Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fantastic Film: Dig!

Yesterday I watched two fantastic movies and I don't think they could have been any more different.

First movie: a co-worker had lent me the dvd Dig! - which is a 2004 documentary of the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre - following them over a 7 year period during the 90s. It chronicles how the Dandies get signed to a major label, have huge success in Europe and mild success in the US (though to me I thought they were 'huge' in my circle of friends). Conversely, it also chronicles how BJM basically implodes on itself and never gets signed to a major label mostly because of Anton's erratic behavior, inability to compromise, and drug abuse. Which is heartbreaking because he truly is an amazing artist.

I've always like the Dandy Warhols (started listening in '96 or '97 - first album I bought from them was 'Dandy Warhols Come Down'), but I hadn't heard of the BJM - although watching the movie I realized I had actually heard some of their songs before. What a fantastic film.

And WOW BJM was a messed up band - although Anton Newcombe is just so amazingly talented. It's a bit sad they never had more commercial success. I checked the website and he's selling all the previous albums for $10 a piece. I think I may have to pick up a few.

I felt that Courtney Taylor-Taylor was a bit full of himself and clearly he is jealous (and in awe) of how creative Anton was/is. On the other hand Anton was so obsessed with making a statement and not bowing to the music industry that it seemed like he sabotaged his own potential success by doing insane things when he KNEW record execs were watching. Yet he was always jealous of the commercial success of Courtney and the Dandy Warhols. Success he probably could have achieved had he behaved just once during a live show.

I find it amazing the amount of drug these people did and still manage to function at all, nevermind write songs and perform them on a regular basis. I assumed I was going to find out some of the folks from BJM had OD'd but they were all still alive during the interviews in 2004 after the release of the film. Namely Joel Gion - super likable, but I was convinced that guy must have not made it because he seemed really high all the time (watching the film I kept expecting him to fall over on stage and pass out, but it never happened) - now he's working at my favorite west coast record store: Amoeba Records on Haight St. and in the band The Dilettantes.

Anyway - I loved this movie and the music. I felt like I really got to know the people in the bands. And WOW never realized before how HOT Peter Holmström from the Dandies is! I watched almost all the additional footage (deleted scenes, interviews after the screening of the film, videos etc) on a 2nd dvd. Great stuff!

Second movie: (and now I'm regretting putting both of these films in one post as it's getting rather lengthly). Ok I need to just make a new post for this...

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