5.16.2014

jam on it

Do I sneakily like jam bands?

I've lived my entire adult life with a staunchly anti-jam band outlook. Grateful Dead, Phish, Dave Matthes Band, and uhhhh, whoever else fits in that category...blech. Nevermind that I've never even heard a Phish song or anything but "Touch of Grey" by the Dead. It is my right and duty as an American to remain uninformed AND belligerently opinionated about the very things I am uninformed about.

But that term, "jam" band. I like to jam. I like it when bands jam. I can think of a bunch of songs that jam right now. In fact the more I say jam the less I'm sure of what it actually means. Sometimes I think it means "hippies improvising and noodling on the guitar". But neo-hippies should not have a monopoly on the term.  Other times I think it means "long instrumentals in the middle of songs that contain lyrics." If I go with the latter definition, then my life becomes complicated as I begin to realize the consequences.

Let's take a band a band I love, Built to Spill. I've always thought of them as a beard-y indie band with punk-ish roots. But I was listening (jamming?) to "Conventional Wisdom" (one of my favorite songs) the other day and it led me to wonder if BTS should be lumped into the "jam band" category. A horrifying thought I know. So maybe a jam band aficionado out there can make the call.

Jamming begins at about 2:20 :



I began thinking about my next favorite Built to Spill song, "They Got Away". More jamz from 2:50 - 5:50

  
I quickly realized that most Built To Spill songs have these epic jam built in. From there things got real.

Could it be possible that the greatest band ever wrote it's most epic song in full-on jam band mode?

Jamming starts at 3:53, with the greatest transition ever, and lasts 'til infinity:




Grateful Dead. Phish. Hickey. The holy trinity of jam bands. You heard it here first.
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