welcome to downwarddogs.com - the home of NYC band Downward Dogs
Downward Dogs bring acoustic punk up from the curbsides of New York with a sound that's a little bit lounge, a little bit swing, and all rock and roll. Picture Pixies and Steely Dan rumbling in a Burger King parking lot and you've got a sense of this aggressive five-piece outfit. Brass and drone braying from mono speakers. Big choruses, swaying anthems, yelping lyricism, old kids on new drugs staring at stars in the puddles.
Sad Machine, live at The Yippie Museum and Cafe
Cheater, live at The Yippie Museum and Cafe
Torch Song, live at The Yippie Museum and Cafe
8/10 - Sidewalk Cafe 9pm
8/24 - National Underground 9-12pm CD RELEASE PARTY
Old Favorites and New Ones
Last night was all about discovery, and rediscovery. The first was five-piece rock band the Downward Dogs, who ripped through a smart, diverse, energetically jangly set of southwestern-tinged rock at the National Underground. Fronted by an animated guitarist who goes by the name Joe Yoga, the band puts a unique spin on Giant Sand style desert rock via an excellent two-piece horn section (tenor sax and trumpet) with some neat, terse charts by the sax player. Backed by an imaginative, tight drummer and a nimble bassist whose tensely rising, trebly lines enhanced the suspenseful ups and downs of the songs, Yoga led the band through a mix of big swaying anthems and quieter, more brooding material. Every single song in the set was good. The lyrics were intriguing. This being the National Underground, it wasn’t easy to hear them: between the dodgy sound mix and the noisy yuppie puppy crowd who’d come in from Long Island to see the whimpering wimps who played beforehand, it wasn’t easy to hear anything, particularly the pensive, sometimes smoldering sax parts. Random, ominous images cut through the roar: the only thing left standing on 93rd St. (yikes!); someone waiting for something awful to happen; the impossibility of getting away with something, “a couple of years after the war.” A refreshing social awareness made its way to the surface: “I am revolution, and I am dead, but I never felt better,” Yoga hollered sarcastically over the dramatic whoosh of the cymbals at one point. The songs ranged from punchy, syncopated mariachi-flavored rock with swirling trumpet, a couple of warmly bouncy Wallflowers-style soul-rock tunes, a couple of pensively expansive anthems that wouldn’t be out of place in the Oxygen Ponies catalog, and a biting garage rock number to close the set on a high note.