Woods and the New Jam

By my count, I’ve seen Woods more times in the last two years than any other band currently gigging (local favs notwithstanding) – so my comparisons to the Grateful Dead (members of the band are pure heads) are actually somewhat warranted. It’s not one of those instances where I just happen to catch Woods playing by happenstance. I’m actively pursuing their live show at every opportunity. And though I’m thoroughly impressed with At Echo Lake and utterly baffled by the lack of praise for it, the live show is where it’s at. They are leaps and bounds more attuned to free-form, freak-out, improvisation and creation than any of their contemporaries. In Texas this past March, I took to indulging in what I referred to via spontaneous tweets as the “new jam.” At the time I was yawning in bliss to Real Estate. Realizing that these kids got the jam (which I never got at that age) but not the soul really started to bring a dull pain to my thoughts. This recent camp of dudes soloing in slow motion for minutes on end is refreshing. The recent camp of dudes honkin’ on bobo (I’m looking at you Mt. Carmel) is just as quenching. It’s certainly not reactionary to the lo-fi boom, it’s more complementary. Just wait and hear Beach Fossils for the first time. But in all of this there’s not a stitch of the flag that Woods fly on stage. My interview with G. Lucas Crane on the Agit-Reader attempts to clear up exactly where their genes originate, but ends up wrapped in the enigma that is their performance – he constantly “wants to jam.” And now I feel like tape trading live sets of this band are a must. Anyone out there with French Legation Museum, Austin, TX 3/18/2010? That was a rager.

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