Reading Jesses column last month made me join him in thinking about the longevity of the site. I remembered coming across it in the late 90s, noticing that they were landing interviews with some of the top rock improvisers and eventually starting work at convincing the folks in charge to let me join in.
I also thought a bit about The People We Talk About On The Site. (I have trouble calling them jam bands. Are Widespread Panic and Medeski, Martin and Wood similar enough to share a genre? I doubt it, and yet they are both hot topics here. And, at least on the CD I reviewed, Keller Williams didnt jam, at least in the Grateful Dead sense of the term, and he wasnt a band. Yet, of all of the reviews of mine on the site, this one got me the angriest e-mails for not being enthusiastic.)
And I thought about waves. The first wave of People We Talk About On The Site were primarily bands who got together around 1965 and began doing their classic work two or three years later. The second wave began to form about twenty or twenty-five years later, by which time the members of the first wave had devotees (in some case, a lot of them) but had taken up residence in are those guys still around? land for everyone else. Some in between waves were sympathetic, even if they needed to hide it. But it was a long time between waves, and although some major talents have come along since the second wave, we are still waiting for a third wave.
Except for that mid-60s spell, doing this sort of thing has never been fashionable, so that may be one reason. And it takes work, which may be another.
However, I had a reminder about another reason back in the summer, when I read a book about progressive rock, a style that is (was?) also difficult and rarely fashionable although it was once very popular. It mentioned that the same economic factors that eventually made Britain bring Margaret Thatcher into power may have also made people there more inclined to listen to two-minute rants than twenty-minute suites. It was salutary to read Jesses mention of similar issues affecting the People We Talk About On The Site. I remember the days when I bought not one, but two, moe. Warts & All releases at Tower, and I didnt even like moe. all that much. Tower is gone now, and so is that era.
Now the economy has reached disaster. But, without getting too deep into the type of punditry that is readily available elsewhere, I have optimism at this point that enough people are unwilling to accept the current state of things that there will be a change. And that conditions will become more favorable for a third wave.
Also, we now have word that the primary second-wave band is reuniting. Again. A difference between them and the primary first-wave band is the amount of breaks they have taken. I am hoping, and expecting, that this bands second comeback will be more effective than the first.
We will report on it here. And there will be more about the other People We Talk About On The Site.