Monday, February 01, 2010

Front page of Glide Magazine today: Dr. Dog

ETA #3: Dr. Dog is also in Paste Magazine today.

ETA #2: Dr. Dog is in Billboard today!

"Dr. Dog guitarist Scott McMicken acknowledges that the group's new "Shame, Shame." due out April 6, was "a risky one" for the Philadelphia quintet, taking it out of its home studio environment and bringing in outside production help.

"It was...doubt-ridden and rocky along the way," McMicken tells "There's a lot of changes. We all just kind of took a step off the cliff and hoped we landed on our feet. We did, thankfully. It was a growth opportunity. We're all a little bit older for having made it and all happy for having made it and happy to carry on with what we learned and already looking forward to digging in a little deeper into the new insights we have about recording and playing live."

McMicken says that making "Shame, Shame," the group's debut for Anti- Records, was not entirely smooth, however. Dr. Dog started working with producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith) in August at Dreamland Studios in Hurley, N.Y., but were unable to finish in the allotted month of recording time. Nor were the band members entirely happy with how things were sounding or the working environment in general, feeling that their input was too limited. "Not all of it was ideal," McMicken explains, "but even the stuff that wasn't, I think, helped us to further understand what it is that we work the way we work. We learned a whole lot. We saw our boundaries and how far with were willing to go in collaborating with an outside source. I don't think recording music will ever be the same for us after that experience."

Dr. Dog finished "Shame, Shame" on its own back in Philadelphia during October and November, trimming the nearly 60 songs it had written down to 12. "The album...feels like two worlds colliding," McMicken says, "and ultimately the reconciliation of those two worlds. So all the negatives that might have popped up in the process became...positives in the end."

McMicken says fans will notice some heavyweight and personal emotional fare in the new material -- "A more consistently desperate or dark tone exists in the songs," he explains -- though the music is more direct and immediate. "They're really short, concise pop songs," he says. "The average length is about three minutes, which is really short for us. It's not this kind of sprawling, atmospheric, moody thing we've done in the past. It's a 1-2-3-4-go! kind of record. It's gonna provide a lot of energetic material for the show, which is always cool."

Dr. Dog is, in fact, previewing songs from "Shame, Shame" on the road when it opens a four-month North American tour on Jan. 27 in Troy, N.Y. European dates begin in May. The group is trying to lure 20,000 Facebook friends by promising to leak the lead track, "Shadow People," once that goal is reached, but McMicken says he expects the song to be released in the near future regardless."

ETA: From Good Morning Buffalo, as appearing in the Buffalo Times newspaper this morning:

"Dr. Dog, a psychedelic rock band from Philadelphia that often is compared to the Beach Boys, the Beatles and the Band, comes to Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St., for a show that starts at 8 p.m. Of special note is their new drummer, Eric Slick, seen here recently with the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Opening, appropriately, are the Growlers. Tickets are $15"

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program - here's a link to the Glide Magazine article, which says:

Dr. Dog
Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT 1/28/10
By Shane Handler
February 01, 2010

It's a pleasure to watch a band develop as songwriters, recording artists and performers, especially if their audience grows along with them. January 28th is the first time Dr. Dog's commanded the stage in Higher Ground's Ballroom rather than it's smaller Showcase Lounge and the audience filled the larger room comfortably. And happily too.

A crazy quilt backdrop for a stage festooned with shrubs and flowers decorating the drum-kit elevated the festive air and Dr Dog intensified the lighthearted atmosphere almost as soon as they took the stage to play. Their music is infectious almost in spite of itself as the group doesn't use obvious hooks for their tunes. They remain more than happy to thrash their way through what constitutes a bridge more often than the guitars chime or harmonize in tandem.

Yet that latter approach did appear prominently on a handful of new songs that peppered the set during the course of the evening. This apparent move to simplicity, as evinced on "I Only War Blue," belied the oblique humor of previously-recorded material that surrounded it (such as the title song to their last record "Fate"). While it's hard to conceive of Dr. Dog deliberately dumbing down their music, only time will tell if ther forthcoming album Shame, Shame, due this spring, supplies the same kind of effective contrast within the band's discography as did the fresh material mixed in with the tried and true this mid-winter night.

An exceptional musical performance can alter any music lover's sense of time and Dr Dog's ninety minute set seemed far less than half that long by the time they had finished their first encore. The frigid air didn't seem so foreboding walking out of the venue either, a measure of the warmth this band conjures up with its fans during the course of their shows.

So that's cool.

I have a bunch of stuff to do today and will be in and out of the house but will try and come in and add more stuff as I find it.