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Rainman Records Presents Jam in the 'Dam

Some things just belong together. This would include jam band music and Amsterdam, the utterly civilized home of the legendary Melkweg, a so-called Dutch "coffeehouse" where the smoke blows free – and so does the music. In March '05 Umphrey's McGee, Keller Williams, The Disco Biscuits and Particle banded together to take over Holland for "Jam in the 'Dam," and cameras and microphones came along.

Rainman Records is pleased to announce the April 4th double DVD release of Lawrence Shapiro's splendid film of Jam in the 'Dam, featuring three hours of live music plus substantial interviews that reveal genuine thoughtful insight from the musicians. Beautifully shot and edited, it is a time capsule of where four of the cutting edge lineups in the genre were playing.

This highly interactive DVD offers various options of play, including the entire movie, music only, or individual songs, as well as bonus slideshows and additional music. It is cutting edge in structure as well as content.

Umphrey's McGee came together in 1997 at the University of Notre Dame. The band features the songwriting of guitarists/vocalists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, the singing and keyboards of Joel Cummins, Kris Meyers on drums and vocals, Ryan Stasik on bass and Andy Farag, percussion. Their first album, Greatest Hits Volume III hints at their gumption, and they've since played their way into considerable prominence. Citing The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Yes, and (Peter Gabriel-era) Genesis as influences, their sound is a tight, cerebral ensemble sound that reflects solid musical intelligence. "Believe the Lie," "Hurt Bird Bath," "Uncle Wally," and "JaJunk" are intricate, rigorous, scrupulous and polished.

Keller Williams is, in the words of Monty Python, "something completely different." A superb acoustic guitarist from Virginia, he hooked up with String Cheese Incident as an opening act in 1998. As his ambitions and abilities expanded, so did his instrumental lineup – but he still walks onstage alone. Thanks to the magic of modern electronics, he can establish a percussion track either vocally or with a drum pad, add on a bass part, throw in a guitar part, and then start a vocal and/or second guitar line. "Play This," "Stupid Questions," "Dance of the Freek" > "Freeker by the Speaker" and "Breathe" create remarkably complex musical worlds that audiences love.

The Disco BiscuitsAron Magner, keyboards, Marc Brownstein, bass, Jon Gutwillig, guitar, and Sam Altman, drums (who has since left the band) - came together in 1995 at the University of Pennsylvania, built a reputation with torrid frat party shows, and bring a celebratory atmosphere to any show. "Jigsaw Earth" and "Aceetobee" simply burn. Joined by Joel and Brendan from Umphrey's McGee for "Home Again," they bring what was obviously a fantastic weekend to a glorious close.

Particle - Eric Gould, bass, Steve Molitz, keys, Darren Pujalet, drums, and Charlie Hitchcock, guitar (who has since left the band) finishes DVD #1 with blistering versions of "King Hassan," "Ed and Molly," and "Zia." Their "Mind Over Matter" also serves as a perfect sonic backdrop for the closing credits at the end of DVD #2. They are the masters of the trance dance groove, as they proved when they took on Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart last year and created a new band, "Hydra," for a tour. Named by Relix as the best new band of 2002, they've toured extensively since then, building an impressive reputation.

Maybe it's the room. In 1981, the Grateful Dead, not at their best, visited the Melkweg for a spontaneous off-night show that was one of the most rejuvenating evenings of their late career. Maybe it's the space cakes...

Magic happens there, and you can see it in Jam in the 'Dam.


[Published on: 4/4/06]

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Phil starstarstarstar Tue 4/4/2006 12:56PM
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i was at this festival, and i was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of the DVD. not only did they pick some great songs to include, they did an amazing job with the editing. this is much more than a straightforward concert DVD, there's some really creative editing going on. one song that stands out is Keller's "Breathe" they incorporate his sampling into some really interestng split screen shots. Also, there are lots of great shots of the city, anyone who hasn't been to Amsterdam can get a good idea of what its all about.I highly recommmend this DVD! Its just too bad that they couldn't fit more, there was so much great music to choose from...

sailorman starstarstarstar Tue 4/4/2006 02:43PM
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I just do not understand how Sound Tribe is not on the DVD at all. Is there any reason for that?

DeKuil Tue 4/4/2006 03:47PM
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This DVD is from the 2005 show. No STS9.

Amazingly well done.

Gizmo starstarstarstarstar Tue 4/4/2006 04:40PM
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after reading this article, i just went out and got this DVD at the store. all i can say is WOW! it's seriously the best concert DVD i've seen in years. maybe since "Stop Making Sense" from The Talking Heads. amazing interviews, absolutely incredible music by all 4 bands, and some cool footage of the great city of The Dam! go out and get this bad boy. very highly recommended...

Smittea starstarstarstarstar Wed 4/5/2006 10:00AM
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$25.00 from Rainman Records or $16.99 from Amazon/CDNow. Hmmmmm......

Traveler93 starstarstarstar Wed 4/5/2006 12:36PM
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Looking forward to checking this out!

WooophishWooo starstarstarstarstar Wed 4/5/2006 01:01PM
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I was lucky enough to be at the festival and it was by far one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Ive got my dvd ordered and cant wait until i get it in the mail. As cameras were spinning across the crowd during those shows, i knew i would have the chance to relive one of the "high" points in a great spring break. If you werent lucky enough to be there, do yourself a favor and get this dvd asap. Its something that any music fan should have in their collection. Amsterdam is the best place in the world and this dvd is sure to be a slice of heaven.

shinjuku starstarstarstar Wed 4/5/2006 02:48PM
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Oh thats becasue STS9 wasn't there...

artsyteach starstarstarstarstar Wed 4/5/2006 05:34PM
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i wish i wish i wish i could have been there. everyone who went seemed to have a fabulous time. the video obviously does it justice. til next year my friends....sigh.

professorwormbog Thu 4/6/2006 02:13AM
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Just got this DVD and after watching it I have a few comments. First, very well done. The camera work and organization of the DVD is very good. The vibe of the DVD is great too (although with these great bands and Amsterdam you'd have to screw up pretty big time to ruin the vibe). However, I also have some critical comments. First, not enought musical footage, at least not for me. I'd like to see more than 3-4 sounds from each band. I know it's a compilation, but still... One final note, to compare this DVD to The Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" is a real disservice to that DVD. This DVD, imo, does not even come close to The Heads' DVD. I think if you're looking for a really quality DVD from one of these bands with lots of music on it try Umphrey's McGee's "Wrapper Around Chicago" DVD. The most recent Disco Biscuits DVD "Live from the Palladium" (from a May, 2004 show) is pretty good, lots of songs, but I think it lacks a little as far as video quality goes.

kaya520 starstarstarstarstar Thu 4/6/2006 08:40PM
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I'd have to compare this to Festival express. This is one of the true must have DVD's. It makes you feel like you were there, wish I was.....

mikeyz starstarstarstar Tue 4/25/2006 01:17PM
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great dvd, but could definately have more music. can definatley be considered not to be the best performances by any of the bands, but overall entertaining to watch..