Dr. Dog – “Shadow People” (Stereogum Premiere)

By Amrit Singh / February 9, 2010

Dr. Dog have been a band for over a decade now, Philadelphia-based throughout. Their hometown hasn’t factored much into their sound, which throws back to the Beatles-era of the classic rock school, or their themes and lyrical schemes. That’s changed with “Shadow People,” the first single form the band’s forthcoming, fifth LP Shame, Shame, a track they’ve called a “full-on West Philly diary.” The sound’s the same, decidedly not of their hometown in this time or even a past one, but the scenes painted by guitarist vocalist Scott McMicken are documenting his neighborhood, now, a section of Philly that can be shoddy, dangerous, and artistically vibrant, in turns but often at once. He says:

It’s a weird, insular little community, and there’s a lot going on and a lot of crazy, flamboyant characters and a lot of porch life and coffee shops. But for me, it was kind of overwhelming, and I had overextended myself into the lives of a lot of wacky people, because those are the type of people that I gravitate towards the most. But sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and get taken advantage of. I was exhausted with my neighborhood and I let it into me a little too much … Philly has been such a big part of our lives, and I feel like on this record it finally took over and made its way into our music. There’s a line that says, “I stole a bike from the Second Mile and saw a band play in the basement.” The Second Mile is this thrift around the corner from my house, and there’s so many basement shows in West Philly, like noisy, artsy bands. I wanted to write something about the people and places around me.

It’s here:

Dr. Dog’s Shame, Shame is out 4/6 via Anti-. MMJ’s Jim James turns up for some vocals on this record, so keep ears out. As far as tours go, Dr. Dog’s in for Bonnaroo, and a lot of other dates, too:

02/09 – Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Co. #
02/10 – Cleveland, OH # @ Case Western University #
02/11 – Bloomington, IN @ Video Saloon #
02/12 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall #
02/13 – State College, PA @ State Theatre #
04/14 – Toronto, Ont. @ Lee’s Place
04/15 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
04/16 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
04/17 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
04/19 – Aspen, CO @ Belly Up
04/20 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
04/22 – Boise, ID @ Neuolux
04/23 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
04/24 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
04/25 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall *
04/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda *
04/29 – Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Brewing Company *
04/30 – Dallas, TX @The Loft *
05/01 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Outside *
05/02 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio *
05/03 – Fayetteville, AR @ Majestic *
05/05 – Birmingham, AL @ Workplay *
05/06 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom *
05/07 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners *
05/11-12 – Boston, MA @ Paradise *
05/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory *
05/14 – Washington DC @ 9:30 Club *
05/15 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 *
05/23 – Berlin, Germany @ Magnet
05/24 – Koln, Germany @ Blue Shell
05/25 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
05/26 – London, England @ Tabernacle
05/27 – Paris, France @ Nouveau Casino
05/29 – Barcelona, Spain (Primavera Sound)
06/11-13 Manchester, TN (Bonnaroo)

# w/ The Growlers
* w/ Deertick