Lucero – Dreaming In America

Lucero – Dreaming In America / 2005 Eastwest / 72 Minutes / / /

The first thing that individuals get to see about Lucero is that they are extraordinarily lucid for the style of music that they create. The creators of such amazing tracks like “That Much Further West” are shown by Aaron Goldman to be human, at times pitiable (the fact that they do not look good on credit applications, or the drunken meltdown that begins the documentary). Setting up the band’s history at the beginning, Goldman really does this documentary right.

This means that instead of just breaking the momentum to throw a three or four minute live performance in, tracks are draped over the footage like smart blinds. When there is purely live footage, it is properly contextualized and short enough to not disturb the narrative that is crafted by Goldman. Interesting nuances of the band are highlighted, instead of Goldman trying to put Lucero in the midst of other storied bands and the film along the those other well-worn documentaries. What is another strength of “Dreaming In America” is that Goldman has brought forth live footage that is at the same aural and visual quality of the normal footage; this move really helps normalize what are two completely different brands of footage into one cohesive beast. Goldman, through eir choice in live tracks shows eirself to be a true fan of the band. Each of the tracks on “Dreaming In America” are the cream of the crop for Lucero, which (even considering their talent) is saying a lot. Lucero was one of the first bands that I thought was going to get big in just a few years, and seeing that this DVD is now out, it really is heartening to see it done so well. This is not just footage of Lucero driving in a van and playing live; other footage shows the band in record stores and being interviewed for XM in New York.

Another strength of “Dreaming In America” is that Goldman is not trying to show Lucero as a band that is free from the problems of normal humans, nor they should be considered better than their fans in any possible way. The thread of drunkenness comes through a few times during the disc, and the harshness of playing on the road really is shown as a counterweight to the American dream of packing up and going on tour to loving fans most the year. “Dreaming In America” is the next “Great Rock And Roll Swindle” or “101” and it is just as much due to the vision of Goldman as it is the personality and talent of Lucero. Even though “Nobody’s Darlings” just came out a few months ago, this documentary makes me wish as if the band was ready to release another album. The documentary is not trying to push any specific angle or belief, but is sincere in the portrayal of a cast of characters – Lucero and their hangers on – as individuals that are just like everyone else in this world, even if the music that the band puts out is better than 99% of the bands currently out on the market.

Rating: 7.3/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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