For lovers of shoegaze, space and psych rock, this week brings great things for those who happen to be in Boston, Philadelphia and New York City (and have actually got their hands on some hot tickets to what seem to be sold out and near-sold-out shows).

Who’s playing? Two legends come together – each in their own niche sub-genres with a very slight overlap. Headliners The Brian Jonestown Massacre are known far and wide to anybody who hasn’t had their head under a rock in the past few decades. They are joined by The Veldt, also pioneers in shoegaze and alternative soul – an interesting mix but one that works, beautifully uniting influences like Motown, Arthur Lee, Massive Attack and Cocteau Twins.

Brian Jonestown Massacre is touring in support of their new album, Musique de Film Imaginé (music for film imagined), which is a soundtrack that pays homage to the great European film directors of the late 50’s and 60’s, such as François Truffaut & Jean-Luc Godard. It was created for an imaginary French film and released through A Recordings Ltd.

BJM frontman Anton Newcombe explains, “The album that you are about to hear is a soundtrack, my own creation, a tribute to great directors and filmmakers to an era that now seems to be behind us. Leaving the smart person to care to imagine that this art could now be in the shadow of its former glory. “The interesting thing about this project is that the film does not exist either. Even so, I imagined and I realized its soundtrack… Now it’s your turn, you are the listener to imagine the film.”

Their peers in beautiful music-making – The Veldt – join them for three exclusive dates in New England. Pioneers of alternative soul and shoegaze, identical twins Danny and Daniel Chavis formed the band in 1986 in Raleigh, North Carolina, lifting their band’s name from a Ray Bradbury science fiction story. The band’s original drummer Marvin Levi is still with the band today, as is newcomer bassist Hayato Nakao, originally hailing from Japan and guitarist Frank Olsen – both also played with the Chavis brothers under the name Apollo Heights.

Musically reared in the church and juke-joints of their native southern state, the twins have been performing since they were children, listening to music that included gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. Their colorful history involves signings to 3 major labels, recordings under producers as notable as Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), Ray Shulman (Bjork, The Sugarcubes, The Sundays), and Lincoln Fong (Moose), as well as a name switch to Apollo Heights and back again to The Veldt.

This past month, The Veldt released a smashing new EP this year called The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur. Mike Doherty from The Guardian says, “With Danny’s enveloping hooks, Daniel’s swooning falsetto… the new songs invite paradoxical praise: serenely assaultive, vertiginously soothing”, while Michael A. Gonzales from Soulhead writes, “No matter how futuristic space-age cyberpunk the music became, Daniel’s vocals was the gravity that kept us from floating away completely”.

Named for an E.E. Cummings poem, this EP is now available via Bandcamp (CD, digital) and Leonard Skully Records (vinyl).

Catch The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Veldt at one of these dates:

  • May 6 – Philadelphia – Union Transfer
  • May 7 – Boston – Paradise Rock Club
  • May 9 – New York City – Webster Hall