Mr. Tambourine Man

Saw Brian Jonestown Massacre last night in Northampton with this guy. Anton was on his best behavior, and the band was loosely tight, five guitars (sometimes six) creating an interweaving wall of sound anchored by percussion and tambourine. Where else but BJM can you find a band where the tambourine is front and center on every single song? This band loves tambourine so much that on some songs there were two tambourine players (“lead and rhythm tambourine,” my friend Mat quipped). Because, if you’ve already got five guitars, why not two tambourines? The best part of the show came when it was time for tambourinest extraordinaire Joel Gion to switch from tambourine to maracas — a roadie dutifully came on-stage to relieve Gion of his tambourine and hand him the maracas. Lord knows an artiste of Gion’s caliber can’t be expected to navigate a switch like that without assistance!

The sound on the vid below is a bit dodgy, but it’s the closest I could find to approximate the vibe of the show last night. It’s a good lineup this tour. They shredded this tune last night. Here are the remaining tour dates — see them if you can.

Asteroid #4 opened — they had a cool Byrds/Velvets vibe going on, though the way they were all chugging Jim Beam right from the bottle makes me sort of relieved it was a relatively short set. This band makes Guided by Voices look like teetotalers.

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