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Dig! 2004
Description: A documentary on the once promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols. The friendship between respective founders, Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor, escalated into bitter rivalry as the Dandy Warhols garnered major international success while the Brian Jonestown Massacre imploded in a haze of drugs.
Released: 13 Apr 2005 Director: Ondi Timoner Writers: Ondi Timoner Actors: Anton Newcombe, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Joel Gion, Matt Hollywood Genres: Documentary, Music
Trailers and related videos:

See DIG! Brian Jonestown Massacre on youtube.

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See Dig! (trailer) on youtube.

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See Dig! - Brian Jonestown Massacr on youtube.

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See Love & Hate in the Music B on youtube.

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See DiG 2004 on youtube.

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See DiG! (2004).Movie on youtube.

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See Dig! on youtube.

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See Pernilla Wahlgren - Hopplöst Ä on youtube.

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See THE BIG DIG BOSTON 2004 OLD I- on youtube.

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See MÅG Tältprojektet" Lysist on youtube.

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Dig! Reviews:

Perfect documentary, ostensibly about the friendship and subsequent rivalry between two West Coast retro rock'n'roll bands: The Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. What it now turns out to be is a portrait of a borderline psychopath - Anton Newcomb - and his tortured relationship with the rest of the world. Interestingly, for a melody documentary, there is hardly any music. What there is - snatches of songs, more often than not aborted by the performers - is incidental rather than central. Although the protagonists are musicians, the storyline is not about melody but rather about a particularly American ver of a British myth of a cartoon lifestyle, ie, one where nobody has to take responsibility for behaving like spoiled adolescents on a full-time basis. Tantrums, drugs, violence, grossly dysfunctional attitudes, egomania on a truly epic scale - all of this is excused or positively encouraged because it conforms to some collectively held concept about what rock'n'roll is about. As a movie this is a first-class documentary but it raises more questions than it answers. For example, why is Anton's melody so conservative? For someone so wild and outrageous (and he IS wild and outrageous) his melody never seems to have progressed beyond the most obvious derivations of his 60s idols (The Stones, Velvets etc.) For someone who claims to be able to enjoy 80 instruments he has never bothered to learn to enjoy any one of them beyond the most rudimentary level. Similarly, the Dandy Warhols burning ambition is based on a vision of rock'n'roll which is astonishingly fossilised in 1969. Nothing wrong with pastiches, of course, but surely there's more to musical life than perpetually acting out a cartoon from the late 60s. Why don't they take some risks with their melody - in the method that their role models did? Because, one suspects, this is not about music. Melody is just an accessory, a prop, or an excuse, to lead fully dysfunctional and irresponsible lives. But why? In the Dandy Warhols case, the respond is obvious: to create lots of cash and be famous. Large deal. Anton Newcomb's situation is more interesting. He is obviously very talented, but each time he is given an occasion to reach a wider audience he sabotages it, usually in the most dramatic method possible. He is terrified of success, and at the same time, deeply resents anyone else who has it - especially his former mates the Dandy Warhols. Fascinating movie. Highly recommended.


A documentary about two rocks bands, spanning a number of years. Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols. What makes it unique is the examination of the complex contrasting personalities and the ironies of success and failure.Anton Newcombe, the main boy of Brian Jonestown Massacre, is widely recognised as a musical genius not only by his colleagues, his mates and rivals the Dandy Warhols, but also by record producers and most folks who have worked with him. Sadly he and his band members are also incapable of integrating with the true world. Newcombe picks wars with band members on scene or with members of the audience (getting arrested at one mission for literally kicking in the head of a fan). Newcombe knows no limits – he plays between 40 and 100 various instruments, writes and produces all BJM's music, can produce enough songs to fill a entire album in a single day, has a prophet-like obsessiveness with his own musical genius, but is also a massive drugs user, flies into rages at the slightest compromise of his own artistic integrity, orders his band members about as if they are lower forms of life, and can blow deals as quick as he makes them. BJM go through a huge number of record labels in quick succession – they sign them up as later as they realise Newcombe's talents and allow them go as later as they realise he is fully uncontrollable.The Warhols acknowledge their debt to Newcombe's creativity and don't even place themselves in the same exalted sphere of greatness – but the Warhols have something that BJM don't – the ability to integrate their talents with common sense, the true world, and their store – as a mixing pot of talent (even if much of it is distilled from guru Newcombe) and accessibility, they are the very definition of 'cool.' DiG! follows the parallel careers of the two bands with increasing poignancy. At one point, Newcombe pulls stunts designed to generate publicity by sending apparent death threats and hate messages to the Warhols (in a box containing live ammunition and insults like a bar of soap 'to clean up their act') – only he forgets to say them it's a stunt and they receive so paranoid they take out a restraining order vs Newcombe. By the time the Dandy Warhols take off in Europe with hits like 'Every Day Could Be A Holiday' and 'Bohemian Like You', Newcombe is becoming increasingly isolated. BJM are stopped and the band breaks up when they are arrested for possession of marijuana – the Warhols receive busted for drugs around the same time, allow off with a warning, and even allowed to hold the grass.The wider appeal of DiG! is that the lessons of genius vs accessibility go method beyond two bands or even rock music. The downside is that it is still a documentary, however intimate, and it will mostly only appeal to dedicated movie fanatics or folks who are already interested in the melody of one or both of the featured bands. Newcombe may well be a largely unrecognised genius, and there are feint glimpses of this in the film, but to the unattuned ear there is tiny more than the assertions of the folks interviewed to attest to this. In the words of one of the band members: "In each spiritual tradition, you burn in hell for pretending to be God and not being able to back it up." Newcombe isn't pretending – but numerically there are maybe still insufficient folks to appreciate him in his own lifetime, and DiG! has an uphill struggle to rectify the balance in favour of a tortured but largely unrecognised genius.


I couldn't search anyone to watch DiG! with me because no one I knew was a fanatic of either of the bands. Naturally everyone assumed you can only play this movie if you like the melody of either The Dandy Warhols or the Brian Jonestown Massacre, but this is so far from the truth. The only requirement is that you have an interest in melody and/or pop culture in general. The method in which the careers of the two groups are paralleled is a excellent representation of the paths a band can take, and watching the public eat up and spit out the Dandy Warhols is fascinating. I accept with another reviews that mention it would be great to receive a final word from Anton himself, since he's clearly depicted as his own worst opponent and the bulwark to the band's ability to just remain.Most interesting to me is the Dandys' respect for the BJM (despite their lack or reciprocation) and for Anton (despite his erratic behavior). The Dandy Warhols respect the art the group produces even if the group hates everything the Dandy Warhols actually stand for (although that's disputable). The greatest line is when the drummer for the Dandy's tells "I won't have them anywhere fresh me again" and the guitarist unconsciously blurts out "I'll still purchase their records though." To me, this just shows how strong nice melody can be.Definitely see this movie, even if you know nothing of either band. It's more about the themes of rock melody and how they develop that makes this movie so interesting. It's rare to follow a group so closely for so long.



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