Dynasty Part III

Posted by on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

If someone put a gun to my head and told me to confess which songwriter was my favorite, I would probably blurt out, "Blake Schwarzenbach."

In high school I had a friend at church named Kelly Clark who politely told me the music I listened to wasn't great (I still don't fully agree with that) and introduced me to some great bands including Jets to Brazil and Jawbreaker. I downloaded JTB's "Sweet Avenue" (maybe using limewire, maybe not) and liked it enough to buy JTB's Orange Rhyming Dictionary. At that point I still had a Sony Walkman (the CD variety) that enabled me to listen to it constantly even at my family's expense. I think what really struck me about the album was Blake's lyrics didn't flow like a song but more like a short story or something. It didn't surprise me when I heard he eventually wound up teaching English at Hunter College in NYC.

Kelly and her older brother eventually viewed me as a musical makeover or something and gave me a bunch of burned CDs including Jawbreaker's 24 Hour Revenge Therapy and Dear You; the other albums making up this dynasty. I remember enjoying both but my brain can only handle so much new music at one time so I'd always return to Orange Rhyming Dictionary.

Post-mission I met one Aaron Patrick McGregor (the same man who paid tribute to Jawbreaker's "The Boat Dreams from the Hill" by dressing up as the U.S.S. Schwarzenbach for Halloween) with whom I'd discuss music all the time and Blake and Jawbreaker eventually came up. He spoke so highly of 24 Hour Revenge Therapy and Dear You I thought I'd better refresh my memory of these two classics. Needless to say, I loved them so much that if you've ever spent much time with Aaron and I together you probably know we randomly burst into the opening lines of "Boxcar" on a consistent basis.

24 Hour Revenge Therapy is as gloriously angsty as its title implies, making it an all-time classic.

As far as Dear You is concerned, just when you thought the album couldn't get any better (I'd probably have to call it my favorite emo album, period) they use a few lines from Christopher Walken for one of the song intros.

Mr. Schwarzenbach recently released a full-length with his new project, forgetters. Here's hoping it grows on me as much as these others have.

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