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Classic Rock Magazine

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    The latest lineup of Trey Anastasio’s TAB ensemble debuted their version of Windora Bug, a song that has been part of the Phish front man’s solo repertoire since his very first tour, last night at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Anastasio engaged bassist Tony Markellis in a bit of a discussion during the reggae tune telling him that “a bumblebee is a bug too” leading the horn section to respond with a taste of Flight of the Bumble-Bee. Eventually Trey asked Tony, “is that your hair or a rug,” and then the pair changed the normal Windora Bug lyrics to “Is that your hairora rug?”

    [Photo from Trey Anastasio Facebook]

    Check out the fun version of Windora Bug from Stroudsburg…

    [via bt.etree.org]

    And here’s the setlist from Trey Anastasio at the Sherman Theater…

    Set 1: Cayman Review, Last Tube, Magilla, Corona, Scabbard, Frost, Drifting, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Gotta Jibboo, Valentine, Push On ‘Til the Day

    Set 2: The Land of Nod, Sand, Architect, Wherever You Find It, Pigtail, Windora Bug, Goodbye Head, Let Me Lie, Clint Eastwood, Traveler

    Encore: Heavy Things, First Tube

    [via Phish.net]

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    The initial lineup for the 2013 edition of the Aura Music & Arts Festival has been announced and there’s one name that got our immediate attention – RAQ. With both Conspirator and Kung Fu on the bill, the Florida festival took advantage and scored RAQ’s return gig. RAQ hasn’t toured since 2008 and has only played a handful of shows since. No word yet on whether there’s more shows in RAQ’s future.

    Other bands set to play Aura, which will be held at Live Oak, Florida’s Spirit of the Suwanneee Music Park on President’s Weekend, include Papadosio, Perpetual Groove, The Heavy Pets, Dopapod, Consider The Source, Newton Crosby, Stokeswood, The Lee Boys and Dr. Fameus.

    Another listing that piqued our interest is Kung Fu’s tribute to Stevie Wonder featuring Nigel Hall. Also, we’re glad to see Brock Butler aboard for a solo set and Todd Stoops, Nigel Hall and Roosevelt Collier listed as “Artists At Large.” Tickets are currently available through Elevate Ticketing.

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    While we pointed you towards video of Guns N’ Roses’ Bridge School Benefit debut on Saturday at Shoreline, the band had a major change in their set for the second day of the two-day event. Towards the end of GN’R's set, lead singer Axl Rose stepped to the mic and introduced the benefit’s founder and host Neil Young to partake in a fantastic version of Neil’s 1970 classic Don’t Let It Bring You Down.

    Axl and Neil shared vocals on Don’t Let It Bring You Down. At the end Rose told the crowd, “this is a song that always gave me some hope through the years and we asked Neil if we could do it.”

    Neil Young and Guns N’ Roses – Don’t Let It Bring You Down

    [Hat Tip - Greg McLoughlin]

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    This Sunday Trey Anastasio and TAB will wrap up their brief fall tour with a performance at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. For those who can’t make it to the newly re-opened venue, you can stream the show at home via a LivePhish.com Pay-Per-View webcast.

    The webcast will set you back $12.99 and is expected to start at 8PM ET.

    [Hat Tip - Duanebase]

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    UPDATE (10/23): You’ve got one more day to enter! Also, Questlove and Eric Krasno have been added to the concert.

    HeadCount has been a bright light coming out of our scene since the non-profit voter registration organization was founded before the 2004 election. Eight years later HeadCount will celebrate the close of its 3rd election season of a job well done by teaming up with Magic Hat, CEG Presents and Nolafunk for a four-night HeadCount Participation Party tour featuring Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Anders Osborne. The tour will hit Baltimore (11/2), Philadelphia (11/3) and Washington, DC (11/4); culminating on November 5th, with the official Participation Party in New York City at the Highline Ballroom. At the finale, not only will Dumpstaphunk and Anders perform, but the event will also see some special guests with a few already announced – Amy Helm (Levon Helm Band, Dirt Farmer Band) and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars, Black Crowes).

    Look for the two main acts to play full sets at the NYC finale while members of those bands and special guests (inc. Helm and Dickinson) will take part in a special all-star set. Tickets are available now through TicketWeb.

    As part of our Everybody Wins When Lots Of People Register To Vote And In Return HeadCount Offers Us Free Shit To Give Away program, we’ve got a pair of tickets to the HeadCount Participation Party at the Highline Ballroom on November 5th for one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment below telling us what issue is most important to you this election day. We’ll pick one entry at random at 3PM ET on October 24th. You can enter a second time by leaving a similar comment on the Hidden Track Facebook Page and a third time by following @hidden_track and tweeting your most important issue at us. You must include both @hidden_track and #headcountparty in your tweet.

    Here’s the fine print…

    • To enter, leave a comment below telling us what issue is most important to you this election season
    • Enter a second time by leaving a similar comment on the Hidden Track Facebook Page
    • You can enter a third time by following @hidden_track and tweeting the name of your most important issue at us. You must include both @hidden_track AND #headcountparty in your tweet
    • Your comment(s) must be left by 3PM EDT on October 24th
    • Anybody entering more than once a piece on Facebook, Twitter and at the bottom of this post will be disqualified, tarred and feathered
    • The winner will receive a pair of tickets to the HeadCount Participation Party at Highline Ballroom on November 5th
    • HT staff members are not eligible to win
    by HT Staff Leave A Comment

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    I have been a pretty vocal proponent of Boxee for several years now. Initially, I really enjoyed using the XBMC forked software on a cheap Asus EeePC. When development and support for the stand-alone PC software ended, I figured it was a good time to pick up dLink’s Boxee box which was the company’s first hardware product. The $160 or so I spent on the Boxee ranks right up there as one of the best purchases I have ever made in terms of value for the dollar and overall enjoyment. Being able to wirelessly stream all my downloaded video content, regardless of format, and pretty much anything available online to my HDTV is priceless.  Unlike many competitors in the steaming space like Roku & Apple TV, there’s not much video that Boxee can’t handle. Hundreds of apps, full web-browser, QWERTY keyboard/remote that works well and a great merger of locally owned content with online sources are but a few of the many Boxee features.

    Boxee has now announced their third major product: Boxee TV. Initially I was excited about this new offering which touted unlimited DVR storage in the cloud, dual tuners and a handful of the most popular apps including Netflix. However, my elation was short lived after digesting and understanding what exactly Boxee TV is all about. Unfortunately, I will definitely NOT be buying a Boxee TV and am saddened at this new product.

    What is it in a nutshell? A set top box that acts as both a DVR with unlimited storage in the cloud as well as a media streamer with apps like Netflix. The retail price of the box is $100 with a monthly subscription price of $15 for the DVR.

    So what’s not to like? Unfortunately: lots. Here’s just a handful of the things that really bug me about this product:

    Local Files Boxee used to pretty much be able to play back literally anything you threw at it. Format, resolution or where you downloaded it made no difference. If you had  a video file on your drive, you could likely play it with the Boxee. The new Boxee will not support most types of video files and seems that it is not actually designed to make it easy to play those files at all. I have scores of concert videos that I have accumulated from many different sources and this was the primary reason that I initially even started using Boxee. I could download mkv, avi, mp4, Blu-Ray, mpeg, DVD, flv files or any other type and know that it would play back. Not so anymore.

    Limited Channels I love DVRs. I use both TiVo and Verizon’s DVR and can’t imagine not being able to “time-shift” and skip through commercials. What makes the Boxee TV limiting is that it is only over-the-air channels like NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS and others like those. I do sometimes watch those channels but most of my viewing is not from broadcast TV channels. Having unlimited storage available is nice, but in all practicality, there’s just no reason that I need “unlimited” storage for those channels. With the plummeting price of storage, I’d rather pay an additional $100 and have a 2TB storage drive built into the box. Why? Two reasons:

    1. Monthly Cost Your unlimited storage does not come free with the box. Your DVR ability comes at the steep cost of $15 per month. So for the luxury of being able to toss your network shows into the cloud for the next three years, which seems a reasonable lifespan of the product, that will cost you $540 assuming the rates never go up. Now, the $100 box doesn’t seem so cheap anymore. I would have rather paid more up front and store the content locally.

    2. Long Term Availability Let’s face it, you can’t really bank on Boxee staying around forever. Just as the PC software and the dLink box were abruptly and unceremoniously yanked when that model didn’t work for the company anymore, so too could the Boxee TV. Then, what happens to all your recordings in the cloud? Poof. They are gone.

    Limited Apps The current Boxee has more apps than you can possibly imagine. Many of them no doubt cater to a small, niche market, but it is one of the things that makes Boxee so great. In addition to the hundreds and hundreds of official apps bringing content from virtually any online source, one could also access unofficial apps from third-party repositories. Now, with Boxee TV, you will only be able to enjoy a handful of the most popular apps including Netflix, Pandora, YouTube and Vudu. So long to all the niche apps that catered to specific interests. It is kind of like a library 86ing their entire collection but for a couple recent best sellers or only being able to use your web browser to navigate to the ten most popular websites: the rest are off limits.

    Glitchy Boxee has not proven that they can release a product and then rid it of glitches and bugs. Don’t get me wrong though – as I said, I still love my Boxee box. However, it does freeze after it has been idle for a while requiring a reboot (fortunately, though, never when actually streaming). It does lose connection to my network periodically or not able to access my media folders. Again, this requires a reboot. Things don’t always work perfectly with Boxee but users were always eager for the next software update to solve these problems. Yet, this existing product which is far from perfect, is having its development cut leaving existing users stuck with no additional updates. It is tough to take a leap of faith and plunk down any additional money with Boxee knowing how slow previous updates were and their inability to make everything work flawlessly. Given that your recordings will be stored in the cloud and streamed on demand makes it that much more imperative to have a system that works well. Boxee hasn’t proven that they can do that yet and initial reports from the new product already report a sluggish, glitch-ridden interface.

    No Web Browser Another major item that has been eliminated from the new Boxee is the web browser. I used this feature quite a bit and while it wasn’t great for casual web surfing, it was perfect for navigating to online content that was being streamed such as iClips concerts, YouTube live events or anything else that you wanted to watch from the web. This is a major omission and one that might have made a purchase decision a little easier for some.

    Encryption Oddly, the entire spirit of the Boxee box seems to have been flipped upside down. With the existing Boxee box, you can easily play any video source of any format that you already own. You own the files – they are yours –  you play them when you want. Now, with the Boxee TV, who really owns them? When a recording is made, the files are encrypted and transcoded with some proprietary format and stored on the Boxee servers. In essence, they are no longer your files. They are Boxee’s to tell you what you can do with them.

    Not future proof  The ability to record TV’s basic channels is predicated upon those channels remaining unscrambled. While that is the case now, the FCC is notoriously fickle and ever changing in what they will allow. Big Cable will do everything possible to ensure that this does not remain like this forever, rendering the Boxee TV useless.

    It is not revolutionary I fail to see the excitement here or what makes it revolutionary. DVRs have been around for over a decade. Slingbox, and other solutions, do a fine job of allowing you to watch your content on different screens (another feature of Boxee TV). Widgets for Pandora and Netflix are baked into cable company set-top boxes, DVD players and practically every other electronic component I own. Unlimited storage? I have that already: It is called buying new external hard drives.

    Limited Markets The Boxee TV rolls out in November, in limited markets including NYC, LA, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Washington DC and Philadelphia. (While I am not certain, I suspect it is because Boxee will simply record everything on all the channels they cover 24/7 in each market and they want to ramp up slowly. This way, storage on their end will be exponentially decreased.) Regardless, if you don’t live in one of the markets that Boxee will be offering DVR services, there’s no reason to buy a glorified Netflix streamer.

    Bottom Line So what are we left with here? A box that will likely appeal to a gross total of nobody. TV enthusiasts will want more channels. Cable-cutters and budget conscious consumers are not going to pay $15/month to store their TV shows in the cloud. Gadget freaks and hackers will be completely turned off by the closed nature of this and the inability to play local content. End of the day, the Boxee TV doesn’t really solve any problems or add any features to most people’s existing set-up. I will continue to happily use my Boxee Box, despite the bugs, but am disappointed that over time it will become useless as there will be no additional support or updates. I really can’t fathom what Boxee was thinking with the move, and believe we are seeing the beginning of the end of a once pretty extraordinary company.

    Boxee calls it “No Limits DVR”. I call it “No Thanks DVR”.

    Boxee.TV $99

    ________________________________

    Hidden Track Technology Tuesday

    email: parker@glidemagazine.com
    twitter@tmwsiy
    voice-mail:  (781) 285-8696

    Have an idea for an article?

    Product, app, or web service you are passionate about? Feel free to get in touch with me.

    by Parker Harrington Leave A Comment

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    …breaks just like a little girl…

    Conduits: Conduits

    Too new to be known? Hopefully not for now. The debut album from Omaha’s Conduits is a revelation of pop music. Intense and dark, it’s dense with spellbinding music. There are layers upon layers in here, wailing guitar drone, deep low end and dreamy female vocals. The songs are great throughout, sometimes foreboding, sometimes hypnotic: enough groove to keep it moving, enough freak-outs to keep it interesting.

    Spotify: Conduits – Conduits
    MOG: https://mog.com/m#album/65144783
    Amazon: http://amzn.com/B007H03ZHG
    Rhapsody: http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/conduits/album/conduits

    Hospitality: Hospitality

    Another self-titled gem.  This is classic Brooklyn indie-pop, but don’t hold that against them! There are some giddy departures from scoop-of-vanilla here with thoughtfully diagrammed tunes and a punchy upbeat sound. There’s an NYC-through-the-eyes-of-David-Byrne thing going on with this album. Flourishes of horns, knee-jerk bass, loose guitar and a “your sister’s in a band!?” female lead vocal punctuate an album that’s flush with potential indie movie music montage material.

    Spotify: Hospitality – Hospitality
    MOG: https://mog.com/m#album/62722251
    Amazon: http://amzn.com/B0071T66E2
    Rhapsody: http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/hospitality/album/hospitality

    Frankie Rose: Interstellar

    Ambitious solo debut from Rose who has played a part in several other bands including Dum Dum Girls and Crystal Stilts, she has struck it out on her own not a moment too soon. While it’s tempting to adjective up this music with a range of {blank}-pop descriptors, this is one of those albums that defies our human tendency to categorize. Interstellar wants you to dance joyfully to it in front of your mirror, listen to it intently with big headphones sealed over your ears and your eyes closed, and sing along to it in a room full of friends all at the same time. Pop hooks, dance beats, anthemic rock riffs, nostalgic swaths of synth and creamy-center vocals, Interstellar hints at a this-is-only-the-beginning run for Rose.

    Spotify: Frankie Rose – Interstellar
    MOG: https://mog.com/m#album/63050605
    Amazonhttp://amzn.com/B006VDZO2
    Rhapsody: http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/frankie-rose/album/interstellar

    The Luyas: Animator

    Hailing from Montreal and only a degree or two removed from Arcade Fire, The Luyas are an art pop outfit not afraid to take some chances. The result here is an album that seems to squeeze pieces from different puzzles together into a single picture… and it mostly works. Orchestral forays butt against wet spaghetti bass while dreamy vocals from Jessie Stein float over the top like pink clouds. The result is somber and meditative at times, up-tempo and urgent at others;  Animator is the response to a sudden death of a friend and it shows.

    Spotify: The Luyas – Animator
    MOG: https://mog.com/m#album/74902195
    Amazon: http://amzn.com/B009KKI62A
    Rhapsody: http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/the-luyas/album/animator-dead-oceans


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    On the one hand, The Gaslight Anthem scored big in landing 24 alumnus Elisha Cuthbert as the star of their latest video, Here Comes My Man. Yet, I can’t understand how a band makes a video starring Elisha Cuthbert, whereby she doesn’t get kidnapped and held hostage by a creepy redneck terrorist (Johnny Drama cameo) followed by some throaty, “Chloe, get me the schematics to an access road at Van Nuys” jokes. I think it’s fair to say they dropped the ball here.

    by Ryan Dembinsky Leave A Comment

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    As we reported, Phish will release a 2-DVD set entitled Phish: Star Lake ’98 on December 11th featuring every note the band played at Star Lake Amphitheatre in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on August 11, 1998. Today, the band has officially announced the release and shared a sample.

    A number of pre-order packages have been unveiled on Phish’s Dry Goods site and everyone who pre-orders the set will receive what looks to be an incredible bonus audio disc called “So Inclined.” The disc features seven killer tracks recorded at other Star Lake shows from the Phish Archives picked by archivist Kevin Shapiro. We’re talking one of the best Gumbo’s ever from Phish’s August 13th, 1997 show, a transcendent Maze > Shafty > Maze sequence from July 7th, 2000 and the psychedelic journey that was the Simple > My Left Toe from July 21st, 1999.

    “So Inclined” Tracklist:
    1. Gumbo (8/13/97) 2. Maze > (7/7/00) 3. Shafty > (7/7/00) 4. Maze (7/7/00) 5. Simple > (7/21/99) 6. My Left Toe (7/21/99) 7. Stash (8/13/97)

    Phish has also shared video of Down With Disease from the forthcoming release…

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    The Trey Anastasio Band is in the midst on a nine-show tour that ends on Sunday at the newly reopened Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Just two days after that, on October 30th, the Phish front man’s solo band will be the musical guest on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

    You can win tickets to sit in the “band bench” area that surrounds the musical act by heading over to Fallon’s website and putting in an entry with the code “TRE”. Phish appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon back on May 13, 2010 as part of the show’s Rolling Stones Week when they performed Loving Cup and recorded Kill Devil Falls for a future episode that aired on June 9th, 2010.

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    Yesterday afternoon Bruce Springsteen played a short acoustic set at nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville, Virginia as part of a rally for the campaign of President Barack Obama. The Boss performed six songs in total including Forward, his song for the campaign, We Take Care Of Our Own from the recently released Wrecking Ball album as well as classics The River, Promised Land, No Surrender and Thunder Road. He also told a few oft-hilarious stories.

    If you missed the live broadcast, you can now watch the entire set…

    Set: No Surrender, [Speech], The Promised Land, Forward, The River, We Take Care Of Our Own, Thunder Road

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    The upcoming issue of Rolling Stone will feature a behind-the-scenes look at The Rolling Stones’ preparations for four 50th Anniversary shows planned for November and December in London and Newark. Today, the mag’s website posted a preview of the article that confirmed a bit of news that had been hinted at for months. Former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and bassist Bill Wyman will play with their old mates at the London and Newark performances.

    Rolling Stone scribe Brian Hiatt spoke with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards about the bridging of their tense relationship, rehearsals for the upcoming shows and why the ticket prices “sound about right.” Within the article the pair reveal that Taylor and Wyman will “come on board for the four shows, but only as guests on a few songs.” Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood also told Hiatt that “more guests are likely to pop by” and names Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck as possibilities.

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    Today marks UN Day, aka the 67th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations Organization. To celebrate the occasion, the UN has put together a concert called “A Message For Peace featuring Stevie Wonder” which will take place tonight between 7PM and 9PM ET in the General Assembly Hall at UN HQ in NYC. The concert will be webcast live BELOW and then will be broadcast on a slew of TV stations including Palladia, BET and VH1 Classic on February 23rd at 7PM ET.

    Stevie has called upon a slew of his famous friends to perform with him tonight including Sting, Paul Simon, Wyclef Jean, Elle Varner, Bebe Winans, Susan Sarandon and Malcolm Jamal Warner.

    WATCH HERE…

    [via Bumpershine]

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    On November 11th, 12th and 13th, Phil Lesh and Friends are scheduled to play the Roseland Ballroom in New York City as part of the group’s Fall Tour. Phil’s Facebook Page has just been updated with word that each of the shows will feature a third set with a “very special guest.” No word yet on just who this guest will be. Anyone want to wager a guess as to who it will be?

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    Trey Anastasio @ The National – October 23

    Words: David Paul Kleinman

    I went to hear Phish at Alpine Valley in ‘96 because of a sorority girl who had a certain way of popping her chest in and out during I Didn’t Know. I went to hear Phish at Deer Creek in ‘98 because God told me the band would open with Rhinoceros. I went to hear Medeski Martin & Wood play at the Symphony Center in Chicago in ‘01 because I knew Chris Wood would cause the building to levitate with one booming C. I think he woke the ghost of Stravinsky, who floated over to Russian Tea Time for a vodka. I went to hear Danny Barnes play at the Taphouse in Hampton, Vir. because banjotronics are better than indoor plumbing and air conditioning. I went to hear the orchestral debut of Time Turns Elastic in Nashville in ‘08 because I really had to pee.

    [Photo via @RoughSax]

    All kidding aside: why do we go hear live music? Cretans will tell you the answer is subjective, but as you know, you can’t trust a Cretan. Is there a singular, objective reason for hearing live music? Is there an objective reason for music? Yes, yes there is. We go to hear live music to reconnect with our ancestors who lived in Ethiopia four million years ago. We hear live music so we can travel back in time and see the wide open African sky and hear the holy drums beating the rhythm of all gods. We hear live music to worship the simplest aspects of ourselves. We hear live music for the pure, uncut source of energy.

    That is why I went to hear Trey Anastasio with a new-and-improved TAB in Richmond last night, a show that was about sixty miles from my house, which put me in bed next to my wife at 1:30 for a 6:20 alarm. Several times last night I was transported away from the tightly-packed floor to some other place, the other place. Last Tube, Money, Love, and Change, The Land of Nod, Push on ‘Til the Day and Simple Twist Up Dave were as rapturous and beatific and shreddelicious as anything Phish has done this year. I was especially taken by the newer songs, Scabbard and Frost. Tunes I may have not liked so much when I heard them off of Traveler.

    TAB’s new multi-instrumentalist, James Casey, stole the show twice: once on saxophone during Burlap Sack and Pumps and once as a dainty model when he came out for the encore wearing Natalie “Chainsaw” Cressman’s tight San Francisco Giants wife-beater. Apparently, he lost a bet. If you’re reading this, chances are you love live music; in which case, you should catch this version of TAB before it is too late.

    by HT Staff Leave A Comment

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    Over the last few years the brewers at Dogfish Head have rolled out a handful of their “uniquely off-centered ales” that have had a direct correlation to the music world, honoring Miles Davis, Robert Johnson and Pearl Jam with their own signature beers. For their latest crossover, the Delaware-based brewery is teaming up with the folks at Grateful Dead Productions for their latest collaboration, which will be called American Beauty. The beer, which is still in the development phase, will be a strong pale ale with all-American hops and barley, but they are reaching out to fans of both the band and the brewery for help in choosing a special final ingredient, and asking for their the Dead-inspired story behind it. The brewers at Dogfish Head will be accepting suggestions online starting in December, with a joint panel set to select the ingredient they feel works best in the context of a strong pale ale recipe. American Beauty is set to hit taps and shelves in October of 2013, we can’t wait to try it!

    Finally, in what seems like a sure fire sign of the apocalypse, CBS has inked a deal with The Big Bang Theory’s writer/co-executive producer Dave Goetsch to produce a multi-camera family sitcom to be called Smells Like Teen Spirit. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show “revolves around an 18-year-old budding entrepreneur who forgoes Harvard and instead opts to launch a multibillion-dollar Internet company from his garage with the assistance of his sister, best friend and his 1990s indie-rock parents.” Somewhere, Kurt Cobain is crafting a t-shirt that reads “Corporate Sitcoms Still Suck.”

    by Jeffrey Greenblatt Leave A Comment

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    If you’re a child of the ’80s, you may remember one of the original Nickelodeon shows, Live Wire, a talk show for kids hosted by the irreverent Fred Newman that often featured musical performances. Our friends at Gothamist came across a few clips of R.E.M.’s appearance on Livewire in which they performed So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) and Carnival of Sorts in 1983. Check it out…

    R.E.M. – So. Central Rain (Live on Livewire)

    R.E.M. – Carnival of Sorts (Live on Livewire)

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    [Originally Published: December 14, 2006]

    The Grateful Dead established the genre of rock improvisation and have always been innovators, establishing trends both good and bad. Over the band’s 30-year history they went through many changes in their sound and personnel. Fans have very different opinions on which years they love and which years they hate, and now I present my list of the five best years in Grateful Dead history.

    Read on for my comprehensive look at the Dead’s five best years, including links to what I think are the five best of each year and some analysis on why I think the things I think. Make sure to jump into the deep end at the end and tell me why I’m dead-on-balls accurate or so horribly wrong I should cut myself at night…

    5. 1979: Nineteen seventy-nine was a year of major change for the Grateful Dead. Keith and Donna Godchaux left the band and Brent Mydland entered. Keith was no doubt an amazing player, but he seemed to be allergic to any keyboard that wasn’t a piano. Brent revitalized the band with his dynamic organ and synthesiser tones. May 1979 itself is severely underrated, but the band really hit its stride towards the end of the year.

    New Songs: Althea, Saint of Circumstance, Alabama Getaway, and Lost Sailor

    Most Played: Minglewood (42), Good Lovin’ (37), and Deal (32)

    Shows of the Year: 1/10/79, 2/17/79, 5/7/79, 10/27/79, and 10/28/79

     

    4. 1970: In 1970 the Dead blended the primal rock explorations of the late ’60s with the incredible songwriting found on Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty. The band was hitting on all cylinders with many New Rider of the Purple Sage double bills that featured a whopping four sets of Jerry. Side projects would steal band members’ time moving forward, but in 1970 the Dead played an impressive 146 show, the most they ever played in one year.

    New Songs: Friend of the Devil, Candyman, Attics of My Life, Sugar Magnolia, To Lay Me Down, Brokedown Palace, Ripple, Truckin, and Operator

    Most Played: Good Lovin’ (67), Casey Jones (65), and I Know You Rider (65)

    Shows of the Year: 1/3/70, 2/11/70, 5/2/70, 9/19/70, and 10/31/70

    3. 1973: The Dead once again found a different genre-defying sound in 1973, which they displayed on songs like the new Eyes of the World and Here Comes Sunshine. Each show was a marathon, packed full of jams and marvelous songs. The improv was amazing, and the band was taking chances and stretching out songs to a level not previously seen before.

    New Songs: China Doll, Eyes of the World, Here Comes Sunshine, Loose Lucy, They Love Each Other, Row Jimmy, Wave That Flag, Let It Grow, WRS Prelude, You Ain’t Woman Enough, and Peggy-O

    Most Played: El Paso (65), Row Jimmy (61), Big River (59), and Mexicali Blues (56)

    Shows of the Year: 2/9/73, 5/26/73, 11/14/73, 12/2/73, and 12/19/73

    2. 1977: Precision and polish are the best words I could come up with to describe the Grateful Dead in 1977. It took the band a couple of tours to warm up after the hiatus of 1975, but by May of 1977 they turned a corner. Every band member was at his or her best, and improved monitors helped Donna sing in key more frequently. Jerry et al played 60 shows in ’77, and each of them has moments of pure ecstasy.

    New Songs: Estimated Prophet, Terrapin Station, Fire on the Mountain, Sunrise, and Passenger

    Most Played: Estimated Prophet (51), Samson and Delilah (41), Minglewood (35)

    Shows of the Year: 2/26/77, 5/7/77, 5/8/77, 5/22/77, and 12/29/77

    1. 1974: The Grateful Dead announced they would be retiring following a run of shows at the Winterland in October of 1974. All of the sudden the band played with a passion never seen before or since. The year started with two three-set shows, coming out of the gate strong and never losing energy. Billy and Phil were at their absolute best, changing directions and tempo on a dime, seeming to act as four arms of the same person.

    Every night each musician in the band left nothing in the tank. The setlists were diverse, the jams were succinct, and every song was played with excitement. No expense was spared to give the fans the best sound possible, as the band toured with the revolutionary Wall of Sound. From the day I heard the tapes of Freedom Hall there was never a doubt in my mind that 1974 was the pinnacle of the Grateful Dead.

    New Songs: It Must Have Been The Roses, U.S. Blues, Ship of Fools, Cassidy, Scarlet Begonias, Money Money, and Slipknot

    Most Played: U.S. Blues (35), Big River (34), El Paso (32), and Jack Straw (31)

    Shows of the Year: 2/23/74, 5/19/74, 6/18/74, 9/11/74, and 10/20/74

    So what do you think? Make sure to sound off in the comments below…

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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  • 10/25/12--11:50: Playlist: 145 Ween Rarities
  • I was browsing around Reddit and came across an amazing YouTube playlist that features 145 rare Ween songs. The playlist covers all eras of Ween’s career and varies between nearly completed takes and demos. This stuff is must-hear material for Ween fans. Unfortunately, the YouTuber who shared the playlist has disabled embedding, but head HERE to listen to the whole shebang.

    [via daebat on Reddit]

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    English pop group The xx return to NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this evening on an episode that also features actors Ethan Hawke and James Van Der Beek. The xx are in town for a pair of shows at The Paradise Theater in The Bronx tonight and Sunday.

    Friday, October 26 [All Times ET]

    • The Rolling Stones – Shine A Light [Palladia 9PM]
    • Diamond Rings on David Letterman [CBS 11:35PM]
    • Lyle Lovett on Jay Leno [NBC 11:35PM]
    • The XX on Jimmy Fallon [NBC 12:35AM]

    Saturday, October 27

    • The Shins on Austin City Limits [PBS]
    • Flaming Lips – Dark Side of the Moon [Palladia 1PM]
    • Frank Ocean on Saturday Night Live [NBC 11:30PM]
    • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on Storytellers [Palladia 2AM]

    Sunday, October 28

    • Bruce Springsteen & E St. Band – Live in NYC [VH1 Classic 3PM]
    • Sheryl Crow – Miles From Memphis [AXS TV 4:55PM]
    • Green Day – World Stage [Palladia 5PM]
    • Motorhead’s Lemmy on Rock Docs [Palladia 8PM]
    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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