Thursday, 30 October 2008


Not updated this in a while.

My love for Nick Drake tunings has cost me dearly. I have broken so many strings lately that my 12-string has gone through a real battering. It's currently only a 9-string. Having no top E strings and the lack of a G string; and no that's not a fashion statement.

Instead I've taken to something less harmful for my guitar. I've gone back to basics, sort of. I cannot get enough of the band Animal Collective at the moment, and I've needed something to keep me sane as I count down the days (74 to go) until their new album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, is released here in the UK on January 20th. A lot of stuff from their earlier catalogue has kept me busy, mostly their acoustic stuff.

Their album Sung Tongs is a modern day classic, but there's so much more to those years than that one album. My current favourite song is infact two that are seemlessly seuged together as part of a live set they did for the BBC back in 2005. The songs are Sleeper Factory and Doggy.

Doggy, as a song, has seen numerous reincarnations in the past. It was first released on the band's third album, Campfire Songs. Their first four album were not released under the name Animal Collective and so they are mostly overlooked (they only started using the Animal Collective moniker on their fifth album, Here Comes The Indian). It was then changed ever so slightly and played live numerous times. After disappearing from setlists, it made a comeback in 2006 / 2007 reworked into a more electronic style to suit the bands live instrument set up.

On the album it first appeared on, Wikipedia tells us this:

"The album is comprised of five individual songs played back to back and recorded in one take. The recording was made on a screen porch in Maryland using three Sony MiniDisc players with Sony ECM-MS907 microphones placed strategically around the band. Ambient sound from the surrounding area was also captured and added later. The album was mixed at Avey Tare's apartment and later mastered with Nicolas Vernhes at Rare Book Room.

The three members of Animal Collective performing on this album are Avey Tare, Panda Bear, and Deakin, who makes his debut appearance here. Although member Geologist does not perform on the album, he was present for the recording to operate the MiniDisc players. At this point in time, despite the presence of all four original members, there was still no Animal Collective proper; the name Campfire Songs was intended to be the name of the band performing the album, as well as the name of the album itself."

The second song on the album is one I have chosen to cover. It is a very simple song and feels almost ambient in nature. It uses three chords and for my cover I strum only three strings. It is back to basics.

But despite its simplicity, it is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard.

I'm sure when most people think of the most distressing points in their childhood, they think of the loss of a pet. My two cats died only recently and it's a horrible feeling. As you get older, these things come into perspective and I have lost people of much more importance than pets. But as a child, it's devastating. There's also the notion that some parents buy pets so that children can understand death and loss. A certain scene from Kill Bill Vol. 2 comes to mind actually.

But I'm drifting ...

This song is about the loss of a pet dog. It's simplistic and innocent in nature, but naively graphic in a very childish way. I've never heard a song like it or one so moving. So I have done my own cover.

Enjoy :-)


Dog of height in the trees
Won't you come down doggy
Such a sweet doggy
I brought you your dinner
My doggy i miss you kissing from my palm
I remember when i first got you doggy

But you lay there so still doggy
You lay there
So still

Dog who fell to the ground
Twisted your neck doggy
Don't look right doggy
The vet came with sutures
He said "Dave
Hey the doctor cannot save your dog"

But I remember when I first got you dog

You lay there so still dog
You lay there so still

Dog of depth in the dirt
They buried you deep doggy
You’re the best doggy
My friend has a doggy
She's real nice dog
I wish you could chase her round my yard

I remember when I first got you dog
Sweet doggy

But you lay there so still doggy
You lay there so still


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