On July 26, 1972, the Grateful Dead performed the second of two shows at Portland, Oregon’s Paramount Theater. Coming just a week after Pigpen’s permanent departure from the band, the Dead were undergoing a series of major changes that would forever alter their sound. While Keith had been on board for nearly a year at this point, it was during this time that he was forced to step to the forefront, allowing him to become a greater part of the mould. This period marked the early stages of the transitional phase that propelled the band’s sound in a jazzier, more melodic direction—a sound that came into full view one year later on Wake of the Flood. The colossal ”Dark Star” from this night finds the Dead in patient form, delicately exploring a 30 minute astral vision quest before drifting into the comforting arms of “Comes a Time.” I bid you safe travels.
“Dark Star” > “Comes a Time“
[Photo by Marianne Ventrice]
A couple weeks back, Woods made their way across the bridge for a Woodsist family gathering at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom. The highlight of the night came during a 15 minute jam tucked into the dark psych drones of “Bend Beyond” with Matt Mondanile (Real Estate/Ducktails) sitting in on drums. Here’s the recording, captured by NYC Taper.
MP3: “Bend Beyond”
Head over to NYC Taper to download the entire show.
You may have heard Woodsman featured in previous playlists on this blog. But, if not, its time you heard from this Denver/Brooklyn psych quartet. Over the past few years, the group has made waves on the psych scene with five studio releases and a relentless touring schedule. Their organic, mostly instrumental, tunes often unfold like musical journeys with propulsive, loopy drones and reverb-drenched guitar wails. Below, hear the first track, “Tone Cloak,” off Woodsman’s Mystic Places EP out October 25on guitarist Trevor Peterson’s Fire Talk Records. Woodsman is now on tour and will play NYC’s Cakeshop with Alex Bleeker and the Freaks on Thursday.
MP3: “Tone Cloak“
Here’s a list of shows in NYC this week that I recommend checking out:
Zorch @ Pianos 8PM
(Experimental noise act from Austin, TX)
Purling Hiss, Night Manager, Punks On Mars @ The Bowery Electric 830PM
(Read up on psych-noise outfit Purling Hiss here)
Knights on Earth @ Southpaw 9PM
Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Woodsman, Orca Team, Flower Orgy @ Cakeshop 8PM
(Read up on Alex Bleeker & The Freaks here)
Skeletons, The Present, Ablehearts @ Glasslands 8PM
Stephen Malkmus @ Other Music 9PM
Little Gold, Air Waves, Moonmen On The Moon, Man, Spook Houses @ Death By Audio 8PM
(Little Gold features former Woods member Christian DeRoeck)
Sun Araw, Prince Rama, Julianna Barwick, Pterodactyl, Teengirl Fantasy @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 8PM
Daytrotter Barnstormer @ Brooklyn Bowl 5PM
EMEFE @ The Bluenote 12AM
After being asked by several people what “Krautrock” is—or what I meant when I used the term “Kraut-jam”—I decided to do a post that focused on the genre. So for today, I’m honored to present to you a special Krautrock playlist curated by my good friend Mike Newman from Beyond Beyond is Beyond. You can hear more from Mr. Newman by tuning into his radio show every Thursday from 12-2PM on East Village Radio.
From Mike Newman:
Hey there! I was excited when DGB asked me to assemble a playlist a of some of my favorite Krautrock jams. So here we go! Well, first of all, I think people have different ideas of what Krautrock is. To some it is simply rock made by Germans in the late 60s and 70s. To others it comes more down to style: the motorik drumming, the nod to experimental electronic music, the ambient textures, the avant garde. And some that prescribe to the latter, don’t even consider being German a crucial element, so long as it checks out in the other categories.
I like the jumble. The uncertainty. The gummi distinctions.
What I’ve got here for you today is some of my favorite Kraut rock. Dig it…
01 Exmagma – Box 25
02 Can – Mother Sky
03 Amon Duul II – A Morning Excuse
04 Kraan – Andy Nogger
05 Faust – Flashback Caruso
06 Hairy Chapter – Illusions
07 Andy Goldner – Full Moon
08 Ashra – Oasis
09 Frumpy – I’m afraid, Big Moon
10 Cluster – Zum Wohl
11 Birth Control – We All Thought We Knew
12 Epitaph – Big City
13 Lake – Scoobie Doobies
14 Popol Vuh – Get Up
15 Niagara – Bones
16 Scorpions – It All Depends
17 Kin Ping Meh – My Future
18 Agitation Free – Atlantic Overcrossing
19 Kraftwerk – Autobahn
After many e-mails and requests, I finally managed to bring acoustic legend Bert Jansch to the Relix offices for an interview/performance. While Bert was in town opening for Neil Young, he graced us with his presence and performed two of his classic arrangements. Below, you can check out the first video of Bert performing the British folk classic “Rosemary Lane.” Hope you enjoy as much as I do.
Watch Bert perform “Rosemary Lane” over at Relix.com.
Montreal’s Barr Brothers share this video detailing the process used to create their self-titled debut out September 27 on Secret City.
On September 13, San Francisco based outfit Barn Owl will release a new full length called Lost in the Glare on Thrill Jockey. Below, you can stream/download “Turiya,” a four minute, desert-psych drone included on the new LP. Also check out the previously released “Shadowland.”
Pre-order Lost In the Glare from Thrill Jockey here.
On Friday, Australian psychers Tame Impala made their US television debut on Jimmy Fallon. You can check out the video of “Why Don’t You Make Up Your Mind” here.
In addition, a new Time and Space Machine remix of “Solitude” has surfaced, which you can download by ‘liking’ the Modular facebook page or stream it below.
“Solitude Is Bliss (Time and Space Machine Remix)”
The following comment was posted on my article discussing Trey’s guitar rig. Rather than leave this valuable info to the bottom rungs of an old article, I decided to post it for all to see. Thanks to the anonymous person who shared this info. We are truly appreciative.
“I have been a road member for quite some time and would like to share some insight so people dont run out and buy all the wrong things.
First off, the buttons for the leslie, one button is a once button for the boomerang. The boomerang has a function called “once” which trey had modded to an external jack so he could hit the once button and sing in songs like “Heavy Things.” That constant beeping is Trey’s once button.
Secondly, the DM-2000 doesnt have a reverse delay function, the reverse dealay comes from the Boomerang again. Trey uses the Boomerang a lot more than people give credit, it is not just a simple looper.
The Nano Verb has according to Brian Brown has been disconected from the rig for some time, accoding to [guitar tech] Brian Brown the Micro Verb is the only one that is on and it is set to reverse reverb only. The nanos are still in there becuase its the only way to complete the rack.
The Wah according to Brian Brown is a stock GCB 95 not a RMC-3 even though everyone thinks that it is infact a RMC because the GCB-95 never sounds like Trey’s wah.
The expression pedals controls the pulse of the tremolo and the buttons next to the expression buttons control the wave forms of the tremolo.
The compressor is used after the TS9 and is turned down to allow him to turn the TS9 all the way up. When he clicks them on he wont see a huge volume jump but the overall tone will change to a much more overdriven sound. I’m sure anyone who owns a TS9 knows the feeling of the volume jump.
The mid-ninties siren effects like the ones in “Free” from 97 era, is from the modulation effect on the DM-2000. When you capture a sound in the hold function on the DM and move to modulate it will create a siren sound. The other siren sound is using the whammy and the Boomerang and creating pitch bends while rolling in the volume on the guitar.
The Mesa was not even used as a traditional amp, the mesa was used as a power section just like any other power amp, the modded [Fender Deluxe Reverb] has been behind his rig for a lot of the shows since the return, and the sms pre-amp was only used for one show, that was a burgettstown in 2009, it was imediatly pulled from the rig after that.
Hope some of this helps.”
Next Tuesday August 16, Philly’s rootsy-psych rockers The War on Drugs will release their second full-length Slave Ambient via Secretly Canadian. Following the depature of former guitarist Kurt Vile, frontman Adam Granduciel has been hard at work creating tracks and overdubs for the upcoming release. It’s been since 2008 that the previous LP, Wagonwheel Blues, dropped, and upon hearing Slave Ambient it will immediately become clear as to why. On the new LP, the band delves into highly textured, spacey rock songs that glide beneath the plainspoken singers Springsteen-esque, Americana-style vocal delivery. The album title resonates throughout the 12 tracks, as songs often drift into layered, synthed-out ambient jam segments. Much the same as the previous LP, this is a record for the road and one that will surely make my Top 10 albums of the year list. I highly recommend heading out to your local record store next Tuesday and picking up the new album by this criminally underrated band. Alternatively, you can order Slave Ambient from Secretly Canadian here.
Mp3: “Come to the City“
MP3: “Baby Missiles“
[as always, right click and choose 'save as' to download the songs]
“Stella Blue” (10/17/74)
An Elegy for Jerry
Jerry, my friend,
you’ve done it again,
even in your silence
the familiar pressure
comes to bear, demanding
I pull words from the air
with only this morning
and part of the afternoon
to compose an ode worthy
of one so particular
about every turn of phrase,
demanding it hit home
in a thousand ways
before making it his own,
and this I can’t do alone.
Now that the singer is gone,
where shall I go for the song?
Without your melody and tase
to lend an attitude of grace
a lyric is an orphan thing,
a hive with neither honey’s taste
nor power to truly sting.
What choice have I but to dare and
call your muse who thought to rest
out of the thin blue air
that out of the field of shared time,
a line or two might chance to shine –
As ever when we called,
in hope if not in words,
the muse descends.
How should she desert us now?
Scars of battle on her brow,
bedraggled feathers on her wings,
and yet she sings, she sings!
May she bear thee to thy rest,
the ancient bower of flowers
beyond the solitude of days,
the tyranny of hours–
the wreath of shining laurel lie
upon your shaggy head
bestowing power to play the lyre
to legions of the dead
If some part of that music
is heard in deepest dream,
or on some breeze of Summer
a snatch of golden theme,
we’ll know you live inside us
with love that never parts
our good old Jack O’Diamonds
become the King of Hearts.
I feel your silent laughter
at sentiments so bold
that dare to step across the line
to tell what must be told,
so I’ll just say I love you,
which I never said before
and let it go at that old friend
the rest you may ignore.
- Robert Hunter
See the video below…
I apologize for the delayed Jerry week posts—I’ve been deep in the Canadian north with very little internet access the past few days. So for today, we’ll catch up for the last two days with three classic Dead jams. All three versions are worthy of inclusion in any “best ever” discussion and are must-hears for any Dead fan. Primal Dead.
“Terrapin Station” (5/17/77)
“Morning Dew” (6/18/74)
“Dark Star” > “Eyes of the World” (11/11/73)
The recording of Jerry Garcia’s performance at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ on April 10, 1982 opens with the promoter saying “I think you’ll find this a rare musical experience.” But not even he, or even Jerry, could have known just how true that statement would become, for this was the one and only time that Mr. Garcia performed an entire show solo acoustic. There are competing tales as to whether Jerry booked the show solo and then called John Kahn on for the rest of the tour, or if Kahn was supposed to play but was unable to make it. Either way, it’s been said that Jerry felt uncomfortable during the performance and decided not to play publicly by himself ever again. Below, you can hear two cuts—one from the early show and one from the late—displaying Jerry in this intimate setting. A truly rare musical experience, indeed…
MP3: “Reuben and Cherise” (4/10/82)
MP3: “Gomorrah” (4/10/82)
For the past six months or so, I’ve been geeking out on this Philly psych-punk outfit called Purling Hiss. The group first came onto my radar via the now defunct, and greatly missed Arthur Mag, but since then it seems the cloud of chatter surrounding them has grown rather large (which for a home-fi psych rock band means a bunch of vinyl geeks and DIY music blogs have caught on). Led by Mike Polizze, who also plays in Birds of Maya, the group serves up swampy lo-fi recordings filled with tape-bent psych and flanged-out, muddy guitar solos. Over the course of the past year, Purling Hiss put an album on Woodsist, toured with Kurt Vile and has now released a new EP called Lounge Lizards on Mexican Summer. Below, hear the growling “Midnight Man,” and two previously released songs “Porch Dude/Slight Return” and “Run From the City” off the more song-oriented, Woodsist released Public Service Announcement. You’re either going to love it or hate it…
MP3: “Run From the City“
MP3: “Porch Dude/Slight Return“
Jerry week continues here at DGB where we’ll be paying tribute on each of the days between. For today’s selection, we turn to the well-known and much-loved version of “Eyes of the World” from October 19, 1974. This was part of a run of shows that sent the Dead on temporary hiatus for the six months that followed, and also acted as the final shows using the legendary Wall of Sound speaker system. This version—which serves as the very first piece of Grateful Dead music that ever graced my ears—is featured in The Grateful Dead Movie, as well as on the So Many Roads Box set. If not for this version of this song, my life would likely have taken a very different path. I owe a great deal to my friend who played it for me on that summer night so many years ago, and to this day it remains one of my all-time favorite pieces of music.
MP3: “Eyes of the World” (10.19.74)
As we continue to celebrate Jerry week over here at DGB, let’s have a listen to something from my favorite Garcia side-project—Legion of Mary. Buried beneath Jerry Garcia’s endless side projects, guest appearances and solo endeavors is the rarely mentioned Legion of Mary featuring Merl Saunders, JGB bassist John Kahn, Martin Fierro on sax and flute along with Ronnie Tutt on drums (who replaced Paul Humphrey in early ’75). The band was short-lived, lasting only from July of ’74 to July ’75, but during that time, the group was a rare force, concocting an infectious blend of jazz, rock and R&B.
Today, we turn to LOM’s cover of “Little Sunflower” taken from Milt Jackson’s 1972 Sunflower release on CTI. This happens to double as one of my favorite pieces of Jerry’s playing and also one of my favorite jazz songs, and to add to that, we have one of the finest possible recordings. Taped by the legendary team of Bob Menke and Louis Falenga, you won’t find much better in the way of audience recordings.
MP3: “Little Sunflower“
Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s 1996 album Broken Arrow was largely shunned by critics upon its release. The loosely structured, fuzzed out, even more jam sessiony playing than usual is likely something only die hard Neil fans ate up. And so, as many of the album’s best songs fell the way of the wind, so did perhaps one of Neil’s best songs from his many 90s releases—a song included as a bonus track only on the vinyl release. Recorded during the 1990 Ragged Glory sessions, but never included on the album, “Interstate” is an acoustic masterpiece right alongside Neil’s best works. Deep low-tuned guitars, heavy handed strums, fingers sliding up the fretboard, a wanderer’s tale… MP3: “Interstate“
Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s 1996 album Broken Arrow was largely shunned by critics upon its release. The loosely structured, fuzzed out, even more jam sessiony playing than usual is likely something only die hard Neil fans ate up. And so, as many of the album’s best songs fell the way of the wind, so did perhaps one of Neil’s best songs from his many 90s releases—a song included as a bonus track only on the vinyl release. Recorded during the 1990 Ragged Glory sessions, but never included on the album, “Interstate” is an acoustic masterpiece right alongside Neil’s best works. Deep low-tuned guitars, heavy handed strums, fingers sliding up the fretboard, a wanderer’s tale…