In the late '70s and early '80s, the only thing the punk/new wave set and the mainstream rock crowd had in common was a disdain for the improvisational flights of the Grateful Dead. Flash-forward to recent years, when long hair and immersion in roots music has become common in indie-rock circles, and there's another "alternative scene," colloquially known as "jam bands." Jamfest brings the two together at Alligator Alley. Named for the surreal desert that birthed them, Mojave resembles the Dead in its panorama of influences -- country, Crescent City strains, blues, Tex-Mex, jazz, and Native American ritual chants -- and narrative-like songs. Boston's Mountains of Venus is nearly as eclectic but far more song-oriented, with old-school R&B overtones -- vocalist Tanya Shylock is a cross betwixt Grace Slick and Aretha Franklin -- and their plush Hammond B-3 organ groove is as savory as chicken shack barbecue.
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Mountains of Venus and Mojave set the controls for the heart of the sun at Jamfest, 9 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Alligator Alley, 1321 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park. Tickets cost $5. Call 954-771-2220.