what a gyp

Well, pawing through the OnDemand to see what there is to see, we settled on Dig! Man. Well, the movie was interesting enough, and actually kind of fun… but the people? Good gosh. It is a documentary about the relationship between the Dandy Warhol’s and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the bands leaders Courtney Taylor-Taylor (ummm…) and Anton Newcombe and the success or lack thereof that these bands had. The movie spans 7 years and I couldn’t tell if it was one coherent piece or if these bands had been making home movies for years and someone put bits of them together. Regardless, I had of course heard of both bands, but I hadn’t ever paid them much mind. The BJM I always though had a fun name and I’d see their records around but I didn’t know anything else about them. The Dandies well, I never heard them (maybe in an ad once) but I imagined them to be some more run-of-the-mill poppy indie rock hipsters. Some of my imaginings turned out true, but I had some things to learn.

BJM are nothing like the punkrock/garagerawk band I had imagined, instead being an irritating wanna-be 60’s band who seem to revel in their originality, though to me it seems like they just get high and pump out some pastiche of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Doors (christ, even including a near reenactment of the Beatles “Sitar lesson” photos). They go through these motions until their frustrations (maybe due to trying too hard at genius) lead to fistfights, yelling and walkouts. Maybe I shouldn’t blame the whole band, as they were led by the most gratuitously lame “I think I’m Jim Morrison” dud named Anton, who, sadly for him, is not Jim. The movie is basically about what a loser and an ass he is, being contrary, “crazy” and picking fights with anyone he can. For two hours that’s what the movie is about. On the other hand, the Dandies are basically some reasonably normal folks who decided to get a band together and try for some success. It’s kind of regular, but fun, pop rock. At one point they reminded me of a less-edgy version of The Breeders, that felt strange when one of the Deals made an appearance in the movie. And funny enough, Genesis P-Orridge is all over this movie.

But though most of the characters are either a bit boring and full of themselves or irritating and full of themselves, watching them go through their two, very different, takes on the “cool rockstar” life is pretty entertaining. it is a strange and awkward friendship between the two with Courtney finding Anton to be inspiring and Anton so terribly jealous of Courtney that you almost feel bad for him. While the Dandies are in the background working towards getting what success they could, in the foreground is always Anton doing one dull “look how different and self-destructive I’m am!” routine after another. It is an interesting comparison between the “right” (well, sort of commercially right) and the wrong (in pretty much every sense) way to run a band. But the old “look how nutty I am” thing went out of style the first time I saw one of Manson’s parole hearings. And the ridiculous song and dance that seem to be the dopey antics of these types of free-wheeling musician hipsters gets stale with me pretty quick. Thirty year olds who shoot up all the time, dress in terrible old fashions that looked ugly even when they were originally in style and act like they are still in junior high smoking weed behind the gymnasium are a tiresome lot. Of course, as I am still a sucker for this town in some ways, I did enjoy the footage of Portland



 

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