Jam bands seem to be a love it or hate it thing, at least among the people I know. To a lot of my music-oriented friends, “jam band” is a huge pejorative. I always hear people making fun of them, generally associating them with over-extended, show-offy soloing and overly-bouncy beats. Others are deeply into them - for instance, I see stickers for moe. on cars all the time, and I always hear people talking about how great various jam band shows have been.
Up until recently, I never really listened to any of this music, but lately I’ve been listening to samples on iTunes. And I’ve found that I almost universally hate all the songs by the following bands: String Cheese Incident, moe. , Widespread Panic, Disco Biscuits, and Particle. I don’t know what it is about them - they just seem soulless to me. Overly clean, cheerfully insistent beats, tweedly-sounding, repetitive guitar riffs, long jack-off solos, and uniformly white-boy-desperately-trying-to-sound-soulful lyrics. There’s just something goofy and silly about all the songs - in a bad way. It’s not like I can’t listen to music that’s a little silly - They Might Be Giants and Pavement are often silly also, but I dig them. I just can’t get into the whole jam band thing, I guess.
Is the problem that I need to be at one of these bands’ shows to truly appreciate them? I mean, I think all music is better live, but is there something about jam bands that makes them seem soulless in recordings and soulful live? Do the people who are really into jam bands also hate the studio recordings, and prefer to listen to bootlegs or something?
What do the other dopers here think about jam bands? Are there any people here who follow these bands around and go to all their shows?