The Brian Jonestown Massacre Vinyl, CD & tapes by The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Norman Records
Led by the charismatic Anton Newcombe - a man who always seems to be soaking wet - The Brian Jonestown Massacre are a long-running band rising initially from San Francisco but who have since gone where Newcombe's itchy feet have taken him, including Reykjavik, London and now Berlin.
Initially the band played a form of psychedelic rock informed by shoegaze, most notably the late 60s recordings of the Rolling Stones (particularly on their 1996 Stones-referencing album Their Satanic Majesties Second Request). But Newcombe's musical influences are notoriously vast, and the BJM's output since the early 90s has fully reflected that, taking on board pretty much every genre you can think of. Shoegaze, country, experimental electronica, Flamenco guitar, British Invasion, 60s West Coast...it's all there, massaged into shape by, well, God only knows.
Despite critical acclaim, a prolific output, and a fervent fan base the band could easily have stayed as an indie-rock footnote if it weren't for the release of the movie Dig! in 2004. The film documented the fierce, tragicomic, often touching rivalry between The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols and was full of astonishing examples of the former's drug-fuelled, haphazard genius and the latter's drug-fuelled, clear-eyed ambition.
Though Newcombe and his band weren't always documented favourably - Newcombe's slates it to this day for being somewhat economical with the actualité - the movie did provoke renewed widespread interest in their music, leading to a superb series of releases from 2008 to date, including the love letter to shoegaze My Bloody Underground and 2014's tour de force Revelation. The band continue to release records as if the world's future depended on it. The ever-changing cast of musicians that comprise the band is a bit more stable than it was, the crowds pulled these days reach well beyond the cult following, and there's just a whole lot more normality to proceedings. But Newcombe remains one of rock's remaining mavericks - doing whatever the fuck he likes, wherever he likes.
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