Dr. Dog played the Boulder Theater last Tuesday and while they were there they performed an acoustic happy hour set at Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub. It was set up by Philly-to-Denver transplant John Hendrickson who is now the Managing Editor of the Denver Post’s music blog Reverb. With a few viral “leaks” and a sign on the door of the pub that said “Dr. Dog 4:30,” dozens of people showed up for the singalong, captured below.
Hometown heroes Dr. Dog are back after a three-year hiatus, with a new album Critical Equation, out April 17th. After releasing 2016’s Abandoned Mansion and The Psychedelic Swamp, they were able to use their time off for a period of collective soul searching which led to a creative rebirth. Continue reading →
Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.
Another month, another haphazard assemblage of sounds, culled from near and far, old and new, this and that, recent recordings and forthcoming performances (another solid line-up of the latter!) Somehow, unpredictably, through-lines tend to emerge, and I try to take them for what they’re worth without overstating the point. For whatever reason, in compiling this second monthly batch of new 2018 tunes – jazz, ambient, country, folk, pop and rock, and very little of it on quite square – I kept encountering forms and notions of duality: binaries, opposites, mirrors, twins. Below you’ll find pairings as superficial and arbitrary as similar-sounding artist names, as specific and deliberate as conceptually conjoined album projects, as intriguing if incidental as strikingly parallel career arcs. Well, we’ve gotta find something to talk about. First, though, let’s have some fun. Continue reading →
After a quiet year and change, Philly rock five-piece Dr. Dog is back with a new single, a new album on the way and a tour that has the band headlining Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing on Saturday, June 23rd; Philly house show scene favorite (Sandy) Alex G opens the night.
The new single from the band’s forthcoming tenth album Critical Equation, out on Thirty Tigers on April 27th, marks a surprising first impression from the band; “Listening In” is dark, it’s pensive, unrelentingly so. As I wrote on NPR Music’s Songs We Love this morning, “It’s the moment of realization just before emotional trauma hits home; it’s a sadness so profound that it can’t be spun into a lighthearted song.” Continue reading →
You’re sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee. The sun’s setting, there’s a slight cool breeze, trees are rustling, and you’re tucked under a crazily cozy blanket. Not a care, just good and safe. If this setting of comfort had a musical equivalent, it would be Slaughter Beach, Dog’s new song “Acolyte.” Continue reading →
Outside of doing that sports-related band Modern Baseball. Jake Ewald takes his somber voice to his project Slaughter, Beach Dog, where his melancholy tunes are channeled to a single and signature vision.
Ewald brought some of his newest tunes to a session for Audiotree’s new project “Far Out”, which takes artists to some of the nooks and crannies of this country to record some unconventional sessions. Finding himself inside a Chicago dry cleaners among the textiles and pitter-patter of a sewing machine, Ewald does what he does best by combining his wonderfully-crafted expressions of personal battles with the stripped-down depressions of a single guitar. Ewald’s songs take us on his journey, and now we can see where those journeys take him. Continue reading →
Surprise! There’s a new Dr. Dog album out today that no one knew existed (except the band and I’m guessing some of their friends). To sweeten the deal even more, all proceeds from the album go toward the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The album, called Abandoned Mansion, is what the band described in an introductory missive as “Easy Peasy listening.” That’s to say that, as opposed to the “blips and bloops” of the band’s February release, The Psychedelic Swamp, Abandoned Mansion takes a more simplistic, traditional approach.
Drummer Eric Slick, who doubles as one-third of Philly’s Lithuania, said that the band actually recorded Abandoned Mansion before The Psychedelic Swamp, but had to let it sit on the backburner for a bit.
“We recorded it before we went into the studio to record The Psychedelic Swamp with the intention of getting it out before The Psychedelic Swamp,” he says.
In contrast to Swamp’s complex layering and production ambition, Abandoned Mansion is pretty much just the band playing live with mostly acoustic instruments.
“The intent of the record was to make something simple and elegant,” Slick says. “I think we’ve kind of gone into different trends in the band. We’ve moved toward this more psychedelic, noisier side—an experimental side—and then we’ve got this simpler side. So it’s just another exploration of our simpler side.” Continue reading →
Famed electronic producer RJD2 is set to bring his trademark trip hop sound up The Fillmore steps to The Foundry tonight for a WXPN-curated Red Bull Sound Select show with Hardwork Movement and Finding Novyon. This past March, he released the well-received Dame Fortune, which was recorded right here in Philadelphia. The album features collaborations with Jordan Brown, The Blueprint, Philly’s own Son Little, and more. Listen to a single from the album below before it makes its homecoming on Friday. Find more info on the 21+ event here. Continue reading →
Happy Record Store Day everyone! Tonight, San Fran folk rockers Thao and the Get Down Stay Down take on Underground Arts with support from Saintseneca and Little Scream. Thao Nyugen and company are touring to celebrate the release of their recent album A Man Alive. For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar.Continue reading →
It’s not often that a band can achieve a certain cult-status in their own lifetime before fading into either cheesiness or obscurity. A road diverged in the woods for Dr. Dog, and instead of falling by the wayside or chalking the whole thing off, they became living Philadelphia legends. Coming up on a decade and a half of jamming hard, the road warriors returned from a long haul and celebrated in style on Thursday night at The Fillmore—one of the few Philly venues they’d left to conquer, by virtue of its youth. Continue reading →