Record Store Day ’16: Doors, Hendrix, Prunes

The usual and unusual suspects populate Record Store Day 2016, keyed by releases from psychedelic stars the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, the 13th Floor Elevators and Frank Zappa. From the fringes come the space rock of Sun Ra, offbeat freakbeat from Britain, ragas from Ravi Shankar and Japanese "Monster a Go-Go." Record Store Day 2016 is Saturday, April 16. Releases are all on vinyl and are Record Store Day exclusives unless noted (top section). The Doors: "Live at the Aquarius: The First Performance" chronicles the band's first night at the Hollywood venue, summer of 1969. Three LPs. Tracks include "Soul Kitchen," "Mystery Train/Crossroads" and "Who Do You Love." Rhino, on blue vinyl. 5,000 copies. Previously released on CD. The Doors: Live version of "Roadhouse Blues" backed with "A … [Read more...]

Grateful Dead Archive debuts online

One might be forgiven for thinking the entire World Wide Web serves as the Grateful Dead's archive, but now there's an official destination for fans, educators, researchers and music geeks: The University of California Santa Cruz has officially launched the Grateful Dead Archive Online. It's very much a work in progress, but well worth a look for even the most casual Deadhead. UC Santa Cruz now hosts the brick-and-mortar library of the Grateful Dead, which was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1965 and continued its, um, long strange trip until 1995. In many ways, of course, that history is still being made as surviving band members tour and record in various incarnations. The Grateful Dead Archive and McHenry Library's "Dead Central" opened officially June 29, as well. The … [Read more...]

Dead on DVD: the stash from Shout!

There is no such thing as too much Grateful Dead, apparently. Adding to the mountain of Dead software that's been released in the past 12 months, we have on the horizon the 14-DVD box set "All the Years Combine: The DVD Collection" from Shout! Factory. The Dead box set drops April 17, just in time for workingman Dead fans to tap their tax refund checks for the $100. Shout! as you may recall rereleased "The Grateful Dead Movie" in high definition Nov. 1. The movie (this time in standard def) anchors the upcoming DVD box set. Second billed is "The Closing of Winterland," a lengthy and well-regard Dead-only film that Rhino originally released to DVD in 2003. The double-DVD has about four hours of footage from the last night of Winterland on New Years Eve 1978. Then there's … [Read more...]

Dead brings to life Dave’s Pick CD series

Thought the Dead marketing machine was done with live archival releases? Fat chance. The music never stops. Not fade away. And all that ... Six years after the famed series "Dick's Picks" was retired -- and just weeks after the "Road Trips" series reached the end of the road -- the Dead's live legacy continues with "Dave's Picks." Dick was the Dead's longtime archivist Dick Latvala. Dave is David Lemieux, the current archivist, who took over the job when Latvala died in 1999. Dave's Picks will be a numbered limited edition series limited to 12,000 copies (that number could be elastic, based on previous Dead decisions). The CDs will be close to Dick's Picks in philosophy, Lemieux says, featuring complete shows. The Dead's website promises "the finest unreleased shows from … [Read more...]

Month of the Dead: free rare downloads

Who knew, but it looks like November is Grateful Dead month. The band's web site,, serves up a fresh track every day this month. They're mostly unreleased soundboard recordings, the Dead folk say. Tune in and download the 320Kbps songs while you can -- once the day's up, the track is gone. So far we've scored live performances of "New Speedway Boogie" (Fillmore East, 1970), "Dark Star" (Fillmore West, 1969) and a spaced-out "Playing in the Band" (Des Moines, 1973). Archivist/Dead insider Dave Lemieux selected the songs, which aren't announced in advance. The giveaway seeks to reward the "tapers who documented the Dead's concerts and trade them freely with other Dead Heads." To download the songs, you'll need to be a member of -- free and easy sign-up. (The … [Read more...]

Grateful Dead’s history a Society affair

Roll over Frederick Douglass and tell Abe Lincoln the news: the Grateful Dead have crashed Manhattan's local history museum. Dead heads are flocking to Central Park West this weekend as "Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society" debuts. The exhibit comes almost exclusively from the Grateful Dead archives at the University of California Santa Cruz and is its first major showing. So what's the Dead memorabilia doing way over there in Manhattan? The historical society has your answer in one incredibly long sentence: "(The Dead) played in and around New York City on a regular basis, from early dates at Greenwich Village coffeehouses, impromptu performances in Central Park and at Columbia University during the 1968 Student Strike; to concerts at midsized venues, … [Read more...]

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