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Brian Jonestown Massacre

Brian Jonestown Massacre's LP Aufheben captures their adopted home of Berlin.
saschaeisenmann
Brian Jonestown Massacre's LP Aufheben captures their adopted home of Berlin.

It's hard to separate the music of the Brian Jonestown Massacre from the public persona of the band's stubborn leader Anton Newcombe, so we won't. His notorious tantrums, on full display in 2004's excellent rock doc Dig!, very much fuel his creative juices. Or is it the other way around? It's hard to tell at this point in the game, and it surely hasn't stopped the BJM from putting out some revered work. Since its inception in 1990, the group has gone through 40 members, making them more of a loose collective or a business than a band in some ways, with Newcombe as eternal CEO. Over a dozen albums, numerous EPs and a greatest-hits set into their career, the band is currently touring ahead of their upcoming release, Aufheben, recorded in Newcombe's new Berlin-based recording confines, hence the title. The group caught mainstream buzz yet again when HBO's violent bootlegging series Boardwalk Empire used BJM chestnut "Straight Up and Down" as its opening theme song.

 
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