DIG! The Movie
DIG! is the feature-length documentary shot over seven years about musicians Anton Newcombe, leader of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Courtney Taylor, head of the Dandy Warhols, star crossed friends and bitter rivals (1). From the moment they met, The Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre quickly bonded over a desire to not conform to the tastes of the recording industry(2). Yet, the bands’ choices over how to express their creativity and originality in a profit-driven industry eventually put them at irreconcilable odds (3).
Culled from 1500 hours (4) of footage and narrated by Courtney Taylor (5), DIG! follows the underground giant Anton Newcombe, unearthing him to be an important (6) yet largely unnoticed artist of our time.
In 1996 Anton Newcombe and his band the Brian Jonestown Massacre – who in a decade independently released 11 albums, 3 recorded in one year (7)– are hell-bent on staging a revolution in the music industry (8). They are convinced their friends, the Dandy Warhols, will join them to create a united front. But Anton’s creative psychosis takes him to the most remote areas of the human mind to find his original art (9), and as a result, he destroys every opportunity for financial success.
While tracking the destructive path of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, DIG! also accompanies the more ‘well-adjusted’ Warhols through their leader Courtney Taylor, as they navigate the corporate sea, trying to maintain their creative edge while starring in mega-budget music videos and entertaining crowds in the tens of thousands (10).
DIG! is about both musicians’ love and obsession, gigs and recordings, arrests and death threats, uppers and downers – their choices between art and industry, which unfold with the passage of time (11).
1. And fucking idiots. We’re dealing with two guys who named their respective bands “The Brian Jonestown Massacre” and “The Dandy Warhols.” Right out of the gate, you’re dealing with total creative bankruptcy.
2. And a desire to make lifeless facsimiles of better bands.
3. A pop cultural footnote that no forward-thinking individual should give three shits about, much less make the subject of a fucking documentary.
4. You’ll never get those back.
5. I’ll repeat myself: You realize that Courtney Taylor-Taylor shaved his head into a Mohawk the day after Joe Strummer died, right? You realize that stupid rednecks do that kind of thing, right? It’s like Taylor-Taylor wants to be the American Jarvis Cocker but forgot that Cocker has talent and charisma and intelligence and would never shave his head into a fucking Mohawk the day after Joe Strummer died. Bringing Nick Rhodes in to produce your album won’t make you Duran Duran. You want to be Duran Duran, but as with every other band you want to be, THEY DID IT BETTER. I hope that the Dandy Warhols break up before Taylor-Taylor dies of a coke seizure with his face in the ass-crack of a passed-out supermodel. If not, the whole world will talk about him forever, and I don’t want that.
6. Give me a break. You get what you deserve if you idolize this semi-literate rip off artist. I’ll repeat myself again: They say there’s a fine line between genius and insanity, but this line unconquerably wide with Anton Newcombe, a man who believes being an asshole devoid of an original blood cell, prancing around with shakers and enacting some foppish, Brit-accented fantasy of American degradation is the ultimate picture of aloof and misunderstood brilliance.
7. Pick me up; I’m floored. Quantity does not equal quality.
8. Punch in cricket chirping sound effect here.
9. ARE YOU READING THIS??? REALLY, ARE YOU READING THIS?!?!?!?
10. And who no one will remember in four months.
11. Who wrote this? They need their ass stomped.
“Of course you’re into metal now”
“Mountain Home, Arkansas is a bleak blister of economic despair, but I found a copy of The Standells “Try It” on LP in a “vintage store,” and that item will be promptly finding its way onto Ebay”
“Montgomery Gentry’s ‘You Do Your Thing’ video has to be seen to be believed”
“You’d have to know my neighbor, but upon sneaking a look into her backseat (she was parked next to me), Black Flag’s ‘Slip It In’ was perhaps the last CD I expected to see. I call ‘boyfriend’ or ‘older brother.’ No, I do not give her the credit”
“Who’s the best? You are”
On a recent trip to Lake Norfolk (N. Arkansas, Ozark foothills, scarily white), I came across a flyer for this band in the lobby of The Norfolk Motel. There to hit the lake, I eschewed an evening at Mountain Home AK’s Royal 66 (“Dance Your Blues Away On The County’s Largest Dancefloor”) roadhouse. It’s not like they didn’t warn me. Also, I’m a horrible and obsessed fisherman. I’ve never been so bad at something that I know so much about. Well….. My odd fetish for bodies of water seems to help matters.
Well, the review copies, that is. See above intro to website. If you are a writer reviewing this book, please, in spite or praise, mention my name in print. Hit me with the help. I’m now writing for two new glossy start-ups, Pulp out of L.A., and Verse Chorus Verse out of…I don’t know, actually.