January 28, 2005

Dig!

Anton Newcombe is insane. This is the basic point of Dig! Anton is also probably a genius, and you get enough samples of his music to think this is true. But in this documentary you see enough of his insanity, that you decide that you'll take your chances with other geniuses, thank you. Anton fronts a band called The Brian Jonestown Massacre. "Massacre" is a good word, given how his performances tended to come off. The only times this documentary shows Anton on stage, he's usually trying to beat the shit out a band member, or is swinging his mikestand at somebody in the crowd.

The boy has issues.

Single mom. Alcoholic father. Who committed suicide on Anton's birthday.

Oh yeah, there's this other band in the movie. The lead singer, Courtney Taylor- Taylor, narrates the doc. The Dandy Warhols.

This film is quite special. It's a roughly seven year chronicle of the two bands and the paths they took to get where they went. The divurgent paths and how they twist off in different directions is fascinating.

The Dandy's play music that is not challenging. Basic nice new wavey preppy pop stuff. And they are pretty sane in their approach. They don't have an easy go of it, but experience a remarkable popularity in Europe and wind up having a pretty good time.

Brian Jonestown Massacre, which goes as Anton Newcombe goes, conversely winds up basically in the gutter. In watching the film you don't doubt that Anton is far more talented than Courtney, but you also have no problem understanding why they are in their respective positions. Anton writes great songs, when he's not leaving toothmarks in the thigh of his bassplayer.

Anybody remotely interested in the music industry, and who is unafraid of its nasty side, should watch this. There are parts of this that will make you want to jump out the window, but overall it's great.

Posted by Wayne at January 28, 2005 06:33 PM
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