The Brian Jonestown Masacre

The Brian Jonestown Masacre

Strung Out in Heaven


What can one say about the Brian Jonestown Massacre? Well, I can tell you what my mom said when I played their 1996 release Take It From The Man! at her house: “Turn that off!… It’s awful… It’s all the SAME!” Hmm, mom don’t dig it… usually a ringing endorsement for anyone’s album. However, it occurred to me that such densely layered music might be difficult to digest on the first listen. And on the new album… bells, keys, strings, harmonica, tambourine, bass, drums, guitars, guitars, guitars, et al… It’s a lot to soak up. I haven’t played Strung Out in Heaven for mom yet, but I suspect her first reaction might be similar to her previous reaction: overload.

The seeming repetitive simplicity of the Massacre’s music is decieving. Such music as theirs cannot be knocked back like a shot or two of vodka. Their music demands more the attitude required to drink a three-liter bottle of wine. (And I’m sure more wine than that was consumed during the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s latest exile in Echo Park.) Their music is complex, and though easy to listen to passively, active listening is more rewarding. The key is that these songs have enough elements, and are made with enough care, to make repeated listenings enjoyable.

Sixties sounds with end of the millenium attitude? Reasonable to say, but as with anything said about the Brian Jonestown Massacre, it’s an oversimplification. TVT Records, 23 East 4th St., New York, NY 10003

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Phantasmagoria X: “Reckoning”
    Phantasmagoria X: “Reckoning”

    John DiDonna’s medley of creepy stories and trilling dance returns once more with a tour though all the Central Florida hot spots from Deland to Tampa.

  • Killer Nun
    Killer Nun

    Let Anita Ekberg and director Giulio Berruti introduce you to the nunspolitation genre with Killer Nun.

  • The Tree House
    The Tree House

    One of the most highly regarded works to screen at this year’s Locarno Film Festival was Quý Minh Trương’s The Tree House (Nhà cây), a documentary that dramatically utilizes a science fiction lens to simultaneously examine the cultures of multiple ethnic groups in Vietnam while compelling the audience to question the contemporary importance of visual documentation.

  • Disturbed Furniture
    Disturbed Furniture

    Continuous Pleasures (Arevarc Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
    A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

    Sleeping your way to the top is one thing, but killing your way up there works a just as well.

  • Deathtrap

    A writer hits a dry spell and then murders his wife, all in the name of making a hit.

  • Cabin of Fear
    Cabin of Fear

    Campers freak out when a murderer is on the loose and they have no cell phone reception.

  • Jake La Botz
    Jake La Botz

    They’re Coming For Me (Hi-Style / Free Dirt). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Howlin Rain
    Howlin Rain

    Under The Wheels: Live From The Coasts, Volume 1 (Silver Current Records). Review by Michelle Wilson.

  • The Lilacs
    The Lilacs

    Endure (Pravda). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives