"I would agree with that to a degree," says Leaman. "The collage part, anyway. I wouldn't agree with the first part of it. I love all those bands, but I don't think any of our records sound like tributes to those bands."

Is it simply a case of lazy journalism? "Yes?" Leaman replies sheepishly, then laughs. "I dunno, when people say stuff like that, I'm like, 'What are you hearing? Are you that unknowledgeable about the bands you're comparing us to that you can't hear the marked differences?' "

But Leaman has little time or inclination to worry about that sort of thing. There are shows to play for his ever-growing audience, the next album to begin thinking about, decisions about what label to sign with (Leaman admits they've outgrown Park the Van), and even bigger questions about the ultimate fate of Dr. Dog.

Do the Dog: Searching for summer delights.
Elizabeth Weinberg
Do the Dog: Searching for summer delights.


Dr. Dog With Drug Rug. Friday, February 20, 8 p.m., at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $12 in advance. All ages. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net

"The other day, our manager was like, 'What do you guys want to do? Where do you want to be, and how fast do you want to get there?' " he recalls. "When we first started working with him four years ago and he asked the same questions, we were like, 'Well, we wanna be a band that makes records that people hear, and we wanna make enough money as a band where we don't have to work.' And now we're at that point.

"What are we trying to aspire to now?" Leaman muses. "That's what we're asking ourselves. It's a conundrum, but it's a nice one. I mean, in my own mind, I want people to think of me the same way they think of Neil Young. Crazy, right? But that's the ideal. That wouldn't be so bad, you know?"

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