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Music / The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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"I, I think I know how I feel
'Cause I, I only play it for real"

The Brian Jonestown Massacre are a Psychedelic Rock band formed in 1990. The whole band is basically just Anton Newcombe and friends, to the extent that The Other Wiki also uses the terms "musical project" and "collective". A compilation of recording sessions and demo tapes titled Pol Pot's Pleasure Penthouse was released at an unknown date, and has since become a popular bootleg. Their second album, Spacegirl and Other Favorites, was recorded in 1993, but not released until 1995.

Their first true album, Methodrone, was released in 1995, is a fantastic record in its own regard despite Early-Installment Weirdness. It's basically a Shoegaze record, though a highly regarded one, though it had to be Vindicated by History first due to coming off the heels of Loveless.

Their third album, Take It from the Man, released in 1996, ditched the layered guitars in favor of Garage Rock that sounds like it came straight from The '60s, with The Rolling Stones influence starting to come in; Newcombe even said, "I, Anton A. Newcombe, do solemnly swear that the ghost of Brian Jones came to me in the studio and asked me to make this record. P.S. He also asked that I kick the shit out of old Mick and Keith for ripping off his band, girl and money, having him murdered, being glad he's dead, and for not being very nice people.""

They would go on to release two more albums in 1996: Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, and Thank God for Mental Illness. The former was once again Rolling Stones influence, but rather than taking the Garage Rock of some of their early and late work, they went for the exotic instrumentation of Aftermath (Album), Between the Buttons, and Their Satanic Majesties Request and ran with it. It also contained their biggest hit and Signature Song, "Anemone". The latter, meanwhile, saw Anton show off his acoustic work, containing mostly psychedelic folk outside of the final track, the 33-minute monster "Sound of Confusion", a series of regular songs and sound collages merged into each other.

Their next album, 1997's Give It Back!, saw them combine the previous three albums into one, and notably contains the song "Not If You Were The Last Dandy on Earth", an Answer Song to The Dandy Warhols' "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth" (Itself a Take That! to the Brian Jonestown Massacre). They have since released 12 more albums, 3 EPs, a compilation, and have been featured in Dig!, a documentary capturing their love-hate relationship with the afformentioned Dandy Warhols. Their latest album, a Self-Titled Album, was released in March of 2019, though it can safely be said we could see another one in the future.

Discography (Main Releases in Bold)

  • Pol Pot's Pleasure Penthouse (1990, Bootleg Only)
  • Spacegirl and Other Favorites (Recorded 1993, Released 1995)
  • Methodrone (1995)
  • Take It From The Man (1996)
  • Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request (1996)
  • Thank God for Mental Illness (1996)
  • Give It Back! (1997)
  • Strung Out In Heaven (1998)
  • Bringing It All Back Home - Again (1999, EP)
  • Bravery, Repetition, and Noise (2001)
  • And This Is Our Music (2003)
  • Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective (2004, Compilation)
  • We Are The Radio (2005, EP)
  • My Bloody Underground (2008)
  • Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? (2010)
  • Aufheben (2012)
  • Fist Full Of Bees (2013, EP)
  • Revelation (2014)
  • Musique de Film Imaginé (2015)
  • Mini Album Thingy Wingy (2015, EP)
  • Third World Pyramid (2016)
  • Don't Get Lost (2017)
  • Something Else (2018)
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre (2019)

We don't want you to be yourself, you see, we want you to trope yourself

  • Answer Song: "Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth" is a response to The Dandy Warhols' "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth," which is widely seen as a passive-aggressive Diss Track against Newcombe, who was in the grips of a heroin addiction at the time.
  • Epic Rocking: Every album seems to have at least one example. More well-known examples include "Hyperventilation" (9:53), "Cabin Fever" (7:56), Straight Up and Down [Long Version] (11:07), "Jesus (6:30)", "Miss June '75" (7:33), "Bad Baby" (8:22), "Sound of Confusion" (33:03, their longest song), and "The Devil May Care (Mom & Dad Don't)" (6:04)
  • Free-Handed Performer: Joel Gion is a backing vocalist and the official tambourine player for the band. Outside of his ventures into minor percussions, he also plays guitar and has a discography of his own.
  • Genre Mashup: Their overall sound is basically Psychedelic Rock + Anything Anton felt like playing. While it's usually combined with Garage Rock and Folk Music, they still through the occasional curveball. Methodrone adds in Shoegaze, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? adds in Electronic Music, and Aufheben adds in Krautrock.
  • Psychedelic Rock: The band is essentially the standard bearer of the neo-psychedelic rock movement.
  • Shoegaze: On Methodrone.