Though I've cleaned up my act in many ways, among my remaining character flaws hangs a deep compulsion to always be a glutton for punishment. I like what I like, no matter how embarrassing it may be, and I always have to open my big flapping mouth about it. Then everyone else opens their big flapping mouths so they can tell me what a dork I am. However, I am fiercely loyal to the very end. Which is why I've stuck up for the Dandy Warhols all these years.
Though I knew singer/guitarist Courtney Taylor before he went all rock-star, I kinda made fun of the Dandys when that first record, Dandys Rule OK, came out, mostly because of Zia's tits. I think the keyboard player was only 19 at the time, but she was far from shy and played nearly every show sans shirt, or at the very least sans bra, while banging a tambourine on her hip for maximum bounce. Then one night when Courtney and I had been bellied up to the bar for quite a few hours, shooting the shit, he shed a tear when he told me the Dandys had signed to Capitol Records (and for how much). I was completely endeared. Lord knows why, but after the bar closed we sat on the curb across the street and sang, at the top of our lungs, that song from Hee Haw that goes, "Where oh where are you tonight?/Why did you leave me here all alone?/I searched the world over and I thought I found true love/You met another and THHHHHPT! You were gone." We'd spent the night being dorks together, and since then I've always stood up for Courtney and the Dandy Warhols.
It's been almost three years since the Dandys released their last and best album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia. The single "Bohemian Like You" figured in lots of commercials and appeared on several soundtracks, just like "Boys Better," and "Every Day Should Be a Holiday" from The Dandy Warhols Come Down. All my friends claim to hate the ubiquitous song about faux bohos, but because I recognize the hidden references--my favorite being about how in Portland everyone who was in a band at the time worked at Dot's, a bar and restaurant famous for its "Burrito in a Bowl"--I still find the song fucking hilarious, and I'm glad Courtney laughed all the way to the bank with it. Their trademark druggy hedonism sickens most people I know, but not me--and not just because a month after I got out of rehab, when the Dandys played the Catwalk, Courtney, meaning no disrespect, told me that if I wanted to fuck anyone in the opening band (the then-unheard-of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), he'd be happy to set it up. "They're such babies," he complained. "They don't know how to take drugs or get laid, and they're just wasting the tour." I declined, and another character flaw fell away.
So the new Dandy Warhols album, Welcome to the Monkey House, is out in the UK, and getting advance play in the States. It's very different, and I still haven't completely warmed up to it. But I can't wait to see them play it live. Even with the tits.
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Having made quite a little profit off the sale of Chop Suey, the team behind that club is about to open another joint, on Second and Bell in Belltown, called The Battery Bar. It's to be super swanky, I'm told (and no kitsch) and Chop Suey bar manager Quentin Ertel will defect to the new establishment.