Sunday, October 11, 2009

Uptown Theater 1981-02-27

Listened to this show last night. It's crackling with energy. Great show, and probably my favorite Minglewood Blues ever.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Grateful Dead to rise in New York exhibition

New York Times Article

Though the Grateful Dead are most closely associated with the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, the Upper West Side of Manhattan can briefly lay claim to that industrious and ever-evolving band in the weeks and months ahead. In March, the New-York Historical Society will open an exhibition on the Grateful Dead that will trace its history and cultural influence. In a release, the society said that the exhibition, to be called “The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society,” would feature artwork, posters, marionettes and other stage props as well as banners and decorated fan mail from throughout the band’s 30-year career. Prior to its opening, the society will hold a fundraising event that will be attended by the Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, where items from the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will be previewed. More information on that event, which is scheduled for Oct. 21, will be available online at

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jerry Garcia - An American Life

Just got done reading Blair Jackson's "Jerry Garcia - An American Life."  Fantastic.  The guy has some passages that are written so well and seem so right on the's nice when a writer can crystallize your own thoughts in such a manner.  Highly recommended.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I've listened to the 5.8.77 show numerous times because, as any Deadhead knows, it is largely considered the best show ever.  Many embrace this notion, but there are still those who reject this notion.  I embrace it and reject it simultaneously. 

Why it's great:  This show is great for numerous reasons.  It feels focused, unhurried, and the sound well-mixed.  Everyone brought their A-game to the vocals and the playing is quite tight.

Why it sucks:  Philosophies of the Dead which try to espouse that the Dead ascended until this show and then descended after it (in other words this is the pinnacle, or summit of the Dead's existence) do a real disservice to a vast and varied body of work.  For many, the mental checklist of what constitutes a great show is complete or nearly complete with 5.8.77.  For others, not so much.  It all depends on what you need or want to hear from Jerry and the gang.  Additionally, as many have said before, if you hold this up to the uninitiated as the consummate Dead experience; they may well hold the thought -- "Gee, if that's the best they can do, I'd hate to hear the worst!"  This is because at the end of the day, it is still our beautifully flawed Grateful Dead just doing what they do.  There are great moments in every era, every tour, every show, every song.  Perhaps 5.8.77 has what many would consider a preponderance of great moments; but so do a lot of Dead shows.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Do the biopic already!

There were rumors of a Jerry Garcia biopic a few years ago.  What happened?  This movie needs to be made.  This is an interesting life we're talking about here!  Multiple books have been written about the fantastic life of this truly original artist...why not a movie?  Let's go, person-who-has-the-resources-to-get-this-done!  Time's a wastin'.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"The Grateful Dead sound like crap!"

If you believe this, then, as Carlos Santana said, you haven't raised your consciousness to a point where you can really hear them.  That's okay.  Many of us remember a time when we thought their music sounded way too flawed to deal with.  This me. For many, the Grateful Dead are most certainly an acquired taste.  Sure, you'll meet Deadheads who claim to have loved the Dead upon first listen; but I think they are in the minority.  Most of us come to the Dead accustomed to hearing a different sort of music -- over-produced, over-polished, near-perfect stuff that has commercial appeal in spades.  So the Dead require a shift in one's expectations; and perhaps a paradigm shift as to what constitutes 'good' music.  You need to complete the square with the Dead, so to speak.  You have to 'hear' what they are going after; dig into the tapestry that is their sound; isolate individual players in the mix, and open yourself to an extremely eclectic musical experience.  Don't like what they're playing?  ...Wait a couple of seconds.