Time for another edition of Arguing About Musical Opinions: The Most Pointless Discussion Humans Can Possibly Have. Are you as excited as I am? Let's get started.
As you can see to the left, Dan Bardin is a moron.
On a day much like today roughly two years ago, I realized jam bands are brutal. I forget what song I was listening to, so let's just say it was one of the hundreds of versions of "Watchtower" DMB has played over the years.
I'm knocking DMB early on in this rant, so let me clarify by restating that all jam bands suck. Who's your favorite jam band ever? I'll go out on a limb and say it's either DMB, The Grateful Dead or Phish. My personal favorite jam band (and one of my favorite bands ever) would be Gov't Mule. And guess what: if any song by any of these groups hits my iPod and exceeds the 10 minute mark, it's getting skipped. Even Mule. I don't have that kind of time. I buy my books in a matter of seconds, I skip TV commercials and my movies are mailed to me. I've completely run out of patience when it comes to these interminable songs. Because here's the deal, and I'm gonna boldface this point for emphasis:
Jam Bands are consistently lauded for their improvisation skills, when in reality everyone playing is too stoned to realize a song should have ended 6 minutes ago.
This is why studio versions of songs are generally a more manageable 4 to 5 minutes. The band members are much less likely to be tripping balls in the studio, and even if they are, they'll have a producer in their ear telling them to wrap it up because nobody wants to listen to 5 extra minutes of "improv."
And therein lies a key component to digging the jam bands, particularly at live shows. You'd best be in some kind of altered state.
I've been to numerous DMB shows, and every time I hear a killer 20 minute version of "Too Much" and I'm ready to off myself, but before I do I look around, and EVERYONE IS ENJOYING THEMSELVES. For a while, I wondered what was wrong with me. Am I a hipster? Are my tastes not as diverse as I thought they were? Turns out all the people grooving to another endless DMB jam were simply higher than Brittany Murphy.
And to those of you telling me I forgot booze: I didn't forget booze. Being trashed at a concert is the worst. You're in the bathroom a majority of the time, and when you're actually hanging out listening to music, it's impossible to comprehend.
Back to Dan Bardin. He's a moron, yes. But I can't fault him. I know him better than most people on the planet, and I know that he learned guitar thanks to DMB songs way back in his early teens. That's some powerful nostalgia that's impossible to argue away. This is why he agreed with me that all jam bands suck...except for Dave. It's completely hypocritical and also completely understandable. Nostalgia has power. It's why I think Homeward Bound is a dynamite movie, when it fact it most likely bites the big one.
But for the rest of you idiots, you have no excuse. Once again, and hopefully the third time is the charm: JAM BANDS SUCK. In the time it took you to listen to Dark Star, you could have heard four Black Keys tunes. Increase your musical efficiency, grow up, and above all, stop thinking you have to get high to enjoy music. You don't. The music just has to be good.