Saturday, February 15, 2020

Rocket/Space: Rocket in My Pocket

purchase [Time Loves a Hero]

The phrase <rocket in my pocket> is pretty suggestive. The lyrics themselves ... not so much.
He takes her out, she seems not to be too interested but he's got some interest (the rocket in his pocket?) gets a little more explicit: if you're not hot, you better have something in your pocket that is: [finger in the socket.]

The article, commenting on the slide guitar from one of their performances of the song notes " no matter how skilled you are with a reasonable electrified facsimile, it just isn’t as arousing as the real thing". Hmmm. Is that the rocket or the slide guitar being referenced here?

Little Feat were unparalleled in their mix of innovation to the standard I-IV-V format of AM radio music. Lowell George's slide guitar was a major part of their success.He just wasn't as keen on how Feat were beginning to get into extended jazz fusion around the time this one came out. He was into other things, wasn't he?

The song was included on Little Feat's 1977 <Time Loves a Hero> album, which also included the song of the same name. Lowell George is on his way out by this time (d. 1979) and his presence in the output is somewhat lacking. <Rocket> is the only song he wrote for this album although he sings and plays on several others.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Too tenuous? Well, how else can you fly to the sun other than by rocket? Plus, I've been dying to post this song for aeons.

I first came across the Silicon Teens back in the very early 80s. Working in the outskirts of London, well, into Kent, actually, Sidcup, that there London was a brief train journey up the tracks. Given the future first Mrs Og was still working in London, I spent a fair length of time on that journey. A favourite meander was around Soho, on the cusp of the clean-up between seedy and boho. (Now, inevitably, it is all smart and squeaky clean, smartened up beyond belief.) A common feature of the street markets, omnipresent then on most streets, or so my rose-tinted suggest, would always be the record stall, usually selling promo only discs surplus to the requirements of the music biz centred thereabouts. A good stash of singles could could be bought for next to nothing, and one such was the 3rd single by the Silicon Teens, Just Like Eddie. This was a fabulously bonkers synth led version of the old r'n'r staple, as originally by ex-Tornado, Heinz. With a ludicrous middle eight of random noises, reprised at the end, I so loved the version, and still do.

However, the b-side contained the song I feature, and it swiftly took pride of place as the go-to side. A swirling concoction of early Pink Floyd, a dab of Hawkwind, and the same flat adenoidal vocal that   so beguiles the flip. Wonderful stuff. But who were they? I soon discovered they were really he, he, the voice and the instrumentation, the arrangements, the production, all being Daniel Miller. Miller was the main man and founder of Mute records. He still is. I guess their best known signing would be Depeche Mode, spotty oiks from Basildon, in Essex, a tad round the ring road from Sidcup, a quasi boy band with rudimentary synthesiser backing, who extraordinarily morphed into US stadium fillers, as they matured into songs about doom, death, drugs and, obliquely, religion. Although Miller no longer produces their records, they remain on, in the UK, his label. Other notable signings would include Nick Cave and Goldfrapp.
Anyway, Miller decided to invent a band to allow him the vanity of interpreting some old standards from his youth; he was born in 1951. Sole album, Music For Parties, was exactly as it said on the label, catchy and disposable covers of, amongst others, Memphis, Tennessee and Sweet Little Sixteen. Infectiously raw, they maintain a naive charm that never fails to make me smile. I didn't care that Darryl, Jacki, Paul and Diane didn't really exist, actors portraying them for any interview or video, for me they were real, and I was disappointed no new material was ever forthcoming, beyond the sole appearance of a re-recorded Red River Rock in the soundtrack of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Brief though their tenure on the charts prove to be, and that was scant, they only bothering the UK indie equivalent, relatively sparse ground at the time, and in no little part because they mainly recreate oldies, Silicon Teens are amongst the cream of my 80s synth bands. Or 80s bands altogether.

Little known fact, but the Silicon Teens actually had a song named after them, and about them. It's by the Pulsars.

Just Sunflight? Or more....