20 March 2008

How 'bout a hand for the hog?

One of the more amusing ubiquities of barbecue culture, for me, is the personification of the pig. You see it in the logos of competition barbecue teams and on the signs of barbecue restaurants - pigs with sunglasses on, pigs dancing, and my favorite: pigs eating (oh, the irony).

Music has also long embraced the swine as subject matter. From Bill Monroe's "Pig in a Pen" to Kaki King's "Happy as a Dead Pig in the Sunshine," the pig has always had a presence. So today, let's take a look at some of the best "pig songs."

1. "We Are the Pigs" - Suede. This is a quintessential Suede track, both in sound (Bowie-fied Britpop with killer guitar work by original guitarist Bernard Butler) and subject matter (socially scorned misfits, unite and take over).

2. "The Freed Pig" - Sebadoh. We now move from the inclusive first person plural pig reference to the damning second person diss. This classic kiss-off is probably the best thing Sebadoh did.

3. "Pig" - Dave Matthews Band. Typical DMB - alternating between lilting and intense musical passages, singing about dancing, drinking, and the inevitability of death, and of course having lots of violin and saxophone. I think this song is called "Pig" mostly because it decended from "Don't Burn the Pig." Rob can tell you more about that.

4. "Ergo Space Pig" - Guided By Voices. This is a nod to Ulika team mother Natalina, with whom I will forever associate GBV. Not their finest work, but it gets points for imitation of a pig with a wah-wah pedal.

5. "Piggies" - the Beatles. Surely you know this one, right? It's George Harrison's classic metaphorical condemnation of squares, man. And, like so many cartoon pigs in barbecue logos, Harrison's piggies are more than happy to eat their own kind.

6. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" - Pink Floyd. Also metaphorical, though decidedly less giddy, Floyd's 11 minute opus is the centerpiece of their excellent album, Animals.

7. "Piggy's Adventure" - De Novo Dahl. If I remember correctly, this was actually inspired by lovestruck pop culture pig, Miss Piggy. This is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite Nashville bands.

8. "Hand for the Hog" - John Short. From this list, you'd probably think I'm somewhat of a rocker. But these days, especially around the house, I mostly listen to old country music like the kind they play on 650 WSM-AM. That's where I discovered this little gem.

Anyhow, I hope you've enjoyed this little pork-inspired playlist. I'm sorry I am unable to offer you the mp3s - iTunes can be a cruel dictator.

Until next time...

1 comment:

Sarah said...

this is very clever. props.