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October 2, 2009 3:25 PM   Subscribe

Dig! Destroy The System. The entire film about the Brian Jonestown Massacre's rivalry with the Dandy Warhols (after a 30 second ad). One week only on Pitchfork TV.
posted by msalt (56 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool. Thanks, msalt. My band played with BJM shortly after this film was released. We were horrified and terrified until we showed up to the gig and realized that whats-his-face was largely a self-aggrandizing ass, but -- as they say -- mostly harmless. It was a good gig. And this is a very interesting peek behind the scenes of self-styled indie stardom. Thanks for sharing.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:32 PM on October 2, 2009


Best moment: When the car full of druggies with their drugs challenges Deep South highway patrol to search them.
posted by klangklangston at 3:33 PM on October 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Spoiler:









The Brian Jonestown Massacre's music is just terrible.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:42 PM on October 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


I've always gotten a kick out of this movie. Everyone always makes fun of it, but I thought it was better than most of the recent crop of rock documentaries.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:46 PM on October 2, 2009


Great flick, definitely worth watching.

Spoiler alert:






I can't stand the Dandy Warhols.
posted by Dr-Baa at 3:50 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


The documentary was compiled from seven years of footage, contrasting the developing careers of the bands. See also: IMDB page, with some fine quotes, like:

Courtney Taylor-Taylor: I've never seen them eat. All I've seen them do is drink liquor and snort drugs.

"I was shocked and let down when I saw the end result. Several years of our hard work was reduced at best to a series of punch-ups and mishaps taken out of context, and at worst bold faced lies and misrepresentation of fact." - Anton (I am the record company!) Alfred Newcombe of BJM
posted by filthy light thief at 4:03 PM on October 2, 2009


better than most of the recent crop of rock documentaries.
Better than 'Anvil! The story of Anvil'?!
This is a great rock flick, but I think Anvil is on another level.
BJM have made some good tunes, IMO. I particularly like one long, meandering jam called 'You look great when I'm high.'
posted by Flashman at 4:06 PM on October 2, 2009


"The Brian Jonestown Massacre's music is just terrible."

Pshh, no. "Not if you Were the Last Dandy on Earth" is fantastic; pretty much all of Give It Back is fantastic—really, if you liked the Rolling Stones song "2000 Lightyears From Home," you'll enjoy pretty much everything BJM ever did, since their whole career is just extrapolations from a very thin slice of the Rolling Stones catalog.
posted by klangklangston at 4:07 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw this on SnagFilms I think a while back and I must say there are few things more effective at making me despise these kinds of infantile "indie" "rock" "musicians." It's all about the ~scene~ and the drugs and ego, and while I guess the point of the film is to expose that in some way, I kind of wish there were more talented, dedicated musicians getting the kind of exposure these guys get simply for making their art secondary to their childish impulses and self-infatuation. Also having stupid band names.
posted by palidor at 4:09 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with klang - Newcombe's protests aside, this movie is the bedrock of his career at this point. I for one bought Give It Back as a result (and it's a great album, if you like late 60s rock.)
posted by msalt at 4:11 PM on October 2, 2009


You can also see it on Hulu. Definitely one of my favorite music documentaries.

> I can't stand the Dandy Warhols.

I've found them quite tolerable the couple of times I've briefly met them; probably a little more mature since this documentary came out in 2004. Their fawning, mirror-kissing thing seems mostly for the camera's benefit. A pop star's a pop star, I suppose, and their music's not my style, but they come off worse in the movie than in the flesh, and the "Odditorium" they built in Portland seems like a neat thing.
posted by churl at 4:12 PM on October 2, 2009


I enjoy some of BJM's music, I can tolerate the Dandy Warhols as long as I don't think about the band itself when listening, and I love BRMC.

When I first saw this film, I laughed out loud at the beginning when the guy from the Dandy Warhols is going on and on about what a genius Anton is. It's a great film about ridiculous people. I have been in bands with people who fit the same personality types as several of the film's "characters." And I'm glad that my current bands have no such characters - even if that makes it unlikely that anyone will ever make a film that starts with a gushing description of what a genius I am.
posted by The World Famous at 4:20 PM on October 2, 2009


I love this movie. Why?

1. Joel Gion, the Bez of BJM.
2. DWs and BJM make pretty good psychedelic rock, if a little lethargic.
3. Pretty much everyone in this movie acts like some kind of asshole and very few of them seem to be aware of such (Peter Holmstrom comes off as an ok guy, but otherwise the cast of this movie are all near the top of my list of "People I'd never want to be trapped with in an elevator.")
4. "You fucking broke my sitar!"
posted by Monsters at 4:23 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


DrJimmy11 - If we ever meet at a CD swap, can you look the other way.
posted by a non e mouse at 4:28 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've never seen this movie, but my reaction to it has always been, "A documentary about a seemingly meaningless rivalry between two fairly talented but pretty forgettable scene bands? One where everyone acts like a complete dick and there are seemingly no characters I won't want to punch in the throat? And I'm supposed to somehow care?" Which is why I haven't seen it.

I'd rather not be so dismissive of some documentarian's work, but then, my complete lack of giving a shit about the subject matter keeps coming back. Can someone give me a good reason why I would actually enjoy this?

Not trying to be a big snarkyopteryx here. I'd honestly like to know whether/why watching this movie would be worth my time.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:31 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hifiparasol, the only reason I can think of is schadenfreude.
posted by dobie at 4:39 PM on October 2, 2009


Did they used to be friends?

A long time ago?
posted by adipocere at 4:39 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd rather not be so dismissive of some documentarian's work, but then, my complete lack of giving a shit about the subject matter keeps coming back. Can someone give me a good reason why I would actually enjoy this?

Because often the most interesting documentaries are the ones about stuff that you never thought you could possibly care about. Seriously.

I didn't care about either band before I saw it, and I don't care about either band after I saw it. But I really liked the film. If you see many movies, it's likely that you have enjoyed plenty of movies about people and subjects that you really didn't care much about. I mean, heist movies, for example, or westerns? If you like them, is it because you really care about crime or the old west?
posted by The World Famous at 4:40 PM on October 2, 2009


"I'd rather not be so dismissive of some documentarian's work, but then, my complete lack of giving a shit about the subject matter keeps coming back. Can someone give me a good reason why I would actually enjoy this?"

It has more unintentional hilarity per minute than most Ed Wood movies, and a better soundtrack to boot.
posted by klangklangston at 4:41 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I think crime and Westward Expansion are pretty interesting subjects overall. Which is why they're such fertile ground for good narratives.

I take your point here, though: I didn't care about either band before I saw it, and I don't care about either band after I saw it. But I really liked the film. If someone who also doesn't give a shit tells me it's a good movie anyway, that's good enough for me. I guess I always perceived the discussion about and presentation of this movie to carry the implication that these are somehow important or influential bands, and that turned me off.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:55 PM on October 2, 2009


The fact that the bands aren't really all that good is actually one of the things that makes the movie interesting - particularly in the context of the giant egos at play.
posted by The World Famous at 5:03 PM on October 2, 2009


Spoiler alert:









You get to see Zia McCabe's breasts.
posted by sourwookie at 5:22 PM on October 2, 2009


As I said after I watched the film - "I think I am now more a fan of Courtney Taylor-Taylor-Tim-Brooke-Taylor-Taylor and less a fan of Anton". That guy just comes off as a 'I'll never sell out, even to the point of sabotaging my own career to make sure it never happens' jackass, whereas that Dandys said, straight out "Yeah, we like money".

And I appreciate their honesty.
posted by cerulgalactus at 5:24 PM on October 2, 2009


Super-Sonic is the best song that the BJM ever did.

The Dandys should have packed it in after Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia.
posted by chillmost at 5:29 PM on October 2, 2009


Spoiler alert:













The Dandy Warhols are one of the greatest bands ever in American music. BJM is great also, but for sheer time-stoppage and Jane's Addiction-level groove, the Dandies are the shit.

This movie is fun to watch, as silly as it gets. I've never been disappointed by any record the Dandies ever put out.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:58 PM on October 2, 2009


I didn't care about either band before I saw it, and I don't care about either band after I saw it. But I really liked the film.

This. Terrific movie about two men, each of whom thinks the other is kind of an asshole, but each sort of wishes he could be the other, for reasons he isn't capable of articulating -- partially because of the particular assholish qualities envied by the other...

I liked this movie so much that I went to see the Dandy Warhols here in Madison despite not really knowing any of their music, and you know what? I wasn't disappointed.
posted by escabeche at 6:09 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


See this movie. I saw it at the Atlanta film festival in 2004, and while I went in all ready to snark at the dipshit bands, I came out enjoying it just as much as anyone else in the packed theater. And I still remember it to this day.

Of course, the hipster infestation in the theater would have liked it no matter what, but it really is an interesting doc. You can see how musicians who stay sober and businesslike and know how to work the machine can be hugely successful, and those who really are living the rock and roll lifestyle actually crash and burn and just end up looking like they're stuck in their own little navel-gazing world. Talent plays into it not so much.

IMDB reviews
posted by intermod at 6:19 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Spoiler Aler:








Your favorite band suuuuuucks.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:55 PM on October 2, 2009


musicians who stay sober and businesslike and know how to work the machine can be hugely successful, and those who really are living the rock and roll lifestyle actually crash and burn and just end up looking like they're stuck in their own little navel-gazing world.

This! Intermod nailed it. Courtney and Anton seem to genuinely have moments of loathing for one another one another (Courtney hates Anton's junkiedom, Anton hates Courtney's commercial success) yet each seems to want to be the other.
posted by Monsters at 6:59 PM on October 2, 2009


Your favorite band sucks, and sometimes acknowledges that it sucks compared to another band that also sucks and of whom they are oddly jealous due to perceived artistic credibility, mediocre commercial success, or some combination of the two. Also, there's a guy in your favorite band who doesn't really do anything but stand on stage and try to look cool, and he's a lot nicer guy than the musical "genius" behind the band's music.
posted by The World Famous at 7:08 PM on October 2, 2009


Spoiler alert:


There is no band called the Brian Jamestown Massacre.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:08 PM on October 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: stuff that you never thought you could possibly care about. Seriously.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 8:49 PM on October 2, 2009


Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple is a pretty stellar documentary. And Dig! is good also.
posted by BoatMeme at 8:59 PM on October 2, 2009


It's really just the Scott Stapp/311 thing but with less money.

But it's funny how hipster never think they'll hit 30.
posted by bardic at 11:42 PM on October 2, 2009


Terrific movie about two men, each of whom thinks the other is kind of an asshole, but each sort of wishes he could be the other, for reasons he isn't capable of articulating -- partially because of the particular assholish qualities envied by the other...

so it's like a Brokeback Mountain for hipsters?
posted by mannequito at 1:37 AM on October 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


You fucking broke my sitar, motherfucker!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:56 AM on October 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


All I remember of this film is the idiocy and when he boots that audience member in the face.
posted by tapeguy at 2:37 AM on October 3, 2009


I just remember the guy in BJM whose job was just to play tambourine. He didn't even sing back-up vocals...just tambourine.

Is it wrong that this movie made me nostalgic for the nineties? That is to say, the part of the nineties that I experienced by being an early adolescent who watched too much MTV?
posted by HeroZero at 5:09 AM on October 3, 2009


Why should I watch this?
It's a good rock flick in general, but it also contains two of the funniest moments in the history of rockumentary - the "he broke my sitar" moment, and Anton on skates.
posted by johnny novak at 5:17 AM on October 3, 2009


"I took my boss, the head of the A&R department, to a show in Los Angeles that we set up especially for her, so she could witness them and see, we wanted to put megadollars behind them, and it was the biggest disaster I've ever witnessed." -- Nina Ritter, A&R Los Angeles

An event coordinated to get Anton Newcomb paid in a big way, instead turns into epic meltdown. This is why this doc is amazing.
posted by waraw at 7:46 AM on October 3, 2009


There is an amazing scene in the video, which they claim is the night they were being courted by 8 music execs at a club, and the band is on high anxiety and then control freak Anton gets into a fight onstage with his band mates and ruins everything, so they say afterwards. True or not, I recommend the film, and the music, because the film speaks for itself and doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is, and the music is a fresh retrospect based on the Velvet Underground and Donovanesque influences that was widely ignored until the movie came out.

Perhaps the tag could be changed to the band's proper name.
posted by Brian B. at 9:58 AM on October 3, 2009


a big snarkyopteryx

an invasive, fast-breeding beast native to the Mefi Islands.
posted by The Whelk at 10:00 AM on October 3, 2009


Does it make me old, that I can watch a bunch of people snorting lines of coke and have no desire to do any myself, or does it just make me responsible? Or both?
posted by dortmunder at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2009


I loved David LaChappelle's documentary Rize (my review here), but I gotta agree with the Dandys; I think the Junkie video looked like ass.

And does that French cop technique of asking Where is your secret box where you smoke cocaine? really work?

Enjoyed Dig!. Still holding out for Joel Gion's megastardom.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2009


Yeah, the camera loves Gion, doesn't it?
posted by msalt at 11:52 AM on October 3, 2009


I'm four minutes in and this is already starting to seem like a mockumentary.

"Genesis P'orridge, Psychic TV"
"Anton, to me, is... the best... sixties revivalist... there has been since the sixties."
posted by decagon at 2:00 PM on October 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the camera loves Gion, doesn't it?

Hands down, best tambourine player EVAR!

Davey Jones, Suzanne Crough (a.k.a. Tracy Partridge), Betty Cooper, Stevie Nicks, they got nothing on J to tha G!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:06 PM on October 3, 2009


I loved David LaChappelle's documentary Rize

I saw that one in theaters twice during the 2005 Atlanta film festival. First by myself and again when I dragged my wife to it. Huge crowd response (director and other principals were there).

I'd forgotten about Joel Gion, he was memorable indeed.
posted by intermod at 8:35 PM on October 3, 2009


"A documentary about a seemingly meaningless rivalry between two fairly talented but pretty forgettable scene bands? One where everyone acts like a complete dick and there are seemingly no characters I won't want to punch in the throat? And I'm supposed to somehow care?"

For those of you who wonder why some of us don't really watch television - just change a word or two in this and you'll pretty much have it.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:57 PM on October 3, 2009


I've never paid any attention to either BJM or the DW until watching this. Joel Gion was definitely the best thing about the movie -- he's like the anti-flapjax-at-midnight.

How does one even *get* the gig as non-singing, out-of-time maracas player in a rock and roll band? Does it pay wages, or do you just get paid in cocaine?

Either way, I think I've missed my calling.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:34 AM on October 4, 2009


After watching the film I can only remember bothering to do a 'where are they now?' wikipedia search on Joel..
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:37 AM on October 4, 2009


I saw them recently here in Australia - Joel Gion is back with Anton. They had to pull him off stage after the band encored - it was one of the better gigs I have ever seen, and tight (the quality of which, is done no favours in this doco).

Here's the video from their Metro gig (I went to the Factory gig - which I believe was the better one).
posted by a non e mouse at 5:15 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh and here's the Dandy Warhols at the same venue - gotta love the interwebs.
posted by a non e mouse at 5:25 AM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


awesome movie. this is what i did this weekend.
posted by glaucon at 8:52 AM on October 5, 2009


How does one even *get* the gig as non-singing, out-of-time maracas player in a rock and roll band? Does it pay wages, or do you just get paid in cocaine?

See Bez for template.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:56 AM on October 5, 2009


How does one even *get* the gig as non-singing, out-of-time maracas player in a rock and roll band? Does it pay wages, or do you just get paid in cocaine?

See Bez for template.


Ben Carr is an even better example, I think. He doesn't sing or play any instrument - not even maracas or tambourine. He just dances on stage with the band.
posted by The World Famous at 9:42 AM on October 5, 2009


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