The Jam Messengers “Kick Out!” CD
It’s a dirty delta blues w/ a NYC beat. It’s got an attitude and some erudition, and that’s what makes it so special. Irony has been dead since the Nobel Peace Prize of 73, it’s been dead across the board. It’s comforting to listen to music that doesn’t sit in the shade of other types of music or even other bands. Rob K & Marco Butcher are in the middle of the desert. Their music sounds like the offerings of two men. Perhaps two men addicted to chloroform so that they’ve morphed into cacti. Prickly, but if you bite into them the sweat nectar coats your throat and keeps you alive for another twenty miles. The maps are the songs: all well written with multiple hooks that tend to underline Rob K’s lyrical graces, he can turn a memorable phrase with a quavering voice above Marco’s sinuous leads and steady percussion. Keeping the beat alive, I pick up a few lines here and there and manage I sing along each time one of them comes up in the queue. And where they come up in the queue they always fit. Some of them are slow and haunting; others are catchy and w/ a good beat. One song is sorta hip hop experimental but it fits in like the rest, of course it has a punning title (“tower of babel”).
The Jam Messengers, they’re bringing out the jams, or kicking them out the gallows dance could be read as our whole lives being pulled and strung on a long trip up the thirteen steps. The song could be seen as a long strip of intestines slowly unraveled, pulled like a top when they play a cover song they are transmitting a message through time, jam messengers.
(I’m) “listening to Marco play a dirty delta blues,” moans Rob K, insinuates Rob K. It’s a dirty hotel blues song where he tells a story and wonders if he’s gonna get a 3300 euro fine for lighting a joint-and the way he breaks the phrase you wonder if he’s considering burning the place down out of spite and then you fantasize about Rob K as being some sort of shifty arsonist for hire, like he’s gonna do it for insurance money-it’s not just a song. It’s statement. It’s a royalty statement from a king of his realm, his commanding presence, the vibe he generates.
ambition cemetery-this is the second time where Rob has written about disappointment with rock and roll dreams-it all ends up in small hotel rooms-last night’s pay was pizza pie-where dreams go to die- I want new stuff I want contemporary music-I got the jam messengers on my phone. I like the ambition cemetery song. I like the way you’re singing from a hotel room and it sounds so bleak. y’know you’re the legendary rock star on tour, in thirty years kids are gonna be dying to meet ya but now, today, that specific post-concert THEN: you’re all alone. The guarantee was a pizza pie.
The Jam Messengers manage to make a political point without sounding obnoxious, they ask how come Bo Diddley is dead and Dick Cheney is alive? Rob K sings over tight r and b well uhhh it sounds like Bo Diddley’s sound but makes a point about what’s alive and what’s gone and it makes you think. He asks how come punk is alive, but I guess it is if he can make me think and it still sound goods.
LATER: I haven’t heard this in a couple of weeks. It still holds up. Dirty blues music, created post-industrially. Thinking about Ludlow Street: buy a salami for your boy in the army, Max Fish-that was the block the Velvets first rehearsed on y’know? (I clearly remember being in Max Fish and being shocked to hear the beautiful “semi-multi-colored caucasian” being played-this had to be Rob’s influence. It was the first and last time I ever heard CB over a bar) Rob can turn a phrase. Marco has a real technique with the slide. The drums sound very deep like an old rock-a-billy record.) But there’s a Mercer Street feel to this, wake up in make-up shows a doll like drag. The Jam Messengers are decadent. They’re like spray paint. Good feeling.
A throw out hotel at ten ayem. I can just feel Rob’s pain inn this hotel, there’s no alarm clock, there’s a very unpleasant cleaning staff-he sings it like you would an email complaint, a nasty anonymous postcards-
I like how they make these recordings, they do it between Brazil & Hawaii. That’s so exotic. All the ex-NYers move to such exotic places or they’re simply already from Brazil and just simply cool because of that and the Portuguese singing in Tower of babel at first sounds cheesy but then when the beat picks up it becomes sort of a folk music-this is such a wide ranging and mature album-so many parts could appeal to so many people. This Jam Messengers CD is the best thing I’ve heard since the JSBX. Watching Rob sing w/ Jon at the end of the Nashville set was stunning. I really like how Rob plays with all these different people. I really hope these few words convey how much I’ve enjoyed this CD. Meeting the Jam Messengers was just so fucing great, and I feel so lucky…
Rob knows everybody and I do mean everybody. Even though Rob knows everybody, I’m more impressed that Marco knows Olho Seco. Holy Shit. He’s seen Olho Seco; he’s friends with Favio. Grito Suburbano. Holy shit, that’s incredible. No wonder I’m listening to the Jam Messengers. They know all my soundtracks as they become my new soundtrack.
Rob's tour dates here