by Brian Baker
Posted In: Reviews
at 12:51 PM | Permalink
Anton Newcombe is one of the rare people about whom an old maxim is absolutely true — if he didn’t exist, someone would have to invent him. Newcombe is a musical shaman, an acid casualty, a shrewd media manipulator and a conductor of immeasurable skill, a sonic conjurer who fearlessly channels eras, styles and influences with the scientific magic of an alchemist. Under the rotating auspices of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Newcombe has dabbled in Psychedelia, acid washed Blues, Garage Rock, fuzzy Shoegaze and various permutations thereof, all with an increasing fascination in widening his focus to cinemascopic proportions.The last BJM album, 2010’s Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, added elements of Trance and Techno to the repertoire, but Newcombe’s latest set, Aufheben (an excellent title to highlight Newcombe's creative schizophrenia; in its German translation, the word can mean, depending on context, to either abolish or preserve), largely abandons that contemporary device for a return to his most potent reference points, namely the mid- to late ’60s, when The Rolling Stones experimented on ephemera like “2000 Light Years from Home,” The Doors reimagined Rock with “The End,” Folk ingested mushrooms and harpsichords and sitars roamed the earth. Newcombe and this year’s BJM model are particularly focused on the middle Eastern bong hits of “Panic in Babylon,” the swirling Psych lollipop of “I Want to Hold Your Other Hand” and the love-and-Haight echo jam of “The Clouds Are Lies.” Newcombe and BJM offer a slight return to the present with the album’s atmospheric closer, the seven minute Psych-meets-Chamber-Dance-Pop smoke ring of “Blue Order/New Monday,” but for the majority of Aufheben, the trip, aurally and physically, is most definitely the thing.
0 Comments · Friday, March 5, 2010
John Hiatt has been pursuing his Roots Rock direction for so long now it's sometimes difficult to remember that he started off in a Folk/Pop vein in the early '70s, which morphed into a tough/tender New Wave angle later in the decade and into the '80s. But like any decent gunslinger, Hiatt never forgets how many bullets he has left, and his chambers are packed full on 'The Open Road,' the 19th studio album of his long and storied career.
Aug. 30 • Northside Tavern
0 Comments · Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Jim Morrison said it 40-plus years ago, and it might well still be true: The West is the best. There's more than a hint of The Doors' dark poetic vision in the work of Spindrift, the latest projectors of dreamy, psychedelic, cinematic L.A. soundscapes, but that's certainly not the only weapon in the band's formidable sonic arsenal.