Lately, I’ve been playing with puppies for hours then leaving the pet store empty-handed because there hasn’t been enough heartbreak or emotional blue balling in my life.
Well, that, and I’m a big believer in rescuing, and I’m just trying to get a good feel for what sort of dogs would make sense for me.
So, given that canines are on my mind, I thought I’d put together a quick list of dog-related songs that get the Bloggenstatt stamp of approval.
Sun Kil Moon – “Dogs”
OK, so technically, this song is more about dealing with burgeoning sexuality coupled with the toxic role masculinity plays in the lives of young men, but it’s called dogs. And it’s on an album called Benji. Which is also the name of a movie starring a dog … in addition to being the name of Mark Kozelek’s dead friend.
The Beatles “Martha My Dear”
Once again really stretching my premise and spurning low-hanging fruit. Martha was the name of Paul McCartney’s sheep dog. He’s stated the song’s relation to the dog ends there, but I’m counting it.
Frankie Cosmos – “Sad 2”
Finally, a song that is unabashedly about a dog. A dead dog. OK, this is a song about the utter languish of putting a pet down. I thought this would be a happier list. The seesaw melody of this song is delightful to warble along too even if it’s a big, ole downer. Try it. “I’m juuuust a normal girl, but my name is FraaaAAAAaaaAaank” is a wonderful thing to say in a Muppet voice.
The Stooges – “I Wanna Be Your Dog”
Because there are bells on this proto-punk classic, it counts as a Christmas carol. Because Iggy Pop mostly sings about being, “So messed up,” and wanting to be someone’s dog it’s the best Christmas carol.
The Sonics – “Walking the Dog”
Pacific Northwest garage-rock legends included a super scuzzy take on Rufus Thomas’ song on their classic album Here are The Sonics. This one even includes dog whistles. One of my least tenuous picks.
Wanda Jackson – “Rockabilly Hound Dog”
This tweaks Elvis’ much more famous Hound Dog sound and mostly just extols the virtues of Rockabilly music. It’s extraordinarily silly, but Wanda Jackson doing a full-throated growl backed by a saxophone is always worth a listen. It definitely alludes to an extremely literal dog.
David Bowie – “Diamond Dogs”
This is really a song about feral mutants from the future, but it has one of the coolest intros ever, “This ain’t rock’n’roll, it’s genocide!” and it’s Bowie grooving to some serious cowbell.
Florence + the Machine – “The Dog Days Are Over”
This is a super pleasant song I had the privilege of hearing a lot when I worked retail. Like a lot. For years this song was part of the corporate mixed CD we had to play while folding polos and selling cargo shorts to suburban dads. Years later, I don’t hate it, so I have to assume it’s a rock-solid song.
I’ll probably never have a reason to write about Florence Welch on this website again, so I’m going to air this unpopular opinion: Between her and Adele, Flo is the better British song-belter. It’s always bugged me. I feel like in a world in which Adele didn’t exist, people who say things like, “She’s really got pipes” before looking around for nodded approval while listening to Top 40 radio would have glommed on to Flo.
I feel bad for her, and now her song is on my dog playlist, so I’m really doing my best.
- Surfer Blood – “Demon Dance”
These guys were one of my favorite guitar-heroic indie rock bands of the late ’00s. I even stuck around to hear their second album despite some disturbing allegations. This is track-one side-one for that album. Like pretty much all of Pythons it’s slick, enjoyable guitar-pop. It references the, “the hounds of hell” so I included it.
In the ensuing years since their sophomore album, Surfer Blood have put out a lot of pretty OK music. Their first album, Astro Coast is deservedly the most lauded release in their catalog, but I really think Pythons is overlooked despite containing some of the hookiest, crunchiest pop-rock of the past decade.
For more information on Surfer Blood, check your local library.
Weezer – Undone (The Sweater Song)
Not at all about dogs. Not even one bit about them. But the music video features so many dogs. Worth noting: The video was directed by Spike Jonze, who would go on to make some tremendous movies and has a dog’s name.
I feel good about this pick.