My Coco – Stellastarr*

In the early days of the iPod I used to travel to work listening to all the hot new alternative sounds of the underground, on the underground.

I had a huge white glass brick in my pocket and little white headphones in my ears. I’d scroll through the wheel from Bright Eyes to The White Stripes via Cat Power and The Postal Service and I’d marvel at the LCD screen telling me I had hundreds of songs in my pocket at my disposal.

“Cool my brains and sift my head, stimulate me my Coco Co, slip into my empty bed and educate me my Coco Co”

Not many of those bands make it onto my daily playlists these days so when I hear The Rapture or Yo La Tengo post the cloud, they seem like time capsule bands. The same way Garbage sends me back to college and The Jam puts me back in junior school Stellastarr* are an iPod with a scroll wheel band.

“And when I was down and failing life you came saved me my Coco Co, and when they said I’m telling lies, you believed me my Coco Co”

My Coco is (in my mind) their biggie. The only corroborative evidence I can think of to support this is I know it had a video. I never saw the band live, I never heard them on the radio.

I had my well documented work buddy Milko to thank for hearing them. There’s a taught Talking Heads-yness to the tune and a yelpy singer (Shawn Christensen) who wouldn’t sound out of place playing alongside bands of today like Bodega or acts from the 90’s like The Flaming Lips.

“I sat alone and I didn’t care I sat two years in the same old chair I saw three roads and I didn’t know which way to go, go, go, go”

Having moved some crates of CD’s from this era so I could renovate the spare room in our house recently, I’m reminded of bands like Hot Hot Heat, The Bravery and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! Bands who really dug themselves into the era and refused to go along with the calendar into double digits with the bigger names.

Looking back it was a lot of fun but all quite samey. Stellastarr* did something here and on their self titled debut long player. They managed to stand out for a bit. This and the title track from their debut EP Somewhere Across Forever are superior emotional indie anthems.

“I won’t forget you Coco”


23 thoughts on “My Coco – Stellastarr*

  1. I had and still have the large brick of glass as you call it. I always charge it up and blast off with it at times.
    That’s the great thing about the Ipod that with so many tunes it is like a time capsule as you mentioned bringing you back to a specific time.
    Great read!​

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Mine is still going. Battery doesn’t hold as well but it still works…
        I know that feeling though. Hopefully you had your tunes backed up on an external hardrive.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this song and the self titled album it rode in on. Call it guilty pleasure. Whatever. It was boatloads of fun, even if they wore their influences on their sleeves. I see your Talking Heads and raise you some Pulp.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha. I don’t really feel any guilt about loving this tune. It’s more a turn of phrase. Exactly right about its fineness as a song.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read or heard the name Stellastarr in a long time. The dud is in the movie game now, eh?

    And Hot Hot Heat… man, I still listen to Make Up The Breakdown a fair bit.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I still remember buying Make Up The Breakdown on CD after my brother had switched me on to them. Took the CD home, dropped it in the tray and it was playing by the time I sat down… I was all “holy smokes!”. It’s held up well.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never heard of this band, being American and OLD, but anyone rooting around in Pulp territory is to be encouraged. Though the best such attempts I’ve heard were from Baxendale! In fact, Cocker himself might have felt pangs of envy over some of their oeuvre. Especially from one so young as Tim Benton. What ever happened to him? On the evidence of those singles, he was a pop genius.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Get the Talking Heads reference. Didn’t know these guys, but I dig this. I dig anybody who knows how to run out a groove like this. This would be a great club song. Thanks for sharing always.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t forget! In 1992, Big Black released a compilation on CD called “The Rich Man’s 8-Track Tape” where they posited that within 5 years the next big thing would make the CD format obsolete.

    Liked by 1 person

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