Monday, July 13, 2009

Vol. 2 - Pets

Per the suggestion of Jess "Blumenizer" Blumensheid, this week's batch of tunes goes out to our pets and/or favorite critters.


Asa: Anne Briggs - Highlodge Hare

Hopper the rabbit was an adorable, dear lil' dude. He was a Holland lop, and his dark brown coat eventually turned a beautiful shade of delicious cinnamon. I remember the day we got him-- the drive to the oddball breeder's house in bumtown nowhere, the tiny ball of fur quivering in the open cardboard box on the ride back. I also remember the day where, his eyes oozing pus and covered in cataracts, we had to put the poor guy down. In cyclical fashion, he returned to a cardboard box, this time wrapped in some towels before the box was thoroughly sealed and he was laid to rest in our backyard. In the whopping eleven years he was around, there were innumerable hangouts in which I'd forego homework and let him loose on the laundry room floor, where he would stand on his hind legs and sniff the air apprehensively. As such, I've picked out reclusive 70s' folkie Anne Briggs' "Highlodge Hare," a fittingly simple, tiny bouzouki instrumental for a simple, tiny little buddy. RIP, guy. I miss you still.

Jess: Red House Painters—Wop-A-Din-Din

Upon first listening to this song, I assumed it was another solemn, but sweet tune honoring one of Mark Kozelek's love affairs. My expectations led me to believe Kozelek’s subject as a porcelain-skinned brunette who never seems to stay by his side. Kissing her long, Egyptian face as she lays "perfectly in place" reads as any other lover song. But when he soothes his tone, singing that he "might knock her" from his bed "to the ground," I start to question what type of broad would put up with such rude shenanigans; none other than a cat, of course. I guess he can’t digest the good-morning kitty breath. His voice is warm and the acoustics are comforting. This song is depressingly beautiful, like bidding good-bye to your cat before embarking on a three-month journey.

Bitsy: Gnarls Barkley – Smiley Faces

I’m comfortable saying that my dogs and I are on the same level. Clarification: I don’t drink out of the toilet or poop freely in the yard, but I feel like we just get each other. It always amazes me how they respond to human emotion with nothing but a happy disposition and a wagging tail. Completely carefree and tongues dangling, my dogs are just content to be in the company of someone who knows how to scratch that neglected patch of fur on their backs. “Smiley Faces” by Gnarls Barkley (heh, “bark”— awful, unintentional pun) lyrically reminds me of that happy disposition—and that undying curiosity that I recognize in my own dogs. The majority of the song lyrics are questions that could easily come from a pet’s perspective. It’s a strange way of looking at the piece, but with a pet theme, thinking inside of the box was not even an option- not for me. Enjoy it.

Quinn: Sun Kil Moon - Lily and Parrots

Okay, so in all honesty, I couldn’t really find a suitable song for this week’s theme. I’ve never associated a particular song with my pets, nor have my pets ever made me think of a particular song. This week, I offer a song from the one and only Mark Kozelek by way of Sun Kil Moon. As far as I can tell, “Lily and Parrots” is really a song about a guy expressing his love for a girl. But Quinn, why this has nothing to do with pets! Sure there are references to animals, but you’re just goofing around! Ah, but don’t we as pet owners at some level or another share the same type of affection when we think about our pet(s)? I’d have to say so.

Jason: Ramones - Pet Sematary

The Ramones are one of those bands that made who I am, so the obvious choice for me when thinking of pets, is the place that all pets end up, The Pet Sematary. This track was one of the first times that the band expanded on the super catchy almost pop/rock sound of "I Wanna Live" that they later carried onto albums like Mondo Bizzaro, combining their old punk edge with a more refined and friendly sound.

Hüsker Dü - How To Skin A Cat

I don’t want to sound too much like hippy scum, but I just LOVE animals. They’re cute, they’re fun to play with, and, most of all, they’re excellent for NOT eating. The hypocrisy of being vegan and having pets is something I’m willing to deal with, but every vegan has their breaking point: I just can’t take shitty roommates and their shitty cats.

Shitty Roommate’s cat Cornelius is the bane of my existence. What started as a mutually-distant relationship due to a violent altercation has grown into all out war as a result of that motherfucker shitting in my bed and pissing on some of my records. I despise this creature. I remain silent, though, because if there is one thing worse than Shitty Roommate’s cat, it's Shitty Roommate’s complaining; her voice is the sound of holocaust.

I can’t live like this, though, so on one of my particularly weak vegan days I plan on blasting Hüsker Dü’s noisy, discordant tale of the capitalist venture into feline hairstyling of “How To Skin A Cat” and taking a cleaver to Cornelius’ skull. I would feel terrible just wasting the carcass, so I plan on devouring it. It’s still vegan. Shit.

Roach Motel - My Dog’s Into Anarchy

I racked my brain trying to think of songs about pets and then it occurred to me that the ultimate “pet song” was done by Florida’s (my home state) most revered and earliest hardcore band, Roach Motel. The song is brief but still manages to tell the tale of a dog so punk and disorderly he “stage dives off the kitchen chair” and even “has a lifetime subscription to Maximum Rock 'n' Roll.” I wish I could recall the rest of the lyrics, they go by so fast, but every single line supports the notion that singer Bob Fetz’s dog is way more punk than yours or any other fucking dog on the planet. Word is that this dog eventually grew out of punk and got really into house music and became a DJ. This song is twenty-six years old, so presumably this extremely punk dog is dead, much like punk itself. Oi Oi Oi.

Charles Bronson - The Great Pet Rock Comeback

While at first I was going to pick a song that actually reminded me of my dog, I quickly realized that the only song that would accurately fit would be the Scooby Doo theme song. Although not a great dane, she is a coward and has a black hole of a stomach. And hangs out with kids from the 60’s. Instead, I thought about how much I’ve always wanted a pet rock to collect dust in the crannies of my room. They're the best pets. So here’s a song from powerviolence giants Charles Bronson that may or may not be about pet rocks. It’s pretty kicking.

Hasan: Hatebeak - Beak of Putrefaction

I used to own three badass parakeets. They could have probably beat the shit out of your weak ass dog or bunny. I'd like to think those parakeets would enjoy the Baltimore death/grind trio known as Hatebeak, which prominently featured Waldo the parrot on vocals. I get a smile on my face when listening to this track, not because of the ridiculousness of the music, but because it reminds of the good times I had with those loud and annoying parakeets. How heartwarming of Mr. Blake Harrison (Triac/Pig Destroyer) to include his lovely pet bird in the music he loves. Now if only black metal bands would include their pet goats in their music.

Download the Pets mixtape HERE.


  1. I put on Ambient music for my Cat when I leave the house for her to sleep to.

  2. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  3. My parents have a punk cat. Whenever I visit and put on punk (but only Japanese punk), he comes running downstairs at top speed, jumps on the bed, and starts purring and rolling around like crazy. He could care less about any other kind of music.