Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

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Coachella preview: Dr. Dog

April 14, 2009 |  1:24 pm


Pop & Hiss will be covering the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., from Friday through Sunday. There are more than 120 acts on the bill, and in the days leading up to the festival, we'll be selecting some of the best bets -- some on the radar, some flying below.

Who: Dr. Dog

Why all those Beatles comparisons may not be too far off the mark: The west Philadelphia-based quintet Dr. Dog may be the new masters of the three- to five-minute pop song in the "Abbey Road"  tradition, but it’s more “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” than “Love Me Do.” Since 2001 or thereabouts, songwriters Scott McMicken and Toby Leaman have carved out a careful niche of the low-fi pop landscape with rich harmonies (think the Beach Boys, the Band) and rattling guitars that buzz nicely alongside organs, sleigh bells, tambourines and, yes, bass lines that seem mined from the Höfner of a certain Liverpudlian.

Last year’s album "Easy Beat" expanded on this formula with punchier songs such as “Uncovering the Old” and “The Breeze” that moved away from tendencies to fuzz off into the stratosphere. Dr. Dog earned Jeff Tweedy’s seal of approval after touring with Wilco in 2007.

Why you should see them in the desert: Their paeans to easy living might just be the perfect antidote to the onslaught of Astroturf and youth marketing.

"The Ark" -- Dr. Dog

-- George Ducker

Photo: Dr. Dog