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.] 

Nick Drake - A Day Gone By
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something new pops up. New to me, at least. This double-disc Nick Drake rarities collection has plenty of familiar stuff, but also some otherwise unavailable bits and bobs. The early studio versions of “The Thoughts Of Mary Jane” and “Day Is Done” are very interesting — along with the similarly styled “Made To Love Magic” (which appeared way back on the Time of No Reply official release), it seems as though Drake’s producers saw him as a kinda mellow pop crooner at the beginning. The fingerpicking that’s become one of his trademarks is barely there, if at all. And hey — who knew Nick did some session work? 

Nick Drake - A Day Gone By

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something new pops up. New to me, at least. This double-disc Nick Drake rarities collection has plenty of familiar stuff, but also some otherwise unavailable bits and bobs. The early studio versions of “The Thoughts Of Mary Jane” and “Day Is Done” are very interesting — along with the similarly styled “Made To Love Magic” (which appeared way back on the Time of No Reply official release), it seems as though Drake’s producers saw him as a kinda mellow pop crooner at the beginning. The fingerpicking that’s become one of his trademarks is barely there, if at all. And hey — who knew Nick did some session work? 

The deep roots of Louisiana’s traditional music
Thanks to Nathan Salsburg for the heads up on this remarkable collection of archival recordings from the great state of Louisiana. Tons of stuff to dig into here. A treasure trove! 
"This site is a digital resource for the study of the 1934 John and Alan Lomax trip to lower Louisiana, where they recorded a diverse array of songs in English and in Louisiana French. The recordings they made are part of the Lomax Collection, housed at the Library of Congress in the American Folklife Center. This website was developed as part of a John W. Kluge Center Alan Lomax Fellowship by fellow Joshua Clegg Caffery, author of Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana, which contains transcriptions, translations, and annotations of these recordings."

The deep roots of Louisiana’s traditional music

Thanks to Nathan Salsburg for the heads up on this remarkable collection of archival recordings from the great state of Louisiana. Tons of stuff to dig into here. A treasure trove! 

"This site is a digital resource for the study of the 1934 John and Alan Lomax trip to lower Louisiana, where they recorded a diverse array of songs in English and in Louisiana French. The recordings they made are part of the Lomax Collection, housed at the Library of Congress in the American Folklife Center. This website was developed as part of a John W. Kluge Center Alan Lomax Fellowship by fellow Joshua Clegg Caffery, author of Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana, which contains transcriptions, translations, and annotations of these recordings."

"Goin’ Back" - The Byrds, 1967

Another RIP! This one goes out to Gerry Goffin, who, in collaboration with his then-wife Carole King, wrote some of the best pop songs of the 1960s. Here are the Byrds miming their recording of Goffin-King’s beautiful ode to lost innocence on The Smothers Brothers. Kind of a weird, short-lived lineup for the band, with Crosby gone (I think “Goin’ Back” might’ve had something to do with his departure, actually) and Gene Clark back in the nest.