Local band takes it 'Easy'
Dogcatcher showcases laid-back jams on second album
Just north of Highway 101, tucked into the back corner of a squat, unassuming strip of office space, Andrew Heine hunches over the piano, listing slightly to the quick rhythm of Ramon Esquivel's kick, snare and high-hat, and the bouncy, rapid punches of Jared Milos' bass guitar. Heine tickles the keys, coaxing out chords and melodic accents, which dance around the beat, linking with Ryan Kingsmith's acoustic guitar work, swinging about in the higher registers, as he croons in a quiet, gravely voice.
This is Dogcatcher. The Mountain View-based alternative rock band recently released its second album, "It's Easy" — a six-song set, peppered with jazz-funk syncopation and rough-around-the-edges indie charm. The band is scheduled to play its first Mountain View show since the release of "It's Easy," this Saturday, Aug. 4, at Red Rock Coffee.
Dogcatcher recorded "It's Easy," at the band's practice space — the Red Rock Recording Company's recording studio, where Kingsmith works part time as an audio engineer.
The Bay Area has spawned its fair share of rock 'n' roll legends. The Grateful Dead began their long strange trip in San Francisco in 1965; The Doobie Brothers came smoking out of San Jose in 1970; and Green Day came out of the late-'80s and early-'90s East Bay punk scene.
Obviously, talent factored heavily in all these bands' respective success stories, but so did access to the clubs where they were able to build their fan base. Many suburban bands serious about making it in the music biz will relocate to the nearest big city in order to be closer to the bars and clubs, as well as the other artists and musicians inhabiting these urban centers.
But Heine and his cohorts make no bones about it: Dogcatcher is a Mountain View band, and plans are for it to remain that way. For the past year they have played at Red Rock Coffee the first Saturday of each month.
"We feel pretty patriotic about Mountain View," Heine says. They like the slower, laid-back pace of this city — a preference that is reflected in their tunes and perhaps even in the title of their latest release.
"It's cool being a little bit outside, because it keeps you a bit isolated," he said.
If the band enjoys the Mountain View community, the locals appreciate them in return. Dogcatcher frequently play shows outside of Heine and Esquivel's house in the Old Mountain View neighborhood. People come from the surrounding blocks to listen to them play and Heine said he even gets requests to leave the front door open when he is practicing his chops on the piano.
At the end of the day, the guys from Dogcatcher say that as long as they can play a few shows here and there and have some fun, that's all they really care about. And if it just so happens that their friends and neighbors want to listen to them while they do it — well, that's even better.
"I think, no matter what, the plan is to just keep playing and keep making music," Heine says. Anyone who would like to hear them play is welcome to drop by the band's "homecoming" show at 8 p.m., Aug. 4, at Red Rock Coffee, 201 Castro St.