jog.jpgUnlike the rock snob/critic/whathaveyou stereotype, I hope for my favorite bands to sell out. I want to hear them on car commercials and in the background of my favorite TV shows. I want people who don't listen to a lot of music to ask me if I've ever heard of them. I hold no pride in keeping great bands to myself. I always wish for the best.

I think The Joggers are a great band. I truly believe this. I also am well aware that they will never be giant a commercial success. Their music can seem complex and inaccessible, while also coming off as sloppy and amateur if you hear them in passing. I know as many people who love them than who cannot stand them, and you gotta pick your battles sometimes.

With this in mind, I was glad to see these guys play a packed room at Rothko Saturday on a night filled with about a dozen buzz bands of varying degrees in town. The set had the feel of a basement show of sorts and the band was quick to call that out. There were numerous sound problems and an occasionally rowdy crowd, but the band dealt. One mic in particular (we never found out which one) was spewing painful bouts of feedback between songs. No matter tho, the band fought on, and still managed to give a jaw dropping performance.

I would have to imagine for a band like this not to have their monitors working must be extremely difficult. You see, these guys often sound like they are playing 4 different songs at once. The guitars all go at different paces and the harmonies seem lost. What makes them so gratifying is that at the very last moment, right before the song sounds like it's about to implode from the weight of all it's incompatible parts, it sweeps together in a heart dropping crescendo. You realize that it's not just a cacophony of noise, but all part of a well thought out master plan they were working within the entire time. The songs teeter on the brink of incompetence, but, without fail, are pulled back with satisfying force. When heard live, the separation and the resulting climax are so much more extreme. There is no better example than at the end of 'Back to the Future', where the band steps away from the mics and the song dissolves into a four-part harmony a cappella jam, completely bringing the song to an instrumental standstill before continuing at a complete 90 degree turn from where it left off. Hearing these songs on record are impressive enough. Seeing them pull it off live, knowing full well that they could barely hear themselves on stage, was a sight to be seen.

(Picture above taken from their CMJ show at the Cake Shop last September)