Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I remember first learning about this film about five or six years ago, when I met the filmmakers at a Dandy Warhols show at the Bottom of the Hill. I had no idea it was still a viable project, but apparently it's not only viable all these years later, the documentary won the 2004 Sundance Grand Jury Prize!

To quote the movie website's [Flash] synopsis: "Dig! is the feature-length documentary shot over seven years about musicians Anton Newcombe, leader of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Courtney Taylor, head of The Dandy Warhols, star crossed friends and bitter rivals. From the moment they met, The Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre quickly bonded over a desire to not conform to the tastes of the recording industry. Yet, the bands' choices over how to express their creativity and originality in a profit-driven industry eventually put them at irreconcilable odds..."

To quote from the Brian Jonestown Massacre website: "Anton Newcombe does not support� the recently screened documentary film 'DIG!'�in its currently edited form.�He feels strongly that the 'Jerry Springer-esque' vilification of his nature is an inappropriate, mis contextualized,� and exploitative use of the footage..."

I remember one of the top two or three shows of my life (and I've seen hundreds of bands) being a Dandys and Jonestown double bill at the Great American Music Hall in maybe 1997 or 1998, when both bands were just sooo on. And at one point in the show it seemed as if Anton was channeling Jim Morrison. It was a truly awesome show. And all this without the use of any subtances! (Me, that is -- knowing these two bands, I can guarantee they were using plenty.)

BJM was always a highly volatile group. This was in clear evidence every instance I saw them. They'd erupt into in-band fighting literally during a performance, even in the middle of playing a song. I'm surprised they lasted as long as they have, frankly.

The Dandys were my favorite band for years, and I photographed them almost every time they came to the Bay Area, from Santa Cruz to San Francisco (I even have some video footage around here somewhere). Their last two albums, however, left me a little cold. While they had a few fine moments, they just didn't capture the same vibe for me that "The Dandy Warhols TV Theme Song" (5 stars in my iTunes) did all those years ago. It was one of only two songs I've actually called in to a radio station to request in the past 13 years. I mean, seriously, any song whose guitar solo is comprised entirely of feedback and whose lyrics are complete nonsense has to be the greatest song ever!

Anyway, it'll be great to see two of my favorite bands in Dig!

Ynnej will want to see this film, if only because of Peter Holmstrom, whose photo she had on her dormroom door last March.

It opens in SF and Berkeley on October 8. Wanna go?

Here's the trailer [QuickTime]...


Blogger ynnej said...

Jesus, how long did it take you to track down that link?

And yes, we should go, but don't forget that on October 5th we're going up to the city to see Supergrass.

9/17/2004 08:31:00 PM

Blogger espd said...

re: "Jesus, how long did it take you to track down that link?"Maybe 3 minutes. That's what Google's advanced search page is for ;)

See what I did here.

And don't call me Jesus.

9/20/2004 06:15:00 PM


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