No. 19: Be Your Own Pet, “Becky”

Jess Harvell | December 29, 2008 10:00 am

Since laziness and/or sanity kept me from hearing every song released in 2008, I won’t claim this is the No. 1 funniest. But it’s gotta be damn close.

Such a simple gag, too: the genteel, strummy sway of ’50s rock and roll collapsing into sloppy-ass punk at the choruses, with catty-unto-sociopathic lyrics about butter-knifing the former gal pal who sold out your pajama-party circle of trust. Venomous schoolyard/lunchroom/gym class comeuppance taken to bloodletting/clique-crushing/lifechanging extremes, the wounded and wailing protagonist of “Becky” piles up the petty infractions committed by the titular witch (“I heard you talked a lot of shit about me/To your new best friend”); talks like someone who needs to be enrolled in domestic abuse counseling (“Now everybody hates me a whole bunch/Because I made you cry a little bit at lunch/But I don’t feel bad/’Cuz they don’t know what we had”); winds up languishing in juvie for maiming this platonic heartbreaker; and shrugs it all off with a deranged giggle because “in the end it was fun.” Too bad the rest of the album’s peppy punk snarl inevitably kinda paled compared to the shamefully excised “Becky”s mix of retro-pop pastiche and hyper-sardonic hateration.

“Becky” [YouTube] 80 ’08 (and heartbreak)