My Top 1000 Songs #431: A Shy Dog
"A Shy Dog" is deep cut from Yo La Tengo's 1987 sophomore LP New Wave Hot Dogs--an album I think is a little underappreciated, but admittedly still finds the band in basic college radio territory, not yet having found the distinctive voice that saw them rise to the top of the indie rock cognoscenti in the 90s. I don't think a lot of Yo La Tengo fans would pick this track as among their favorites--hell, the band itself certainly doesn't, long since abandoning it from their live setlists (I have a vague recollection of Ira Kaplan dissing the song, either in an interview or during some on-stage comments).
And, sure, the song doesn't have the sonic wallop of later successes, but I've always found its wide-eyed youthful angst (something Kaplan would revisit on their next record's "Drug Test") to resonate for me on a personal level.
"Sitting at home inside yourself, thinking it's cool to be so reserved...
How do these days go by? Why does time move so slow? When are my decisions made?"
We've been there, buddy. (Also... great riff. It just works for me. Wish the band would bring it back!)