Monday, September 29, 2008

The Dandy Warhols in Aspen

Poster for the Dandy Warhols at the Belly Up in AspenThe summer of music continues. Nan and I have been big fans of The Dandy Warhols since the release of their third album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, back in 2000. Last night we finally got the opportunity to see them perform live. They played the Belly Up in Aspen, a nightclub we know well from our twenty-plus years living in Aspen. So we drove up for a wild night of psychedelic rock and roll starting with The Upsidedown and Darker My Love.

I stopped by the souvenir stand before the show started with the idea of buying a Dandys t-shirt. It turned out that Brett Kron, the guitarist from The Upsidedown, was behind the table. We chatted for a few minutes about his band's relationship to both the Dandys and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. All are part of the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene. I also met Bob Graham Mild, The Upsidedown's drummer, when he stopped by.

I found a good-looking shirt but they only took cash, so I went off to find an ATM. When I returned, a different guy was behind the table. He introduced himself as Travis, one of the sound people for The Dandy Warhols and Zia McCabe's husband. Zia is the band's eclectic keyboardist. Like an idiot, the first thing I could think to ask was, "How many kids do you guys have now?" That made Travis laugh. "Just one," he responded. We talked for a few minutes about what a great place Aspen is and how well the band's tour was going. They had played to a packed house at the Gothic in Denver the night before and were headed to Los Angeles in the morning. He asked if there was any particular Dandys song I wanted to hear. How about "We Used To Be Friends", I asked. "I'll tell Courtney to be sure to play it," he said.

The show started at about 10:00 with The Upside Down. The similarities to the Dandys were immediately noticeable: guitar-heavy pop melodies with strong buzzy undercurrents. I was glad that Brett had also talked me into buying the band's new CD, Human Destination.

Darker My Love was next, and they were just that: darker. The guitar parts were complicated and the band members concentrated more on their playing than on their stage presence. There were interesting tempos and change-ups, but it was not the type of music I would rush out to buy.

The Dandy Warhols in Concert at the Belly Up in AspenAt midnight, The Dandy Warhols hit the stage with "Moham-med" [Not "Solid" as originally written. Thanks for the correction, Zia!], followed immediately by my requested song. Travis wasn't kidding, I thought. Nan and I had good seats, but we wanted to get closer so we spent the rest of the concert on the dance floor, pogoing around like crazy to an hour and a half of really good, really loud music. If I had to describe it, the Dandys' music sounds like the Cowsills on acid, like "Aquarius" as performed by The Rolling Stones. The show ended with lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor doing a solo electric rendition of "Every Day Should Be A Holiday". If only!

1 comment:

zia mccabe said...

Hi, it's Zia from The Dandy Warhols.
I'm so glad you guys had fun, I was suffering from alt sickness but did my best.
I'm pretty sure I know who you guys are, is Nan very tiny with a pretty shirt on that had a sparkly bit around the neckline?
Anyway, thanks for you support.
Rock on, Zia
ps, we started with Mohammed not Solid ; )