And here’s some of it:
I am an unashamed former jam-band fan. I don’t care what you think. We don’t all have to have the same musical tastes, now do we?! OK, so I get a bit defensive. People write off jam bands as aimless noodling (which is can be). But at its best, it is the soul of jazz improvisation in rock and roll form. It is the essence of the creative moment: the connectedness of musicians and audience.
I would exactly classify Chris Forsyth’s music as jam band. Nor would I place it in the loosely and ill-defined “American Primitive” category. But those worlds are at least touchstones. Forsyth calls his music “Cosmic Americana.” It’s captivating and often borders on seeming to unhinge from itself but the melodies weave it all together. Don’t let my talk of jam bands lull you into thinking that this is hippy-dippy background music. This is like when Sonic Youth jams, which they can and do.
Watch “Solar Motel Part II” live at “The Bazaar at the Gathering Place” earlier this year:
Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives made my favorite 2010. But after a car crash and a personnel change, the band also shifted its vision and sound. Which led to a re-birth as Modern Kin. The band just released their debut, self-titled album and it’s quickly become one of my favorite albums of the year.
Here, why don’t you see for yourself. Check out a live performance of “Big Enough To Cook” for Oregon Public Broadcasting:
OK, so I’m a little biased on this one. These are local guys and we’ve had the opportunity to host them for a house show. But, trust me, their debut album, Forgether is really good. It’s the first installment of a proposed three-album concept. The band says that they’ll be done once the story is done.
Here’s to hoping the story continues. Check out the band performing “Northland” at an Habañero Collective house show:
Overseas is what happens when old friends David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones), Will Johnson (Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel), and Bubba and Matt Kadane (Bedhead, The New Year). Imagine what Will Johnson and David Bazan would sound like fronting the rhythm section from Bedhead. Well, actually, don’t just try to imagine it, hear it for yourself.
Watch the official video for “Ghost To Be”: