The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Public On sale: Fri. November 19th @ 10am
All attendees will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event OR proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for entry. Negative tests must be lab-administered; at-home tests are not accepted. Full vaccination means 14 days or more have passed since the attendee has received a single-dose vaccine or the second dose in a two-dose series. Acceptable vaccination documentation may be a physical copy of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, a digital copy of such card or such other proof as is permitted locally. More info: https://www.majesticdetroit.com/theatre-health-policy/
Named in tribute to the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist and his influence in introducing Eastern culture and music into the world of Western rock & roll, the Brian Jonestown Massacre formed in San Francisco, California in 1990. Some 40 different members passed through the group's ranks over the next half-decade, but the focal point always remained singer/guitarist Anton Newcombe, who, along with bassist Matt Hollywood, guitarist Dean Taylor, organist Mara Regal, accordionist Dawn Thomas, drummer Brian Glaze, and "Spokesman for the Revolution" Joel Gion, recorded the Massacre's 1995 shoegaze-influenced debut LP, Methodrone. A collection of early recordings, Spacegirl and Other Favorites, followed on the band's own Tangible label in early 1996, and was the first of four Brian Jonestown Massacre LPs to appear that year; next up was the brilliant Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, a full-blown homage to the Stones' glorious psychedelic-era excesses. Recorded live in the studio, the grittier Take It from the Man! found the band exploring even broader territory. Finally, the year ended with the release of Thank God for Mental Illness, a showcase for their strong country and blues leanings.
In 1997, the BJM -- now consisting of Newcombe, Hollywood, Gion, Taylor, guitarists Jeff Davies and Peter Hayes, and drummer Brad Artley -- resurfaced with Give It Back! After signing to TVT, they released Strung Out in Heaven the following year, but the band and Newcombe's own eccentricities kept them from staying on the label. After a few scattered EPs, they resurfaced in 2001 with Bravery Repetition and Noise, distributed by Bomp. And This Is Our Music followed in 2003. Despite a continued lack of major distribution, the Brian Jonestown Massacre earned the largest profile of their career in 2004, when the band became the unlikely focus of an award-winning documentary, DIG!, which charted the trials of Newcombe and those of his rival, Courtney Taylor, leader of the Dandy Warhols. The We Are the Radio EP followed in August 2005. Three years later, the band reinvented itself with My Bloody Underground, featuring yet another lineup and a hint of shoegaze and noise pop. Who Killed Sgt Pepper? followed shortly thereafter, being made available in streaming format at the end of 2009 and receiving an official release on January 1, 2010.
By this time, DIG! was fast becoming a cult classic, and even though the lineup had changed many times over since the movie premiere, Brian Jonestown were as popular as ever. In 2012, Newcombe announced that he and Matt Hollywood would be teaming up again to record what he considered his most cinematic record, Aufheben, scheduled for release that May. In 2014, the project's 14th full-length album, Revelation, materialized, featuring tracks toiled over in Newcombe's Berlin studio between 2012 and 2014. In 2015, Newcombe returned to the themes of Aufheben with Musique de Film Imaginé, a collection of soundtrack cues for a nonexistent movie, inspired by his love of classic French cinema. A seven-song collection of new, more rock-based material arrived later that year under the amusing title of Mini Album Thingy Wingy. Ever prolific, Newcombe and his collaborators returned first in October 2016 with the lush psych-shogaze LP Third World Pyramid, followed four months later by Don't Get Lost, their 16th album overall. ~ Jason Ankeny
Join Jonathan and Grasshopper as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of 'Deserter's Songs'.
An intimate, acoustic evening featuring many of the stories and songs surrounding the Mercury Rev’s heartbreaking 1998 classic ‘Deserter’s Songs’.
Performed in the fragile ‘whisper and strum’ way they were originally written, this promises to be an extraordinary glimpse into the forces that nearly destroyed a band and the strange events leading toward a most unexpected return.
Personal statement from Jonathan Donahue:
“By the time we began to surface following the destruction of the mid 90’s there was no longer anyone of the band ‘in the band’. It felt as though Grasshopper and I were just these two see-through phantoms banging around at night in my attic, bumping into a melody here and there, strumming on the last of my guitars not in hock, pressing pray and record on the old 8 Track reel to reel.
We had no management, no label, no money and to be completely honest, no one clamoring for a new Rev album anywhere in the world. In fact, on the 2″ tapes during the late recordings Dave Fridmann didn’t write Mercury Rev and instead he used the name Harmony Rockets, a recent experimental side project of ours. The way we saw it, Deserter’s wasn’t going to be our next album… it was going to be our last. And likely only released on cassette to our friends… In fact, the only copy i’ve kept of Deserter’s Songs from that time is on cassette.
If anything, these upcoming live shows are by far the closest in spirit and nature to the original writing of that time. Near silent, apprehensive, fragile to the point of ‘touch it and it turns to dust’. So full of self-doubt. The melancholy many hear on the album went in to album from the start, maybe long before it. Like from a mother to her unborn child, sadness and bewilderment just poured out us and into the album like an open cup.”