Now that the weather’s getting better, it’s just about time to bring out one of my favorite summer songs. It’s not like a Beach Boys fun-in-the-sun-surfin’-safari summer song or anything like that, though. It’s more of an obtuse, I’m-feeling-kinda-lonely-and-surly song.
1992′s “Summer Babe” was the first song I ever heard by Pavement and it was a revelation. Stephen Malkmus‘ laconic delivery, the lo-fi noisy guitar tone, and the behind-the-beat cardboard drums all combined to give this song a restless kind of dissastisfaction that I could relate to.
It wasn’t an aggressive, pissed-off testosterone angry, it was more like an everybody-is-stupider-than-me angry. The lyrics were completely obtuse, but I always conjured up my own deranged imagery for the opening line: “Ice baby, I saw your girlfriend and she was eating her fingers like they’re just another meal.”
And the final refrain is still one of my favorite lines to repeat over and over again: “Every time I sit around I find I’m shot.”
“Summer Babe” was first released as single, and a remix appeared as the first song on “Slanted and Enchanted,” which is a seminal early 90s game-changer. If you don’t own it yet, get it.