The Dstillery Challenge: Buzz Explains “Jam Bands”
A Brief Word From Emily Slape, Digital Managing Editor for the Buzz Adams Morning Show:
“Dstillery is a service we use to connect with our audience by looking at their digital footprint, to better identify what their interests are. It gives us insight into what our audience wants to know more about when they visit our website. The Dstillery Challenge in when I choose one of the keywords that shows an area of interest to some of our audience. Then, Buzz has to write an article about the topic…and this is where the challenge comes in…WITHOUT RESEARCHING THE TOPIC AT ALL. Buzz has to write his entire article with only the knowledge, right or wrong, that he already has.”
Today’s topic: Jam Bands.
Buzz: Many bands inspire a deep loyalty in their fans. But only certain kinds of bands inspire their fans to quit work, buy a used microbus and follow them around, night after night, show after show, and city after city. The first document jam band was Bede the Bard who was active in the mid 12th century. His fans would leave their stock untended and their fields fallow to follow the wandering troubadour as he played the inn yards and faires of medieval Europe. Bede’s fans referred to themselves as “Bede-heads” and would dye their clothes in an array of vivid, or “pied” colors and devour psychoactive mushrooms that grew abundantly in the animal feces they would find in the countryside. Most of the “Bede-heads” would eventually return to their hometowns, settle down and become certified public accountants.
In the 1960’s The Grateful Dead drew legions of fans from the flower power culture of the day. With a name like “Grateful Dead” I always imagined the band to be EXTREMELY metal, because of other “death” themed bands that I liked such as Megadeth and Cannibal Corpse. It was only years later that I bought my first Grateful Dead album and discovered the truth: they were actually a mediocre country band that was unlistenable without massive doses of hallucinogens.
Other bands, such as Phish, Leftover Salmon and The String Cheese Incident would successfully follow the Dead’s blueprint: play repetitive 30 minute versions of songs that no one except their fans had ever heard of, throw in an EXTENDED percussion solo played exclusively on Peruvian gourds and hope the audience has taken as many psychoactive substances as the band has.
Central to Jam Bands is, it goes without saying, the “jam”. That is, improvised instrumentals over simple chord progressions. It’s like acid jazz except exclusively for white people with lots of disposable income.