The popularity of the comical rockumentary Dig! was palpable at the Crocodile last week. Not only because of the large audience crowding the room on a Monday night to watch one of the movie's stars--the Brian Jonestown Massacre--but because of response to the band. Presented as an ego-, addiction-, and turmoil-wracked outfit on film, California's BJM spent most of Dig! boasting about their talent, complaining about the success of their "rivals" the Dandy Warhols, and getting into fistfights on stage. So it was reasonable that the crowd at the Croc was placing bets on when frontman Anton Newcombe--who appeared with an entirely new lineup, keeping with his band's turnstile member policy--would show some anger mismanagement. That happened about halfway through the set, when Newcombe--who'd previously ignored the room--dryly announced, "Okay, you're going to think this is funny" before demanding a photographer "set that fucking camera down." "I didn't give you permission to take photos of us," he commanded. "You don't own my fucking copyright." The showdown continued as Newcombe refused to resume playing until the offending camera was placed on the stage. Audience jeers to "kick [the photographer] in the head" went unanswered, but it was clear that even with his volatile outbursts more in check, Newcombe's fuse remains pint-sized. Luckily, though, his freak-out didn't overtake the show and BJM were able to achieve something it's taken them years to figure out--they allowed the music to create the real drama for the evening, as their gritty psychedelia turned shoegazing rock inside out and the melodically resonant guitars gave merit to fans' claims that there is actual talent behind all bloody-your-bandmates bad showbiz shit.

Across town at Neumo's that same night, Les Savy Fav were creating a different sort of spectacle. After swiping a handful of maraschinos from the bar, charismatic frontman Tim Harrington created a makeshift runway down the center of the club using random elements from the side of the stage as a base. By the time I arrived, the shirtless messiah had inspired an evangelically fervent dance party on those blocks, pulling in Neumo's booker Jason Lajeunesse on drums for an extended jam at the end of the night.

VietNam projected prominent Clan of the Acidman vibes when they opened for Death From Above 1979 later in the week. The band, named because two members have war-vet fathers--performed a Dylan/Velvet Underground lysergic session aided by the oddball stage presence of a maracas player, who sat wrapped in an afghan and curled on a beanbag for most of the mostly bearded four-piece's set. When blanket dude did rise from his narcotically staged stupor, it was just to smack the beanbag until its white beads littered the stage like Styrofoam snow, after which my friend Kurt commented, "I think we've just witnessed a cult."

There were no outbursts, beads, or bogus catwalks for the Saturday Knights, but the local rising stars of Seattle's hiphop party band still ruled like kings when they opened for Frog Eyes last week. The four piece--featuring emcees Barfly and Tilson, Dub Narcotic Sound System's Brian Weber, and DJ Suspense--got off to a rocky start earlier this summer, but proved that they still have the skills to give hiphop royal rock 'n' roll flare. Their set contained samples of everything from Blue Cheer to Kenny Loggins as Weber played guitar and keyboards and the tweed-clothed frontmen rapped skit-like storylines about having "patches on their elbows." If they keep this momentum going, look out. Seriously.

Stolen equipment of the week: Musicians have long been prey for thieves, carrying a pawnshop's worth of equipment to every city they visit. But recently band theft has spiraled way out of control. Camper Van Beethoven and Mclusky had their shit ripped off before they even arrived for their Seattle shows, and two area musicians have had their stuff jacked in the past month. Some assholes grabbed the Supersuckers' white van from frontman Eddie Spaghetti's house, and the gear stolen should stand out "like a turd in a punchbowl" according to the band--one example, a custom-made Orange amp with the inscription "custom made by Orange for Ron Heathman" on it. Bellingham musician Joe Myrene also lost some equipment, and since thieves travel, there's a list of what he lost that's available, as well. Both lists are too lengthy to get into here, but e-mail me if you think you can offer some assistance. The Supersuckers are offering a reward to whoever helps catch the idiots who grabbed their stuff.

And don't forget: Karma chameleon Boy George spins at the CoCA art gallery November 20, and Club Club: Britain, a new regionally focused night at Chop Suey, premieres Wednesday, November 24. The latter promises film footage, go-go dancers, and a geographically correct soundtrack--from garage to pop to mod, shoegazer, and soul--with $5 as your passport to entry.

jennifer@thestranger.com

Support The Stranger