Marissa Ross has a really astute post on one of my favorite bands, Dr. Dog.
One of my favorite things about Dr. Dog’s music is their portrayal of problems and solutions. There is always a sense of comfort in everything. In a completely unobtrusive fashion, they present a set of beliefs and a way of living- live, love, be happy, empathetic and wise. Yes, life will always have its fair share of altercations but there is always an answer and there are no absolutes. An entire song about a disappointing friendship ends on the note that it is still a choice, “Are you my curse or are you my friend?”
I love these guys for a lot of reasons. One reason is that their lyrics are intelligent and deeply humane. A somewhat smaller reason is that they are really small.
Another note: the new Walkmen album is terrific. Note that Washington, D.C. produces lots of cool human beings — the boys who grew to become the men behind Jonathan Fire*Eater, one of whom is my New America colleague Thomas A. Frank, and later The Walkmen; El Guapo-Supersystem-Shy Child, etc. I grew up in Brooklyn, but I’ve lived in Washington long enough to appreciate its not inconsiderable charms.
But yes, Dr. Dog is from Philadelphia, another great American city that, frankly, I’m tired of hearing praised to the skies, though I’m certainly happier to hear Philadelphia praised than the ritzier precincts of New York.