Dandy Man

The Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor-Taylor wanders through celebreality.

Of course, the more Taylor-Taylor complains about being misunderstood, the more he seems like a rock star -- and if his appearances in the 2004 Lindsay Lohan vehicle Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and an October episode of the UPN series Veronica Mars are any indication, he may achieve notoriety in other media as well. Until then, he appreciates the support of those Dandy Warhols fans whose ears are truly open to the act's music but deaf to the negativity emanating from the press corps. In a comment that closely echoes one he made ten years earlier, he says, "The people we meet now are just fucking fantastic, because we've gotten our audience down, pretty much, to the kind of people who we would want to hang out with."

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Taylor-Taylor Made
A handy guide to the Warhols' Dandiest discs.

Courtney Taylor-Taylor (second from right) insists 
he's not a rock star, but he plays one on the big 
screen.
Ray Gordon
Courtney Taylor-Taylor (second from right) insists he's not a rock star, but he plays one on the big screen.

Dandy's Rule OK? (Tim/Kerr Records, 1995). In contrast to the square-jawed sincerity of many indie albums from the era, the Warhols' opening salvo delivers druggy grooves (and druggier lyrics) with an artsy wink. Erratic, but the likes of "Lou Weed," a sly slab of Velvety goodness, make it seem far less dated than the usual post-grunge torment-fest.

The Dandy Warhols Come Down (Capitol Records, 1997). Less an advance over Dandy's Rule than a recapitulation of it. Granted, the self-aware cutesiness of titles such as "Cool Like Kim Deal" can be disconcerting, but the band finds its form on "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth," which proclaims, "Heroin is so passé."

Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia (Capitol Records, 2000). Tales is the best Dandy disc to date because it's the most solid. Taylor-Taylor and crew keep their tongues out of their cheeks for minutes at a time, and if the majority of compositions are pastiches rather than wholly original creations (e.g., "Bohemian Like You," a Stones-cum-Blur rip turned hit), they're still consistently entertaining.

Welcome to the Monkey House (Capitol Records, 2003). Yes, this disc's synth-pop nods predated last year's '80s revival by just long enough to prevent the band from benefiting from it. But whereas the Killers and their brethren love the style from the bottom of their shallow hearts, the Warhols goof on it in generally tedious fashion. Enough of this Monkey business.

Odditorium or Warlords of Mars (Capitol Records, 2005). Upon first listen, Odditorium sounds like a lazy exercise in self-indulgence, and perhaps it is. But those willing to give it another spin are apt to be swept up in its hazy, late-hours mood. This is probably as honest and unself-conscious as these guys will ever sound, for good or ill.

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