Dr. Dog live at Coachella 2009
|Origin||West Grove, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Genres||Neo-psychedelia, psychedelic rock, baroque pop, indie folk, indie rock, lo-fi (Earlier years)|
|Labels||Park the Van, ANTI-|
|Past members||Doug O'Donnell,
Dr. Dog is an American rock band from West Grove, Pennsylvania, United States. Its lineup consists of Toby Leaman (bass guitar), Scott McMicken (lead guitar), Frank McElroy (rhythm guitar), Zach Miller (keyboard), and Eric Slick (drums). 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 musical styling 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. Starting in 2002, Leaman, McMicken, and O'Donnell regularly played bluegrass with friends at the London Grill in the Fairmount Section of Philadelphia under the pseudonym "Conowingo Homeboys".  Meanwhile, Leaman and O'Donnell split time in both Dr. Dog and another band, Doublehorse!  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 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.
In September 2015, Leaman revealed that the band has revisited 2001's Psychedelic Swamp, and the album will finally get an official release in 2016. He told Kelly Rae Smith of the Charleston City Paper, "It's actually weird working on that stuff, because you know usually when you're working on a record — or almost always when you're working on a record — you're working on new tunes. And with this one, we're working on the oldest Dr. Dog tunes around. It's really interesting. You're almost treating your own songs like they're cover songs, and it's songs that we didn't even really play live, so we didn't have any real concept of what the arrangement would end up being like."
On November 29, 2016 Dr. Dog dropped a surprise album on Bandcamp titled Abandoned Mansion. The album was made available to stream for free and all proceeds received through January 31, 2017 would benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.
- Toby Leaman - vocals, bass, guitar
- Scott McMicken - vocals, lead guitar, bass, piano, banjo, keyboards, Omnichord
- Frank McElroy - rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, Omnichord
- Zach Miller - keyboards, piano, organ, guitar, banjo, backing vocals, accordion
- Eric Slick - drums, percussion, backing vocals, guitar
- Juston Stens - drums, percussion, backing vocals, guitar, bass
- Ted Mark - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Doug O'Donnell - guitar, backing vocals
- Andrew Jones - guitar, backing vocals
- Dale Earnhardt - mouth harp, referee whistle
- Dimitri Manos - percussion, electronics, effects, guitar, Meatball Palace, bass, Omnichord, Optigan, drums
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|We All Belong||
|Be the Void||
|The Psychedelic Swamp||
|"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released|
- Live at a Flamingo Hotel (January 13, 2015)
- 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)
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