Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dog danglin' afternoon

Whoa, man, heat wave. Lately, it's been outrageous. My van told me it was 115 yesterday...but I don't trust those car thermometers. Either way, we got a COOL (like that transition?) review of our show with Dr. Dog a couple weeks ago from the good folks at Enough Cowbell ("In a basement with The Cassavettes and Dr. Dog is a good place to be"). Read it here, or below:

I think it’s fitting I don’t have any pictures of the Dr. Dog and Cassavettes show at John Harvard’s last Saturday. I couldn’t see the band. The brew house was flooded with fans and given the fact there was no stage I’d guess that most people suffered from an obstructed view like I did. It was a reminder that there are two primary reasons we (the royal we, dude) all go see music played live: (1) music (2) community.

Take a moment to contemplate the stunning coordination of the human body. We are composed of atoms (and maybe they’re composed of something smaller) that work in unison to create small chemical structures that make chemicals and organelles, that create cells, that in turn work together to create unified tissues, organs, organ systems, and organisms. Independently functioning matter that has a sole purpose yet without one another would not complete that function - the sum is greater than the parts. And a concert can work in the same way. By the last song of the Dr. Dog set the crowd was moving in unison with common purpose and attitude. We weren’t filtering waste, or repairing transcription errors. We were doing something much simpler, yet at times just in important: aiding a communal uplift in spirit. Everyone was bending at the waste creating a collective inhale and exhale. The band’s music were the synapses sent through to each individual causing us to move and react like the diaphragm pushing the lungs to absorb air and release wastes.

We were a random collection of people enjoying the same moment. There were parents, young children playing air piano, people dancing on bar counters, and the typical youths (of which I am one) that makes a habit of being at shows. Dr. Dog the Cassavettes’ brand of bluegrass, blues, rock that gives modernity and a youthful whip to classic American music. Both bands play well and in a style that so often falls to the ills of stagnating jams, but instead of falling they both rise above with brief and noisy jams that invigorate the audience rather than boring them.

Dr. Dog’s upcoming Fate was highlighted during their set. Of course since the album has not been released the following is all outlandish speculation but there was a real sense that the newest disc has a Beatles influence to it - at least the McCartney side of things. Lyrics like, “There’s a hole in the roof/and the rain’s coming down” and pieces of songs that are reminiscent of the pre-Na Na Na crescendo in Hey Jude, as well as backing vocals that wistfully slide down the chromatic scale. Combined with Dr. Dog’s souther guitar blues and organ makes me pretty excited for Fate even if Dr. Dog has to date been unable to successfully capture their live spirit on tape.

Regardless, the word is community and music helps foster it.

Let's focus on this for one moment: They LIKE our jamming (which is good considering we've worked hard on tightening up our listening to each other/playing with each other ratio). And for a show we were a bit down on ourselves about (with the exception of Matt), it's nice to see that people still enjoyed our set. That can only be a good thing!

One other review I just found from Cheap Thrills:

Unintentionally, there was a 'dog' theme to my weekend. I was interested in catching the Dr. Dog Block Party, so my lady and I met in Harvard Sq on Saturday. It had rained earlier, so they moved the performance inside John Harvard's Brewhouse. We walked in during Cassavettes' penultimate song. It was too loud for the venue, but it was good ol' rock 'n roll ringing and smashing through the place.

One half of the dining area was nearly empty while the the other half and the bar were jammed. I tried to get in front to snap a few photos, but my camera skills aren't to force my way through the crowd. Any comfortable spot close to the band had no line of sight, so we heard everything splendidly at a quiet table in the back of the bar area.

Not much to say there, but nice nonetheless!

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