Hey, just a quick update on what's going on in the Jawbreaker world...
The last bulletin I posted mentioned the Unfun remaster. I am going back down to LA this weekend to do it again. There were “flutters” in that first pass, which is a techie way of saying that gummy leader tape splices between the songs made the beginnings and endings sound like they had been drinking, which is a longwinded way of saying that it was fucked up, though no fault of the Man Himself John Golden. Unfun will be available online through the usual providers and in stores in early 2009 on Blackball Records. Extras will include the 7" mix of Busy and alternate mixes of Want and Fine Day. The CD and LP will be available exclusively at Hot Topic for the first few months of release, and then will go out to the mom and pops. Hot Topic, you ask? I said it. They have been incredibly supportive these past few years, stocking our records and shirts in all of their stores. Jawbreaker swag doesn't make it into a lot of national chains, so I'm happy that it's out there where kids can get to it. They recently added Etc. (the b-sides, singles and out-takes compilation with Kiss the Bottle). So if you happen to live out in the boonies, or your indie store just bit the dust of the download revolution, and you still like having something in your hands to peruse-- they carry our stuff. And while you're at the mall, why not visit Starbucks for a refreshing caffeinated beverage, and perhaps pick up a pair of pleated khaki slacks at the Gap? Ah, that's better...
A lot of the myspace people are asking me about the status of the documentary that Tim Irwin and Keith Schieron (We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen) are making. I'd say they are halfway there. Like I said before, these guys have real jobs (and a new kid-- congrats, Keith!) and are making this movie catch-as-catch-can on their own dime, to mix idioms. We just got copies of the Dear You masters and they are going to interview Rob Cavallo next and have him go through a couple of songs.
Which brings me to sad news. Jerry Finn, our friend who mixed Dear You, passed away last month. I do not feel qualified to eulogize Jerry-- we worked with him all too briefly back in 1995. But our time was intimate, and we kept in touch via email over the years. I considered him a friend and ally. The last time we were in contact I begged him to be in our movie. But Jerry wasn't comfortable patting himself on the back in an on camera interview. I think he was content to let the music do the talking, as it were. That's a smooth character right there. Or maybe he just didn't want to give up any of his studio secrets (I'll divulge one here: to keep morale up, when greeting the still reeling from signing to a major label band, say, "Hey, Little Fighters!" That'll do the trick.) So the next time you hear a song made in the last fifteen years that punches you in the stomach while kissing you on the lips, you have Jerry Finn to thank.
I don’t like to speak for my fellow Jbs. I‘ll hand it over to Blake and send a Chris update when I hear from him…
A Note/Update from Blake Schwarzenbach:
Because I am bad at speaking about myself but excel at projecting my identity onto others and then destroying them I will be brief. I am currently defending my master’s thesis at Hunter College in Manhattan, making music in an as yet unnamed group, and fighting with words on Facebook (it’s an all ages page, meaning you don’t have to be a ‘friend’ to read it; although I think you do need an account, which is free and relatively non-invasive. Come on by!)
My thesis is on Percy Bysshe Shelley, who appears to have gotten almost everything right and paid dearly for it. The paper focuses on Shelley’s technique of pushing metaphor until all connection between sign and signified is shattered and either some new truth declares itself or a sublime vacuum opens up and we are confronted with the void. Exciting stuff, I assure you, especially when one considers that he was a fiercely principled Republican (in the 18th century meaning of the term: friend of suffrage and the French Revolution, foe of monarchy and moneyed interests), an atheist, a vegetarian, and a wild-eyed beauty in verse. What’s not to celebrate? Well, as it happens, he was universally ignored, reviled, humiliated or suppressed and died in exile. So, this is what I devote my academic energies to, which brings into even starker relief the historically blind trammeling and dismemberment of the U.S. constitution that has gone on these past eight years.
Musically, and I think maybe I can speak more clearly about this, I feel as though I am emerging from a kind of muted, reflective nuclear winter. It’s awkward to talk about one’s own music since that is what we ask the music to do; so I’ll say only that it meets my own inner-standard of truth. I believe in it enough to overcome my own fear of making it. Hopefully we’ll find a bassist (a woman, over 30, who rides a bike and can resolve any dictionary disputes that might arise between the drummer and myself) and come to a town near you.
Finally, thank you friends and enthusiasts of Jawbreaker. We did this thing for a long time in the dark – as all bands must – and it is gratifying to hear of younger people finding the band and getting it. The goal was always to connect with others and that seems to have happened so I think we can all claim success in that project.