Several years ago I was driving around with Carl Lavin somewhere around Boston and he was lamenting how bands rarely cover current songs, instead it’s just shit from like a decade ago, nostalgic trips and tweaks on old favorites from when that artist was younger. At the time, we were listening to the Pixies covering “Head On” by Jesus And Mary Chain.
Lavin would be proud of this sudden Joust of Now, as Chris Keene of Mean Creek has stripped down and re-imagined “Dog Song” from Potty Mouth, off the Northampton garage rock band’s 2012 EP Sun Damaged. The whole EP is great, as I named it one of the best records of last year, but this was always my favorite track (“Hazardville” a close second). In a Phoenix feature that ran last summer, Liz Pelly asked the band about the song, and if it had any underlying social meanings of oppression. “A lot of people think it’s a metaphor for women being oppressed. I don’t ever say that’s the wrong interpretation,” said Abby Weems, “but I did write it from a dog’s perspective.”
Keene’s “Dog Song” will be included on his upcoming solo record, Dove, out in May.