A rollicking good ride with some nice insight into the minds of the two frontmen and how success can stress a friendship. How important is artistic authenticity and how important is commercial success. Can you have both? Does it matter?
One of the best music documentaries I've watched so far. It's super complete, full of lost, epic footage (thank God for the guys holding a camera) and cool interviews with, not only friends, but important people in the music industry. 26 years and never a fuck to spare to sign with a label, can't get more trve than that. Really made me want to see them, now that Anton's all sobered up and giving 3 hour long shows.
I first watched this in my first apartment in SF, only to find out a few weeks later that BJM Joel lived underneath me.
Anton is a destructive person and really you feel sorry for his band & what they could have been. It is a story we rarely get this much insight into, a guy who sabotages himself and band when he is given opportunity or a uncertainty.
The Dandy's had survival in mind. Anton just had himself & fear.
The aftermath of this doc raises its contextual appeal - the cautionary tale of Brian Jonestown Massacre paradoxically turns them into an indie cult success. It's a fascinating insight into the alternative/mainstream ideological divide.
For this to work you must accept the premise that Anton's a genius, that the BJM make something more than tepid, hacky psychedelia homages. The truth is, Anton's a mediocre asshole. Accepting that, though, DIG! has a potent thesis, claiming (through deceptive editing, it's been noted) that well-groomed mediocrity (the Dandys) always succeeds over messy genius (BJM). But, again, that requires suspended disbelief.