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Fri 5 Sep 2008, 9:00pm

Where: Kings Arms, 59 France St, Newton, Auckland

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Related Artists:

Since the 90s, The Brian Jonestown Massacre has been making some of the most stunning music ever heard.

Named in tribute to the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist, they formed in 1990 in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, and are very much an amalgamation of that city’s past, present and future musical forces.

Some 40 different members have passed through the group’s ranks, personnel from the BRMC, The Out Crowd, The Dilettantes, the Quarter After and the Warlocks are all descended from the teeth they had cut while in the BJM; the focal point remaining as singer/guitarist/founding member Anton Newcombe.

The BJM releases to date read as a monumental encyclopedia of psychedelic music, from the Jefferson Airplane to Hawkwind, from the Rolling Stones to the Velvet Underground, alternating between superbly derivative acid rituals and devastating distortion, a la: book of the Stooge’s, but in the conext of a subdued exorcism interrupted by sudden, violent explosions.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre earned the largest profile of its career in 2004, when it became the unlikely focus of an award-winning documentary, DIG!, which charted the trials of Newcombe and those of his rival, Courtney Taylor, leader of the Dandy Warhols. A live appearance on stage together in 2006 seemingly showing that they have put the past behind them.

Whether because of ineptitude or design, the BJM differ from other psychedelic revival groups in that their approach is awkward and chaotic, closer to the ethos of the puns than to the pathos of the hippies.

The resulting music is surprisingly fresh, original and universal.

Tickets from Real Groovy, undertheradar and cheeseontoast.

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