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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link

Just say no.

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

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

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

DIRTY HIPPY!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

it was funny, yes, I second that!

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

MMatos in I Love the Dead shocker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIRTY HIPPY!

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

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

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

hard to follow, esp, when shifting gears into more varied excursions) And this was already happening while he was in the Dead, which was a reason for wanting him excised, again according to the 'gau.

dow, Wednesday, 19 August 2020 23:16 (five months ago) link

The Pigpen Review! I think a "review" was pretty full-sized presentation.
Musically, this made sense, but because the Dead was also a spiritual unit, it was distressing. Then it was revealed that this was a breakup with a difference: two groups would result but the new one, to be called the Pigpen Revue, would tour with the Dead.
It never did happen, partly because the group, which is always in debt no matter how much money it earns, couldn't handle the finances. When the Dead appeared here last February, Tom Constanten was on organ. But Pigpen was on-stage too, banging inaudibly on a set of bongos and singing or blowing mouth-harp sometimes. The Dead wouldn't have been right without Pigpen to root them to the ground,and they knew it. Not only was their music better than ever, so was their gestalt. On their recent Aoxomoxoa (Warner Brothers WS 1790), the last three credits read: "Bill Krutzmann/Percussion; Tom Constanten/Keyboards; Rod McKernan/Pig Pen." He is his own instrument.

From https://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/news/grateful-69.php

dow, Wednesday, 19 August 2020 23:27 (five months ago) link

The part about him being the favorite of segment is in another newspaper story somewhere on there, I think; anyway,I've certainly heard it from heads.

dow, Wednesday, 19 August 2020 23:31 (five months ago) link

Re: Weir. Him singing El Paso Is some underachieving shit i cringe everytime i see it on youtube. The look in his eyes says get me out of here i dont know why he doesnt belt it out more confidently. Such things fascinate me

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Thursday, 20 August 2020 07:15 (five months ago) link

Never understand all the shit Bob Weir gets. Rhythm guitar > lead guitar.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Thursday, 20 August 2020 07:49 (five months ago) link

Yeah, he doesn't have the charisma of Garcia, but can be very effective performer---rizzx, hope you've got Weir's Ace on your list.

dow, Thursday, 20 August 2020 16:39 (five months ago) link

I should prob have said he doesn't have the talent and skill of Garcia, but more of an everyman figure, and certainly the journeyman, never slick enough to be the hack, but learning on the job (starting as Garcia's student at the guitar store),

dow, Thursday, 20 August 2020 16:48 (five months ago) link

The look in his eyes says get me out of here i dont know why he doesnt belt it out more confidently.

Based on '80s and '90s performances of "Estimated Prophet," asking Weir to belt it out is an extremely bad idea.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 20 August 2020 16:50 (five months ago) link

LOL yeah I once heard Weir's 'belting voice' accurately described as an unattractive foghorn bellow - and he's still a better singer than Phil Lesh!

Phil can be an interesting player in the group unit but some of his bass solos are horrendous.

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 20 August 2020 16:54 (five months ago) link

phil is this fascinating mix of innovative player and obnoxious noise-maker. when he goes into something like the "philo stomp", i'm _extremely_ impressed, but as much as i love avant-garde music, "seastones" is just a load of crap.

Kate (rushomancy), Thursday, 20 August 2020 16:58 (five months ago) link

there’s this dead show from the early 90s I watched awhile back that was equal parts awesome and hilarious... I don’t know if bob was on something that night but he was doing weird stuff with his vocals. Like he sang the verse of “estimated prophet” as a series of descending semitones so it sounded like all haunted and fucked. and he wouldnt sing the proper chorus of “one more Saturday night” he would just sing “..... yah Saturday night!!”

brimstead, Thursday, 20 August 2020 17:39 (five months ago) link

284 bootlegs of which a good 80% plus are marked as "REALLY GOOD", this is why people don't get into dead boots :)

lollll

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 20 August 2020 18:00 (five months ago) link

which people?

dow, Thursday, 20 August 2020 18:03 (five months ago) link

@dow - read good things about Ace, so def. on the list. Have listened to Weir's recent-ish albums like Kingfish and Blue Mountain quite a bit and liked most of it.

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Thursday, 20 August 2020 18:04 (five months ago) link

Haven't heard those, but think Ace is still gen. considered his best.
xpost The only person I've ever actually met who didn't get into Dead boots etc. was this guy who used to shop a turn-of-the-century store where I worked; Dead product pretty much kept the lights on. One day I was describing how I finally got into the Dead, and he said, "Yeah---that's great, if you want to hear 500 performances of the same 18 songs," this mummified hippie with his kindly gap-toothed smile---and the scales fell from my eyes! For a second.

dow, Thursday, 20 August 2020 18:11 (five months ago) link

hi all, i've been doing the Year of The Dead for awhile now and today's show from the Fillmore West 1968 is something else. the first show after Anthem was released, 21 min. Alligator! peace

https://archive.org/details/gd1968-08-21.139746.sbd.MasterReel.Gastwirt.Miller.Noel.pcfix.t-flac1644

llurk, Friday, 21 August 2020 23:39 (four months ago) link

listening to a lot of the dead lately, really into them. lots of random dick's picks listens on Spotify etc. have been taking a lot of hallucinogens also, turning into a boomer hippy at 36.

started off p much mortified every time bobby was getting into it but grown strongly fond of him.

Temporary Erogenous Zone (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 22 August 2020 00:23 (four months ago) link

Lol, jim, I wouldn't have thought. That was about the age I got into them seriously.

trunk's full of pearl and lonestar (PBKR), Saturday, 22 August 2020 00:33 (four months ago) link

@llurk what is that Year of The Dead thing you mention? Listening to a show from the same date a whole year long? And how do you decide from which year you pick the date?

Enjoying 1975 at the moment, One From the Vault is a true gem I keep going back to

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Saturday, 22 August 2020 10:18 (four months ago) link

I've been listening This Day in Dead History on archive.org every day for months now, prep course for Advanced Head Studies. The calling comes as an unexpectedly exceptional version of Looks Like Rain.

I started by focusing on the years that I knew were choice - 73/74, 77, 68 - but then branched out into all eras. There's good stuff all over, the August 1982 Midwest tour and current 1972 run to Veneta, OR have been epic.

Look for a Matrix mix of the best soundboard/audience tapes available or mastered by Mr. Charlie Miller, they tend to sound the best, dropping into the jam of Playing or a favorite song can give you a sense if the band is 'on' that night.

and rizzx, check out their next show on 9/28/75 - its One From The Vault as a free show in Golden Gate Park. https://archive.org/details/gd1975-09-28.mtx.seamons.102155.sbeok.flac16

llurk, Saturday, 22 August 2020 14:32 (four months ago) link

Sounds like a fun job! I've been telling myself stick to the albums available on Spotify because I always do that to myself, put restrictions on my listening. Barriers to prevent me from losing myself completely. But I'll check those archive shows out though!

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Saturday, 22 August 2020 18:12 (four months ago) link

Archive.org at least used to have almost every show in various file formats.
Like from 65 or 66 through to Garcias death in 96. Probably some of the related stuff too Other Ones, Furthur etc.
I think there was possibly some removed thanks to commercial releases or made into stream only or something.
I used to frequent the site in the early 00ies.
They also have a load of Dream Syndicate as well as quite a few other bands in less complete form.

Stevolende, Sunday, 23 August 2020 06:21 (four months ago) link

I think I'm becoming a Pigpan fan, good grief

Joey Corona (Euler), Monday, 24 August 2020 14:38 (four months ago) link

er Pigpen lol

Joey Corona (Euler), Monday, 24 August 2020 14:38 (four months ago) link

Pigpen is their secret weapon----

a (waterface), Monday, 24 August 2020 15:48 (four months ago) link

Nah he's too much of a basic blues dude, with a lot of passion but still...I keep skipping his tunes after two minutes

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Monday, 24 August 2020 17:01 (four months ago) link

I used to think that, but listening today to "I'm A King Bee" on the Port Chester 1971 live set on the 50th anniversary Workingman's Dead, I heard something deeper.

Joey Corona (Euler), Monday, 24 August 2020 17:07 (four months ago) link

Hmmm shall give it a try, but maybe you're just tired? No but I am, I need a rousing PITB now

black dice live ft. jerry garcia (rizzx), Monday, 24 August 2020 17:37 (four months ago) link

Lovelight from Live/Dead is where it's at

a (waterface), Monday, 24 August 2020 19:35 (four months ago) link

^^^
Possibly Pigpen's greatest moment (other than hiring the Hell's Angels at Altamont).

trunk's full of pearl and lonestar (PBKR), Monday, 24 August 2020 23:59 (four months ago) link

Mr Charlie, Easy Wind, that's all folks.

BrianB, Tuesday, 25 August 2020 00:20 (four months ago) link

OPERATOR

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 25 August 2020 00:26 (four months ago) link

doctor say better stop ballin that jack

brimstead, Tuesday, 25 August 2020 00:42 (four months ago) link

Central done forgot it

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 25 August 2020 00:50 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

As I promised myself, I listened to the 50th Anniversary Workingman's Dead today, Labor Day (getit?): YouTube rolled all sounds through my headphones right on cue, in a way I'd never noticed before (my old record player was not so good). Pitchfork review of this edition confirms Garcia and sound specialists meticulously planned the design, resulting in, as the 'fork points out, a combination of "bracing" clarity or maybe they said precision, with "weathered" textures of instruments, but I think weather is most of all generated from these songs def. being ones of experience---the rays of hopefulness come from experience of knowing you need 'em, also maybe from flashbacks. Clarity also reveals occasional vocal limitations I hadn't noticed before, ditto occasional lyrical limitations of Hunter's cracker barrel philosophizing. But many felicities of playing are now revealed (helps that I haven't listened in however long it's been), including even the double-drumming spotlight turn on "Easy Wind," which now sounds like old horses motivated to git up and dance on floorboards of the general store. I once made the mistake of listening to "Black Peter" when I was sick, not that sick, but put me off playing (or owning) the record any more---but now it sounds like one of their best studio tracks ever, incl. when they slam into, "See now how everything/Leads up to this day/It's just like every day, that's/Ever been." Yes!
Listened to most of the bonus show via archive.org: downloaded the vbr playlist and played some of it offline, even though its page is now marked "streaming only," since inclusion on the 50th Anniversary Ed., of course. Another xpost Charlie Miller flac from soundboard, and song selections go well enough with WD (charming Weir lead vocal on "Me and Bobbie McGhee"), also enjoying Bill's drumming without Mickey all through this. Several reviewers of several postings of this show say that it's not quite as hot as previous ones during this Feb. '71 visit to Port Chester, so I may check those too.

dow, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 02:43 (four months ago) link

A bit confused by the mention of Garcia- I guess you mean the sound design of the original release, not this edition? Anyway, a great album, and "Black Peter" is a great track.

o. nate, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 03:12 (four months ago) link

Yes, sorry, I was thinking of WD backstory in Stephen Thomas Erlewine's Pitchfork review of The Angel's Share, which I'll have to listen to:
Much of that precision can be chalked up to how the Grateful Dead mapped out all of Workingman’s Dead prior to recording the album with their live-sound team of Bob Matthews and Betty Cantor, a pair who shared a co-production credit with the band. Nothing was left to chance. Matthews, Cantor, and Garcia drew up a provisional sequencing during these sessions, circulating this rough draft on demo cassettes among the band. Rehearsals came next, then the rapid sessions, outtakes of which can be heard on The Angel’s Share, a digital-only collection released alongside the 50th Anniversary edition of Workingman’s Dead. The chief insight provided by The Angel’s Share is how Garcia kept the Dead on track, calling for changes in tempo and directing the arrangements so neither the song nor vibe is obscured. Compared to its willfully spacy predecessor Aoxomoxoa—an album the band recorded twice, as the band exhausted the possibilities of a new 16-track tape recorder while exhausting the patience and wallet of Warner Bros—the simplicity of Workingman’s Dead is bracing, even refreshing, but it’s the earthy, weathered grooves that give the album its distinct character and power.

dow, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 04:17 (four months ago) link

The Feb. 71 show on on the Workingman's Dead 50th reissue is one of the best-sounding shows they've ever released. The show rocks too--the sound of Billy unchained

J. Sam, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 12:15 (four months ago) link

I tend to be cranky about remasters, but what jumped out at me on first listen to this one is that it's very "Phil Zone."

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 14:35 (four months ago) link

Sometimes clarity is the enemy imo. Modern engineering places way too much of a premium on clarity.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 14:38 (four months ago) link

It may well be that I would have noticed those limitations I mentioned even w/o added clarity---actually I remember thinking the sound was too spare, sparse, even, but like I said, bad record player back then---not a prob now, and bringing out the bass may well have helped; I worked in a Dirty South CD store for several years, and must have bass. If you mean the live set, no prob with it there either, so far (though I haven't listened to the whole thing yet; it's long).

dow, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 15:04 (four months ago) link

Sorry for two "may well"s

dow, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 15:06 (four months ago) link

I meant the studio versions -- it's subtle, but Phil's bass just barely crossed the line from supportive into intrusive for me on certain songs

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 15:30 (four months ago) link

wow yeah the show accompanying the reissue sounds terrific

global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 17:10 (four months ago) link

I'm trying to find earlier releases for comparison, but it seems like youtube may have auto-replaced them all with the 2020 remaster? Either that or they're mislabeled.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 17:28 (four months ago) link

When I listened to the reissue, it really felt like hearing it again for the first time (though my first listen was only about nine years ago). It's a much more (and I'm not a fan of this overused term) immersive. And I've never been much of a fan of Three From The Vault, so I wasn't too excited about another show from that run, but they're really on fire here. Definitely (and strongly) prefer this to Three. Like J. Sam said, it's Billy unchained. On Three he sounded like, "uh-oh...what do I do without Mickey?" but two nights later he's all, "THIS is what I'll do without Mickey!"

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 17:32 (four months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdq_gg9rJZ8&ab_channel=DSDtape

Maresn3st, Friday, 11 September 2020 17:04 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...

New newsletter, w link to hear Angel's Share of American Beauty, also podcast, then link to pre-order 50th Anniversary AB, ditto for next Dave's Picks:
http://view.email.dead.net/?qs=7c09a14552edfd1d0036a5e34b20833f9178db113d8e8f89fa613a7a5643983e2012adcf82122aa34784207164165d4d59d13e76e17f33748775a08bdcc865aa1dd7b6af32fcfbf8

dow, Friday, 2 October 2020 01:54 (three months ago) link

two months pass...

The Good Ol' Grateful Deadcast is such a good podcast. Interview with Ned Lagen last week was so interesting, and they did a deep dive on If I Could Only Remember My Name. They have such good people working for them.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 15 December 2020 09:58 (one month ago) link


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