Grateful Dead

What do they believe? What do you think? Talk about religion as it exists today.
John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:17 pm

I've had a love/hate relationship with the above 1974 show with the beautiful Jack Straw (or at least with its recording). Yes, it has some technical issues that are due to the Wall of Sound they were using that year, but I don't mind that (and the WOS is a part of what makes that year so special). And the overall sound quality of the show is otherwise very clean. But for some reason, even at top volume, it's not as loud as I would like it to be, and that has kept me from appreciating it more. This is the case on the soundboard recording of it I have on a CD and on the soundboard recordings of it on the archive. And it has always struck me (whether due in whole or in part to my bad hearing) as a show that is easy to miss. As one reviewer puts it:
I retract what I said about this show in an earlier review - it is a wonderful show, in excellent sound. I guess I wasn't listening to it in the right frame of mind or something. How could I have been so wrong? A humbling experience - perhaps I should listen a bit more deeply before opening my mouth.
And as another reviewer puts it:
The transition from Dark Star through Spanish Jam into US Blues is one for the ages. Brilliant, wonderful show. Don't miss this one.
Some (most?) Dead Heads prefer audience recordings, but I generally find them to be too murky sounding and full of unpleasant audience cheering so I avoid them (the Dead were okay with people taping their shows, and eventually evolved to having an audience taping section). To each their own, I guess.

As this website puts it (in a review of the above show with a picture of the Wall of Sound), "You'll never hear the Wall on a soundboard recording. This historic sound system is wonderfully captured in many audience recordings over the year."

http://www.deadlistening.com/2008/02/19 ... onton.html

And I notice that a reviewer of the audience recording that is linked to in the above review is having a similar issue with this show as me:
Is there something I'm not hearing? I am a huge 74 fan and also a huge AUD fan, and this show is average at best. There are many other superior shows. Both reviews for the AUD and the SBD are raving and I just don't see it.
Last edited by John2 on Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:52 am

Here's an interesting article about the tapers section.
Officially approved for noncommercial recording by the Grateful Dead since the early 1980s, tapers are a subculture within a subculture — spreaders of audio sacrament among a famously evangelical following. While the band never matched the record sales of its classic-rock peers, the Dead thrived as a freewheeling live act thanks in part to a word-of-mouth trade network of concert recordings, a system it passed down to its spiritual children such as Phish and Widespread Panic.

“The band was very farsighted — it reified an informal practice that had been going for many years,” said David Gans, the host of “The Grateful Dead Hour,” a nationally syndicated radio show. “In time, it proved to be one of the most efficient marketing mechanisms.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/arts/ ... .html?_r=0
Last edited by John2 on Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:53 pm

In 1992, several months before I started listening to the Dead or knew anything about them, I had a friend who wanted to go sell beer in the parking lot of a Dead show in California. He wasn't into the Dead either and he didn't want to see the show, but I had a van at the time and he thought it'd be cool to hang out in the parking lot and check out the scene.

I was twenty years old and a "straight edge" punk at the time (no drinking, no drugs) and was so completely clueless about the Dead that when the guy at the state line check point said, "Say hello to Jerry for us," I thought he meant Jerry Brown, the former and current governor of California who was running for president at the time. "Okay," I said.

Not much happened at the "show." I just remember feeling sorry for everyone because I thought they were stuck in the sixties, and someone holding a sign that said something about "Uncle John's Band."

The show (which was actually part of a run of shows and I don't remember which one it was) is online now and I still haven't listened to it. But I still like Uncle John's Band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSIajKGHZRk
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:13 am

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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:29 pm

The first show above is disappointing. I've never listened to any 1992 shows before, and after checking to see what others have said about this year it turns out that Jerry wasn't feeling well. I didn't know that.
In 1992 Garcia had his second collapse (far less serious than in ’86), which once again caused the cancellation of the fall tour on the east coast (22 shows altogether). He had asked, in a GDP meeting a few months prior, to find a way to cancel that very tour because he was already feeling exhausted....

For many, 1992 was the beginning of the end. In the overall scheme of things, May 92 was the cusp of that period. The lineup was in its final form, and the range of quality ... exemplifies the unpredictability that would turn off so many in the final years. On their good nights they were as good as ever, but there was a depressing apathy lurking in the wings.

http://moderndeadhead.blogspot.com/2010 ... s-may.html
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:25 pm

The stand out songs on my first listen as I was typing away at the library earlier today were Looks Like Rain (it was raining outside when it was playing) and Black Peter, a song I don't really "like" but don't necessarily hate that I've never really known what to make of and isn't something I usually get excited about when I see it in a set list because it's so slow and nothing seems to happen. And yet, on those rare occasions when I find myself listening to a late-era version of it, croaky vocals floating by, a lot seems to be going on, but I can't put my finger on what it's all about. Is it sad? I don't know. In any event, I tend to not think about it or have it in my head much, but memories of these moments persist and the sun is going down now.
The song is enigmatic in the way of many Hunter lyrics. It’s a partial, fragmentary short story - we don’t know all the circumstances of the narrator’s troubles. Indeed, we don’t even know if they are legitimate troubles, or if they are the self-pitying rantings of a hypochondriac. The enigma begins with the song’s title. “Black Peter.” Is that the narrator’s name? Or is it a reference to the characters who bring bundles of switches to beat ill-behaved children?

There’s an element of the boy who cried wolf in the song. The narrator’s friends gather around because he is dying, supposedly. But he doesn’t die—he finds himself alive one more day. So now he admonishes them, accusing them of only coming to have fun at his expense—“Take a look at poor Peter / he’s lyin’ in pain / now let’s go run and see.” (Some listeners have proposed that the narrative view changes in the final verse, from first to third person, but I still hear it as the same voice, mimicking what others are saying. Interesting to think about the alternative, though!) ...

I have heard, over the years, from people besides myself who have been at the deathbed of beloved friends and family, for whom this song has held particular meaning, if not comfort. It is a song that helps us into the feelings of the dying person, who might be resentful of those who gather, of their inane everyday conversation, and yet still grateful for their presence. There’s something about the way that one visitor, Annie Beauneau, is specifically mentioned—I can’t help but think this might have been the love of his life, and yet all she has to say is something about the weather.

What about you? What has “Black Peter” meant to you? Has it changed its meaning over time and circumstance? What good does it do for us, as human beings, to see ourselves as part of an eternally-recurring series of days, in which nothing is ever really new (except our own personal experience of life)?

http://www.dead.net/features/greatest-s ... lack-peter
Last edited by John2 on Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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DCHindley
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:29 am

John2 wrote:The stand out songs on my first listen as I was typing away at the library earlier today were Looks Like Rain (it was raining outside when it was playing) and Black Peter, a song I don't really "like" but don't necessarily hate that I've never really known what to make of and isn't something I usually get excited about when I see it in a set list because it's so slow and nothing seems to happen. And yet, on those rare occasions when I find myself listening to a late-era version of it, croaky vocals floating by, a lot seems to be going on, but I can't put my finger on what it's all about. Is it sad? I don't know. In any event, I tend to not think about it or have it in my head much, but memories of these moments persist and the sun is going down now.

http://www.dead.net/features/greatest-s ... lack-peter
Isn't it amazing how deconstructing a song resembles biblical/historical criticism? All sorts of interpretations of the same set of lyrics. Several of them could be true all at the same time, depending on your own POV.

DCH

John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:09 pm

Those 1992 shows aren't very good. Oh, well. Not every show or year was great. But people who were there seemed to have had a good time nevertheless, and that's what it's all about.

Regarding different interpretations of lyrics, I sometimes feel like I'm not even listening to the same band as other Dead Heads. For example, I've been looking for a good Sugaree lately, which used to be one of my favorite songs, and my past and present favorite (3/15/90) isn't even on the list here:

http://headyversion.com/song/253/grateful-dead/sugaree/

This show is otherwise not one of my favorites though, and this recording of it -the best version of it I could find on the archive- doesn't sound as good as the one I had back in the day.

https://archive.org/details/gd1990-03-1 ... d1t03.flac
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:07 pm

I just stumbled across these interesting comments about 1990.
[Bob Weir]: "For my money, this was our hottest era. We couldn't wait to go on tour; we couldn't wait to play because it was really working for us and it was keeping us amused. We had been working together as a unit for a good length of time ... We got comfortable enough in those tunes so that we could do a little exploration, harmonically, rhythmically, whatever. We could go places with them. Everybody has to be way in tune with each other to be able to do that" ... [Bill Kreutzmann]: "The band, as a whole, had come alive again. Those shows had energy, with thunderbolts of electricity to spare. We didn’t wreck drum sets or smash guitars or dress up in elaborate stage costumes; our shows were always about the music and the music during that period was adventurous. It dared listeners to ride shotgun as we went around hairpin turns, whizzing past ever-changing landscapes. Some nights, I could look out from my perch on the drum riser and see the whole house rocking back and forth in unison, a giant wave of people, and those were the nights you knew it was working."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_1990
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John2
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Re: Grateful Dead

Post by John2 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:48 pm

I've been in a Crazy Fingers mood lately. It's kind of dreamy, I guess, and it has great lyrics (e.g., "something new is waiting to be born"). It's one of their songs that sounds great in the studio version but didn't quite live up to its potential live (I gather because it wasn't easy to play). It debuted in 1975 (a year that they didn't play many shows), and was played a lot in 1976 (a year I like), and then was dropped until 1982 and played thereafter (including 1990, another year I like). So there are some options here, but I find myself gravitating towards the 1976 versions, particularly the June shows, and I like this one (track 4) the best.

https://archive.org/details/gd1976-06-2 ... d1t04.flac
Last edited by John2 on Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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