Saturday, October 9th, 2004
Bands, Those Funny Little Plans That Never Work Quite Right
When I got up yesterday morning, I knew pretty much nothing of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and I knew that I didn’t like The Dandy Warhols. After seeing Dig! last night, I know that BJM mastermind Anton Newcombe is a total nutbar and I really don’t like the Dandy Warhols. The documentary film follows the two bands over the course of seven years, tracking them from total obscurity to world stardom, in the case of the Dandys, and cult obscurity, in the case of the Massacre. The Dandy Warhols come off as the epitome of vacuous fashion victims, eager – even desperate – to play the major label game to and make a grab for that brass ring. It’s especially surprising considering that Dandy’s frontman Courtney Taylor acts as the film’s narrator and doesn’t seem at all self conscious about being cast as the artistically bankrupt but commercially successful foil. In contrast, the BJM are portrayed as constantly teetering on the edge of self-immolation, despite Newcombe’s acknowledged musical brilliance. Particularly entertaining was Newcombe’s decision to start a public feud with the Dandy’s for publicity purposes without actually informing the other band of his plan. At one point, he sends each of the Dandy Warhols shotgun shells with their names on them. They got restraining orders. Regardless of the original intent, the film is pretty much a documentary on Newcombe, and understandably so – he’s utterly fascinating to watch, with his rages, rants and generally over-the-top behaviour. Not surprisingly, Newcombe disavows the film and the way he’s portrayed in the film, and while he probably has a fair point about context, the video doesn’t lie. But if you want to see for yourself, the Brian Jonestown Massacre is at Lee’s Palace on October 31.
Columbus Alive talk to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab about why The Photo Album didn’t work, why Transatlanticism does and the inevitability of losing their fanbase by growing their fanbase. From Donewaiting.
So I suppose I should make the formal announcement that Lake Holiday is no more. In what may have been the most painless and amicable band dissolution ever, it was mutually decided that in addition to numerous practical and logistical hurdles, the spark had dwindled in the last few months and that it was probably time to move on. The record will still be coming out eventually in some form and there may be a performance to celebrate it, but as an ongoing concern and in anything resembling its current incarnation, after almost three years, Lake Holiday is done. I’m obviously saddened by all this, but you know what they say about doors closing and windows opening and all that jazz. Thanks to everyone who’s supported us over the duration, it was really appreciated.
So what next? Well, I need a band. I’ve still got the rehearsal space and would like an excuse to hold onto it, which basically means needing people to play with. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll go about that – it took me such a long time to find this band, I’m not especially looking forward to it. It’s like I have to dust off my musical resume and go applying for jobs, or starting to date again after a divorce. On the other hand, the idea of maybe trying something new with different musicians is appealing. I’ll have to take a little time and figure out what I want to do, and then we’ll see what happens… Psst – if anyone in the Toronto area is looking for a guitarist with modest abilities and a pretty eclectic range of interests and influences, drop me a line. Thanks.
Wilco tonight! That should recharge my creative batteries…
np – American Music Club / Love Songs For Patriots