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Monday, June 09, 2008

Insipid faces stare at the jawbox

Over the weekend, I attempted to find a relatively inexpensive copy of the Chicago Manual of Style handbook. I did not find it (I gladly signed up on the official site for a free 30-day trial instead of forking over $55 for a new copy of it in book form), but I did find something incredibly important: a couple of used editions of the book where Jawbox got their name from.

The book, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, was originally published in 1870, and has been reprinted several times. I had never heard of this book until I asked the members of Jawbox about the band's name. Never really checking the book out in a bookstore, I'm glad I stumbled upon it before the manuscript got mailed off. The reason why I say this is, I thought it was called Brewster's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. On top of that, a "jawbox" is a sink or a sewer, but it's also slang for a TV. (If you wanna be picky, and depending on how you look at it, a TV is a sink/sewer.)

Along with realizing Jawbreaker's "The Boat Dreams from the Hill" is not called "The Boat Dreams from a Hill," this catch was one of the biggest I've made. And seemingly, all by sheer accident.

Believe me, in all this time working on Post, I've gone to rather far-reaching depths just to make sure I had little things (as well as big things) correct. For example, I had never read Bukowski before I read Hot Water Music. I read his book just to make sure a one-sentence description of the book's contents was correct in the Hot Water Music chapter. Yes, I've had that amount of time and drive to something as crazy as that.

I think the reason for that drive is to really find out stuff on my own. You hear plenty of lore about where bands get their names from, but usually, it's a simple little idea. At the Drive-In is from the pre-chorus of Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me." Jimmy Eat World was the caption of a picture. The Promise Ring was a name Davey von Bohlen heard. Simple origins for incredible bands I say.

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