Tag Archives: Brian Jonestown Massacre


The Brian Jonestown Massacre Deliver What They Do Best in Brooklyn

September 6th, 2017

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Brooklyn Steel – September 5, 2017

Anton Newcombe will go down fighting the good fight. Since 1991 he has maintained a laughably prolific pace of releasing music with his band, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, that’s mined the depths of early-’60s British rock and Haight Ashbury psychedelia. A true believer and uncompromising musical mastermind, Newcombe has remained one of underground music’s biggest cult artists. But all of his acclaim and adoration from fans has been hard won over years of touring the globe and tinkering in the lab. Along the way, he’s built up the reputation of being one of rock’s most eccentric yet volatile personalities. Ondi Timoner’s classic documentary Dig! shows Newcombe both at his most erratic and brilliant. With the release of this year’s Don’t Get Lost, the Brian Jonestown Massacre brought their tour to Brooklyn Steel last night and were welcomed by a packed house of eager fans waiting to see which side of Newcombe they would get. And for those who were lucky enough to purchase tickets, he did not disappoint.

The experimental group Chui Wan, from Beijing, opened the show, easing the crowd into the night with a loose yet moving set of mind-bending textures and cascading melodies. Once they had finished, the stage was quickly turned around for the headliners. Dressed in matching white linen with a long flowing scarf draped around his neck, Newcombe stepped onstage backed by the six-piece band that makes up the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Including Newcombe, there were three guitarists, a bassist, keyboardist, drummer and longtime tambourine player and mascot Joel Gion, whose lackadaisical presence at the center of the stage drew impassioned “Joel, Joel, Joel” chants from the crowd.

For more than two hours, the Brian Jonestown Massacre delivered what they do best. Each song blasted out of the gate with the force of a desert hallucination as the band treated fans to selections from across their massive 17-album catalog. Newcombe was in great spirits throughout, and he took to the microphone for multiple hilarious tangents. “Do you think that Korean guy Lil’ Kim liked the Beatles?” he asked at one point. And then: “Do you think he watched Yellow Submarine as a kid? How could he and the act like this? I don’t get it.” The group mixed in some newer material from over the past decade alongside such fan favorites as “Anemone” and “Servo,” from their classic run in the ’90s. And by the time the Brian Jonestown Massacre put down their vintage teardrop guitars and that last rattle of the tambourine was heard, everyone who had packed into Brooklyn Steel on Tuesday night knew that they had been treated to one of rock and roll’s last great torchbearers. —Pat King |@MrPatKing

Photos courtesy of Adela Loconte | adelaloconte.com


Psychedelic Trio Dead Meadow Play The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow

February 10th, 2014

Jason Simon (vocals and guitar), Steve Kille (bass) and Mark Laughlin (drums) knew one another from the late-’90s DC punk scene when they banded together in 1998 to form Dead Meadow, blending the psychedelic ’60s with the heavy-metal ’70s. They went on to become the first band to do a Peel Session outside of the BBC studios when they performed live from Fugazi’s practice space. And Dead Meadow (above, doing “Six to Let the Light Shine Thru” for Rhapsody TV) have been busy ever since, putting out seven studio albums, including the 2013 release Warble Womb (stream it below), “70 minutes of sprawling psychedelic trip-outs and gentle rain-soaked acoustic mysticism,” per AllMusic. And after more than a decade and a half on the road—touring with the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre and Guided by Voices—Dead Meadow are a live band not to miss. Go see them tomorrow night at the Bowery Ballroom.


Catch Dirty Beaches Tomorrow Night at The Bowery Ballroom

September 5th, 2013

Alex Zhang Hungtai is a nomad. Born in Taiwan, he moved to Canada early on and has since lived across North America, in addition to stops in Berlin and Shanghai. But despite his worldwide roots, the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist’s music is more focused—on his own brand of lo-fi rockabilly. Making music as Dirty Beaches, Hungtai put out several singles and EPs before the release of his first official LP, Badlands, in 2011. Many compared it to Roy Orbison backed by drum machines, and the A.V. Club said it’s “a pastiche that moves right on by ’90s nostalgia and into the warm embrace of sexy (though submerged) ’50s songcraft and mythology.” The album was a one-man show, but after initially touring solo, Hungtai left behind the heavy samples and teamed up with saxophonist Francesco De Gallo and drummer Jesse Locke. Last year electronic musician and guitarist Shub Roy joined Dirty Beaches (above, their video for “Casino Lisboa”) in the studio for what became the acclaimed double LP Drifters/Love Is the Devil (stream it below). Drifters was recorded in Montreal, while the instrumental Love Is the Devil was done in Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe’s Berlin studio. And after playing some shows overseas earlier this summer, Dirty Beaches have returned to our shores. See them tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.


The Dandy Warhols Play Terminal 5 Tomorrow Night

May 30th, 2013

Formed in mid-’90s Portland, Ore., the Dandy Warhols—frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor, drummer Brent DeBoer, guitarist Peter Holmström and keyboardist Zia McCabe— immediately earned heady comparisons to the Velvet Underground with the release of their debut full-length, Dandys Rule OK?, in 1995. But it was actually their second album, The Dandy Warhols Come Down, which came out two years later, that really put the band on the map. Not only did their music begin appearing in movies and in television, but the quartet began to have a bit of international success, too. The Dandy Warhols (above, doing “Bohemian Like You” on Later … with Jools Holland) eventually supported David Bowie on a European tour and then appeared in the documentary Dig! alongside the Brian Jonestown Massacre. But despite this success, the group continues to record new material every couple of years, including 2012’s This Machine (stream it below). Next month they release a remastered version of their biggest album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, but tomorrow night they play Terminal 5.


Brian Jonestown Massacre – Terminal 5 – April 1, 2009

April 2nd, 2009


Before a crowd of hard-dancing acolytes, head-nodding onlookers and friends of Eddie Bruiser’s, psychedelic-rockers the Brian Jonestown Massacre brought their full sound—four guitars, bass, tambourine, drums and keys—to Terminal 5 on a rainy April Fools’ night. While the roster has changed quite a bit since the band formed in San Francisco, back in 1990, Anton Newcombe clearly remains the leader.

Everything about BJM seems interesting, from song titles like “Bring Me the Head of Paul McCartney on Heather Mills’s Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs on the White House)” and “Just Like Kicking Jesus,” to onstage fights (captured in the documentary Dig!), and even the band’s name, which is a portmanteau of original Rolling Stones lead guitarist Brian Jones, who died at 27 in 1969, and the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana. Whether the band was jamming together, with their dark, swirling sound filling the room, or passing around a bottle of Maker’s Mark between tunes or even restarting a song, they were certainly hard to resist.

Tambourine player Joel Gion—who, at least from afar, resembles the love child of Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) and a member of the Village People—took the blame for the song do over, saying, “Sorry, the fuck up was my fault. I thought I had time to run to the bar.” But nobody seemed to mind. Even as the band left the stage and the lights came on, BJM fans continued to shake it to the PA music and a girl with sunglasses on twirled happily around the room. —R. Zizmor

Brian Jonestown Massacre

March 31st, 2009

Neo-psychedelic rockers Brian Jonestown Massacre, led by volatile singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Anton Newcombe, bring their no-holds-barred brand of music to Terminal 5 tomorrow night. You never know what you’ll see or hear at one of their shows. Just check out this clip from the documentary Dig! to see what we mean.

Don’t have a ticket yet? Well, you’re in luck. Eddie Bruiser is a giver—you’ll learn that about him—and he had so much fun giving away tickets to this past Sunday’s Primal Scream show, he’s giving away another 10 pairs of tickets to the Brian Jonestown Massacre show. E-mail thehouselist@bowerypresents.com, and he’ll personally select the winners.