Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Playlist: Jets to Brazil

[Playlist is an attempt to distill my favorite artists to 80-minute compilations. If someone asked me to burn them a mix of the bands featured here, I would give them this collection.]

I'll be seeing Blake Schwarzenbach's new band, forgetters, this Friday at the Barbary, which is quickly becoming my favorite venue in Philly. Tix are cheap, parking is free, it's easy to get to, and it's small 'n' intimate. Before going to a show, I listen to all of my music by the artists expected to play. Which means I spun all of my Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil tunes, plus Against Me!'s Crime EP, since forgetters features ex-AM! drummer Kevin Mahon. It's been an awesome two weeks. With ample amounts of Face to Face also included, I found myself wondering why I even bother buying new music. But I digress.

Jets to Brazil was Schwarzenbach's new band after Jawbreaker's dissolution, and while the group took a lot of flak for not sounding punk, I think time has negated that notion a bit. At this point, Jets to Brazil is almost as popular as Jawbreaker and, in my mind at least, on a "separate but equal" level. I've kind of always felt that way. I've been anti-music piracy, but in the early aughts, when my family first joined the World Wide Web, I took a taste or two of tunes that I couldn't find in stores. It's funny to think that at one point, my parents were so uptight about online shopping that they wouldn't even let their children visit Amazon.com.

Anyway, when I first started getting into punk rock, a friend turned me on to Mitch Clem's Nothing Nice to Say, which in turn introduced me to Jets to Brazil and Jawbreaker. Curious, I hit up Kazaa to learn more about the bands and, thanks to tagging, ended up with a hodgepodge of tracks from Jawbreaker's Dear You and Jets to Brazil's Orange Rhyming Dictionary that were all labeled as JTB. On my first trip to a real live indie record store (The dearly departed, though really shady now that I think about it, Disc. Yes, that was the store's name), I picked up JTB's Four Cornered Night, pretty much because it was the only Schwarz release there. And thus began my slow but steady descent into Schwarzenfandom. Perfecting Loneliness, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, and the Dear You rerelease followed in high school. I snatched up the remainder of Blake's discography in college, finally figuring out which albums had those "Sweet Avenue" and "I've Got All the Words..." songs I'd heard years before.

But that's all a tangent. My point: JTB finds Schwarzenbach developing even further as a lyricist, with all types of playful internal rhymes and obscure references. People bitched about how it wasn't 24 Hour Therapy, but honestly, I like it that way. JTB released only three records on Jade Tree in their too brief history, but they're all brilliant bursts of indie rock. Like Jawbreaker (click here to see that playlist), each release has its own identity, though I do consider Four Cornered Night to slightly be a precursor to what the band more successfully achieved on their best album, Perfecting Loneliness. Hence, this playlist takes five tracks from each album, in chronological order, before closing out with "I've Got All the Words..." from the band's first demo.

I Typed For Miles
1. "Crown of the Valley," Orange Rhyming Dictionary
2. "Chinatown," Orange Rhyming Dictionary
3. "Sea Anemone," Orange Rhyming Dictionary
4. "I Typed For Miles," Orange Rhyming Dictionary
5. "Sweet Avenue," Orange Rhyming Dictionary [I waited for years until I felt I'd met the right girl to attach this song to. It was worth it.]
6. "You're Having the Time of My Life," Four Cornered Night
7. In the Summer's When You Really Know," Four Cornered Night
8. "Little Light," Four Cornered Night
9. "Mid-Day Anonymous," Four Cornered Night
10. "*******," Four Cornered Night ["Mid-Day" segues into it, how could I leave it out?]
11. "The Frequency," Perfecting Loneliness
12. "You're the One I Want," Perfecting Loneliness [Oddly enough, I've attached this song to plenty of women that in retrospect weren't "The One," which is funny to me because this song is actually about NOT getting the girl. I always used to just ignore that tidbit because this song is so catchy.]
13. "Cat Heaven," Perfecting Loneliness [Right now this is my favorite JTB song.]
14. "William Tell Override," Perfecting Loneliness
15. "Rocket Boy," Perfecting Loneliness [I have clear memories of driving down 309 in the snow at like 2 a.m. to this. Well, that and Joe Jackson's Volume 4. I miss night drives like that, trying to stay with my girlfriend for as long as possible before heading back to school in the city.]
16. "I've Got All the Worlds...", Location is Everything Volume 1

No comments: