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Dr. Dog guitarist-singer Scott McMicken has said that his group “was started and built on the idea that we were the only band there was.” A noble approach, but his statement is far from the truth: It’s no secret that the Philadelphia quintet’s winsome blues-pop blend owes a heavy debt to rock ’n’ roll greats like the Beatles and the Band. But that doesn’t mean Dr. Dog can’t hold its own, and since forming in 2001 the band has refined its take on rootsy psychedelia, building from the four-track foundations of its 2002 release, Toothbrush, to the studio-polished stomp of its latest, Fate. Live, the group’s jubilant hooks shine even brighter, reflecting a slacker magnificence from the lenses of their cheap neon sunglasses. Cite influences all you want, but Dr. Dog plays with smiles large enough to make the comparisons irrelevant.
DR. DOG PERFORMS WITH DELTA SPIRIT AND SETH KAUFFMAN AT 9 P.M. AT IOTA CLUB & CAFE, 2832 WILSON BLVD., ARLINGTON. $15. (703) 522-8430.