Long-running Philly rockers Dr. Dog spent most of 2018 touring in support of Critical Equation, their tenth studio album, and today they’ve released a couple outtakes from that collection as a digital 7″ single.
Both songs find bassist and co-songwriter Toby Leaman taking lead; “Can She Dance,” the A-side, juxtaposes a midtempo groove with frenzied spoken/sung lyrics. As a huge piano chord heralds the chorus, harmony vocals rise in the background, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen’s 1992 album The Future. Continue reading →
It’s unusual that a book has its own soundtrack. But Boomer1, a new novel by Daniel Torday, is a book about musicians, albeit fictional ones — it follows the story of a bluegrass musician and his punk bassist girlfriend — so it makes sense that the author would want a listenable component to accompany the story.
To make that happen, Torday, a professor of creative writing at Bryn Mawr College, asked several musicians to record reimagined covers of the traditional folk ballad “Pretty Polly,” a song that is featured heavily throughout the book. There happen to be a fair amount of artists with Philadelphia ties in the mix, including local favorites Dr. Dog, Peter Matthew Bauer of The Walkmen, Red Heart the Ticker, and DIY band Lester. One of Torday’s former creative writing students, LA-via-Philly harpist and singer Gillian Grassie, is featured in the soundtrack, and Torday himself contributed a cover. Continue reading →
There is an old proverb dating back to the year two thousand that goes something like “If Dr. Dog didn’t play a show, did summer ever really begin in Philadelphia?” And though it’s a rhetorical question, don’t doubt the power of a good doctor. Case in point – everything in my technological wheelhouse stated that we were due for a storm, probably a big one. Scott, Toby, Zach, Eric, and Frank had other plans, and the rain that was threatening to cancel their show never showed up. It’s a rare ability, and quite frankly impossible to prove, but there were nothing but believers in the house at Festival Pier on Saturday night. Continue reading →
Maybe it’s those 90+ degree temps. Maybe it’s just that a lot of the best gigs are sold out. But it’s a quieter week than we’ve seen in a while for live music here in Philly. But that still means shows almost every day, including the possibility of setting up camp at Festival Pier on Friday night and staying straight through Paramore on Sunday. Here are nine concerts to see in Philadelphia in the next seven days. Continue reading →
Great news for people who like to look at Dr. Dog: you can watch three new videos of the beloved Philly rockers playing (and dancing to) songs from their recent album Critical Equation.
Last month, they celebrated the album’s release with a first-time-ever Free at Midnight concert at World Cafe Live, which you can check out a recap of here. Before the show, the band ducked into the XPN library to warm up with some acoustic renditions of songs from the new album. Fortunately for all of us, NPR was there to capture the intimate performance and has now released that footage as a part of their Night Owl video series, which you can watch below. Continue reading →
To cap the release day of their tenth studio album Critical Equation, Philly rockers Dr. Dog took the World Cafe Live stage at the stroke of midnight to a packed house of fans. WXPN’s first-ever #FreeAtMidnight concert saw the band stretching out across a 90-minute set, highlighting seven of the album’s ten songs. Continue reading →
In a way, Dr. Dog has returned to its roots through a process of reinvention.
On the surface, Critical Equation — the tenth album from the Philadelphia rock band, which you can take an early listen to down below — sounds like another true-to-form installment in their catalog. Its uplifting vocals and left-of-center tones and textures could have sat easily alongside the psych-tinged anthems of 2008’s Fate, or 2010’s Shame, Shame, or 2012’s Be The Void. It doesn’t necessarily feel “new”; maybe we could say it’s refined, an older/wiser take on Dr. Dog’s younger selves. But the way the band arrived at this point was hardly direct. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →