with Jawbox at The Middle East Cafe
by J. Hoben
9:17 p.m., October 18
I arrived at the Middle East with an extra ticket and a smile on my face. The occasion: My first time seeing Jawbox in almost a year. Damn, I missed those crazy kids. Anyway, I missed the first band (a nasty habit of mine lately) but was just in the nick of time for the second band: Brainiac. In my opinion, several things must be said about these cats: They scared me, they confused me, and finally, they impressed me (in that Nation of Ulysses “we’re-dangerous-on-a-level-you-don’t-understand” way). Noise, innovation, and a blatant two-thumbs-up from the crowd.
Jawbox took the stage, amped and ready at a little after eleven. They opened up with “Jackpot Plus,” the first of many crowd-consuming ditties in their no-time-to-rest set. To be honest, I’ve seen them play much better; at least with less forgotten lyrics and voice cracks. Essentially, it really doesn’t matter. Even with three broken arms and a serious drug problem, Jawbox would out-rock the average band on their best day.
They played a good, healthy set consisting of almost everything from For Your Own Special Sweetheart, and a few older tunes from Grippe and Novelty. With the exception of slightly over-reverbed vocals, the sound was excellent and the music was tighter than your Grandpa’s handshake. Sure they may be “getting old,” but Jawbox was, is, and always will be a force to be reckoned with.