That Dog circa 1997, l-r: Rachel, Petra, Tony, Anna
|Origin||Los Angeles, United States|
The original lineup of That Dog consisted of lyricist Anna Waronker (daughter of producer and one-time Warner Bros. Records head Lenny Waronker) on lead vocals and guitar, Maya Rudolph on drums, Rachel Haden on bass guitar and vocals, and her sister Petra Haden on violin and vocals (both a part of triplet sisters born to jazz great Charlie Haden). Friends since high school, the ladies were joined by drummer Tony Maxwell in 1992, when Rudolph left Los Angeles to attend college at UC Santa Cruz. Their punky power-pop songs were full of hooks and drenched with many layered vocal harmonies.
That Dog released a double 7" on Magnatone Records later that year, with a self-titled debut released the next year on 4AD. The band signed a Stateside record deal with Geffen Records, who released the album on their burgeoning DGC imprint in 1994, followed by the single "Old Timer".
After releasing the concept album Totally Crushed Out! in 1995, the band toured that summer with Weezer and Teenage Fanclub, in what was obviously a DGC-backed tour. When the album, and the single "He's Kissing Christian", failed to live up to both the band's and label's expectations, a disillusioned Waronker next began work on a solo album.
At Geffen's urging, the solo project evolved into a third That Dog album, 1997's Retreat From The Sun. The record spawned the minor hit "Never Say Never", and the group played with Black Market Flowers and Weezer at the tribute concert for their friends Mykel and Carli Allan in Hollywood on August 15th, 1997. The group disbanded soon after.
The interim years
Waronker continued a solo career after the dissolution of That Dog. During this time, she had collaborated with her sister-in-law and original Go-Go's member Charlotte Caffey (who made a cameo appearance on Retreat From The Sun, and co-wrote with Waronker the theme to the TV version of Clueless) on a rock opera based on the life of porn star Linda Lovelace. It played in Los Angeles through February of 2009.
Having helped Matt Sharp record the debut album Return of the Rentals, Petra Haden joined The Rentals to tour behind the release. She had continued work on a myriad of projects - both hers and others. In August of 2001, she was involved in a serious car accident while crossing the street, and suffered serious injuries. Without medical insurance, her friends in the music industry came together for multiple benefit projects, and she has recovered fully.
Rachel Haden has contributed vocals to recordings by Weezer ("I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams") and Jimmy Eat World (several tracks from Bleed American). She was a full-time member of The Rentals, during that outfit's relaunch period, but has since left the band.
In June of 2011, That Dog announced via their new Facebook page that they would be reuniting for a pair of August shows at the legendary Los Angeles club the Troubadour. Unsure of what to expect, the band was pleasantly surprised that the two shows sold out, and were taken aback by the warm response they received. The band continued performing and began work on their fourth album in 2015, hoping for a release by the end of the year. As of late 2016, work on a reunion album was still in progress, and a crowdfunding campaign to aid in some of the more expensive aspects of recording (such as orhestral arrangements) was put forward. The band performed the album Retreat From The Sun in its entirety at a show in Los Angeles on April 8th, 2017, to celebrate the album's 20th anniversary.
Relationship with Weezer
That Dog were part of the Los Angeles alternative rock scene alongside Weezer in their early nineties. Already an established group, That Dog would often invite Weezer to open shows for them. Rivers Cuomo once wrote a song titled "Punk Rock Girl" as a tribute to the band, and Matt Sharp recorded a cover of the song "She Looks At Me". Maxwell made a cameo appearance as a dancer in the "Buddy Holly" video. Following Weezer's breakout success, Rachel Haden commented in a 1995 interview that they were opening for Weezer, while Weezer used to open for That Dog.
Rachel Haden was meant to play the role of Laurel in Weezer's scrapped Songs From the Black Hole album, and was known to have rehearsed songs for it with the band. Haden performed vocals on the final B-side version of "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams", a song intended for Songs From the Black Hole, despite the project's collapse. Haden would again perform vocals for the song with Weezer for the song's live debut in 2011, as well as select performances thereafter. Petra Haden played violin on Weezer's 2003 cover of "Worry Rock", with her sister Tanya also playing cello on the track.
Rachel Haden has been critical on social media of Cuomo (and by extension, weezer as a whole) for not having paid her royalties for having sung on "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams".
- Anna Waronker - lead vocals, guitar, primary lyricist
- Rachel Haden - vocals, bass
- Tony Maxwell - drums
- Petra Haden - vocals, violin
- Kenny Woods - guitar on Retreat from the Sun
- Maya Rudolph - drums (pre-That Dog)
- That Dog (4AD 1993, reissued on DGC in 1994)
- Totally Crushed Out! (1995)
- Retreat From The Sun (1997)
- Old LP (2019)
- Buy Me Flowers 7" available only with original UK vinyl edition of That Dog, (1993).
- Grunge Couple 7" vinyl, self released (1994)
- Waldo The Dog Faced Boy split 10" vinyl on WIN Records (1994)
- He's Kissing Christian promo (1995)
- Never Say Never CD single (1997)
- DGC Rarities, Vol. 1 – "Grunge Couple" (1994)
- Bloodshot - "Old Timer" (1994)
- Jabberjaw: Good To The Last Drop – "Explain" (1994)
- Volume #9 (magazine companion CD) - "One Summer Night" (early version) (1994)
- The Poop Alley Tapes – "Ridiculous" (1995)
- KXLU Los Angeles Live Vol. 1 - "Anymore" (presumably live) (1995)
- Spirit Of '73: Rock For Choice – "Midnight At The Oasis" (1995)
- A Small Circle of Friends: A Germs Tribute – "We Must Bleed" (1996)
- Hear You Me! A Tribute To Mykel And Carli – "Silently" (acoustic) (1997)