VELVETY GOODNESS

FROM SOUP TO NUTS WITH COURTNEY TAYLOR AND THE DANDY WARHOLS.

Beep. Another ten-second warning. "Fuck, I can't believe this," Taylor moans. "I'll get Jason again." Another five minutes pass before he rings back, this time from a different phone. Picking up nowhere near where he left off, he dismisses the majority of his Portland-area musical peers as "Fugazi-Pavement wannabes; little angst-ridden boys with guitars who'd be better off playing hoops in their backyard." Then he launches into the Warhols' own story--or at least the version that he chooses to share with the public.

"Pete was strung out on heroin on the New York art scene--he'd lived there for a few years--when I came out to visit him," Taylor claims. "And I was like, `All right, you're moving back to Portland right away.' So I go home, and a week later he meets me at the airport with a van full of his shit, ready to go. And we drove in 51 hours across America, from Greenwich Village to Portland. Once we got there, Pete and my girlfriend at the time talked me into putting a band together. I'd played drums in some bands, insignificant bands, but I got her to play synthesizer and Pete to play guitar. And I asked Eric to play drums for us, even though he'd never done it before; he'd tried to be a singer before, but all his bands sucked.

"Next thing you know, my girlfriend and I broke up--so I got Zia to play bass," Taylor continues. "Zia'd never played it before, but I just wanted someone who was cool, who I liked to hang out with and who I could tell what to do and they'd do it, you know? I write all the songs, so I needed people who'd hear my ideas and get all excited. Like, `Oh, my God, this is so good.'"

Perhaps because the new phone isn't making any strange noises, Taylor cuts short additional inquiry. "These Vogue people, you know," he explains with a tone of exquisite boredom. "I've really got to get moving. But is there anything philosophical I can say first?" He pauses for effect before admitting, "My mind's too scattered. I always think of these fucking great things I could say when I'm, like, stoned out of my brain and drunk as fuck at three o'clock in the morning and I'm hanging out with my friends."

But at the last minute, something suitably pretentious strikes him. "If it was possible, I'd rather that the only people who would have my music and like it would be people who I'd like to have over at my house," he says. "Unfortunately, to get it out to everybody, you have to use MTV and commercial radio, and that sucks. But to me, art should definitely appeal to people who are of a like mindset."

With that, Taylor bids farewell and rejoins the Vogue photographer. It's a match made in heaven--because Taylor's a man who definitely knows how to pose.

The Dandy Warhols. 9:30 p.m. Thursday, December 14, Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, $5, 294-9281.

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