Jetenderpaul EP/LP/7" Reviews

jetenderpaul presents the modal lines (lp)
the woolen spires (lp) *don't look down (ep)*trying signals (lp) *kalypso (7")

Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines (Burnt Toast)
The Big Takeover Issue 48, Vol 22, No. 1 

All I remember from Kansas was long straight roads and nothing to see but the occasional truck stop diner for 400 miles, but this group must be hiding in the same sort of underground bunker, and taking the same sort of pharmaceuticals, that Flaming Lips did in their neighboring Oklahoma.  This is similar twisted psych-pop that squeezes improbable songs out of lazy singing, Olivia Tremor Control kitchen sink-instrumentation, MBV or ‘60s Pink Floyd drone chords, playful sounds, and an overall strain of experimentation.  Take the ‘60s pop form and subvert and divert it until it sounds wrong, somehow, and you often get the most fun results.  Whether it's a flute, a harpsichord, or synths making those sounds we hear behind that grinding guitar, we can't be sure, but it sure is off-kilter messy frolic.  The piano-pushing Beach Boys' Pet Sounds/Smile tribute of "The Piles of Paper Left By You" just adds to the sport.

-Jack Rabid

Artist: Jetenderpaul
Title: Presents the Modal Lines
Label: Burnt Toast Vinyl
Omnizine Tulsa, OK (30 April 2002)

Tuesday: Listened to Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines for first time.

Saturday: after 4 straight days of punching myself in a moronic attempt to rid the songs from my brain, listened to album 5 times in a row during road trip. The Modal Lines brings new meaning and pleasure to the word "infectious."

Jetenderpaul respectfully and successfully pulls off a Beatle-esque indie pop sound without Lennon and Harrison turning over in their graves. From the synthesizer driven pop bliss and up tempo harmonics of "Hudson Bay Drive" to the dreary psychedelics of "Bonaventure (A Prototype)," The Modal Lines is a 21st century relative of Pet Sounds or Sgt. Peppers. The almost effortless vocal delivery reminds of Built to Spill's Doug Martsch, only over-processed and overshadowed.

Jetenderpaul know their limits and stay within them, causing the album to lack any killer instinct or head turning surprises. Still, this is top quality garage pop, enjoyable from start to close.

-John Estus

JETENDERPAUL Presents The Modal Lines
Pop, Psychedelic 
Exclaim Magazine Toronto, Ontario (1 March 2001)

Jetenderpaul is not the sort of name that produces a whole lot of recognition from people, even those who try to search out the weird and wonderful. Yet they have already got to their third album whilst remaining in relative obscurity. Presents The Modal Lines is a rich, varied album that likes to stray off the beaten path, yet manages to stay listenable. They share a similar sound to Olivia Tremor Control, but they manage to keep the psychedelic weirdness under control. The most bizarre thing about the album is the strange song titles, most of which seem to have little to do with the actual song. The album is wonderfully under-produced, with some songs sounding incredibly messy but in the best possible way. Much of that comes from having so many things going on at one time, musically, with lots of vocal harmonies, percussion and fuzzy guitars dominating the songs. But that isn't even close to summing up the cornucopia of noise you'll hear on Presents The Modal Lines, because variety seems to be the key here. You can't help but think if Jetenderpaul had some kind of connection, no matter how vague, to the Elephant 6 group, then this would be getting a whole lot of press and even more praise heaped upon it. As it is, Presents The Modal Lines will end up being one of those hidden gems that never gets the exposure it deserves. 

-Michael Edwards 

Time Out New York (13-20 September 2001)
*Calla + The Dream Lovers + Black Beetle + Reservoir + Jetenderpaul 
Tonic 7-30pm, $10. CMJ Music Marathon. 

Jetenderpaul sounds like a wonderful, clattering mess on its CD The Modal Lines (Burnt Toast), throwing conventional ideas of what a record ought to sound like (more echo on that already echoey keyboard!) out the window, but sacrificing nothing in songcraft, harmonies or woolly, psych-pop sound-treats. The Jetenders have out-wigged the Elephant 6 gang at its own game. . . 

Jetenderpaul 'presents the mod[a]l lines' CD []
Dogprint Issue 16 (2001)

on this second album Jetenderpaul continue their unique brand of pop in such a refreshing way, that this 'presents the mod[a]l lines' really gets points for originality and freshness - in both sounds and stylistic approach. the band 60s pop, very much inspired by the Beatles, is herein even more sophisticated than their debut, and probably more accessible. the soft vocals work well with the delicate music, making this sweet pop sound quite engaging. if you're familiar with this band, i'd highly recommend this record - you won't be disappointed, as these guys get better each time.

Jetenderpaul Presents The Model Lines (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
In Music We Trust Issue 38 (June 2001)

Catchy, bouncy, and soaked in sunshine, the warmth of Jetenderpaul's pop songs are enough to make you smile. Imagine a band bred on The Beatles, The Beach Boys, XTC, Flaming Lips, and Radiohead, to name a few. Sure, there are plenty of bands like this out there, but none of them are quite as clever or as talented as Jetenderpaul, a band capable of crafting sonic bubble gum pop with substance, while still ensuring the ear candy and addictive-ness you'll glow about for weeks. This is pop perfection track after track; it doesn't get much sunnier or more contagious than this. I'll give it an A.

-Alex Steininger

Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
Emoragei Magazine Laval, Québec (Translated from French)

Indie pop group from Kansas who listened to so much old Beatles that their records must have melted.  If not, they were certainly overly influenced by "Pet Sounds" era Beach Boys.  And what's wrong with that?  The result is a pop sound, slightly lo-fi, almost a low budget production of a pop group from that era.  The best moments sound a bit like Flaming Lips, without their splendor.  Jetenderpaul nonetheless do a good job at manipulating the catchy rhythms without making them simple or childlike.  Finally, here's a group along the lines of Apples in Stereo that isn't as bad.  The mediocre cover will surely make you want to buy something else but if you'd rather have a low tech record with indifferent tones, a record that will take you to the roots of this genre, then listen to this record!  It's just a thought but if you like Sloan you'll probably like Jetenderpaul. (7 out of 10)

Recommended if you like:  Apples in Stereo, Guided by Voices, Flaming Lips

Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines
(Burnt Toast, 029) 2000
The All Music Guide

With referents that include Kramer, the Beach Boys and Flaming Lips, Jetenderpaul has a sound somewhere between lo-fi and hi-fi, poppier than most alt-rock but more ragged than most power pop. Much of _Presents the Modal Lines_ seems to be recorded in mono, with the balance leaning slightly to the left, and the overall production quality feels a bit cramped, as if the sound were coming out of a transistor radio about five feet from your head. But the songs are genuinely charming; "An Old Pamphlet Quote" asks the musical question "Did you ever think that there's anything wrong with love?," while "All I wanted to remember" commits the cardinal sin of starting with the word "And," then redeems itself with cheesily Beatlesque synthetic horns. "Bonaventure (A Prototype)" floats along on sci-fi keyboards, tambourine and jangly guitar. The vocals are never expert but always pleasant, which is basically a good way of summing up the appeal of this whole album. ***

Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines (Burnt Toast Vinyl)
Tidal Wave Magazine March 4 2001

Perhaps it’s a fitting, albeit ironic, occurrence that in the year 2000, a year which saw the mainstream success of such straight out of left field ventures as Radiohead’s mind boggling Kid A, that the Kansas based Jetenderpaul, whose music is known to be anything but conventional, should release Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines (Burnt Toast Vinyl), an indie pop record that is, or all practical purposes, at least for them, tilting toward convention.

Where lofty, revelatory, often colonial styled liner notes perculiarized their past offerings, The Modal Lines’ postmodern, plain, light pink cover ought to signal that for the eccentric Jetenderpaul, his is no routine release. Also gone are such ambitious and amusing song titles like “The Fragments of Epicuris,” “On the Frivolous Use of Seventeenth Century Bookends,” and “The Phenomenological Rhetoric of Summer Lingers On,” finding themselves replaced with shorter, two to three word titles. And, perhaps, most surprisingly, instead of opting for short, under-a-minute songs (don’t forget, 1997’s Trying Signals: The Histrionics of Suggestion had weighty twenty-six songs), this, their third full-length, contains thirteen songs and finds the average song weighing in at just under a perfect three minutes. For these reasons and more, is it any surprise that the band was debating whether to put their name on the album, and instead consider it something of a side project, but in the end opted to preface the title with Jetenderpaul Presents?

While Jetenderpaul may have been tweaking the specifics, they still see fit to retain their retro sound, taking on The Beach Boys’ good naturedness and knack for melody (a la Pet Sounds) and the best of 60s pop, adding Ween-ish like vocals, and the spaceiness and sonic of The Flaming Lips (particularly Transmissions From a Satellite Heart), melding an eye for imagery, a philosophical voice, and an irony that’s all their own, and fusing it all to an Elephant 6 aesthetic.

Though throughout The Modal Lines the production tends to be clearer than in the past, Teel and Stephens’ voices weave in and out of an otherworldly concoction of selective guitars, sitar, bells, tympani, strings, and drums, sometimes ending up caught and bogged down in an undertow, only to eventually remerge in a revelatory bout of chorus or tangent, that is, in many aspects, almost Joycian. For instance, near the end of the song “Hudson Bay Drive,” Jetenderpaul diverges from the melody, winds down, and drifts into a secondary chorus of “However veiled by silence, however cluttered by things, this stillness is illusion, this distance is vanishing. Like stairs inverted by lovers, like snowy boots by the door, this world awaits our motion, holds us together evermore…” in some ways reminiscent of, say Joyce’s Araby, were only the boy to be surprised by joy instead of shaming emptiness. And, really, that’s the thing about Jetenderpaul. While a tinge of happiness or optimism is almost always present in their music, it never comes off as baseless or senseless, but genuine, be it in throwback to Pet Sounds songs like “All I Wanted to Remember,” and “Before You Became Princess Belltower,” in the wry ebullience of “Our Future’s Passed,” the subtle, yet infectious surreptitiousness of “Bonaventure (A Prototype),” or the simmering reviviscence in “Twenty-One.”

While it’s definitely arguable that 99’s The Woolen Spires (Velvet Blue Music) is Jetenderpaul’s best work to date (they actually managed to do a Magnetic Fields song better than the Magnetic Fields), The Modal Lines, in all its brilliance, could very well be a landmark for the band that sends it off in a new direction. And we’ll see. Word has it that Jetenderpaul hopes to put out a 7” with Loch Ness Mouse of Norway sometime this spring.

- Sarah Jones

Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines
Opuszine  03/06/2001

For some reason, I've always thought of Jetenderpaul as indiedom's resident clown princes. On one level, their music is cheeky and precocious, full of a pop whimsy that seems part Sid and Marty Krofft, part Wendy Carlos, and part Sgt. Pepper. It's almost as if these guys have nothing better to do than record pop music that's as skewed as possible, and yet still remain catchy and listenable. As such, it's hard not to write this off as just yet another album of psych-pop, complete with analog noodling, electronic flourishes, and baroque undercurrents... oh yeah, and painfully gangly odes to love and girls. But repated listens reveal a little more.

First off, these guys know how to write solid pop hooks that are so sugary and sweet your teeth will rot. I challenge you to listen to this album and not start nodding your head, tapping your foot, or humming along with that little synth melody that you find noodling along throughout the song, or that peculiar vocal hook that pushes its head above the lo-fi-ness of it all. On top of that, Jetenderpaul isn't afraid to experiment. No, they're not the first band to incorporate strange instruments and orchestral flourishes into their sound, and they won't be the last... but they know how and when to do it effectively, and you might even find yourself smiling at just how inventive it can sound.

"Before You Became Princess Belltower" starts off with winsome electronic flutterings, but I know you won't be expecting those breakbeats to jump in and give the song a kick in the butt. "The Piles Of Paper Left By You" may be reminiscent of John Lennon; however, that's immediately followed by the spacey electronics and disco beats of "Bonaventure (A Prototype)" and the hazy psychedelia of "George Gabelson". Unfortunately, that same playfulness within songs gives the album a fragmented feel about it. It bears well under close inspection, but sometimes all of those strange little quirks get a little much during casual listening. This is an album that works best with a set of headphones and a healthy sense of whimsy.

On the whole, the album often sounds like a "Switched On Bach" record being deconstructed and rebuilt as a radio-friendly pop album... or if "The Soft Bulletin" hadn't been so darn symphonic. And be sure to throw in a few cheeky lyrics about love and girls. You know... boy falls in love with girl, boy spends all day pining and writing cheesy poetry, boy turns cheesy poetry into bedroom pop songs recorded on a 4-track ("When you're in love, never mind what you may be missing/When you're in love, all the time hugging and kissing"). And while you're at it, throw in some subtle and offbeat references to Christian theology ("Twenty-One") to make it even wierder and deeper.

Even though I might have labelled them as "clown princes", there is an earnestness to "The Modal Lines" that you won't find in many such bands. The vocals may not be polished, but there's an awkwardness about the way they sing lines like "But if you break my heart in two, I don't know what I will do/And if you break my heart that way, I'll be the first to step away/" ("All I Wanted To Remember") that makes you want to go "Awwww" instead of "Ewwww". And if the lyrics aren't exactly your cup of tea, I'm sure you'll find plenty of fascinating things wading through Jetenderpaul's sonic collage.

Related Artists
• The Flaming Lips
• Neutral Milk Hotel

-Jason Morehead

Jetenderpaul The Modal Lines
Burnt Toast Vinyl/VainGlorious Home Recordings
13 tracks/34:12
Stranger Things Magazine Feb 1, 2001

I first heard Jetenderpaul by picking up their first CD, Trying Signals, in a used bin. Everybody seemed to be talking about this pop band from Olathe, Kansas. On first listen, (what I thought was) I heard four Brian Wilson wanna-be's stuck in some guy's bedroom with a recording budget of twenty bucks. If hooks are the thing that stick out in your mind after you've heard a song, Jetenderpaul's hooks were dorky bleeps on analogue synthesizers and surf guitar riffs stuck in a blender. And what made Trying Signals seem even more like a novelty was the fact that none of the songs lasted nearly as long as it took me to pour milk into a bowl of Wheaties.

After two full-length albums, one EP, and more side projects than guests in Lincoln Bedroom, the quartet from Olathe really haven't changed much. The band still has a quirky, indie-pop sound similar to Guided by Voices, Papas Fritas, or The Flaming Lips with small budgets. The band still plays that post-psychedelic, surf-rock-meets-the-Beatles-in-a-back-alley sound. But their songs have grown much longer (except for the first song, "The Design") and feel more like "real" songs rather than a handful of goofy novelties.

There are just so many great spots on this record. After one listen, I couldn't keep lines from "A Readjustment" from running through my mind. Say these things are true/ Say that we've been comin' through/ It's all I ever do. In songs like "Our Future's Passed," the band shows that they can write bouncy pop tunes with occasional profound thoughts. They sing, We both know that the future may be shattered by the time we spend reliving the past.

To make an already brilliant album better, Jetenderpaul gives us a music video for "Our Future's Passed" on the CD. The video is just as fun as the music, and it's a rare opportunity for fans to actually see the band (since most indie bands don't get exposure on television). The only drawback to The Modal Lines is that it's freezing cold here in Kansas City, and I can't play this in my car with the windows rolled down.

Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines
Action Attack Helicopter

by Kurt Morris

I have been familiar with Jetenderpaul's antics for quite some time now. I used to hang out at the same message board on the internet with Jared Miller (I think he plays guitar) and even witnessed a couple of Jetenderpaul live shows. Do you like Guided By Voices, the Beach Boys, or a wide variety of pop oldies? Then you'll probably like this. Jetenderpaul is smart and quirky and in the past it seemed that half their songs were unpronounceable and hard to follow. Now it seems that they've foregone their pseudo-intelligent pasts and are more into crafting the perfect pop songs. I'd say it's safe to say that they've succeeded. The eccentricities are still there, but the pop is even more prevalent and delicious than ever before. I really like this a lot and would advise fans of pop music to check it out, too.

Jetenderpaul Presents the Modal Lines
2000 Burnt Toast Vinyl / Vainglorious Home Recordings

Reviewed by Kindred Winecoff
Be warned: this is not the logical follow-up to The Woolen Spires. Anyone expecting the by-now-patented Jetenderpaul formula of less than one-minute songs, bizarre song titles, ambitious liner notes, cheap 4-track recordings, and muddily layered sounds should check their baggage at the door. This record is clean, premeditated, developed, distinct, and polished (to a certain degree).  And the result is easily one of the better indie-pop records so far this year.

Because of the differences from more traditional Jetenderpaul records, The Modal Lines was first conceived as a sort of side project for the band, with the name The Modal Lines being pre-eminent, and Jetenderpaul in the background, if present at all. The album was to contain more traditional, two minute pop songs, recorded in a more clean format and bundled with a multimedia video portion on the disc (the multimedia portion is still intended, but problems with the distributor have left the initial copies of The Modal Lines video-less). Gone are obscure song titles such as "I'll Always Be the One in Need of a Palinode" and "Our Epic Banality," replaced with the relative normality of "The Design," "Twenty-One," and "All I Wanted to Remember." The 17 second bursts of sound on such tracks as "It's All Chicanery" are replaced on The Modal Lines by fully developed pop songs like "Before You Become Princess Belltower." The Elephant 6 style, 4-track-in-a-bedroom recording ethic present in all of Jetenderpaul's previous releases seems obsolete when faced with the (by comparison) slick production on The Modal Lines.

But enough of what this record isn't. The Modal Lines offers the best pop songs of Jetenderpaul's career. The songs rely heavily on melody, as always, and Randall Stephens and Jared Miller deliver vocal lines with the sort of intelligence that demonstrates clearly that the boys have done their pop music homework. It's a clever mix of the classic — such as the Beach Boys — with the current — Apples (in stereo). A rewarding listen all the way around, and easily more than good enough to cut through the sudden glut of indie/retro-pop bands and records, and distinguish Jetenderpaul as one of the best pop groups going.

JETENDERPAUL "presents the modal lines" CD (burnt toast vinyl)
Slide the Needle

This is kind of like the review I just did for Hopewell. Floaty drifty and drifty space rock type stuff that just make you want to shoegaze. This is more head bopping than anything else. catchy catchy catchy, and lots of effects and organs and such. 13 songs and you even get a video on the CD, so they're giving you your moneys worth by packing it to it's fullest extent, rad.

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires CD
Mod Magazine

Quirky lo-fi pop used to be a staple of the Inland Empire diet made famous by labels like Shrimper and bands like the Mountain Goats and Nothing Painted Blue. Somehow the quirkiness of Soul Junk and The Danielson Family have creeped into the SoCal power supply and we get a mixture of frenetic indie rock ideas in a jumbalaya of the quartet modality. Short songs burst upon the stereo, fleetingly noodle around, and escape long before one can grasp their meaning, leaving you always wanting more. (VBM/Burnt Toast Vinyl 9121 Atlanta Ave. Ste. 237 Huntington Beach, CA 92246)

-Keith York

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires Burnt Toast Vinyl/Velvet Blue Music (CD)
Splendid e-zine, July 3, 2000 (Dowers Grove, Illinois)

Jetenderpaul are influenced by the best in sixties pop (the Beatles' Rubber Soul and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds), as well as the Elephant 6 Collective, whose retro revisionism is probably the best trend in music  today. Following an EP and their more lo-fi debut, Trying Signals: The Histrionics of Suggestion, the band's second full-length finds the group brimming with a variety of melodic songs, from the perfectly rocking "It's All Chicanery" (with its urgent chorus of "Rock and roll is here to stay") to explorations of Of Montreal craziness in "The Song Admiral Dutchdoor Sang" ("All I want you to do is go shooby doo doo"), and "The (Long-Titled) Phenomological" song, which predicts that it's gonna be "a slurpy, burpy, wurpy day".

Of Montreal, surprisingly, seem to be one of the most influential groups these days, but on The Woolen Spires Jetenderpaul more often capture the spirit of the vocal-enhanced songs on the Olivia Tremor Control's debut -- such as "Our Epic Banality", a ballad which closes in a similar vein to the OTC's "NYC-25". The music is far less dense, and doesn't have as much going for it as an Olivias track, but it's a bare, lo-fi style that many people prefer. Whatever your desires in music, though, they will most probably be satisfied by Jetenderpaul. The Kansas-based band loves -- and seldom tires of -- short, tight melodies.

When they do change their pace, Jetenderpaul have the muscle to make those songs work too, as in "Road to Damascus". This is one of their more overtly Christian songs, in which strong lyrics are set against more free-flowing, less structured rhythms. I didn't really want to talk about the "Christian" element until now, but Jetenderpaul have proven that, like Pedro the Lion (as well as fellow members of the Velvet Blue Music label), strong indie music need not be limited to a secular sheen. While artists like Mark Heard, Sam Phillips, Vigilantes of Love and Pierce Pettis have already proven that you can make great Christian songs -- it just takes talent -- there have been so many embarrassing "alternative" Christian acts that it's pretty understandable if anyone forgot God could enter a lyric without turning the tune to crap. As with Pedro the Lion, Jetenderpaul's spiritual moments are a bit on the melancholy, reflective side, without the rousing sort of choruses a Rich Mullins would have provided. It means the band won't get played in church, but in bars, which is where good rock-and-roll like "Drowning My Faith" probably should play.

While fuller production would flesh out the band's sound to better effect, there are some super moments on Woolen Spires, and none is more grand than "Much More Than Glimmering Eyes", which goes for high drama and gets it through a beautiful melody and equally beautiful lyrics ("If I could be a little less weak, so I could carry the dying in you"). It helps raise Jetenderpaul up among the best new bands with a jones for the sixties.

-Theodore Defosse

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires
$6.99/lb Spring/Summer 2000 (Somerville, Massachusetts)

Reminds me of my favorite Oldies songs all blended together with some modern sensibilities. Listening to this is like driving on a summer afternoon, top down, with the best A.M. station on. These songs lift you up and take you away. My pick of the issue.
by EB

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires
The Copper Press v. 3 (Gaylord, Michigan)

From their four-track pulpit these reclusive Kansans creak and crackle to concoct an upbeat offering to listeners based loosely in His name.  Bible study this is not, unless the instructor is a member of the late, great lo-fi dreamers, Further or at least understands a thing or two about earthly realities like fuzzy guitars, noodling melodies, warbling organs, whistling keyboards, tinny drums and vocals just a touch of reverb.  But hey, maybe he would, after all, all praise and glory...  Weird and wired without withholding the jams at the expense of some aloof artiness, The Woolen Spires is a mix-and-match, cut-and-paste affair of home recorded oddities and lo-fi rockers, the latter certain to get the toes tappin' and the former serving to get the head a-scratchin'.  These are perfect pop songs forever gone astray once they leave the boys' heads and become ensconced on the recorder.  Gems, all.

- Steve Brydges

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires
Beikoku-Ongaku, v. 14 (Tokyo, Japan)

Cover art is risky, but music itself its amazing! Like "Korgis and M. Newell were united, and K.G. Wonder + GBV were possessed by it" or something...various pop flavors that were twisted, in a good way.  Awesome band! From Kansas.  This is their 2nd. This is my first time to listen to their music, but I suddenly thought they're so talented! Very dark hourse. You should listen to this record!


Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires
national JETBUNNY magazine, Issue 7 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
by DLG

This disc is, as far as I'm concerned, the reason that four tracks were made. When songs are as well crafted as this, little recordings like this, made in someone's dimly lit bedroom somewhere, a brilliant discovery. I must say also that I have to giggle when Elephant 6 noodlers like Olivia Tremor Control, Of Montreal and The Music Tapes get beaten at their own game this badly. I mean how much better is the experiment when the solution is actually worth listening to? I'll get off the soapbox now. One thing that's admirable about The Woolen Spires is that it's dense, but still very clear. Lots of stuff going on, but melodies are precise and memorable. Quite silly and stupid one minute, cool and punchy the next, and introspective soon after that. "The Sigh That You Aimed At Me," on it's own covers all of these bases in under 2 ½ minutes. Somewhat like Godspell,hints at an ironic spiritual side lend to the ability Jetenderpaul has to come up with something weighty and heartfelt out of very whimsical elements like Ween-y vocals and fleeting cheap casiotone overdubs. Also, there isn't one song on The Woolen Spires with a one word title. Instead you get titles that sound like GBV lyrics : "I'll Always Be The One In Need Of A Palinode," and "When Will We Dance In Golden Gowns." Yes. I like this one. It's really good.

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires
The G-Note 2/19/00 (Gainesville, Florida)

Jetenderpaul is: Bobby Cave, Jared Miller, Jeff Teel, Randall Stephens

Jetenderpaul is actually based in Kansas, however vocalist Randall Stephens studies at UF and runs a small record label out of Gainesville called Vainglorious [Home] Recordings.The Woolen Spires is Jetenderpaul's fourth release. The CD booklet contains many seemingly random illustrations and captions much like the Beatle's Magical Mystery Tour record sleeve.  Jetenderpaul's style is equally confusing. Just as you think you may understand where they are going, a strange non-sequiter comes out of nowhere. The songs can be best described as layers of sounds such as beeps, whistles, and guitars meandering in the backround behind quirky lyrics ("and though your hands are tied, turn up your radio"), or the Beatles at their trippiest.  The Woolen Spires is a lo-fi experimental record containing many cryptic allusions making it interestingly perplexing.


Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires
Exit Zine 4/16/00 (Austin, Texas)

Rating: 4.5

"Strange." That was the first word that came to my mind as I listened to  this album. I had never heardJetenderpaul before and I was caught completely off guard by how unusual this album seemed to be. My first listen left me very perplexed, so I had to listen again. Four tries later, I am still delightfully confused.

Spires is very lo-fi, and in fact was recorded in band member Jared Miller's room. To me, the mix is gritty and at times hard to listen to, but it works. This band's love for their art is apparent in their complex and layered compositions. Most of  the tracks are fairly brief (around 2 minutes). There seems to be little concern for the usual standards of stock musical composition (tonic resolution, verse-chorus-bridge patterns, etc.), and it almost seems as if they purposely want to be unpopular.

This album is oriented towards the art/indie/vinyl market. Open-minded musical adventure seekers (and indie rock elitists) will totally love this album, but I'm afraid that the average Joe Blow will be confused and/or annoyed. (Jetenderpaul seems to be a lot like Danielson Family-either you'll love them or you'll hate them.) The general feel of many (but not all) of the tracks is of surf music, with the dreamy taste of Starflyer-ish guitars. (On their website, the band mentions  the Beach Boys among their influences, and you can certainly hear it.) There is also a definite tripped, psychedelic edge to this album.

This album is again, strange. The song titles range from three to thirteen words long and quite often have absolutely nothing to do with the story told in the lyrics. Most of the songs seem to be little snippets of emotion and thought wrapped up in a brief musical package. Quite often, I am left wondering what in the world they are talking about, but it's very fun to try to guess.

Some of the standout tracks include "It's All Chicanery" (the first song on the album-it's only 50 seconds long, yet it stands on its own as a very complete musical thought); "Epson: The Anxious Bench" (I have no idea what the lyrics of this song are about, but boy, do I love the music! It starts with the sound of an old dot matrix printer, which moves into the dreamy/surfer vein before flowing into this great 50's rock-and-roll guitar solo. It finally ends with the "aegghkkk, aeeghkk" sound of the printer again); "The Road to Damascus" (this song reminds me at moments of Starflyer 59 with the dreamy guitar riffs, but at other times it reminds me of Danielson with the rhythm and the vocal harmonies); and "The Phenomenological Rhetoric of Summer Lingers On" (despite its serious sounding name, this song is downright silly! It has one of the most memorable Danielson-ish melodies on the album).

I also have to give special mention to the last two songs. "Our Epic Banality" was probably my favorite song on the album. It starts off soft and gentle with- "In the morning when I whisper your name, it sounds like leaves dancing in the rain. / And when I see you, I know I won't contain these feelings, These longings again. / So today, let the people say, Let them know that we're in love." Then it moves into a slow-but-heavy guitar thing that sounds like Pep Squad or maybe SF59 on the Americana album with the lines- "We're in love, We're in love, / Do you really think that makes us something?"

What does it all mean? You got me, but I really dig it.

Also the hidden track (which I'll call "Those days are gone") was a very touching song that really connected with me. This song's pop melody and sad lyrics do a good job of describing what it feels like to look back on what you thought was love.

Finally, I can't forget to mention the album art. It is the best I have seen in a long time. It is so mysterious and
thought-provoking. I especially like the Victorian era comics that make no sense, but yet maybe in a weird way do make sense. My one criticism is that it would be cool if they had the album lyrics somewhere. (They're not even on the website.) These lyrics are so unusual, I would love to be able to read them and contemplate their deep inner meaning (or lack thereof).

-James M. Branum

JETENDERPAUL The Woolen Spires
Skyway # 8 (W. Chester, Pennsylvania)

"You'll always be the one," croons a typically pathetic/romantic indie rock geek five minutes into Jetenderpaul's sophomore album.  The sentiment is just as familiar as the band's sixties-by-way-of-Elephant 6 worship, delivered in the form of marching drum beats, fuzzy guitar hooks, thick swirls of layered sounds, and lots of other stuff that could have been lifted straight off the first Elf Power record.  But although they're not too terribly original, these Kansas boys can pen great two-minute anthems and ballads with an ease that's actually worthy of that Denver collective.  Over the course of seventeen tunes (nary a clunker in the bunch), their deep mixing bowl of decent influences frequently overflows with enough humor and high spirits to bring a bright smile to my cynical face.  Even the hidden Magnetic Fields cover (practically a rite of passage for every young college rock band) at the end is more inspired than contrived, turning old-school Merritt ("The Saddest Story Ever Told) into a pogo-ready rocket of effervescence.  And really, the more fun Jetenderpaul have, the better they sound. (Velvet Blue / Vainglorious / Burnt Toast)

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires 1999 Velvet Blue Music & Burnt Toast Vinyl
Bandoppler Dec. 1999 (Olympia, Washington)

Lo-Fi, Blue Tone, and other such technical and abstract elements are charismatically wed to pop sensibilities and smart song-writing on The Woolen Spires by a band called Jetenderpaul. The song variety and selection on this album are in themselves a case study in the esoteric, forging beyond that leads one into a prosaic delirium of obscene levels. To put it simply, Jetenderpaul is very unique, very erratic, and way too creative to digest in one sitting.

Essentially, what you get with Jetenderpaul is a magnificent exhibition of indie-rock gone wild, grazing in the pastures of New Wave, Trance Techno, Psychedelic Rock, and carefully composed Pop. Sometimes you have soothing ear candy, sometimes you have pulsating walls of hair-raising reverb. And often you have both at the same time. After a proper adjustment period to the dichotomous sonic nature, what you are left with are inviting tales of love, whimsy, and reflection, sarcastic deprication, and bouts of quirky defiance.

To give a more blue collar description of The Woolen Spires, I would say that Jetenderpaul is possibly what you would get if you exposed They Might Be Giants to an extreme amount of gamma rays. The character and masked vulnerability present on this album is touching and enjoyable, outdone only in the shadow of its musical innovation and experiment. Jetenderpaul seeks to write the perfect pop song, but instead takes pop to a mystic plain where perfection suddenly seems an unworthy goal, and then descends frequently to catch the listener's soul up into its placid, angstful grasp.

Find this album, listen to it at least five times, and then just try to
shelve it. I have a feeling that even if you manage the feat, you will soon be drawn back for one of many more dips into its enigmatic purity.

-Treble Bandoppler

Jetenderpaul - The Woolen Spires Vainglorious/Velvet Blue/Burnt Toast,
Flygirl Nov. 1999 (West Milford, New Jersey)

Jetenderpaul is all out pop soaked in a lof-fi feel complete with distorted vocals, sound fx, and tongue-in-cheek commentary on relationships or maybe they're serious I can’t really tell.  It’s definitely a lot of fun and recalls the feel of the Beach Boys and other sounds coming out of oldies radio. These are very short songs and there are many curious electronic sounds thrown around from song to song.  In general Jetenderpaul makes good use of sound effects on guitars and vocals in ways that you don’t see much of.  Like all good oldies tunes Jetenderpaul make use of the staple "shoo-bop" harmonies in "The Song Admiral Dutchdoor Sang".  With clever song titles and lyrics one gets the feeling that Jetenderpaul has something to say beyond what is seen on the surface.  But what that is is a little vague and perhaps unintended-which of course isn’t a bad thing.  In the process they do a good job to get you thinking and bopping your head to their candy.  This is a three way release on Vainglorious Home Recordings, Velvet Blue Music and Burnt Toast Vinyl.

-Jai Agnish

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires CD,
Kickbright Oct. 1999 (Orlando, Florida)

In a sentence: Quirky lo-fi indierock along the lines of Mathlete, Guided By Voices and The Flaming Lips with some serious electronics going on.  Its overall cleverness makes me giggle. These guys are having fun. It's so easy for music like this to get bogged down. This is odd and diverse [enough] to hold my rapt attention.  There's even a Magnetic Fields cover ("The Saddest Story Ever Told").  Jetenderpaul Webpage. Vainglorious Home Recordings/Velvet Blue/Burnt Toast. 318 UVS #5, Gainesville, FL 32603. Email:

Jetenderpaul The Woolen Spires Vainglorious Home Recordings /
Burnt Toast Vinyl / Velvet Blue Music
True Tunes News (Aurora, Illinois)

Christendom's resident masters of tweaked lo-fi indie pop are back at it. It took months longer than projected and it eventually took three separate labels chipping in to get it done but Jetenderpaul have finally completed and released The Woolen Spires, their second full length release, and it was well worth the wait. It was clear right from their debut release that Jetenderpaul had all the tools of the great indie rock bands: great pop hooks, a lo-fi recording aesthetic that would do the Elephant Six recording collective proud, and a novel approach to instrumentation and arrangement. If there was a knock on Jetenderpaul in the past, however, it was that they were a little too tweaked, a little too scattered. That problem has been amply addressed here as the Woolen Spires is far more focused than past work and somehow manages a clean fusion of the band's diverse influences. The same influences that marked Jetenderpaul's debut record are here in spades ­ hooky pop songs that seldom if ever break the two minute mark; the distinct trashy ambience that can only be achieved by recording your album in your bedroom (this is intended as a compliment, by the way); shades of Dinosaur Jr., Guided by Voices, They Might Be Giants and the Elephant Six bands ­ but the band is quickly growing into their own voice. The increased use of synthetics (at least one member of Jetenderpaul is also in Britannika ­ they're a little cagey on the subject of side projects) is an excellent touch and if it's possible to further tighten up a songwriting style that considers two and a half minutes to be an epic length, they've done it. An excellent sophomore release.

-Todd Brown

JETENDERPAUL, The Woolen Spires, Velvet Blue Music/Burnt Toast Vinyl/Vainglorious Recordings 17 tracks / 38:57
Stranger Things Magazine

The long wait for Jetenderpaul's sophomore record, delayed by manufacturing woes for almost two years, has finally come to an end, thanks to the cooperative effort of three labels with enough commitment to music to take on such a project. It doesn't take long into the opening song of the record - which rather cleverly introduces the album almost like a short theme song for a sitcom would - to determine that this is not for everyone. Their quirky lo-fi sound and eccentric lyrics that will leave you reaching for a Webster's to comprehend is something many people would probably just turn off at first listen. But that is also what is so appealing about them. Any band that can cause such a reaction is clearly doing something different and original, which will often earn them critical acclaim in place of widespread popularity.

With The Woolen Spires, Jetenderpaul has matured to the point where that acclaim might be expected. They stick to the whole lo-fi recording approach, but where their first record trailed off into unfocused and even boring directions, the new record is filled with hooks and well-constructed songs that have potential to stick with even the people who dislike the band. After all, they are a pop band at heart, with an obvious leaning toward the Beach Boys and the Beatles. Like many of the bands in the Elephant 6 coterie (Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, Beulah, Neutral Milk Hotel), they challenge pop music and convention, taking it to a whole new level.

On this record especially, the influence of the Elephant 6 bands and a number of other ands is very obvious. But like all those bands do so well, they take their influences and then expand on them, avoiding possible "rip-off" accusations. A Magnetic Fields cover tune at album's end renders further explanations unneccesary: the members of Jetenderpaul are themselves music lovers at heart, making music out of their intense love of challenging music both past and present.

-Matthew Ralph

Jetenderpaul, Don't Look Down (Velvet Blue Music) (CD, Meltdown, Pop)
Baby Sue June 1998 (Atlanta, Georigia)

I was particularly glad to get my hands on this disc, because this band's last CD had me quite perplexed. This one has the same basic effect. Jetenderpaul is a blurry, semi-psychedelic home recording experiment...or at least that's what they sound like. The band's music has an odd spontaneous feel to it. It's almost like listening to a band that has just learned how to play their instruments. There's no verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus pattern to these tunes. Instead these folks present hazy images that constantly change and evolve. The song titles say it all: "Her Baroque Syntax," "Chugga-Chugga, Mr. Chomsky," "On the Frivolous Use of Seventeenth Century Bookends." While this disc is not for everyone, the curious and adventurous will find some choice morsels here...

Jetenderpaul, Trying Signals: The Histrionics of Suggestion Velvet Blue Music
True Tunes News 1997

If Jetenderpaul had not decided to name themselves after one member's grade-school girlfriend, they would have done well to wrestle for the rights of the name Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet.  Everything about the band is clouded in a sort of bizarre esoteric mystery, be it the title of their first full-length record or the fact that the song titles have no bearing on their lyrics (like "The Maracas of Suspicion"), or the fact that most of the lyrics describe some bizarre paralleled reality ("your looking at my haircut and my haircut's looking right your way").  Jetenderpaul revels in the bizarre, and most of the brainy silliness found on Trying Signals pays off.

By far the lowest of all lo-fi bands, Jetenderpaul employs no studio gimmickry whatsoever.  Most of Randy Stephens vocals sound as if they were recorded on a portable boom box, as do the trendy-trebly guitars and casio drum machine percussion.  The technique serves to distance the band from the listener, compounding the sense of mystery . . . The deliberately sparse guitar work of Stephens and Jeff Teel is augmented by Jared Miller's well-placed bells, whistles and keyboards, serving to both add personality and up the band's quirk factor significantly.  This low-tech rock is a tricky roe to hoe, but Jetenderpaul has the skill and inventiveness to pull it all together.

Wisely, Jetenderpaul keeps its songs short enough to make Guided By Voices repertoire look like "Inna Gadda Da Vida" by comparison.  The longest song on Trying Signals is a scant 2:33, with the shortest being just seconds long.  This does not prevent the band from fully realizing their ideas; "Don't Look Down," among others, manages to squeeze ample "verse/chorus/verse" into 1:44, though some scattered songs do come off a bit half-baked.

 Jetenderpaul doesn't play from the heart; they play from the spleen.  Their 26 eccentric little children dodder off in all sorts of directions, but most of them manage to say something worth listening to, if only for an intended chuckle or two.  By the end of Trying Signals, you don't feel like you know any of the personalities behind Jetenderpaul any better, but you're happy to visit their shadowy planet just the same.  If nothing else, there aren't too many other places you can find a "Word Perfect Gigolo."

-J. Edward Keyes

JETENDERPAUL - Trying Signals: The Histrionics of Suggestion (CD, Velvet Blue,
Peculiar pop) Baby Sue November 1997

I can size up most CDs after one listen. This one took several listens, and I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. Jetenderpaul sounds like a home recorded project made with little regard for sales or radio airplay. The tunes are stream of consciousness pop music with jagged and sometimes skewed edges. Featuring over 20 tunes (!), the compositions on this CD go all over the place while generally staying within the boundaries of pop music. This is definitely a disc that does NOT sound like all the rest. This is a VERY good thing... (Rating: 4)

Jetenderpaul, Kalypso Velvet Blue Music
Pitch Weekly, March 6-12, 1997(Kansas City, Missouri)

With an odd name like Jetenderpaul, one might imagine that some interesting music lies in wait, and boy oh boy would they be correct.  This recently new Kansas City outfit demonstrates how they were able to persuade the Huntington Beach, CA, label Velvet Blue to release this project with some magic that is out of this world.  With a touch of loungy, flower power pop and a bit of shoegazer to bring it up to date, Jetenderpaul comes across like a smooth, jazzy porno soundtrack with the ability to pump out peppy pop when deemed necessary.  Xylophones and dreamy vocals help give this material an uncommon feel and makes it one of the more interesting pieces of work to come down the pike in quite some time.

-Shane P. Dolbier

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