should i give the grateful dead a chance?

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is there more to them than 'dark' and 'truckin''? i was playing a television record and my dorm room mate said the english always compared them to the dead and that lee renaldo of sonic youth likes the dead as well as greg ginn of black flag. why are the dead so uncool? what should i try to listen to? (i know i don't like deadheads very much. tie-dye is as ugly as doing lsd in the mud). do my parents know something i don't?

(note, i've only been getting into music the past year. before that i just heard whatever on the radio and usually didnt like it. that should explain why i sound so dumb).

benton, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Short answer: NO.

Do not give the Grateful Dead a chance. I have given the Grateful Dead several chances, and they continue to bore me solid. Friends say "Oh, you're into 60s garage, listen to their first album..." nope, sorry, it's still uninspired hippie stoner jams. Friends say "Oh, you like spacerock, listen to this or that experimental jam album..." nope, sorry, it's still uninspired hippie stoner jam drivel. Friends say "Oh, you have to listen to it on acid to get it." I listened to it on acid. It only stretched the INTERMINABLE boredom to the breaking point where it was a relief to sit and listen to radio static afterwards.

I think that Deadheadism is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. If you have it, you will like them. If you do not have it, then no ammount of "Dude, no, you have to hear this most ultimate jam session that they did on this super-rare collectible live bootleg out-take from 1973..." in the world will ever convince you to find even a modicum of interest.

I know that calling a band "boring" is verboten on this forum. The Dead are not just boring, they are interminable, self indulgent, they noodle, they wibble, they do not drone in a transcendant manner, no they ANNIHILATE any sense of enjoyment of music to the point where I would rather listen to elevator music rather than the Dead. In fact, that is what they are. They are the elevator music of hippie stoner jam psychedelia.

Do not waste your time. Sing along with the hoover instead.

kate, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

'IS there more than [I assume you mean] 'Dark Star'? WTF? That's like saying "IS there more to the Sistine Chapel than the motherfucking ceiling?" Like, what else do you need in your life? (Besides 'BLues for Allah'!) Also, what's wrong with 'annihilating enjoyment'? Music is supposed to annihilate stuff, doesn't matter what it is.

dave q, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

As so often Kate is OTM. I bought "Live/Dead" a while ago as it appears on almost any milestone album list and it is rubbish. Aimless noodling. Only if you like epic guitar masturbation jams GD are yor you. I never understood how Lee Ranaldo could like them. But I have the feeling that "Murray Street" is the closest Sonic Youth have ever come to the sound of the Dead. It nevertheless is a million times better than anything I have ever heard of Garcia and his lot.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Just say no.

Andrew L, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Q: What do Grateful Dead fans say when they run out of drugs?

A: God this band are shit.

(Keith Richards tells that gag - which is a bit rich considering that 'Can You Hear Me Knocking' sounds just like the Dead...)

Andrew L, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

American Beauty and Workingman's Dead are both snappy acoustic albums full of fine songs rather than rambling instrumental stuff.

I think they're worth checking out rather than applying some knee jerk reaction. But obviously lots of people don't agree.

Winkelmann, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

rather than applying some knee jerk reaction

Did you even read my fucking post? This is not some knee jerk reaction. This is a carefully thought out aesthetic decision that I have reached after repeated exposure and more consideration that I would give to most bands who repeatedly bombarded me with shit.

kate, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Oh why bother converting anybody - they're either 'on the bus or off!'

dave q, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've heard 10 seconds of American Beauty and about a minute of Workingman's Dead and I can can safely say that they will not be troubling my ears again, unless by accident. Don't do it, Benton.

Everything about the Grateful Dead is repulsive - the music (yes I *can* judge them on a minute or so), the fans, the mythology.... They're a crystallisation of everything I dislike in music.

Dr. C, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

If you're looking to give a chance to a band, give it to an unknown band, not a bloated band.

Dave225, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

DIRTY HIPPY!

Chris, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm drawn back to this thread like a moth to a flame, just like I'm always drawn back to the Dead against my better judgment...

The thing is, I love the IDEA of the Dead - the endless noodling jams, those moments of improvisation when they reach the mythical 'zone', the community of fans, all those bootlegs to tick off and collect, the Verlaine-esque sound of Garcia's gtr, the vast quantities of drugs etc etc.

But - their recs just never seem to live up to the rep - before I ever listened to them, I imagined they were like the most mega-cosmic freak out group of all time, but when I finally did spin a few of their albs all I got was wimpy country-lite w/ really terrible singing. They rarely seem to rock out in any meaningful way, their cover versions are just AWFUL (esp. the 'bluesy' Pigpen-led stuff) and Hunter's lyrics are hippy bilge.

Without wishing to sound too alt snooty, Ghost and esp. Acid Mothers Temple do the whole folk-psych rock jam thing w/ so much more passion, imagination and freaky fun.

Andrew L, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Where do you hide your money from a Deadhead?
Under the soap...

How can you tell a Deadhead has been at your house?
They're still there!

Spongebob, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Nice "Box of Rain" reference, Andrew. For anyone interested, here is another thread on the Dead.

Mark, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"bloated" = 12 lizards' most successful meme-project evah

mark s, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

After avoiding the Grateful Dead for years and years, Biba Kopf's insane pro-Dead rantings convinced me to give Live/Dead a chance. It turns out that I like it pretty well but most everything else I hear is painful.

Just stay away from American Beauty 'cause it's terrible beyond words. And the best-of collection that all my loser quasi-hippie friends have is ass too.

adam, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Another joke: Jerry Garcia and Eric Clapton are captured by cannibals one day. Before they are about to be cooked for dinner they are granted one final wish. Jerry says "hand me my old guitar and let me play Dark Star one last time...". Eric says "please kill me before he starts". (For once I can sympathize with Eric Clapton, actually I think I have never listened to the 23 minutes and 15 seconds of this first track on Live/Dead from start to end. I'd probably drop dead because of nuisance before the end.)

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Recycling the same lame gag = also a 'tribute' to the Dead...

Andrew L, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

'Can You Hear Me Knocking' sounds just like the Dead...

No, I don't think I recall the Dead ever having extended sax solos in any of their songs.

hstencil, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

No, I don't think I recall the Dead ever having extended sax solos in any of their songs.

You obviously never heard Branford Marsalis jam with them, then.

I knew when I saw this thread appear it would be full of the usual "the Dead are the worst band ever" stuff... they seem to be one of a small handful of bands it's ok to heap your worst insults on around here. So I'll do my usual and say yes "American Beauty" and "Workingman's Dead" are full of concise, well-written pop songs, their mid 70's LPs on their own label are amazing ("Blues for Allah" is my pick), and as great a guitarist as Tom Verlaine is, Garcia is better. He's a better vocalist, too. I know that for whatever reason the Dead are a band many people will just never permit themselves to like, so I expect to make no converts.

Sean, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Benton- check 'live/dead' and see what you think of it. And don't forget to give it a few listens on the headphones, too. The reason why some ppl passionately hate them is prob. because their sound really sounds from a completely diff era. The fact that ppl justify their hatred by the citing the fact that hippies listen to them is enough to surely dismiss their reckless opinions. Though andrew L has a good argument as ususal. But I found something to listen to in their jams and he didn't.

I think SY owe a lot to the dead in the way that they'd start a song and then they would use that as a basis for a jam and get back to the song.

The singing isn't to everyone's tastes but at a time when ppl are listening to Thom Yorke that isn't such a big problem.

Julio Desouza, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

But Julio, Kate has clearly heard them as well. You're not dismissing her out of hand, yes?

For myself, they don't trouble my interest, and I can't say they will be anytime soon.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

No, I don't think I recall the Dead ever having extended sax solos in any of their songs.

You obviously never heard Branford Marsalis jam with them, then.

Nope, and although I'm sure he's, uh, "funkier" than his brother, I can't imagine his jams with the Dead approach the instrumental break of "Can You Hear Me Knocking" (which was, after all, used by many a black "urban" radio station in the 1970s as promo music). Anyway, the point was that the claim that "Can You Hear Me Knocking" sounds like the Dead is way, way off-base.

hstencil, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Have I just stumbled into Dawson's Creek series 4?

david h, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

ned- kate was OK until the line below:

''I think that Deadheadism is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. If you have it, you will like them. If you do not have it, then no ammount of "Dude, no, you have to hear this most ultimate jam session that they did on this super-rare collectible live bootleg out- take from 1973..." in the world will ever convince you to find even a modicum of interest.''

it's bollocks! any band will have it's fans and haters but to dismiss it as 'chemical imbalance' is bullshit. Plus the 'annihalate' line (see dave q's ans).

Julio Desouza, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

That line was the funniest part of Kate's post!

Personally, the only song of theirs that I can instantly recognize is "Touch Of Grey". I'm fine with that.

Dan Perry, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

it was funny, yes, I second that!

Julio Desouza, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

how is television like the grateful dead? why do people say that? my room mate, yancy, says its because of the the two guitars. is that true?

benton, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

you should definitely give them a try, particularly before '74 (live). Live/Dead is the make or break place to start; took me about five listens but soon I understood the big deal. Rhino's recent WB-era box is a lot to ask of a novice, so wait till they reissue each album individually and then go for it; the remastering is astounding, sounds 100 times better and I loved it already anyway....

M Matos, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

the thing is, when the Dead were on they were ON. they could be the most heartbreaking, moving band in the world. the problem is 90% of the time they WEREN't on.

chaki, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Friend of the Devil is a flat-out amazing song. I used to be in a band with my dad and we did this song. It's fucking great.

Yancey, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

MMatos in I Love the Dead shocker.

Mark, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've been exposed to thier music countless times by many people who have a good understanding of what I like/ don't like. I just can't seem to find anything by them that would be worth my time to keep a copy of. The stuff we are all bombarded with is usually lite country or big noodling solos that for me go nowhere, while the live tapes you gotta hear maaannn is the same, but with alot more noodling that goes nowhere.

brg30, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"Ripple" is a great song if someone else sings it

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

A: "Hey, what are you listening to?"
B: "Oh, it's, uh, Kremlin Tiger Flower, uh, 2506. Have you heard them before?"
A: "Hmmm, it sounds familiar."
B: "They're a Japanese noise band from the '70s. Original LPs are like $500 on Ebay, but, uh, this label out of Amsterdam just reissued their album and I got it from Forced Exposure."
A: "Oh, yeah, I've heard of that...wow, this is awesome. It sounds like Sonic Youth or the Dead C or something."
B: "Yeah, I can hear that, I guess."
A: (listens) "Totally. Sonic Youth is totally ripping these guys off."
(pause)
B: "Actually, I'm just fucking with you. It's a Dead bootleg, they're doing 'Feedback'."
A: "It's a Dead C bootleg? Wow, this is, like, the best stuff I've ever heard from them. How'd you get -- "
B: "No, no, it's the Grateful Dead."
A: (runs screaming from the room, snarky hipster credibility permanently ruined)

Phil, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

P.S. I love Live/Dead, "Box of Rain", some other stuff. On the other hand, there's plenty of Grateful Dead that is of no interest to me. I was listening to their first album today, and was quite surprised at how little of it appealed to me.

Phil, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

My personal favorite is Dick's Picks 4... but I agree Live/Dead is a good place to start. Also check out the studio versions of some of their songs (as people have already mentioned): "Friend of the Devil," "Ripple," "Uncle John's Band," "Playing in the Band," "China Cat Sunflower," and "Jack Straw."

aaron m, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

thank you everyone for great suggestions. you are much appreciated.

benton, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Surprised that no one has namechecked John Oswald's _Grayfolded_ which is a dozen or so different "Dark Star"s run together into a plunderphonic whole. Worth checking out - certainly a lot more interesting than _Live/Dead_ or any of the other endless collections of chicken-scratch guitar.

If you're still hell bent on checking out the Dead, I'd start with any of the Dick's Picks live releases from 1972 or earlier. Even then, listening to them are like trying to dig for gold in a mine that's been completely played out. There's a lot of shovelling involved for very little payoff.

Chris Barrus, Tuesday, 23 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Phil, that reminds me of something I wrote a couple years ago....

M Matos, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

ha ha phil's post about fooling someone that it's the grunt mountain travelling flower band or some shit is so right on...fuck the deadc., fuck em!

new doorag boogie, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

what chaki said is pretty much exactly true tho. wtf i'm still on the bus, not that i'd wanna have much to do w/ the other ocupants.

, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Chicago's 'feedback' is still better than the Dead's 'feedback'.

Andrew L, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Andrew, I think you mean "Free Form Guitar". Which IS classic, btw.

dave q, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

chicago transit authority (to give em their full title) > the dead c.!

unknown or illegal user, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i find it hard to believe that someone could confuse the Dead C with the Grateful Dead. Besides the ingestion of pot and long songs, I don't see the connection (and yes I have heard more than my fair share of both Garcia & Co and the Dead C -- I'm not making a value judgement about which group is better) -- does Bruce Russell sell hand painted ties too?

Jack Cole, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Brain chemistry has a HELL of a lot to do with why some people fine some music interesting and others don't. I did not invalidate my argument, I proved it. I have had long discussions with friends about brain chemistry leading people to like dronerock, and how repeated exposure to ultra-high volume feedback can change brain chemistry. Listening to the piece of music while stoned, while on coke, while drunk, while on E (for various examples) can result in completely different experiences of the music.

How is the Grateful Dead any different?

There must just be a neurotransmitter that makes people like SHIT, that is the explanation.

kate, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

DIRTY HIPPY!

Chris, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

do you mean that you've had long conversations with your neurochemist friends?

Josh, Wednesday, 24 July 2002 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

iirc Crosby claims to have helped the Dead with their three-part harmonies at one point ... but you can only do so much.

It's definitely part of Dead lore that whatever film, CD, song, bootleg etc of theirs is under discussion, it's never the right 'intro' for non-believers. But that really is true of the Grateful Dead Movie imho

Ward Fowler, Monday, 9 May 2022 13:58 (two weeks ago) link

I thought that was Phish lore!

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Monday, 9 May 2022 14:02 (two weeks ago) link

tbf as an outsider, the grateful dead movie is a better intro than the three or four canonic LPs I have a long try a couple of years ago upthread

it's not good as a movie (jampacked with fvck-awful animation and vox pops with their more annoying fans) but it points you towards the endless twinkling improv bits™️ rather than away from them -- i definitely now get it more than i did

mark s, Monday, 9 May 2022 14:10 (two weeks ago) link

I quoted this in some other dead thread but mention of the grateful dead movie caused me to search for it - I've used "get my space together" for like 30 years now because of this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZPJ_VN3Iis

joygoat, Monday, 9 May 2022 14:20 (two weeks ago) link

Jerry’s voice before it went to shit had a lovely timbre imho

This is true, but also his later voice added some levity to performances of, say, "Black Muddy River" and "Wharf Rat" after it went to shit.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 9 May 2022 14:21 (two weeks ago) link

apparently I can't like to a specific time - add &t=2210s to that URL

joygoat, Monday, 9 May 2022 14:22 (two weeks ago) link

Jerry’s voice before it went to shit had a lovely timbre

the minute that any vocals happen, I want to turn the music off.

lol the fact that both of these are commonly held opinions is one of the great paradoxes of the Dead.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, 9 May 2022 14:24 (two weeks ago) link

The vocals are fine on the albums. No one’s required to listen to live shows.

My controversial Dead opinion is that they were very significant album band, and you could exclusively listen to the albums (studio plus major/official “live” ones), and be very fulfilled.

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Monday, 9 May 2022 14:25 (two weeks ago) link

As a moderate fan, I feel an outsider as I have probably only listened to about 15 - 20 % of their live catalogue.

The sheer size of the catalogue, and number of versions of songs, is intimidating - and then there’s other irritations such as the more annoying cult-like fans, and distaste for the corporate bloat that the whole money-making GD enterprise became (and still is).

Great band overall though.

Luna Schlosser, Monday, 9 May 2022 14:26 (two weeks ago) link

Two summers ago I listened to approximately ~25 versions of "Dark Star" as an exercise, and it allowed me— who really only knew a few major studio records and Europe '72— to understand why people go gaga over this stuff. Alas, the singing keeps me from really taking a deeper dive than that experiment allowed me, but I don't mind it if people put the Dead on or whatever. I just find the phenomenon really funny in an almost confusing way!

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Monday, 9 May 2022 16:33 (two weeks ago) link

Haven't seen The Grateful Dead Movie, but The Closing of Winterland-1978) used to get broadcast as as local PBS fundraiser, and certainly had the twinkly bits minus crap animation x fanz (lots more music on 4-CD soundtrack, and DVD incl. a whole sep. New Years show at Winterland, but I've never seen it); also, I'm told that Downhill From Here(1989) is a good concert doc. Also have only seen bits of the Sunshine Daydream concert show, although album is good. Excerpts incl. ugly dancing and sweat, glaring radiation ov Sun.

dow, Monday, 9 May 2022 16:44 (two weeks ago) link

xpost Then, like me, this might probably be your favorite GD release.

https://plunderphonic.bandcamp.com/album/grayfolded

Ned Raggett, Monday, 9 May 2022 16:47 (two weeks ago) link

The vox just murder this band for me, and I can actually take some Jerry without running screaming for the hills (I will rep for Shady Grove with David Grisman as one of the alltime great albums of renditions of folksongs).

I just tried to imagine what singer would make the Dead appealing to me, and after some soul-searching it turns out it’s Perry Farrell (circa Ritual), triple-tracked vocals and treatments and all. I think I could listen to that all day. (Not sure how it would fare on chuggers like “Casey Jones” or whatevs, but I’d listen to a lot of “Dark Star” in that mode.)

war mice (hardcore dilettante), Monday, 9 May 2022 16:52 (two weeks ago) link

But then who am I kidding? I could listen to a lot of “Dark Star” in any mode. I put together a playlist of every version I could find on Spotify in chronological order — about 20 hours’ worth. AND I’VE LISTENED TO IT

war mice (hardcore dilettante), Monday, 9 May 2022 16:55 (two weeks ago) link

Also have only seen bits of the Sunshine Daydream concert show, although album is good. Excerpts incl. ugly dancing and sweat, glaring radiation ov Sun.

Naked pole guy! Honestly, the "Dark Star" from that show is essential Dead viewing imo. It's a killer version, probably my favorite ever, by itself, but paired with the encroaching dusk as they played makes it a little harder (provided of course you get past the crap animations they dropped in between the footage).

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 9 May 2022 17:02 (two weeks ago) link

the "Dark Star" from that show is essential Dead viewing imo.

That "Dark Star" was what made me do a complete (and completely unexpected) 180 on the Dead. Despised them for decades, then suddenly, "...hm...this is...good...?"

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 9 May 2022 17:05 (two weeks ago) link

And therein lies my contradictory Dead opinion: I have yet to be transported by a "Dark Star." I like the earliest ones best, when they're 5 or 6 minutes. After that became one of their lengthy exploratory vehicles I just lose patience. One person's lovely twinkly bits are another's self-indulgent nonsense, I guess.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, 9 May 2022 17:27 (two weeks ago) link

Even though I've already been a big fan of "Dark Star", I've been enjoying this blog, Every Dark Star, that does what the title says and has some folks going through every "Dark Star" in chronological order, noting the developments of the various themes and modular jams over the years. Paired with specific timing notations, I've found it to be a really great supplement while I'm listening.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 9 May 2022 17:32 (two weeks ago) link

Well that's why I linked Grayfolded above there. It kinda IS the ultimate "Dark Star."

Ned Raggett, Monday, 9 May 2022 17:56 (two weeks ago) link

I could take or leave "Dark Star," it's definitely never been a cornerstone of my Dead appreciation (just to provide a contrasting experience).

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Monday, 9 May 2022 18:05 (two weeks ago) link

Well that's why I linked _Grayfolded_ above there. It kinda IS the ultimate "Dark Star."

Thanks for posting that Ned

calstars, Monday, 9 May 2022 19:04 (two weeks ago) link

one of my quarantine projects has been to listen to all my Dead shows in order. I'm up to November '77 and all three shows I've heard absolutely rip. that Colgate show in particular is as good if not better than the best May shows.

Honkin’ on Cobo (jamescobo), Monday, 9 May 2022 19:10 (two weeks ago) link

One of my favorite little corners of the live catalog is in the mid-80s when Jerry’s voice is really fading and he does slow, often death-related, ballads. 83-85 Baby Blues and Stella Blues tend to be good examples of this. His croaky voice makes it sound like It Really Is All Over Now, Baby Blue.

The She Belongs to Me from the Greek Theater in June ‘85 is prob my favorite example. The series of killer guitar solos don’t hurt.

tobo73, Monday, 9 May 2022 19:27 (two weeks ago) link

I've never minded their voices, but now it occurs to me that one could make copies of mostly instrumental performances, edit out the vocal bits---also, I like David Murray's Dark Star---The Music of the Grateful Dead, with his Octet, except the final track feat. just him and Weir (playing acoustic guitar). The 'Tube usually has at least one show clip of Murray onstage with the Dead---when they were trying to make up for Garcia's fade by bringing on the guests (wish I could find Ornette's appearance). Think there might be more w Murray in the Dead section of archive.org.

dow, Monday, 9 May 2022 20:05 (two weeks ago) link

The late jerry ballads are too real
Like Elvis doing American trilogy live in 76-77

calstars, Monday, 9 May 2022 20:27 (two weeks ago) link

thanks for that link, Ned.

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Monday, 9 May 2022 20:55 (two weeks ago) link

Grayfolded rules, happy to see more love here (Oswald is also a genius, deep digging is rewarding)

thinkmanship (sleeve), Monday, 9 May 2022 23:33 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah you can pick up all five of his releases on Bandcamp there for $25 I think — well worth it.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:07 (two weeks ago) link

Wow, listening to the Doors album, it’s great! Eccojams

https://plunderphonic.bandcamp.com/album/elektrax

calstars, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:24 (two weeks ago) link

yeah Elektrax is amazing, "vane" is my fave there

thinkmanship (sleeve), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:27 (two weeks ago) link

And therein lies my contradictory Dead opinion: I have yet to be transported by a "Dark Star." I like the earliest ones best, when they're 5 or 6 minutes. After that became one of their lengthy exploratory vehicles I just lose patience. One person's lovely twinkly bits are another's self-indulgent nonsense, I guess.

― Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, May 9, 2022 12:27 PM (seven hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

I think I said similar a few times upthread. BOOOOOring.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:29 (two weeks ago) link

also, many xps: I've always disliked most of the Dead graphics (other than the skull as others said), and I think it was an impediment to me getting into them. They really have some of the most uniquely terrible yet iconic art.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:30 (two weeks ago) link

I kinda want a poster of the dead set cover art

https://www.dead.net/sites/g/files/g2000007851/files/dead_site_files/images/19810826_1551.jpg

brimstead, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:50 (two weeks ago) link

I mean in aggregate their album art isn't the worst ever, but the dancing bear, the ice cream guy as noted above, etc.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 01:07 (two weeks ago) link

HIGH-STEPPING BEAR!!

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 01:25 (two weeks ago) link

Here come the highsteppa (owsleybear)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 01:56 (two weeks ago) link

Hold up, bear!

EXCLUSIVE: A podcast about the disappearance and murder of a number of Grateful Dead fans is the latest audio series to be adapted for television.

Joe Berlinger, the filmmaker behind iconic rock doc Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and a slew of true-crime docuseries, has teamed up with Wheelhouse Entertainment to develop Dead and Gone as a scripted series.

The podcast, a true crime music mystery set in the world of Jerry Garcia’s psychedelic rock band, comes from To Live and Die in LA producer Tenderfoot TV and Disgraceland producer Double Elvis.

...“Joe Berlinger’s contribution to the true crime space is simply unmatched, and there is no one we’d rather partner with to adapt this complex investigation to the small screen. Many people don’t realize this larger story behind the Grateful Dead, and even though they’re so associated with ideas of freewill and positivity, it’s important we draw attention to these terrible occurrences existing within the fanbase,” added co-hosts Payne Lindsey and Jake Brennan.


https://deadline.com/2022/05/joe-berlinger-grateful-dead-series-podcast-1235018350/

dow, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 01:59 (two weeks ago) link

it’s important we draw attention to these terrible occurrences existing within the fanbase


yes, very important(?)

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 02:06 (two weeks ago) link

xps re: late Jerry ballads, most of my Dead listening is pre-1980 but he absolutely sings the shit out of this “Ship of Fools” from 8/11/87:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIS3HtR_s1M

Also “Dark Star” is forever and always my favorite Dead thing, and I realize there’s nothing I can say to change anyone’s mind about it, but I would urge anyone who hasn’t heard the version from 8/1/73 to check it out. Peak blissed-out space fusion Dead with a long ambient post-verse jam with Jerry on searing slide guitar. And imo an even better -> “El Paso” than Veneta.

J. Sam, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 14:10 (two weeks ago) link

Also never skip an “El Paso”

J. Sam, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 14:11 (two weeks ago) link

Agreed about 8/1/73. There’s a version on the archive where the sound quality on Dark Star etc is prob the best I’ve heard for any 1973 recording. Stonerific.

tobo73, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 14:54 (two weeks ago) link

I'm disgusted with myself for saying "I don't mind" their vocals: most of my fave studio performances involve very effective solo/group singing/vocalizing, and I'm always ready for another live "El Paso" and "Estimated Prophet" (tend to dread "Stella Blue," because Garcia tends to be too good at squeezing out every drop of pathos).
Hadn't thought of Pigpen as songwriter, but yeah: https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/the-only-self-penned-pigpen-track-on-a-grateful-dead-album/ (Despite title, several songs are mentioned here).

dow, Sunday, 22 May 2022 17:57 (six days ago) link

I always have time for the studio “help on the way,” especially the opening

calstars, Sunday, 22 May 2022 18:02 (six days ago) link

one of the more unexpected musical detours of my life has been the sheer amount of time i've spent listening to the dead over the past few years. i spent a long time late last year actually putting together a rough sketch of a "grayfolded"-style dark star focusing only on the tom constanten era of the song. i don't think anybody else has actually heard the result, but i did write up my results here:

https://www.alanauch.org/wtob/2021/11/19/dark-star-69/

i'm pretty happy with the result, and i have listened to it a fair amount in the six months since, so i think it was worth doing!

Kate (rushomancy), Monday, 23 May 2022 03:45 (five days ago) link

One of my main interests in bootleg recordings is what I pretentiously call “terroir”, the unique way in which any particular recording reflects its particular sense of place and the circumstances under which it was made. Is it an outdoor gig? Indoor? Audience tapes, by their nature, have a tremendous sense of terroir to them, but even soundboard tapes can differ widely based on the venue and the mix.

this is a super interesting take that concretizes some of my sentimentality for bootlegs, thanks for the link! great stuff.

thinkmanship (sleeve), Monday, 23 May 2022 03:54 (five days ago) link

also not pretentious, imho <3

thinkmanship (sleeve), Monday, 23 May 2022 03:55 (five days ago) link

this is A+ funny as well:

TC’s old organ was one of the shittiest excuses for an organ used by a major rock group, making Mike Ratledge’s Lowrey sound positively sophisticated in comparison.

thinkmanship (sleeve), Monday, 23 May 2022 03:56 (five days ago) link

hands off mike ratledge's lowrey! all organs shd sound like that

mark s, Monday, 23 May 2022 08:31 (five days ago) link

I learned to listen to their music without looking for an aim or purpose, learned to see their songs as a series of moments rather than a trajectory.

this is the key, took me a little bit to understand this but it frees you from expectation

global tetrahedron, Monday, 23 May 2022 14:26 (five days ago) link


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