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    Posted April 26, 2012 by
    Solana Beach, California
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    No, no, & no! The Dandy Warhols are not Andy Warhol, despite having named themselves after the famed artist. But, according to cornershopstudios.com, "if Nirvana was still around & they decided one day it was time to mellow out & start taking influence from classic 80’s new wave bands like The Cure & The Smiths, they would have to rename the band The Dandy Warhols."


    Portland, Oregon’s The Dandy Warhols have been dogged for a sullen stage demeanor & a lack of effort to woe the music crowds. They are said to be a pretentious rock band but that's just because they are hipster slackers from rainy Portland & it is hard for them to work up much of a sweat when they are trying hard to preserve their trendy ennui.


    I am not a Dandy hater. In fact, I admire the band & love the fact that they are, indeed, so very ironic. Even if they were trying hard to act pretentious, knowing the Dandy's, you would need to ask: are they really pretentious or just ironically "acting" pretentious?


    The band was discovered in Portland, Oregon in the early 1990s, back when grunge fever had every A&R hack poking around the Pacific Northwest , looking for the next big thing. Meanwhile, the Dandy Warhols snuck in through the back door..or maybe it was a side door? The point is that the Dandy's are still here-- performing, touring, recording, acting hip & pretentious & just being fabulous in general & epic in particular!


    April 24, 2012 was the release date of their latest opus, entitled "This Machine," & it looks like it will be another great effort. Their national tour kicks off on May 16th in San Francisco & will wrap up later in Seattle on June 17th. Lucky for me, the Warhols will pay a visit to my neck-of-the-woods in mid-May at the Belly-Up Tavern in Solana Beach.


    The band became well-known in the mid-1990's for their nudity-filled live shows in Portland-area bars.. The Dandy's 2000 third studio album, entitled "Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia," was released to much critical and commercial success. The DW's hit it big internationally in 2001 when the single "Bohemian Like You," was used in a popular Vodafone advertisement. "Bohemian" has since become the band's best known song and has been featured in a number of films and TV shows. Especially popular over in the UK, the DW's musical oeuvre is as eccentric as the band members.


    Wikipedia notes that "The Dandy Warhol sound has included a variety of different genres ever since their conception. "Dandys Rule OK" in 1995 featured garage rock and shoegaze influences. The next album, "The Dandy Warhols Come Down ' from 1997 "displayed a more commercial and polished sound, being that it was their first record on a major label." Next, the DW's abandoned "the garage rock of the previous album & delved even further into psychedelic sound," with "Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia," (my favorite) from 2000, which featured a mature sound & more power pop leanings."


    Since then the Dandy's have continuously evolved creatively and lord it over at Portland's Odditorium, which doubles as their recording studio, performance venue and video sound stage that the Dandys carved out of a warehouse that takes up a quarter of a city block in Portland. The Odditorium was fashioned after Andy Warhol's New York studio, the Factory..


    The Dandys have caught flack from critics for pimping their tunes out to advertisers, like Nike and the Gap. That is their prerogative & besides, it has turned out to be a lucrative source of income for them.


    Thanks to the ads, says guitarist Peter Holmstrom, "publishing has become the largest source of revenue for the band, exceeding record sales & concert tickets & giving the group the resources to pursue its art as it sees fit." This extreme capitalism also fits in with the Dandy Warhol's extreme desire to do the unexpected & not cater to anyone's preconceived notions.


    To me, this oddity of four from Portland's rainy north is..forgive the cliche..... just dandy!

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