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Old 04-17-2005, 09:25 AM   #1
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Brian Jonestown Massacre

I just saw the documentary Dig last night which followed the BJM and the Dandy Warhols over a seven year period. I was already farmiliar with the Dandys but the train wreck that was BJM made for the most compelling part of the story.

Anyone here a BJM fan? I'm thinking of picking up either a compilation disc or Satanic Majesties Second request and Strung out in Heaven. Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:58 AM   #2
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*sigh* How lame, I've gotta give my own thread a bump.

Well, I couldn't wait for your input and because it was the only BJM CD I could find I picked up the compilation disc, Tepid Peppermint Wonderland. I suspect they threw this together to cash in on Dig but they've earned my $17.

I've only listened to a couple of songs and my first impression was that this was some really sloppy hippy-dippy psychedelic shit But it starts to grow on you by the 4th track and there's 34 more I haven't heard. I think it's the kind of cd that will probably sound better with repeated listening.

Maybe I'll start a Dig thread over at Zoo Station.
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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I know nothing about them, and I barely even know the name. What kind of music did they make, and in what time period? Please share.
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2popmofo
I know nothing about them, and I barely even know the name. What kind of music did they make, and in what time period? Please share.
If you've heard the name it's most likely a musician citing them as a influence or an ex member of the band (40+), such as Peter Hayes of BRMC. They are from the SF Bay area and began cranking out albums in the mid-nineties for Bomp Records and have released 10 albums over the past 10 years.

BJM is really one person though, Anton Newcome. The movie Dig, follows over a 7 year period the friendship and rivalry between the brilliant, yet sanity-challenged Newcome and Courtney Taylor of the Dandy Warhols who is not as gifted but more calculating and businesslike. You probably remember the Dandy hit, Brown Sug.., I mean "Bohemian like you." I don't want to ruin it by saying to much about the movie but it's a fascinating look at the music biz although Taylor seems to put a somewhat self-serving spin on it.

The BJM performances are train wrecks, maybe not all of them but the critical ones that could make their careers are most likely to end up in a brawl amongst band members. Someone always seems to be willing to give them another chance because although Newcome is impossible to work with, it's never a problem to get him in the studio to make great music. In fact, he is still making new music to this day.

I gotta say this CD must be one of the best music values out there, even at the $17.95 Tower Records price. The Brian Jones/psychedelic Rolling Stones is the most obvious influence but there are tons of others. Velvet Underground, Smiths & other early 80's postpunk bands, Newcome even states in the liner notes that the song "It Girl" was inspired by his love of Simon & Garfunkel. It has an indie production quality to it and they didn't put the lyrics in the booklet but I can't even get to all 38 tracks because I want to hear several over and over again. Right now, Anenome & Vacuum Boots are faves but so far there only about one or two that I'm not dying to hear repeatedly.

I don't need to buy another cd this summer.
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Old 04-19-2005, 05:18 PM   #5
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Sounds interesting, thanks for the info. I'll keep my eyes and ears open for more about them.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:03 PM   #6
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I really urge anybody who puts stock in good music and/or my opinion to read this and trust me. Really. Please. You will more than likely thank me.

I have been listening to very nearly nothing but Brian Jonestown Massacre, for the last month or two. Fucking unbelievable stuff, especially from the mid/late '90s. In 1996, they released three records (two of them doubles [!!!!!!], and one of them a 1.5 [ie, three sides of vinyl]), all of which are great.

Two of them, though, are among (literally) the most impressive records I've ever heard--Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request and Take It From The Man!. One of them, Thank God For Mental Illness, is "merely" awesome.

When I finally first heard (rather than heard of) the band, I was nosing around in a local record shop. While thumbing through the late '60s psych section, I all of sudden heard this fantastic music snaking out of the speakers, seemingly baking the store in smoke. Literally as I held in my hand a copy of Their Satanic Majesties' Request, by the Stones, I thought to myself, "Jesus...this isn't this record, but it sure sounds like it! How the hell have I never heard of so awesome sounding a studio bootleg from this era? And howhowhow the hell does the owner have the fuckin' thing on vinyl?????" Once some area LP nut got out of the way and stopped complaining about how "this shit really puts you to sleep, man" I nosed in and tried to put it all together.

Of course, Bob told me that I was listening to The Brian Jonestown Massacre, a band of which I'd of course heard (just like in the case of The Dandy Warhols, it's not a name you ever forget), but never listened to. Then he told me that I was listening to Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, and the audacity of it all, not to mention the genius of the music, nearly killed me. I tried to barter for his copy of the record, but he wouldn't bite. Instead, I waited until a copy fell into the hands of Reckless, and all was well. FINALLY got my hands on it, on Monday.

So, what does all of this mean, and what am I saying? It means, and I am saying, several things:

A) If you like music, you need to listen to the two records I've been shouting out--Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request and Take It From The Man!. Laz, the latter record even has a song called "Monkey Puzzle," so it fits perfectly into the SFA continuum.

2) The band (or their records which I know...and I don't know them all) is a pretty obvious melange of psych-era Stones, immediately post-psych-era Beatles, and The Velvet Underground. If that doesn't at least sound appealing, then you don't know music.

D) Shoegaze/pre-post-rock (whoa!) also plays a role. The first album, Methodrone, is a deconstruction of pre-Loveless MBV and all things Jesus and Mary Chain. At something like 75 minutes (basically the average running time of a BJM record), it does outstay its welcome; at the same time, though, it has some fuckin' mind-melting songs. For the not-released-in-1996 BJM records I've heard, that is a pretty good rule of thumb--way too long, but also and often way too good to believe.

I should also point out the whole Dig! thing. It is a film described quite well by OnFire, upthread (and like 34 years ago). Yes, Anton Newcombe (leader of the BJM) is a fucking lunatic. Yes, I am pretty sure that I hate him. No, I don't think that I'd ever really want to see the band live, lest I get kicked in the head or verbally accosted for knowing the words to a few songs. Dude is beyond help, evidenced most tellingly by some of his recent song titles--"Automatic Faggot for the People," "Just Like Kicking Jesus" (also an EP!), and "We Are The Niggers of the World" are the most striking offenders, but hardly the only ones.

He is crazy. But the (older) music is crazy-good. Please listen:

YouTube - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Miss June 75

YouTube - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Jesus

YouTube - Anémone (Brian Jonestown Massacre Band)

There is so much more than this. So much more.

Before finally stopping, I should also recommend Tepid Peppermint Wonderland, which is a stellar, soaring accomplishment and a brilliant starting point. One of the best comps you'll ever hear. Ever.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:56 PM   #7
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A little late to the train, IYS.

I've known about these guys for a while.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:15 PM   #8
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Well, yeah! I know that 1996 was a few ticks back, all of a sudden...as sad as it may be to admit it.

Seriously, though--so good! One of those bands I just assumed was gimmicky, on account of the name and the basic knowledge I had of Newcombe as the crazy-as-shit frontman. All it took was one song, "Jesus," to get me to open up to them. Wonderful.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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Their tambourine player was featured in eppy 6.10 of Gilmore Girls back in 2005. No joke.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Strung out in Heaven.
I picked this up for five clams in Bloomington a few weeks ago. I liked it ok, but I wanted more from it. It tended to blend into the background on the interstate. I wanted it to make me look at the car stereo in amazement. It didn't. Is there another album I should try, or is this it?
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:36 PM   #11
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It all begins and ends with two records, Martha. Strung Out is not one of them.

1)


2)
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:39 PM   #12
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Thanks. I'll look for them.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:41 PM   #13
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Again, Martha...here:

YouTube - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Miss June 75

If this doesn't do it for you, then the band isn't for you. If it does, then check out those records. You will be thanking me for ages.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:15 AM   #14
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I will listen to that on Wednesday or Thursday. Remind me.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:19 PM   #15
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Again, Martha...here:

YouTube - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Miss June 75

If this doesn't do it for you, then the band isn't for you. If it does, then check out those records. You will be thanking me for ages.
Oh crap. I had to stop after two minutes. The man cannot sing. I'm kind of a hard-ass about that.

Oh well. But thanks.
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