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

The China/Rider that opens Dick's Picks 12 (1974 Providence/Boston) was one of the first GD song(s) that grabbed me – typifies that jazzier loose-but-tight sound that you hear in the best 73/74 shows where everyone is noodling at the same time w/o sounding like a mess. Also nice delivery of the "Wish I was a headlight ..." part, which is really all I'm looking for in Riders.

ヽ(´ー`)┌ (CompuPost), Monday, 24 May 2021 21:01 (two months ago) link

Yeah actually the Europe 72 China/Rider is pretty good, as are a few in 73. China Cat's feel is tricky, it can get really clunky and awkward when the touch isn't light enough. The lyrics are also on the dippier end of hippy dippy and the vocal melody is awkward. But sometimes they nail it and it sounds really good.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 24 May 2021 22:09 (two months ago) link

Guy who looks like Garcia era bob weir carrying a huge bag of laundry down the street, what’s on your iPod

calstars, Saturday, 29 May 2021 18:00 (two months ago) link

He’s not gonna spend one more Saturday night with dirty jorts.

like a d4mn sociopath! (morrisp), Saturday, 29 May 2021 18:09 (two months ago) link

Wake up to find out thatcha fly’s been open all day

calstars, Saturday, 29 May 2021 18:35 (two months ago) link

Aahh the Truckin’ on Pacific Northwest ‘73/‘74 is so great! It starts like a great songy song and then morphs into this freaky and psychedelic jammy jamm Jammm. Haven’t heard this a version of Truckin’ that rips so hard

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 14:25 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that's a great one. That entire PNW box is a treasure trove and I'm glad I splurged on it.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 14:34 (one month ago) link

As a very casual and selective Dead listener, it's really interesting to see your various takes on the band, what got you into them, and what you dislike, since most of my friends are in the "nah man, they suck" camp. And there are many times I think they're right.

https://preview.redd.it/v40m7ctx5l171.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&auto=webp&s=f85fa9b66d4c88403a54c98c43a3f05091b9bf52

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 15:58 (one month ago) link

^^ kinda agree with that poster but I'd narrow the "great years" to 89-90. and of course the first half of the 70s.

tobo73, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 16:22 (one month ago) link

I made an attempt with 1990 once. Once. I'd heard good things about the Dozin' at the Knick set, and found a used copy. It started out ok, and they actually rocked out a little harder than I expected in spots. But the "Space" was interminable. It sounded like someone in a music store checking out all the presets on a DX7. "Oh, cool, this one sounds like lasers! Pew pew! That is so cool! Pew pew pew!" There is no worse Dead than MIDI Dead. 1988 is my cutoff (and even there, some dingus put a harmonizer on Bob's vocals, because his vocals weren't quite annoying enough).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 16:32 (one month ago) link

Welp, I've pasted from early East Coast Dead Adopter xgau's stash upthread---and here he is re this era:
Crimson White & Indigo [Rhino, 2010]
Old and on their way, they jam in the Fourth on July 7, 1989, with a miraculously or pharmaceutically pepped-up Jerry launching a searing "Iko Iko"-"Little Red Rooster"-"Ramble On Rose"-"Memphis Blues Again" sequence before receding into grotty but engaged desuetude ("Iko Iko," "Knockin' On Heaven's Door") ***

He likes it better than Cornell '77 and some others often preferred to the late shows.

dow, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 16:34 (one month ago) link

See, Dozin' was one of my gateways. (But I've never heard the whole thing, just the "Playin'/Uncle John/Terrapin" segment.) It's all about segments for me; there are very shows (maybe none?) I can listen to all the way through. Even a lot of individual songs go on too long. But yeah, 1990 is probably my comfort zone. xp

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 17:04 (one month ago) link

very few shows...

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 17:05 (one month ago) link

Yeah Hundred Year Hall, Dozin' and the first couple of Dick's Picks were when I really started getting into and collecting the Dead.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 1 June 2021 17:07 (one month ago) link

I've never heard the whole thing either, but he liked that one even better!

Dozin' at the Knick [Arista, 1996]
...after several concert tapes failed to get over I decided I had more pressing business than finding the good nights that were probably still there. Now, finally, after several half stabs
(Hundred Year Hall, Fallout From the Phil Zone), comes this four-hour three-CD document from historic Albany, New York. Solid new Bob Weir opener, coupla excellent! Bob Dylan covers, Brent Mydland more Rod McKernan than Page McConnell, creaky and transcendent "Black Peter," "Walkin' Blues" and "Jack-a-Roe," the nightly "Drums" and "Space" excursions scenic enough. And above all, that mesh of the tight and the shambolic that on their best nights rendered their music responsive and interactive in a way marshmallow-heads will never understand and therefore never hear. A-

(I remember liking Fallout From The Phil Zone, but haven't heard it in a long time.)

dow, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 17:10 (one month ago) link

Without A Net rules!!!

brimstead, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 17:33 (one month ago) link

just hit me that the Jack Straw on cornell '77 is great

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 4 June 2021 20:43 (one month ago) link

Listening to 2/15/73 Dane County Coliseum right now, a '73 show that flies under the radar slightly, since it's not a Betty Board and not in the band's vaults. Charlie Miller uploaded a great sounding version last year (start with track 3, first two songs are really rough soundchecks fyi).

https://archive.org/details/gd1973-02-15.134029.sbd.menke-lee-smith.flac16

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 4 June 2021 20:46 (one month ago) link

Flipped over to GD Radio in the car earlier, and a caught a little of Weir singing "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)"... probably not a side of the Dead that I would steer a noobie toward "giving a chance," but it's there.

like a d4mn sociopath! (morrisp), Friday, 4 June 2021 21:04 (one month ago) link

lol, def not a selling point of latter day Dead, if i'm in the mood for a late run show i haven't heard, the presence of that song on a setlist is often reason enough to pick a different one

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 4 June 2021 21:11 (one month ago) link

It is curious that they felt compelled to add both that and Aiko Aiko into the repertoire

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Saturday, 5 June 2021 03:54 (one month ago) link

Quality Weir banter, going into the third set (7/18/72):

“What-what-what-what? …Like the man said, you all are gonna hafta e-NUN-CEE-ate… or at least speak all together.
…We don’t play that tune anymore, man. It done faded away.
Anyway, if y’all would shut up for a few minutes, we can tune our instruments faster. Thank you!”

like a d4mn sociopath! (morrisp), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 01:57 (one month ago) link

Just some outsider thoughts, I'm feeling like my Dead appreciation has turned a slight corner these days.

I've always been aware of and liked them. I bought (and enjoyed) Live/Dead, AotS, Aox, AB, WmD maybe 25 years ago, but then kinda hit a wall with the live material, occasionally dipping my toe with the odd CD but never quite understanding what the fuss and scholarship was founded upon.

So I read some books and enjoyed the documentaries, you can't argue that they're not a fascinating cultural phenomenon if nothing else.

I've gone through various stages of Dead acknowledgement, from 'this is the great psychedelic ziggurat of American music? Really? It's a frail sounding C&W band, no?' to 'why are they *all* noodling at the same time, can't Phil at least weigh anchor?'

I know about the Phil Zone and have listened to a bunch of 'Space', even some Seastones and the Greyfolded CD, so I get the exploratory side, but everything after their move towards Americana didn't hold as much pull as the earlier, more psychedelic studio and live material.

But I still keep coming back to it and recently started reading the book on Cornell '77, it's not an amazing book but it was super interesting to read a book about a concert, not even a 33 1/3 format book about a whole record, but a *concert* as some sort of touchstone.

So reading the book and listening at the same time I kinda feel more at home with the post '70 material, I'm still having trouble with that envelope-follower guitar sound and the more disco elements, 'Dancing...' is frightful but I am emboldened to try more 70s live stuff, I'm going to go through my CDs/archive.org and loop back to '72 and '74 and see where that gets me.

Maresn3st, Wednesday, 16 June 2021 21:00 (one month ago) link

And, I'm going to this thread a read too.

Maresn3st, Wednesday, 16 June 2021 21:03 (one month ago) link

I'm still having trouble with that envelope-follower guitar sound and the more disco elements, 'Dancing...' is frightful

I only hate the envelope filter when it’s played by any guitarist other than Garcia or Townshend. Jerry uses it in such a way that it’s teetering on the edge of absurdity, and never quite falls over.

When I looked at the tracklist of Cornell before listening, I thought, “‘Dancing In The Street’? That can’t be good. No one’s managed even a middling cover of that.” While the Dead’s isn’t great, it’s far better than I’d expected, largely due to the disco feel/elements. The versions they did in the late ‘60s, though, are abominable.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 16 June 2021 21:28 (one month ago) link

You're probably aware if you're this far into GD, but you'll find a ton of psychedelic-sounding stuff, similar to pre-1970, in the big jam songs in 73-74 (Dark Star, Playing in the Band, and random long jams that pop up) even if most of is on the jazzier side, and you'll probably hear the Disco Dead sound in most of the stuff from 77-80, if you're trying to avoid the up-tempo, groovier bass stuff.

ヽ(´ー`)┌ (CompuPost), Wednesday, 16 June 2021 21:44 (one month ago) link

Thank you! I'm happy for any tips.

Maresn3st, Wednesday, 16 June 2021 21:47 (one month ago) link

Not sure if anyone has ever posted it, but if you've ever found yourself bummed you couldn't download a GD SBD from archive.org and you use Chrome, the Grateful Grabber extension works really well.

ヽ(´ー`)┌ (CompuPost), Wednesday, 16 June 2021 22:42 (one month ago) link

“Everything stretched out... it expanded!”
DEAD FREAKS UNITE! 1971 was a momentous year for the GRATEFUL DEAD – involving landmark shows, bizarre ESP experiments, French Acid Tests, hypnosis, new faces and emotional farewells. BOB WEIR, BILL KREUTZMANN and other eyewitnesses share tales from this journey with Rob Hughes: “We were just coming alive.”
Our friends across the pond at Uncut hop in the way-back machine with Bobby, Billy, and more to explore early 70s Dead. READ THE EXCERPT
https://www.dead.net/features/general-news-news/uncut-magazine-grateful-dead-road-trips-sneak-preview?eml=2021June17/5370880/6131962&etsubid=33554028
Also, The Jolly Ol' Grateful Deadcast, Over There---The Grateful Dead In England, and much more (incl. Hunter playlist)linked in this Bulletin: http://view.email.dead.net/?qs=6756b1b9c0987b5ea85777a074278ac13bbc2b46dc012850853f1c1589450246b97ba534a1b481ed388bfe654bc25728c25852b0fd355d907d342c0022d49a25298f5632dd0846c61b1a1c3c515880cf

dow, Friday, 18 June 2021 01:39 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

For my birthday – a not-insignificant milestone – my mom & sister sent me a Ripple Junction Grateful Dead Adult Unisex Steal Your Face Vintage Light Weight 100% Cotton Crew T-Shirt Xl White.

(Something "Touch of Grey"–related may have been more appropriate, but I'll take it)

aging goth couple™ (morrisp), Friday, 16 July 2021 03:00 (two weeks ago) link

Got to say Billy Strings sounds pretty good with Billy & the Kids.

earlnash, Friday, 16 July 2021 03:34 (two weeks ago) link

Seriously. I’d see them over Dead and Co

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 16 July 2021 04:10 (two weeks ago) link

Who knew that my gateway to bluegrass would be found in my search for post-Dead jam bands who didn't leave me cold. I've much love for the extended explorations of Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain but yeah, Billy Strings has recently become my first choice for this kinda music.

doug watson, Friday, 16 July 2021 09:46 (two weeks ago) link

Got to say Billy Strings sounds pretty good with Billy & the Kids.

Thanks for the tip! I'm digging these Youtube clips of the Red Rocks shows from earlier this week.

o. nate, Friday, 16 July 2021 17:57 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, I'd love to see Billy Strings playing with Billy & the Kids in person someday. I'm surprised by how rapidly that kid took off, he's immensely talented but it always seems like the real bluegrass players are held at an arm's length, even within the jam band scene. They get love, but never quite breakthrough to the next level.

Speaking of meteoric rises and post-Dead jam bands, I've started checking out some Goose after the last few years of insane hype by phans and heads on Twitter. I'm not sold yet and they too often sound like a mish-mash of other jam bands (not to mention the guitarist's tone is way to close to Trey's at times), but I have been struck by a few of their jams - there was a great jam that started with Radiohead's "Weird Fishes" before segueing into their own "Wysteria Lane" (from 6/11/21) that worked for me.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 16 July 2021 18:03 (two weeks ago) link

Everyone in that Billy & the Kids lineup seems pretty talented.

o. nate, Friday, 16 July 2021 18:05 (two weeks ago) link

Looks cool!!

brimstead, Friday, 16 July 2021 18:23 (two weeks ago) link

I agree that the bluegrass background seems to really help him get the jerry feel right (with his own spin on it of course). A lot of guys do the jam band thing with a kind of exaggerated whiteboy funk swing, whereas there's something a little more understated about bluegrass phrasing, more flat and fluid (if those adjectives make any sense together).

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 16 July 2021 18:24 (two weeks ago) link

xpost - digging it so far!

i guess he's played with weir?

i think a lot of the tendencies i hate about modern jam bands have their origins in the allmans over the dead

global tetrahedron, Saturday, 17 July 2021 17:52 (one week ago) link

I thought I had heard everything but I just came across the single version of dark star on the long strange trip compilation. So good. Sitar and is that banjo at the very end?

calstars, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 01:19 (three days ago) link

Jerry's Before The Dead is a very good folk-to-bluegrass 4-disc set (Amazon's got the CDs for $35.16, MP3 $31.96, ltd. ed. vinyl $299.49). He seems like a low-key folkie at first, but quickly takes off. I posted about it over on Jerry Garcia Solo/JGB/Grisman/etc. - S/D Sure would like to hear his pre-Dead performances w Grisman.

dow, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 01:40 (three days ago) link

I thought I had heard everything but I just came across the single version of dark star on the long strange trip compilation. So good. Sitar and is that banjo at the very end?

I think Paul Williams listed that as one of his 100 Greatest Rock Singles of All-Time.

I'm still not a huge Dead fan, but what helped me kind of like them was the Amazon documentary, which I was able to see at a limited screening in NYC. The director was there and he was definitely a very knowledgeable Deadhead, addressing every esoteric question every fan had. (The biggest and not-so-esoteric one was "Where's Mountain Girl?" and he said they REALLY tried, but she said she was saving everything for a book or film of her own that she was already doing and refused to participate.) I don't doubt there's lots of holes in it - it's tough to cram a whole band's long history into four hours - but it was surprisingly engaging from start-to-finish and the music came off really well. I now have Live/Dead, the two classic country-rock LP's, the famous Ithaca bootleg from 1977 and the Dick's Picks volumes Greg Kot recommended (I think in the 2004 edition of the Rolling Stone Album Guide) and enjoy them quite a bit.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 01:56 (three days ago) link

Good stash. Also in the country-folk vein, Reckoning is a soulful acoustic set-down set (2 CDs for price of one, as Ah recall).

dow, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 03:02 (three days ago) link

I had reckoning as a young lad and was always annoyed with the production. Something about acoustic guitars in a live setting, they never sound good …

calstars, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 12:55 (three days ago) link

“Searchlight casting for faults in the clouds of delusion” 😊

calstars, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 13:51 (three days ago) link

Something about acoustic guitars in a live setting, they never sound good …

The acoustic guitars on some late '60s/early '70s Dead shows sound ok, probably because they're externally miked rather than having a pickup. Once acoustics got fancy internal pickups in the late '70s/early '80, they were much easier to manage from an EQ/feedback standpoint when going through a PA, but almost always sounded tinny.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 14:46 (three days ago) link

On the Europe 72 version of “jack straw” at the beginning, Bobbys vocal is on the right, and there’s a high harmony on the left. Who is this? I thought Phil’s voice was deeper and jerry’s vocals doesn’t come til later. Maybe a Bobby overdub In the studio?

calstars, Tuesday, 27 July 2021 19:19 (three days ago) link


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