Simple Machines Working Holiday: September

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Simple Machines' monthly Working Holiday series enters the September of its year with another unusual but effective pairing that teams emo ancestors Jawbox with little-remembered punk-pop upstarts Crackerbash. Jawbox celebrates the birth of the great actor Peter Falk, but excepting the Columbo soundbite that kicks it off, there's little about "Falk" that suggests its namesake. The instrumental is focused and driving, not the kind of shambling, scattered wreck that would better evoke our hero's onscreen persona. On the other hand, Crackerbash's ferocious "Back to School" -- a kind of punk counterpart to Alice Cooper's valedictory "School's Out" -- captures with blistering accuracy the fear and loathing the new academic year portends.