The Festival Fistful: Gem and Jam
January usually isn’t anyone’s favorite month of the year. It’s cold, the wind blows hard, and the sky is usually grey, However, if you’re looking to make January 2018 one for the books, look no further than Gem and Jam Festival out of Tucson, AZ. With some of the biggest names in the bass. funk, and jam music scene, Gem & Jam is certain to bring some warmth and light to your otherwise dreary winter. We previously showed you some of the best names you might not have heard of on Bottoms Up and gave you a chance to win a Gem & Jam Camping Package! Now it’s time to check back in with the heavy hitters atop the lineup with The Festival Fistful.
Enter the world of the Sound Tribe from Sector 9. Are they from California or outer space? Doesn’t matter actually because all you need to do is focus on the tunes and there’s a plethora of them. They’ve got a grand total of 11 albums under their belt and have been hitting festival circuit like a sledgehammer for years now. They’re sure to please with their psychedelic, electronic rock type sound, encompassing a wide range of subgenres. Oh, and expect the light show of a lifetime when they take the stage. Which, for your enjoyment is going to happen twice. Make sure to see them at least once.
Aside from being a dietary choice of rabbits, these guys bring some of the dopest funk there is in the music industry today. It isn’t always easy to tell when a jam band is playing a certain song, but as long as they keep the vibes rolling and the heads bobbing, all is well. Led by guitarist Eric Krasno and drummer Adam Deitch, expect them to deliver some of the craziest grooves and riffs you can find in the desert. They’ve got a pretty wide anthology of albums to choose from themselves and, just because the attendees of Gem & Jam are super lucky, there’s going to be two nights of Lettuce to boot. Don’t miss out.
Get ready for the Emancipator proclamation. That all in attendance at his set will be treated to some of the most fire trip-hop and downtempo music that is known to man. Fresh off the recently released album, Baralku, the tunes are going to be ambient yet upbeat, making for quite an interesting set. On top of wonky feels and pleasant vibes, there will be plenty of live instrumentals. Violins will sing, guitars will hum, and the crowd is going to move their feet. Get ready for some action.
A wild card in the lineup, Breaking Biscuits has the answer in the name but we’ll dissect it for you. Breaking Biscuits is the combination of Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein from The Disco Biscuits, festival champions that even host one their own, Camp Bisco. The other half is Borham Lee and Adam Deitch of Break Science, the latter of which we mentioned earlier. He’ll be performing with Lettuce for a couple of sets and it looks like he’ll be everywhere this weekend. We’ve included Spotify playlists of both acts, but honestly, it won’t help that much. Breaking Biscuits is less funky than The Disco Biscuits and less bassy than Break Science. They fall somewhere in the middle, delivering some quality downtempo and trip-hop, with influences of both reflected in the music. Should be quite an interesting set though, so enjoy!
Is it a coincidence that these last two artists will be at Gem & Jam after crushing the Fillmore in Denver the same weekend? Probably. Does it matter in the slightest? Not at all. Michal Menert is a Pretty Lights Music stalwart and has an extensive compilation of music to wow the crowd with. Gem & Jam should prepare for some funky electronica, with bits of jazz and soul mixed in for extra spice. It’s been a while since his last full release of Space Jazz, but he hasn’t lost his edge in the slightest. His set is sure to hit a wide range of moods and will leave fans craving more when he’s done. Be sure to check him out.