365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

T-shirt #346 - The JAM

TODAY'S COUNT: 19 blog posts remaining in the T-shirt year
OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE TEXT OF THE LAST TWENTY POSTS COUNTDOWN: Hi. Thanks for reading. I am posting this "boilerplate" text everyday, at the top of the blog, for the last TWENTY posts in the T-SHIRT blog year, which started on March 22, 2013. I will close out daily transmission on March 21st, day 365 of my T-shirt blog-tastic extravaganza spectacular. I will give myself a short hiatus of total non-transmission or  publication for an as yet undetermined period of time, though I am estimating about two weeks. After my blog vacation hiatus, I will resume T-shirt posts on a regular basis, also as yet to be determined (weekly? Twice monthly?) to finish blogging about all the T-shirts that were not featured in the blog year. At some point, once I feel I am rolling along nicely, I will begin regular posting through my main blog: SENSE OF DOUBT. T-shirt posts will direct to the T-shirt blog from SENSE OF DOUBT. I will continue to post THE WEEKLY COMIC LIST, the features of occasional T-SHIRTS I AM WEARING THIS WEEK, book reviews, comic book reviews, and other popular culture nonsense as I have been for a year now but all will go up at SENSE OF DOUBT and some will direct back here to 365 T-SHIRTS. Ultimately, I will begin Internet publication of my fiction, primarily the comic book satire episodic story called POP! among other projects. So, in summary, 365 T-SHIRTS will continue though intermittently. SENSE OF DOUBT will host my main blog presence and fiction writing as well as links to any T-shirt posts shared here. I hope you will continue to follow me in my journey as a writer and a content provider. Thank you for your kind attention and time you have spent with me on this and/or any other day this year. I am humbled and blessed by your readership. - chris tower, blogger, originated 1403.02

T-shirt #346 - The JAM

Today's shirt features what is one of the greatest bands of the modern era: THE JAM.

I would put THE JAM next to most any band in an evaluation of musical impact, fury of fandom, raw power, lyrical strength, chart topping songs and albums, quality of albums as a whole, pop hooks, originality, and many of the other factors used to evaluate bands.

Even so, when I created my BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME LIST in T-shirt #292, I did not include any albums by THE JAM in the top ten list.

THE JAM were among the two bands I mentioned immediately following my top ten list as an unfortunate omission. However, in my personal top most listened to albums, the Jam's All Mod Cons logged 20th as you can read here in the oft-recommended T-shirt #97.

Despite these rankings or lack of rankings, the Jam are definitely among my favorite bands of all time, ranked third when I listed favourite bands in T-shirt #46: DEVO.

I first discovered the Jam in the early 1980s, probably around 1981-82 with the purchase of the 1980 album Sound Affects. In 1982, I had tickets to see them at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor, which I sold for less than I paid, out front, because my then girlfriend of the time had lost interest in attending and wanted to visit her grandparents in Greektown instead. The Jam broke up shortly after this concert appearance, and I have never gotten over missing my chance to see them live.

In 1983, I started dating another woman who had just spent the summer living in Britain and had become a HUGE Jam fan and discovered the rest of their albums, primarily Setting Sons and my personal favourite: All Mod Cons, which I think is a truly great album despite my failure to rank it in an objective listing of top ten greatest albums of all time.

I have been a huge Jam fan ever since, though I am most interested in PAUL WELLER, the Modfather, whom I have followed through his years with THE STYLE COUNCIL and later (and currently) his burgeoning solo career. I have yet to see Paul Weller live, and this is definitely on my bucket list of things to do before either one of us, me or Paul, kicks. Along with never seeing The Jam, missing Paul Weller ranks with my other missed live shows, such as Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, and Joni Mitchell.

Ranking the Jam albums is easy.

1. All Mod Cons (1978)
2. Setting Sons (1979)
3. Sound Affects (1980)
4. The Gift (1982)
5. In The City (1977)
6. This is the Modern World (1977)

This list does not count compilations or special editions, like Beat Surrender seen in the photos. I was fortunate and blessed to receive a copy of Dig the New Breed, a live compilation album released as the band broke up in 1982, and the deluxe 30th anniversary edition of The Gift as Christmas gifts in 2013 from my wife.

The Jam are an amazing success story. Formed in a flurry of punk activity in Britain, the band emerged as one of the punk bands that was not so stereotypically punk. Though the band formed in 1972, the recording and popular years were short: five years. They burned twice as bright because they burned half as long as many others.

Yes, somewhat lazy, but effective, here's the main WIKIPEDIA text on the Jam that does a good job summing up how great the band was.
The Jam were an English punk rock/new wave/mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were formed in Woking, Surrey. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore smartly tailored suits rather than ripped clothes, and they incorporated a number of mainstream 1960s rock and R&B influences rather than rejecting them, placing The Jam at the forefront of the mod revival movement.

They had 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four number one hits. As of 2007, "That's Entertainment" and "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" remained the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK album charts. When the group split up, their first 15 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 100.

The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk and new wave. The trio was known for its melodic pop songs, its distinctly English flavour and its mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form The Style Council and later had a successful solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of The Jam’s original compositions, and he played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band’s songs, including the hits "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight," "The Eton Rifles," "Going Underground," and "Town Called Malice."
I have copious reading materials about The Jam and much more that I could share, but I also have another and a newer (nicer) shirt, so the full love letter will wait for a future post, after the 365 days of posts has ended.

For now, just videos featuring some of my favourite Jam songs. ENJOY. Happy Sunday. Have a cuppa and settle in with music from one of the best bands of all time.

Difficult to pick, but I restricted myself to TEN songs, the full album of All Mod Cons, and two documentaries. Piffle. Not that much. Sue me. How can one select even ten best and favourite songs from a band this great?

One of the best songs ever written...

The Jam - That's Entertainment

I thought about going with a live version of this song, but I love the video. It's classic.

The Jam - Going Underground

The Jam - Down In The Tube Station At Midnight

(from All mod Cons)

The Jam - Start

The Jam Live - Town Called Malice (HD)

This is one of the most venomous songs ever, and I love it. One of my favourite Jam songs: 'BUTTERFLY COLLECTOR."

The Jam Live - The Butterfly Collector

The Jam Live - Beat Surrender (HD)

The Jam Live - To Be Someone (HD)

(From All Mod Cons)

The Jam - A-bomb in Wardour Street

(From All Mod Cons)

The Jam - Saturdays Kids

If you like what you have heard of the songs I posted, check out the WHOLE ALBUM!!

The Jam - All Mod Cons (Full Album) Vinyl

Another mini-documentary... If you like this, check out the other FIVE parts.

WOW!! A documentary on the making of my favorite Jam album. How awesome.

The making of all mod cons ★ The Jam

COUNTDOWN TO END OF THE BLOG YEAR - 19 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1403.02 - 12:49