Roma di Luna cancel farewell shows

Thumbnail image for romadiluna-zoo.jpg
Photo by Stacy Schwartz
When we first reported that Roma di Luna would be parting ways about two months back, the band insisted that they would give fans one last chance to see them in action this December, where they planned to host a pair of farewell shows.

Now, with no explanation given, Roma di Luna have canceled their final Cedar Cultural Center shows on December 17 and 18 with no plans to reschedule them. In other words, the band is officially done.

Roma di Luna first emerged locally in 2006 with their sparse, sweet duet EP Face of My Friends. For those already familiar with Alexei Moon Casselle, who raps under the name Crescent Moon, it was a dramatic leap from his work in hip-hop groups Oddjobs and Kill the Vultures and showcased his newfound skills on acoustic guitar. The EP also served as Channy Moon Casselle's musical debut, and her otherworldly, haunting voice was a welcome surprise for local music listeners.

Over the years, more musicians were added to the band and Roma di Luna grew first into an Americana act and, more recently, a soul band with horns and swinging beats. It was this most recent incarnation that earned them heavy airplay on the Current (single "Before I Die" was especially popular on the station, perhaps because of its similarity to songs by Current darling Sharon Jones) and allowed them to create a sound commanding enough to fill the First Avenue Mainroom, where they performed at this year's Current Birthday Party and also, memorably, last year for a benefit for the Electric Fetus.



When I spoke to Channy recently, she indicated that Roma di Luna had actually made the decision to dissolve at the beginning of the year, though they intended to honor their remaining scheduled shows. The Cedar shows were intended to be a final goodbye for the band -- but anyone who caught Roma di Luna's set at SoundTown this year can tell you that Alexei had already stopped performing with the group. For whatever reason, the band's founders couldn't reconcile long enough to soldier through their final shows, and so their journey has come to an end as quietly as it started.

Both Alexei and Channy will be performing in other projects this week: Kill the Vultures will perform at the Loring Theater on Friday night as part of the Cloak Ox's EP-release show, while Channy's new band Polica will play a last-minute free show tonight at the Kitty Cat Klub with No Regular Play, Matthew Dear, and Pat Morita.

For now, we'll leave you with this video of one of their earliest songs, a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In An Aeroplane Over the Sea."



UPDATE: Alexei has posted a statement about the cancelation on his personal blog, writing that, "As many people following Roma di Luna have already suspected, the split runs deeper than the disbanding of a musical project, thus, it would not feel right to gather one last time and celebrate. It is simply the time to move on and let go. None of the band members reached this conclusion lightly, but it is the right thing to do for all of us."


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11 comments
Angie
Angie

To be fair, I can see people confusing this publication for The Enquirer. The writing is just as tasteless.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

"Matthew Dear"

Wait...is Matthew Dear actually performing or is there a guy named Matthew Dear that plays mopey music that does't realize Matthew Dear is already a thing?

Reedbooksmore
Reedbooksmore

Thats what I was wondering. The REAL Matthew Dear could headline Triple Rock w/o a problem, but never be listed 3rd man down on a KKK bill. If that was him, he needs a better agent.

Reedbooksmore
Reedbooksmore

and it was him. damn, nice score for Ryan Olcott. that show would've been dope.

Braden Schmitt
Braden Schmitt

The fact that any professional musician should be expected to provide an "explanation" for their PERSONAL life is completely absurd. Just because Channy and Alexei performed as husband and wife DOES NOT imply that we should be privy to their personal lives. Unless you'd like to talk publicly about your marriage, please don't butt in to theirs.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

In defense of the honest question, these two were the ones who made their marriage a public object by creating a band around it. It's not important, yes, but any person who makes their personal lives an essential aspect of their public identity has to expect questions like this. They say "we're a husband and wife in a band," so when the band breaks up it's only natural to make that connection. Artists aren't forced to make any part of their life open to the public, so that's a door they opened. Maybe it's a bit gossipy or nosey, but what do you expect from a culture addicted to reality show voyeurism and social media friend collecting & spying?

nickryan
nickryan

That is a fair point, but more often than not, it is not up to a band to decide what aspects will be covered when they are written up by local press. The fact that they were a married couple was deemed the point of interest by music writers that needed to fill word counts and make a deadline. This is not to imply laziness on the part of music writers. It is simply the nature of the beast. I know and have great respect for both Channy and Alexei, and I am confident that their marriage was not high on the list of things they would hope a writer would bring up when being interviewed.

kate
kate

Unfortunately I have to agree that we can expect inappropriate questions such as this, given our culture. But just because we can expect it doesn't mean that we should accept it. And it still makes the asker a classless, shallow individual. Take two seconds to downplay your own self-interests and think about the people you are potentially affecting.

Abc
Abc

So are the Casselle's getting a divorce???

Billroy
Billroy

yes, both were cheating.

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