Arts & Entertainment

The famed Brian Jonestown Massacre to play at Spanish Ballroom

This psychedelic, garage rock band oozes sonic perfection.

Looking to be transported to a psychedelic dreamscape? The Brian Jonestown Massacre is coming to Tacoma. Often compared to Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine for their sound, the band goes far beyond shoegaze, spanning many genres including dream-pop, goth, folk, garage rock, electronic, ’60s-inspired psychedelia… the list goes on. Yet, the BJM is known for terribly catchy and ethereally noisy songs, no matter what musical niche they explore. 

Their stunning early shoegaze albums like “Methodrone” and “Spacegirl and Other Favorites” have now become cult favorites, along with trippy obscurities like their 2008 albums “Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request” and “My Bloody Underground.” Actively putting out excellent albums since 1994, the San Francisco collective recently released their 18th album in 2019 and a new mini-EP called “The Real” in 2022. Shockingly, the band has a consistently fantastic and large body of work that stands the test of time. 

Retaining many of their original members (a rarity!) including founder Anton Newcombe, guitarist Ricky Maymi and tambourinist Joel Gion, their rotating cast of multitudes of musicians are known for their unbelievable talent and perfect shows. Their performances often feature lengthy sets, seven-plus members and droolworthy vintage gear. Now on their post-COVID U.S. tour, the band is playing a combination of new songs, deep-cuts and hard-to-find tracks that will send you into a frantic Google search. 

To hype yourself up for their show, listen to their 2001 album “Bravery Repetition & Noise” for classic and extremely well-produced alternative hits. While their early works are some of my personal favorites, it appears that they’re promoting their 2019 self-titled album, featuring well-balanced, powerful rock tunes like “Drained” and “A Word.” Nevertheless, please listen to the ever-vibey “Methodrone” on repeat and the boppy, poppy “Take it From the Man!” If you haven’t already heard their psych-rock hit, “Pish,” listen to it loud for peak low-harmony perfection, the grooviest drums ever and singable guitar riffs. 

Visit their planet on Saturday, April 16 at the Spanish Ballroom. Tickets are available on McMenamins’ website and are $25 in advance and $30 day-of-show.