Club Sound in good old SLC to see the Dandy Warhols in concert. I've always liked the group (they are called variously the Dandys or the Warhols, depending on who you talk to. I prefer to keep it the Dandy Warhols) and now (thanks to Housemate Friend Jeff (HFJ)) all of their CDs. I didn't have the last one until HFJ purchased it last week. I had shied away from it since the brief clips that appear on the net are rather lackadaisical and seemed to be indicating a crushingly morose release this time. Most of the songs on the album are well over 5 minutes with on a couple dropping down to the normal 3-minute radio play zone.
I will report, in all, that the CD is much better than the clips tell. While it does not have instantly catchy tunes like Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia it explores the same big sonic space they've always been exploring: crushing disonance and hard edge lyrics countered by catchy little melodies. That's probably not a very complete or appealing way of describing what they are doing. How about this: they live in the same place as Pavement or Sonic Youth or Brian Jonestown Masacre (a kind of disgruntled and hard place to live, but at the same time kind of fun.) All right, that doesn't make sense either, so I will just say that The Dandy Warhols are interesting to listen to because of the oddity of their musical combinations. That kind of fits since their latest albume is called Odditorium or the Warlords of Mars.
Now I was going to mention something about their other albums and/or the movie Dig! but I've kind of lost all momentum trying to explain their music in a way that does it justice and doesn't make me sound like a total twit. Perhaps I haven't done one and have done the other. I'll leave that to you decide, kind reader.
The show was like most shows of bands that have been around for a while and have a stockade of hits: generic. They did play well, I will give them that, and they know their music inside and out, but there was no risk involved. Nothing new. Nothing to shatter. Nothing off the new album. Basically, it would seem, the show was ready-made to please the everyday, radio-play fan. It was not meant to bring out their new work or explore where they are going musically.
I enjoyed myself, none-the-less, but at the same time I kind of felt like I was seeing the tour bus climbing over the hill, wending its way back home to Portland where it will soon be sold and used to tote Kenny Rogers on his big 2009 Northwest Tour.
The Dandy Warhols are incredibly big in Australia and Europe. Maybe they will put on more challenging/more interesting shows there before they fade away.