Opening Riffs Revisited
One of my many enjoyable tasks as editor of this site, which celebrated its 12th anniversary a couple months ago, is re(visiting) our archive pages, where we store the initial iterations of the site. We started off as a monthly web zine back when I was still a grad student in Cambridge, MA and founding webmaster Andy Gadiel was a recent college grad living in Chicago, best known for his Phish page. At that time we referred to the groups we covered as “jam bands” rather than “jambands” (I instituted the change around the time of my second book on the subject). Still, the nature of the coverage has been quite consistent. Lately I have been finding articles that ran 10 years in the past and adding them to The Loop and on occasion to the Features section of the site. However, while poking around this week, I happened upon my first editor’s note. I offer it below, this month just to demonstrate the uniformity of aim and intent. A number of bands have come and gone since September 1998 and mainstream interest has cycled as well. The sentiments still hold though (other than those regarding my crappy cartoon Mikey, which has fallen by the wayside), and as ever, we’d love to have you share your voice…
Opening Riff (Join us)
This is an interesting, exhilarating moment. I’ve been a rabid live music fan for quite some time now. I suppose the first jam band I saw perform live was Max Creek at the original Lupo’s in Providence, circa 1982 (and what do you know, they’re still at it, with a new disc and many new fans, now tearing it up at the new Lupo’s- it’s strange, sometimes I feel as though everyone else at these shows stays the same age while I’m the only one getting any older- well okay, me and the band). At any rate, more than any time I can recall, there is now a swell of groups committed to the art of improvisation. We intend to spread the good word with jambands.com.
The web zine you are now browsing is the product of more than fifty persons who devoted their time to the site simply due to their love of the music. Each month I’ll probably single out someone who really digs deep for the cause- this time it is Jeff Waful. Jeff, former WERS Space Jam host, and live music madman, learned this week of an illness to a family member. Nonetheless, this Jam Band trooper hauled his ass into a copy shop (and a rather lame one at that by Jeff’s account) in order to make sure that the section he edits (CD Reviews) made it in on time. Since I’m hyping Jeff, I might as well tell you that his column, Waful House, which focuses this month on glowsticks, is one of Andy’s favorite pieces.
At any rate, what I very much wish to do is publicly thank everyone involved in the site. They’ve really produced a jam-packed debut issue. Of course the amazing thing is we all have to do it again in 30 days. So please, join us. Float an idea or an article to an editor. Tell us about that band or that show that really moved you (or failed to move you, and why). We promise to do the same. Oh yes, and feel free to send me nasty email about my crappy cartoon, Mikey.
Later days and peace,