…People’s Faces…

So I just saw the BJM again on Friday night, years later. It’s weird – DIG! seems to be haunting them far more than it seems to have affected the Dandys. Well, maybe because the movie ended up being about Anton.
Anyway, the last couple of times I’ve seen them, they have attracted a peculiar breed of heckler who seem to be there just to incite Anton to break down. They are there to see the spectacle of Anton ranting and hopefully fighting. And it’s incredibly lame, because the rest of us are there just to see a really nice, slow, psych-rock show. In other news, Matt Hollywood (Formerly of the BJM, played a large role in DIG!) performed with them for one song. Anyway. Their shows are becoming stranger and stranger, as they have several reputations among disparate populations – most of the crowd seemed to be there because they’re heard the band’s name and didn’t know what to expect. They left early when Anton didn’t explode. Then there were the hecklers who, by screaming shrill obscenities over and over, eventually won out and got Anton to stop playing for a while. Then there are the people who are there to see the BJM play – judging from my experience, this population expect interruptions in the set and are resigned to wait patiently until the band get their shit together and start playing again. But the tension at their concerts is getting more and more interesting – you’ve got these hyper-agressive guys yelling at Anton who (I am sterotyping here) look like they ought to be copping feels on drunk girls at a Dave Matthews concert. And then you’ve got Anton, fill of fire and anger, responding to them, and there’s this immanent promise of violence throughout the whole performance. But then hen they play their music is incredibly gentle, and the lyrics are all about Anton’s enduring belief in real, true love. So I’m starting to think that part of the joy in watching Jonestown perform is in seeing Anton manage to avoid descending to the level of the shrill meatheads, and watching him choose, over and over, to meet their agressions with his faith in love. If that’s true, then the frustration in seeing them is all about the times when Anton doesn’t pull that trick off, and instead decides he’s done playing for the night if the crowd isn’t going to shut up.