Dr. Dog @ Emo's - 5.1.10
Dr. Dog...seen 'em twice now. I had actually forgotten that I did catch them at ACL last year, but that's probably because (A.) I gravitate toward more high-energy music and (B.) Was at the very back of the crowd, having just stumbled upon them after Medeski Martin and Wood's set. So, basically, my first Dr. Dog experience was pretty unimpressionable - by no fault of their own.
During the seven months that have passed since, they've made three additional stops in Austin, including a gig at The Parish (wish I'd seen 'em there), SXSW (multiple, all of which I missed), and May 1 at Emo's. They're obviously hitting the road hard, and it seems to be paying off. In fact, I cannot begin to tell you how many people have just raved about them over the last few months, many saying they're the best band out there right now..."simply inspiring."
Who had any idea that they actually released their first album in '01 and received critical acclaim from The New York Times for Easy Beat in '04? I'm sure some of you, but for the rest of us it was first Fate and now Shame, Shame that have brought Dr. Dog into the limelight. And they wear it well...with lead guitarist Scott McMicken even shielding himself from it in cataract-protecting shades. What's up with those, anyways? Perhaps it's the lights, which were definitely solid at Emo's - really warm, vibrant colors - but it's probably just a personal fashion statement. I mean, before you know it, you'll be rocking 'em too. The grandma look is in. Also, you might as well rummage through that old treasure chest of yours filled with stuffed animals and find a monkey to throw on your back (this fashion tip courtesy of rhythm guitarist Frank McElroy).
Anyhoo, despite the fact that I was eggggzauhsted and my lower back was killing me from several previous nights of shows/dancing/crazyiness, I really did have a good time. Dr. Dog is super melodic and very laid back, combining indie-pop/rock with a splash Americana and a pinch psychedelia. Their musical style often draws comparisons to that of The Beatles, which is evident in the techniques they employ.
And though I didn't walk out of Emo's amazed, I was impressed and would definitely like to see them again in a more intimate indoor venue - like The Parish, though that would be a hard and unlikely ticket considering they sold out the much larger space at Emo's. In any case, I did leave the show feeling good about life and all that, mostly because their music just radiates a certain warmth that you can hardly escape. Who's got my shades?