Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Grateful Dead New Yorker Article

There is a fantastic article in the New Yorker that I need to point out by Nick Paumgarten on one of RtBE's favorite topics, The Grateful Dead and specifically their back catalog of music. 
You can read the full article, titled The Vast Recorded Legacy of The Grateful Dead here.  Fair warning it is a long one, but it is really a solid read from an obvious fan of the band who can easily communicate with non-fans.

I had never heard Brent Wood's characterization of the Dead as "Electronic Dixieland" but I love it. We have called the Grateful Dead, the best American Band and that description accentuates it nice-like.     

In talking about the community and taping of the band this sentence stands out:
So a drug-addled, rehearsal-averse, error-prone band of non-virtuosos perfected a state-of-the-art sound system that created a taping community that distributed a gigantic body of work that often came to sound as sloppy as some of the performances.
Some of those sloppy tapes will always be my favorite (as I am sure they are for Paumgarten) and that was kind of the personal touch and generosity that really got me and countless others into the band.  These tapes were mine, I owned them, shared them with any who wanted them for free, entering into a special kinship with the music. 

Nick's recollection of the Fox Den tape is so fucking funny and spot on it is hysterical, and he is right, that transition from "Scar>Fire" is amazing, Grade A stuff.  I wonder if the digital age is going to feel the same way with all of the top notch streaming shows on sites like archive.org as opposed to dusty old tapes?

Just the sheer volume of live tapes described in the article is staggering.  While it is always sad when a person dies, having the musical legacy the Dead has is unequaled; new fans will be analyzing it for years to come and that is exciting.    

Something odd also came out of reading the article, I realized after the latest mishap with my iPhone's music I do not have one Grateful Dead show on the phone...an error I need to correct this weekend, and that Fox Theater show will be on there.

Also I have not pointed out this year that once again the Dead are releasing a song a day for November, 30 Days of Dead.  When they are all aggregated come the end of the month I will post a link for all of them, but feel free to jump in now and enjoy a pretty good version of "Playin' In The Band".  Thanks to Paumgarten for a great article and a reminder of how important the Grateful Dead truly are

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