Wednesday, December 26, 2007
There I was, killing time, stoned, somehow simultaneously bored and overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of mundane intrigue for sale. I was at Unique, which is possibly the largest thrift store in Virginia, if not America, if not the world. It occupies an old circuit city, complete with a red cube rooftop structure which now reads "Unique." The font of that sign always reminds me of the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. Anyway, I was stoned, and wondering if I would find any ridiculous knick knacks to purchase for psychedelic stimulation. They had a $200 accordian which was too expensive (and unwieldly), a bunch of ugly paintings, their usual collection of pots and pans, foggy glassware, mildew sweaters, and overly stretched cotton t-shirts. My search for return on the "Unique" brand name's promise of titillation through undeniable individualtiy, "uniqueness" perhaps, was proving futile.
Imagine my surprise when, sifting through some severely busted records, I discovered the coolest band on earth; "the Jets." This band is so fucking cool it's cover looks like a cast photo from some secret, never produced, version of Saved By The Bell where every character is a member of "A.C." Slater's extended family. I'm serious. Look at the picture at the top of this entry!
I had a sneaking suspiscion that this incredible band was somehow manufactured by 1980's Reagon-era Corpo-Music-label white boy racists. I imagined culturally illiterate, stock obsessed talent brokers from Columbia or Universal Records hand picking every member from high school talent shows around the nation, selecting each member based on ability, african-american-ness, greasy jerry curl and the most important factor of all: incredibly light skin. Apparently I was completely baked out of my mind when this notion seemed like a real possibility. The fact that I think things like this makes me afraid I'm subconsciously racist, but then I always remember I'm just hyperactively self-conscious, not to mention paranoid. According to the awesome fan site, www.crushonthejets.com they're actually all from an island in the south pacific known as Tonga. They played "staple polynesian island tunes, such as Don Ho's infamous Tiny Bubbles." Having looked this up, I feel I can more accurately pigeon hole, mock, and generate stereotypes correlating to the music they have produced since "Coming To America." (I've put this phrase in quotes to remind you that it's the title of an incredible movie starring Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones, and ARSENIO HALL.) Anyway, so they're Polynesian, not... African American, but thats ok, because neither is the actor who played A.C. Slater on Saved By The Bell. I make mistakes all the time, and I feel its very difficult to judge someone's ethnicity when I'm not really that concerned about its significance to begin with. The shocking thing about all this is that they weren't formed by a 25 year old hot shot with a blue suit and a 401k. Despite this, they certainly had their collective stink finger on the the pulse of the teeny-hopper fashion of the 80's. May be they invented it?
They sound like the sort of music prince would make if he was fourteen years old. Their charting singles had titles that exhibited a juvenile sense of sexuality. "Crush On You," "You Got It All," "Rocket 2 U," and even "I Do You" were all songs put out by a band that had 15 year old girls singing at dance clubs and playing $10,000 analog synthesizers. Specifically the title "I Do You" blows my mind. This was published back in the days of the Parent Music Rescource Center! Prince himself, and Frank Zappa both went before the supreme court to talk about pronography in music, but apparently it wasn't that big a deal. Prince and Zappa were just much too literal. It's ok if 15-19 yaer olds congregate in dance halls and use sexual euphemisms, as long as they learn how to eat pussy the hard way, no tips people!
I definitly can't recomend their entire catalogue; there's quite a few tracks I can picture 6th graders slow dancing too at their first school sponsored sock hop. However, the aforementioned tracks, especially "I Do You" will all make your friends look at you really funny. And thats what buying retro 80's garbage is all about right?
There used to be a number (12?) of incredible music videos up on Youtube that would further illustrate my Saved By the Bell comparison, but Universal reigned in the unauthorized awesomeness in favor of 5 crappy videos, that include 2 slow dance worthy crap-tracks, and a christmas song. Fuck you copyright laws.
Check out the preview of "curiosity" for an example of their sugary sweet use of funky synth and guitar... Yeah... too bad you can't hear the whole song.
So I guess I'll paste in the only embed-able track on youtube worth listening to. but trust me, this song is no where near the awesomeness that is their first album...
But I can't because embedding is disabled by request. Fuck you universal, I'm never going to your shitty theme parks again!
... here's the url...