Neil Young - Royal Society Fairgrounds, Dublin, Ireland, August 26, 1995
Heyyy, I wrote a little something for Pitchfork today, inspired by the news that Scott Walker and Sunn O))) are jamming together: The Good, The Bad, and Loutallica: 5 Collaborations Between Rock Icons and Their Disciples. So! Here’s a full show video of Neil Young with Pearl Jam in that faraway summer of 1995. I have never been a fan of PJ, but I actually think Mirror Ball is pretty good. And this show sounds pretty good, too. Just ignore the backwards baseball cap on the bass player.  

Neil Young - Royal Society Fairgrounds, Dublin, Ireland, August 26, 1995

Heyyy, I wrote a little something for Pitchfork today, inspired by the news that Scott Walker and Sunn O))) are jamming together: The Good, The Bad, and Loutallica: 5 Collaborations Between Rock Icons and Their DisciplesSo! Here’s a full show video of Neil Young with Pearl Jam in that faraway summer of 1995. I have never been a fan of PJ, but I actually think Mirror Ball is pretty good. And this show sounds pretty good, too. Just ignore the backwards baseball cap on the bass player.  

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Choice “Bird Song”s From 1972
If you hear that same sweet song again, will you know why? This is perfect for your long weekend. Randy Reynolds guides us through some of the most high-flying versions of “Bird Song” from 1972. 
By all measures, “Bird Song” stands to be high on my list of fav Dead songs. Topped only by “Morning Dew” and “Playin’ in the Band.” The song was one of the first tunes I ever liked that was connected to the whole Grateful Dead thing. Found on the Garcia album, the tune’s opening riff had some mojo that I was willing to investigate. If I hadn’t heard it, I may not have fallen headfirst down the Dead well and I definitely wouldn’t be here right now revealing some treasured performances from 1972.
The Grateful Dead’s first performance of the year of “Bird Song” came on July 10th at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey. After 20+ dates in Europe (that would later yield the classic Europe ‘72) less than two months before, The Dead churn out a roving version of this Hunter/Garcia jam. The piano starts to buzz and hiss around the halfway point, but in no way does it harsh any vibes. It doesn’t snag you from the start like the next one does and there’s no Pen (his last was on 6/17/72) but it’s definitely a grower with some choice thrills from the band.
Listen
GD’s appearance on August 27th at The Olde Renaissance Fairgrounds in Veneta, Oregon on behalf of the Kesey family and Springfield Creamery is well documented (see: Sunshine Daydream) and rightfully so. The entire performance is glorious but most importantly, it contains the single greatest version of “Bird Song” to ever exist.
Listen
September 10th finds The Dead at the Palladium in Hollywood, CA. What happens here is an almost 14 minute version of “Bird Song.” Though a little reserved at first, it gets cookin’ after the 3 minute mark. It’s got some choice exploratory passages and boy do Kreutz and Lesh crush it. A rad one fer sure.
Listen
A rare appearance at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on November 10th yields an incredibly strong performance. This may be one of the best ever! They waste no time getting to the jam here with Lesh leading the way early on. Kreutz even gets a little breathing room to solo out of the jam before Jer returns to the verse. There are serious dividends to those who enter here.
Listen
Lastly we find a spaced out version straight from my hometown of Houston, Texas on November 19th. It seems that the keys have some rad spacey effect on them, providing a unique charm not often found on this tune. Weir’s rhythm work shines on this one, sharing the same importance as Garcia in many respects. Found here is a different take than usual with unsung members shining brighter here than the regular sect.
Listen
Randy Reynolds is a writer for The Big Takeover and sideonetrackone.com and Executive Producer for the PBS music documentary series, Hardly Sound.

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Choice “Bird Song”s From 1972

If you hear that same sweet song again, will you know why? This is perfect for your long weekend. Randy Reynolds guides us through some of the most high-flying versions of “Bird Song” from 1972. 

By all measures, “Bird Song” stands to be high on my list of fav Dead songs. Topped only by “Morning Dew” and “Playin’ in the Band.” The song was one of the first tunes I ever liked that was connected to the whole Grateful Dead thing. Found on the Garcia album, the tune’s opening riff had some mojo that I was willing to investigate. If I hadn’t heard it, I may not have fallen headfirst down the Dead well and I definitely wouldn’t be here right now revealing some treasured performances from 1972.

The Grateful Dead’s first performance of the year of “Bird Song” came on July 10th at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey. After 20+ dates in Europe (that would later yield the classic Europe ‘72) less than two months before, The Dead churn out a roving version of this Hunter/Garcia jam. The piano starts to buzz and hiss around the halfway point, but in no way does it harsh any vibes. It doesn’t snag you from the start like the next one does and there’s no Pen (his last was on 6/17/72) but it’s definitely a grower with some choice thrills from the band.

Listen

GD’s appearance on August 27th at The Olde Renaissance Fairgrounds in Veneta, Oregon on behalf of the Kesey family and Springfield Creamery is well documented (see: Sunshine Daydream) and rightfully so. The entire performance is glorious but most importantly, it contains the single greatest version of “Bird Song” to ever exist.

Listen

September 10th finds The Dead at the Palladium in Hollywood, CA. What happens here is an almost 14 minute version of “Bird Song.” Though a little reserved at first, it gets cookin’ after the 3 minute mark. It’s got some choice exploratory passages and boy do Kreutz and Lesh crush it. A rad one fer sure.

Listen

A rare appearance at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on November 10th yields an incredibly strong performance. This may be one of the best ever! They waste no time getting to the jam here with Lesh leading the way early on. Kreutz even gets a little breathing room to solo out of the jam before Jer returns to the verse. There are serious dividends to those who enter here.

Listen

Lastly we find a spaced out version straight from my hometown of Houston, Texas on November 19th. It seems that the keys have some rad spacey effect on them, providing a unique charm not often found on this tune. Weir’s rhythm work shines on this one, sharing the same importance as Garcia in many respects. Found here is a different take than usual with unsung members shining brighter here than the regular sect.

Listen

Randy Reynolds is a writer for The Big Takeover and sideonetrackone.com and Executive Producer for the PBS music documentary series, Hardly Sound.

Butthole Surfers - Double Live
Thanks to Marc Masters for pointing this out — a free download of the Surfers’ Double Live “bootleg.” 
Disc #1 - Too Parter, Psychedelic Jam, Ricky, Rocky, Gary Floyd, Florida, John E. Smoke, Tornadoes, Pittsburg to Lebanon, The One I Love, Hey/Dum Dum, No Rule, U.S.S.A, Comb, Noise
Disk #2 - Graveyard, Sweatloaf, Backass, Paranoid, Fast, I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas, Strawberry, Jimi/Lou Reed, Kuntz, 22 Going on 23, Creep in the Cellar, Suicide, Something
The lowdown: 
In the mid 80s there were a bunch of bad sounding live bootlegs for sale. By ‘88 the band felt they could bootleg the band as well as everybody else, so they joined the crowd and released their own crappy bootleg too. 
Taking a portable DAT recorder on the road, they taped shows in the winter of ‘88. When they got back to Texas, they sorted through the DATs and compiled the best of it to a 2 disc, 29 song set on their newly formed Latino Buggerveil label. Slightly better sounding than most bootlegs of the time, only a limited pressing was made and it went out of print fairly quickly. 
Since it’s doubtful this will ever be reissued again, here all the songs in the MP3 format, for those who want it but are reluctant to cough up the 100 bucks or so for an original copy on Ebay.

Butthole Surfers - Double Live

Thanks to Marc Masters for pointing this out — a free download of the Surfers’ Double Live “bootleg.” 

Disc #1 - Too Parter, Psychedelic Jam, Ricky, Rocky, Gary Floyd, Florida, John E. Smoke, Tornadoes, Pittsburg to Lebanon, The One I Love, Hey/Dum Dum, No Rule, U.S.S.A, Comb, Noise

Disk #2 - Graveyard, Sweatloaf, Backass, Paranoid, Fast, I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas, Strawberry, Jimi/Lou Reed, Kuntz, 22 Going on 23, Creep in the Cellar, Suicide, Something

The lowdown: 

In the mid 80s there were a bunch of bad sounding live bootlegs for sale. By ‘88 the band felt they could bootleg the band as well as everybody else, so they joined the crowd and released their own crappy bootleg too.

Taking a portable DAT recorder on the road, they taped shows in the winter of ‘88. When they got back to Texas, they sorted through the DATs and compiled the best of it to a 2 disc, 29 song set on their newly formed Latino Buggerveil label. Slightly better sounding than most bootlegs of the time, only a limited pressing was made and it went out of print fairly quickly.

Since it’s doubtful this will ever be reissued again, here all the songs in the MP3 format, for those who want it but are reluctant to cough up the 100 bucks or so for an original copy on Ebay.

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Beat Club, Bremen, Germany, April 21, 1972
Number two in our star-studded Summer of Dead extravaganza! Grady Don Sandlin digs into the Dead in Germany. 
The Grateful Dead’s European tour in the Spring of 1972 is them at their peak. This is the last complete tour with the original five members (Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann and Pigpen), augmented by piano player Keith Godchaux and occasionally his wife Donna on backing vocals. Following the trajectory of their albums Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty and 1971’s live Grateful Dead (as well as Garcia’s self-titled and Weir’s Ace solo albums), this is them at their best, to my ears.
This set was recorded and filmed on a sound stage for German TV show Beat Club. Judging from what’s available on YouTube, only “Beat It On Down The Line" and "One More Saturday Night" were aired. Like everything they do, there are flaws alongside "moments of blinding brilliance." It is unique because they are not performing for an audience, just the TV crew as well as the Dead’s own. So, it’s as close to a studio recording as they would get for a little while.
The entire film (and I’m assuming remixed album) will be released this year. The film will be shown in theaters on July 14 as this year’s Meet Up At The Movies (last year’s was the superb Sunshine Daydream from later in 1972). Expect to hear and see more of this soon.
Grady Don Sandlin is the drummer for RTB2 in Denton, TX. He’s been a fan of the Dead since he was 14 (20 years) but never got to see them with Garcia.

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Beat Club, Bremen, Germany, April 21, 1972

Number two in our star-studded Summer of Dead extravaganza! Grady Don Sandlin digs into the Dead in Germany. 

The Grateful Dead’s European tour in the Spring of 1972 is them at their peak. This is the last complete tour with the original five members (Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Kreutzmann and Pigpen), augmented by piano player Keith Godchaux and occasionally his wife Donna on backing vocals. Following the trajectory of their albums Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty and 1971’s live Grateful Dead (as well as Garcia’s self-titled and Weir’s Ace solo albums), this is them at their best, to my ears.

This set was recorded and filmed on a sound stage for German TV show Beat Club. Judging from what’s available on YouTube, only “Beat It On Down The Line" and "One More Saturday Night" were aired. Like everything they do, there are flaws alongside "moments of blinding brilliance." It is unique because they are not performing for an audience, just the TV crew as well as the Dead’s own. So, it’s as close to a studio recording as they would get for a little while.

The entire film (and I’m assuming remixed album) will be released this year. The film will be shown in theaters on July 14 as this year’s Meet Up At The Movies (last year’s was the superb Sunshine Daydream from later in 1972). Expect to hear and see more of this soon.

Grady Don Sandlin is the drummer for RTB2 in Denton, TX. He’s been a fan of the Dead since he was 14 (20 years) but never got to see them with Garcia.

Neil Young & The Stray Gators - Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada, January 15, 1973
Grab one of the better sounding audience tapes from Neil’s Time Fades Away tour of early 1973 via Big O. I think this was one of the first Neil bootlegs I heard from this period. I can still remember writing the song titles out for my cassette. A pretty great show! Funny how much Neil hates this era. The Stray Gators sound fantastic to my ears. 

Neil Young & The Stray Gators - Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada, January 15, 1973

Grab one of the better sounding audience tapes from Neil’s Time Fades Away tour of early 1973 via Big O. I think this was one of the first Neil bootlegs I heard from this period. I can still remember writing the song titles out for my cassette. A pretty great show! Funny how much Neil hates this era. The Stray Gators sound fantastic to my ears. 

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Indianapolis Sports and Music Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, June 30, 1984 
Let the games begin! In case you missed it, Summer of Dead 2014 is going to feature all kinds of guest contributors. You are welcome to join in. First up, Kevin Titterton takes us back almost exactly 30 years. 
As Orwell predicted, 1984 was a dark year: Reagan came back for an encore, crack showed up to the party, and some of the original tenants of Haight-Ashbury were doing this. It was an equally challenging year for the Dead, with Garcia’s increased substance abuse and ill health leading to numerous Weekend at Bernie’s performances.
But like the Carter Family, one of the Dead’s greatest accomplishments is their longevity, connecting Appalachia and jug bands to early garage, ’60s psych freaks, disco, ’80s acid punks, questionable jazz fusion and ’90s jam crap. (Hey, nobody’s perfect.) People always cite ‘77 NYC and The Ramones as the death knell for the hippies, but things had gotten so screwed up by ‘84 that Black Flag was unironically weeding out and wearing Stealies in concert.
Despite the bummer vibe and general malaise, the Dead of the early ‘80s could cook some soup. With Mickey Hart back in the drum circle, the tribal rhythms that grounded the group throughout the bottom-heavy early ’70s loom large. The band rips through a mess of classics, and, for the most part, Jerry’s voice doesn’t sound like a “scared straight” cigarette commerical. The vocals hardly matter when he’s locked in and playing as well as he does on “Deal.” Brent Mydland had long replaced the tumultuous husband-and-wife duo of Donna Jean and Keith Godchaux, and his Hammond B-3 is a welcome presence. Bob Weir only punishes listeners with the slide guitar a couple times, and “Shakedown” totally smokes.
It’s a terrific and heartening set, on what was reportedly a stifling afternoon to see the group on an Indianapolis tennis court.
Kevin Titterton sometimes listens to the Grateful Dead and scribbles about it in Richmond, Vermont. He spends most of his free time throwing rocks for his dog. His writing can also be found on napkins, bathroom stalls, and at gilded-spinters.tumblr.com. 

SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Indianapolis Sports and Music Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, June 30, 1984 

Let the games begin! In case you missed it, Summer of Dead 2014 is going to feature all kinds of guest contributors. You are welcome to join in. First up, Kevin Titterton takes us back almost exactly 30 years. 

As Orwell predicted, 1984 was a dark year: Reagan came back for an encore, crack showed up to the party, and some of the original tenants of Haight-Ashbury were doing this. It was an equally challenging year for the Dead, with Garcia’s increased substance abuse and ill health leading to numerous Weekend at Bernie’s performances.

But like the Carter Family, one of the Dead’s greatest accomplishments is their longevity, connecting Appalachia and jug bands to early garage, ’60s psych freaks, disco, ’80s acid punks, questionable jazz fusion and ’90s jam crap. (Hey, nobody’s perfect.) People always cite ‘77 NYC and The Ramones as the death knell for the hippies, but things had gotten so screwed up by ‘84 that Black Flag was unironically weeding out and wearing Stealies in concert.

Despite the bummer vibe and general malaise, the Dead of the early ‘80s could cook some soup. With Mickey Hart back in the drum circle, the tribal rhythms that grounded the group throughout the bottom-heavy early ’70s loom large. The band rips through a mess of classics, and, for the most part, Jerry’s voice doesn’t sound like a “scared straight” cigarette commerical. The vocals hardly matter when he’s locked in and playing as well as he does on “Deal.” Brent Mydland had long replaced the tumultuous husband-and-wife duo of Donna Jean and Keith Godchaux, and his Hammond B-3 is a welcome presence. Bob Weir only punishes listeners with the slide guitar a couple times, and “Shakedown” totally smokes.

It’s a terrific and heartening set, on what was reportedly a stifling afternoon to see the group on an Indianapolis tennis court.

Kevin Titterton sometimes listens to the Grateful Dead and scribbles about it in Richmond, Vermont. He spends most of his free time throwing rocks for his dog. His writing can also be found on napkins, bathroom stalls, and at gilded-spinters.tumblr.com

Sharrock and Roll, or Jazz Guitar for People Who Don’t Like Jazz Guitar
Thanks to the Gilded Splinters blog for upping this killer mix via WFMU’s Destination: OUT. I like jazz guitar, but there is no denying that everything here is fannnnnntastic. 
1. LAST EXIT - Sand Dancer (1:56) (from “Iron Path” 1988) 2. SONNY SHARROCK - Dick Dogs (5:14) (from “Seize the Rainbow” 1987) 3. TERJE RYPDAL - Keep It LIke That - Tight (12:17) (from “Terje Rypdal” 1971) 4. MILES DAVIS - Moja (Part 1) (12:29) (from “Dark Magus” 1974) 5. JOHN MCLAUGHLIN - Purpose of When (4:15) (from “Devotion” 1970) 6. JAMES BLOOD ULMER - Black Rock (3:23) (from “Black Rock” 1982) 7. RAY RUSSELL - All Through Over You/Nearer (6:25) (from “Secret Asylum” 1973) 8. HANS REICHEL - Bonobo 1 (4:00) (from “Bonobo” 1976)
And as the man says, if you dig this, consider donating to WFMU. 

Sharrock and Roll, or Jazz Guitar for People Who Don’t Like Jazz Guitar

Thanks to the Gilded Splinters blog for upping this killer mix via WFMU’s Destination: OUT. I like jazz guitar, but there is no denying that everything here is fannnnnntastic. 

1. LAST EXIT - Sand Dancer (1:56) (from “Iron Path” 1988)
2. SONNY SHARROCK - Dick Dogs (5:14) (from “Seize the Rainbow” 1987)
3. TERJE RYPDAL - Keep It LIke That - Tight (12:17) (from “Terje Rypdal” 1971)
4. MILES DAVIS - Moja (Part 1) (12:29) (from “Dark Magus” 1974)
5. JOHN MCLAUGHLIN - Purpose of When (4:15) (from “Devotion” 1970)
6. JAMES BLOOD ULMER - Black Rock (3:23) (from “Black Rock” 1982)
7. RAY RUSSELL - All Through Over You/Nearer (6:25) (from “Secret Asylum” 1973) 
8. HANS REICHEL - Bonobo 1 (4:00) (from “Bonobo” 1976)

And as the man says, if you dig this, consider donating to WFMU. 

Robert Fripp - KSAN, San Francisco, California, July 28, 1979
Mind-melting Frippertronics jams for your Wednesday. 
Here’s what Frippertronics is all about, via wikipedia: 
"Frippertronics (a term coined by poet Joanna Walton, Fripp’s girlfriend in the late 1970s) is an analog delay system consisting of two reel-to-reel tape recorders situated side-by-side. The two machines are configured so that the tape travels from the supply reel of the first machine to the take-up reel of the second, thereby allowing sound recorded by the first machine to be played back some time later on the second. The audio of the second machine is routed back to the first, causing the delayed signal to repeat while new audio is mixed in with it. The amount of delay (usually three to five seconds) is controlled by increasing or reducing the distance between the machines. Fripp used this technique to dynamically create recordings containing layer upon layer of electric guitar sounds in a real time fashion. An added advantage was that, by nature of the technique, the complete performances were recorded in their entirety on the original looped tape."

Robert Fripp - KSAN, San Francisco, California, July 28, 1979

Mind-melting Frippertronics jams for your Wednesday. 

Here’s what Frippertronics is all about, via wikipedia: 

"Frippertronics (a term coined by poet Joanna Walton, Fripp’s girlfriend in the late 1970s) is an analog delay system consisting of two reel-to-reel tape recorders situated side-by-side. The two machines are configured so that the tape travels from the supply reel of the first machine to the take-up reel of the second, thereby allowing sound recorded by the first machine to be played back some time later on the second. The audio of the second machine is routed back to the first, causing the delayed signal to repeat while new audio is mixed in with it. The amount of delay (usually three to five seconds) is controlled by increasing or reducing the distance between the machines. Fripp used this technique to dynamically create recordings containing layer upon layer of electric guitar sounds in a real time fashion. An added advantage was that, by nature of the technique, the complete performances were recorded in their entirety on the original looped tape."

Terry Riley - “Two Piano Pieces” (1963)
Happy birthday to the great composer Terry Riley. Is it safe to call this dude an American hero? Yes, I think it is. Here’s the deal with this very early Riley set: 
"From a concert recording made in 1963 and not commercially available, Terry Riley performs his ‘Two Piano Pieces.’ Well known for his seminal minimal, or repetitive music, compositions including “In C,” as well as for his association with the master Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath, Terry Riley is also a virtuosic keyboard player, who supported his composting activities by performing at local piano bars. All these qualities are evident in this short, delightful, and rare recording."
[Yes, it does say “composting” over on the Archive. They probably meant “composing.” But I wouldn’t be surprised if Terry was doing some composting as well.] 

Terry Riley - “Two Piano Pieces” (1963)

Happy birthday to the great composer Terry Riley. Is it safe to call this dude an American hero? Yes, I think it is. Here’s the deal with this very early Riley set: 

"From a concert recording made in 1963 and not commercially available, Terry Riley performs his ‘Two Piano Pieces.’ Well known for his seminal minimal, or repetitive music, compositions including “In C,” as well as for his association with the master Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath, Terry Riley is also a virtuosic keyboard player, who supported his composting activities by performing at local piano bars. All these qualities are evident in this short, delightful, and rare recording."

[Yes, it does say “composting” over on the Archive. They probably meant “composing.” But I wouldn’t be surprised if Terry was doing some composting as well.]