Perfecting Loneliness

JETS TO BRAZIL‘S third offering is a mirror ball of sound that reflects a clearer, more focused band and represents not so much a continuation of JETS TO BRAZIL‘S previous gestures, but rather a better understanding of them. Having mastered their brave blend of angular rock, epic balladry, and really cool keyboard noises, the Jets have accomplished what is quite clearly the defining record of their career. This CD is enhanced with video.

Blake Schwarzenbach: sing, pianny, Juno, Mellotron, lap, steel, acoustic / electric
Jeremy Chatelain: bass (fingers, felt, tortex), sing, Hunan bicycle
Chris Daly: drums, snares, percussion, lamp-lit sizzle
Brian Maryansky: Guitars, Phases, pedals, ambient grit
Amy Domingues: Cello
J. Robbins: Mellotron, JXP Sequence, Drive

Recorded April 2002
Released October 2002

Recorded and Mixed by J. Robbins at Inner Ear, Phase and Water Music
Mix assisted by Reuben Kaller
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side
Visual Mechanics: Glenn Maryansky
Enhanced CD: Edit-Jeremy, Score-Brian, Footage-Group Effort

1. The Frequency
2. You’re the One I Want
3. Cat Heaven
4. Perfecting Loneliness
5. Lucky Charm
6. Wish List
7. Psalm
8. Autumn Walker
9. Further North
10. William Tell Override
11. Disgrace
12. Rocket Boy

Orange Rhyming Dictionary

Members of Jawbreaker, Texas is the Reason, and Handsome hash out one of the most riveting debut records we’ve ever heard, braiding punk rock bravado with a pop consciousness, post-modern style, and the poetic literary flair that hurled Blake Schwarzenbach into the songwriting elite. Worth it alone to wallow in the album’s climactic refrain of “You keep fucking up my life!” If it doesn’t send a shiver to your spine, call the medics.

Blake Schwarzenbach: Typing, Recitation, Strings, Keys
Jeremy Chatelain: Bass, Harmony
Chris Daly: Drums, Directions

Recorded August 1998
Released October 1998

Recorded at Easley, Memphis, TN
Engineered by J. Robbins & Stewart Sikes
Produced by J. Robbins
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side, NJ
Layout by Jason Gnewikow
Photography by Chrissy Piper

1. Crown of the Valley
2. Morning New Disease
3. Resistance is Futile
4. Starry Configurations
5. Chinatown
6. Sea Anemone
7. Lemon Yellow Black
8. Conrad
9. King Medicine
10. I Typed For Miles
11. Sweet Avenue

Four Cornered Night

Wow. We loved Orange Rhyming Dictionary (JT1038), but we just about dropped our jaws when this one showed up on our doorstep. Along with adding former Van Pelt guitarist Brian Maryansky to the fold, JETS TO BRAZIL add dimension, savoir faire, and one hell of a grand piano to forge ahead with a breathtaking new direction – encapsuling classic American rock’n'roll with a nod to the Mods underneath a matchless lyrical gift.

Blake Schwarzenbach: Singing, Piano, Keys, Guitar, Crested Titmouse
Brian Maryansky: Guitars, Tweeds, Glossy Ibis
Jeremy Chatelain: Bass, Singing, Sandwich Tern
Chris Daly: Drums, Percussion, Velvet Duck

Additional Muscians:

Amy Dominques: Cello on 4, 5, 13

Recorded April 2000
Released September 2000

Recorded at Inner Ear, VA
Engineered & Mixed by J. Robbins
Mix Engineered by Geoff Sanoff at Water Music, NJ
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side, NJ
Polaroid by Mark Dawursk
Photographs by Russell Daniels
Layout by Andy Goldman

1. You’re Having the Time of My Life
2. One Summer Last Fall
3. Air Traffic Control
4. Pale New Dawn
5. In the Summer’s When You Really Know
6. Empty Picture Frame
7. Little Light
8. Your X-Rays…
9. Milk & Apples
10. Mid-Day Anonymous
11. *******
12. Orange Rhyming Dictionary
13. All Things Good and Nice

Jets to Brazil – Four Cornered Night Review

Released: August, 2000

Based out of Brooklyn, NY, Jets to Brazil shows a softer side of former Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach. Leaving behind the hardcore punk base of Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil is a much sappier, yet accessible rock sound. Four Cornered Night is the band’s second release, their first being 1998’s Orange Rhyming Dictionary. The band broke up less than a year after the release of their third album, 2002’s Perfecting Loneliness. With a melodramatic rock style covering a wide range of topics, this album is the band’s most artistic and personal venture. But with greater risks come greater rewards

Blake Schwartzenbach Interview

Sometimes interviews need an introduction. But then other times the interview speaks for itself completely. This happens to be one of those interviews. I proudly present my chat with Mr. Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker/Jets to Brazil fame.

State your name and what you do in the band.
Blake Schwarzenbach – general manager, guitar, vocals, keyed instruments.

This tour marks the first as Jets to Brazil as a five piece. Is this latest addition a permanent one and if so where do you think it will take JTB’s sound?
We’re just trying to recreate all the "fifth element" sounds from our records which requires another set of hands. There is no permanent member but rather a floating cabal of willing or co-ercible agents.

Explain how Jets to Brazil has evolved as a band and where do you see the band going from here?
One of my great limitations as a musician is my inability to plan anything career oriented. It is not that I wish to sabotage my group or limit the audience, it’s just that I get vertigo when I make plans or imagine playing large "venues’. I think the evolution has been one of songwriting, of style and tone, basically present day skin. I believe that it is always true to the year in which it was written. I have no fucking idea where we’re going. In a way, who cares? Isn’t it great that we’re even just here now?

It would seem that in Jets to Brazil and Jawbreaker, you are always one step ahead of your audience. While this fact may reflect your ability to constantly innovate on the sound that you had done previously, does this pattern ever frustrate or discourage you?
Whenever there’s some kind of growth or innovation I am well satisfied. I feel engaged with music as long as I’m learning new ways to play it. I find that very interesting lately, that writing in a way is a command, an action, but is also very much about the education of the creator, you are both learning and instructing simultaneously. I think that makes artistic disciplines utterly worthwhile. Much of the time being in a band is not innovation or simple creation but clerical and commercial reckoning. (Here I mean contracts, rents, tour logistics, etc.) This I find very discouraging – I understand it to be necessary to some level, but it’s not so good there.

What is the favorite song that you have ever written and what makes this specific song stand out for you?
I’d say "Rocket Boy" now, it would be different for each album. I wrote the song driving around Brooklyn, quite literally in a traffic circle (Bartel Pritchard Square) near my house. Then I finished it up in Canada, in a cabin in winter. A lot of things about that song happened differently so I like it for that – I mean it came a lot differently than most songs.

What inspires you to write these days, and has where you find your inspiration changed over the years?
I’m best moved by desperation. There is an aspect of grace that comes later, but just sore loneliness seems to be a pretty good motivating factor. Often books more than music, film sometimes. I’d like to write a song about John Hurt’s portryal of John Merrick in David Lynch’s "The Elephant Man" – that movie always makes me want to write. To write against dying, against going to sleep in the fully prone position.

Dying Wish records is playing on putting out a Jawbreaker tribute in the coming months. How do you feel about so many young bands citing you guys as a major influence? Do you think that these a lot of new bands uphold the same tradition that you guys had?
I’m quite honored to be called influential. You know, I was very much under the sway of bands when I was in Jawbreaker, I think we all were, we wanted our songs to sound like other bands. Writing well is being able to distinguish between inspiration and influence, I think, so an effectively inspired person might channel some of the energy or spirit of something they really like without being derivative.

The song "Boxcar" has been covered by a variety of different bands, many of whom it could be argued have completely missed the point of the song. Would you agree or disagree?
I always think it’s weird to cover a first person song, a quirky song that’s specific like that. You know, I mean what about the girl with blue and green hair part, I mean that’s not them right? It’s a very small song, so yes, I don’t see the point in covering it really.

Were you happy about the way that the Jawbreaker article came out in Punk Planet?
Yes, I learned a lot there.

As a singer, how drastic of a change was it for you to try to write music after you received surgery on your voice?
I didn’t change much, I mean I was still in Jawbreaker and playing those songs. I changed more as a writer than as a singer, I began to write for a different place in my throat.

How do you feel that the independent/punk community has changed in the past 5 years? Do you feel that many children and artists alike have adopted more of a laid back ideal of d.i.y. ethics and have given in to a lot more corporate involvement?(ie.Clear Channel) And if so, what do you think was the cause of said apathy?
The Jets exist in a weird place in this whole scene – above the squats but below the sheds – both by choice and by the audience that chooses us. I don’t have as much access to the hardcore punk community because my music is much different now and I don’t think fits in there so well – but I think that’s where radical D.I.Y. stuff is still alive and well. I’ll say that it is in my band as well. I’m very clear about this stuff now and I greatly enjoy being independent and keeping divested from as much of what I perceive as negative or harmful corporate underwriting as possible. I can’t speak to the rest of the indie rock scene, I just don’t know, I’m happy not to know many of those people. I’d say New York indie rock is largely just corporate rock lite?many of these people would be happy to be signed to a major label or put on music television or to do an SUV commericial. New York sucks that way.

As a current New Yorker, how were you effected by the events of the past couple of years and has that influenced you in either your music or just your general world view? I read somewhere that you also spoke at a recent NYU protest. Do you feel it’s important that kids take an active interest in what is currently going on in Iraq and all over the world?
I experienced what I would describe as a very painful political awakening, my life feels utterly changed. While I’ve always been suspicious of people in positions of power I didn’t often seek evidence of any malfeasance – I just trusted that things were kind of rotten at the top. Now, the beligerance of our government seems inescapable. I think you’d have to try to not be interested in what’s happening, especially living in New York where deportation, detainment, interrogation, and flat-out racial profiling are a daily reality. I see New York as a microcosm of the nation at large, I mean as a financial center I think the nation takes a lot of cues from New York, New York is America, and while that could be a beautiful thing, a nation comprised of many nations, of many great words and ideas and bodies and musics, it’s totally not. It’s a war of identity in New York – white people conflating their own while many non-white peoples are forced to conceal or taper who they are.

Name a book that you have read that has influenced your life and explain why someone should read it.
The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoevsky is the most profound reading experience I’ve had. I think it has just about everything that I would want from a book – family, struggle, crime, searing romance, devotion, the quest for truth and the exquisite anguish that comes with it, genuine friendship. It would be difficult to exaagerate the greatness of this book.

What were your favorite records of 2002, and could you talk about some of the albums you are currently listening to?
Godspeed you Black Emperor "lift yr. skinny fists like antennas to heaven!", I like that record a lot. I’ve been listening to Jimi Hendrix, the Jam, the Minutemen, New Order, the Replacements – a lot of perennials.

Does music (both generally and the music you write) still excite you as much as it did when you first started doing this? Do you feel that you want to be involved in music in some regard for the rest of your life?
I trust that I’ll always be making music, in one capacity or another. It’s equally exciting any time a new song takes shape and you feel in your body that it is good, that it is a moving piece of sound and/or lyric.

(In any band) What was your favorite show that you’ve ever played and what makes a memorable performance in your opinion?
Once the Jets, very early on, played a show in Amsterdam and I had inadvertantly eaten a hash brownie before we played. I don’t smoke pot so well, so it was good that I didn’t know I was about to be stoned. Anyway, we’re playing, you know it’s an early show, we’re in this youth center by a canal kind of on the outskirts of the city, it’s very casual – light is streaming in the windows, there’s not much of a stage, just a carpet over concrete, about 50 people are in the room. It’s nice, though, it’s real laid back and pleasant. So, we go to a song where I use the wah-wah pedal, and I’m really digging this pedal, right, like it’s the first time I’ve ever heard it. It’s blowing my mind – and that’s when I remember the brownie and I’m cracking up because I didn’t know I was stoned and suddenly I know and it’s great. Very rock and roll – like I felt like I gained insight into why people do drugs and play music concurrently. There is a metaphor for my life in there, about unselfconsciousness and letting yourself enjoy good things, too. See, had I known that I was going to be high I would have freaked and it probably would have been horrible. Happily, it didn’t go that way.

In-between JTB and Jawbreaker, you moonlighted as a video-game reviewer. What current systems/games are you playing or would you recommend?
I’m not playing any games now, the world’s too fucked up.

What’s next for the band? What can we expect for the rest of 2003 and perhaps 2004?
Just touring for now – I’m just looking that far ahead. Being with our people out there.

Any closing comments for the kids?
Kids – be young, be real.

 

ABHOR would like to thank Blake for a great interview.

JETS TO BRAZIL BEGIN MASSIVE US TOUR

JETS TO BRAZIL begins their first tour in a year today in support of their latest and greatest, the mighty Perfecting Loneliness DBL LP/CD (JT1079). The band is road ready with an expanded touring line-up, and will be debuting new songs along the way.

Please consult the Jets to Brazil for current dates.

Jets To Brazil Interview

Thurday, May 8, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to interview Blake Schwarzenbach (Jets To Brazil, Jawbreaker). Prior to the interview, I stayed up all night trying to find a way to calm my nerves before I was to speak to one of the few musicians that has changed my life in a positive way through music. I contemplated not calling at all for the fear that I may throw up, start crying, or just freeze and forget what I was supposed to say. After a few deep breaths and some reassuring advice from my friends, I mustered up the courage to dial his number.

Roze: (dials number) Oh Jesus.

(ring)

Blake: Hello?

Roze: Hi is this Blake?

Blake: Yes.

Roze: Hi this is Roze from AbsolutePunk.

Blake: Hi.

Roze: Hi, how are you doing?

Blake: I’m good.

Roze: So can we do this interview?

Blake: Yeah that’s fine.

Roze: So you guys found a new drummer, will he be a permanent replacement?

Blake: Mmmhmm.

Roze: He will be?

Blake: Yes

Roze: Did Chris part on good terms?

Blake: I dunno. I’m still trying to figure that out.

Roze: Are you guys planning anything different on the upcoming tour than on past tours?

Blake: Well we have two different people, being Matt the drummer and Jason Gnewikow from The Promise Ring is playing with us…. keyboard, like playing laptop basically. We have different songs.

Roze: Oh yeah, you’re going to be playing 6 new songs, right?

Blake: Uhh… no? I don’t think so.

Roze: Oh that’s what I heard.

Blake: They lie.

Roze: I guess so.

Blake: We’re just playing different songs than we usually play, of our album songs. We have a couple new songs… a cover.

Roze: A cover?

Blake: Mmmhmm..

Roze: What cover is it?

Blake: I can’t give that out.

Roze: Aww, ok.

Roze: What can we expect on the next Jets To Brazil album?

Blake: I don’t know.

Roze: So you don’t have any recording plans right now?

Blake: No, I gotta write an album first.

Roze: Oh ok. So have you been working on new songs at all?

Blake: Yeah.

Roze: What do you think have been your main influences for new songs?

Blake: Just getting through this year more than anything else. Inspired mostly by prison and revenge, it seems. I mean those seem to be the recurring issues. I’m thinking about doing kind of like a “rock opera” about John Gay. I mean if that’s possible with being respectful to his memory. But I think like Gay in prison. That’s just where I’m at.

Roze: Okay. A lot of people identify with Jets To Brazil on a personal level that helps them get through rough times. Does your music have the same effect on you?

Blake: It does in the writing of it, you know when it’s being created.

Roze: So that’s sort of like a therapy, is writing music?

Blake: Yeah, I find that really helpful.

Roze: But you can’t like pop in your album and get anything from it?

Blake: No, that’s a little loaded for me. I use other people’s records for that.

Roze: Is there a common underlying theme to Orange Rhyming Dictionary? Or is that just fans reading into it?

Blake: To the album?

Roze: Yeah. I heard the songs were based loosely on novels.

Blake: That’s a generous theory. They’re really just songs. I mean I think that each of our records has somewhat of a continuity, but I can only see that when it’s done. So I can’t really claim to have written it with that intention.

Roze: How would you describe the progression from Orange Rhyming Dictionary to Perfecting Loneliness?

Blake: It’s been a lonely path. I think it’s there in the music for the listener to discerne. I’d say they’re pretty different. I’ve heard people say that Orange Rhyming Dictionary and then Four Cornered Night, and Perfecting Loneliness is the synthesis of those two records.

Roze: Yeah I agree completely.

Blake: I like that reading of it.

Roze: How do your songs come together?

Blake: They’re all kind of different. You know, it will either be in pieces. The really good ones come right away, like all at once pretty much. So we’ll just stick with it and it will be a day of writing and it will be lots of revising. I’d say they come together in the editing really. I mean after the initial inspiration, most of the work that I do is actually making the words work and kind of cutting them.

Roze: Which album are you most proud of?

Blake: I think the last one.

Roze: Which song has the most meaning to you?

Blake: Rocket Boy

Roze: The vocals from Jawbreaker to Jets To Brazil are very different. Have you had any vocal coaching in the past?

Blake: I did briefly in San Francisco when I was in Jawbreaker. And it was so difficult because it meant either totally forgetting everything I knew about singing and starting again, and I didn’t want to go back to nothing. So I just kept doing it in the way I do it… which is still different. I guess it sounds different now. Now I’m an untrained singer doing “singer songs.”

Roze: You’ve done some writing for magazines in the past, is that something that still interests you?

Blake: Yeah, I like to do political writing when I can.

Roze: Would you ever consider writing a book?

Blake: I think I’ve thought about it. I don’t really have the material for it.

Roze: What books have you been reading lately?

Blake: I’m reading Anna Karenina and some poetry books.

Roze: You gave a very moving speech at NYU in March in opposition to the war in Iraq. How did that go?

Blake: It went very well.

Roze: Did people take it well? Was it a really successful event?

Blake: I think it was a great event for the students, for the people who put it together. There was about a thousand people there. And they kind of interrupted traffic for the march in progress. I thought that was good. The other speakers were really really great. And people seemed to react to it pretty strongly.

Roze: What goes through your mind before you take the stage?

Blake: In a music performance?

Roze: Yeah.

Blake: I don’t know but it’s a very strange place to be in. I usually go and warm up in the van, just sit in the van and sing along to Lemonheads records. And try and get my voice warmed up enough and that’s a good kind of zen practice, I think. I don’t have to think about playing so much and I just drink a lot of tea and that kind of helps me out.

Roze: You’ve influenced so many musicians. Does it scare you when people say that, or does it flatter you?

Blake: I appreciate it. It’s a little scary to be influential I guess, if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, which I do. Every time I write a song I feel like I have to learn how to write songs. I don’t have this great feeling of authority. That’s also what I like about writing, it’s always beginning. But you know, it’s difficult but it’s kinda cool because the beginning means there’s discovery. I like that part of it.

Roze: Who influences you?

Blake: I’m influenced by poets mostly. William Carlos Williams, Alan Ginsburg, Wallace Stevens. And films, a lot movies from my childhood. Those are pretty important. And a lot of music. It’s something between the three of those. I’d often be more moved to write something down from reading a book or seeing a movie than I would by listening to a record.

Roze: I don’t want this next question to come off “cheesy” or anything, but the song “Cat Heaven” has really changed my life. And I want to know what the song means to you.

Blake: Well, it was an actual dream I had up in Nova Scotia. My cat had died the year before, so it was kind of a medley of melancholy… dreams that incorporate the cat but also a lost love. And the idea of this reward in heaven, that in my waking life doesn’t seem to be there. It was just kind of like a really sad utopian dream where you have everything you want and then you wake up and it’s not there.

Roze: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Blake: That I’m a jock.

Roze: Oh really?

Blake: Yeah, I run 3 miles a day. And I do push-ups.

Roze: How do you deal with criticism?

Blake: Pretty poorly. But I feel like, you know, I get bad criticism. I believe there’s constructive criticism. And I think in music often, or in “rock”, you’re at the mercy of a kind of dim class of writer. So I think it’s dismissive a lot.

Roze: What does success mean to you?

Blake: I would think you would be loving your work.

Roze: What lessons have you learned in your career as a musician?

Blake: I think instinct is just about everything. Everything. And you really have to trust in it, because there’s so much doubt and there are few rewards as you’re trying to kind grow as an artist or become an artist or trying to get people to listen to you that it’s easy to forget why you started and that you had an idea that maybe you wanted to do something. I don’t want this to be a scientology rant or anything like “hold onto your dreams” but you definitely have to really hang onto yourself.

Roze: Do you have any last comments?

Blake: I don’t.

Roze: Thank you so much for doing the interview. It was really really a pleasure talking to you.

Blake: Absolutely. Where are you?

Roze: I’m in Oregon.

Blake: Oh ok.

Roze: Are you in NY?

Blake: Yeah, I’m in Brooklyn. Are you a Portlander?

Roze: I go to Portland about three times a week, but I live about an hour south.

Blake: Uh Huh.

Roze: Do you like Portland?

Blake: I do like Portland. I used to live in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Roze: No way! Did you grow up there or did you live there a short time?

Blake: Just like middle school, 7th and 8th grade.

Roze: Oh wow, that’s incredible. Do you like the bookstores in Portland?

Blake: I do. Powell’s. When we’re there we’re usually just there for one day though, so it’s quick. But I have a lot of memories. I actually lived in Portland too.

Roze: When did you live there?

Blake: Actually the same time. I lived in Forest Grove for about 6 months then my dad and I moved in Portland.

Roze: That’s interesting, I’m glad I know that now.

Blake: Yeah I have a lot of old family and friends up there.

Roze: So do you get to reunite with them when you come here?

Blake: Yeah they often come to the shows.

Roze: What’s your favorite place to play here?

Blake: I think the best shows we had were in the old La Luna I guess, but it was called something else.

Roze: The Pine Street Theater?

Blake: Maybe that… yeah. It seems like it’s always changing there, the venues.

Roze: I was bummed because the last tour that you had scheduled here you were supposed to play Berbati’s Pan and it’s 21+ and I’m only 20. So hopefully this tour you’ll play a different place.

Blake: Yeah I don’t think any show on this tour is 21+, I think they’re atleast 17. It’s weird cause you think it’s either all ages or it’s 21. But some clubs have really weird rules about like 17 or 18. But you’ll get in.

Roze: I hope so. Well thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. It was nice talking to you.

Blake: You too.

Roze: Bye

Blake: Bye

This interview was done by Roze Harding

Jets to Brazil-An Emo Meltdown, a Canceled Tour, and an Ousted Drummer Later, Jets to Brazil Returns to San Diego.

Event Profile
Jets to Brazil‘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, Jawbreaker, 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 Jawbreaker 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 Jawbreaker.

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.

JETS TO BRAZIL TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED

Nearly nine months after the release of their lauded Perfecting Loneliness DBL LP/CD (JT1079), JETS TO BRAZIL is hitting the road with a new drummer and a handful of new songs. Expect months of hibernation to pay off live, as the band has been holed up in their practice space honing their performance. There are also rumors that there could be some additional musicians tagging along too. Check it out and see for yourself!

Please consult the Jets to Brazil for current dates.

JETS TO BRAZIL FEATURED ON ATTICUS: DRAGGING THE LAKE 2 COMPILATION

JETS TO BRAZIL’S “William Tell Override”, from the band’s 2002 release, Perfecting Loneliness DBL LP/CD (JT1079), is featured on Atticus clothing company’s latest compilation, Atticus: Dragging the Lake 2 (Side One Dummy) along with bands such as Blink 182, Finch, Alkaline Trio, Sparta, Lagwagon, Hot Water Music, Transplants, and the Dropkick Murphys to name but a few. The compilation is in stores now.

For more information, check out

NEW JETS TO BRAZIL TEES

Fresh from the T-shirt manufacturers are 2 new Jets to Brazil t-shirt designs. They differ from our other shirts in the fact that these are 50/50 shirts, but that is only because they were made specifically for the band, who then opted to have Jade Tree sell them instead. The Deer (JTTS73),available in navy, and the Kitty (JTTS74), available in either red or black, are both awesome new additions to the fine selection of Jets merch available at the E-Store.

Jets To Brazil [I]Perfecting Loneliness[/I] Review

What grew out of Blake Schwarzenbach’s lifelong desire to create music has become one of todays most esteemed and sought after acts. Jets To Brazil have established themselves over the last four years as an astounding independent rock band. They have done it with charisma, patience, imagination and the prowess to produce first-class albums. The quartet of reputable musicians are back with their third full-length, Perfecting Loneliness.

Jets To Brazil perfect more than loneliness on this record. They perfect their sound. The instruments, lyrics and rhythms all come together to make an album that begs to be listened to. It only seems fitting that longtime producer J Robbins was behind the board on Perfecting Loneliness. The production is noteworthy throughout as Schwarzenbach and company arouse a more orchestrated element to their repertoire.

The marathon of brilliance begins with two vigorous rock songs that will have you singing along in no time. The album progresses to flow in and out of touching piano-structured ballads. “Cat Heaven” and “Lucky Charm” prove to be some of the most intelligent melodies that Schwarzenbach has ever constructed. The piano hides brilliantly under the instrumentation on “Cat Heaven” as Schwarzenbach croons imaginative lyrics about matrimony. “Lucky Charm” is diligent, soft and creates a harmonious look into another distressing summer of Schwarzenbach’s life. Poetically heartrending lyrics and effortlessly listenable melodies continue to capture the listener throughout this ambitious release. “Wish List” uncovers JTB’s talents to construct diverse musical structures while remaining simple. The undemanding guitar over the brisk bass line creates a folksy sound while an angular drum beat keeps it breathing. Before the loneliness is rounded off with nine-and-a-half minutes of eclectic harmony, JTB awaken their voices with two more passionate rockers that bring us back to their Orange Rhyming Dictionary days.

With Perfecting Loneliness Jets To Brazil dug deep into their cooperative intellect and pulled off another inimitable release. It comes as no surprise really.

Cleared for Takeoff

Jets to Brazil’s Blake Schwarzenbach is a scribble.

He’s a mass of absent-minded curlicues dabbled in the margin, lonely and gentle. He’s a twisting, angular doodle with sharp edges and an ominous contour. He’s the outside-the-lines coloring made by a three-year-old wondrously trying his hand at coloring with a Crayola gripped firmly in a little fist. He’s faint wavy lines made by a lazy pencil that’s struggling with the fact it lacks the permanence of its ink-pen office supply buddies. He’s all those disorganized, random and thoroughly entrancing bursts of messy lines that waste ink, adorn scrap paper and kill time. He’s anything in the world but a straight line.

No, Schwarzenbach doesn’t get on so well with the linear world. If that fact hasn’t been made apparent on his band’s previous two albums, his latest, Perfecting Loneliness (2002, Jade Tree), should make it completely clear. Joined by band mates Jeremy Chatelain (bass), Christopher Daly (drums) and Brian Maryansky (guitar), Schwarzenbach indulges hither-and-yon songwriting that touches on everything from catchy power pop with “The Frequency” to a lull that’s claustrophobic, nay, suffocating “Rocket Boy.” Order? There’s nothing of the sort. The crisp, ruled straight lines by which most bands define themselves couldn’t attempt to frame the Jets’ organic, spiraling and unpredictable trajectory.

The ironic thing is, Perfecting Loneliness is the band’s most structured album yet. The band’s debut, Orange Rhyming Dictionary (1998, Jade Tree), moved through tempered indie pop and rock, introversion and rallied power. The act’s last effort, 2000’s Four Cornered Night (Jade Tree) took the act into similarly unfocused waters, although an air of downtrodden, often over-the-top, sentimentality pervaded everything. For Perfecting Loneliness to sound rambling, rather than confused, it was a major step forward in the act’s creative process.

“I’ve heard from people that it seems more consistent or more like an album,” Schwarzenbach says. “The other ones seem like song collections or being from different periods in a band’s life, which makes me happy, I would hope it to be a consistent record. When it was being written, some of the songs seemed really dangerous to me.”

The danger pays off. Where Four Cornered Night was, by and large, too personal and melancholy for its own good, Perfecting Loneliness strikes a balance between Schwarzenbach’s journal-entry honesty and a collected and calm public image. It’s not the edge, the lyrics that threaten to become too personal to bear, though never fall over the edge into schmaltzy sap, however, that makes Perfecting Loneliness seem, like Schwarzenbach said, the band’s first cohesive album; it’s that underneath the doodles, messy cross-hatchings and the rest of the scribble that surrounds the act is a vision.

It may be a bit tough to see, especially when you’re up close to it. Pull, back, however, and, like a pointillist painting, Schwarzenbach’s chicken-scratch artistic vision comes into focus. It’s hard, if not impossible, to see, if one looks at the individual lines in the scribble, as the band’s songs jump from one style, from pop to balladry to indie rock as with each track. It’s tough to discern when taking in a single album, as the act’s traditionally been criticized for the way its helter-skelter output makes developing cohesive albums nearly impossible.

“I always hope that it looks like there’s a plan rather than I’m just stumbling through chaotically,” Schwarzenbach says. “Sometimes it feels like there’s a plan, when we finish a record or something comes together. It’s all unconscious, but you’re on some sort of path.”

Now, with three albums’ worth of material for fans to sort, and four years of touring to help audiences make sense of its work, Jets to Brazil is finally coming into focus. What was once either seen as a glorified side project or a band that was just weird and confusing, has now taken on a life of its own. Jets isn’t about challenging audience preconceptions or challenging the limits of its art. It’s a more personal test.

“We really just challenged ourselves,” Schwarzenbach says. “Ever since we came together it was about trying to play in new directions for us. I know I’m a very limited musician with a very big scope, or a huge appetite. I think it’s always been about exceeding our grasp, in a way, but hopefully finding a new place in the process.”

We’ll admit that could easily manifest itself as a big, steaming pile of pretense. When it’s coupled with an album with the depth, earnest hope and honesty as Perfecting Loneliness, it’s not. While the band hasn’t achieved anything to merit living-legend status, its latest could be the closest thing to a post-emo London Calling we’ve seen: The band waltzes through a host of pop and rock idioms and bends them around the haunting strains of the twentysomething wasteland that has always inspired the act’s music. No, Jets doesn’t have the vision, the scope or, as of yet, the talent to deserve comparisons to The Clash, but they’re working from the same ideological blueprint, that’s for sure.

So how’s a band keep the focus it needs to make sense of the seemingly random scribbles it makes? Mostly by doing its best to block out music culture. There’s no way Jets to Brazil can pretend it works in a vacuum: Its three albums have earned enough attention from the indie underground to put the band permanently in the spotlight. Even before Orange Rhyming Dictionary dropped and the act hit the road in fall of 1998, there was a heck of a buzz around the band. Between Schwarzenbach’s Jawbreaker roots and Daly’s tenure in the nearly as impressive Texas is the Reason, everyone with a CD player and an interest in indie music was slobbering in anticipation of the band’s emergence from the practice space.

Despite the hoopla that surrounded the band, Schwarzenbach and company made efforts to cut themselves out of the frenzy that grew around them. Flush the expectations, overlook the history, put on heavy boots and stomp on the face of hoopla – after being liberated from all three in the embryonic stages of the band, Jets soon realized it operated best when it operated outside of the claustrophobic embrace of the music world.

“It was really cool because it felt like a really small band. We were really excited about it before that expectations entered,” Schwarzenbach says. “We were this little band and I was really happy to be in that place. I tried to hang onto it as long as I could. We talked about how it’s really important for us to maintain some kind of innocence whenever we can, even if it’s a self-conscious, self-imposed innocence. We try not to know too much about what’s happening.”

Since then, the band’s held onto its distance from expectations with fanatic fervor. Fans and the media have called out, begged, growled and whimpered for the act to make turn its mass of clumpy curlicues, and messy doodling into something more approaching the blueprint-ready accuracy that’s typical of bands. Understanding something so complex is tough, so they bitch, whine and moan for something more simple. It’s not going to happen. Jets to Brazil is cut off from the world in which its music lives.

“That’s the innocence that we try to maintain,” Schwarzenbach says. “I think when we’re in our room, away from music culture, and we don’t tour that much, we can stay in that illusion, or make that illusion a reality. It’s just us in a room. That’s what we do.”

Of course, there’s downsides from cutting audience reactions and expectations out of the songwriting equation. The Jets have experienced them first hand. If you’re a fan of the band, you have too. Those downsides bear the title of Four Cornered Night. The act’s most introverted work, it’s tough to unravel, even by the band’s own challenging standards. Amid the rampant sentimentality (one reviewer said it’s “more reminiscent of a lengthy novel by Proust than anything you’d expect from a rock band”), and the band’s own self-indulgence, the Jets dropped an album that ignored audience expectations so much as to almost destroy its audience.

Nonetheless, Schwarzenbach stands behind his previous release. In fact, the band still doesn’t quite understand why reactions to the album, which also featured in-studio inspiration and help from producer J. Robbins, were so lukewarm.

“I felt like last time it was really a shock to us, because we were really happy with that record and thought it was, in J.’s words, unimpeachable on its own terms,” Schwarzenbach admits. “The reaction seemed to be of stunned silence, at least for the first year of it. There was a little ‘Woah, what happened to the Jets? You guys became mellow!’ I think as we toured it and played it, it became palatable. It became history, basically. We were just really surprised. You think you know you did the right thing and … whatever. You just have to hang in there.”

Maybe there are scribbles that are too messy, clumps where a pen’s absent tracing of subconscious patterns are too thick to decipher and times when a little order is in order. It’s not going to stop the Jets from sticking to their modus operandi. Good or bad, messy or ordered, the fans will have to figure the band out on its own terms.

Even after Perfecting Loneliness is digested, Schwarzenbach is still a scribble. He’s ragged around the edges and really hard to understand, but if he can lead a band to heights found on his latest album, we can only hope the pressures of music culture never unravel his tangled songwriting or his nonlinear personality.

JETS TO BRAZIL ‘PERFECTING LONELINESS’ DBL LP/CD (JT1079) RELEASED TODAY

Jets to Brazil Perfecting Loneliness DBL LP/CD (JT1079) is released today. This third installment in the Jets legacy is going to leave you breathless. Trust us and order Perfecting Loneliness today.

"It’s beautiful and it’s sad, but it’s all that I have," Blake Schwarzenbach sings on Perfecting Loneliness, the first album from Jets to Brazil in over two years. Not that beauty and sadness are anything new to Jets to Brazil. When we last heard from the band, they had delivered Four Cornered Night, a melancholy mix of folk, rock, country, and just about everything in between. Inspired by Four Cornered Night’s ambitious nature, the band has returned with Perfecting Loneliness: a mirror ball of sound that reflects a clearer, more focused Jets to Brazil. Recorded at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, VA with longtime producer J. Robbins, Perfecting Loneliness represents not so much a continuation of the band’s previous gestures, but a better understanding of them. Now, the melodies flow out of Schwarzenbach-the Jets’ brave blend of angular rock, epic balladry and really cool keyboard noises front and center-as his guitar (or piano) gently weeps. Beautiful and sad? Absolutely. But Perfecting Loneliness is all the better for it.

Perfecting Loneliness is an enhanced CD that includes bonus footage of the Jets in the studio recording and mixing the record.

Related Releases:
Jets to Brazil Orange Rhyming Dictionary DBL LP/CD JT1038
Jets to Brazil Four Cornered Night DBL LP/CD JT1052

Jets To Brazil [I]Perfecting Loneliness[/I] Review

It seemed certain that Jets to Brazil’s tentative, lyrically driven rock, as captured on their critically hailed second disc, Four Cornered Night, would raise singer-guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach to star status among the college cutie set. Having spent much of the ’90s in Jawbreaker, Schwarzenbach–a detail-oriented songwriter who makes sadness feel like a breath on the neck–was already pedigreed in indie rock. Well, things didn’t quite work out like that, which is probably why the band’s third album, Perfecting Loneliness, keeps its eye on the prize, mixing vivid song-stories with angular, slightly rickety melodies that might collapse into heaps were it not for the Jets’ flashflood, twin-guitar attacks. Schwarzenbach’s conversational delivery makes his missives that much more searing (it’s as if he’s talking right to you) and if the songs lack the immediacy of those of kindred spirits such as Spoon, they grow with each play. It takes a few trips through "Wish List" before the lyrics "Mom and Dad, can’t remember if I told you / How glad I am I finally got to know you" to kick in. Several spins more and the song’s debt to New Order’s "Love Vigilantes" materializes. The chugging "William Tell Override" rocks in all the right places and while "Disgrace" apes Neil Young’s "Mr. Soul," that was probably the intent: a modern protest song in honor of the man himself.

JETS TO BRAZIL US TOUR CANCELLED

Due to sudden illness, Jets to Brazil have cancelled their entire US tour, which was scheduled to begin tonight in Brooklyn. Further details on rescheduling or upcoming tours will be released as those plans develop. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and will release more information as it is made available.

Jets To Brazil [I]Four Cornered Night[/I] Review

If nice guys finish last, someone forgot to tell Jets to Brazil. Abandoning Pantera testosterone, the band’s second album favors an approach that focuses on sincerity and failed romantic sentiment. More subdued than their debut, Four Cornered Night is at times a layered and moody record that often sacrifices rock for substance. In many cases, distorted guitars are replaced in favor of pianos and organs. This new sound provides songs like "In the Summer’s When You Really Know" and "Little Light" with thick textures and gorgeous melodies. At another point, the envelope is pushed even further with "Empty Picture Frame," a lonely acoustic number that sounds like it could have been recorded by Wilco.

Despite Jets to Brazil’s musical maturity, they did not forget their distortion pedals or emo-core roots. "You’re Having the Time of My Life" and "Pale New Dawn" would not sound out of place on a Promise Ring record. Jets to Brazil even manages to inject elements of classic rock into their sound, for "Mid-day Anonymous" contains a riff that eerily sounds like an AC/DC outtake.

Like the confessional poets of the 1950′s, Jets to Brazil’s lyrics, like those of other emo bands, can be intensely autobiographical and sentimental. Throughout the album, former Jawbreaker Blake Schwarzenbach presents lyrics that namedrop — he mentions his own family and even addresses his own bandmates. Weaving in and out of different tempers, Schwarzenbach seems to cover the entire emotional spectrum. There is despair, for relationships meet "dead ends" and lovers inevitably become "strangers." But there is also hope because "there are so many people to meet" and "this country was promised to me from the start." All of these emotional outbursts culminate in "All Things Good and Nice," the album’s final track. Here, Schwarzenbach declares "I love feeling like I’ve got something to give," which is evident throughout the album.

Unlike some other modern punk acts, Jets to Brazil brings attention to the music, not the packaged image a 15-year-old can purchase at a Hot Topic. Jets to Brazil provide the soundtrack for the pensive punk, not for the pre-pubescent Blink-182 fan. Four Cornered Night is sincere and heartfelt; honesty never sounded so good.

JETS TO BRAZIL ‘PERFECTING LONELINESS’ (JT1079) DBL LP/CD

Jets To Brazil has announced the title of their third record, Perfecting Loneliness (JT1079) DBL LP/CD, which will be released on October 15, 2002 and available for pre-order on August 13th. For all of you super-fans, here’s a track listing for you:

1. "The Frequency"
2. "You’re the One I Want"
3. "Cat Heaven"
4. "Perfecting Loneliness"
5. "Lucky Charm
6. "Wish List"
7. "Psalm"
8. "Autumn Walker"
9. "Further North"
10. "William Tell Override"
11. "Disgrace"
12. "Rocket Boy"

The Jets are currently out on the road debuting songs from the new album, so take this opportunity to get a glimpse of the latest Jets gems!

Please consult the Jets to Brazil for current dates.

JETS TO BRAZIL IN THE STUDIO

Nearly two years after Jets To Brazil’s Four Cornered Night was released, the NYC band is with producer J. Robbins at both Inner Ear and Water studios wrapping up album #3 for a planned fall 2002 release date. According to he band, the as-of-yet untitled record promises to once again surprise the music world. Immediately following the completion of the record, the Jets will hit the open road for the first time in over a year for a brief US tour. This opportunity to hear the new material road tested for the first time should not be missed!

Please consult the Jets to Brazil for current dates.