A while back, my friend Akeem said to me, "Shaliza, do you realize that if we lived in New York, we could've seen Glassjaw like three times this year?" I'm thinking about moving up there, and Akeem wants to move back in a year or so. A few years ago, it was pretty much an unspoken rule that everyone in our group of friends listened to Glassjaw. If you didn't, there was seriously something wrong with you.Glassjaw
played a few shows around New York this year, and were supposed to go on tour with The Used back in August. But lead singer Daryl Palumbo, got sick so they had to drop off the tour. For those of you who don't know, Daryl suffers from Crohn's disease, and it's knocked him out of commission on several occasions. I know Daryl hates having to cancel shows, but when your body says "Ok, hold on a minute." you have to listen, or you won't get better. With Daryl's other band, Head Automatica
going strong, there were rumors going around that Glassjaw was no more. This, however, is not the case.
(Here's a picture of OldSkool GJ: Beck, Sammy, Daryl, Todd and Manny)
In August, Guitarist Justin Beck posted a letter to fans on the Glassjaw website
. He explained the seriousness of Daryl's condition saying that Crohn's was like having,"the biggest ulcers ever on your intestines and then multiply that by 100." Clearly, Daryl's health should come before touring, 'cause I would hate to see him get really sick on the road again. "He's more than a musical act, and for this reason I ask only for understanding," said Beck.
In his letter, Beck also assured fans that Glassjaw is still a band. They were excited about going on tour with The Used, and even had new material written. It would be fantastic to hear new stuff from them.
Glassjaw is a hardcore band from Long Island, NY. People have described their sound as Elvis Costello singing with Bad Brains, or Morrissey fronting Fugazi. Glassjaw's first release, an EP entitled Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
, came out in 1997. I didn't hear their music until 2000, when they opened up for the Deftones at the Tabernacle. I didn't pay much attention to them, because I was so anxious for Deftones to come on stage. And I probably didn't listen to them again until the next year.
(This is a picture of Daryl from the Tabernacle show. For years, I totally wanted that Spitfire buckle)
When I started college, it seemed that a lot of the people that I was becoming friends with really liked Glassjaw. My friend Jeremy especially was just crazy over them. But I didn't give Glassjaw a chance until I read that one of my favorite singers at the time (Elias Soriano of Nonpoint) was a huge Glassjaw fan.
So let me set the picture for you guys. At this time, I was mostly listening to hardcore and nu metal. Bands like Deftones, Nonpoint, Poison the Well, Chimaira, Soulfly, etc. One day, Melina and I went over to Jeremy's house to hang out, and as we were just sitting around, Jeremy put on a cd. I was almost certain that it was Glassjaw that I was hearing. It sounded like some of the stuff I had heard at the Deftones show, but I wasn't sure. And then as a certain track started to play, Jeremy said to me, "Hey it's your boy Elias' favorite song," and I knew he was talking about When One Eight Becomes Two Zeros
, the third track from Glassjaw's album, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence
I ended up buying the album over Thanksgiving break in 2001. When I started to listen to it, it didn't wow me like I was expecting it to. It wasn't bad or anything, but I was waiting for the UMP that everyone else was hearing. Then about a week or two later, I listened to it again, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Something clicked, and I got it. From then on I was hooked. My friends only fueled my obsession with this band, and it got to the point where we all seemed to be under the Glassjaw spell.
I'd heard from several people and had read in magazines that Glassjaw got a lot of crap for their lyrics. People thought they were incredibly misogynistic and believed that Daryl hated women. Here are some lyrics that those people may have been referring to.
From Pretty Lush
: "You can lead a whore to water. And can you bet she'll drink and follow orders."
: "I only beat you when you're drunk, you're only pretty when you're crying."
From Motel of the White Locust
: "I like your pretty eyes better blackened, and my fists all fucking red."
From Siberian Kiss
: "If I can't have you, no one will."
So you get the idea. These lyrics rubbed some people the wrong way. But My female friends and I were never offended by any of these lyrics. We knew that Daryl didn't hate women. He had clearly gone through some things, and was just writing about how he felt (and quite honestly at that.) Sure it may have seemed harsh to some but that's the way that he chose to express himself. The people who related the most to Glassjaw were the ones who could just as easily put 'he' in the place of 'she' and 'him' in the place of 'her'.
Glassjaw released their second album, Worship and Tribute
, in July of 2002. They went on tour in support of it, and I was lucky enough to see them three times on that tour: At Treemont in Charlotte, NC, at the Cotton Club here in Atlanta, and finally at Five Points Music Hall in Birmingham. The guys were incredible each and every night, and after every show, there was a good story to tell, from talking to Todd after the Charlotte show and saying, "Hey! I was going to wear a Michael Jackson shirt too!", to Daryl saving Kevin
from getting kicked out at the Cotton Club show for stage diving, to finally meeting Daryl after the Birmingham show. Oh to be 20 again. I used to have the biggest crush on Daryl, and he was so sweet when I met him. He called me sweetheart twice and I totally could've died happy after that. Sorry, I had to be a girl for a minute. Moving on.
Worship and Tribute
(Glassjaw in 2002: Larry, Daryl, Dave, Todd and Beck)
is definitely not Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence Part 2
. I think some fans were expecting it to be though. Lyrically, Daryl was much more tame, not as angry, less aggressive. Musically, the band explored a more thoughtful and quiet side. While there are definitely some songs that express their hardcore roots, I think the highlights on the album are the more mellow tracks like Trailer Park Jesus
, Ape Dos Mil
and Two Tabs of Mescaline
I hope we hear some new music from Glassjaw in 2006. I'm not totally sure who's in the band at the moment, but I know that most certainly Beck and Daryl are still at the core. Until then, you guys can listen to their previous efforts. It was really hard just picking a few songs, because I pretty much love all of them.Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
always seemed very raw to me, and I love songs like Black Coffee
and The Snow Veil
. I'm pretty sure you can still get the album through Glassjaw's merch page
. Most people would say that When One Eight Becomes Two Zeros
is lyrically one of the best songs on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence
. I'd have to agree. But I still like Ry Ry's Song
the best, mostly for the last 58 seconds. It's totally righteous. Vincent Gallo was in the video for Cosmopolitan Bloodloss
. At the end he was supposed to kill the band, but it ended up that he just unplugged their amps as they were performing. Haha. So yeah, here are the songs
(from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
)Glassjaw- Black CoffeeGlassjaw- The Snow Veil
(from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence
)Glassjaw- Pretty Lush Glassjaw- When One Eight Becomes Two Zeros
*highly recommended*Glassjaw- Ry Ry's Song
*highly recommended*Glassjaw- Piano
(from Worship and Tribute
)Glassjaw- Cosmopolitan Bloodloss Glassjaw- Ape Dos Mil *highly recommended*Glassjaw- Trailer Park JesusGlassjaw- Two Tabs of Mescaline
And now I leave you with my favorite picture of Daryl and Beck, taken by my friend Janelle. You can get a better look at that Spitfire buckle that I wanted so badly.