In the 2004 documentary DiG!, friends/rivals the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols chose remarkably divergent paths for success. Led by the eccentric, egomaniacal Anton Newcombe, the former band systematically squandered every chance for success that came its way, eventually fading back into the obscurity it never quite escaped.
Meanwhile, the amicable Dandy Warhols played ball with the record labels, and their eagerness to please led to widespread success overseas. But, despite the strength of poppy hits like "Bohemian Like You" and the Newcombe-bashing "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth," the Portland band's American audience has never grown as large as its international one.
The continued lack of domestic recognition may be to the Dandy Warhols' annoyance, but it's to our advantage -- on Dec. 7, the group will play the Belly Up Tavern. The Solana Beach venue is considerably smaller than the arenas the band plays abroad, which means we'll be treated to an comparatively up-close-and-personal performance the likes of which they would salivate over in Europe.
If you're going to the show, be sure to get there early for Blue Giant, the side-project of Kevin Robinson and Anita Robinson. As their guitar-heavy other band, Viva Voce, the married Robinsons have released some of indie rock's steamiest albums (if you haven't heard them, check out 2004's The Heat Can Melt Your Brain and 2006's Get Yr Blood Sucked Out). The psych-country Blue Giant may be better suited for a hoedown than for getting down, but their twangy compositions are just as seductive and wispy as those of Viva Voce.
Tickets can be purchased here.