Sunday, September 17, 2006


....according to Jim Powell (posted in discussion section of

Dusseldorf 4/24/72: DS 25:15 > My Uncle 2:59 > 15:06 SBD
Philadelphia 9/21/72: 37:22 SBD
Winterland 11/11/73: 36:08. SBD
Cleveland 12/6/73: 43:28 SBD
Miami 10/26/89: 29:06 SBD

And the others (out of 224 different performances) that Powell regards as "remarkable" are....

Fillmore West 2/27/69: 23:05 SBD (Live Dead)
Boulder 4/13/69: 24:01 SBD
Boston 4/22/69: 30:42 SBD
Minneapolis 4/27/69: 26:37 SBD Dick's Picks
Piedmont Park, Atlanta 7/7/69: 26:58 SBD
Family Dog 8/28/69: 63:#51 SBD (Dark Star 31:16 # 16:03 > Eleven jam 9:49 > Dark Star 6:43) [*w/ Howard Wales & w/o Weir, McKernan, or Constanten]
Family Dog 8/30/69: 28:56 SBD
Family Dog 11/2/69: 30:06 SBD
Fillmore 11/8/69: DS 14:05 > Other 11:52 > DS 1:55 > UJB's jam 2:23 > DS 3:01 SBD Dick's Picks
Fillmore West 2/8/70: 26:43 excellent AUD
Fillmore East 2/13/70: 29:46 SBD Dick's Picks
Denver 4/24/70: 24:39 A minus AUD
Fillmore East 9/17/70: 27:10 near excellent AUD
London 4/8/72: 31:30 SBD Steppin' Out
Copenhagen 4/14/72: 29:14 SBD, FM & AUD
Rotterdam 5/11/72: 47:20 SBD
London 5/25/72: 35:08 SBD
Jersey City 7/18/72: 28:57 SBD
BCT 8/21/72: 27:34 SBD
Veneta, Oregon 8/27/72: 31:44 SBD
Waterbury 9/24/72: 34:13 SBD
St. Louis 10/18/72: 28:02 FM-AUD Bear's AUD master, FM-broadcast; SBD
Kansas City 11/13/72: 33:36 Bear's AUD master patched @ 11:17 w/ 1:35 of 2nd AUD master
Houston 11/19/72: 31:22 SBD
Lincoln 2/26/73: 25:18 SBD
Springfield 3/28/73: 32:14 SBD (de-hummed), also excellent AUD
Washington, D.C. 6/10/73: 26:08 SBD
Portland 6/24/73: 26:35 SBD
Oklahoma City 10/19/73: 27:12 SBD Dick's Picks
Winterland 2/24/74: 28:54 SBD
London 9/10/74: 31:03 SBD Dick's Picks
Washington, D.C. 7/12/90: 25:18 SBD with missing end patched with excellent AUD
NYC 9/20/90: DS 12:01 > Playin 5:00 > DS 14:37 SBD
Oakland 12/31/90: 20:39 SBD w/ Branford Marsalis.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

VIEW FROM THE VAULT DVD: 7-8-90, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh PA

About a year-and-a-half ago, this is what did it, the DVD that started my upward spiral into unrepentant Deadheadedness. On that fateful day, various surplus capitalism runoffs combined to put in my hands a free copy of a three-DVD set by the Grateful Dead called View From The Vault. It was all 1990s stuff but I figured I'd try it anyway, and right when I got home I whimsically put in the first DVD, this one, a 1990 show from Pittsburgh. It started up while we were getting dinner ready, thinking we would check out a few songs, maybe even scoff a little, but whaddayaknow, we kept it on throughout dinner and well past it, deep into the second set, and it made for a lovely evening. My wife lived with a bunch of Deadheads about 15 years ago, and it turned out she knew all the songs and was actually dancing around with little Zacko who then wasn't even two years old. I did a little dancing too and had a mild epiphany over it being the first time I'd really sat and watched them play, and I couldn't help but love how casual they were as they rolled through one song after the next -- catchy, soulful, always instrumentally interesting, yes, but always supremely casual about it. Even when sloppy and out-of-tune they just casually play right through it. They aren't always personally casual -- they all scowl a lot and worry at their knobs and all that stuff -- but they are always musically casual, and they were playing some pretty good deep-well-of-music action. That was the ephiphany: That it was good, and if (gasp) 1990s Dead was good, maybe it was ALL good. Even Bob Weir's unconscionably short shorts couldn't dissuade me.

Put it this way: I'd always liked second-set Dead, but this DVD was the first time I enjoyed FIRST-SET Dead. And as you can read below, I've been listening to the Dead almost constantly since then, and in fact it's really picked up in the last 6 months, and now I'm finally watching this DVD again, the first time since it started the whole thing off a year-and-a-half ago. And whaddayaknow, now that I've really gotten used to all kinds of high-quality soundboard recordings, it SUCKS. Their first set was always notorious as being a kind of onstage soundcheck/warmup, but this has got to be one of the worst-sounding first sets I've ever heard. The vocals sound faint, some instruments are too loud and others too faint, and they seem to be suffering some phase cancellation. It sounds like the actual notes the band is playing are way off, not in their usual choogling out-of-tune way, but in a more "I can't hear shit right now, this really sucks" way. Who knows, they must've thought it was okay if they released it. "Touch of Grey" is a classic and an acceptably ragged opener (seeing him play it, I flash on what a great loved-'round-the-world hook Brent Mydland's organ part was/is), but from there it's a truly awful run of "Greatest Story Ever Told," "Jack-A-Roe," and "New Minglewood Blues." Things improve when the band downshifts and does "Row Jimmy," one of my favorites. It's still mistake-filled and the sound is totally weird, but "Row Jimmy" is always pretty, and usually beautiful, especially during the Brent era. The way he sang the backup vocal on the chorus -- the "girl part" -- was something else. Ah, but after "Jimmy" we're back into awkward-first-set-land with a so-so Cowboy Bob medley of "Mama Tried" into "Mexicali Blues." Still a lot of mistakes going on. The next song I don't recognize, but it sounds pretty lame, until Phil starts singing and I realize that it's Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues." Not too bad, things are looking up, Phil's got a good wistful style on this one and he's even changing the lyrics a little bit, with nerdy acid-head sci-fi playfulness, "Now my best friend, my drummer, won't even tell what it was that I dropped." Not bad, not bad, and then a pretty good "Let It Grow" finally gets us out of this mess as the sun goes down and the band takes their break. It's very funny to me that this is the set that really got me into ALL ERAS of the Dead, because since then, after listening to countless superb soundboard recordings, I've grown accustomed to a much higher standard of playing, sound, song selection, everything. But again, that's the magic of the Dead -- sometimes when they suck, they're great, and vice versa.

And it's in the second set that they finally cool out and find their feet. Opener "Samson and Delilah" isn't too promising (but never a fave tune of mine so personal bias admitted), but then comes "Eyes of the World," serving as a bridge as it so often does into mellow times, good sound, and a marked increase in blown-out polyphonic star-cluster music. (I thought it played the same role in the middle of The Grateful Dead Movie -- on this DVD it just takes much longer for it to come along and save the day.) Though it does segue into a bit of a pace-change, a real fine take on "Estimated Prophet." Real fine, I would even say crucial (jah mon), with Weir ruling on the vocals. You can tell he's listened to some real island music here, and absorbed it, and it definitely takes him to some testifying levels. I'm sure you all know how Weir can go crazy on a song's rideout, with the high-end soul-music shrieks, and he really does it here, but much more controlled and pointed than usual, one of the best performances I've ever seen him give. Meanwhile, Mydland is constantly threatening to take the whole thing down with ridiculously dated "solar whoosh" synth effects. And right there I flash on it again, the Grateful Dead interplay of brilliance and bullshit that you can sometimes hear in their music so specifically that different instruments can be assigned to different factions. With this "Estimated" brilliance comes out ahead. The sun has fallen, the night is dark, and whaddayknow, the sound problems have completely gone away. Must've been some true solar interference, and come to think of it the sun did finally set during one of those many long long "Eyes of the World" rideouts.....

They ride the "Estimated" momentum into a wonderful version of "Terrapin Station." Jerry's now singing with his ragged broken voice instead of against it, a technique he often used to great effect on this "Lady With A Fan" section of "Terrapin" throughout the 90s. "Let my inspiration flow / in token lines suggesting rhythm / that will not forsake me / till my tale is told and done." The band gets loud as hell as they build and then tear into the "Terrapin Station" section of the song, but there are still plenty of clams ("the Grateful Dead with zits" to use a Phil Lesh phrase), like totally missing the "Terrapin!" harmonies every single time, and there are a lot of them. Of course, they more than make up for it with a punishing, thunderous run through the apocalyptic descendent Terrapin riff, repeating it seemingly a hundred times, every one of them completely different, whether divided into radical polymeters by the drummers, led into contrapuntally by Lesh, or multi-voiced by the guitarists. This leads naturally into "Drums" and another frankly mind-blowing Mickey Hart solo on the Beam -- he was basically playing huge table-top electric guitar drone with this thing, using FX pedals on it to boot -- which leads naturally into another frankly cosmically cuddly "Space" section, which leads into, well, "I Need A Miracle" -- back to the so-so boogie, maybe -- point is I do need to take a break -- I can't just write all night about a so-so 1990s Dead show, even if it does have a truly awesome Eyes > Estimated > Terrapin > Drums > Space run in the middle of it right as the sun goes down......

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


People who are into noise/psych/weird/underground rock rarely seem to like the Dead, or admit they like the Dead. Most likely, being born after 1970, they'll align themselves with what they perceive as the punk ethos and hate them outright. Believe me, I know it's completely understandable to hate the Dead, especially if you're going for a punk style. That's the beauty of the Dead, their ugliness -- they truly allow the listener to be free to love them or hate them or whatever in between. I can even understand if someone who is into noise, psych, weirdness, and underground music hates the Dead, even though I think they are representative of all four of those things, perhaps more significantly on all counts than any other band in rock history. However, I will refuse to understand a psych head who hates the Dead but claims that Tripsichord are great.

Tripsichord was another, much lesser known band from San Francisco. They weren't exactly part of the initial Haight/Ash heyday, recording a single album's worth of material in 1969. It wasn't actually released until 1971, and has been reissued by the Akarma label here in the mid-2000's. Naturally, a lot of psych and noise and weirdo heads are into this album. It has an over-the-top glittery medieval-psych cover, and it has weird obscure proggy guitar rock on it that sounds like all the SF classics (the Dead, the Airplane, Moby Grape, etcetera), but weirdly once-removed, a little more proggy and bombastic -- slightly ham-fisted, even. There is a lot of wild, gutsy (but also rather confused) songwriting and guitar playing on here, but the songs just aren't memorable. Of course, sometimes I think that's what these new young psych heads are looking for, because if the songs were memorable, they'd be commercial, and better known today. They want to find something obscure, that no one has really heard of, because it's fun to be a successful archivist, and they hope that the obscurities they dig up will trump what's better known. Sometimes they do, just like Neil, Frank and Van Zandt will always trump Waits, Browne, and Taylor. And of course everyone wants to take down the Dead with some undersung obscuro hero, because of all those grody hippie fans and all those silly twinkly lyrics and all that out-of-tune noodling and all that tye-dye and hackysack and all the money that they made. Of course. But Tripsichord do NOT trump the Dead. It's a lot like putting a CDR by some noise trumpeter next to the oeuvre of Miles Davis. Both are cool, of course, but don't say the obscuro hero is more worthy than the long-timer.

I really don't want to take Tripsichord down -- their album is certainly kinda cool, and undersung, but don't spend outrageous psych reissue prices on it for the music (the cover on this Akarma edition does look amazing, on the other hand, and might be worth the money by itself). I've been listening to it for a few days in the changer and, believe me, nothing is taking. One day I thought I was getting a nibble, with a great laid-back sunny SF-style ballad that went "Here comes suuuuuun.....shiiiiine....." "Ah, Tripsichord does rule," I thought, and I went to the CD player to get the title of the song. But getting there, I realized, oh snap . . . it was a song by the Dead after all. I had bought a used copy of Wake of the Flood the same day, and that was in the CD player too, on random shuffle.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


....well, I'll just tell the story. It starts in the early 1990s, when Nirvana and the Beastie Boys were cool. Oh yeah, and punk was cool too, like Rollins Band, and Spin Magazine. I was about 20 years old straight outta Nebraska and I liked noisy guitar improv music because Thurston Moore and yes, even Mike Patton liked it. So I'm getting into Derek Bailey and Eugene Chadbourne and whaddayaknow, it all just sounds like more gnarly punk music to me, real punk music. I wanted to learn more, and I would even go to the Bennett-Martin Public Library (in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska) just to scour back issues of Guitar Player magazine, looking for interviews with all these hardcore guitarists -- every few issues there'd be something on a weirdo like Chadbourne or Fred Frith or whoever.

In fact, I was at the library one momentuous day checking out a way-old GP i-view with Henry Kaiser, in which he enthusiastically recommended the song "Dark Star" by the Grateful Dead as a prime example of high-level post-rock improvisational music, specifically the version on the Live Dead album. I'm sure I was a little skeptical, but I have always been willing to upend a prejudice, and duly made a note to give this song a chance. Next time I was over at my buddy Eric's apartment, checking out his roommate's CDs, we noticed a copy of Live Dead, so I put on "Dark Star," and by gosh, everyone there loved it. Kaiser had been right. Super-intense, quiet and beautiful but also often ugly and scary, a constant commingling between the heavy and the light, the good trip and the bad trip. It was acid rock, but it also sounded like one of the few true heirs to the deep extended 1960s works of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, which was and will always be some of my favorite music of all time.

I bought my own CD of Live Dead within the week, and from that evening on, I changed my tune a little regarding the Dead. Whenever anyone would get on the subject of how much the Dead sucked, I would say, "Yeah, totally, but their song 'Dark Star' is awesome." Every single time this happened the response was, "Oh yeah? I've never heard it, but they still totally suck." I'm telling you, when people don't like the Dead, they really DON'T LIKE the Dead. And they've hardly heard any Dead, because why would they if they don't like it. Typical all-American logic: if it's 10 percent true, then it has to be 100 percent true.

Not that I had become a Deadhead either. In fact, though I was a proud owner of Live Dead, I barely listened to it over the next couple years, and I had no intention of getting anything else by the band. But then, on another momentuous day, I embarked upon what would be a six-year career delivering pizza. Naturally, a bunch of true Deadheads worked there, people who often wore actual tie-dye T-shirts, were stoned almost all the time, and drove great distances to attend things like the Furthur Festival, some indeed in VW buses. There was a lot of talk about the Grateful Dead Hour (every Wednesday night on KZUM, see, and when Jerry died most of them enthusiastically viewed Phish as an acceptable substitute. (What were they thinking??) Yes, I thought their aesthetic was a little annoying, and rootlessly nostalgic, but the point of my story is that they were the first people I'd gotten to know that collected Dead shows. And at this time (1995-2001) it was still mostly on cassettes.

Hanging out with these folks may have made me realize how far I was from being a full-on Deadhead, but it also got me talking about "Dark Star" again, and how much I loved the Live Dead version. Even though that was the only one I had heard, I started joking with them that I didn't collect shows, I just collected Dark Stars. Fellow delivery driver Luke the Freak called my bluff, and handed me a tape he had made off of the Grateful Dead Hour. "This is one of the best Dark Stars ever, from Missoula, Montana, 1974. And they go from that into an amazing 'China Doll.' It'll break your heart, man." I didn't care about no "China Doll," whatever that was, but I definitely wanted to hear the "Dark Star," so I popped the tape in on my next run. And holy shit. This was one of the best "Dark Stars" ever, impossibly mellow, bubbling and fluttering like a quiet moment in a dark-era Miles Davis jam. When I got back to the store I gave Luke the thumbs up and used the word "fluttering" to describe the mystic quality of the improvisation. "Yeah, fluttering along in a heroin daze" was his response, even though I now know that Garcia didn't start using the stuff until 1977. A few delivery runs later, I finally got to the end of "Dark Star" and that segue into "China Doll" that Luke was raving about, and not only was he right on, but this segue is the moment my appreciation of the Dead segued into a recognition of a singular group musical genius. Whether they were playing "Dark Star" or something else entirely, such as an exquisitely sad and slow ballad like "China Doll," they operated on many, many levels, and the happy hippie good-times rock & roll level that so many of my peers despised was just one such level. (TO BE CONTINUED!!!)


I'm not so bummed about the decision anymore because, hey, I can still go there and listen to all those shows, and I don't even have to download a couple hundred megs of mp3s and burn them to a bunch of CDRs which I then have to keep track of and put in and out of my CD player and in and out of their cases. The website is still providing a very reliable service with their servers -- I can click on any song title from any set list and the music starts right up within a couple seconds, no buffering, no cut-outs, no error messages. I can read about a legendary show from any era, or even a single performance of a single tune from deep within some show, and then go right to and listen to that performance within seconds. (Not every show is available for streaming, of course, most notably anything that's been released as an official Dick's Pick, but so many are available. I've been accessing the archive via the indispensible site, with which you can pull up any show and see a detailed set list along with a link to the page for it, if there is one. It's great to have pull up an entire year's worth of set lists, and then just scroll down and see which ones are available at the archive.)

Friday, September 01, 2006

10-31-70, University Stadium (SUNY), Stony Brook NY (early electric set)

The Dead played an early and a late show on this Halloween day almost 36 years ago, with the early electric set notorious for being the last time the band ever played "Viola Lee Blues," with a surprising segue into "Cumberland Blues" no less. But the one I'm most stoked about right now is the 2nd tune of the set. After opening with a rare, frantic, and mistake-filled "Till The Morning Comes," it's time for Pigpen to take the stage, and he does it with the Otis Redding jam "Hard to Handle." Now, I'm no Pigpen purist, but of course I do love him, and this is one of my favorite of all his performances. You will not believe the way he starts each verse with a "Bay-AAAY-bee" yodel -- it has to be heard by all sentient humans. Even better is the way he takes it right into a staccato "I'm a man on the scene / I can give you what you want / but you got to come home to me," and the band plays the funk behind him and they really are sick, I mean greasy, and on the long extended multisolo in between Pigpen's verses, they just get down and wiggle, laid-back but raunchy. People laugh at the "disco Dead" of the 1980s, but they're already playing that way here, it's just that Pigpen's mere presence stank all the slick right out. I mean, I'm putting this guy right up with Beefheart as one of the greatest blues singers in white rock history. (Who else? I'm sure there's a couple obvious greats I'm not thinking of, but right now all I can come up with is Al Wilson.)

Lots of other good stuff in this set -- it's a real song-oriented electric set, with a definite and endearing acid-wobble and glow to it which energizes fresh versions of "Mama Tried," "Dire Wolf," "Cold Rain and Snow," "Me And My Uncle," and a real old-timey folk tune called "Dark Hollow," sung beautifully by Bobby with great chorus harmonies from Jerry. Next is "Brokedown Palace," a tune I love, and it would've surely been sweet to hear it with this wobbly Halloween glow, but I taped this off Grateful Dead Hour and they had to cut it for space, going right into the "Viola/Cumberland" mentioned earlier. "Viola" is as stinky as the "Hard to Handle" was, even though Pigpen doesn't sing on it, and the move into "Cumberland" (smoking as always) really does come as a surprise.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Notice I've only reviewed live albums so far. It really is mostly true about the Dead, their live stuff is way better. Garcia himself had a studio mantra: "God, we make shitty records." (cf. page 156, Rock Scully with David Dalton, Living With the Dead, Little, Brown, 1996.) Workingman's Dead and American Beauty aside, of course, and I could tell from reading around that Blues For Allah was considered some kind of subtle landmark as well. I figured I could get a used LP copy for two bucks almost anywhere, but it was a little harder than that; finally got one for $6.99 tonight at Chi's esteemed Laurie's Planet of Sound, and I'd have to say: definitely not bad at all. A very interesting LP, and I would say the 3rd-best Dead studio album. (What else challenges? Wake of the Flood, maybe?)

Starts out with a Dead classic, the Help/Slip/Frank medley. I've always loved these songs, and I've heard them well over a hundred times, but this is the first time it hasn't been from a concert, and compared to those booming soundboard versions this is amazingly calmed and sparse skeleton-funk, totally great. The low volume is perfect for Jerry's aching wise "Help on the Way" vocal, and when they go into the "Slipknot!" instrumental it's really too much, swing-jerk fusion-funk, laid-back but complex, soulful but tricky. "Franklin's Tower" still sounds out of place in the medley to me, and here it's only 4:37, but that laid-back studio style really works for it in a totally new way that is separate from the way it works as a 19-minute live version. The short studio version is a groovy little dance tune that got me and the wife movin' while we were cookin' dinner.

After that the LP really takes a post-"Slipknot!" plunge, getting even more fusiony & instrumental & best of all greasy. That same laid-back near-acoustic vibe works wonders here, making a jazz-rock fusion that I didn't know existed, possible only through relaxed home recording (the album was done in the studio that Bob Weir had just finished building over his garage). The only thing I can vaguely compare this instrumental music to is "Contusion" by Stevie Wonder, from Songs in the Key of Life, which was released just one year later in 1976. Call me crazy, I can't explain it. I guess Blow by Blow-era Jeff Beck could also be a comparison (yikes), but Blues for Allah not only has all that technicality, but a hell of a lot more soul. Side two closes with yet another sly turn, into the disco-Dead minor classic "The Music Never Stopped." This is a very loose and early version, and they improved it on stage, but on here it's still a major charmer, mainly because it's such a sweet vehicle for that skeleton-naked fusion funk studio-sound.

Side two seems pretty experimental, especially after the relatively straightforward opener "Crazy Fingers," which is an actual reggae tune, a mellow obtuse original that ends up working beautifully, a little less cloying than the band's more famous reggae standard "Fire on the Mountain." And that's really the last true song on the album -- it's followed by a "Sage & Spirit," a sweet Bob Weir guitar/flute/piano interlude-style instrumental, and then by the title cut, which is in fact a suite, totally prog. ("Blues For Allah"/"Sand Castles & Glass Camels"/"Unusual Occurrences In The Desert." Part of the reason they would divide long instrumental passages into different titles was for publishing. For example, here, the whole band gets a credit for "Sand Castles & Glass Camels." Same thing happened way back on Anthem of the Sun, with the original 'studio' version of "The Other One," divided into ridiculous subtitles like "Quadlibet for Tenderfeet" that were basically never used again, not once).

The "Blues for Allah" suite isn't something I can picture a lot of Deadheads dancing to, or even humming, just a lot of dissonance and long experimental instrumental passages, which is just fine with me. In fact, I am absolutely convinced that this side two suite directly inspired Sun City Girls to record the "Frankincense and Fish" suite that takes up most of side 2 of their Grotto of Miracles LP (1986). Both pieces open with a similar text and melody effect, a demented Greek Chorus effect that leads into a bunch of weird stuff in the middle. And what's in the middle of "Blues For Allah"? I'll just quote Mickey Hart: "[Garcia]'d be saying 'Allah'.... It's the envelope, and within the envelope is his voice, and delicate sounds like the paintbrushed glass, chimes, wood, and metal I was playing, and the crickets, which were slowed down three times and played backwards at half-speed, the sounds of the desert." From as quoted in Dennis McNally's A Long Strange Trip.

10-28-79 Cape Cod Coliseum, South Yarmouth MA

This 1979 fall tour, one of their first with Brent Mydland, was considered kind of rough by a lot of people, but this two-night stand way out on Cape Cod seems to be a notable exception. The venue has been called (by posters on a "sweatbox," and "a typical third rate, minimalist, New England hockey arena - all metal," and this no-frills sweat-lodge intimacy seemed to inspire one of those magical Dead happenings, on both nights. As another poster named "smattman" says about the first night, quoted at length: "The building left much to be desired itself - its now a warehouse - I couldn't believe how much the place heated up at that time of the year. I do remember that when we left the arena the steam poured out of the doors for a half hour to the heavens, sort of a tribute to intensity of the evening. I wished they played there more than just twice as the remoteness led to a purity of true fans dominating the scene."

I have the second night here and I've really grown to love it, and most collectors seem to prefer the first night, so you know these knows were fairly legendary, known simply as "Cape Tapes" among traders. The show opens with a "Mississippi Half-Step Toodle-oo" into "Franklin's Tower," a process that takes about 31 minutes, and the "Franklin's Tower" is just slammin'. (The night before, they had opened the second set with a "Dancin' in the Street" into "Franklin's" that also lasted over 30 minutes, and is regarded by many as perhaps the best "Franklin's" ever!) I was never a huge fan of Mydland's beer-commercial vocals, but there's something so clipped and funky about the way he sings "Roll away.....the dew" here, not to mention the relentless of the two-chord groove, and the funky way Garcia's guitar and Mydland's electric piano blend and converse.

And speaking of that Garcia/Mydland blend, wait until you hear the 2nd set opener, quite simply my personal favorite China/Rider of all time. Mydland's the hero, too, playing perfect subdued electric piano that really takes off during a gorgeous transition and drives "Rider" all the way home. (Awesome cowbell accents too by the drummers, no kidding, really playful stuff.) There are more set two highlights, namely a lovely "Ship of Fools" and then a crazed hallucinogenic "Playing in the Band" that segues into one of the most powerful "Drums" I've ever heard. Billy and Mickey work themselves into some completely hard-driving relentless Burundi-type shit, and because my version switches from SBD to AUD at "Playin'," I can really hear the effect it's having on the crowd -- they are going apeshit! Then a weird "Space" into a chilling "Stella Blue" and a triumphant "Sugar Magnolia." Great show.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Today at work trying to fix a printer:
"This thing has been jamming a lot lately. This thing is jamming more than Garcia in '75."

From WFMU's Beware of the Blog, post by "The Iowa Firecracker":
"From the Daily News: 'Sirius Satellite Radio starts an eight-day commemoration of the late Jerry Garcia on Ch. 17.' --Guess they're going to play one of his guitar solos."

Best of all time:
"What did the Deadhead say when he ran out of pot?"
"Hey, this music sucks!"