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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Just what the doctor ordered: the Beach Boys vibe

    Philadelphia-based Dr. Dog will be hitting up Solar Culture on Tuesday at 9 p.m. Be
    Philadelphia-based Dr. Dog will be hitting up Solar Culture on Tuesday at 9 p.m. Be

    The classic three-part vocal harmony in pop music is dead. Danceable electronic sounds and thumping bass beats now take precedence over our old friend.

    Recently, however, there’s been a wave of new acts embracing the harmonies and style of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. Dr. Dog, a band from Western Philadelphia, is bringing a modern-day approach to that sound.

    When the band began almost a decade ago, they took a liking to a box set commemorating the release of the Beach Boys’ legendary Pet Sounds album. In Dr. Dog, Zach Miller handles organ, keyboard and other duties. He recently recalled the impact of Pet Sounds on the band.

    “”A party would eventually turn into an hour-long Beach Boys sing-along,”” Miller said.

    As for the motivation of following in the footsteps of the Beach Boys and making enjoyable music, Miller offers a succinct explanation: “”People just want to have music that is fun and doesn’t make them feel like shit.””

    Dr. Dog’s new album We All Belong fits that bill. Compared to their previous album Easy Beat it is a complete sonic upgrade. The band’s new songs come to life on totally innovative levels thanks to the band’s improved recording setup.

    “”The biggest change (on the new album) was having room that allowed us to stack up vocals and make the arrangements more elaborate,”” Miller said. “”That’s something we always wanted to do.””

    The album’s title track showcases the best the band has to offer with its vocal harmonies and uplifting mood. At just over five minutes, it’s the perfect song to close out a great record.

    While most bands never get the opportunity to release an album nationwide, Dr. Dog is on its second big-time release all thanks to Jim James, the frontman of My Morning Jacket.

    After the band gave James a copy of their first album, Toothbrush, they received a momentous letter. It was from James himself stating that he really enjoyed the record and wanted to help the band out. My Morning Jacket eventually took Dr. Dog out on the road and much buzz ensued.

    “”We had really never played outside of this area,”” Miller said, referring to Philadelphia and surrounding cities. “”We sort of jumped right into the fire, but we totally nailed it.””

    The band then took its earnings from the tour to record Easy Beat which furthered their exposure in music blogs.

    “”We are forever indebted to Jim James,”” Miller said.

    Look for Dr. Dog to make a splash Monday on TV as they’ll be performing on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The band will then board a plane for Tucson in order to make it to their tour date here.

    Dr. Dog is playing Tuesday at Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole. Ave. Bobby Bare Jr. and Jeffrey Lewis open the all-ages show at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8.

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