March 31, 2010

The Steve Miller Band//Jet Airliner

This is one of those songs that you know really well without knowing exactly why or how. It plays in malls, rest stops. It probably played a lot on a radio station you listened to at some point in your youth. You know, one that plays the hits of the 60s, 70s, 80s and today (because when you were listening, "today" was the 90s).

Like all songs you know without knowing, you know the words to the chorus and the era (from the production values), but probably can't name the band. I took some guesses before going to Google and The Steve Miller Band was definitely on my list, along with those bands named after US states and cities, like Kansas and Chicago. What's up with that, by the way?

Anyway, turns out The Steve Miller Band has done a few songs in this vein that I actually like, including "Take the Money and Run" and "The Joker." You know, "some people call me the space cowboy, some call me the gangster of love." Ah, but that's another post. Of course, The Steve Miller Band is also responsible for one of my least favorite songs ever, "Fly Like An Eagle." Space Jam, anyone? Time keeps on slippin slippin slippin into the future.

Because there are constant generational taste wars occurring in the home I grew up in, I actually called my mom to tell her that I found out that I like The Steve Miller Band. I usually tend to side with my dad on the fact that the 70s weren't exactly the best time for music (or maybe anything?). My mom also implored me to go find "Jungle Love." Apparently she did her routine to try out for the high school pom pom team to it and she totally made the cut. I just went ahead and downloaded a Greatest Hits compilation. Karen wins this one, dad.

The two best things about this song are the chorus, which is repetitive but incredibly catchy, and the riff, which I think is a little too tough for the song it's part of, like a dog whose bark is bigger than his bite. The chorus is a statement you can get behind (and could be as much about staying in the right state of mind as the right place, I've come to believe) and the riff makes you feel like you've really conquered something with the power of rock and roll, even if it is just kind of a glorified lightly country fried heartland pop song you're listening to.

Also, I saw Greenberg over the weekend. I'm not going to get into that movie (again, that's another post) but it opens with Greta Gerwig driving around LA while this song plays in the background. It was strangely effective.



Jet Airliner.mp3

Big old jet airliner,
Don't carry me too far away.
Big old jet airliner,
Cause it's here that I've got to stay.

3 comments:

敬忠 said...
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Frank said...

G,
(Don't be fooled; it's really K and not your dad. I'm borrowing his gmail to post here.)
You forgot another band from my (very early) youth that's named after a U.S. city: Boston. Who could forget "More Than a Feeling" --- well, maybe your dad.
Love,
K

g said...

Ahh and wasn't there one called Africa later? Or was that just that Toto song?