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The Dilettantes' Joel Gion Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, May 9, 2008 12:52pm | Post a Comment
Joel Gion is quite the musical renaissance man.  In addition to working amongst piles of vinyl and CDs and obsessing over fine cinema and its soundtracks, he also finds time to front his own popular band, The Dilettantejoel gion dig brian jonestown massacres, while intermittently doing time in his old band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre.  BJM was recently the subject of a feature documentary entitled Dig, which enabled fans to get up close and personal with one of the most riotous, chaotic groups of all time.  The film comes highly recommended by this blogger.  Joel will be touring with BJM this summer, and continues to gig regularly with The Dilettantes in support of their album 101 Tambourines.  More info in the conversation that follows. Here, Joel speaks about his Brian Jonestown Massacre days, how The Beatles changed his life, and the tambourine.

ME:  What was the first record that really blew your hair back when you were a kid and made you start to really get into music?
 
JG:  I saw Yellow Submarine when I was 5 and that was it. My mom took me to The Gemco the next day and bought me the Red and Blue [Beatles hits] double LPs. I jumped around in front of the mirror with my bowl cut and a tennis racket for about a week straight. I never get tired of The Beatles. I have never owned a copy of Abbey Road or Let It Be because I made a decision a long time ago I would save the later period for when I turned 40. I want to keep some fresh Beatles on reserve for the last half of life. I never want that magic out of my life.

I'm ready if you are! Tuesday, here we come!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 23, 2007 04:12pm | Post a Comment

That is some hot stuff, Baby!

For a Good Time, Check Out the Dilettantes!

Posted by Miss Ess, April 4, 2007 02:45pm | Post a Comment
the dilettantes joel gion jefferson parker brock gallandSo the other night I got to see local San Fran band the Dilettantes kick and shake some rock and roll booty at the Cafe du Nord.

There aren't so many actual rock n roll bands right now in San Francisco, and taking in the energy and attitude of the Dilettantes made me remember why I like good ol' rock n roll so much in the first place.
 
The band is centered around Mr Joel Gion, formerly of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. In case you missed the fantastic documentary Dig, which came out a couple of years ago, chronicling the band's years-long troubles with labels and the law (not to mention rival band the Dandy Warhols),  Joel's a tambourine player. If you did happen to see the flick, you'll easily remember Joel. He's the one who dumps a drink down his pants. You know, that guy. He's also the best tambourine player you'll ever see. The guy has the magic touch, no joke! He is the tambourine player, of course, in the Dilettantes, but he has taken his natural charisjoel gion brian jonestown massacre the dilettantesma up a notch now and is also a Lou Reed-esque vocalist. His stage presence is something to behold, full of appropriate and highly enjoyable rock n roll posturing and skill.

The two guitarists, Jefferson Parker and Brock Galland, also trade off singing different songs to great effect.  Jefferson's soloing skills are amazing-- remember when American indie bands had crazy epic guitar solos with effects peddles and feedback? I sure do. This guy's got it down. 

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