Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Steakhouse Demos: Raytheon Hymn

The Steakhouse Demos (2012) is down-to-earth until ears reach the fourth track which literally takes off on a fiery fountain. Raytheon Hymn becomes a vertical departure from the band's alt-country tracks; inspired by the progressive sci-fi space rock of Planet P Project and the aeronautics of Space Center Houston. Considering another Steakhouse offering titled Western Stars, it seems as if their songwriter often lifts his eyes to the stars for inspiration. Another source was David Bowie: Ground Control to Major Tom—the most well-known fictional astronaut.

Awake all night I drive out to the launch pad
I'll be 50 miles downrange of base by the time you rise
My back to earth I ride that fiery fountain into endless night1

Blasting off involves an anti-Earth attitude by default; an anti type of attitude with altitude, let's say. If this globe was so great, why do our best and brightest keep shooting men into orbit? To the moon; maybe Mars. While scientists keep searching for habitable planets, as if mankind has planet-hopping planned. Another line from Raytheon mentions Ernie Kovacs, who might be considered an anti-television personality by virtue of his black-and-white departure from the norm.

The fan mail preserved in the Kovacs Papers suggests that Kovacs fans saw themselves as a minority audience of what we might call anti-TV TV watchers—people who watched only certain shows that they felt were entirely different from the rest of TV.2

  1. Sullivan, M.; Black, R.; Schultzberg, R.; Albright, O. Raytheon Hymn. Steakhouse. Steakhouse, 2012. Raytheon Hymn | Steakhouse. Web. 29 Aug. 2015. (
  2. TV by Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television. . Chicago, IL: University of Chicago. Print. p.200

The Steakhouse Demos

1. Western Stars (05:11)
2. Las Cruces Days (04:23)
3. Laughter (05:54)
4. Raytheon Hymn (04:20)
5. Hands (03:42)
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