The Mountain Goats – “Pet Politics” (Silver Jews)
The Believer Music Issue, 2005
Take a band I already love and adore (The Mountain Goats) and have them cover a band I’ve heard of, but never given a chance because the recordings I heard sounded like garbage (Silver Jews’ The Arizona Record) and you basically have indie rock alchemy. “Pet Politics” makes you stop whatever you’re doing and listen to David Berman’s poetry. Even through the conduit of John Darnielle, the apocalyptic essence of this song remains intact. I immediately got TheNatural Bridge and its follow-up, AmericanWater, but it was the latter that blew my mind. Just broke it wide open and showed me the beautiful mind of America’s best contemporary songwriter. Ever since I could appreciate music, I’ve been chasing the feeling that comes with discovering a band that you’re going to carry with you the rest of your life. This cover is good, but there’s a weight that Berman brings to the original that just can’t be replaced by anyone.
Silver Jews - "Pet Politics"