Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sympathy for the Anton

Dang, I am so glad I got to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre pre-Dig! (October 2002 --or was it 03, oh man I got so wasted that night I don't remember. Just kidding). They played at the Bowery Ballroom to a room that was less than half-full until the house lights went on (no thanks to the less-than-entertaining Dead Meadow and the Realistics playing before them). Now, a few years later, just after the release of the film Dig! (in case you don't know by now, it follows the paths of BJM and the Dandy Warhols), the band sells out two shows at Bowery, July 30 and 31. Hmmm, any connection? Front guy Anton Newcombe definitely deserves this, but he certainly doesn't deserve people coming to the shows behaving like a**holes by provoking him because they think that's what you're supposed to do at a BJM show. I was tempted to go July 30. But after reading some reviews, I'm glad I didn't, at least not to the first show. The consensus is that the band walked off prematurely on Saturday and played for two hours on Sunday.

some reviews:
One Louder (saturday)
Simple Mission (sunday)
IAMalik (sunday, includes a conversation with Anton before the show)

The latest record from BJM is available at Tee Pee records.

Now would be a good time to post my photo of me and Anton, but honestly, I look stupid, as I had yet mastered my technique of posing with a rock band. So instead, here's his signature on the promo for my radio show. Not sure why he put "all the best" in quotes.

In related news, the Dandy Warhols (the friends/rivals featured in Dig!) will release their fifth album, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, September 13 . The promotional "Suitcase Tour" will consist of sets at radio stations using only instruments that fit into a single suitcase (insert witty joke here). Plus, they'll play at CBGB for the first time ever during the CMJ Music Marathon in September. August dates on the West coast next week, while full U.S. tour will start in November. -Kenyon

Oh yea and, they'll be playing the first single "Smoke It" on Live with Regis and Kelly (what the f*ck?) on September 13.

1 comment:

J-Ro said...

Seriously...it was September of 2002, because it was exactly one week after my birthday, and my car stereo got stolen, along with my brand new portable cd player (a birthday present), my book bag that had Miss Wyoming by Douglas Coupland (wasn't finished reading it) as well as an import Bowie cd single for my brother in it. Also stolen was my VH1 Pop-Up Video board game and a bunch of cds by Bookstore, Space Robot Scientists and Yes Sensei, which later found their way to St Mark's Place, on a blanket next to a toaster and John S. Hall's penis.

But back to BJM...that show in 2002 was, as you said, sparsely attended...but Dead Meadow were awesome. They played the sludge-of-doom psychedelic-narcotic better than any of those so-called "stoner rock" bands out there. BJM were totally on that night, and if not for union regulations, they could have played for hours.

As for the show on the 31st, they were quite good when they actually played, but partly due to Anton's erratic brain and mouth, and partially attributed to the new phenomenon you mentioned of "Dig!" viewers who only want a spectacle, there was a lot of Anton ranting and not a lot of "playing the hits" as it were, unless it was hits of acid. I wish people would just dig the music and not try to provoke fisticuffs from an unbalanced man. As it was, by the end of the set, Frankie had already packed up his guitar, grabbed his bag, and left the stage before the last song was over. My brother saw him and Anton the next night at CBGB's and when asked about tour, Frankie didn't want to talk about it, and Anton had a black eye. This tour has been fraught with cancellations, mostly because "Anton's voice has been fucked up." Or something like that.