Dandy Warhols Throw Concert-Goers A Curve

Portland, Ore.-based psychedelic-pop band steals the show opening Hollywood gig for reunited techno-rock duo Curve.

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" (RealAudio excerpt).

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" (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

"White Gold."

"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" (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

the bomb."