Love Jets to Brazil - “I Typed For Miles”
posted by June 23 at 15:28 PMon
I recently reacquired a digital copy of Jets to Brazil’s stellar first album, Orange Rhyming Dictionary (to go with my orange vinyl double LP, natch), and damn if it doesn’t hold up pretty well for those times when you wish Blake Schwarzenbach had recorded just one more Jawbreaker record. Especially heavy in my rotation lately is “I Typed For Miles.” Back when the record came out, my friends would rag on this song because the opening guitar part sounds so much like the opening to “Heart Shaped Box.” In the context of the song, though, it seems obviously intentional.
From the titular/lyrical references to Truman Capote’s famous dis of Jack Kerouac (“That’s not writing, that’s typing”) to the song’s fixation on “love songs on the radio tonight,” the song is as much about loneliness as it is about writer’s block (both share a strain of self-doubt). For the (song-)writer, the song on the radio is not only a reminder of absent/lost love but also a source of creative/professional anxiety. (It’s not hard to imagine Schwarzenbach, who once opened for Nirvana, feeling such weight attached to “Heart Shaped Box.”) The best part, though: The song’s accusatory coda, screamed in hoarse refrain, seems to fly in every direction, its meaning shifting fluidly from one utterance to the next, hitting every targetóKerouac, the song on the radio, the absent lover, finally the writer/singer himself: “You keep fucking up my life.”
If that isn’t writing, then it is some damn fine typing.