In 2012, jam bands have been vindicated. For proof, see the cultural ascendancy of improv-heavy attractions like Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Built to Spill—and their influence on a new generation of fearless freaks like White Denim. The Austin quartet attacks the chooglin' blues-rock template with killer musicianship and cyclonic songwriting custom built for a wildly engaging stage show. A decade ago they'd be relegated to college town bar-band purgatory, but today we celebrate them stigma-free as eclectic indie adventurers. It's a brave new world.