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November 30th, 2005 Michael Byrne, Jessi Kramer | Album Reviews
 

MUSIC AND VIDEO REVIEWS

     
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The Joggers Nov. 27 at Doug Fir

Portland's garage heroes give, and we just take.

[GARAGE] Consider "Back to the Future," the finale that capped the Joggers' Sunday-night show at Doug Fir. Featuring an honest, hands-free, a cappella coda, this song, from the band's 2003 debut, Solid Guild, is largely responsible for the fact that there isn't a paragraph written about this band that doesn't use the phrase "four-part harmony." The only thing better would have been the entire crowd joining in, beers raised high, giving the Joggers a drunken welcome-home singalong after a month on the road. Or perhaps we could have at least come up with a foot-shuffle-nod to the band's new plays with dance rhythm off this year's With a Cape and Cane (where was "Wicked Light Sleeper" three years ago?). But, unsurprisingly, it wasn't to be: We can love a populist band for loving us, but in Portland, that apparently means we still don't have to thaw. Even when the four sweaty garage rockers covered Heart's "Magic Man," an act that should make any twentysomething girl flip her shit, the crowd merely watched. Blame the holiday, blame Sunday, blame the cold, blame fond memories of the Joggers playing Lola's Room at crowd level in a July inferno, blame the walls for not closing in, whatever.

I suspect, like the Thermals or the Gossip, this band has two crowds: the front-row shufflers and hoppers, and the back-row snots. Let's pretend the shufflers dropped cold after four days of whatever and ceded this show to the snots. It's a solid argument, and I hope it makes us all feel better about our paralysis last Sunday, because the Joggers have every right to pack a room with a throbbing mass of enthusiasts: Beneath Ben Whitesides' slurred sing-shouting are wicked-complicated knots of guitars buoyed by Darrell Bourque's increasingly dancey bass.

Even during "Ziggurat Traffic"—a crackling highlight of dubby bass and Middle Eastern-sounding guitar riffage—a weary Portland seemed pressed to force a reaction. Behind whatever electric insulator the Doug Fir uses to separate the bands from the audience, the Joggers gave us everything we didn't deserve, and we did the same to them. MICHAEL BYRNE.

The Dandy Warhols "Smoke It" Director: Courtney Taylor-Taylor

"Smoke It," the first single off the Dandy Warhols latest album, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, is little more than a throwaway party song, a guitar-pop ode to smoking pot that, judging by leadman Courtney Taylor-Taylor's bad puns and absurd rhymes, was written while the band was practicing what it preaches. The video for the song exudes the same aura of ennui toward creation, its origins likely going something like this: The band shows up, gets stoned and thinks, "Hey, let's invite all the dogs we know to the Odditorium [the Dandys' secret lair in Northwest Portland]. Then Courtney will pout and we'll all dance around the dogs while someone blows bubbles into the frame? Oh, this video is going to be awesome! Woo! Smoke It!" And with effortless glee (and maybe a bong and some flea collars), they film said idea. That's the net result seen here, a video whose composition and meaning can be easily reduced to four words: Dandys, dogs, stripes and bubbles. Under the direction of Taylor-Taylor, the camerawork is frenetic, alternately accosting the dogs roaming the set (some seem quite bored with the production, while others do seem to enjoy the act; one chihuahua looked like it was trying to hump a pug) and filming the band rocking out among the canine class. The dogs and the Dandys are cute, but this video is grating. It's cloying. It's the Dandy Warhols' "Smoke It." And you know you're going to watch it, so you can complain about it, too. JESSI KRAMER.

See the video at www.dandywarhols.com/video.html.


See the video at www.dandywarhols.com/video.html.
 
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