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Monday, May 31, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Brian Jonestown Massacre

Posted By on Mon, May 31, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Think the one dude will be a dick onstage?
  • Think the one dude will be a dick onstage?

Over the past decade and a half, singer Anton Newcombe and his revolving door of acid cases in the Brian Jonestown Massacre have sculpted a cool indie career and a loyal fan base that hews slightly above cult status. They simultaneously look backward (to the Rolling Stones’ sonic tripping of the late ’60s), less backward (to ’80s psych-gazers like Echo and the Bunnymen and the Church), and forward (as a low-fi band with boundless ambition, balls, confidence, and wild-eyed creative ability). Brian Jonestown Massacre’s early outings ran the gamut from shoegaze and garage rock to straight psychedelia, twangy acid blues, and increasingly expansive cinematic soundscapes, with each evolutionary notch clearly defined by Newcombe’s unhinged brilliance. On their newest album, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, Newcombe and the latest version the band combine their love for psychedelic exploration with their recent filmic perspective, while adding a new sonic wrinkle: a contemporary trance/techno pulse. Like most of Newcombe’s musical hybrids, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? isn’t merely a new idea tacked onto the front of an old structure, but a fascinating blend of stylistic directions that expands Brian Jonestown Massacre’s range while retaining a consistent identity. It’s further evidence of Newcombe’s ability to incorporate new sounds into his existing sonic profile and to produce a new yet familiar musical experience. Brian Jonestown Massacre, with Elephant Stone, play the Beachland Ballroom at 9 p.m. Tickets: $18 advance, $20 day of show. —Brian Baker

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