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BOOK REVIEWS

Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The Politics Of Improvisation

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Listening For The Secret: The Grateful Dead And The Politics Of Improvisation Ulf Olsson 184 Pages ISBN: 978-0520286641 University of California Press 2017 The Grateful Dead, possibly the most heavily documented band ever, was under one form of microscope or another from its inception in Palo Alto, California in 1965. Music critics, academics, the FBI, all have attempted to understand the cultural phenomenon that was The Grateful Dead--and in doing so it seems, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grateful Dead: RFK Stadium 1989 Box

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Not nearly the rare or expansive likes of Get Shown The Light (Grateful Dead/Rhino, 2017), including the vaunted Cornell '77 concert, The Grateful Dead's RFK Stadium 1989 Box is nevertheless a deceptively lavish box set (note the gold foil adorning the band's moniker on the front cover). Perhaps because it is now one of a string of titles documenting in both audio and video the collective strength and consistency of the band during this period of their history--Truckin' Up to ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Cornell '77: The Music, the Myth, and the Magnificence of the Grateful Dead's Concert at Barton Hall

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Cornell '77: The Music, the Myth, and the Magnificence of the Grateful Dead's Concert at Barton Hall Peter Conners 232 Pages ISBN: #150170432X Cornell University Press 2017 If it strains the credulity of even the most devout Deadhead that a whole book has been devoted to a single show of this iconic band, it may be even more startling that Peter Conners validates the concept with the combination of his skewed sense of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead Motion Picture Soundtrack

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At a glance, there's appears a dearth of rarities on the three compact disc version of the soundtrack to Amir Bar-Lev's documentary of the Grateful Dead Long Strange Trip. But a closer look reveals the approximate playing time of the seven previously unissued tracks is approximately seventy-four minutes in total, practically full-length playing time for a CD. And, not surprisingly, given the expanse of footage in The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead, the range of material is as varied ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Grateful Dead: Cornell '77

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Although an entire book has been published on the phenomenon, Peter Conners' The Music, the Myth, and the Magnificence of the Grateful Dead's Concert at Barton Hall (Cornell UniversityPress, 2017), in his own essay for the booklet in the three-CD package, UCLA archivist Nicholas G. Meriwether offers an excellent summary of the various threads in the story of the Grateful Dead's Cornell '77 appearance, the profundity of which may still escape the comprehension of both fans and non-fans, even if ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"

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Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead Movie Fathom Events 2017 2017's Grateful Dead “Meet-Up at the Movies" was comprised of a number of disparate elements, the amalgamation of which, in a fashion typical of this iconic band, carried a logic all its own. This multi-leveled presentation by Fathom Events may or may not have been lost on the nearly-capacity audience in South Burlington, Vermont's Palace 9 Theater--there was, after all, scant recognition of the significance of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

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The Grateful Dead didn't always make the most astute business decisions through the course of their career, but the marketing/merchandising agreement reached in 2006 with Rhino Records has been a treasure trove for the label, the band and its fans. And notwithstanding accusations of cash-grabbing, the fact is packages such as Sunshine Daydream and Thirty Trips Around the Sun are as collector-friendly as they are commercially savvy. A long-term series of reissues covering the Dead's studio and live ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Dave's Picks Volume 20: CU Events Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO - December 9, 1981

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Dave's Pick's Volume 20 marks a milestone in the Grateful Dead's current archive series, its significance not lost on the curator, David Lemieux. Yet rather than indulge in nostalgia in his notes accompanying this set, the man chooses to take the success of the series as further inspiration to carry on, not just with these quarterly releases, but the judicious exhumation of the iconic band's vault in general. A little over a year after the Grateful Dead began ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Grateful Dead: Dave's Pick's Vol. 19: Honolulu, Hawaii, 1/23/70

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Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux has done yeoman's work to distinguish his archival series of recordings from that of his esteemed predecessor Dick Latvala and Vol. 19 is no exception . But this edition of Dave's Picks, from Honolulu, Hawaii in January of 1970, has much in common with a release from Dick's Picks, while simultaneously setting itself apart from those which preceded it (except for the fact it too sold through its limited run). The most significant ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Grateful Dead ‎– Dave's Picks Volume 18: Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco 7/17/76

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The Grateful Dead exhibit the positive effects of their self-imposed 1975 hiatus on Dave's Picks Volume 18 and its accompanying bonus disc recorded at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. Of course, the quietly relaxed approach to the setlist, and the choices thereon, might well be signaled by the opening of Chuck Berry's “Promised Land"--the band played his material when they already felt REALLY good or were anxiously trying to--and the first set closing of “Johnny B. Goode."