Thursday, May 3, 2012

Over at Emo's, the Brian Jonestown Massacre closed out a lengthy festival with an appropriately lengthy set: two hours and fifteen minutes long, actually. The BJM have a well-documented history of inter-band dysfunction; founder, principal songwriter and feverish proselytizer Anton Newcombe has been the only constant member since the early 90s. And so it was a pleasant surprise that the lineup responsible for the band's best work was accounted for at Psych Fest: guitarists Matt Hollywood and Frankie Emerson, and totemic tambourinist Joel Gion were among the approximately ten members on stage. We were treated to several of Newcombe's trademark rants (I stopped counting at nine), inveighing against all manner of slimy iterations of The Man. But more importantly, we got a whopping dose of the BJM's pastiche of the Stones and the Byrds and Dylan and shoegaze and freakbeat and, yes, warm Californian psychedelia. A set that revived aspects of a lot of what came before during the festival, which was fitting, because the Brian Jonestown Massacre are essentially a revivalist rock and roll circus. It was a proper end to a fun, exhausting weekend.

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