

And where are they now? Dean and Britta carry on as Dean & Britta and will release their second album early next year. Sean is working on solo material and also occasionally plays in Elk City – you can hear his distinctive guitar touches in the MP3 below. And according to the film, Lee is riding a bike around Los Angeles while also providing music for the television show South Of Nowhere.

MP3: Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham – “Ginger Snaps”
MP3: Elk City – “Silver Lawyers”

ArtVoice talks to Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan about the forthcoming I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass, out September 12. Via LHB.

Losing Today talks to Asobi Seksu’s Yuki about sophomore album Citrus.

And to finish off with the New York theme, here are my New York City photos as well as sets from The Met and MoMA.

Finally, completely un-NYC-related, The Toronto Sun and London Free Press talk to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy while Halifax’s The Coast chat with John Stirratt. Massey Hall tonight! My extra ticket was snatched up quickly, thankfully.

np – Oakley Hall / Gypsum Strings

By : Frank Yang at 8:58 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Andy says:

    It’s such a relief that there was no "Some Kind of Monster" thing in the Luna DVD – just enough to see that Sean and Dean had an interesting relationship. For bands I don’t love however, a full on hate-fest makes for much better viewing!

  2. juepucta says:

    Man, I really miss Luna. Everyfuckingday.

    Up all night, chasing girlies. Late for work and you go home early.

    G.

  3. Frank says:

    hope no one minds I moved all the Calexico-topic comments to the relevant post.

  4. Michael says:

    Your review was great, and reminded me why I have already watched it three times (once with the commentary – listen to it all the way through for a hilarious comment by Lee Wall at the end). I saw Luna play the only time they played in Omaha, and it made me laugh out loud that they referenced it being a low point of that tour in the film. Let’s hope that Sean Eden does something as great as Broken Chair/Still at Home on his solo record.

  5. Transformersgeek says:

    I too attended the infamous Omaha show. Some of the patrons talked throughout the show as if they were competing against a blaring television broadcasting college football.

    Great review.