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Long known for their must-see live shows, Dr. Dog have lately been rather quiet on the touring side of things. Asked if they were getting a little weary of being on the road, front man Toby Leaman laughs, “I’ve never been busier in my life; I can’t wait till we’re out on tour and just playing shows”.
After releasing a live album at the top of 2015, Dr. Dog immediately began an intense collaboration with The Pig Iron Theatre Company, setting out to present their legendary (though still unreleased) 1999 album, The Psychedelic Swamp, in theatrical form. With a cast of 30 and an oversized production budget, the performances amazed both rock fans and theater-goers alike, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s pop critic called it “Ingenious” and “Full of heart and soul" The band is currently in the process of recording two new albums, which they’ll continue working on the remainder of the year until they take a “break” and spend the first half of 2016 on the road.
Known for their enigmatic indie-pop meets growling guitar grunge, Philadelphia's Hop Along return with their sophomore full-length album Painted Shut. Following the release of the band's debut Get Disowned LP, Frances Quinlan has emerged as one of music's most unique songwriters. Recorded and mixed by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth) in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, Frances is joined by Mark Quinlan (drums), Tyler Long (bass) and Joe Reinhart (guitar) on Painted Shut.
Painted Shut is a record of lush compositions, fuzzed-out guitar riffs and captivating vignettes that tell vivid stories of desperation and weary awakening. It pays homage to post-punk luminaries, while simultaneously driving home a sound that is contemporary, emotive and challenging to define. Frances' raw, spellbinding vocals cut through distorted guitars and playful percussion on lead single "Waitress". "Texas Funeral" is a propulsive pop anti-anthem, which builds as the track ascends to its roaring peak. Swelling guitars drive "Powerful Man" and an instantly catchy melody keep listeners hooked.
Often depicted on Painted Shut are the two lives of legendary (though generally unknown) musicians Buddy Bolden and Jackson C. Frank, who were plagued with mental illness until their penniless deaths. It touches upon accounts of poverty, abuse, greed; and banal, sub-par behavior. The songs present themselves unencumbered despite the difficult subject matter, at times both jubilant and irreverent.