There are tribute bands, which focus all their energy on replicating somebody else's music. And there are outfits that play "original" material that sounds exactly like that of their heroes. Then there are those genius auteurs who wear their influences on their sleeves yet still manage to do their own thing. Anton Newcombe's Brian Jonestown Massacre falls into the last category. Along with a noted devotion to the mid-'60s version of the Rolling Stones, BJM incorporates psychedelic sounds into its songs, which end up sounding more like lo-fi Beta Band meets the Jesus and Mary Chain, with sitars. Fronted by Newcombe, the San Francisco-based outfit has gone through more than forty members since its inception in 1990 -- and with good reason: As documented in the 2004 award-winning documentary DiG!, Newcombe is notorious for his tantrums and unpredictability, traits that have ultimately, despite the frontman's prodigious talent (he's been known to compose entire albums in a single day), kept the band from realizing greater acclaim.
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