Friday, June 6, 2014

PMR Summer Faceoff - Edition #1 - June 10, 2014 - Dr. Dog or Poliça?

Minneapolis's Poliça
Philly's Dr. Dog

As the city's cultural scene expands and swells like a big fat pierogi on the griddle, we are more often faced with a dilemma to which we are unaccustomed: the choice between two great shows at two separate venues on one single night.

Now, before you curl up in a ball, paralyzed by indecision, relax. This is one of those "good problems" to have! (Some might even call it a #FirstWorldProblem, or at least a #FirstRateCityProblem) And we at Pittsburgh Music Report are here to walk you through the pros and cons of seeing either band.

A prime example of this takes place this upcoming Tuesday, June 10, when Minnesota electro-pop band Polica play Mr. Smalls while, at the same time, Philly psych/folk outfit Dr. Dog take to Stage AE. 

Here they both are live:


Let's delve a little deeper:

Who else comes up on their Pandora station? 
Dr. Dog: (early)Black Keys, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear
Poliça: The xx, Phantogram, Feist (Grizzly Bear Remix)
winner: Poliça. (Dr. Dog's station made me want to grow a beard)

What have they been up to?
Dr. Dog: Touring in support of B-Room, their seventh album, which averaged a 73/100 on Metacritic.
Poliça: Continuation of Shulamith tour, their second album, which also averaged a 73 on Metacritic.
winner: split

What is their label saying?
Dr. Dog (Anti): Their third studio album on Anti, B Room, marks the band’s greatest point of clarity in more than a decade of performing and recording. Their arrangements, while still ambitious, are much simpler, moving past the multi-tracked pastiche of earlier efforts into a unique and vibrant band voice.
Poliça (Mom + Pop): There is a band on the stage. There are two drum sets and a bass guitar. There is a woman in the front and two men seated behind her and another man standing nearby as she gyrates and dances and performs her art about herself.
winner: Dr. Dog, in a landslide

How much and where?
Dr. Dog: $25, Stage AE.
Poliça: $15, Mr. Smalls.
winner: Poliça,  b/c the Pirates are home that night and the price to park on the North Side will be doubled.

Have they played here before?
Dr. Dog: Yes, at least five times since 2009.
Poliça: Yes, once, at The Club at Stage AE, in 2012.
winner: Dr. Dog, b/c we just love the attention.

Who is opening for them?
Dr. Dog: The Hawks (of Holy Rosary), The Districts
Poliça: Reputante
winner: split. I really like The Districts (who hail from outside Philly), but Reputante have a really cool sound to them. They also happen to be signed to Julian Casablancas's Cult Records label, for what that's worth. 

Verdict: As our completely arbitrary scoring illustrates, it's a tie. In the end, Dr. Dog may be a better band for the summer, and they'll definitely perform a more energetic set, but I can't shake the feeling that Poliça is a band that won't be around long. And who knows when they'll be back again. Go see Poliça while they're burning bright, then see Dr. Dog when they're here again in the Fall.

(Full disclosure: Take this, like everything you'll ever read on this site, with a grain of salt. I interviewed Channy Leaneagh for a feature on Poliça that ran in the City Paper this past Wednesday.) 

-- B. Conway

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