Thursday, January 29, 2009

Street Dogs - Real Boston Punk Rock

Recently I’ve been feeling like listening to some good street punk music. I started looking for my copy of "Do Or Die!" by the Dropkick Murphys but couldn’t find it so I jumped on the internet and started looking around. To my surprise I found that the original singer Mike McColgan was now in a band called Street Dogs and that they had put out several cds. I decided to give them a try and immediately started enjoying their music as soon I heard the first song and I've even been able to turn a few people on to to them. It was a surprise because Mike had left Dropkick Murphys after they released their first cd. He had always wanted to be like his uncle and become a Boston firefighter and the band knew this in advance. His number came up and he walked away with no regrets and the DMs recruited Al Barr from The Bruisers. For me though it just wasn’t the same without Mike and I drifted away from their music although history has shown that the band has had great success. After a few years though the music bug bit McColgan again and he started playing with Johnny Rioux and eventually they formed the band Street Dogs. He now no longer is with the Boston Fire Department and is giving music his full attention.

While researching about the band I was able to read a short interview that Mike had done and he was asked about his military service. Like me he had served in the first Gulf War. I have always had a habit of downplaying my role in the military and the war since I never saw combat nor had to fire my weapon however I was in Saudi Arabia for over six months and it did end up costing me something personal. In the interview Mike talked about his role in general and how just being there changed people. He never stated if he had seen combat or had to fire his weapon or just what his role was but it didn’t matter to me. He spoke the truth about how life changing it was and that resonated deeply with me to the point that I quickly banged out some lyrics for a new song about my own experiences in the war. Now I’ve been writing lyrics with my best friend Tom for a while and have had a hand in most of the lyrics for his band in some form or another but I’m unsure if they will ever do anything with this one. My mind was definitely occupied with punk music when I wrote the lyrics and that’s how I see this one coming out once music is married to the words and the thing is that Tom’s band is not punk. I'm unsure if their sound is what i want for these particular lyrics. Time will tell of course just what will happen with the song so i'll just be patient.

On a side note I went to Street Dogs website ( and through their links have found several other bands whose music I like such as Everybody Out!, TAT, Against Me and Death and Taxes. Even better, Street Dogs will be playing in Oklahoma City on March 20th at the Conservatory which is only about an hour and a half away and it only costs 10 bucks to get in! The wife has already been alerted and given her approval so I’ll be there more than likely solo barring any weird circumstances that pop up in the meantime. I’m certain to be one of the oldest people there but that’s okay as long as the music is loud and good which I know it will be. Just don’t expect me to get into the pit, I’ll only end up hurting or even worse embarrassing myself. Many thanks to Street Dogs for their music and in particular Mike McColgan for providing the impetus to make me rethink my role in the war and (hopefully) write some good lyrics about it. Hope to see you guys at the show in March.


Justin said...

I really like Street Dogs they are constantly in my car. I see that you also mentioned Against Me, of whom I'm also a big fan of. If by some chance you are forced into the pit photos must be taken thats all I'm saying.

Don said...

ha, ha i'm too old for the pit although i'm sure i could still draw some blood.