“Relix uncovers indie rock’s true jamband roots”
Phish @ Bonnaroo 2009 (Graeme Flegenheimer)
"We discussed playing a 45-minute version of 'China Cat Sunflower,' [at Bonnaroo 2008]" said MGMT guitarist James Richardson with a straight face shortly before his set, sporting a well-worn tie-dyed Grateful Dead T-shirt. "I think pretty much everybody in MGMT secretly loves jambands--well, not so secretly. We always have."
A few yards away his bandmates are catching up with Vampire Weekend drummer Chris Tomson, who despite his band receiving an impressive 8.8 ranking by seemingly devout hippie-hater website Pitchfork, is proudly decked out in a T-shirt that meshes the Phish and the Philadelphia Phillies' logos. "When it was announced and the band's names were listed, I remember thinking that everyone was going to playing there," he reminisces about his experience at the first, more jamband-oriented Bonnaroo in 2002....
...Indeed, though both the blogosphere and the mainstream media are quick to make it seem like hipsters and hippies are as different as hair gel and hemp, in reality some of the day's most popular "indie bands" have at least one direct tie to the jamband world--not they're openly citing String Cheese Incident as they're favorite band on Facebook. Yeasayer's Ira Wolf Tuton played in Disco Biscuits' associates The Ally, Band of Horses' Bill Reynolds was a member of jam-friendly roots rockers Donna the Buffalo, Brazilian Girls' Jesse Murphy had another life in John Scofield's Uber-Jam, Leslie Feist sang on The New Deal's Gone Gone Gone, New Deal's Dan Kurtz doubles in the electo-pop band Dragonette, all three members of the Lake Trout spinoff Big in Japan serve as the backing band for UNKLE and even the members of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Interpol have name-checked Phish...." [Jambands.com]
That is just an excerpt of an article that appeared in a recent issue of Relix, and which is re-published in part on JamBands.com. No mention in the article on whether any members of Guided By Voices, Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Slint, Pavement, Pixies, Belle & Sebastian, Sleater-Kinney, Superchunk, Yo La Tengo, R.E.M., The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, or Husker Du, ever followed around the Grateful Dead. You need to get, or subscribe to, the the recently-saved Relix to read the whole thing.
Bonnaroo 2009 headliner Bruce Springsteen joined Bonnaroo 2009 headliner Phish on stage at Bonnaroo 2009 last weekend. Video of that below...