Jawbox reunited, even if temporary, is better than 90% of modern music

Tonight, one of my all-time favorite bands reunited for a one-off performance on the Jimmy Fallon show. Not only did this performance allow me to forget I was wide awake at 2 in the morning with an antagonizing cold, but it reminded me of what music used to be like. Back in the old days.

There. I said it: back in the old days.

I suppose this makes me an official old dude, but truth be told, seeing Jawbox live at La Luna in Portland some 12 years ago still remains one of the top five live shows I’ve ever seen. Seeing them on Fallon tonight simply reminded me of just how amazing a live band can be when it has a unique energy, purpose and passion. Jawbox had all three in spades.

I’d by lying if I said that this doesn’t make me want to start a band and play shows again—but then I remember the thing that most likely keeps Jawbox from turning this one-off reunion into a more lasting effort: life. They have families and lives and other adult commitments now. Just like with me, gone are the days of practicing for hours on end, three or four times a week. Gone are the days of packing up and touring the country in a van and spending hours in a studio recording take after take after take to get it just right. But, mostly, gone are the days of really amazing indie rock bands. I can’t remember the last time I saw a band own a live performance like this. Granted, I don’t seem to get out to shows much at all any more—there’s that damn life thing rearing its ugly head again—but based on the music I hear coming out these days, I can’t imagine anyone bringing it quite like Jawbox could and did tonight.

So, with that, I want to thank you, Jawbox (and surprisingly, I also want to thank Jimmy Fallon for booking them), for reminding me what true indie rock is all about—and for allowing me to relive the glory days one more time. As I come to the frustrating realization that this is a part of my life that is gone and may never come back quite at the level I’d like it to, I can always relish the vicarious last hurrah of these videos as though Jawbox were my own band. And maybe that’s just enough for me.

With that, I encourage you to enjoy all three of the videos below. Gratuitously. This is what indie rock was like in the old days, and I’m not embarrassed to say that.

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