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The End Of An Era


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Does anyone else notice what seems like the end of an era? With nero's demise (on the heels of Phish) it really feels like this community is more fractured and diffuse then ever. Personally it's just time to 'grow old and do some sh!t' but I wonder how many others are feeling the same way. I sort of wonder actually beyond just the whole canjam culture whether jam in general has been struck a death blow. Doesn't it seem like Relix for instance is trying a bit too hard to push a band like Umphrey's as the next big thing- like they need a Titan to make the whole thing float. Oh I'm sure we'll hear much more limp noodling from the Cheese and firmer noodling from moe etc. but really what gives. I'm sure other people are thinking similar things or feeling similarly.

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Guess ya got to get out more,I dunno.

200+ at PJC on friday for JSB,huge shows on the east coast,Fatties blazing back into things etc around here and last few weekends have been packed full of music for me.I see moe. with Trey sold out in record time ,read about lots of big shows on the GOTV site.Don't see it slowing down too much actually,perhaps some but I would assume its due to the weather,hibernation mode and all.

At least thats my take on things.

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With nero's demise (on the heels of Phish) it really feels like this community is more fractured and diffuse then ever.

Guarentee you, you'll notice no difference here in Hamilton. Dont know about other citites...but Phish and nero quitting didn't diffuse anything around here.

As greg said, shoulda seen the last JSB gig....or heck, any of the gigs lately...bands have been doing well...

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The begining of the end came when Jerry died. Phish's demise just sealed the deal. I think that this perceived End Of An Era is not necessarily a bad thing either. Good bands and great music will always be around and will continue to challenge and thrive. The jam scene will re-tool and reinvent itself: It has to and that's not such a bad thing. In fact it's exciting.

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i just think we're in a transition phase, going from bands we've heard tons about for quite a long time, to bands we're (hopefully) going to be hearing tons about for the next 'quite a long time'.

this 'next generation' of up and coming bands, i think, is pretty exciting. and as much as we all love nero and wish like hell on stars we'll never see that they'd be a part of this, or near the forefront of it, their 'demise', i dont think, is going to cause that much of a rift in the scene. the canjam scene is still alive and well with the burties back in action and ripping it up coast to coast, JSB and GTB are starting to get big crowds. and in canada, we cant forget about all the other great music, not necessarily coming from the jam scene, but bands in the realm of post-rock or indie, that seem to be popping up more frequently in toronto and montreal... good bands that probably deserve some attention, too.

what i can see, and silently hope for, is more of a merger of sound and scene... i'd love to see more post-jam-indie-rock whatever, and the thing is, so many of these bands draw from the same sound pool, but no one seems to know it.

ie: saw a couple bands last nite, The Junction and Bedoin Soundclash... the sounds really werent any different from the bus, jsb, or the burts... i mean, anyone there (and it was fu©king packed!) would have lost their sh!t if it was either of those 3 other bands up there.

what im driving at, is that the sound is there. the foundations are there for a really great big awesome canadian music scene, but someone has to break down the barriers that keep these bands apart... it seems to only be a word, really.

i dont know a whole lot about the newer 'jam' bands in the states, outside of say the slip, and the duo, and a handful of others... umphrey's i've heard some great endorsements for, so regardless if relix is touting them as the next big thing.... i mean, maybe they are? how am i to tell? its not any different than any type of media, really, if they tell you its good, its good... unless you seek it out and decide for yourself. if relix needs a titan to sell magazines, maybe umphrey's is their best hope. i dunno, i've never gave them a chance... moe. cant really be classified as a new jamband.. they'll always be around, they'll always be loved, and they'll probably gradually grow, but who knows how big.. SCI, no comment, WSP, from what i hear, seems to be more regional? southern states? maybe thats an answer.. regional scenes taking over from what was once a larger scale national scene...

i got a little off there.. what i wanted to mention was about the seemingly different sound of 'jam' in america, too, using the 2 examples above, because, well, like i said, its just what i know... but anyways, im going back to that sound, and its just different, its gonna take time for people to feel it, its gonna take time for it to even develop, i think. the slip are getting into the more rock/indie/post everything stuff, while still staying true to their roots and blending it all together. the duo are just different in every way, and fu©king fantastic. add gordon, and now you've got some clout to get people out to the shows to hear this sh!t.. the fact that all these guys are buddies i think is great because its only gonna help spread the word more... sit-ins, festivals, etc...

anyways, yeah, like i said, things are gonna be different, and we're transitioning, and these things take time. thats all, really.

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I'm not too worried about improv rock-based music surviving. A music scene/genre that is rapidly disappearing is the blues. There are very few " old-time " artists left and even fewer younger musicians and followers around to continue the tradition. Forget the jam scene: The death of the blues is the real tragedy.

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I'm not too worried about improv rock-based music surviving. A music scene/genre that is rapidly disappearing is the blues. There are very few " old-time " artists left and even fewer younger musicians and followers around to continue the tradition. Forget the jam scene: The death of the blues is the real tragedy.

It seems to me that too many people put way too much importance on too few bands.

i agree with both of you on those.

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"Does anyone else notice what seems like the end of an era? With nero's demise (on the heels of Phish) it really feels like this community is more fractured and diffuse then ever. Personally it's just time to 'grow old and do some sh!t"

this is a common feeling when what you know & love begins to change. In my case, when Jerry died, I figured the scene did too. So, like you, I also decided to "grow up" (heavens, not old yet, I hope) and "do some sh!t." I left that music scene completely. I was even too hurt and jaded by the loss of the Dead and all that community, that I never even went to a Phish show (I can hear the audible gasps) because I never figured anything could live up to the experience of the Dead. But now here I am 10 years later discovering that people have kept the music/spirit/community alive --- it has changed, sure, but for the better I think, because now SO many bands are playing awesome jammy-music. Freaks are EVERYWHERE!

"maybe thats an answer.. regional scenes taking over from what was once a larger scale national scene..."

I say, right on!!

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Interesting ideas...

Things seem different through my eyes, but my life is different now as well. Which came first?

Something I was thinking about though is that with all these 'jam bands' obviously the focus has become on jamming. The act of jamming may be more of a forced action or gimic as opposed to the side effect of peak musical and artistic expression. That is to say, perhaps more jam bands these days are saying "ok, insert such and such jam here" instead of natural synchronization between musicians that results in an orgasmic improvosiational jam that ascends far beyond any song.

I dunno, just a thought.... I'm sure bands fall into the jam band genre/scene through different methods some want to be jam bands, while others just happen to jam. Did Phish set out to start a jam band? No, but they ended up fueling a whole genre as a result of their improvisational tendencies and prowess.

It seems only natural that the 'jam band' genre will die down as bands that are trying to be 'jam bands' come and go. However there will always be bands with just the right chemistry that bubbles into intense improvisational tendencies.

Not sure what I'm getting at. I'm probably still delerious from the fever I've been harbouring the last few days. Good night I say!

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I just saw a Jimmy Swift Band video on MuchMusic. I'm sure that fact is somehow relevant to this thread.

They were on the weekly program Going Coastal which highlights " real " artists from the east and west coasts of Canada. JSB have been on before, as has a piece on last year's Evolve Festival.

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Something I was thinking about though is that with all these 'jam bands' obviously the focus has become on jamming. The act of jamming may be more of a forced action or gimic as opposed to the side effect of peak musical and artistic expression. That is to say, perhaps more jam bands these days are saying "ok, insert such and such jam here" instead of natural synchronization between musicians that results in an orgasmic improvosiational jam that ascends far beyond any song.

I'm about 95% in favour of this as the reasoning, other than the usual "state of flux" responses that these questions garner. I mean what keeps me coming back to The Slip again and again is that they haven't confined themselves to this mold, and despite some of their repertoire having clearly marked areas for improvisation they can wilfully choose not to take it if they're not interested. Entire setlists made up of choppy and brief 4 or 5 minute songs is still fairly rare for any band in this...oh, god I hate this word...scene. If you can maintain an element of surprise and wonder in just a few minutes, I think you're probably capable of doing so over an even longer period of time

I can only relate an example from this past weekend. On Saturday we went to see some no-name band for free at Barrymore's..after each song finished I found myself asking "what is this band trying to say?", because to my ears there was no emotional quotient to the music. That doesn't mean I need to be crying after a 12-bar blues, but these days I need to feel something...even anger...coming from the music or it's just lost on me.

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Having caught Contact and JSB in Guelph the other night I realized my ignorance was based on absence from the 'scene'. Gawd if Contact don't just slay- Nero and the New Deal leave big shoes to fill and Contact's power pulse undefinable sound may just have what it takes with the right push. Contact got everyone going and JSB just brought the house down- truly impressive.

I like what people were saying about the 'insert jam here' approach though. I think we just need to explode the 'jam' genre once and for all- as long as that is the best label to apply all of these bands won't get the due they deserve.

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