Q107 SuperSet: Greatest Emotions of Man

I won the Q107 SuperSet Competition as a 15-year-old with my entry “The Greatest Emotions of man” which included David Bowie’s Five Years, Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day and Black Sabbath’s Iron Man. Greatest Emotions of ManThe idea of the Q107 Superset was to create a set of songs and see if the radio station would play it. And, yes, my high-fallutin’ concept of being sad, happy and mad won that night. I couldn’t believe it. I might have even screamed and jumped up and down.

I went down to the station the next morning to collect my prize – my own album from the Q107 collection – and was directed into a drab office by an indifferent secretary to pick something out of a cardboard box. Greatest Emotions of Man“Take whatever you want.” I flicked through the discards – the telltale rectangular notch in the upper right corner – and begrudgingly took something yellow. It was as I descended the cement staircase that I realized that there was an emotion I had neglected to cite – disappointment – but there were no songs for that.

The Black Hole in Grateful Dead Releases

By my count, there have been 148 concerts officially released by The Grateful Dead. These releases have come in various incarnations, most notably Dick’s Picks, Road Trips and, the series of late, Dave’s Picks.The Black Hole in Grateful Dead ReleasesAnd while it is a boon for Deadheads to receive any recordings from the archives, a black hole has emerged in these releases – 1982-86 – which is coincidentally the years of my touring. A grand total of four shows have been released from this era –  amounting to only one third of the 1977 releases alone. Even if we excuse the release of all 22 shows from the 1972 European Tour, this works out to a lousy 3% of the releases from almost 20% of their touring years.The Black Hole in Grateful Dead ReleasesSo what gives with Dave Lemieux and company? Is it that these years were particularly weak? I would argue the opposite, that these years offer stellar shows with stellar versions of stellar songs.

Check out these recordings on the Grateful Dead archive and hear for yourself:

Greek Theater 1982/05/22 (Lazy Lightnin’-Supplication)

Madison Square Gardens 1982/09/29 (Loser, China Cat-Rider)

Seattle Auditorium 1983/08/27 (Jack Straw)

Indianapolis Sports and Music Center 1984/06/30 (Shakedown-Playin’-Terrapin)

Worchester Centrum 1984/10/08 (Terrapin-Samson)The Black Hole in Grateful Dead Releases

Augusta Civic Center 1984/10/12 (Cold Rain, Uncle John’s, Morning Dew)

Hartford Civic Center 1984/10/14 (Estimated Prophet)

Oklahoma Zoo Amphitheater 1985/09/02 (BerthaMe and My Uncle, Stagger Lee)

Henry J. Kaiser 1986/02/11 (Bird Song)

Hopefully one day Dave will wake up and get these shows packaged and shipped. (Providence 1986/03/30 is pretty good too.)

Kacy & Clayton Play The Mercury Lounge

Kacy & Clayton build the moment to stay in, look around and wonder what the hell else there could be.Kacy Anderson’s voice offers an assurance, belonging in this moment and no other. Clayton Linthicum’s guitar fills. The Saskatchewan duo, second cousins, are making music, their music, on the small stage for now – just 50 or so people in the audience at The Mercury Lounge in New York City. That won’t last for long.

Grateful Dead Film: “Long Strange Trip” Indeed

Amir Bar-Lev’s 4-hour documentary on The Grateful Dead has its moments: Al Franken explaining the subtleties of Althea, Robert Hunter stating that his lyrics “are clear”, as well as archival footage of an army platoon on LSD. Grateful Dead Film: "Long Strange Trip" IndeedAnd of course there is the music – Uncle John’s Band, Sugar Magnolia, Dark Star and Playin’ in the Band and on – along with reams of concert footage. However, as melancholically sweet as these moments might be, the narrative is skewed, emphasizing the mania and addiction, a tough go for anyone not a Deadhead. Grateful Dead Film: "Long Strange Trip" IndeedThe story of Jerry Garcia as the unwilling guru/god throughout his life is ironically reinforced throughout the film, focusing almost exclusively on his reclusive genius while tip-toeing around the personal wreckage an addict leaves behind, which leaves the viewer wondering how the others might have coped the past 22 years since his death.Which is the biggest gap of all in the film, ignoring the fact that Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart have all been consistently touring, chasing a sound as rapturous as ever.

Jerry & Bobby & Everything of That

I’m trying to figure out this moment, like a glimpse from the ridge, the sun just right, the river and valley streaming out, where the getting to where is gotten to and there might be nothing more. Jerry & Bobby & Everything of ThatIt’s the end of the first set opener – Sugar Magnolia for The Closing of Winterland on New Year’s Eve 1978. Bobby is raring to go, strumming and, well, bobbing, while Jerry watches, amused by these simple chords that we are all ready to jump and die for.Jerry & Bobby & Everything of ThatAnd they go on, Bobby strumming and bobbing, Jerry beatific, Donna unwittingly caught in the whirligig of this remarkable everything thing.Jerry & Bobby & Everything of ThatAnd because it’s recorded, I watch it again and again and come to the realization that a simple thing is not that at all.Jerry & Bobby & Everything of That

100 Dead Shows in 35 Years (& 2 Months)

Hampton Coliseum, Virginia, March 9, 1983. 100 Dead Shows in 35 Years (& 2 Months)

  1. 04/09/83 (Sat) Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, VA
  2. 10/17/83 Mon) Olympic Center – Lake Placid, NY
  3. 04/16/84 (Mon) Community War Memorial – Rochester, NY
  4. 04/17/84 (Tue) Niagara Falls Convention Center – Niagara Falls, NY
  5. 06/21/84 (Thu) Kingswood Music Theatre – Maple, Ontario
  6. 06/30/84 (Sat) Indianapolis Sports and Music Center – Indianapolis, IN
  7. 07/01/84 (Sun) Pine Knob Music Theater – Clarkston, MI
  8. 08/10/84 (Fri) Rocky Glen Amusement Park – Moosic, PA (JGB)
  9. 08/11/84 (Sat) Caldwell College – Caldwell, NJ (JGB)
  10. 10/20/84 (Sat) Carrier Dome – Syracuse, NY
  11. 03/31/85 (Sun) Cumberland County Civic Center – Portland, ME
  12. 04/01/85 (Mon) Cumberland County Civic Center – Portland, ME
  13. 06/21/85 (Fri) Alpine Valley Music Theatre – East Troy, WI
  14. 06/22/85 (Sat) Alpine Valley Music Theatre – East Troy, WI
  15. 06/28/85 (Fri) Hershey Park Stadium – Hershey, PA
  16. 09/02/85 (Mon) Zoo Amphitheater – Oklahoma City, OK
  17. 09/03/85 (Tue) Starlight Theater – Kansas City, MO
  18. 09/05/85 (Thu) Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
  19. 09/06/85 (Fri) Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
  20. 10/31/85 (Thu) University of SC – Carolina Coliseum – Columbia, SC
  21. 11/01/85 (Fri) Richmond Coliseum – Richmond, VA
  22. 11/02/85 (Sat) Richmond Coliseum – Richmond, VA
  23. 11/07/85 (Thu) Community War Memorial – Rochester, NY
  24. 02/08/86 (Sat) Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center – Oakland, CA
  25. 02/09/86 (Sun) Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center – Oakland, CA
  26. 02/11/86 (Tue) Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center – Oakland, CA
  27. 03/30/86 (Sun) Providence Civic Center – Providence, RI
  28. 03/31/86 (Mon) Providence Civic Center – Providence, RI
  29. 04/01/86 (Tue) Providence Civic Center – Providence, RI
  30. 09/21/86 The Stone – San Francisco, CA 1986 (Kingfish w/Bob Weir)
  31. 10/31/86 (Fri) Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center – Oakland, CA (Bob Weir)
  32. 11/22/86 Warfield Theatre – San Francisco, CA (Garcia, Weir& Kreutzman)
  33. 12/15/86 (Mon) Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum – Oakland, CA
  34. 12/16/86 (Tue) Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum – Oakland, CA
  35. 12/17/86 (Wed) Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum – Oakland, CA
  36. 07/19/87 (Sun) Autzen Stadium – Eugene, OR (with Bob Dylan)
  37. 10/03/87 (Sat) Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA
  38. 06/25/88 (Sat) Buckeye Lake Music Center – Hebron, OH
  39. 09/22/88 (Thu) Madison Square Gardens – Manhattan, NY
  40. 09/23/88 (Thu) Madison Square Gardens – Manhattan, NY
  41. 10/25/89 (Wed) Miami Arena – Miami , FL
  42. 10/26/89 (Thu) Miami Arena – Miami , FL
  43. 03/21/90 (Wed) Copps Coliseum – Hamilton, Ontario
  44. 03/22/90 (Thu) Copps Coliseum – Hamilton, Ontario
  45. 07/21/90 (Sat) World Music Theatre – Tinley Park, IL
  46. 07/22/90 (Sun) World Music Theatre – Tinley Park, IL
  47. 06/09/91 (Sun) Buckeye Lake Music Center – Hebron, OH
  48. 11/16/91 (Sat) Knickerbocker Arena – Albany, NY (JGB)
  49. 03/20/92 (Fri) Copps Coliseum – Hamilton, Ontario
  50. 03/21/92 (Sat) Copps Coliseum – Hamilton, Ontario
  51. 06/09/92 (Tue) Richfield Coliseum – Richfield, OH
  52. 52. 07/20/92 Molson Amphitheater, Toronto, Ontario (Weir & Wasserman)
  53. 06/08/93 (Tue) Palace of Auburn Hills – Auburn Hills, MI

  1. 06/11/93 (Fri) Buckeye Lake Music Center – Hebron, OH
  2. 06/13/93 (Sun) Rich Stadium – Buffalo, NY
  3. 04/17/99 (Sat) Warfield Theatre – San Francisco, CA (Phil Lesh)
  4. 09/02/01 (Sun) Bumbershoot Festival – Seattle, WA (Ratdog)
  5. 07/06/03 (Sun) Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO ((The Dead)
  6. 09/21/03 (Sun) Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA (The Dead)
  7. 08/06/04 (Fri) Darien Lakes Performing Arts – Darien, NY (The Dead)
  8. 08/17/04 (Tue) Alltel Pavilion @ Walnut Creek – Raleigh, NC (The Dead)
  9. 08/18/04 (Wed) Verizon Amphitheatre – Charlotte, NC (The Dead)
  10. 08/19/04 (Thu) Hi Fi Buys Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA (The Dead)
  11. 09/01/05 (Thu) Central Park – Summer Stage – NY, NY (Ratdog)
  12. 02/15/06 (Wed) Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY (Phil Lesh & Friends)
  13. 04/06/06 (Thu) Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY (Ratdog)
  14. 04/08/06 (Sat) Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY (Ratdog)
  15. 07/15/06 (Sat) Tweeter Center – Mansfield, MA (Ratdog)
  16. 03/08/07 (Sat) Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY (Ratdog)
  17. 07/09/07 Central Park Summerstage – New York, NY (Ratdog)
  18. 08/12/07 (Sun) Boarding House Park – Lowell, MA (Ratdog)
  19. 11/06/07 (Tue) Nokia Theatre – New York City, NY (Phil Lesh & Friends)
  20. 04/05/08 (Sat) Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY (Ratdog)
  21. 11/01/08 (Sat) Nokia Theatre – New York City, NY (Phil Lesh & Friends)
  22. 04/25/09 (Sat) Madison Square Garden – Manhattan, NY (The Dead)
  23. 05/02/09 (Sat) Wachovia Spectrum – Philadelphia, PA (The Dead)
  24. 10/19/09 (Mon) The Grand – New York City, NY (Ratdog)
  25. 07/10/10 (Sat) Mann Music Center – Philadelphia, PA (Furthur)
  26. 07/29/10 (Thu) Nokia Theatre – Manhattan, NY (Furthur)
  27. 03/29/11 (Tue) Broome County Arena – Binghamton, New York (The Dead)
  28. 07/22/11 (Fri) Gathering of Vibes @ Seaside Park – Bridgeport (The Dead)
  29. 011/10/11 (Thu) Madison Square Garden – Manhattan, NY (Grateful Dead)
  30. 04/09/12 (Mon) Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY (Furthur)
  31. 04/18/12 (Wed) Beacon Theatre – New York City, NY (Furthur)
  32. 07/07/12 (Sat) Mann Music Center – Philadelphia, PA (Furthur)
  33. 07/13/12 (Fri) MCU Park – Coney Island, NY (Furthur)
  34. 10/04/12 (Thur)  Hard Rock Cafe – Las Vegas, NV (Furthur)
  35. 10/02/13 (Wed) The Palms – Las Vegas, NV (Furthur)
  36. 02/21/14 (Fri) Theatre at Westbury – Westbury, NY (Ratdog)
  37. 09/21/14 Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, NY (Phil Lesh and Friends)
  38. 10/18/14 Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV (Phil Lesh and Friends)
  39. 03/18/15 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY (Phil Lesh and Friends)
  40. 07/04/15 Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois (The Dead with Trey Anastasio)
  41. 09/16/15 – Central Park Summer Stage (Phil Lesh and Friends)
  42. 5/29/16 – Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY (Phil Lesh and Friends)
  43. 06/25/16 – Citi Field, Queens, NY (Dead and Company)
  44. 09/14/16 – Coney Island Boardwalk (Phil Lesh and Friends)
  45. 10/14/16 – Kings Theatre, Brooklyn, NY (Bob Weir Camp Fire)
  46. 03/15/17 Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY (Phil Lesh and Friends)
  47. 05/21/17 Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY (Phil Lesh and Friends)Capitol Theater, Port Chester, May 26, 2017

Ice Friday: Robert Hunter’s “Loser”

All that I am asking for is ten gold dollars
And I could pay you back with one good hand
You can look around about the wide world over
And you’ll never find another honest man. Ice Friday: Robert Hunter's "Loser"Everybody prayin’ and drinkin’ that wine
I can tell the Queen of Diamonds by the way she shines
Come to daddy on the inside straight,
Well I got no chance of losin’ this time

Ice Friday: Lightfoot’s “The Watchman’s Gone”

Gordon Lightfoot, Canada’s singer-songwriter laureate, conveys the weight of mortality in a few lines from The Watchman’s Gone:
There’s a train down at the station
It’s come to carry my bones awayIce Friday: Lightfoot's "The Watchman's Gone"
If I wait for the right moment
You can bet I’ll climb aboard unseen
I’ve done it before
I know I can do it in my sleep

Davis Trilogy Part One: Just Weird

Just Weird: Because you can’t be anyone else.

Expelled from boarding school, Davis moves in with his father and step-family. His step-brother, a world-class swimmer, is indifferent to his presence while his step-mother and step-sister treat him with outright disdain. His new school, a strict all-boys institution, is no refuge, but rather a breeding ground for bullies and malcontents. Davis learns of a compulsory public speaking competition from a pair of misfits, Eugene and Erdley, both of whom he befriends over hashish and an obsession with music lyrics.Davis Trilogy Part One: Just Weird

Davis joins a film club, led by a stunning young film teacher, Ms. Geisner, and shortly after takes a job delivering newspapers in her neighborhood. Davis gets into a series of problems – including an evening of pyromania ending in Erdley getting badly burned – until, in an ironic turn, Martha is fired from her job for smoking pot, leading her parents to take her with them to her brother’s swim meet in Northern Ontario.

Left alone in the house, Davis sneaks into a party at Ms. Geisner’s house where he gets drunk and, after watching Ms. Geisner dance to The B-52’s Rock Lobster, confesses his love for her. It ends badly. He wakes, miserably hungover, realizing the public speaking contest is in today’s assembly. Instead of his practiced speech, he decides to recite Rock LobsterDavis Trilogy Part One: Just WeirdInitially unsure, he gains confidence and ends up screaming the final lines, which is received with great enthusiasm by the student body and outrage by the administration. It appears that Davis is to be expelled yet again, until his father meets with the head of school and promises to help finance a new swimming pool.

Finding Bliss (and not) in Music

I have chased down many a show over the years in pursuit of something approximating bliss or satisfaction. 20150916_205807There have been moments, rare moments, where this feeling almost resides. I have been enraptured by the likes of The Grateful Dead, Stereolab and Sufjan Stevens. (Video here.)Screenshot (7) I have also been fortunate enough to happen across these moments, such as the choral chanting in Tant Kyi Taung Pagoda, Myanmar. (Video here.)Screenshot (14)However in my long and winding pursuit, I have been as equally disappointed by all of those those mentioned above, finding boredom and ennui instead. bushwick5It’s not astonishing to realize that it is the sound and not the event, the journey as they say, even if it’s a recording on a drive going nowhere. (Video here.)Screenshot (16)