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July 24, 2024, 12:20:58 AM

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Is there anything like Jam out there?

Started by emilyonalifeglug, May 11, 2024, 07:15:25 PM

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emilyonalifeglug

For ages now I've been hunting down anything that gives me the same feelings Jam does. Specifically, anything that uses a similar constant ambient style soundtrack, as well as the insane ramblings and accompanying visuals seen in the opening sequences.
I've already listened to all of Blue Jam and the rest of morris' work and my hunger is still unsatiated. It can be anything, short films, feature films, tv shows, youtube videos, podcasts, audiobooks, I crave the atmosphere. Please help a girl out

Solid Jim

The first thing that springs to mind is PFFR's The Shivering Truth, if you haven't seen it. Surreal/dark comedy sketches animated in stop motion with narration and music - kind of a different genre of music, but it might tick some of the boxes. Channel 4 have it on streaming.

emilyonalifeglug

already watched it, probably one of my favourite things out there, as well as xavier renegade angel and wonder showzen

Solid Jim

At the other end of the spectrum we have this sketch from 2004 The Stupid Version, which is consciously emulating a Jam-like vibe, but whose premise does not extend beyond "ha ha, mp3 players now exist."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKVtytZfUDw

emilyonalifeglug

Thats a pretty funny little tribute i guess.. the only real hope of seeing anything else in that style is if Morris does a second series of Jam, or the more likely option, I'll just have to make something myself. Any suggestions are welcome though!

dontpaintyourteeth


Terry Torpid


PlanktonSideburns

There's a
Reading of Thomas liggotti's short story, The nightmare network, which I recon might do it. And another of his, called gas station carnivals

emilyonalifeglug

Quote from: PlanktonSideburns on May 12, 2024, 08:55:36 PMThere's a
Reading of Thomas liggotti's short story, The nightmare network, which I recon might do it. And another of his, called gas station carnivals
Thanks I'll check that out!

PlanktonSideburns



Theres a few different readings out there, I think these two were the better ones. Oh also if they're working for you also


Robot DeNiro

It's audio only, but The Beef and Dairy Network podcast occasionally strays into Blue Jam territory, with bizarre surreal soundscapes.  It's only like that occasionally, but it's fantastic when it goes in that direction.  Episode 77 has that sort of thing, and if you like that it's well worth starting with episode one and listening to the whole thing.

PlanktonSideburns

Ooh actually Kim nobles podcast Futile Attempts is very much hitting the brief, and is great too

DrumsAndWires

Quote from: Solid Jim on May 12, 2024, 12:10:36 AMThe first thing that springs to mind is PFFR's The Shivering Truth, if you haven't seen it. Surreal/dark comedy sketches animated in stop motion with narration and music - kind of a different genre of music, but it might tick some of the boxes. Channel 4 have it on streaming.

just checked out the first episode for this. it's absolutely brilliant, very chris morris-esque.

Kelvin

There were a number of darker sketch shows in the UK, post Jam. The best of a bad bunch was probably the animated one, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was called. Anyone know the one I mean?   

dontpaintyourteeth


Kelvin

Quote from: dontpaintyourteeth on May 15, 2024, 12:55:08 PMMonkey Dust

That's it.

Rewatched a clip and it's worse than I remember. So probably only a curiosity as a Blue Jam ripoff.


Senior Baiano

Monkey Dust was very hit and miss, but the hits were worthwhile. And the West Brom obsessed jihadis anticipated Four Lions by a few years

Shaky

Quote from: Solid Jim on May 12, 2024, 10:41:20 AMAt the other end of the spectrum we have this sketch from 2004 The Stupid Version, which is consciously emulating a Jam-like vibe, but whose premise does not extend beyond "ha ha, mp3 players now exist."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKVtytZfUDw

Ha, I hadn't seen that before. Does seem as if Iannucci is having a bit of a dig at his old chum there, actually.

It's possible the opening car-accident sequence of JAM episode 1 owes something to the deliberately sick ideas and deadpan tone of JG Ballard's seventies sex-and-car-accidents sci-fi novel Crash, which had started to be talked about quite favourably by the nineties and had been filmed in 1996 by David Cronenberg. An earlier attempt to film similar ideas also including jarring ambient music and heavy use of editing effects was made by Ballard himself in 1971, also under the title Crash, though most of the words are from an earlier novel, The Atrocity Exhibition. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1merGrSiqo

I think Tom Mccarthy's 2005 novel Remainder has something of a similar atmosphere to Jam, in as much as it describes a series of increasingly surreal scenarios that are played out in a very cold and unemotional way by a affectless and confused narrator, and especially the way that those scenarios come about because of the narrator's own private whims and obsessions.

I think the last time we had a similar thread along these lines it was brought up that Joe Frank's radio monologue "Lies" sounded very proto-Blue-Jam. Someone has thoughtfully made a Youtube video putting that monologue over a visual edit of the film which was (plagaristically) made of "Lies", Scorcese's After Hours, which has a very pleasingly Jam-like effect.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02-qdq5LumM

First thought was Shivering Truth, which was said straight away, so instead I'd say Joe Franks.

He's an American Radio Essayist who does monotone streams of consciousness with a sleazy ambient drone music.

In fact I think the Xavier/TST guy is aping him slightly.

It's not very easy to find good examples online but this might be a start:


https://radiolab.org/podcast/voice-your-head-tribute-joe-frank

EDIT: Well crap, literally the paragraph above this one recommends Joe Frank, so mea culpa

That's alright, I was umming and ahing anyway as to whether it was better to post the link I did or one of Frank's own radio originals minus visuals anyway. Big laughs at his opening piece on the documentary you linked to.

copa

Only struck me recently that some of the inspiration for Blue Jam must have come from Blue by Derek Jarman. With the name being a direct reference to it.

I don't know if this is the case. Or if it's too obvious to mention but don't remember seeing them linked. Jarman's Blue isn't a comedy but the monologues have the exact same vibe/tone.



fucking ponderous

Not really comedic but Robert Ashley's album Private Parts is another great ambient soundtrack/hazy narration thing.

Oh here's something nobody has said yet, there's the music of David Shrigley of Shit Art fame. I really only know two songs from it but they fit the bill.


And "Houseguest" which is not on YouTube but search on Spotify or whatever.


copa

Paul Rooney's "Lucy Over Lancashire" is interesting.

It has a different energy to Blue Jam but takes you on a similar journey into a slightly deranged other world.

Can't find any references to it now but I've got a feeling that the voice of Lucy is provided by Maxine Peake. Also includes some lovely references to 90s radio land with Allan Beswick and On the Wire.



kowalski

The thing about Jam is that it's fundamentally different from most other dark comedy. It's not juvenile, it doesn't want to be offensive simply for the sake of being offensive, and it has a genuine and meaningful perspective on human life. It doesn't treat satire as a race to see who can be the most politically incorrect. The world is full of dead baby jokes, but Jam is something else entirely, even when it's joking about dead babies.

I would say that Black Mirror comes close to Jam's use of apparent comedy to convey bleak ideas, but none of my other points of reference come from TV comedy. Jam is more like Dante's Inferno and David Lynch's Lost Highway than it is like any sketch show.

A lot of stuff sticks in my mind from it, like that sketch where police and forensics experts are checking out a corpse in a taped-off area of woodland, then suddenly people dressed only in white gowns come along and start doing a Dionysian dance to the strains of that song by the Muppets which was covered by that girl group from the Nineties.

Straying slightly further from the path, Limmy's written work [That's Your Lot, Daft Wee Stories] combines the "lonely people having intrusive flights of fantasy" with Dark  surreality.

His TV sketches weren't so dark, possibly  because of editorial control.

He obviously likes being violent and horrible because his earliest podcast were very violent and sexual (John Paul, the Vicar, Xander).

thenoise

Another non-comedy suggestion, but for ambient music, nightmarish/strange words and general late-night radio wooziness, Delia Derbyshire/Barry Bermange's amazing 'In Dreams'

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JdJS5PU1Ztw

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