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03 June 2004

So I think this is going to be my last post. I think this assessment has been useful, but I don't think I really took advantage of it as much as I could have. I was focused on other assignments too much to remember to keep consistently posting to my blog. For the most part, I outlined the general idea of my essay in the last post. So I'm not going to rehash any of those ideas. My ideas have remained the same. Now I just need to tie in some theory and I'll be good to go.

On a side note: A sad day in music history, Phish has called it quits as a band. Read Trey Anastasio's announcement here.
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26 May 2004

Unfortunately I've been working like mad to finish a semester long research project so I haven't been able to really dedicate myself to my blog. But now I'll bring you up to speed. For my paper I'm going to focus on how and why participants in the Jamband scene have adopted and applied new technologies to their musical hobbies, namely trading of live recordings.
In this respect, there are two main categories by which technology has affected this music scene. First, advances in digital recording have been able to greatly enhance the quality of the live recordings. No longer do tapers use $25 microphones connected to a cassette recorder. Nowadays, tapers arrive with bags overflowing with hundreds (or thousands) of dollars worth of equipment to record shows. The improved sound quality definitely has made collecting live recordings more desirable.
The second category by which technology has made its mark is the duplication/distribution of the live recordings among fans. In the past, the majority of trading could only be done at the shows when fans congregated. With the advent of bulletin boards, communication between fans increased dramatically. The first newsgroup to cover Jamband information was rec.music.phish, which began as a forum for Phish but quickly became a forum for all bands in the scene. Trades of shows were able to be set up by communicating through posts in the newsgroup. Also, Trading Trees were set up. This was an innovative way of massive duplication and distribution of a recording. One seed (the person with the original copy) would send duplicates to a couple people. Each of those people would send duplicates to others and so on and so on. Fans could sign up for trees and the tree diagrams were published on websites.

I suppose participants in the Jamband scene enthusiastically welcomed technological changes because it fostered their DIY ethic. Fans can obtain countless recordings without any intervention from corporate music.

So that's what I'm planning to write about.
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12 May 2004

Well, this is my first post in a while. . It seems like lots has gone on in blogger land while I've been gone. I would like to continue where I left off, but I feel I like I'm stuck at this point in my research. I'm not sure what to research next. I'm not quite sure what I'm actually looking for, in terms of theory and other supporting research. I'm going to work on that and I'll post again when I have something.
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01 May 2004

This post is dedicated to one of the best annual music festivals in the US, Bonnaroo. 2004 is the third year of the festival. Bonnaroo has attracted the top acts in the JamBand and psychedelic rock scenes. A few of the notable headliners have been The Dead, Neil Young, and Allman Brothers Band. I attended the festival the first 2 years and I say it's the best 3 days of the year. About 75,000 people converge on a 500 acre farm in Tennessee for 3 packed days of music. The festival is known for having spontaneous and surprise jam sessions mixing groups of musicians there. It's a great vibe, there's tons of stuff to do, and fun to camp out.

During the summer, a large percentage of concerts in the JamBand scene take place at music festivals. Of course, there is a website dedicated to tabulating all the festivals a JamBand fan might be interested in.
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28 April 2004

After about a week, I think I've decided on a direction for my essay. In my first couple entries, I commented on how interconnected the Jamband scene is and how trading of live recordings is an important feature of the subculture. I'm going to start my research on how new digital media/technologies have affected the trading of concerts within the scene and how the interconnectedness of the subculture has been enriched by that effect.

Another blog, music activism is also focusing on file sharing. There are a few good links on that page which you be interested in.
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23 April 2004

I've added a handful of links under the "links" section on the right side of my blog. I figure that I should comment briefly on why I added those links. The bands that I've included are a sample of the most popular bands in the JamBand scene and represent the wide range of sounds included in the scene.

Under the section that I've labeled "trading", I've linked to several websites that facilitate the trading of recordings of live shows between fans. Trading can occur directly through the internet (downloading mp3s or other digital formats) or through regular post. FurthurNet is a peer-2-peer file sharing network dedicated to the sharing of legal live music recordings and is probably the easiest way to get a recording of a specific show or artist.
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21 April 2004

Arborescence: The state of being arborescent; having the size, form, or characteristics of a tree; treelike.

Hi! Welcome to my weblog about the emerging JamBand community/subculture. Just a note about the title of my weblog. I must credit the Ozric Tentacles, whose 1994 album Arborescence gave me the idea for my title. I envisioned the JamBand subculture symbolizing arborescence because all of the bands involved in the music subculture are connected through a passion for improvisation and live performance. The trunk of the tree represents the lot of bands. The bands, however, diverge in individual styles, genres, and sounds of their music. The divergence is represented by the branches. In the Ozric Tentacles album, they hint that their arborescence is their music branching out and engulfing the listener. Each style or genre of the JamBand subculture has the potential to reach new, unique listeners that will be introduced to the many bands of the larger,overall JamBand scene.

If you are completely lost about what a JamBand is, here are few good links: JamBands.com, JamBase.com, and HomeGrownMusic.net.

JamBands are influenced by a wide range of musical styles/genres including (but not limited to): rock, jazz, bluegrass, electronic, funk, and caribbean. All the bands, however, are tied together through the common theme of musical improvisation during high-energy live performances.
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