Happy Jawbreaker Day As Well!

In case you hadn't heard, today is Star Wars Day. And if you hadn't heard, I guess I should explain that today is Star Wars day because “May the fourth” sounds an awful lot like a lispy nerd who lives in his parents' basement saying “may the force” as in, “May the force be with you.” But the dork-a-thon doesn't end there as today is as important for an equally bookish group of obsessive fans for defunct indie/pop/punk band Jawbreaker.


You see, Jawbreaker's final full-length–the
absolutely-perfect-in-every-single-possible-way Dear You – contains a
track called “Sluttering (May 4th).” The song, as legend goes, is about
two exes of God, er sorry, singer/guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach, who
bond over how lame he is. Or something like that. Anyway, “Sluttering
(May 4th)” is the best song on an already amazing album. So good in fact,
that those who don't like Dear You–and most didn't when it was
released in 1995 because A. it was on a major label and B. it was “too
polished”–regard the tune as one of Jawbreaker's best. Of course, time
has a way of changing perspectives (I'm talking about you Pinkerton)
and people now regard Dear You as vital to 20something heartbreak
and angst as much as Jawbreaker's three other albums (Unfun, Bivouac and
24 Hour Revenge Therapy

No one knows why May 4 has anything to do with sluttering, a term
Schwarzenbach claims he invented to “give this state a name, this game a
guess.” But it does and we're all better for it. Except for the women,
who Schwarzenbach says could hear the song “a hundred times” and it
still “won't be enough.”

In case you were wondering, “sluttering” means “as little as your little
test.” It's a tale that the women in question “won't tell the kids
we'll never have.” All I know is, the song is a burn of the worst
variety, the kind only a bitter and perhaps angry man could write and
I'm sure glad it's not about me. As someone who just went through a
break-up I can relate to the sort of “fuck it” attitude that emerges
once a relationship is over. It was difficult enough for me to know that
my ex wasn't on the verge of killing herself because of my moving out,
but the thought of two exes bonding over their experiences with me? No
way. No thanks. That's too much to take, which is obvious heard in the
song. Luckily for me, my ex ain't writing anything nearly as awesome as
“Sluttering (May 4)” about me. Or is she?

So get out those Chesterfield Kings, kiss the bottle, talk to the girl
two grades below who had a nose ring way before it was cool, kill cops
and read Kerouac because today is a day not to lament the best band
ever's 14-year absence (P.S. When's that reunion?), but to celebrate a
trio sorely missed amongst kids who know a little too much to be into
Rise Against, dudes like me who never saw Jawbreaker (I was a teenage
hardcore punk who got into Jawbreaker literally the month after they
broke up) who wish they had been at those legendary Jabberjaw shows and
parents who saw Jawbreaker and wish their kids would turn down the
Justin Bieber. Like John Reis says on Rocket from the Crypt's live
farewell disc (and I'm paraphrasing here), if you ever feel nostalgic,
just put on a record and Jawbreaker (and in Reis' case, Rocket from the
Crypt) will be in that room with you. If ever such a day existed, today
is it.

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