Monday, February 13, 2006

Fillmore West 3.1.69

Fillmore West March 1, 1969

Dupree's Diamond Blues

Mountains of the Moon

Dark Star----->

St. Stephen---->

The Eleven---->

Turn On Your Lovelight

Hey Jude

Buckle your seatbelts, kids, it's real serious now. These songs above are some of the darkest, heaviest shit the Grateful Dead ever played in their 30 year career. This is the quintessential song series for the boys in that period, the perfect vehicle for their psychedelic blues explorations.

I could write a thesis on "Dark Star", the song that the Dead might be most known for amongst both fans and detractors. It was a sparse song, with little in the way of lyrics or structure, other than a few mystical verses written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and those familiar opening notes played by Garcia's lead guitar. No, this song was nothing more than a vehicle for exploration, a space shuttle for the band. Once Garcia sung those opening verses, the band took a leap each and every time into the unknown, like a jazz band working with a standard. Before I get even more pretentious and ridiculous, I will just say, listen to the whole song set. Listen to the way the band listens and reacts to each other, the way Garcia and Phil Lesh (the bassist) interact, the way the band rebels against the structure and predictability of the rock song, it's all there in the 20 minutes of magic here.

What's sorta amazing is the fact that the band played this exact same four-song sequence to open the next night. Yet, there is no sense that the band is going through the motions or even tired from these epic songs from the night before. Instead, each night with the Grateful Dead offers something new and these nights would be no exception. I hope that this series of posts helps illuminate this fact, giving you a chance to hear the way the Dead made each performance night and song unique, unafraid to go out on any musical limb that presented itself.

For the real nerds, this is the first version the Dead ever did of "Hey Jude", the Beatles' classic. The next version wouldn't come until 1990, when Brent Mydland would bring it back during the classic Spring '90 tour. Trainspotters stand up!

-Congrats to The BM Rant for being named as blog of the month at Philly Future. That's right, another great Philly blog, covering just about every topic imaginable under the sun, from music to TV to movies to funny. Here's my favorite post of all, a nice one on the Chicken Man, the Philly mob and George Anastasia's writing. I'm not capable of not recommending Howard Stern/Editors/American Idol fans, FYI. They are a permanent link on the right, so make them a daily read.

-A crazy story in the LA Weekly about filmmaker Eric Red, a sort of art-imitating-life-imitating-art jawn. Disturbing, to the say the least, but a good read. [Via firedoglake]

-Can this fucking dude do anything right?

-Sorry for the delays, but blogger and yousendit have been f'ed up all day and everyone in Philly is in survival of the fittest mode because of the blizzard, meaning lockdown, fistfights for bottled water and John Bolaris memories.

No comments: