Posted tagged ‘pgroove’

In Defense of Type I Jamming

July 20, 2009

This seemed a lot more profound when I was driving to work last week and thought of it. But this draft isn’t going to get any better, so I’m posting it.

I think some of us don’t give great type I jamming enough credit. Type I jamming is referential–when listening to a jamband, the fan is constantly comparing each note being played to every prior version they can remember. To the uninitiated, there’s no difference between type I and type II jamming, because they don’t know the songs well enough to do this comparison and think “oh, they’re doing something different with this section” or “whoa, this is something entirely new.” See 2009-06-14 AC/DC Bag for an example of great Type I full band improvisation.

I know when I was really into Pgroove, I kept asking for them to start exploring type II jams. In retrospect, the spacier they got the less I enjoyed the shows. I really miss the tight, focused sound of their Last Call days. Sometimes the middle ground between Bela Fleck and the Flecktones’ “every note of this song will be the same tomorrow” and Phish at their spaciest is sweet. Pgroove used to inhabit the happy middle, so did AOD, so does DMB, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when Phish spontaneously plucks a bit of joy out of the ether, but you’ve got to endure a lot of bad with the good to get there. I’m not always down for that.


Perpetual Groove 2006-04-06 Crossroads, Huntsville, AL

December 2, 2008

Perpetual Groove 2006-04-06 Crossroads, Huntsville, AL

A night when the whole band is audibly into it. There’s not a below average track and there are a few exceptional versions (notably Teakwood and Free Ride). It seems like so many great shows include a great Free Ride, and this is no exception,. It’s preceding by an equally stellar Teakwood (as is often the case, I heart the “Birth of Teakwood” even more than the rest of the song.)

Even Brock’s famously furious fingers can’t keep up at times with his obviously racing mind. Albert lays down a heartbeat. Matt’s on point with the keys, nailing the piano melody at the end of So Much As Goodbye and grinding the organ through Playground. Adam does what Adam does, without fail.

Rump Shaking Music

July 2, 2008

Perpetual Groove – Sundog (Sweet Oblivious Antidote)

Possibly my all time favorite Pgroove song. Like many of their tunes, it just builds and builds, adding layer upon layer until it reaches a crescendo (in this case 2 crescendos.) I love the gorgeous first half in particular, not to take anything away from the fun, rump shaking second half. If this doesn’t get your feet tapping or head bopping, check your pulse. While Heather was getting ready this morning, I was in the shower “singing” (wailing would probably be a more accurate description) this 4-part instrumental in my unique style (loudly off-key)–I hope that audio image amuses you as much as it did her.

My Wet Dream (thanks H)

December 7, 2005

Pgroove (w/Damien Perry) fantasy setlist:

I: Beyond the Veil> Orange Wedge> Beyond the Veil Sundog> Sweet Thang> Sundog So Much For Goodbye Free Ride to the Show> Walking in Place> Free Ride to the Show II: 3 Weeks (unfinished)-> jam-> Teakwood Betz jam-> TTFPJ-> jam Mr. Transistor E: Decepticon(unfinished)->3 Weeks (ending only)

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Listening to: GD – Big Railroad Blues

Sempiternal Diapason

October 11, 2005

Caught my favorite band, Perpetual Groove in Clemson on Friday. I’m convinced these guys are the best group out there, jamband or otherwise. They weave back and forth between soul-searching verses, spine-tingling compositions, and brain-melting improvisation. All four members are among the best musicians alive with their respective instruments, but avoid sounding like four solo virtuosos (*cough* Bela Fleck and the Flecktones *cough*) instead of a cohesive unit. Pgroove shuns solos and works to build and build a layers of sound until they reach stunning crescendos.

That being said, the Clemson show wasn’t that great. Good, but not stellar. The setlist:
Set 1
Crockett & Tubbs, Long Past Settled In, March of Gibbles Army > Green Tea > Naive Melody

Set 2
It Starts were it Ends, Playground, Get Down Tonight, Cabulo Montrosity, Breeze, Say it Aint So

Stealy Man

The transition from Gibbles into Green Tea was nice. Naive Melody is a great closer so long as they don’t overplay it. Get Down Tonight got the college crowd bouncing, but I’m getting a bit sick of it. Cabulo was my highlight–rarely heard it even on recordings, pretty sure this was my first time live. Didn’t really like Say It Aint So; Stealy Man was insane though: Brock was goofing off (though he never stopped shredding), playing behind his head, messing around with Adam, laying on his back at the very end, y’know rock star shit {grin}.

I was real happy to catch up with my friend (and new roommate) Tom. Fun, drunk time, I haven’t been drinking much lately, but I let it all hang out this time. Got to meet a lot of people I only knew from faces or the message board plus a couple of band members. Though it shouldn’t surprise me, it was funny to hang out with a member of a rock band and he not be the coolest guy in the room.
Listening to: Pgroove (of course), 2005-07-09, Beyond the Veil