I'm always on the search to satisfy my craving for local music, and that search led me back to Cervantes' on Thursday night. The Denver music scene has an astonishing amount of variety when it comes to music genres; if you know where to look, you'll be sure to stumble onto just about any type of music. I've covered several styles of electronic music so far, but Thursday night was time to get acquainted with homegrown versions of another electronic sub-genre - electronic jam bands/live electronica. There was a mix of other genres, but with the majority of the dozen artists/bands performing coming from that mold, it was definitely the theme of the night.
|Late Night Radio|
|Smooth Money Gesture|
|J.Wail & Chuck|
|Digital Beat Down|
Overall, the concert was a good experience. It gave me the opportunity to be exposed to a lot of new local bands. It also exposed me to a genre of electronic music I haven't heard much of - electronic jam bands. I'll have to admit, jam bands probably aren't really my thing. I appreciate the concept and I am not anti-improvisation; I just suppose it all boils down to what I talked about on this blog in the very beginning - discovery versus recognition. One of my favorite concert experiences featured a lot of improvisation back in 2008 when I went to see Matisyahu. The opener got stuck in a snow storm and couldn't make it to the show, so Matisyahu and his band came out early and played an extended set. They took the framework of their music, but made each song three to four times longer by adding a lot of improvised sections and crazy solos. It was the perfect balance of discovering something new, but still being able to recognize what was there.
I guess I need the comfort of a blueprint on where a song is going to go, because otherwise I get lost and gloss over the changes that slowly happen during jam band songs. All of the jamtronica bands had at least some parts that I enjoyed, but often those parts came in small doses wrapped around a lot of other stuff that, to me, sounded repetitive. The more abstract, completely improvised sets were the hardest for me to follow, but there were a good amount of people that seemed to enjoy that. If you like holding onto a groove for an extended period of time, and like to hear that groove subtly shape and change until it slowly morphs into something else, electronic jam bands may be what you're looking for.