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  • Writer's pictureMatt Levin

Anton Newcombe is on a Roll!

Anton Newcombe has been one of the important and singularly unique voices in psychedelic rock music over the last 25 plus years. The quantity, but more importantly, the quality of the output with his band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, is stunning. BJM has released 18 studio albums, 5 live albums, countless compilations, and singles starting with 1995's Methodrone and Spacegirl & Other Favorites, which was recorded in 1993, but not released until 95. And they've all been fantastic!

Which brings me to 2020. You'd think that this insane year of Covid and lockdown would slow Anton's roll, but you'd be very wrong! Anton, who's called Berlin home since around 2008, has been astoundingly more prolific than ever this year, hard to believe, but it's true; basically he's been cranking out a song every day at his recording studio. This despite the fact that he contracted Covid himself, and got very ill, but thankfully has made a full recovery.

He's been sharing many of these songs on his Youtube Channel, and they're all remarkably great! Although some might be works in progress, they all sound lovely to these ears... He posts pics on his Twitter feed every morning on his way into the studio in his Uber. His energy and work ethic are just amazing. He clearly loves making music and his passion is palpable, but the way he seems to view his daily pilgrimage into the studio with a workmanlike attitude, belies the prodigiousness of the music he's made this year. There's probably enough for 10 new albums? Maybe more. Only time will tell how many of these songs will get proper releases.

I've been lucky enough to film Anton and BJM many times over the years. I thought I'd share a live track I filmed in Madison, Wisconsin from 2018, that's notable for the intro, where Anton talked about cooking dinner for Anthony Bourdain's crew at his studio in Berlin, while writing and recording a track at the same time! You can watch the episode of Parts Unknown show with Anton and Bourdain here

Speaking of Anton and TV. I would love to come to Berlin once it's safe from the pandemic, and film an episode of Translove Airwaves with him! I won't even ask him to cook for me and my crew! I'd just want to get psychedelic(without drugs) and maybe film a bit with him in his recording studio.

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