by (@unclegrambo)

that dog. Reunites For Their First New York City Show Since 1997

It’s very easy to view reunion shows through cynical eyes, particularly those of bands who came of age in the Nineties. Ever since the Pixies got back together at Coachella 2004 and became millionaires many times thanks to extended tours catering to their aging Generation X fanbase, virtually every band of consequence from the Buzz Bin era has reunited, most of them with visions of dollar signs dancing through their heads. However, that most certainly was not the case last night in Williamsburg when one of the the alternative rock era’s most criminally underrated punky power pop outfits, that dog., played their first East Coast gig since 1997. The band dissolved after a difficult tour in support of their 1997 album Retreat From The Sun (a stone classic, if we do say so ourselves), but got back together for a handful of shows on their native West Coast last summer. They didn’t do it to inflate their respective bank accounts, but rather as a means to blow the dust off their revered three album catalog and play their material for an adoring audience, a good chunk of whom never had the fortune to see them pre-breakup.

that dog. doesn’t get much credit from the music critic community for being a particularly influential band, but looking back on their work with the benefit of hindsight, their three LPs — 1993′s That Dog, 1995′s Totally Crushed Out and 1997′s Retreat From The Sun — showcase some of the tightest hooks and catchiest riffs of that era. The soaring, three part harmonies of lead singer/guitarist Anna Waronker, violinist Petra Haden and bassist Rachel Haden were the perfect way to accentuate the band’s female-centric lyrical content, most of which centered around boys (finding them, dealing with them, losing them). Because the band shared a label (Geffen) with some of the most influential alternative acts of that era —Nirvana, Beck, Hole, Weezer, and Counting Crows, to name but a few— it’s easy to understand why they never quite got the spotlight pointed their way, but you wouldn’t know that judging by the level of devotion the fans at the Music Hall of Williamsburg showed the group last night. Read more…