WHAT: The Brian Jonestown Massacre with Flavor Crystals
WHERE: The Fine line Music Café
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thurs. Mar. 26
TICKETS: $16.50/$18.50 18+ www.finelinemusic.com
For many a jittery fan, news of the return of the two parts genius, one part unstable band The Brian Jonestown Massacre stirs up feelings of both excitement and apprehension.
The San Francisco-based group helped usher in the revival of psychedelic rock in the 1990s, releasing a series of records and EPs teeming with deviously expansive guitar, tambourine, sitar and a shoegaze drone undertone. The band, although visionary, was littered with problems and seemed to partially collapse in the early 2000s due to a series of botched record deals, inter-band turmoil and the less-than-pristine behavior of frontman Anton Newcombe.
Newcombe, whose legacy spells musical savant but whose behavior spells crazy, once boasted the ability to play 80 instruments. A tendency for self-destruction as well as a checkered label history, combined with an inability to work well with others, have partially eclipsed his musical vision and led to endless strife for BJM. The conclusion of the 2004 documentary “Dig!” which chronicles the pseudo-rivalry between The Dandy Warhols and Brian Jonestown Massacre, shows a battered and broken BJM show with a lineup reduced from six to two: Newcombe and one other.
When an audience member shouts that Newcombe’s partner should go solo, he kicks the fan in the face, an event that perhaps epitomizes Newcombe’s sometimes hostile character. Constantly changing line-ups and periods of musical dormancy during the late ’90s and early 2000’s seemed to predict that although BJM helped usher in a neo-psychedelic-era, the musical revolution Newcombe called for would most likely never be realized. Yet now, with a seemingly full line-up, a new-ish 2008 Album, “My Bloody Underground,“ and a national tour already started, it seems that The Brian Jonestown Massacre is back and ready to impress.