First and foremost, a shout out is in order to our new found Kiwi constituency. A few of the Cub Scouts down there have been hooking me up with varied music selections for years and it'll probably be reflected in a lot of my choices...
Now onto business and your daily dosage. Until recently the very term "Jam" would not come up on any blog you scanned. The word brought to mind images of dirt covered teenagers feeling their "good vibrations (vibes?)" and burnt out hippies doling out advice on how we should all avoid foods with pesticides. Suffice it to say, it aroused visceral revulsion for most bloggers. But that was before the lines between Jam and Electronica/Dance became blurred. Now, this relatively recent genre of not-so-classifiable music (technically known as "Trance Fusion Jam" or "Livetronica") seems to be Jam's salvation. Combining elements of Jazz, Electronica, Dance, Jam, and Funk, this music has great potential for being everyone's cup of tea.
1)Toward Peace by Telepath
Arriving on the Jam scene this past year, Telepath has had a great rookie year. Their notoriety began with a spot at the Echo project and then sets at Bisco and Trinumeral. Later they toured with Lotus and should be on the road in early '09 with The New Deal. On their debut album Contact (2008), Telepath succeeds in blending the sounds of archaic and traditional eastern instruments with those of contemporary synthesizers and drum machines. "Toward Peace" displays this amalgam in its epitome. Think "Luma Daylights" meets Ian Anderson. The song begins by taking a note from Yo La Tengo's "Green Arrows" (Crickets set a great backdrop) and then incorporates a piano, a flute, shimmering synth strings, and a great Dub drum cadence.
2)Lovely Allen by Holy Fuck
Holy Fuck has a simple formula for making music: mimic electronic music without the interference of all those modern doohickies like laptops. Instead the band comes armed with a drum kit, a plethora of keyboards (some real and some toy), phaser guns, and a bass guitar. Though this track, off their second album LP (2007), came out quite some time ago, I never had a chance to give it a listen. "Lovely Allen" seems as though it could have been a collaboration of Kevin Drew and Richard Ashcroft. The building swells have a protreptic virtue which makes you want to get out there and take the world head on.
PS. Here's a pretty funny site dedicated to Jam Band Fans: