New Video From The Dandy Warhols: “This Is The Tide”

Dandy Warhols

Click here to watch the brand new video of “This Is The Tide” off of the Dandy Warhols’ just released retrospective album, The Capitol Years: 1995-2007.  These psychedelic intergalactic rock stars are set to play one of their unfathomably cool shows at Madison’s own Majestic Theater on October 29th.  We suggest you get your tickets now!

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Just Announced Madison Concerts: The Dandy Warhols

Friday, October 29

THE DANDY WARHOLS

Dandy Warhols

Majestic Theatre, 9:00 pm
Tickets: $20 adv $22 dos
All Ages

Tickets On Sale Friday, July 30 at 10am

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Dandy Warhols Frontman Attempts To Volunteer In BP Oil Spill Cleanup To No Avail

Courtney Taylor-Taylor

Frustrated by the lack of response and general hoop-jumping he was recently made to go through in order to become involved in the BP oil spill cleanup effort, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and all around splendid gentleman Courtney Taylor-Taylor just posted the following on The Dandy Warhols’ official site:

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I called two different places whose numbers were listed in the paper down here “if you would like to volunteer”.

The first one said they didn’t have anything for me and told me to ask local people if they knew anyone to ask. The second told me that all of the cleanup jobs were paid positions hired by BP and I’d have to apply for one if I wanted to help. Wtf?!!! No wonder there are maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of dying birds/fish/animals etc and maybe tens or dozens of people working to save them.

Anyhoo, they took my info and said if I was interested in helping out around an office they would give me a call. I said “sure, do it”, but its been days and they seem to have blown me off.

Idiots rule.

COURTNEY TAYLOR-TAYLOR

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We applaud your good intentions, Court.  Don’t give up the fight.

Thoughts?

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Tag’s Reflections on 2008

Our first show in 2008 was Poi Dog Pondering, performing an acoustic set at High Noon, with one of my favorite regional bands, Romantica, opening. Such a great way to start the year

February, the shortest month of the year, was long on pleasant surprises. Basia Bulat’s set at High Noon was so endearing, and her single “In The Night” remained one of my favorite songs of the year. Sara Bareilles played live on The Today Show and then, that same day, flew into Madison for her sold out show at High Noon; her piano-driven set made it obvious there’s a lot more substance to her than the ubiquitous “Love Song,” as catchy as that song is.

Nicole Atkins blew us away with her single, “The Way It Is” from 2007’s Neptune City…it’s an amazing piece of post-modern cabaret and it went down smooth at Café Montmartre. The opener Parlor Mob, with their loving send-up of Led Zep, was a fun contrast. And, speaking of metal tributes of sorts, who can forget Bang Camaro and their cheaper by the dozen approach to old-fashioned cock rock?

February was also the month Matt Costa’s van and trailer went off the road on an Iowa highway on their way to High Noon. Though rolling over three times, the band escaped with only minor injuries. We’re grateful that was the worst of it and look forward to Matt’s return. (Yes, Wisconsin winters are a challenge, so be careful out there folks!)

Trampled by Turtles March 7th at High Noon sold out unexpectedly. From the rush of people going outside to get a cigarette and the people making their way back inside on that frigid night, I joked it was no longer trampled by turtles–I thought I was going to be trampled by human beings!

The Gutter Twins required us to bring in so much additional gear you would have thought that they were playing in from of 3,000 people instead of 300. Predictably, Greg Dulli was cheery and Mark Lanegan was not. The legendary X performed on March 21 at the Barrymore for a very fun show — it was the first time I’d ever seen a grey-haired moshpit.

Jens Lekman played Old Music Hall and demonstrated how the right artist at the right venue can create pure magic, in contrast to the night before with Lewis and Clark at the Annex in which we had the right artist at the wrong venue. Actually, that was also the case with Gary Louris & The Mekons, a great pairing at the Barrymore at the end of March that was dramatically under-attended, possibly due to The Weakerthans and AA Bondy playing the same night at High Noon. It’s tough playing traffic cop. Sometimes there’s no getting around these scheduling conflicts.

→ Free Download: Sounds Familiar – The Weakerthans

April 4th we had Vampire Weekend at High Noon. It sold out weeks in advance, benefiting from cover stories in the national press before their record had even been released. Sometimes we get lucky.

One of the coolest shows of the year was Blitzen Trapper with Fleet Foxes on a Tuesday night early show at High Noon in early April. Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper would go on to receive end of the year acclamations for two of the best albums of the year.

On April 11th we had the first of 2 Bon Iver shows in Madison – this one a sold out show at the Stage Door–another artist that would go on to be on everybody’s top 10 list for 2008.

The New Pornographers with Okkervil River at the Orpheum…how cool was that? The word the day before the show that Neko Case had broken her leg reminded me of other female artists who played the Orpheum in years past with sprained ankles or broken legs, including Feist and Ani DiFranco. But Neko would not be making it until she came back to headline the Forward Fest in September-still the New Pornos/Okkervil show was a blast, with much discussion following as to which band was better. (My vote, diplomatically, was a tie.)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was the first band I’d ever seen that posted strobe warnings for the benefit of those with epilepsy and other conditions whereby they might go into a seizure. VERY INTENSE — enough to make people with “normal physiologies” dizzy and pass out. Dead Meadow played May 5th at High Noon’s fourth anniversary party–great stoner rock show, and True Endeavors supplied free pizza to celebrate the occasion.

Tegan and Sara played Madison a couple of times in years past to relatively small crowds – in May they came back and sold out the Barrymore Theatre. In contrast, Jim White again put on an amazing show at the Stage Door to a very small crowd. Sometimes quality is rewarded with a big show, sometimes not. Fortunately for us, we had our share of sell outs to wrap up the spring season, thanks to The Avett Brothers and Josh Ritter at High Noon, and KT Tunstall at the Barrymore.

→ Free Download: Snow Is Gone – Josh Ritter

MJ and I were at the National Conference for Media Reform the first weekend of June. We had the honor and privilege of stage-managing the conference where we rubbed shoulders with the likes of Bill Moyers, Dan Rather, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Van Jones, Arianna Huffington, and Senator Byron Dorgan. www.freepress.net

June had some unexpectedly strong shows, starting off with the ever-strange, ever-amazing Buckethead. Stephen Marley sold out the Barrymore, and one of 2008’s most anticipated events was the sold out performance at the Overture with The Swell Season-music from the motion picture Once, featuring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. One of the special moments for me of the entire year was when Glen stood way from the mic and busked “Say It To Me Now” with his worn-out guitar and raspy voice, much like he did on that Dublin street in the early part of that amazing film.

→ Free Download: Buckethead- Three Fingers, 2005 Enter the Chicken

Speaking of the Overture, I hope you caught Lyle Lovett’s riveting performance in July – the 13-piece band, which grew to 20+ with the addition of local gospel singers from Alex Gee’s church, made this one of the top shows of the year.

The political hip-hop of Immortal Technique sold out High Noon in July and I was amazed at the number of leftie slogans on t-shirts, evidence that apathy is not a fair way to characterize this demographic. The Hold Steady sold out the Majestic convincingly and unsurprisingly for what many might argue was the best show of the year. Unless you are a Toadies fan, in which case you might make the case for their sold-out show with The Whigs on July 31 at the Annex.

→ Free Download: Chips Ahoy! – The Hold Steady

In August we were blessed to host at the Barrymore none other than She & Him, whose brilliant debut Vol. 1 was Paste magazine’s album of the year. The Onion’s over-the-top snarkiness notwithstanding, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward put out one of the best albums of the year and their performance was wonderful, simply wonderful.

→ Free Download: She and Him- Why do you Let me Stay Here?, Volume 1 2008

We started the fall season with over 60 shows on sale. In reality, there’s just a glut of touring acts on the road these days, mainly because artists cannot make a living making records due to illegal downloads.

Big shows in September included Okkervil River with very special guest The Walkmen at the Barrymore. Both bands released new records that month and both performed amazing sets…without a doubt this was one of the best shows of the year. Australian surfer dude/didgeridoo-playing Xavier Rudd made his first appearance in Madison…his set was perhaps the most unusual of the year. The Dandy Warhols put on a great show to a smallish crowd, leaving us wondering if tough times were ahead.

Sure enough, we had more disappointment with shows like Abigail Washburn, Keller Williams, and Reliant K. It soon became obvious that the economy was going to be a factor. For the first time in all the years that we’ve been in business, it became clear that Madison wasn’t isolated form the recession affecting the rest of the nation.

Part of the problem, as already noted, was the sheer number of shows, all booked before anyone had heard of sub prime. There were 38 shows in the month of October alone. Among those shows, we had standout performances by Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, The Magnetic Fields, Nick Lowe, Pinback, Alejandro Escovedo, Murs, Lucinda Williams, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, finishing up with a sold out Halloween performance by Atmosphere.

→ Free Download: Magnetic Fields- Always Where I Need to be, Live

Can’t forget that Electric 6 and Local H sold out the High Noon unexpectedly. We were able to keep on selling after Local H finished playing and some of their fans left. Electric 6 fans were waiting and were able to get in-we had a packed house all night long

But still business suffered-disappointing turnouts for top notch shows like Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Kooks, Sonja Kitchell, Dead Confederate, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, Amy Ray, Augustana, Slightly Stoopid, and The Acorn reminded us that we were, yes, in a recession.

In November, the number of shows dropped off a bit, but the quality was sky high. Amos Lee, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Horse Feathers, My Brightest Diamond, Devin The Dude, Subtle, The Rosebuds, Eagles of Death Metal, Deerhunter, Ingrid Michaelson (her second successful appearance at the Barrymore this year),Matt Nathanson, Pelican, Gaslight Anthem, Ladyhawk and Susan Tedeschi all put on memorable shows.

December was an unusually strong month for us, with well-attended and nearly sold out shows by Sharon Jones and Carrie Underwood mixed in with sold out shows by Bon Iver and the BoDeans. Unfortunately, we suffered a cancellation by The Sadies, only our second of the year – Matt Costa in February being the other. We look forward to getting both of them back in 2009.

A word about Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: we promised you this would be the show of the year and we were not blowing smoke. While it’s impossible for me to pick a favorite among all the many shows we presented, this was certainly up there.

As great as the music has been through thick and thin, we had the great pleasure of serving our community through our fund raising wing, True Community Endeavors. This year, we raised money and awareness for the following organizations: Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund, The Progressive, WORT, Breast Cancer Recovery Foundation, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, AIDS Network, and Liberty Tree.

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Lastly, there was a time in late September, early October, when we weren’t sure we were going to survive the economic downturn. We gradually came to the realization that we were selling concert tickets, not automobiles, and that you don’t need to take out a loan to buy a concert ticket. Indeed, people still have a need for entertainment even in difficult and challenging times, perhaps even more so, whether it’s a distraction from all the bad news or the sense of community and transcendence some glean from a great live performance.

At the end of the year, I’m again profoundly grateful for the privilege of doing what we do at True Endeavors. We look forward to the New Year, particularly January 20 and our new president — that exhale of relief alone seems to have made a difference in the local economy.

Whatever 2009 brings, we’ll be going through it together. With your help and continued support, we’ll be out there doing our best to promote a vibrant and relevant music scene in Madison.

See you at the shows!

Tag Evers

Interview: The Dandy Warhols and The Upsidedown


The Dandy Warhols are cooler than you.   Don’t try to argue, it’s just the way it is. They have a great pop art name to go with their great pop art sound, and still look every bit as amazing slinging their guitars, shaking their tambourines and battering their drums and as they did when they formed more than a decade ago. The Portland-based foursome has created some of the most infectious and inventive rock music of the modern era, and has just released what this fan considers their most ambitious album yet: Earth To The Dandy Warhols.

The close friendships of Courtney Taylor-Taylor (vocals, guitar), Peter Holmstrom (guitar), Zia McCabe (keys), and Brent DeBoer (drums) are the foundation for the band that has created a mass of instantly memorable hits such as “We Used To Be Friends,” “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth,” and “Bohemian Like You.”  While The Dandys have an undeniable knack for creating tunes that force listeners out of their seats, their lyrics are every bit as much of a treat as the music they’re carried in on.  Approaching themes of drugs, sex, and youth culture with a modern, cynical and often humorous stance (“Lou Weed” and “Hard On For Jesus” have to be some of the most amazing song titles of all time) is what makes the band unique.

In anticipation for their show at The Barrymore on Wednesday, I recently got the opportunity to sit at the cool kids’ table for a bit and chat with The Dandys’ guitar master Peter Holmstrom (who is every bit as refreshingly intelligent, friendly and down-to-earth as one could hope) about how they’ve navigated the big bad beast of the music industry, their latest creation, and what the future might hold.

The Dandy’s newest album, Earth To The Dandy Warhols, is proof that a band can be inventive and take risks with their sound while still maintaining the accessibility that attracted their initial fan base.  Leave it to The Dandys to come up with new ways to make music fun and fresh.  “The unique thing about this record is that it’s half old songs and half new songs,” says Holmstrom.  “Talk Radio is one of the first Dandy Warhols songs ever.”  Fans will certainly hear shades of the band’s familiar brand of great shoegaze-influenced art pop in the new album while other unexpected sonic frontiers are explored, but it’s not just the music itself that has grown over the years.

“I think [Courtney’s style of songwriting] has changed a little bit,” Holmstrom reflects.  “He’s developing a kind of storyteller side.  It’s always been there in certain aspects, but now he’s kind of able to take it farther and not just create from personal experience, actually making full fictional stories.”

“Welcome to the Third World” is one such work of lyrical fiction, as well as being one of the most musically adventurous songs the band has attempted in their career.  Recalling the Talking Heads, Richard Hell and ‘80s Stones at their funkiest, Taylor-Taylor sexes up the impossibly hip lyrics like only he can.

The driving rockabilly beat of “The Legend of the Last Outlaw Truckers AKA The Ballad of Sheriff Shorty” features another memorable performance from Taylor-Taylor who breathlessly rips through the snappy lyrics at breakneck speed.   “Mis Amigos” is a joyful, peppy Mexican-influenced tune that would have fit seamlessly on Beck’s Guero, while fans of classics like CCR’s “Susie Q” and The Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” will gravitate towards “Valerie Yum.”   The darkest moment on the record is the swirling, heavy stomp of “Wasp in the Lotus,” which could easily be a modern, more sonically vast “Helter Skelter.”
In contrast, “Love Song” is a melodic, textured, bluegrass-sprinkled break in the action, featuring Mark Knopfler on dobro as well as the banjo talents of Mike Campbell from former touring partners Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

“Our original idea was to have Steve Martin play banjo.  It would be incredible!  I mean, come on!  Steve Martin!  We got a track off to his management and just never heard back.  So, Courtney got a little bummed out and said, ‘Well, fine, we’ll just get the best banjo player in the world.  I’m going to ask Mike Campbell who the best banjo player in the world is.’  Mike Campbell said, ‘Me!’” Holmstrom laughs.  “So he did it, and I think at the same time Courtney had also asked Mark Knopfler if he would play, and they both said yes kind of at the same time.  We just had to cross our fingers that their tracks were going to work well together, and if they didn’t we’d have to pick one or the other…It worked out incredibly well.”

Holmstrom confirms that The Dandy Warhols have no plans to tame down their musical experimentation anytime soon.  Considering the near future, he says, “We were thinking maybe just do EPs, and that way we’d be able to be a little freer stylistically.  If you have four songs it can be something as far out as you want, relatively easy to get done, and it wouldn’t be such a big deal if, say, half your fan base didn’t like that style because three or four months later we could hopefully have another EP with a different style.  That’s all theory at the moment.  Since it’s our own label, we can do whatever the hell we want! [laughs]”

The Dandys have never been shy about allowing their work to be used in movies, TV shows and advertisements, a fact that at first seems to be in contrast with the band’s famously independent spirit.  There are, however, always two sides of the story, as Holmstrom explains.

“I understand people being a little more protective about [using their music in advertisements] because then you’re associated with a product, but for us it was just some money, which we all needed.  We don’t make money from record sales—well, sorry, we haven’t made money from record sales just because we end up spending too much on making records and videos and promotion, so it’s just in order to get by.”

He goes on to describe how allowing their music to be placed in a variety of mainstream media sources has been a positive tool for the band. “That has perks beyond just a paycheck.  It actually brought attention to our record, and the record company in England re-released our single and it went to number five.  It was a huge success and it went on for years and years and years.  Because of that, we bought our own studio [The Odditorium], and were able to have our own label [Beat The World Records], and be independent, so I have no complaints at all about that whole thing.  We did what we needed to do to survive, and have ended up on the top.  We don’t get a huge amount of radio play, so it’s another way for people to hear the music.”

Indeed, 2008 finds the Dandy Warhols in an enviable position. With their own label, studio and a well-respected body of work that has attracted an enormous worldwide fan base, the sky is truly the limit.  “I’m happy with where we are and I think that we’re incredibly lucky,” Holmstrom concludes. “We’ve done it on our own terms and I definitely feel good about that.”

Opening Wednesday night’s show will be The Dandys’ fellow Portland residents, The Upsidedown.  Having shared billing with artists such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Walkmen and The Black Angels, The Upsidedown are quickly establishing themselves as a major force in the music world.  Their six members assembled in the great northwest from around the country in 2003 and have been awing music fans with their dance-friendly neo-psychedelic sound ever since.  The Upsidedown released their sophomore album, Human Destination, on The Dandys’ Beat The World label in August of this year, and have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the music press.  Vocalist and guitarist Jsun Atoms recently took the time to good-naturedly respond to several questions about the music his band creates.
In addition to sharing a label with the Dandy Warhols, The Upsidedown had the privilege of recording their most recent record in The Dandys’ Odditorium, an experience that Atoms fondly recalls.

“The first album [Trust Electricity] was all recorded in a day with some vocal overdubs later. This album we got to work in the amazing Odditorium with the incomparable Jeremy Sherrer. He is really something. He tells you what he hears and why. He listens to your needs and magically makes your dreams come true,” praises Atoms.  “It was the best art making experience thus far in my life, partly because of the couch Courtney [Taylor-Taylor] designed for the mixing room. He has left you no choice but to relax. Peter [Holmstrom] is such a calming force to be around too.”

Following the brief, delicate slide guitar solo of “Licorice Noir,” Human Destination screams open with the happily bouncy “What I Like About You”-esque rocker, “If You Are Hell Girl.”  “Number Twenty Nine” is about as chill and soothing as it gets, while “Black Rainbow” and “Silver Wind” are grittier, with tight garage pop edges.  Another standout track is “Light,” which sounds like Nine Inch Nails blissfully drifting away on Lunesta.

In short, the record is “all the things we want it to be,” says Atoms.  “If you are in your backyard gardening, it’s for you. If you are having a slumber party dance night with your kids before popcorn and a movie, it’s for you. If you are driving and laughing or crying, it’s for you. If you are sexy it’s for you. If you want to feel sexier it’s for you. If you like dressing up, it’s for you. Overall it’s for you, and we are so proud of it. We are just trying to light up the world, that’s all.”

Variety is perhaps the strongest element in Human Destination.  Each track is its own world of individual influence and force.  Keeping the musical experience free and experimental is important to The Upsidedown.
“I am not concerned with a signature sound. I feel like we didn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any one thing,” explains Atoms. “I love some of the reviews we have gotten that say we are garage but dark gothic, or that we are music from the future that uses instruments from the past. I just want to make our music, and if we have an audience that will be a blessing.”

As for how The Upsidedown’s six members found each other, you can’t help but adore an account as entertaining as Atoms’:
“We came together like when a tornado settles. It was very Wizard of Oz. I was looking for a heart. Before we were a band I was empty and unfulfilled. Now I have the best friends in the world and I have so much fun. Tristan [Evans, bass/vocals] is from Kansas and she landed here, and she has the coolest poncho. Matt [Moore, guitar/accordion/vocals/harp] and Bob [Graham Mild, drums] were tin woodsmen from Missouri and they both needed a little oil. Brett [Kron, guitar] and Sarah Jane [keys/vocals/tambourine] had been scaring crows, and then we all saw behind the curtain and found out that we are the great and powerful wizard ourselves.”

As if a night with The Dandy Warhols and The Upsidedown wasn’t exciting enough, California’s Darker My Love share the bill as well.  “Two Ways Out” from the band’s new album, 2, is an epic, soaring take on Supergrass’ “Alright” melody, and is already a favorite among the music blogging community.  The fuzzy, feral, psychedelic grooves found on tracks like the pulsing “Northern Soul,” “Wild,” and “Blue Day” are evocative of British “lad rock” bands, such as Kasabian and Oasis, which is sure to bring another interesting angle to a night of already dynamic musicianship.

Wednesday night’s 8:00 all ages show at the Barrymore will be a showcase of old favorites and sure-to-be new favorites from three of the most important indie bands on the current music scene.

-Shelley Peckham

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