I’m going to start a recurring series of posts here at PHW where I focus on my favorite songs of all time, share a few thoughts on said song, and host it as an mp3 so you can then love it too. And then you can buy the album it’s from. I actually have these posts all the time, most music bloggers do, but now the series will have an official name - “Gold Soundz” - you know, because it’s cool to have a “column” named after a not-at-all obscure Pavement song.
First entry on said list shall be Slobberbone’s neo-classic “Gimme Back My Dog”, and not because Stephen King called it one of the 3 best rock n’ roll songs ever written. And not because a few years ago I saw a Slobberbone t-shirt on a guy at a Steve Earle concert that I thought was the best shirt I’d ever seen in my life. It simply said “Ryan Adams is no Brent Best”. Damn straight.
It’s because a few weeks ago, on Christmas actually, I thought it would be funny (in an “I’m an ironic blogger” sort of way) to put up a collection of “Jesus” songs. Naturally “Trust Jesus” from Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today made the cut, and sparked my listening to that album a few times over the ensuing days. And I was reminded of the power of “Gimme Back My Dog”. Not that I’d ever forgotten, but it had been a while since I cranked it up. I have to say it’s about the hardest rocking song to ever feature a banjo that I can think of. It comes crashing out of the gate with a wall of beautiful feedback-laden noise before locking into a banjo-led groove. Back and forth it goes between these two poles, gradually building its tension and releasing it over and again over its five glorious minutes.
But as hard as the music is, this is not the best part of the song. No, that would be Brent Best’s pained declaration that, in the wake of a nasty break-up, the most important thing to him is the retrieval of his beloved pet. Nowhere in the history of songs about dogs is the idea of “man’s best friend” more fully realized than in this song’s brilliant verses (for example):
It was mine before you knew me
It was mine before you'd chose me and use me and lose me, refuse me
The way you're now refusing to…
And a gruff chorus that is every bit as pained as one about losing your best friend should be:
Gimme back my dog…….
Hollered over and over and over by a voice that’s equal parts Jay Farrar and Paul Westerberg. Calling it one of the 3 best rock n’ roll songs of all time might be a hyperbolic extreme, but right now as it’s blasting out of my speakers you’d be hard pressed to convince me it’s not.
MP3 :: Gimme Back My Dog
(from Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today. Buy here)