90’s alternative under the DANGEROUS influence of 1930’s Jazz and Blues
The Junk Kitchen wants to bring to attention the dangers of “Blues” and “Jazz” by performing Grunge classics under the influence of this highly energetic and dangerously sexual “swing” style. Music of the Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Collective Soul and other 90’s hits will be performed in ways that until now weren’t imaginable. We will show you how it is possible for jazz and blues to be played through this music and how a little dancing, improvisation and “vibe” can really change they way we hear and experience live music performance.
Kelly Robarge – Tenor SaxAllie Bosso - Trombone Eric Hofbauer - Guitar
Paul Jacobs – Piano Scot Fitzsimmons – Bass Ben Dicke – Drums, Arranger, MC
Jazz and Blues have done it again! They’ve attacked some unassuming songs by jumping its form, overtaking its chords, and shaking its feel into a woozy sway. These attackers make their victims contain the quality this gang claims to represent: Swing. But unlike their normal tirades of forcing “blue notes” and “Jazzy” rhythms onto the ancient great American song book, this time they’ve put their filthy, dangerous stylings on Grunge. “Wait! Really? . . .Grunge?” one might ask. Yes! The music of our generation. Jazz and Blues have infiltrated the sacred soundtrack of our suburbian consumerist subculture of twenty years ago with loose feeling swing, raunchy syncopated rhythms, and off-putting ‘blue’ notes that are the hallmarks of lively Jazz. According to authorities, last week our music was found in Inman Square, knocked out in an alleyway, reeking of bad whiskey and “jazz cigarette” ash. They were quickly revived and performed by local musicians, checked for vital signs of “grunge” authenticity: heavy distorted guitar riffs, overly personal lyrics, and super straight drums grooves. But due to the spell that Jazz and Blues had put on these victims, these songs seem to display a new lease on life as they’ve been reported to be drunk with swing, unable to walk on a straight beat, slurring their notes, bending their tones and singing in highly sexual ragged syncopation! For a long time we’ve assumed that grunge and other sterile musical styles would be safe from these attacks. Why would the limited harmonic language and indulgent lyrics of 80’s new wave, late 90’s rap rock, and today’s pop music be tempting to these terrorists? Perhaps it’s payback from the appropriation of Rhythm and Blues to the more social acceptable Rock and Roll of white audiences in the 1950’s. Perhaps they are giving us a way to listen to and enjoy our music in the same ways it has been brought to generations before us… Could it be that? Is it possible to make this introspective music of the past a fun social event of today?? Or is it a dirty trick!!?! Don’t let this M.U.I.O.M (Music Under the Influence of Other Music) tempt you into believing that “swing” is the prerogative for “fun” with grunge. These are dangerous individuals! As we approach a post-post-9-11 world we must recognize that any aspect of normalcy can be a potential target for a terrorist attack- regardless of its likelihood. And these efforts should not fall short of protecting our music, arts and culture from such threats. Even if these threats come not from a foreign ideology but a… past American popular culture. Nevertheless it’s of great importance that we inform people as a public service to the dangers of music being swung drunk and beaten blue just as these songs have been. Doing so can protect a public from the dangers of their influence and inform future generations to stay away from the gateway drug of the swung 8th note. The Junk Kitchen wants to bring to attention the dangers of “Blues” and “Jazz” by performing Grunge classics under the influence of this highly energetic and dangerously sexual “swing” style. Music of the Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Collective Soul and other 90’s hits will be performed in ways that until now weren’t imaginable. We will show you how it is possible for jazz and blues to be played through this music and how a little dancing, improvisation and “vibe” can really change they way we hear and experience live music performance. Especially music that was once so definable by being the opposite of what it has become. But beware: if we don’t stop Jazz and Blues now from seducing others into their spell, there’s no telling how far they’ll take their acts of musical terrorism into other styles. ‘Cause you never know what music they’ll turn onto next! Love songs? Nursery rhymes? Children’s songs? Your own children? In this case, if you hear something, say something! IF YOU OR YOUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN DO COME IN CONTACT WITH JAZZ OR BLUES MUSIC: 1. Stay away!! Cover your ears and run in the other direction. Once at a safe distance urge others to do the same. Try not to frighten them, especially seniors, babies and small dogs. Just tell them to “act normally” and to ignore the music that may be within earshot. 2. Listen to the radio! Now’s the time to pull out that old battery operated radio that you’ve been waiting to use for hurricane disasters and such. Make sure it’s battery operated because listening to your home stereo won’t make it feel much like an emergency. Turn to any Religious AM talk, Sports, or right wing radio. That will keep you informed about this and other relevant social issues. Any pop/dance stations touting to be “the new” so and so or “hot” whatever are best bets! 3. Listen to CDs! . . of preferably the original versions of what you’ve just heard. Resist the urge to rush to iTunes, Spotify or YouTube though. If you want to fully cleanse yourself, using the original 90’s medium is the best. Don’t have any CDs anymore? No problem! Originally marked at $19.99 in their heyday, Compact Discs are now likely to be found in the dollar bin at most consignment stores. But don’t be fooled, the price tag just reflects the lack of demand for the last great physical medium, not its quality… those 1’s and 0’s still know how to rock! Plus, CDs seem to be safe from any culture predators like Jazz and Blues because digital formats inherently have no vibe. This also makes CDs hipster-proof, too, because they don’t seem yet to capture some quirky nostalgic value like tape cassettes do, and they don’t nearly hold the same aesthetic and cultural capitol as vinyl does. I mean, you really can’t hang up framed CD cover of Pearl Jam’s “TEN” and feel cool about it… can you? 4. Watch TV! - Flipping through a few hundred channels works, although watch out for classic movies of the 40’s and 50’s and the weather channel - they might feature this music as well. MTV is a good stand by even though it tends not to play music videos anymore. Their programming consists of a lifetime’s worth of pathetic mindless self-indulgent pop culture dribble… which is good! 5. Buy Something! Anything! Spending money will get you to forget the Traumatic Cultural Event (TCE) that just happened to you. Shopping online is OK but to be safe the mall is your best bet. After trying on a few pairs of shoes, eating a giant fake butter inspired pretzel and being surrounded by the kids of today, you’ll say to yourself “wha- just happened?” (FYI - CDs are NOT sold in Malls anymore) FOOTNOTES - 1 Grunge is a style of rock music that came out of the early 90’s Seattle music scene and shares lineages with hardcore, punk, and other underground scenes of the time, but not with 80’s Hair Metal. It gained popularity with acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden who overthrew the then flamboyant 80’s Hair Metal sound, attitude and aesthetic. Typical characteristics of Grunge music are medium tempos of dark riffs, spacey vocals, deeply personal lyrics and generally creepy music videos and not being 80’s Hair Metal. The popularity for the music grew mainly because the kids of that time were in desperate need of something that could serve as a soundtrack to their seemingly unique lives of: living in suburbia, going to the mall on Friday nights, hating your parents for worrying about you, hating school, wearing bad clothing, not grooming, being bored, being depressed (or at least thinking you were), hating school (and those who excelled in it), filling spiral bound notebooks filled with bad poetry about extremely localized first world problems i.e. “Why am I so weird?” and, of course, not listening to 80’s Hair Metal. 2 References to “our generation” and “our music” in this description actually refer to a specific demographic of people of this country in a very specific time period with shared specific interests and aesthetic traits… so on the worldly grand scheme of things “our” is more exclusive than it may seem. Basically if you went to high school in the 90’s, and meet the social characteristics displayed in footnote 1, you’re generally a part of our “our.” One could also say that this was the last generation to not grow up with Apple products, cell phones, and the Internet until at least college. If you did grow up in the 90’s and still don’ t know what I’m talking about, you might have of spent more time involved with sports, forming meaningful relationships with positive people, and/or overachieving in high school, playing classical music and thinking about the future, fully unaware of the great popular sub-culture revolution of the early 90s… or you were listening to 80’s Hair Metal.