The Great Songs: Summer Babe

by Eric Melin on April 14, 2010

in Columns,The Great Songs

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.

slanted and enchanted 19921992′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.

Link to The Great Songs: The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset

Link to The Great Songs: Big Star – Thirteen

Link to The Great Songs: The Jayhawks – Blue

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ian McFarland April 14, 2010 at 7:33 am

Fucking yes.

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2 Ian McFarland April 14, 2010 at 7:33 am

Fucking yes.

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3 Kevin April 14, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Way ahead of ya. Been crankin’ Beach Boys to no end lately and threw on Slanted for good measure. Weather affecting musical inclinations… good stuff.

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4 Kevin April 14, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Way ahead of ya. Been crankin’ Beach Boys to no end lately and threw on Slanted for good measure. Weather affecting musical inclinations… good stuff.

Reply

5 George Hickman April 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Easily one of my favorite songs of all time by anyone. It single handedly makes up for all the local Pavement wannabes that tortured my eardrums in the mid to late 90′s.

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6 George Hickman April 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Easily one of my favorite songs of all time by anyone. It single handedly makes up for all the local Pavement wannabes that tortured my eardrums in the mid to late 90′s.

Reply

7 MonkeyCarson May 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Ahhhhhh . . .
One of my favorites is “Shoot the Singer” from the 4 song Watery and Domestic EP. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He_fJa9gA7M

The lyrics were weirdly clever and simultaneously irrelevant. Still, they make me smile:
“Someone took (PAUSE)in these pants
Somebody painted over paint painted wood.”

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8 MonkeyCarson May 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Ahhhhhh . . .
One of my favorites is “Shoot the Singer” from the 4 song Watery and Domestic EP. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He_fJa9gA7M

The lyrics were weirdly clever and simultaneously irrelevant. Still, they make me smile:
“Someone took (PAUSE)in these pants
Somebody painted over paint painted wood.”

Reply

9 Eric Melin May 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm

That’s a great and overlooked EP, for sure. It’s also the last one with this lineup. After “Watery,” the band was a five-piece with a new drummer and the sound was forever altered (not that that was bad, just different).

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10 Eric Melin May 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm

That’s a great and overlooked EP, for sure. It’s also the last one with this lineup. After “Watery,” the band was a five-piece with a new drummer and the sound was forever altered (not that that was bad, just different).

Reply

11 Shelby June 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Pavement is the best rock band of all time.

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12 Shelby June 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Pavement is the best rock band of all time.

Reply

13 jack duhamel January 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm

good song

- Jack Duhamel

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