Dandy Warhols were the first of the MTV-Gen bands to turn the new found formula on its back. Two parts style + one part substance became the reverse, and for three albums, the Dandies aural output was a holy trinity along the lines of Alice Cooper (Love it to Death, Killer, School’s Out), T. Rex (Electric Warrior, Slider, Tanx) and Lou Reed (Transformer, Berlin, Sally Can’t Dance).
Those were the Dandies Capitol, and capital, years starting with 1997’s …The Dandy Warhols Come Down, then 2000’s Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia and finally Welcome to the Monkey House in 2003. The band’s attempt to further its streak, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars got it booted from the label, likely because it had too much filler. The best songs from it are here, “Holding Me Up,” “Smoke It” and “All the Money or The Simple Life Honey.”
But by the time of Odditorium, it was apparent the band was living on borrowed time anyway, because there is no doubt that it couldn’t support the music with touring. The Dandy Warhols are one of the worst live bands in history, taking pretentious shoegazing and insipid banter to the lowest of lows.
Once on stage, gone are the elegance and the haughty songs, the latter being glam tinged with Stones meshed with clever.
A couple non-Capitol songs are snuck into the mix here; “Scientist,” and “Plan A,” both original mixes for the Monkey House CD that were scrapped and later released in a CD on another label.
Also stuck in here is a new one, “This is the Tide,” an excellent driver that taps “It’s a Fast Driving Rave Up…” from the first release (which was not on Capitol and sadly unrepresented here).
So the Capital Years captures the best for sure, and that best is some amazing 15 songs. The studio loved the Dandies and vice versa. You’ve heard “Godless” “Bohemian Like You” “Every Day Should be a Holiday” many times, and again is never enough. These are gems that reflect a band in its prime.
But if we can do one thing, let’s keep them from touring. Join me at www.keepdandiesoffthebus.com and do your part.
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