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Dog Days And Bowery Nights

Dogs We on this blog are, by definition, jaded. We go to shows assuming we know exactly what we're going to see and hear, and in this day and age, rare is the band that defies those expectations. But when it happens, it makes a mighty impact.

That's exactly what went down at the Dr. Dog show last night (Aug. 27) at New York's Bowery Ballroom. We've seen these guys play two or three times, always opening for other bands, and while they were always enjoyable, they never made that much of an impression on us. Not so last night.

Playing its new album, "Fate," almost exclusively, the group conjured a luscious rock sound only hinted at on record, with two different singers commanding the mic and a variety of styles (Elvis Costello-tinged pop, Beatles-drenched-but-in-a-good-way rave-ups) twisted into cool new forms.

Each song sounded better than the next, gradually completing a picture of a band we can't believe we've slept on for this long. Afterward, we settled into a backstage hang with the boys and a cast of their best Philadelphia comrades, where the Yuengling flowed as freely and the whole group serenaded singer Toby Leaman's wife with "Happy Birthday."

At the center of the after-show fun was R. Stevie Moore, the 50-something home recording eccentric who appears to be something of an icon for the Dr. Dog family. Moore and his band warmed up the Bowery crowd before Dr. Dog with delightfully shambling garage rock, frequently punctuated with non-sequiturs about being Tasered or having germs in your sperm.

There was also this gem: "What good is a good deal without a good dealer?" Oh, and Moore was dressed in what appeared to be pajamas, a bathrobe and a pink scarf. The ensemble was completed with a backscratcher that we think he threw in the garbage backstage for some reason.

Throughout, we soaked up the camaraderie between all these folks like a fly on the wall, appreciative to have this snapshot of a band on the way up but still grounded by the people to which they are closest.

August 28, 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

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