LOS ANGELES -- It creates an interesting paradox when a rock singer with an
ego as gargantuan as Courtney Taylor's comes down to earth and sings a song about
insecurity and rejection.
In an incongruous moment during the Dandy Warhols' set at the Hollywood Athletic Club
on Friday night, band frontman Taylor groaned the lyrics "I feel like shit, and that's what
you want," from the song
HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Dandy_Warhols,_The/I_Love_You.ram">"I Love You"
Taylor, who was dressed in an army-green shirt and black pants, momentarily
seemed out of sync with his habitual arrogance. His vulnerability was certainly a switch
from his earlier declaration to the crowd, "I sneeze, and hits come out."
Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the pretense of their frontman, the Dandy Warhols
are an exceptional live band. Their opening performance for techno-rockers Curve on
Friday night showed them at their best.
With the bulk of their set drawn from their year-old album, The Dandy Warhols Come
Down, the Portland, Ore.-based Dandys delivered such neo-psychedelic rockers as
"Boys Better," plus the acid-rock/surf music blend of "Everyday Should be a Holiday" and
the mid-tempo "Good Morning" -- which Taylor sings in a deep, controlled tone
reminiscent of Iggy Pop's mature vocal style.
The band, also featuring eyelinered guitarist Peter Holmstrom, cowboy-hat-sporting
keyboardist Zia McCabe and super-sideburned and afroed drummer Brent DeBoer --
previewed only one new song, a memorable little number called "White Gold," recalling
the glammy, yee-haw spirit of Spacehog. The song points to a more expanded sound for
the Dandy Warhols of tomorrow. In one of his many mini-monologues, Taylor explained
that the song is about the popularity of cocaine in Texas.
"Heroin had its day," he said, recalling the proclamation "heroin is so passé," from the
band's breakthrough hit,
HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Dandy_Warhols,_The/Not_If_You_Were_The_Last _Junkie_On_Earth.ram">"Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth"
_Junkie_On_Earth.ram">"Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth"(RealAudio
excerpt). "Speed is too much of a time commitment," he continued, later concluding,
"God, Texas, cocaine."
"They're total rock stars -- it's great," said Dandys fan Alison Wise, 25, who was sitting out
in the hallway as Curve blared their over-the-top rock in the next room. "They live it --
sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll ... And Courtney [Taylor] is really sexy."
But it was McCabe who provided the most endearing moment of the night when she took
over Taylor's microphone after the band had left the stage. Singing in an airy voice that
sounded like it was coming from a little girl who smokes too much, she caroled, "There's
a daisy on my toe ... pretty little flower so I'm not alone when I'm in the shower."
With his pronounced sideburns and super curly, sandy brown puff of hair, newest
bandmember DeBoer seems to embody the Dandys' neo-retro style. After the show, he
stood out by the band's tour bus and discussed the group's latest material, beyond
"There isn't quite as much jangly pop," DeBoer said. "It's melodic with nice grooves --
more like 'Good Morning.' "
Playing as the opening act for the industrial-rock duo Curve was not such a strange slot
for the Dandys, he added, especially since "Courtney [Taylor] made it very clear ... that
he wanted to open on a tour" at this point in time.
The two acts turned out to be quite compatible on the same bill. The Dandys' set was just
as strobe-enhanced and noisy as that of Curve. But Curve's electronic textures were less
salient under a harder, heavier, full-band attack.
With techno and industrial rock finally having come of age, the music scene has caught
up to the influential Curve -- composed of Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia. The duo
re-formed last year after a four-year hiatus to release the EP Chinese Burn. This
year, they delivered the full-length album Come Clean. Joined by their backup
band, Curve delivered a selection of songs from Come Clean, including the
prickly but melodic
HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Curve/Coming_Up_Roses.ram">"Coming Up Roses"
Roses"(RealAudio excerpt) and the creepily cheerful "Alligators Getting Up."
Dressed in black, singer Halliday looked alternately entranced and angry as she sang.
The crowd had shrunk a bit after the Dandys finished their set, but the people who
remained got into Curve's mean grooves.
Suzanne Stanford danced around with her eyes shut as the band played. "I'm in kind-of
a different scene," said the 21-year-old Curve fan. "Like, I go to raves and stuff, but this is