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Formed: 1990 in San Francisco, CA
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, CA, in 1990. Some 40 different members passed through the group's ranks over the next half-decade, but their 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 "Spokesperson for the Revolution" Joel Gion, recorded the Massacre's 1995 shoegazer-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 strong country and blues leanings.
In 1997, the BJM -- now consisting of Newcombe, Hollywood, Gion, Taylor, 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'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, Anton Newcombe reinvented the band as he had obtained all the releases of his past albums & formed his own label, 'a' Recordings. His first new album on this label was 'My Bloody Underground,' featuring yet another lineup and a hint of shoegaze and noise pop. 'Who Killed Sgt Pepper?' followed shortly after, being made available in streaming format at the end of 2009 and receiving an official release on February 27th, 2010.
The band have toured throughout the years Australasia , Japan , North America & Europe. In 2010 they finished a 16-week world tour which ended in June 2010.
In late 2010, Anton Newcombe found premises for a studio in Berlin & proceeded to work on building the studio. The band released a 2CD compilation of their single releases in August 2011, which has been released worldwide.
In June 2011, Anton Newcombe was awarded the ASCAP (American Society Of Composers, Authors & Publishers) Film & Television Award for writing the theme tune to "Boardwalk Empire" (an HBO TV Series produced by Martin Scorsese).
In 2012, the band released their 13th full length album 'Aufheben' with tours in Australia, the USA & Europe.
2014 meant touring this time with shows on the West Coast of the USA then a 3-month tour of Europe and the UK. This tour coincided with the release of 'Revelation,' the band's 13th album. Following shortly thereafter Newcombe wrote, produced and recorded the album 'Musique de Film Imagine,' inspired in many ways by the films of Serge Gainsborough, to critical acclaim in Europe, The UK and the US of A.
In November 2015 the BJM once more toured Australia with the show in Melbourne being the closing show of The Melbourne Music Week at The Melbourne Town Hall with participating musicians Deborrah "Moogy" Morgan, vocals on two tracks from 'Musicque du Film Imagine,' along with Matt Sigley from The Lovetones on Keys and vocals and last but not least Ollie McGill from Cat Empire playing the 100 pipe grand organ. In addition the band performed 4 shows in New Zealand.
Newcombe has recently finished the soundtrack for the Phillip John-directed feature length movie 'Moon Dogs,' set in the islands off Scotland.
May 2016 has the band playing a month of shows in the US of A and Canada, and returning to Europe in the summer for a series of concerts. The current band consists of Anton Newcombe, Joel Gion, Enrique Maymi, Rob Campanella, Dan Allaire, Collin Hegna and Ryan Van Kreidt.
MERCURY REV was formed in Buffalo, New York in the late 1980's. Consistently driven by Jonathan Donahue (vocalist/acoustic guitar), Grasshopper (moth-light guitars, clarinet, tettix wave accumulator), Jeff Mercel (drums, piano, keyboards) with Dave Fridmann (bass explore, telescope, knob twiddler), Mercury Rev have continued to surprise and enlighten listeners for over a decade and a half with their maverick musical explorations. In the beginning, MERCURY REV's first recordings emerged simply as a means for creating soundtracks to experimental films that they and their friends were creating. David Baker (sometimes vocals), Suzanne Thorpe (flutes), and Jimy Chambers (percussion) joined this loosely connected ensemble, and eventually recorded a demo during off-hours at the SUNY Fredonia studio. This demo somehow made its way to the British offices of the Jungle/Mint label, who contacted Donahue about signing the group. MERCURY REV reconvened to record their debut, YERSELF IS STEAM. Highlighted by distorted art-pop epics like "Chasing a Bee", "Coney Island Cyclone", and "Frittering", YERSELF IS STEAM was released to widespread acclaim in 1991. Later that year, the CAR WASH HAIR E.P. further convinced pundits of MERCURY REV's volatile genius.
The group's second show (playing to over 10,000 people) at the Reading Festival in the UK, showed the dynamics of their live show, and during the next year and a half they found themselves performing at such diverse venues as the Royal Albert Hall in London and in an opening slot for Bob Dylan at Yale University. The release of BOCES in 1993 was a continuation of their marriage of searing noise with crystalline pop. Although this became their first record to hit the UK Top 50, by the next year, musical differences led to the departure of David Baker. Dave Fridmann, on the other hand, decided to focus on sound engineering and production, and ceased touring with the band (continuing to work with them in the studio). By the time the beautiful SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE appeared in 1995, the first chapter in MERCURY REV's maverick career had drawn to a close. While critics marveled over the wonderfully eclectic pop-jazz experiments of "Everlasting Arm", and "Racing the Tide", the band grappled with puzzling personal predicaments.
Switching record labels and nearly broke, Donahue and Hopper relocated to the Catskill Mountains in New York State with newcomers Adam Snyder (keyboards) and Jeff Mercel to begin writing new material. Chambers and Thorpe, unable to deal with the band's continuous chaos, decided to move on. The band began recording what was to become DESERTER'S SONGS during 1997 at Dave Fridmann's Tarbox Recording Studio. DESERTER'S SONGS was released in 1998 to world-wide acclaim. On this influential album, MERCURY REV reinvented itself with sweeping orchestrations and poetically heartfelt lyrics. It would herald a rebirth for the band, allowing for further experimentation and thrill-seeking. MERCURY REV toured extensively for DESERTER'S SONGS, which was chosen as album of the year by the NME, MOJO, and many other international music publications. The songs "Goddess on a Hiway", "Holes", and "Opus 40" have become classics which have taken on a mythical life all their own.
Recorded at the end of 2000/early 2001, their follow-up ALL IS DREAM found MERCURY REV once again broadening their musical horizons with cinematic bombast. Older and slightly wiser, the band stumbled into exhilarating new musical galaxies on such songs as "The Dark Is Rising", "Little Rhymes", and "Tides of the Moon." They toured the world for most of 2002, and began recording songs with Dave Fridmann during the early months of 2003. During this "time off" they were also involved with composing pieces for various film soundtracks (including HELLO BLACKBIRD, the soundtrack for the film BYE BYE BLACKBIRD). THE SECRET MIGRATION came out at the beginning of 2005 and David Fricke wrote:"Mercury Rev have finally made their great life-cycle album, their own DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, except this one ends in promise and light.”
-Jack Bishop THE HOLOGRAPHIC PRESS (senior editor)
SNOWFLAKE MIDNIGHT was released on September 29, 2008 on V2/ Yep Roc. The critically acclaimed THE LIGHT IN YOU came out on Bella Union in 2015. 2018 sees the band revisiting DESERTERS SONGS with extensive touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their landmark release.
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