Dandy Warhols Pack Light

West coast pop rockers throw intimate parties to celebrate "Odditorium"

Portland pop rockers the Dandy Warhols kicked off their Suitcase Tour this week, a brief jaunt in support of their fifth effort, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, due out September 13th. The band is making a handful of stops at radio stations on the West coast -- performing only with instruments that fit into their suitcases -- to be followed by parties at intimate club venues in the evenings.

According to enigmatic frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor, highlights of their radio sets include the new songs "All the Money" and "Smoke It." "They fit like a glove live," says Taylor-Taylor. "The euphoria -- once it starts, it swells around you, takes you somewhere, changes your energy." But of the twelve new tracks, co-produced in Portland by Taylor-Taylor and frequent collaborator Gregg Williams, songs such as "Easy" prove anything but when performed live. "That's a moment we'll never get again," sighs the singer. "Playing live is like a carpenter being handed stone tools."

The band -- singer/guitarist Taylor-Taylor, keyboardist Zia McCabe, guitarist Peter Holmstrom and drummer Brent DeBoer -- are currently planning a full September tour behind Odditorium, with at least one appearance at legendary New York punk venue CBGB. But after twelve years of touring, don't expect a lengthy outing. "We're not some young band that thinks we can make everyone think we're God," says Taylor-Taylor. "We don't need to travel to make money, and we don't give a shit. We have an amazing life right here in Portland that's closer to perfect than anyone else's life."

After years of supporting other acts on the road, the Dandys have developed a headlining-tours-only attitude. "We headed out with David Bowie a couple years ago, and it quickly became the sickest, darkest time of my entire life," says Taylor-Taylor. "His band was really cool, and Bowie's great. But their crew are kind of grunts and under a lot of stress, and it felt good to them to turn around and be mean to us. We got a lot of that shit, and we got into a whole bunch of fights like, 'I'll kill you, motherfucker! I'll find out where you sleep!'"

But the Dandys certainly knew they would be treated right on Live with Regis and Kelly, where they're scheduled to perform on September 13th in celebration of their new release. So what does Taylor-Taylor think of hanging with the house-mom-loving morning show titans? "Well, we're going to be so jetlagged from being in Europe, we just went, 'Fuck it! It's popular culture! We're the Dandy Warhols! We have to!'"

The Dandy Warhols' Suitcase Tour hits San Francisco's Otis Bar Wednesday night, and wraps up on August 19th at Portland's Masu.