Brian Jonestown Massacre – Evergreen (1995)
When the darkness grips you, trying to drag you into its vortex, music so shimmering and beautiful that will exist in this life and the next will rise from a whisper to a shout, overwhelm it and set you free; a joy so natural that it feels as if it has existed inside you always will be released….or something like that.
Weak, quasi new-age, hippy dippy granola flavoured aphorisms aside….wait, what was I thinking again? Why am I asking you? As if you will be able to enlighten me as to what goes on this addled brain of my mine….Sorry, that sounds patronizing, insulting even. Please don’t go. Stay. I promise there is a cogent point to this whole ridiculous mess of verbiage spewing forth from my minds eye and a reasonably priced Hewlett Packard keyboard, possibly now out of production but if on the off-chance it still is, I’m open to any subtle cross promotion, keyword related marketing funds being thrown my way (wink wink)…
Yes, I’ve gone off the rails here which is to say…I blame the modern attention span etc…an attention span that lets itself be twittered, vined, Instagrammed and insta-everything’d on a daily nay second by second basis…bloody hell, everything is getting faster…WHY CANT WE JUST SLOW DOWN AND CONTEMPLATE STUFF AND THINGS AND STUFF AND TREES ETC?
Not everything used to be so fast, there was and maybe still is a time dear children when all musical output was not a standard 500rpm beat with disengaged,inane generic declarations of love and humping insidiously pumped into every corner of daily existence; cafes, bars, veggie hangouts, sports arenas, hypermarkets, old folks homes, rubbish tips, skyplanes, hamburger/tofu/hairdressing emporiums and so on but when we had music to slowed everything right the fuck down, man.
Or was I just dreaming? Ah yes, dreaming of dreampop, gazing at my shoes whilst my entrenched whitebread pretentious taste was engulfed slowly by the cellophane wrapped, flatpacked flames of sociocultural evolution. Derek, please lay off the showoff word slinging and stop procrastinating dude!
Who said that? Okay, all of this talk is just me trying to deal with growing older, feeling culturally irrelevant and ultimately impotent and pointless in the grand scheme of history and the cosmos?!!”@@@****??//?? hang on a second boss, that latter part of that sentence there! That’s how music makes me feel, great music, it’s mysterious hold on the conscious and unconscious part of our selves.
Hence – ooh, I’m getting excited about the direction I’m taking this in here – ‘Evergreen’ ( smug voice: suitably titled you might say) from cult Portland rockers Brian Jonestown Massacres’ 1995 Methodrone is what I’m trying get at, people.
The ‘Massacre’ as I like to call them (Yeah I’m smug) gained some notoriety several years back when they featured in Dig!,a critically acclaimed account of their long standing rivalry with fellow Portlanders The Dandy Warhols. The documentary focused mostly on Massacre frontman Anton Newcombes penchant for self-sabotage which partly explained why despite critical acclaim the band had not broken away from their underground ghetto whilst the Warhols had somewhat flourished in the mainstream. Time seems to be have been kinder to Newcombe and his band with the bands 2005 track ‘Straight Up & Down’ chosen as the main theme tune for the recent HBO splashy period crime saga Boardwalk Empire no doubt giving the band some much needed validation.