The Dandy Warhols

KCSN presents

The Dandy Warhols

Joel Gion, Miranda Lee Richards

Thu, December 3, 2015

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

$25 - $30

This event is all ages

Official ID required for those who are 16 +
Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Dandy Warhols
The Dandy Warhols
Distortland – Bio 2016
By: Marissa R. Moss.

And then, the roof fell in. Literally.
Three days after The Dandy Warhols finished recording their ninth album, Distortland, a 14,000 lb gush of water collapsed the roof of the Dandy's studio, filling the place with rainwater and 80 years of roofing materials. Had it happened a few days later, the Dandy's would have been on tour and the two months of humidity which ensued would have wrecked every last piece of gear. Well, as any good comedian knows, timing is everything.

"Our whole thing is a disorganized byproduct of being alive," says Taylor-Taylor. "So our music is organized disorganization." Indeed it is – the Dandy's have always spectacularly blended the pristine with the unusual, the rhythmic with the unpredictable, the grit with the sheen. Since their inception in 1994, they've sailed through and past shifting musical climates by presenting thoughts un-mired by censorship and unfiltering their art. Making music out of Portland, Oregon for over twenty years, The Dandy Warhols - Taylor-Taylor (vocals, guitar), Zia McCabe (keyboards), Peter Holmstrom (guitar), and Brent DeBoer (drums) -- have gone on world tours, had hit singles and even taken the stage during the Greek riots. They've weathered shifts from vinyl and tape to CD and CD to digital, from paper fliers to social media and toiled with major labels, and still remained a pure synergistic unit.

Distortland, in a way, was an act of serendipity before disaster – before the throbbing rain could have ruined all the Dandy's progress – but it's also an album about the lack of serendipity after a much more subtle disaster set in. Living in Portland well before it became the destination-du-jour, they've seen their home change around them: from a community where artists can thrive to one where a bottle of green juice costs more than a concert ticket. Their every day reality began to look a lot different than it did back in the early nineties, overrun by corporate development and gentrification – a distortion of the very environment the band knew and loved. And maybe it was a coincidence that the sonic path of the album began to mirror that scuffed, blurred vision – or maybe not.

"I noticed there is a lot of distortion on the tracks, and in weird places," says Taylor-Taylor. "Distortion on the vocals, drums, keyboards, not just distorted guitars. Even the acoustic I found myself putting distortion on. Meanwhile, we're living in Portland, Oregon, which has gone from .5 million to 2.5 million, and thats the weirdest thing. I just looked out my window and thought 'Distortland'.... yep. The dirty little town that time forgot, one day became the cultural epicenter of earth."

From tracks like the lead single, "You Are Killing Me" to the lanky swing of "All The Girls In London," the Dandy's might use distortion as a tool – but there is deep undercurrent of a thrilling, euphorically melodic dream that they came to love (and define) in the early nineties that is perfectly, pristinely clear. It's all the rage to reinterpret that era in a distant, shoegazy sort of presentation, but what the Dandy's do on Distortland is a far more focused presentation of how that decade's subtle, mischievous influence shaped their music – but now with a point of view that looks forward and not back. Perhaps part of that is owed to lean, clean mixing from Jim Lowe - best known for his work with Taylor Swift and Beyonce. "We record very dirty, so having a clean mixer is great," says Taylor-Taylor, who self-produced the Dandy's records and begins by laying tracks onto a 80s cassette recorder. But don't fret: "the record is still loaded with dirt, it's just well organized dirt."

Indeed, "You Are Killing Me" edges rough vamps against a hooky refrain that is instantly danceable and chantable without being the least big cloying – something the Dandy's have always been expertly skilled at, teetering their songs on the balance line of noise, rock, and pop without every tipping too heavily in one direction. Taylor-Taylor, the group's principle songwriter, doesn't take the task of creating meaningful narrative lightly, either – there is always a message beneath the melody.
"There's the main line, 'you are killing me, and everything you love about me.' I feel like that's a well balanced line, because it doesn't stop at accusatory and actually finishes with a line that could open a dialogue between two people who are having a hard time in their relationship, and a hard time communicating." The band released the song in January – breakup month - to incite that very conversation.
Then there is the unmistakable Dandy groove on "STYGGO" (which stands for "Some Things You Gotta Get Over"), that tackles the bigger picture of that rapidly distorting world from a broader, birds eye view. Of the track, Taylor-Taylor says, "Some things you can't get over.  Some things you gotta get over. 

Distortland is the Dandy's first record for Dine Alone, and their first studio LP since 2012's This Machine. Though four years between releases is certainly a long time in the usual demand of the corporate world, that is not a schedule the Dandy's ascribe to – they let the art and the music dictate, instead. That hasn't always been a favored stance, but it's one they stuck too.

"In the early years, we heard it all: 'you're never going to make it,' 'you're too intellectual,'" says Taylor-Taylor. But the Dandy's knew better, because "making it" was never the goal –making music to inspire, or to contemplate – was. And still is, even when the roof collapses and the very world they know changes beyond recognition. "yeah I guess we're fine with whatever. Maybe it's because we're a real old school type of band. Like a gang."
Joel Gion
After spending a long and strange career as the legendary "Tamborine Man" for the Brian Jonestown Massacre, tambourinist/percussionist Joel Gion has emerged with an armload of his own music done entirely his own way.

"With all the BJM members now living so spread out across the world, I found myself increasingly missing the album making process. This feeling of disconnect is what kick started me into exploring my own song writing process and turned out to be a hugely important piece of self discovery. No more time for my beloved laziness. So I made my own music with a with bunch of friends in the studio coming and going and having a great time creating. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by this album."

The fruit of Gion's sonic explorations, "Apple Bonkers" (a co-release with The Reverberation Appreciation Society and The Committee to Keep Music Evil), showcases Joel's talent as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist.

While Gion's depiction as the side-burned, hep-talking, sunglass-wearing star of the 2004 rockumentary "Dig!" casts a long shadow, the ten tracks of "Apple Bonkers" shows a different side of the jester of psych-rock's highest court. Over 10 tracks we find Joel at his most creative and captain of his own ship.

As might be expected, there are plenty of classic 1960s sounds, but the sonic palette spans decades, colored by timeless touchstones of Joel's record collection - shoe-gaze, post-punk, psychedelia, alt-country and mod/beat music, it's all there – as are a healthy collection of great guest musicians, including several current and former members of the BJM and other west coast friends.

Co-produced by current BJM members Collin Hegna and Rob Campanella, "Apple Bonkers" also features contributions by Jonestown members Daniel Allaire and Matt Hollywood, along with former BJM members Jeffrey Davies and Miranda Lee Richards. Also along for the ride: Pete Holmstrom of The Dandy Warhols, Ryan Van Kriedt of the The Asteroid #4/Dead Skeletons and Jason "Plucky" Anchondo of the Warlocks/ Spindrift.

Much more than getting by with a little help from his West Coast friends, "Apple Bonkers" sees Gion leading the trip to a psychedelic land of honest-to-goodness rock and roll.

Joel's fellow bandmates aren't the only ones who have left Gion's San Francisco neighborhood, and the album title "Apple Bonkers" is in reference to a city changed by an influx of tech startups and higher rents, for better or worse. There's a serious tone to the album that might surprise some listeners, shaded by the sometimes insane realities of the world in the year 2014.

But Joel has a message for listeners in the final track of the album: "Don't Let The F*ckers Bring You Down" and invites us to live a little, leave the bullsh*t behind and enjoy some rock and roll sunshine with your friends.
Miranda Lee Richards
"Courtney Taylor from the Dandy Warhols calls my genre 'Pixie Fairy Dust Chick Music,'" Miranda Lee Richards laughs, from her home in Los Angeles. "But I think another fitting description might be 'Psychedelic Chamber Folk Rock.'"

Richards grew up in San Francisco, the daughter of Ted and Terre Richards, stars of the underground comics revolution. Her father created The 40 Year Old Hippie; her mother was one of the founding editors and contributors of Wimmin's Comix in the 1970's. "Growing up, I got the message that if you do what you love to do, money will follow, just not a lot of it." It was a very Bohemian upbringing to put it lightly.

Richards played in school bands and sang in choir, but never considered music as a profession until her senior year of high school, when fate offered a unique hand. Her best friend began dating Kirk Hammett of Metallica, and Hammett taught Richards a few songs on guitar. "As soon as I knew how to play, I started writing songs and immediately loved the marriage of the two art forms. Eventually I got a piano to expand my musical repertoire."

Richards recorded her first demo in Hammett's basement studio, and the then manager of the Brian Jonestown Massacre passed the recording along to singer Anton Newcombe, who asked Richards to sing with the group. Shortly thereafter, Ondi Timoner began filming the BJM for her seminal documentary DIG! (2004). In one scene, a hiker observed the all white-clad members of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and friends gathered on a mountain top location. "Excuse me," he asked, "is this a cult or a photo shoot?" Miranda then candidly replied, "Honestly sir, I don't know the answer to that question!"

Miranda had since moved down the coast to LA to further pursue a music career. "I played clubs and open mics while I did modeling jobs and made demos. A mutual friend introduced me to Rick Parker (producer/musician who went on to work with BRMC, The Von Bondies, and Lord Huron), and we've been working together ever since." After recording a few sets of demos, she signed with Virgin, and began tracking her debut, The Herethereafter.

The Herethereafter (credits include Jon Brion and David Campbell) enjoyed critical acclaim, and a heavy film and TV licensing history allowed her to continue playing music full time. Since it's release, Miranda has collaborated in the studio or on stage with Tricky, Tim Burgess (Charlatans), Neil Halstead (Mojave Three), Tyler Hilton (One Tree Hill), The Hounds Below (Von Bondies), Joel Gion (BJM), Harper Simon, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Beachwood Sparks, Nikka Costa, Susan Vega, Tift Meritt, Grant Lee Philips, The Black Angels, Josh Kelly, Sam Amidon, Cate Le Bon, Turin Brakes, and Juliana Hatfield among many others. She joined The Jesus & Mary Chain for the West Coast leg of their 2007 tour, singing duets with Jim Reid on "Sometimes Always" and "Just like Honey." In the fall of 2007,
she toured the UK in support of a vinyl single "Life Boat" on Sonic Cathedral (the song subsequently went on the receive regular radio play on the BBC in 2009). In early 2008, she supported Tim Finn (Crowded House), and in late August she supported Neil Halstead, both on solo acoustic tours.

In 2009, Miranda released her critically acclaimed sophomore effort, Light of X. KCRW and the BBC jumped on board to support the album (with subsequent appearances on Morning Becomes Eclectic and Radcliffe Mahoney), and two tours of the UK and a date on the 2010 Lilith Fair tour followed. She appeared as the face for the Nine West Vintage America Voices campaign, and she procured another good run of prominent network TV licenses: Plane Jane, Field of Vision, Revenge of the Bridesmaids, Brothers and Sisters, Private Practice, Make it or Break It, Life Unexpected, Big Rich Texas, Saving Grace, One Tree Hill, Numb3rs, Beyond the Break, Summerland, Without a Trace, Switched at Birth, Bones, Life Unexpected, Gossip Girl, Fashionista Diaries, Unhitched, and the indie film and soundtrack to Adam (2009).

In 2012, her independent release "The Reach" enjoyed some time in the spotlight, appearing on the television shows Burn Notice, Switched at Birth, Beauty and the Beast, and Army Wives. She sang duet vocals on the haunting "Change My Mind" track from Joel Gion's 2014 solo release Apple Bonkers; the same year, she sang the underground Brian Jonestown Massacre hit "Anemone" at their sold out Wiltern show. She also wrote a song called "Hero of the Silent War" for the groundbreaking immersive feature film, The Hornet's Nest (2014), featuring Wynonna Judd, Stevie Nicks, and Kid Rock as fellow soundtrack contributors.

As a songwriter, Richards has an uncanny knack for finding the diamonds in the dust of every day life and the relationships within. She's able to look at an average moment and describe it in a way that transforms it into something much more evocative and powerful. Miranda combines her signature, close-to-the-heart vocals and lyrics with compelling music and arrangements to create a unique magic that few artists are able to achieve. Call it Richards' self-coined term 'Psychedelic Chamber Folk Rock, if you like, her albums are full of love and loss, desolation and salvation, both moody and inspiring.

Miranda Lee Richards' third full-length studio album, Echoes of the Dreamtime, comes out worldwide on Invisible Hands Music, November 20th, 2015.
Venue Information:
The Teragram Ballroom
1234 West 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90017