Dr. Dog live at Coachella 2009
|Origin||West Grove, Pennsylvania, USA|
Lo-fi (Earlier years)
|Labels||Park the Van
|Members||Scott McMicken (Taxi),
Toby Leaman (Tables),
Zach Miller (Text),
Eric Slick (Teach),
Frank McElroy (Thanks),
Dimitri Manos (Tucson)
|Past members||Doug O'Donnell (Truck),
Ted Mark (Today),
Andrew Jones (Trial),
Juston Stens (Turbo)
Dr. Dog is a rock band from West Grove, Pennsylvania. Its lineup consists of Toby Leaman (bass guitar), Scott McMicken (lead guitar), Frank McElroy (rhythm guitar), Zach Miller (keyboard), Eric Slick (drums), and Dimitri Manos [Multi-instrument]. Lead vocal duties are shared between Leaman and McMicken, with all members contributing harmonies. In addition, each band member has a nickname beginning with the letter T, and they have explained that friends of the band also receive nicknames, which are drawn from aspects of their lives and personalities (Former member Andrew "Trial" Jones, for example, is a licensed attorney).
The band's unique version of indie rock is strongly influenced by bands of the 1960s, such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys, but they have also touched upon more unrelated genres since their inception. Their earlier recordings show influence of the lo-fi sound and pop sensibilities of indie rock bands of the 1990s, such as Guided by Voices and Pavement, although recent albums have featured more polished production.
The origins of Dr. Dog trace back to Leaman and McMicken first playing music together in eighth grade. The two never played covers, instead, opting to write all of their own music. The band began as an offshoot of Leaman's and McMicken's earlier music project called Raccoon. Dr. Dog formed with the addition of Miller, drummer Ted Mark, and guitarist Doug O'Donnell. Their early recordings were experimental and recorded on eight track. They self-recorded and self-released their first album The Psychedelic Swamp in 2001. They released Toothbrush in 2002. Mark left the band in 2003 and O'Donnell left in 2004. Juston Stens replaced Ted Mark on drums. The band's early years were spent largely in and around Philadelphia where they developed a small but dedicated fanbase touring with other local bands such as The Teeth.
In 2004, My Morning Jacket invited them on two tours after a copy of Toothbrush was given to Jim James after a My Morning Jacket show. Soon after, The New York Times music critic Kelefa Sanneh praised the group's album Easy Beat in a December 2004 article, leading to attention from other critics. They signed with Park The Van Records, who released the album Easy Beat, and completed their first cross-country tour in 2005. A music video was released for the song "Fool's Life". Late 2005 saw the departure of Jones, who became a full-time lawyer. Jones was replaced by Frank McElroy, a friend of Stens from New Jersey. The band continued to tour heavily as their popularity grew, due in part to their use of the internet to promote their growing catalog.
By 2006, Dr. Dog started using a new studio as well as new recording equipment. Philadelphia engineer/producer Bill Moriarty, who they share the studio with, is credited in helping the members use this new equipment to create particular sounds they wanted in their new recordings due to his vast knowledge in recording tools and methods. That year, they released the Takers and Leavers EP. Two of the tracks on the EP would later be released on their next album. In 2007, they released We All Belong, which has a markedly cleaner production compared to earlier albums. They appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman in support of the album. Through the late summer of 2007, Dr. Dog streamed ten unreleased tracks on their website, with a new song debuting weekly. Songs were posted each Monday from July 2 until September 3. These recordings were later released as an album titled Passed Away, Vol. 1. In 2008, the band released Fate. They appeared again on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on July 17, 2008, in support of the album and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on April 2, 2009 as well as The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The band went on tour with The Cave Singers and label-mates Golden Boots.
On July 29, 2009, Dr. Dog signed to ANTI- Records. The first album on their new label, titled Shame, Shame, was released on April 6, 2010. Scott McMicken has characterized the album as more modern, and a little more punk rock, more prominently featuring electric guitars, so as to accurately reflect the band's live show. In early 2010, Eric Slick replaced Juston Stens on drums for the Shame, Shame tours although Stens plays most of the drums on the record. Stens continues to make music with Juston Stens and the Get Real Gang. Dr. Dog toured in support of Shame, Shame for about two years and performed again on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. For 2010's Black Friday Record Store Day, the band released a limited red and blue 7" collection of four tracks recorded in summer 2011. These were the first songs recorded with Eric Slick on drums. They were later rereleased with Shame, Shame as a deluxe edition of the album.
On October 26, 2011, McMicken announced that their new album, Be the Void would be released in February 2012. Recorded at the band's "Meth Beach" studio and co-produced by Nathan Sabatino of Golden Boots. This was the first full album made with Dimitri Manos, also in the band Golden Boots, as an official member of the band. He has played drums on Easy Beat and once filled in for Juston Stens last minute for a whole tour.
They released new 7" for the 2011 Black Friday Record Store Day. The 7" includes the new tracks "Warrior Man" and "Control Yourself". Each vinyl was be a different color. "Warrior Man" later appeared on Be The Void while "Control Yourself" was released as one of the three bonus tracks.
On January 31, 2012, Be The Void was first available to be streamed on Conan O'Brien's website one week before its official release. It was officially released on February 7 on ANTI- Records. They performed the song "That Old Black Hole" on Conan, February 8 and "Lonesome" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, on March 23. Performances in Los Angeles' Orpheum Theatre during their tour were also shown on Last Call with Carson Daly.
On April 21, 2012, the band played at UC Berkeley on Memorial Glade.
On September 27, 2012, Dr. Dog announced on their Facebook page that their new EP, Wild Race, would be released digitally on October 2. The EP was recorded and mixed with Nathan Sabatino during the sessions for Be the Void.
Their album, B-Room, was released on October 1, 2013. The first track, "The Truth", also became available for free streaming.
- Toby Leaman - vocals, bass, guitar
- Scott McMicken - vocals, lead guitar, bass, piano, banjo, keyboards, Omnichord
- Frank McElroy - rhythm guitar, backing vocals, Omnichord
- Zach Miller - keyboards, piano, organ, guitar, banjo, backing vocals, accordion (in one Guitar Center gig)
- Eric Slick - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Dimitri Manos - percussion, electronics, effects, guitar, Meatball Palace, bass, Omnichord, Optigan
- Juston Stens - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Ted Mark - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Doug O'Donnell - guitar, backing vocals
- Andrew Jones - guitar, backing vocals
- Toothbrush (2002)
- Easy Beat (March 15, 2005)
- We All Belong (February 27, 2007) number 30 (US Heatseekers)
- Fate (July 22, 2008) number 86 (US)
- Shame, Shame (April 6, 2010) number 44 (US)
- Be the Void (February 7, 2012)
- B-Room (October 1, 2013)
- Passed Away, Vol. 1 (2008)
- 10 Dr. Dog songs, for you (Promotional)
- Twistable Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to Shel Silverstein (2010)
- Al Thomas and the Robot (by The M's)/Me and My Girl (2006)
- Goner/I Hope There's Love (2006)
- The Girl/Heart It Races (Architecture in Helsinki cover) (2007)
- The Dearly Departed/Is It Worth My Time? (2008)
- The Breeze (performed by Floating Action)/Don't Stop Loving Me Now (performed by Dr. Dog) (2009)
- Take Me into Town/Black-Red and Nobody Knows Who You Are/The Sound (2010)
- Control Yourself/Warrior Man (2011)
- Scott plays the first Sommatone Overdrive 75 ever built. He has a custom head stripped of its tolex as well as two 2x12 open back cabinets.
- Denny Dyroff (May 13, 2010). "Dr. Dog has roots in Chester County". Daily Local News. Journal Register. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Dr. Dog Biography AllM
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- "Team Coco Exclusive: Dr. Dog Full Album Stream". Team Coco. January 31, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
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- Billboard Chart[dead link] Billboard.com; Retrieved February 22, 2008
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- "Artists". Sommatone. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
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