Friday Night: The Dandy Warhols at the Glass House

Yeah, we weren't able to send a photog to this one. iPhone photos!
Yeah, we weren't able to send a photog to this one. iPhone photos!

Friday Night: The Dandy Warhols, The Meek at the Glass House in Pomona; June 5, 2009.

Better than: Checking out the second night of all-ages dance night Club Matinee going on simultaneously at the nearby Fox Theater in Pomona, although anyone with a Glass House wristband got in for free.

Number of on-stage bathroom breaks: Only one. More on that later.

Friday was a good night to be in Pomona if you're a Dandy Warhols fan. They played for just under two straight hours, with not even an encore in sight. Though they did take an extended "potty break" (lead singer and guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor's words, not mine) about halfway through, which allowed Taylor-Taylor (apparently armed with a stronger bladder than his bandmates) to talk at length about his gig the previous night playing a pro-marijuana legislation reform event at the iconic Playboy Mansion. A tale which, appropriately enough, led in to "Lou Weed" from 1995 debut Dandys Rule, OK?.

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"Stoners are the nicest people," said Taylor-Taylor. "It was the first time any of us had been in the mansion." Apparently they don't hang with David Spade.

The Dandy Warhols don't have a lot of mainstream hits--"Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth," sure; "Bohemian Like You," great tune, but debatable in terms of widespread recognition; "We Used to Be Friends," beloved by the small yet vocal legion of Veronica Mars fans but not many others. They did all three of those, sure, but the real treats came form lesser known tracks like bouncy, pre-potty break number "Get Off" and set-closer "Country Leaver," both from 2000's Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia.

Don't forget, though, that the Dandys just released Earth to the Dandy Warhols last year, and they did plenty from that, natch, like the fairly epic "And Then I Dreamt of Yes," which Taylor-Taylor and keyboard player Zia McCabe both said was their current favorite song--of theirs, at least.

Other highlights included "(You Come In) Burned," the last track of 2003's Welcome to the Monkey House, where Taylor-Taylor provided extra percussion, and the harmonica-infused "The New Country" from 2005's critically mixed (very mixed--look at this savage Pitchfork review) Odditorium or Warlords of Mars.

Even though they did their big singles, this was surely a show for die-hards, and they were richly awarded--more than 20 songs from throughout their 16-year career and some quality time to bask in Taylor-Taylor's playfully sneering presence. And it certainled seemed that the mostly full Glass House was packed with such fans; shouting out song titles thoughout the set as suggestions. Taylor-Taylor eventually reletented, saying, "I guess we got to do 'Horse Pills.' We'll do that after the next song." The amount of actual improvisation contained in that moment is dubious, sure, but they did play that Urban Bohemia track, and a little audience-empowering is always fun, even if it's just pretend.

San Francisco's The Meek (now based in LA) opened up, but don't take our word for it. Here's what CTT had to say: "Can you believe the Meek? How fucking brilliant is that band?"

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: Given that I have a birthday coming up, I was extremely heartened to see that the nearly 42 (!) Taylor-Taylor still seems like a cool (perhaps too cool) dude, and appears rather youthful. At least from where I was standing.

Random Detail: Taylor-Taylor's set-up had two mics on top of each other, one for "clean" vocals and one for distortion--not that wacky by itself, but he would sometimes alternate talking between them when bantering, which was pretty funny.

By the Way: The Dandy Warhols are Sound, a remixed version of Welcome to the Monkey House, comes out July 14.


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