Last weekend I was able to catch a couple of viewings of Dig!, the Sundance award winning documentary covering the love/hate relationship of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Based on what I had read about the film, I was surprised the movie comprises a much larger portion of time covering BJM than the Dandys. Narrated by Courtney Taylor (it appears?he's dropped the second Taylor) of the 'Warhols, the movie focuses on taking a close look at the mad genius that is Anton Newcombe. The footage of the 'Massacre pulls you in from the start as you fasten yourself onto a 1960s charged rollercoaster ride following the BJMís attempts to break in America. Fights on and off stage, paired with extracurricular drug activities and bad karma spoil any chances of the band making it, minus a brief shimmer of hope when TVTís Adam Shore signs them to a deal.
The coverage of the 'Warhols seems to serve mainly as intervals to catch your breath as you wait to return to see what Anton is up to next. The Dandys come across as well-adjusted musicians that have succeeded in building a long-term career driven mainly from overseas success as their major label experience in the States leads to more frustration than fame.
BJMís Joel Gion provides a large dose of the filmís humor. Joel is seen with more sunglasses than the population of Venice Beach on a Saturday, as he and Matt Hollywood represent the ying to Antonís fragile yang. The film culminates with the train wreck of Anton going to jail. At the same time you canít help but feel sympathy for the strong-willed frontman. The bandís luck seems to come to those people who depart, as members have gone on to found BRMC, The Warlocks, The Out Crowd, and other ¸ber hip West Coast outfits.
?Although Anton has openly denounced his portrayal in the film, it is a must-see and may help give Anton the exposure to be discovered by the audience he should have always had.? Dig! opens October 1st.