Dog Is Blue
Gig Seeker Pro

Dog Is Blue

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2009
Duo Alternative Folk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Snob's Music: Dog Is Blue"

Dog Is Blue is the stage name of Toronto musician Paul Watson. His latest release is the ghost-folk album ...Makes Ghost Noises.

Nowadays when an artist makes sparsely arranged acoustic music with a subtle synth embellishments they almost inevitably get compared to acts like Bon Iver. That holds true for Dog Is Blue.

Unlike Bon Iver however, Dog Is Blue's songs, like "Seacaptain", are warm and engaging. Well placed percussion, backing vocal harmonies, and the odd whistle lend these tracks greater texture and warmth than we hear from the cold and stark Justin Vernon.

Thematically the songs tend to stick close to the traditions of folk music. The tracks are the typical tales of regret, longing, and loneliness. Where Dog Is Blue differs from the most of the indie folkies is in his lyrics. Lyrics like comparing wrestling an alligator to winning over a woman ("Alligator Song") makes his songs clever and at times humorous rather than being morose, monotone downers.

If you want songs that are inviting, well-crafted, and smart then you definitely need to check out Dog Is Blue.

Dog Is Blue have two Toronto shows coming up: June 27th at Tranzac and July 15th at Rancho Relaxo.

Best tracks: "Alligator Song", "Grandma" - snobsmusic.net


"Soundproof: Dog Is Blue - ...Makes Ghost Noises"

SOUNDS LIKE: Leonard Cohen's grandson's basement duo.

WHY/WHY NOT: Ontario residents Dog Is Blue bring us a rather lovely collection of lo-fi folk tunes. Most tracks are built around budget synthesisers, softly strummed guitars and the crackling vocals of singer Paul Watson. Lyrics tend to lean on the poetic side and tread a fine line between meaningful and cheesey, occasionally veering into the latter category ("Wish"). This is often the case with new artists, and Watson would do well to have a little more confidence in his songwriting abilities. Musically Makes Ghost Noises is reminiscent of the kind of compact folk/indie gems found in the Spielberg-hyped film Once; all fragile vocals, female backing, guitars and xylophones.

It's a nice record and an excellent little personal project, but it lacks the ambition and musical spread to really push it over into stronger artistic territory. Among the album's stand-out tracks, and clearly one of Watson's favourites (as he reprises the track at the album's close) is "Raise Your Dead", a nice melody laden track in which subtle instrumental flourishes result in a rewarding listen. However, the ideas from "Raise Your Dead" are used repeatedly throughout the record to less successful ends and a bit more variety in the songwriting would have been welcome.
- soundproofmagazine.com


"Pick of the Week #28: Dog is Blue"


This pick of the week has been a long time coming. I've e-mailed back and forth with Paul Watson, mentioned the album a couple of times, and I managed to catch 'the band' live a couple of weeks ago, but, alas, ...Makes Ghost Noises has not been given the illustrious (and much sought after) title of "Pick of the Week". (... until now!)

Certainly, part of the reason that Dog is Blue didn't make the cut earlier was just the nature of the song-songwriter or self-described ghost-folk music; this isn't the kind of music that is going to bowl you over. Paul's voice, while having a lot of character, doesn't really make him a contender for American (or Canadian) Idol, the arrangements aren't exactly epic, so, I guess that's my explanation for why I didn't "pick" it earlier. And really, that probably says more about my lack of patience... anyhow...

So, ...Makes Ghost Noises didn't blow me away, but it has become kind of like my PJs (no, Paul, I'm not hitting on you). MGN has become a very comfortable album that I'll put on while I'm reading, or watching the CP24 traffic in the morning before work, with the gentle whirring, clip-clopping, and the female vocals hovering in the background. But, just because I'm very comfortable with the album, doesn't mean that its not catchy, or compelling, or that its just something that's going to put you to sleep; because I think the best thing about ...Makes Ghost Noises is that something different (lyric/riff/hook/track/and-so-on) stands out to me every time. And that is a reason to grab the album @ Zunior for $5.55. - londononburgeoningmetropolis.blogspot.com


"Ondarock Review: Dog Is Blue - ...Makes Ghost Noises"

Se doveste prendere il largo per affrontare l’oceano, chi scegliereste come compagni di viaggio? Ovvero: di chi vi fidate veramente nella vita?
Paul Watson sembra avere le idee chiare in proposito, quando sulle note di “Seacaptain” immagina di salpare con una ciurma di amici verso l’ignoto come una sorta di Ulisse dantesco da fumetto, pronto ad affrontare i flutti insieme alla sua picciola compagnia a bordo di una vecchia station wagon trasformata in vascello… Un’odissea in cui matrimoni e funerali sarebbero felicemente banditi per sempre, in nome di un eterno qui e ora.
Sono fatte di sogni così, le canzoni raccolte dal songwriter di Toronto nel suo debutto a nome Dog Is Blue: lievi e folli come una scena di Michel Gondry, intessute di quella fantasia fanciullesca che sembra possibile solo “prima della deriva dei continenti, quando i mari erano piccoli e la nostra volontà incrollabile”...

Un arpeggio scandito dalla chitarra, i chiaroscuri della voce, un tappeto di riverberi sintetici: basta ascoltare l’iniziale “Borrowing Days” per rendersi subito conto che Watson punta all’essenza per tratteggiare le proprie immagini. Quello che non vuole, però, è scadere nel cliché dell’ennesimo cantautore armato di chitarra acustica: ecco allora sbucare sullo sfondo dei brani tastierine giocattolo, organetti da circo, ritmiche trastullanti, persino qualche occasionale scheggia di elettricità loureediana nella coda di episodi come “Alligator Song” e “Raise Your Dead”.
Gli echi della voce di Laura Heaney – pittrice con un debole per i teschi barbuti – si librano come ululati di ectoplasmi accanto al timbro profondo di Watson, mantenendo fede ai rumori spettrali annunciati dal titolo del disco: ma come nella migliore tradizione eelsiana, si tratta di spettri amichevoli, venuti a fare visita solo per impedire che il passato svanisca nel nulla. “I like a good ghost story”, confessa Watson in “Raise Your Dead”, “The kind that makes you worry as your marshmallows roast/ But a misconception I ought to mention is that we’ve something to fear from our ghosts”.

Tra bozzetti in stile Mountain Goats (“Happy Hallowe’en”) e storture alla Herman Dune (“Grandma”), Watson sembra voler approfittare dei versi di “Young Enough” per disegnare il proprio autoritratto: “Non sono un poeta in qualche viaggio periglioso/ Sono solo un ragazzo che non è ancora pronto/ Sono troppo vecchio per unirmi a un circo viaggiante / Ma troppo giovane per sapere davvero molte cose/ Con l’età giusta per tirare avanti senza scopo/ Giovane abbastanza per non essere mai soddisfatto di nulla”.
Per lui, la prima vera folgorazione musicale è arrivata alle superiori, quando ha rubato “Moondance” di Van Morrison dalla collezione di dischi del padre. Ma è a 26 anni che si è reso conto di non avere ancora realizzato il proprio sogno: così, in aggiunta all’impegno con il negozio online di musica indipendente canadese Zunior, Watson ha deciso di indossare finalmente i panni del songwriter. “Avrei potuto usare il mio nome”, racconta, “ma mi avrebbero confuso con Patrick Watson o con il fondatore di Greenpeace…”. Abbandonata l’idea iniziale del moniker zoologico “Wolves, Hawks And Kites” (“sfortunatamente l’ho scelto più o meno nello stesso momento in cui band come Wolf Parade, We Are Wolves, Wolfmother e milioni di altre avevano già dato esempio dello zeitgeist lupesco…”), Dog Is Blue è diventato così il suo nome di battaglia: un nome che, pur scontando la timidezza degli esordi, dimostra di avere una promettente personalità da mettere in mostra.

I brani di “…Makes Ghost Noises” alternano il fatalismo di Bill Callahan all’ironia del conterraneo Mathias Kom (The Burning Hell): anche quando i toni si fanno più riflessivi, come nel carillon tintinnante di “Wish”, non manca mai un sorriso capace di sdrammatizzare ogni cosa, riconducendo lo sguardo alla giusta prospettiva. “How do I know the flowers of my dreams won’t drown in over-watered graves?/ I translated that from French, don’t ask me to explain”.
Non è fatto di imprese avventurose, il viaggio sull’imbarcazione traballante del songwriter canadese, ma delle piccole insidie della navigazione di ogni giorno, in cui non si riesce quasi a scovare una stella cadente tra le luci delle città e in cui l’amore diventa una lotta peggiore di un incontro di wrestling con un alligatore… Ma c’è sempre un nuovo porto in vista, in cui potersi imbarcare insieme per sfidare il vento contrario. “We’re all off on our own odyssey/ Just need a place to rest or fall”.

(30/07/2009)

- ondarock.it


"Herohill: Thursday Mailbag:: Fraser, Pale Air Singers, Dog is Blue"

His modern take on folk - balancing the traditional subtle, picked riffs with off-kilter instrumental textures from every noise maker he can find - makes for quirky songs that don't let you settle in complacency. There's no doubt that Paul is a new artist, working his way up from open mics to releasing his own record in less than a year but with the help of some friends (Laura Heaney on backing vocals) he offers up some powerful tracks (Young Enough) and a surprisingly polished sounding self-released debut.
- Herohill.com


Discography

...Makes Ghost Noises (debut album, independently released March 31, 2009)

Photos

Bio

Toronto’s Dog Is Blue is primarily the outlet for writer/performer Paul Watson to get his folk ya-yas out.

Recording in his east-end living room using as much cheap gear and homemade noise-makers as readily available, his mandate is to take advantage of the fact that anyone with a decent computer, an afinity for bargain hunting on Craigslist and some good songs can create music worth taking notice of.

Influences include: Bob Dylan, Chad VanGaalen, Harry Nilsson, Alex Chilton, Paul Westerberg, Rheostatics, Leon Russell