Long night: Music better in small bites

Jets To Brazil
Tokyo Rose
Thursday, May 29

For the last month or so, May 29 has been marked on the calendars of many around our small burg– that date signified the return of New York's own Jets To Brazil to the hallowed Tokyo Rose basement. Formed after the breakup of singer/songwriter Blake Schwarzenbach's former group, the notable punk/pop (emphasis on the punk) ensemble Jawbreaker, Jets To Brazil allowed the singer to take things down a notch, in terms of ferocity, and to inject some welcome pop sensibilities into the still loud-as-all-hell mix.

Expecting a gigantic crowd for the show, the Rose's music lords decided to start selling tickets a half an hour early-­ but as those who promised to buy tickets for their late-coming friends found out, the Rose does not sell tickets, but merely administers hand-stamps. Old pros at purchasing the durable goods (musical memories) the Rose's basement has been known to produce were well aware of this fact, but for those who were shut out of Jets To Brazil (JTB) because the show sold out, another valuable lesson in indie-ethics was there for the taking: Come early for big shows or don't come at all.

Jets to Brazil is a quartet. Schwarzenbach, besides his vocal duties, plays some solid guitar and some even more solid keyboards; Jeremy Charelain, a former member of indie-rock group Handsome, plays bass. Chris Daly, former member of Texas Is The Reason, plays drums, and Brian Maryansky also plays guitar.

On stage at the Rose, the two guitars book-ended the bassist with the drummer (of course) looming in the background. Charelain, besides his bass duties, also provided some tight harmonies (mostly) beautifully meshing with Schwarzenbach's lead vocals-­ which sound more than a bit like David Lowery's from '80s proto-alternative group Camper Van Beethoven (or from '90s group Cracker, for you youngsters).

"You're the One I Want" from the new album thrilled in its pop glory, a song that's somewhere between an all out rocker and a power-ballad. The latter category seems to overwhelm the new album slightly, with slow songs often stretching past the five-minute mark, and consequently the show seemed to emphasize these slow rockers as well.

Though the crowd was at capacity when JTB began, after about half an hour (less than halfway through the set), it was plain to see that the crowd had noticeably thinned. Most kids I talked to said the same thing about the group, "They're good, but I've seen enough for one night."

I guess that's what happens when you have a long opening band, a long set-up time, and a generally slow–moving set. The moral of the evening: Jets To Brazil-­ good, but better in small portions.