Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog have been cranking out the mostly lo-fi 60s- and 70s-inspired pop since 2001. Listeners tend to either latch on to the vibe or dismiss it as derivative. The latter stance is reductive. Dr Dog write great pop songs featuring fantastic harmonies, solid musicianship, and that warm and fuzzy extra something.
With their two most recent albums, 2010′s Shame, Shame, and the new one, Be the Void, the band has tried out some new directions. Less fuzzy production to start. And the song structures are more organic and not as measured. That unpredictability has made them even more intriguing.
A somewhat frequent visitor to Indy, the band attracted a full house to Deluxe Wednesday night. The set began with a killer 1-2-3 punch of Fate’s fiery The Ark, followed by new song Old Black Hole, and then Shame, Shame’s bouncy I Do Believe.
Two things stood out during the show: First, the energy the band brings on stage requires that they put out a live album. I can almost guarantee it would be great. Second, the harmonies really explode live. A great example was on I Only Wear Blue from Shame, Shame.
Not every song worked. The Beach still feels laborious, like a lost Animals track. But that’s a minor quibble. Dr. Dog is one band that really ups its game live.
Now on to Givers. What can I say but Wow! They were tremendous. The Louisiana band’s musical jambalaya was so, so impressive. Bouncy, fun, great musicianship, interesting time changes — I can’t overstate how great they were. Just when I thought one of their songs had reached its peak, they took it to another level. Riding the high that is first single, Up, Up, Up, Givers exude youthful energy and magnetism. They’re going to be huge. Check out their album, In Light.
Were you at Deluxe? What did you think of the show?