Who Is Lydia Loveless?: DVD

Mar 28, 2018

“Wearing a white lace dress and drinking a PBR”—Lydia laughs off that this is the way most of her press pieces start out, as she also expresses frustration that this is the image she is constantly boiled down to. This near two hour-long documentary is helmed by Gorman Bechard who is known for making films about The Replacements, Archers Of Loaf, and Grant Hart. Seems right up this mag’s alley, right? But when you cut to the core of who Loveless is as an artist, she falls under the self-proclaimed “indie alt-country” umbrella which I don’t know that Razorcake particularly prescribes to.

Her story is told by beautifully shot interviews with herself and her four bandmates, one of which is also her husband who she wed at twenty. I personally believe that punk is carried in a person’s way of thinking and viewing the world. What I was left with at the end was that the punk lean that this film tries to convey lies within Loveless’s controversial lyrical content (she doesn’t shy away from using words like “pussy” or “shit”), as well as a propensity for drinking and imploring a raucousness in her live performances. Though—as far as I could tell through the doc’s footage of her shows—is that they close with her writhing around on stage barefoot and/or drunkenly climbing atop the amps and speakers.

I don’t mean to completely dismiss this as it regards to punk, as there are several noteworthy conversations she has with her documentarian. Her comments on the monetary value of art, representation of women and sexism in the music industry, an unwillingness to kowtow her lyrics to fit with mainstream radio-friendly audiences, and her aversion to being filmed by cell phones when she’s trying to make a connection with the crowd are all wonderful and valid things to explore. On the other hand, topics like the sadness of having to put down her and her husband’s dog seem to be a desperate grasp at portraying tragedy in her life.

Lydia shares that she hates when artists reveal a song’s meaning only to ruin her own interpretation of it, so she refuses to do the same. Her lyrics are snapshots of love, life, drinking, and some despair, though I would like a peak at the pain behind those inspirations. Show me some struggle of what it’s like being so young and making music your fulltime commitment.

My takeaway is that this maybe is not for the audience of this magazine, though if you’re interested in a well-shot story of a rising country star with a hell of a voice, take it for a spin. Also I have to say that I was surprised that this documentary has a commentary track. Aren’t you already doing that in the documentary? I just don’t see why one needs another two hours about how the sausage is made. –Kayla Greet (What Were We Thinking Films, 203 Windsor Rd., Pottstown, PA 19464)