Working-class punks

Boston’s Street Dogs visit Sac—the city they love to love

Boston lads looking very smaaaaht.

Boston lads looking very smaaaaht.

Photo By abbigale boyle

Catch Street Dogs with Time Again, Flatfoot 56 and Final Summation at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 11, at The Boardwalk (9426 Greenback Lane in Orangevale). Tickets are $14 in advance. Visit or call (916) 988-9247 for more information.

Street Dogs’ new album, State of Grace, is full of energetic and well-written punk songs that make you want to run into a wall five or six times. It’s the vibe they were going for.

The Boston band (Mike McColgan, vocals; Johnny Rioux, bass; Marcus Hollar, guitar; Tobe Bean III, guitar; and Paul Rucker, drums) is in the midst of their U.S. tour in support of the album, and McColgan (former singer for the Dropkick Murphys) took some time to talk with SN&R about his band, the economy and his undying love for Sacramento.

When I called the first time, he didn’t answer, and all my deep-rooted abandonment issues from childhood came rushing back. Of course, five minutes later, he picked up and I stopped weeping.

I thought you abandoned me.

No, not at all. I wouldn’t abandon you.

Good. Any crazy road stories yet?

I think in Dallas we had some kids break into the show naked, and they had to be whisked out. But other than that, it’s been pretty tame so far. Just getting in the crowd, antagonizing people and getting everybody involved. When you go to a Street Dogs show, you’re a participant, not a spectator. Whether you like it or not.

Perfect, because I’m done with boring-ass shows.

Yeah, just growing up and going to live shows is the best experience. I always like bands that got you involved and made it a communal event. When bands are standoffish and not engaged and distant, it’s like, “What’s the fucking use?” Only Oasis can get away with that. Everybody else has to work for it.

Do you notice a decline in fans at shows because they’re just fucking broke?

There’s a lot more than we expected given our current environment. We’re pleasantly surprised. These are tough times, for sure. I guess it’s a good incubator for punk rock and disaffected music, though.

When punk rock started showing up on MTV, I almost pissed my pants. Were you tripped out when punk started getting mainstream airplay?

Kind of, because I had been a big fan of the Clash and the Jam … and when that stuff had faded there was a lull for a while … then, boom, in the early ’90s, bands started to crop up. Yeah, I was surprised. I never thought in a million years that “punk bands” could go platinum. It kind of set the stage for a lot of independent labels that exist today to put out bands, like Fat Wreck Chords and HellCat. It was good to see Fat Mike and Tim Armstrong take their success and give back to the scene and give bands that they like an opportunity to make records and tour. And the bands that were given those opportunities weren’t American Idol bands or TRL bands; they were just hard, scrappy, tough punk-rock acts, for the most part.

When I e-mailed the press lady, I wrote “Street Dongs” by accident. I just wanted you to know, you know, in case that ever got back to you.

I’m fully sure they chalked that up as a typo.

So you’re coming out here?

Yeah, The Boardwalk. They have a good house sound guy there: Claude. He’s amazing. And it’s a good room and we always have a great time there. And I definitely want to give a shout-out to Whiskey Rebels and Pressure Point as well. Great bands. Big Chuck, Mike Erickson—holding it down in Sac.

Definitely. So, I don’t know, do you have any questions for me?