Two out of three deadheads make me stabby, but since I first heard
American Beauty when I was in my teens, I’ve considered myself a casual
fan of the Grateful Dead. Put into nerd terms: I’d go to a Star Trek convention, but I wouldn’t go in a spacesuit. Well, maybe in a spacesuit, but certainly not with a latex forehead. And I’m not following Avery Brooks around the country in a van; that’s where I draw the line, man.
While I never wanted to go to a live show, (goddamn hippies with their
patchouli and their hemp pants) I absolutely love listening to recordings of
their shows, and I’ve spent a lot of time with some of Dick’s Picks, because the Dead are probably the best example of a band that makes good records, but takes their music to an entirely different level when it’s played live. For an example of that, pick up just about any live Dead recording where they play Darkstar, and make it last for six hours without ever getting lame, or pick up this 1971 show linked below and listen to The Other One -> Me and My Uncle -> The Other One. Wow.
I haven’t listened to the Dead in a long time, but earlier this month Pauly advised everyone to pick up the August 6, 1971 show from the Palladium in Los Angeles from archive.org.
Because everyone else was doing it, and I wanted to be popular, I
grabbed it, unzipped it, and didn’t listen to it until this morning.
Wow. What a great show this is, and how surprising that it was recorded
at the Palladium, which is probably the worst venue in the entire city.
The energy, the quality of the recording, and the cool, bluesy strains
of their songs is just perfect writing music for today: it’s 79
degrees, my patio is covered with finches squabbling over the bird
feeders, my dogs are sleeping at my feet, and a gentle breeze is
carrying the smell of recently-transplanted lavender into the window.
A few minutes ago, I followed a link to the 2+2 forums, and found that
cool Firefox/Grateful Dead mashup image as an avatar, and took it as a sign that I
should post something about this cool music I’m enjoying today, and spread firefox.
Hey, everyone else is doing it – I just want to be popular.