Teenage Folklore

by Rocket Park

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about

On September 17th, 1999, ROCKET PARK released its first album by the time-honored tradition of the CD release party. Though the result of less than a year of recording (in fits and spurts), it felt to me like the culmination of years - nay, decades - of preparation, for though I'd been recording in various contexts for many a moon, I'd never really buckled down and produced a cohesive, album-length work. Eric Moore provided the kick up my ass, the cash and - last but not least - a bunch of awesome drumming to make it happen, and I thank him for all three.


Although Rocket Park would quickly become more of a band and less of a studio project, the free reign Eric gave me throughout the recording of this project made it a virtual solo album, albeit prominently featuring a drummer and lead guitarist who could bring the goods more readily than I. John Sebben, although pictured and credited, didn't really join the band until after the rhythm parts had been laid down, and by the time we recorded our next album, he was replaced by Dave Harris, whose arrival really helped define Rocket Park as a band (and whose departure led to a slow but decisive death for the group).


The music? Well, I suppose I was working towards a different ideal then. It's dense with sound, layered and highly produced, perhaps a bit too glossy and shiny for my current tastes, but I can't help a surge of pride and emotion when I listen. I was twenty-eight years old when the sessions began, impatient for my music to be heard, ready to go for broke. I think I did alright. Thanks again to Mike Martin (a great engineer who delivered exactly what was requested), Eric Moore (without whom...) and "Manik" Myk Thompson (not just for his blazing guitar lines, but for his wonderful cassettes that helped nudge me towards my current DIY approach to music).

credits

released September 17, 1999

Brian Andrew Marek - bass guitar, acoustic and electic guitars, keyboards, drum loops, percussion and all vocals
Eric Moore - drums and percussion
"Manik" Myk Thompson - lead guitar
John Sebben - bass guitar and keyboards

extra percussion on "Just a Tool" by Mike Martin and Jessica Watts

a (subliminal banana) production
produced and mixed by Mike Martin and Rocket Park
engineered by Mike Martin at the Broom Factory
mastered at Cry Rock Mastering, Memphis, TN

all songs written by Brian Andrew Marek except "A Celebrated Villain in Heaven" (Marek/Alleman/Moore) and "Autumn" (Marek/Hanlon/Bess)
all songs copyright (c) 1999 (subliminal banana) music

interludes conceived, written and performed by Myk and Brian, featuring Andrea Busch as the Rocket Man's sweetheart

art direction by Andrew Alleman and Brian Andrew Marek
photographs by Michael Draga
graphic production by Kiwi Creative Inc. St. Louis, MO

special thanks to Bob and Sherri and all our groovy pals at the Way Out Club, Andrew Alleman, Andrea Busch, The Highway Matrons, Beatle Bob, Guitar Joe, The Phonocaptors, Michael Draga, Dan "Stuvie" Stuvland, Bob (the band), Liana Marek, Jerkwater Junction, Mike Martin, Roger Holloway, Jessica Watts, our families and friends, all our old bandmates, everybody at Rooster Lollipop and all the ghosts, villains, sirens and superstars that inspired our songs (you know who you are)

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about

Brian Andrew Marek St Louis, Missouri

Brian Andrew Marek has been playing and singing his way in and out of a variety of bands (including Angus Tweed, Not Actual Size, Lemonade, Popcorn, Rocket Park, Bargain Basement and The Vertigo Swirl) for over 25 years and has, in recent years, carved out a low-key, low-fidelity niche with his Bargain Basement recording studio and Rubberstamp Records label. ... more

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Track Name: A Celebrated Villain in Heaven
are you certain of my fate
a celebrated villain at the pearly gates
even on the other side
my venomous charisma cannot be denied
I'm gonna dive into the sun

are you certain of my fall
a celebrated villain up against the wall
betcha would've never guessed
that my kind rule the world as practice for the next
I'm gonna chew a piece of sky

praise your kindly, simple ways
praise your humble soul
praise the myth that makes you meek
absolute control

are you certain who's in charge
a celebrated villain living extra large
twenty billion dollars spent
and heaven's open now under new management
I'm gonna snuff out all the stars
Track Name: Kimberly Said
Kimberly said don't lose your head
you wouldn't be better off dead
loosen the reigns if she complains
don't get yourself all wrapped up in chains
well, she never really said it
but she might as well have

Kimberly knows anything goes
she tries to keep me on my toes
sometimes she waits or hesitates
sometimes she just blows off our dates
well, she does it all the time
I know she doesn't mean to

she's got her high beam headlamps
and her day-glo eyes
got me diving in a riverbed that never dries
she's got a new wave heart
and a disco mind
I don't know a thing about her
so she's just my kind
Track Name: Happily Married?
she'll strike your world like a bolt from the blue
with no thoughts of avoiding eye contact with you
indiscrete words in an indiscrete flow
you did not need to hear but you wanted to know
just as you're wondering what next occurs
you discover your leg's come in contact with hers
and after you've talked to her for a while
she will tell you she's happily married
and leave with a smile

hard to believe that she isn't ashamed
of the deeds that she's done and the names that she's named
she's had four children by four different men
if her tubes weren't tied, bet it'd happen again
eyeing the exits, you nonetheless stay
like a crash on the freeway, you can't look away
and after you've talked to her for a while
she will tell you she's happily married
and leave with a smile

you take her home to your bachelor pad
and you know that she's no good but you want her bad
very strange bedfellows under the sheets
holding nothing in common but animal heat
all is nirvana until you are spent
then you wonder where all of your interest went
after you've laid next to her for a while
she will tell you she's happily married
and leave with a smile
Track Name: Repulsion
hopped up and half crazy
it all comes back so hazy
adrenalin flowing
your Freudian slip was showing
had to shut up my lower self
I was led straight down a hole
and landed in repulsion

you know what I'm after
behind the nervous laughter
hormonal perversions
unclean late night excursions
the light of day does you no good
I was led straight down a hole
and landed in repulsion

disconnect, disconnect
I can't stand these entanglements
disconnect, disconnect
they named my crime
and used my face as evidence

I stroll up that staircase
put on my wild stare face
she'll take me, I'll let her
I don't know any better
though I'll remember later on
I was led straight down a hole
and landed in repulsion
Track Name: A Superstar in Disguise
when the world starts going your way
you won't know how to react
even in your finest moments
you are just this side of cracked
I've heard all of your excuses
but I can see it in your eyes
you're perfect in every way
too beautiful to betray
a superstar in disguise

just another unpaid actress
dreaming of the Great White Way
feel the well worn stage beneath you
feel the real world go away
there is fortune for the lucky
and hope for everyone who tries
I feel the need to suggest
that you're the best of the best
a superstar in disguise

please stick around for a while
'cos I've grown fond of that smile
please stick around for a bit
'cos I've been counting on it

don't you give in, don't you give up
don't wait 'til the thrill is gone
if you ever make the big time
you could turn the whole world on
compliments aren't legal tender
but rest assured I tell no lies
you're perfect in every way
too beautiful to betray
a superstar in disguise
Track Name: One More Sunrise
I dig in the dirt and discover the world is unclean
I tried soap and water but these stains require gasoline
I face the prospect of leaving this place
and picture the grieving
but I look in your eyes and decide
that I'll stick around for one more sunrise

I pull all the levers but can't seem to stop the machine
I voice my frustrations and notice I'm causing a scene
I tried to keep it all hidden inside
and kiss the forbidden
but I choke on my threat and decide
that I'll stick around for one more sunset

you make it hard to believe
there's a reason to leave
make it easy to stay
you command waters to part
take the stone from my heart
send the demons away

I look for the answer but questions are all that I hear
I look for the truth and it only confirms my worst fear
I hate the forces that twisted my fate
and had me blacklisted
but I look in your eyes and decide
that I'll stick around for one more sunrise
Track Name: Letter from a Ghost
the correspondence arrived
without a return address
familiar feminine script
invited me to a guess
tea kettle steam unlocked the prize
a letter meant for other eyes
apologies of swallowed pride
signed first name only by the bride
but a letter from a ghost
can't haunt a peaceful mind

"you probably think I'm a bi***
but you can't really be blamed
I've found a husband," she said,
left him discretely unnamed
"he's everything that I've dream of
I'd die if someone took his love
I'd hate for anyone to do
to me what I once did to you"
but a letter from a ghost
can't haunt a peaceful mind

you're wondering what I'm feeling at this moment
I find that I am wondering the same
but take this as a half-assed sort of answer
and not a complication to the game

I sealed it carefully up
with a thin layer of glue
so later on that same day
it could be opened anew
I feigned surprise when it was read
my girlfriend turned to me and said,
"she's trying to get beneath your skin,"
and I replied, "if so, I win,
'cos a letter from a ghost
can't haunt a peaceful mind"
Track Name: Want
you were asleep at the wheel that night
when I slipped from my senses and out of your sight
I ushered myself through the manicured grounds
while my progress was measured in ounces and pounds
in make-believe cities
I cried out for pity
and zombies make note of the root of my problem:
I only want the things that I can't have

you were not pushed but you stumbled and fell
all aghast with the knowledge I'd seeded your well
but nobody twisted your arm out of joint
and the proof's in the pudding each time that you point
I've been through the motions
I've humored your notions
and zombies make note of the root of my problem
I only want the things I've left behind

you were slow dancing and asked me to join
but the offer hit me like a kick to the groin
I tried to decline but I couldn't resist
the hand on my shoulder, the blade at my wrist
in times of confusion
I foster illusion
and zombies make note of the root of my problem
I only want the things that make me ill
Track Name: You Leave Everything Behind
I have a pair of one-way tickets in my hand
good for a red eye flight
anywhere but just tonight
I'm coming with you but you have to understand
that if you're so inclined
you leave everything behind

no time for gathering up your personal effects
no time to hug or kiss
anybody you will miss
you've seen into my eyes and know what to expect
if you're to share my mind
you leave everything behind

call me a siren if you like
but I won't lead you into anything
as dramatic as your doom
call me a temptress if you like
call me whore call me slut
call me bitch call me yours

another room that seems magnificent and strange
another door that locks
after the initial shock
another life that leaves you hungry for a change
another chance to find
you don't leave a thing behind
Track Name: Just a Tool
I've got a screwdriver in my back pocket
but not for industrial sabotage
I've no intention of poking your eyes out
or building a time bomb in my garage
I just need to tighten up a screw
it's just a tool
and it's only as bad as the use you put it to

I've got a claw hammer here on my tool belt
but not for defacing a statue's nose
I'd never break out a store's plate glass window
or smash in the skulls of some average Joes
all the nails fell out of my left shoe
it's just a tool
and it's only as bad as the use you put it to

I've got a bulge in the front of my blue jeans
but not for committing a violent act
it won't be used to oppress or exploit you
nor as an excuse for my lact of tact
I just want to make sweet love to you
it's just a tool
and it's only as bad as the use you put it to
Track Name: I Ain't Home
I've got a little tale of woe to lay upon your ears
I make a little money and it promptly disappears
when suddenly the bill collector calls me on the phone
I would've said I wasn't here if I had only known
tell the collector, tell him I ain't home
it's the only way I know to make him leave me alone

this woman that I used to date just called the other day
she talks an awful lot but doesn't have a thing to say
I haven't got the heart to tell her how I really feel
so next time that she calls me up, let's make a little deal
tell my ex-girlfriend, tell her I ain't home
it's the only way I know to make her leave me alone

don't want delivered issues of the Sunday New York Times
or illustrated coffee table books on famous crimes
won't represent the tastes of any demographic group
or buy some pricey candy to support your Boy Scout troop
tell everybody, tell them I ain't home
it's the only way I know to make them leave me alone
Track Name: Autumn
I drove you back home and we fell into bed
satisfying my body but disturbing my head
now you're enigma and we're never in touch
heard you don't want me, could've figured as much
my swift fall from grace and your poker face
tell me Autumn's gonna chill me to the bone

we all have an ego, says we cannot be used
so was it your pleasure, must I be so confused
a bit deeper substance lurks behind this facade
so tell me the truth, at least give me a nod
my swift fall from grace and your poker face
tell me Autumn's gonna chill me to the bone

leaves are falling from the trees
they leave nothing but my hope
grey horizons, just like my soul
Autumn makes it hard to cope

so was your decision the one I heard voiced
did a friend with opinions ever leave you a choice
your friend needs a lesson in social affairs
he's cost you another, does he even care
my swift fall from grace and your poker face
tell me Autumn's gonna chill me to the bone

the well-wishers tell me I should just move on
love's unrequited and my chance is gone
but I'll remember the friction and subsequent flow
I'll hear your name when the Autumn winds blow
my swift fall from grace and your poker face
tell me Autumn's gonna chill me to the bone