“O’Brien’s gritty urban vignettes deliver slingshot wordplay over frenetic Brit Invasion beats.”
-New York Press
“A soulful rock band with a distinctive Lower East Side groove.”
-Time Out New York
The Dog Show was formed after Jerome O’Brien had worked as a sideman on bass in several different projects on New York’s East Side. His recent recording credits on bass include Devendra Banhart- “Rejoicing In The Hands” and "Nino Rojo" (Young God), The Angels of Light "The Angels of Light Sing: Other People" (Young God) Mi and L'Au- "Mi and L'au" (Young God), Kid Congo & The Pink Monkeybirds- "Philosophy & Underwear" (New York Night Train) and Knoxville Girls (self-titled first EP, In The Red).
O’Brien began working out his own material in 2000 with friends and musicians he had met along the way calling each ad hoc ensemble The Dog Show in response to the endless parade of New York "show dog" performers, more concerned with their hair than their ability. The current line up has been performing regularly in New York City and O'Brien has performed solo in London as well. Their DIY release “Hello, yes!” is available on digital distributors including napster, itunes, emusic, rhapsody and cdbaby along with O’Brien’s first, mellower, 2000 effort.
Jerome O’Brien’s arrangements are gleaned from the annals of American rock and roll, Motown-esque rhythm and blues and 70’s proto-punk. Beneath straightforward, memorable melodies lay an honest presentation of modern character study and storytelling. O'Brien's songs bring us by turns humor and distress, various characters ranging from the sweet to the sardonic.
Despite the inevitable stylistic fingerprints left on
the scene of anything postmodern, there is an actual Dog Show “sound”. O'Brien's mix of hooks and wit make for a cocktail you may want too many of.
Jerome O'Brien, vocals, guitar, bass
"DEMO"- 6 song release 2000, CD Baby, itunes, napster, etc.
"Hello, yes!"- full length self released album, CD Baby, The Orchard, itunes, napster, etc.
The Dog Show
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By: Mark Staudte To say that the The Dog Show is influenced by the 70s punk rock scene is lik...By: Mark Staudte
To say that the The Dog Show is influenced by the 70s punk rock scene is like John Madden saying: 'They're down 37 to nothing; they've got to put some points on the board."
Jerome O'Brien and The Dog Show score a lot of points with their brand of (dare I say it) refined punk. They are too melodic to be lumped in with the likes of The Sex Pistols, Dead Boys and The Stooges. Unlike the The Dog Show many of the participants of the 70s punk scene had little or no experience playing an instrument. (It was a rebellion against the hippy movement and progressive rock and, well, just about everything else.)"Hold Me Down" takes that sound, throws in a tad of Mersey Beat, and puts a modern spin on it. What really captivates the listener is O'Brien's brilliant guitar work. (He is backed up by the more than capable rhythm section of Andrew Polonsky on bass and vocals, and Phil McDonald, who handles the skins and back-up vocals.
The variety is astounding; especially in the song 'If I Laugh Anymore I'll Break". This song would have fit right in at The Cavern in Liverpool circa 1963 or CBGB's in 1978(The Dog Show have played there, by the way). 'Every Baby Boy" could pass for an Elvis Costello song but, with all due respect to Elvis, I don't think he could do it like them.
I'll bet these guys are fun to listen to in a live venue. I don't think The Dog Show will bring back slam dancing, but as long as they bring back grand grooves like this, who gives a ..no, I won't say 'slam." That's too easy.
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The Dog Show revolve around Jerome O'Brien who's previous credits include playing bass with Devendra...The Dog Show revolve around Jerome O'Brien who's previous credits include playing bass with Devendra Banhart ('Rejoicing in the Hands') amongst many other less familiar names. Recording as a four piece with O'Brien switching to rhythm guitar and vocals, David Popeck on lead guitar, Andrew Plonsky on bass and drummer Josh Belknap, this would appear to be their first recording under this moniker. And very promising it is too.
Hailing from New York their sound may not be startingly original but it is well executed, hugely listenable and the proud possessor of it's own unique voice. Dealing in a vocal / lyrically led story telling tradition with rudimentary yet enchanting backing it loiters with intent somewhere between Lou Reed's 'New York' and Razorlight's recent (and wonderful) 'Up all Night'. Whilst it may not carry the lyrical punch of Lou Reed or the populist update of all those bands that music journo's cream themselves over (Television and friends) and killer singles that Razorlight have set loose amongst the world, it still has the ability to suck you into their world. A world of aging prostitutes and people questioning everything around them, it may be a distinct snapshot of New York but will talk to anyone who has lived or spent time in a major city,dazzled by the bright lights and drawn to the seedy underbelly.
Clocking in at an 'over far too quickly' 28 minutes and 8 songs it is brief enough not to bore even taking into account the somewhat mono style. The guitars jangle, the rhythm section is tight, no-one is showing off for the sake of it. Songs such as opener 'Hold Me Down' or 'Halcyon Days' have a cock sure strut to them, whilst 'I do it for you, I do it for me' and 'Diamonds and Broken Glass' take the pace down slightly whilst letting the bluesy guitar stretch itself a little.
The production certainly leans toward lo-fi and it has a ramshackle feel to it but 'Hello, yes!' is a confident and vibrant introduction to The Dog Show. Maybe not best of breed but certainly showing good pedigree.
The Dog Show-
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Crap name for a band but there you go. Imagine if you will the offspring of Bob Dylan and Elvis Cost...Crap name for a band but there you go. Imagine if you will the offspring of Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello grinding out a Kinks/Who hybrid of gritty guitar rock. Now cleanse yourself of this repugnant imagery and try listening to the music instead.
Taking the template above, The Dog Show are very much oriented towards the garage rock sound that has been prevalent over the past couple of years but with a hint of early rock and roll. The best track by far is "Every Baby Boy" where all the influences come together with an excellent melody.
The Dog Show mainman, Jerome O'Brien has worked with the likes of Devendra Banhart, Knoxville Girls, Kid Congo and many more and certainly knows his way around a bass guitar. Lyrically, he knows how to put a good couplet together and twist his stories into something interesting. The current line up of The Dog Show perform regularly in New York City venues like CBGB and Sin-e and if they work a bit harder at arrangements, could make a bit of a name for themselves.
40-45 minute set, approx. 10 original songs.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.