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Relatively crude all-encompassing term for a group of bands who are musically quite disparate. Current jam band successes include such unique groups as Phish (closer to being straight rock than anything), String Cheese Incident (electric-grass or "acid grass"), Yonder Mountain String Band (more traditional bluegrass), Umphrey's McGee (prog-rock and jazz influences), Widespread Panic (Southern-ish rock), Blues Traveler (blues and power rock), Medeski Martin and Wood (jazz), etc. The originators of the phenomenon were the Grateful Dead, and Dead successors such as the Other Ones, Ratdog, and Phil Lesh & Friends carry the mantle of the Dead legacy today. The term "jam band" is of course rooted in the fact that all of these bands "jam," or improvise for long periods of time during their shows. Other characteristics of "jam band" status include dedicated traveling fan bases, close rapport with such fans, long sets at shows, etc.
by Phil February 26, 2003
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noun. A rock band whose performances include long, unscripted, meandering segments which experiment with structure and sound. Jam bands typically play very long sets whose playlists are only vaguely defined by lists of "songs." Jam band fans often heighten their musical experience by taking hallucinogenic drugs or by smoking pot. Examples include the Dead, moe., Phish, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident.
moe. is a jam band.

Q. What did the Deadhead say after the acid wore off?

A. This band sucks!
by Mike Roynhertz August 20, 2004
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Music to make your bones jitter and your hips shake. Music to make your feet move and your head sway. Music to make your beard and mind grow. A jam band manages to deliver a sense of freedom to the crowd. Jam bands free lance and improv. all while staying with each other and feeding off each others experimental energy. In a jam bands set, you'll find peices of the core song they started with, blended for your delight with a variety of instrumental solo's and always amazing percussion. jam Bands can be appreciated not only by people on drugs, but also by people who just dig music and the phases it grows through. (trust me though it's better when your high as cheese) Bands include Phish, Grateful Dead, String Cheese Incident Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers Band,Moe, The Big Wu and other music that hints towards these areas of music.
Hey you, why do you like Jam Bands, it just sounds like noise? wheres the catchy chorus?

Hey, simple human, because in a world where most peoples spirits are being tugged from them and hidden behind bills and death, it's nice to get sucked into a spiral of warmth and energy that can make me foget i'm human for a while. Just relax and smoke this. Oh, and the catcy chorus is coming after Jerry rips it for another 10 minutes. (past tense - sorry brother, thanks for the tunes)
by twinkle moslemendo November 13, 2007
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a band which likes to jam, also refers to the genre of music known as jambands.
I like jambands better than that teenie-bopper shit.
by Subeej March 31, 2003
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A style of band that may or may not understand the concept of a song but seems to care less. All songs are improvised nonsense. Imagine if you will, the theme song from the TV program Seinfeld being played for two hours in a continuous loop with drum and guitar solos as "accompaniment". As opposed to jazz fusion. Which is actually the same but with horns. The fans participate by playing hacky sack and smoking marijuana. This helps to distract their brains from realizing how terrible the music is. Sometimes there is singing but the bands have no real opinions on anything so it doesn't much matter.

Fans defend this with the oft uttered cliche: "They are all trained musicians and have degrees and stuff." The same defense taken to an extreme would be analogous to going to a dentist for a cleaning and coming out with dentures.

Possible reasons for the popularity of these bands would be that their fans do a lot of shitty drugs such as is the case in the "techno" scene.
I can't tell one of these jam bands apart from another. Are you sure this is a DIFFERENT jam band?

One is the Grateful Dead/Phish and the second is trying to sound exactly like the Grateful Dead/Phish.

"We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little."
--Bart Simpson
by 2wm October 08, 2009
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