Release Date: Jan 13, 2015
Record label: Anti / Epitaph
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Philadelphia-based indie rock powerhouse Dr. Dog turn in their first live collection with the curiously named double album Live at a Flamingo Hotel. On even their most orchestrated work, they've always been a band with a distinct kind of energy and a looseness that seems like it should translate well to the stage. Having tracked much of 2013's B-Room live in their recently constructed home studio, a legitimate live album follow-up is a logical progression.
With the right timing, a band’s first live album can be both a reward and a point of discovery. Formed in Philadelphia in 1999, Dr. Dog’s ascent has been nothing if not steady, the decade since the band’s Park the Van debut Easy Beat claiming fans one by one, mostly through hearsay surrounding the live show. As each pass around the country reliably packed larger and larger-still rooms, the band began connecting with home-recorded albums—off-kilter, lo-fi, yet packed with quirky personality and magnetic pop hooks.
Philadelphia six-piece Dr. Dog have amassed a jam-band-like cult following that can be confusing if you've only heard their seven albums. In the studio, they're a competent crew of Beatles disciples who cut straightforward, surfy folk rock. Their live shows, on the other hand, are full of electric enthusiasm and sharp proficiency that illuminates how they became so well-loved.
Released with little fanfare on just vinyl and download, the first live record from Philly’s absurdly catchy indie folk/psychedelic/pop/rock band Dr. Dog is likely not going to bring in a slew of new fans, but I don’t think that matters. You get the felling this one was strictly for those who have gone out of their way to discover this underrated band sometime over the past 15 years.