Thursday, December 10, 2009

54. “Godless” by The Dandy Warhols (2000)

Ever since Dig! was released in 2004, any discussion of The Dandy Warhols seems to be coupled with The Brian Jonestown Massacre. They were friends and then rivals and now I don’t know what they are, but the movie takes you through the insane world of BJM’s Anton Newcombe and leaves us with the impression that he is some sort of misunderstood genius, while the Dandys were a bunch of relatively responsible rock n rollers looking to package their polished, major-label subsidized, psychedelic rock to make the big bucks.

It seems like they got the Dandys right, though time has not really shown Newcombe to be much of a genius. As I have written here ad nauseum, I am a sucker for bands that rip off previously awesome sounds of the VU, The Beatles and The Stones (not to mention Joy Division, Echo and The Bunnymen and Talking Heads), so while I have tons of BJM’s music and while I like a lot of it and while I appreciated his druggy, hazy live show at Maxwell’s in 2005 (and the fact that he was yelling at our very own Dr. Midnight from the stage) it’s hard to say that Newcombe is anything but a guy channeling those things that were already done. He does this really well, but “genius” is not the word I’d use to describe him. “Insane drug addict” is more accurate, methinks.

As for the Dandys, there are probably 100 other bands not on this top 100 list that I like more than them, but this is the age of the iTunes single and this list is about great songs, not bands or albums. I always thought this was a great opening song to a record and while the Dandys never did much else for me beyond this one tune, it still stands alone as a very good rock n roll song.

Listen here.

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