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Jets Under Fire

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

Austin 360 – Austin American-Statesman

Posted by Jason On March - 4 - 2009

Appeared: September 4, 2008 on www.austin360.com

Alpha Rev: Social Connectors

Social connection is one of the least understood qualities about live music.

Any follower of an Austin band is linked to other followers of the same band, though they be strangers, through invisible threads of sensibility and experience. Put those followers in the same physical space, viscerally plugged into that musical act’s visual and aural wavelengths, and no dialog is necessary to weave those social threads together.

I’ve noticed that certain Austin acts – Alpha Rev, Jets Under Fire, Ghost of the Russian Empire, Ghostland Observatory, Pompeii, Explosions in the Sky -share some of the same connectors, as well as certain instrumental webbing. Alpha Rev is clearly the next band with a chance to break to a wider national audience, having just signed with Hollywood Records. A new CD is in the offing.

They play Saturday at Antone’s – once the preserver of Old Austin music, now the promoter of New Austin genres – with Jets Under Fire and Beaux Loy. Doors at 8 p.m.; show at 9 p.m.

By Michael Barnes – Entertainment Editor Austin American-Statesman

Austin 360 – Austin American-Statesman – Austin, TX

Posted by Jason On March - 4 - 2009

Appeared:  May 7 in the print edition of the Austin American-Statesman

In the clubs with Jets Under Fire

Jason Poe, leader of the Austin band Jets Under Fire, is a Christian, but he doesn’t believe in Christian music.

“I really hate the term ‘Christian music,’ ” Poe says. “The word Christian is a noun, not a adjective. I don’t think music has a soul that can be saved. We play music. I am a Christian. That’s it.”

Even if you didn’t know he was a Christian, one had to admire his and his band’s willingness to remain cool and good-natured at their April 17 performance at Progress Coffee, one of the most technically disastrous sets I’ve ever seen.

Nothing seemed to work. The band – Poe, drummer Corbin Petersen and bassist Todd Meador – would play for a minute and the sound would cut out. They’d play, then the sound would cut out. (Let’s hope this will not be the case when the band plays Friday inside at Stubb’s.)

Poe laughs when talking about it. “As far as we could tell, the bass on the keyboard seemed to be overpowering the little speaker and overpowering the little system. We would turn the keyboard up, and it would crash everything.”

But then, it seems a weird little miracle that Poe is playing rock ‘n’ roll at all. He grew up in Springfield, Mo., the son of devout Christians. “Nothing but Christian music for a while there. Then my dad brought home an old Boston CD, which I clung to,” he says. By his senior year in high school, he had started to write songs and play in bands.

Jets Under Fire started as a side project, an offshoot of his main act, the Professional Americans. He knocked out two brief CD-EPs of piano-based rock under the Jets name before the Americans relocated to Austin in 2005.

“(The Professional Americans) kinda maxed out what we could do in Missouri,” Poe says. “We had a friend who came down and started a church plant two years before, so we decided to move here and help them out.” The church, the Southwest Family Fellowship, thrived and meets at the Barton Creek Square AMC theater.

But Professional Americans did not, and was gone within a year, leaving Poe free to concentrate full time on Jets Under Fire and its American brand of British-sounding rock. (Poe doesn’t really deny the influence of such large-emotion rockers as the Verve, Radiohead or Travis.) The band released its debut full-length, “Kingdoms,” in March.

Poe says the title refers to the impermanence of life, one of the most basic human questions. “We build whatever you want, but in the end, you’re going to die,” he says,

“Kingdoms rise and fall.”

Jets Under Fire, however, would still like to find a guitar player to round out their sound live.

In the clubs: Jets Under Fire plays with Ars Supernova and Sounds Under Radio at 9 p.m. Friday indoors at Stubb’s, 801 Red River St. $8 in advance, $10 at the door. stubbsaustin.com

By Joe Gross

Austin 360 – Austin American-Statesman – Austin, TX

Posted by Jason On March - 2 - 2009

Appeared: April 29, 2008

11 Bands I Adore

Back during my first Austin club phase in the 1980s, I dickered with late psycho-punk (Butthole Surfers), more disciplined rock (Zeitgeist/Rievers), novelty pop (Poi Dog Pondering), singer-songwriters (David Garza), blues guitar (yes, devoutly, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and even country crossover (Ricky Trevino, but just to flirt). Notice any threads among these local acts?

For 15 years, occupied as arts critics for the American Statesman, I missed almost a generation of Austin club music. It was not until 2005, when I toured 100 Central Texas music venues in a single month for a pair of XL cover stories that I discovered the next wave of club talent. I even encountered some acts well before the official music critics began to write about them. My most recent crush: Alpha Rev, whose pop rock “The Greatest Thing I Ever Learned” is alarmingly sophisticated.

Here go 11 Austin acts I adore right now, in alphabetical order: Alpha Rev, Band of Heathens, Explosions in the Sky, Ghostland Observatory, Ghost of the Russian Empire, Grupo Fantasma, Jets Under Fire, Meridianwest, Nelo, Pompeii and White Ghost Shivers.

Notice that three have “ghost” in their names. I suspect you will hear a lot about this sweet almost dozen in our various publications soon.

By Michael Barnes – Entertainment Editor for the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin 360 – Austin American-Statesman – Austin, TX

Posted by Jason On March - 2 - 2009

Appeared: April 18, 2008

What is it about Austin and epic rock music? Explosions in the Sky burst (sorry) onto the scene a few years ago with a distinctive combination of tenderness and majesty. Add to the list of blue-ribbon bands playing in this general style: Meridianwest, Ghosts of the Russian Empire and, now, Jets under Fire, whose “Kingdoms” I’ve now heard about a million times. I’m sure there are others, but I can’t get enough of them. A better music critic than I could tell you why the epic sound is conquering the city one recording and live concert at a time.

By Michael Barnes – Entertainment Editor for the Austin American-Statesman