Saturday, February 11, 2006
Fillmore West 2.28.69
Fillmore West February 28, 1969 early set
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Doin' That Rag
I'm A King Bee
Turn On Your Lovelight
We're gonna keep on truckin' here on the Grateful Dead Week, although ironically without the song from which I borrowed that phrase. Go figure. The above set is from the second night of the run at the Fillmore, February 28th. I uploaded the nice early set, a showcase for the Dead's wonderful B-3 Hammond organist Pigpen. Pigpen, a.k.a. Ron McKernan, was the heart and soul of the Grateful Dead during this period, the yang to Garcia's yin (did I really just say that?).
In fact, I kinda look at the period from the band's formation to Pigpen's tragic death in 1972 as a back and forth between the two men, a fight for the direction and sound of the band. Garcia drove the band further and further into the psychedelic, the jazzy, the bluegrass. Pigpen, on the other hand, was the quintessential bluesman, the ad-libbing vocal center, playing blues standards like "I'm A King Bee" and thriving in the slowed-down, bluesy instrumentals.
Listen to "Turn Your Lovelight" from above, a classic song from the Pigpen years (1965-1972). In the 19+ minutes, you can hear this battle play out. The verses are all Pigpen, he is the star of the show, exhorting the crowd, the call and response. But, then, suddenly the words fall away and the band goes off into the ether. Jerry's guitar drives the band faster and faster, away from the Lovelight theme. It's the contrast between structure and chaos, tradition and experimentation, and remains one of the intriguing features of this band.
-Like the Diplo remix that I linked to at disco-not-disco? Well, Badminton Stamps has the Yeah Yeah Yeah's original version up now. Looking forward to this album a lot, or at least for something on par with "Maps."
-Great political reading for the weekend: Dahlia Lithwick's brilliant coverage of the Kansas teen-sex cases going on now. Frightening stuff, a harbinger of the future and a reminder of why the Alito appointment was so disastrous for women, choice and the country.
-Busty weekend thoughts [via lemon-red](great minds think alike)(oh, and I realize that I lost all props and respect from the above link with this, I can't help myself)