In the 1936 film My Man Godfrey, Alexander Bullock says, “All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.” The Dandy Warhols are those kind of people, that is if you substitute “party̶...
In the 1936 film My Man Godfrey, Alexander Bullock says, “All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.” The Dandy Warhols are those kind of people, that is if you substitute “party” for “asylum.”
Since 1994 The Dandys have produced scads of great psychedelic, Britpop-influenced songs, many of which I suspect would sound even better on drugs. Which are great so long so you don’t ABUSE them like my old friend Alex, who one X-Mas Eve found herself sitting at a very, very, very long red light. Finally a cop pulled up beside her and asked, “Why aren’t you moving?” She replied, “The light’s red.” The cop gave her the kind of disgusted look usually reserved for human turds on the sidewalk and said, “That’s not a red light. It’s a Christmas tree.”
Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Altamont-inspired Punch Marty Balin in the Mouth Day (yes it’s a for real holiday, I know because I invented it): every day is a holiday with The Dandy Warhols around. Why, I’ve even been known to play The Dandy Warhols on Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash Day–that’s October 20 for you heathens–the most important holy day on my religious calendar, which I usually reserve for listening to St. Ronnie and Company. But sometimes I simply have to hear a cranking wonderful tune like The Dandys’ “Down Like Disco,” and if Ronnie Van Zant has a problem with that, well, he’s dead.
To paraphrase Lite in 1984′s Repo Man, I wish I could say “I was into The Dandy Warhols before anyone. Wanted me to be their manager. I called bullshit on that. Managing a pop group is no job for a man.” But the truth is I dismissed The Dandy Warhols as a shallow hype when they first appeared. I hated their name, I hated “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth” and “Bohemian Like You,” and I was convinced they were a flash in the proverbial pop pan. The Dandys reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s quip, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” And six months is about how much time I gave them.
Then I heard the positively hypnotic “Boys Better” and saw Dig!, the movie about the love/hate relationship between The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre (the Dandys’ evil twin) that gave us Anton Newcombe’s immortal words, “You fucking broke my sitar, motherfucker!” And presto! Instant Dandy conversion moment. I’ve been a fan ever since. How could anyone not be? Why, you’d have to be some kind of godless commie like my lovely second ex-wife, who grew up in East Germany where everything was made of slabs of thick grey concrete including the umbrellas, and a typical phys ed class involved hurling dud hand grenades (no kidding) to prepare for the coming American invasion. (Actually, I wish we’d thrown hand grenades in phys ed; all we ever did was play fucking crab soccer.) Small wonder the ex- hates The Dandy Warhols but loves Taylor Swift; she’s the Manchurian Candidate, sent to help popularize crappy music and hence bring our great nation to its knees.
I’ll be the first to admit it: The Dandy Warhols, who include the redundantly named Courtney Taylor-Taylor-Taylor (oops, delete one of those Taylors) on vocals and guitar, Peter Holmström on guitar, Zia McCabe on keyboards, and Brent DeBoer on drums, have their fair share of clunkers. But then again I’ve always thought of them as a singles band rather than an albums band. You simply learn to pick and choose your favorites, the same way you do when you’re shoplifting steak.
Some of my favorites include those two great stoner anthems “Smoke It” and “Lou Weed,” which I wish had been around during my gang-a-bong days. And “Horse Pills,” which reminds me of t