For their own special sweetheart | Bleader

For their own special sweetheart

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There's good news and bad news today for all the Jawbox fans out there. Idolator recently discovered that the band's out-of-print emocore classic For Your Own Special Sweetheart is now available for digital purchase at iTunes and eMusic, but there's bigger and infinitely sadder news as well. J. Robbins -- who played not only in Jawbox, but also hardcore pioneers Government Issue and the post-Jawbox project Burning Airlines -- and his wife, Janet Morgan, who plays with him in the band Channels, recently found out that their infant son has type 1 spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that severely hinders the development of even the most basic voluntary motor functions. It's usually fatal, and even if little Cal beats the odds, he will still be wheelchair-bound for his entire life. There is no known cure for SMA.

It would be hard to overestimate Robbins's contribution to independent music. Beyond his own music, his production work for bands like Texas Is the Reason, the Promise Ring, Against Me!, Bayside, and the Dismemberment Plan has helped to define the sound of post-hardcore music. Beyond that, his generosity and his commitment to the best parts of the hardcore ethos -- for instance, his willingness to do shit like drive hours to work on a four-track session in someone's parents' basement -- are legendary.

Like most working musicians, Robbins has a variable income and less-than-stellar insurance coverage. There's no known cure for SMA, but there are alternative therapies that the family should have the right to explore. DeSoto Records' site has more information on the family's situation and  how you can donate money via PayPal. If you're one of the countless people who've been impacted by Robbins's work, you might want to try to give something. 

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