Day 173: Dr. Dog – Fate

20 Aug

The Breeze

What the hell is “psychedelic rock?”  What does that even mean?  Images of tie-dye, mushrooms, and dirty hippies come to mind when I hear that descriptor—not the idea that I got at all from listening to Dr. Dog’s Fate.

 But for some reason, that term is often applied to this band’s music.  I’m not making this up, I’ll even back up my claim: “Dr. Dog is a psychedelic rock group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which formed in 1999.”   That’s the first sentence of the group’s last.fm bio.  I don’t get it.

Anyway, I’m glad that this group doesn’t make music like I thought they would.  This is indie rock, but it’s not indie rock like everybody else is indie rock.  The carefully chosen and good lyrics call a little folk to mind. My favorite outside influence, though, might be the big band sound that I hear every now and then.  On Army of Ancients, for instance, I’m pretty sure that there’s a brass section, and the overall feel of the song just screams 20’s.  It’s a nice break from all of the standard indie that I listen to.

My favorite part about this record, though, I’m having a little trouble putting into words.   Fate really put me at ease, almost.  It just feels like all the people in this band are nice and easy to get along with—no, that’s not completely it…I think it’s that this record has a very homemade feel to it.   It’s not that Fate is amateurish, but welcoming.

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6 Responses to “Day 173: Dr. Dog – Fate”

  1. David Chops August 22, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I ignored a big piece on Dr. Dog in Stereophile magazine this summer because those guys sometimes don’t know shit from shine-ola when it comes to music. But your description intrigued me. I may just be a new Dr. Dog fan. I looked ’em up: “the members of Dr. Dog are no mere imitators or postmodern rock reconstructionists. There’s a loose swagger to the entire album that suggests a complete lack of pretense along with the feeling that the band is simply doing what comes naturally.”

    That sounded a lot like some of what is often said about my favorite-bar-none group. I was reluctant to even mention them because I did not think they were up your alley and I hate to hear ill spoken of NRBQ. Given what you liked about Dr. Dog, you might find something to enjoy. Here is a relatively accurate description:

    “Often called “the world’s greatest bar band,” NRBQ are that rare group that’s eclectic, stylistically innovative, and creatively ambitious while also sounding thoroughly unpretentious and accessible. At its best, NRBQ’s music casually mixes up barrelhouse R&B, British Invasion pop, fourth-gear rockabilly, exploratory free jazz, and dozens of other flavors while giving it all a stomp-down rhythm that makes fans want to dance and expressing a sense of joy and easy good humor that comes straight from the heart.”

  2. Jose Dinero August 23, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Chopsmeister, you are correct. The Swolenator should check out some NRBQ.

    Which album?

    • David Chops August 24, 2011 at 6:20 am #

      Hard to go wrong with “At Yankee Stadium”. “All Hopped Up” would be a close second pick.

  3. elcheeserpuff September 21, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Despite you saying that this isn’t the stereotypical psychedelic rock that I would loath, I still didn’t trust the band and never checked them out. Then yesterday I randomly heard a song of their’s and I must say; I’m a pretty big fan of what I heard.

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