Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Classic Lansing Punks Unplug For Rare Gig



From The City Pulse

by Rich Tupica


Since forming in 1969, Lansing’s classic punk band The Dogs have only performed two acoustic gigs, one of which was June 15, at The Record Lounge, a small vinyl store in downtown East Lansing.


The warm room was packed with new fans, former band mates and people who grew up watching The Dogs throughout the ’70s.


Most of that same crowd will likely also attend The Dogs gig this Friday, June 19 at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, where the band will be its loud, usual self.


However, those who packed into The Record Lounge Monday witnessed not only great songs, but between song banter and memories from the band’s rock ‘n’ roll past. Also, this show was completely unplugged. No amps, microphones or drums were used. The “drums” were a barstool, and bassist Mary “Dog” Dryer (apparently without an acoustic instrument), simply tapped drumsticks on her stool and the wooden record bins that surrounded her.


Loren “Dog” Molinare lead the show, singing and bashing on his acoustic guitar while occasionally springing off his stool with guitar hoisted in the air.


“I wanted to do something different that we’re not doing at Mac’s or the other gigs, songs I wasn’t prepared for,” Molinare said moments after the show. “I think spontaneity makes magic happen.”


Molinare said the band picked songs not commonly played at recent dates.


“We did ‘Class of ‘70,’ and ‘Younger Point of View,’” he said. “We played ‘Everything is Cool,’ that’s from our second album.”


The set was closed out with a tribute to Ron Asheton, guitarist for The Stooges, who died in January.


“It bummed me out when he died. The Stooges were a huge influence on us,” Molinare said. “I mean, ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog.’ I got that 45 and I got the idea to call the band The Dogs, Which offended people in Lansing. They were like, ‘That’s what you think of yourselves? Your just some dogs?’ I was like, ‘If this is pissing everybody off, it’s a great name.’”


Molinare said his band hasn’t turned its back on its Michigan roots in the 40 years its been in existence.


“Ron Asheton’s primitive, Ann Arbor sound was just a huge influence,” Molinare said. “We fly that Detroit and Ann Arbor rock ‘n’ revolution flag for guys like him and [the MC5’s] Fred Sonic Smith and Rob Tyner.”

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