Dr. Dog Biography

Formed in 1999 in greater West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA this psychedelic pop outfit?s line-up is based around the enigmatic Taxi (Scott McMicken, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; guitar, vocals, ex-Raccoon), Tables (b. Toby Leaman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; bass, vocals, ex-Raccoon), Text (b. Zach Miller, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; keyboards, guitar, vocals), Time (b. Juston Stens, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; drums, vocals) and Thanks (b. Frank McElroy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; guitar, vocals) by the time their fourth album was completed in 2006. Early incarnations had featured Truck (b. Doug O’Donnell, 1977, Wilmington, Delaware, USA; guitar) who left prior to the band’s first major support tour in 2004 with Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket. He decided to concentrate on playing in fellow Philadelphian’s Doublehorse!, an act that shared Dr. Dog’s knack of fusing effortless melodic vision with knowing, sardonic humour. While Today (b. Ted Mark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; drums) had left the previous year, Trial’s (b. Andrew Jones, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; guitar) brief time with the band ended in 2005.

Dr. Dog’s 2001 debut, the self-released The Psychedelic Swamp, was essentially a collection of demos recorded by founder members, Taxi and Tables. The lo-fi Toothbrush - An Introduction To Dr. Dog from 2002, covered similar ground and at times flew close to the feel of the Beatles’ demos for 1968’s sprawling The Beatles. All this fused with their appreciation of Brian Wilson’s experimental approach to music making and the Band’s quest to transpose the heart and soul of North America, meant that Dr. Dog were eventually marketed in a similar way to UK retro oddballs the Bees (aka A Band Of Bees).

Although 2004’s Easy Beat was the band’s first widely available release, it stayed true to their DIY ethic and was recorded at home onto eight-track tape. By 2007’s We All Belong, they had been persuaded to record within a 24-track studio. The previous year’s Takers & Leavers EP had hinted at this progression but it was on the ambitious full-length disc that they began to shine in high fidelity. Using the Beach Boys’ unparalleled 1966 Pet Sounds as a template, tracks such as ‘My Old Ways’ and ‘Worst Trip’ were imitative but contained the indelible Dr. Dog stamp.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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