From The Desk Of The Dandy Warhols’ Courtney Taylor-Taylor: Mid-Century Music

Without a doubt, the Dandy Warhols is a band, a meeting of the Velvet-y minds with Brent DeBoer, Peter Holmström, Zia McCabe and Courtney Taylor-Taylor calling the shots. But drummer-turned-guitarist/singer Taylor-Taylor is its handsome face and baritone voice who pushed the band from graceful poetic garage music (1995’s Dandys Rule OK) to guileless glam (2000’s Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia) to sleek-yet-twisted ’80s-ish new wave (2003’s Welcome To The Monkey House). While the rest of the 20th century found the band drifting through three additional like-minded albums, the outfit has grown leaner and meaner with the focused, guitar-centric This Machine (The End). Taylor-Taylor, a ruminative lyricist with a caustic lean, makes the most of this particular Machine moment. He allowed novelist Richard Morgan to write the Dandys’ press notes and found his own icy literary voice in graphic set-in-Germany novel One Model Nation. Taylor-Taylor and his bandmates are also guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Taylor-Taylor: If you like to have super-amazing cocktail and/or dinner parties you’re going to need this. If you’re ever tired of listening to new bands and going “Oh … that.” Or if you just have fantastic taste, you will marvel at how these great artists can take your whole life to the next level. And probably your sexuality. If they haven’t already. Well here are some basics that are the big hits and/or my favorites. In no particular order:

Edith Piaf “La Vie En Rose”
Marlene Dietrich “Lili Marlene”
Chet Baker (sings) “My Funny Valentine”
Chet Baker (plays) “Pro Defunctis”
Astrud Gilberto feat. Stan Getz “The Girl From Ipanema”
Sidney Bechet “Sister Kate”
Billie Holiday “Summertime”

These will lead you to a never-ending wellspring.