May 6, 2003
JETS TO BRAZIL-AN EMO MELTDOWN, A CANCELED TOUR, AND AN OUSTED DRUMMER LATER, JETS TO BRAZIL RETURNS TO SAN DIEGO.
[B]Jets to Brazil[/B]'s Blake Schwarzenbach is the Rodney Dangerfield of rock. Yep, you got it: He gets no respect. (Yeah, I know, dumb joke.) But it wasn't always that way; Blake's last group, [B]Jawbreaker[/B], was the type of band that changed lives, the kind that people get bad tattoos of and name their own bands after. (Ever seen the Frankie Chan comic book "Ashtray Monument?" How about the band Chesterfield Kings? Them's [B]Jawbreaker[/B] references, dudes.)
But since forming the decidedly un-punk Jets, Blake's road has been an uphill climb landmarked by nasty avalanches and blistered feet that stink like sour cheese.
Jets' first record, "Orange Rhyming Dictionary" (Jade Tree), got the ol' Jawbreaker fans up in arms before it even hit the stores. Some decried it for being too polished; other said it wasn't polished enough. On the same token, a lot of people wrote it off for being nothing like Jawbreaker (Brit pop? New Wave? Dystopia-core?), while some said it was too much like [B]Jawbreaker[/B].
The band's second one, "Four Cornered Night" (Jade Tree), did a little better. With a late-night-piano-jam-in-the-living-room/microphone-tastes-like-a-beer kinda feel, "Four Cornered Night" got tons of friendly press and brought some of the grumpy gus Jawbreaker fans back into the fold.
Then, last year, Jets released "Perfecting Loneliness" (Jade Tree) which received virtually no attention -- despite being a strong solid singer-songwriter record a la a "Tumbleweed Connection"-era Elton John (sans the dumb faux country crap.) Now, a lot of that probably had to do with their tour being canceled at one point and, even more so, that the band suddenly found itself without a drummer, but the die had been cast: Jets sank below the radar and has yet failed to reach Jawbreaker or even "Four Cornered Night"-style popularity.
So, does that make 'em a bad band?
Not on your life.
Salty ol' Blake Schwarzenbach may have fought the fickle tides of fame and popularity these past few years but the man remains a massive and heartbreakingly vast talent. He may not get the same high dollar hype as, say, The Atari's or inspire as much fevered discussion as Lightening Bolt or Polyphonic Spree but to the ones that never turned against him -- the ones that have been there all along -- he is a sage; and nothing, neither snow nor rain, not heat nor the gloom of night (brought on by crappy SoundScan figures) will stop that.
John Vanderslice opens this show.
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