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Jets Under Fire

Official Website for Jets Under Fire, a band from Austin, TX

Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Songs I Love… – Can’t Help Falling In Love by UB40

Posted by Jason On August - 3 - 2009

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Songs I Love That You Might Hate – Can’t Help Falling In Love by UB40

So this song is actually an Elvis cover, but it’s a dang good one.  It has some syrupy-sweet synth strings, a little brass, a great drum loop, and even better vocals.    Plus, this song was featured on such cinematic masterpieces as Sliver and Speed 2:  Cruise Control.

Every time I hear this song, I remember a moment when my elementary school friends and I traveled an extremely far distance (for 5th graders) to McDonald’s without our parent’s permission (of course).  As we ate our food outside, this song came pumping into the play area.  My best friend at the time, Cole, jumped up on the table and began dancing.  Not to make all his friends laugh, but because he loved this song.  I can still see him, both hands in the air (one holding an ice cream cone), and a look of focused passion for a British reggae band playing an Elvis cover.

Cole, this one’s for you.

Songs I Love… – Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai

Posted by Jason On August - 2 - 2009

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Songs I Love That You Might Hate – Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai

I think I titled this blog series a little too harshly.  Hate is such a strong word.  As I’m going through these songs, I don’t see how people can really HATE them.  They’re pretty awesome, actually.  Maybe I should have called it something like “Songs I Love, That You Probably Love Too, But Probably Didn’t Think I Would Like.”  Alas, that would be too long.

This song is just smooth, and this video is awesome.

Songs I Love… – Crazy by Seal

Posted by Jason On July - 31 - 2009

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Songs I Love That You Might Hate – Crazy by Seal

Don’t hate Seal just because he’s married to Heidi Klum.  Actually, you shouldn’t hate Seal at all.  He’s pretty dang good, and so is Crazy.

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Songs I Love That You Might Hate – If I Ever Lose My Faith In You by Sting

I don’t think that anyone can really hate this song.  It’s Sting, and he’s not playing a pan-flute or whatever it is that he plays now-a-days.  It’s Sting, singing like Sting, with lyrics like Sting writes, and a killer chorus.  I may have lost my faith in Sting, but not in this song!

Songs I Love… – Millennium by Robbie Williams

Posted by Jason On July - 30 - 2009

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Songs I Love That You Might Hate – Millennium by Robbie Williams

This have been a little too serious around the JUF camp lately, so I thought I would lighten things up a bit and share some songs I love that you probably don’t care for at all.  I could be wrong, because I really think these songs are awesome, but I fear most of you will lose what little respect you have for me!

So let’s kick things off with Millennium by Robbie Williams.

I’m a complete sucker for a song with a good groove and strings.  Millennium hits on both those marks, so I love it.

Robbie originally got his start in the British pop-band Take That in the early 90’s and then moved on to a solo career around 1996.  Millennium was the first single off The Ego Has Landed, Robbie’s first American solo album.  This song is a primary example of why Europeans generally have a better taste in music than Americans.  Millennium reached number 1 on the pop charts in Britain, but only reached number 72 in the U.S.

How long was Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas at number 1? Point and case.

Behind EP2 – Shades of Postmodern Gray

Posted by Jason On July - 8 - 2009

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Behind EP2 – Shades of Postmodern Gray

“Shades” is a bit harder to explain than Halo(s).

Musically, the riff was an idea I’d had on the back-burner for probably two years.  We even had the general structure of the song completed months before ever thinking of recording it.  It’s a pretty basic song.  Nothing crazy going on with it.

Lyrically, this song is a bit harder.  Basically, I feel I’m caught between the idea that things have absolute answers, and the idea that things are relative.  I don’t feel that I’ve fully resigned to either idea, but am out in this ocean of thoughts and ideas, no where near the shore.

It’s a strange place to be, especially as someone who believes in God, or considers themselves a Christian.  I grew up in a culture where things were black and white, right and wrong.  Creation had to be the exact account that occurred in Genesis, or it was just wrong.  There had to be a great flood, and Noah had to build an Ark.  These types of ideas.  Let me say, these ideas were not indoctrinated into me by my parents, but more so, the overall culture that I lived in.

When I moved to Austin four years ago, a lot started changing in me.  For the first time, I really started facing ideas, and situations, outside of this old culture.  While that is a good thing, it’s also quite a scary thing.  You see, I moved to Austin because I felt God had told me to come here.  It sounds completely crazy, and I don’t expect anyone to understand, nor do I really care if you understand.  I knew it more than anything else in my life.

At the time, I was in a band that was doing some cool things in the midwest, so I felt this move to Austin was going to be some kind of great launching point into a music career.  Pretty selfish of me.  Now that I’m in the middle of it, I don’t think that was the case at all.  I think it was something that needed to happen for me to really deal with some philosophical and spiritual issues.

A lot of difficult things happened upon moving here.  My previous band, that we had worked so hard to build, quickly dissolved, largely in part to my doing.   I dealt with two Grandfathers passing away, and a friends suicide.  My life had been pretty picture-perfect until then.  I had to deal head on with how God interacted with the bad times.

The song “Ships on the Sea” from Kingdoms, and really all of Kingdoms, deals with these things.  It’s the Problem of Pain.  Where was God when His chosen people, the Jews, were being killed by Hitler?  Why do children starve to death? How could God have allowed my friend to kill himself when he was reaching out for God?

Ultimately, it’s easy to let the why’s overpower the knows.  If that makes any sense.  I wept for my friend, but through it all I have to rest in the fact that I trust God, through the good times and the bad times.  I know that God provides for me.  I’ve seen it a million times.  I know that God loves me.  I know that God forgives, I’ve felt it at the core of my soul.  It makes no sense to my brain, but it’s something I know in my heart.  I can’t explain it.

I’ve had many friends, and people I look up to, cast their faith aside through analyzing every item they are unsure about.  The fact that they can’t find the answers they hope for eats away at them until they become bitter at God and just want out.  I can’t blame them.  Sometimes I feel like that could happen to me.

The more and more my faith becomes about what I understand, and less about my relationship with God, the further I feel from God.  It’s the same way with my wife.  I can know everything there is to know about my wife, but that doesn’t make me love her, but  I can spend 10 seconds with her and I immediately know why I married her.

I have to remind myself of my limitations.  I got a C in college calculus.  If I can’t figure out calculus, I don’t trust that I can figure out the  “whys” and “why nots” of who God is.

I don’t know that this explains “Shades of Postmodern Gray,” but hopefully you can see some of the ideas that were floating in my head when I wrote it.

Behind EP2 – Halo(s)

Posted by Jason On July - 2 - 2009

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Behind EP2 – Halo(s)

My friend Jon commented on the EP2 page asking me to give a little background on the EP2 songs, so I thought I would begin with Halo(s).

Halo(s) got it’s start after a long practice where we worked on a “trouble song.”

By “trouble song,” I mean a musical idea that we just haven’t been able to complete.  This little piece of music has been on the back burner for nearly a year.  We’re actually working on a little mini-documentary on the development of the song.

As usually happens with this “trouble song,” we came to a standstill during practice.  Sometimes when we’re stuck  I’ll just ask Corbin to just play a cool beat, or give us a good groove so we can just have a clean musical canvas.  So he did, and the creative juices got kicked started again.  About an hour later we had the basic skeleton for Halo(s).

Lyrically, Halo(s) is about my frustration with Christianity, or more so, popular American Christianity.

I am a Christian.  I will not deny that.  I know some who believe what I believe, but try to avoid the label Christian because of the weight or preconditions that come with it.  When it comes to my personal faith, I can’t separate myself from the wake of destruction I feel a lot of Christian groups have caused because it’s my problem.  I am part of that group, whether I like it or not.

So what are my frustrations?

Really, there are a lot of them.  Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that instead of being renewed and transformed through a relationship with Christ, the American church has diluted Christianity down to a list of rules, practices, and political alliances.

In the church there is a lack of transparency, so much so, that it’s much easier to hold the line and appear as if everything is okay, than to be transparent about your insecurities and struggles.  As a result, Christians become great actors, but horrible reflections of Christ.

The public generally believes that Christians hate homosexuals.  They get this impression because our actions show that the evangelical church does hate homosexuals.  Divorce rates within the church are no different than divorce rates outside of the church.  A lot of Christians will fight to the death to make sure abortion is banned, but do little, if anything, to help single mothers, or women who are in situations where abortion is the easiest option.  I can go on, but I think you get the idea.

I’m ready for Christians to start living what is required of us, and start making a difference through compassionate action, rather than pushing for mindless, self-gratifying legislation.

I apologize that these have been such harsh words, but they are my frustrations.  I feel that I can voice them because I am as much to blame as the next Christian.

The general idea of Halo(s) is that we (Christians) are no different than those who are not Christians, except that we have accepted grace through Christ.  We should not hold ourselves on a pedestal, but should instead, be humbled and understand the responsibilities that come with the acceptance of our faith.

Quiet Company – Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon

Posted by Jason On May - 13 - 2009

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Quiet Company – Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon

If haven’t heard of Quiet Company, you should do yourself a favor and go check out their new album “Everyone You Know Will Be Happy Soon.”

My favorite back to back tracks on the album are:  The Beginning of Everything at the End of the World into Red & Gold.  The two songs really showcase Taylor Muse’s gift for melody, and written word.

Go check out their new album at http://quietcompany.bandcamp.com/

The Devil and Daniel Johnston – Trailer

Posted by Jason On May - 11 - 2009

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The Devil and Daniel Johnston – Trailer

I’m not going to lie and say I’m a huge Daniel Johnston fan.  Actually, I know very little about him.  I’ve heard his name thrown around for years.  This past weekend I found the documentary about his life, “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” on YouTube,  and couldn’t turn it off.  More than anything, it’s an amazing story.  Daniel lived in Austin during an important part of his life, so I feel somewhat connected to the things in this movie.  There is even a painting off of Guadalupe near campus that Daniel painted. 

17 Days of Adore – Documentary 3

Posted by Jason On April - 25 - 2009

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Adore Documentary – Part 3