Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Previously shelved versions from pop hipsters The Dandy Warhols.

TV and movie producers love the Dandy Warhols. For a long time, the only songs I ever heard from them were from soundtracks. ‘Boys Better’ is a good song from the Good Will Hunting soundtrack. ‘Bohemian Like You’ is a great song that was on half a dozen soundtracks (including Six Feet Under). ‘We Used to Be Friends’ is a good song from “Music From The O.C.” and the Veronica Mars soundtrack. “Sleep” was used in the Crazy/Beautiful soundtrack. The’ve had songs used on Clockstoppers, Stubbs the Zombie, and more, if you care enough to do some Googling. They write great pop songs. Nothing complicated or too challenging really, but appealing melodies and great ideas for lyrics. Anyway, I’ve liked a lot of the music of theirs I’ve heard on soundtracks so when I found the 2009 release “The Dandy Warhols Are Sound” at the library, I scooped it up like a $20 on the sidewalk.

If you already own "Welcome to the Monkey House," you may not want to spend the money, but between the two versions, I like this one more.

Once I looked at the song list on the album, I thought it was a greatest hits or something, because “We Used to Be Friends” is on this album and I know that song is many years old. It turns out to be more interesting than that. Back when the band was working on their 2003 release, “Welcome to the Monkey House,” the band members themselves were really pulling for a version mixed by Russell Elevando, a Grammy winning engineer who had worked with The Roots, D’Angelo, Alicia Keys, and Common among others. Capitol Records had other ideas and shelved that version in favor of a slicker, poppier mix created by Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes. Eh, what would the actual band know about how their own music should sound?

Of course, the album spawned some hits and it was probably the right sound for the time, though the band wasn’t entirely pleased. Singer/Guitarist Courtney Taylor-Taylor said, “There are two different approaches to mixing. One is very slick and clean, and “Welcome to the Monkey House” fits more into that category. “Are Sound,” however, has a sneakier profile. It seems very lo-fi and earthy, but the fact is, it’s extremely precise.” I went back and listened to the originals. They are, of course, the same songs, so they’re not totally dissimilar, but there are differences.

I ripped four songs from “Are Sound.” Fans of the original release may find this one interesting as a curiosity. If you’ve never heard these songs, though, check them out. I will link to the originals on YouTube, but check out the Amazon samples of the new versions. I like them better.

  • Burned – This replaces ‘You Come in Burned’ from “Monkey House” and I like the Elevado version more. It’s less sonically cluttered than the originally released version, highlighting the vocals more and giving you a little less atmospherics.
  • Plan A – This version is less jangly and reverby than the original. It makes the vocals a little sweeter and gives the song a more intimate feel.
  • We Used to Be Friends – As I mentioned, this song has been used on various soundtracks so there’s a good chance you’ve heard it, at least this version. It has a great sound, particularly the keyboards.
  • The Last High – The two versions of this song are very close. If you aren’t familiar with the “Monkey House” version, give it a listen. It’s another broadly appealing pop song about regretting mistakes that killed a relationship.

I’ve ordered more Dandy Warhols and I’ll share some with you if it’s as good as I’m expecting.



January 4, 2010 - Posted by | Popular, Rock

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