Do you know what today is? It’s been a long time, and I’ll tell you why: it’s August 11.

The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar began on August 11 in 3114 BC. Been a long time. And it feels like it’s been that long that we’ve been waiting for the Bay Area’s own Jawbreaker to get back together.

Jawbreaker made achingly smart punch-yourself-in-the-face and brush-your-teeth-until-your-gums-bleed rock music in the 1990s. Their music and words and actions touched a lot of people who have enough inside them to feel things, and then, after one major-label release, the band burned out like a candle.

And now they’re back. By my count it’s been a long time, and we are lucky enough to be alive to see it happening.

Speaking of waiting for things, let’s talk about this week’s concerts. Here’s what we’ve got coming up this week in the Bay Area: genius-level skills, classically-styled skills, and sports skills.

So now, yes, let’s preview this week’s concerts now. Start the preview and the preview is starting. Let’s start this preview now and here we go. Preview time goooo.

[read the whole post]


"Anarchy burger! / Hold the government!" - The Vandals

This Saturday in Oakland, plenty of this.

We’re in the final weekend of Coachella 2016, and the consequent Fauxchella 2016 shows are coming our way. What’s Fauxchella? It’s when you can see a band that’s also scheduled at Coachella but without actually having to go to Coachella.

This week in The Bay Area we have old stars, old studio guys, old smoky guys, montage anchorpoints, as much anarchy as you’d like, and a band that just went ahead and named themselves California.

And previews. Preview time. Let’s preview. [read the whole post]


Jawbreaker in their natural environment:  the Mission District

Jawbreaker in their natural environment: the Mission District

There is no pain greater than that caused by a relationship’s dead future.

The agony is nearly unspeakable. All the best hopes and promises that a person could possibly have — dashed. Irretrievable. Yet the memories of sweetness linger and haunt, ever out of reach.

With “Sluttering (May 4th),” the band Jawbreaker ink around the outlines of what it is like to feel this specific pain and the particular interpersonal agonies that go along with it: the machinations that can occur, the sheer hurt, the recriminations, the kissoffs (both real and imagined), and where hope goes after all that.

Defined by the writer of the lyrics, Blake Schwarzenbach, the word itself means “pontification under duress and/or a kind of drunk muttering.”

And as the song’s chorus whipsaws in, Blake’s voice climbs meticulously across the syllables of what it sounds like to know that the person who was once with you is now with someone else:

slow dance alone with no one to the sound of four hands clapping / congratulations to you both I hope somewhere you’re happy / if there’s a moral to this story, then I wish you’d show me

Today is May 4. It is Sluttering Day. Listen to the song. And if you can help it, don’t break anyone’s heart.

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