Amazon takes a ‘Long Strange Trip’

Amazon Studios has snapped up rights to the six-part Grateful Dead documentary "Long Strange Trip." The docu, directed by Amir Bar-Lev and overseen by Martin Scorsese, debuts on the Amazon Prime streaming service May 26. "Stranger than fiction -- a user's guide for an impossible journey," drummer Hart said of the project. The 4-hour "Long Strange Trip" premieres Jan. 23 at the Sundance Film Festival, with Dead veterans Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir on hand to toast the project. Director Bar-Lev is a festival regular. Bar-Lev made the acclaimed 2007 documentary "My Kids Could Paint That" as well as 2010's "Tillman." He was attached to an ill-fated Jerry Garcia biopic with the working title "Dark Star" back in 2010. Executive producer Scorsese said: "I've always … [Read more...]

Doors, Dead, Cream debuts turn 50

1967 ushered in the psychedelic era, loudly announced by a series of historic recordings. Fifty years on, we're invited to celebrate the debut albums by the Doors, the Grateful Dead and Cream via splashy deluxe editions. Other key reissues due in the year's first quarter come from Soft Machine, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Sun Ra, the Yardbirds, Procol Harum and Pink Floyd. The Doors' debut album -- home of "Light My Fire" and "The End" -- returns March 31 in a three-CD plus LP package dubbed "The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition." The reissue features the compact disc premiere of the original mono mix, which also can be found on the box set's vinyl disc. The package includes a CD of the "The Matrix" live performance from March 1967, made up of eight songs from the debut album. … [Read more...]

Hendrix, Mothers cooking for Black Friday

Psychedelic music fans won't exactly be feasting, but get ready to tuck into servings both sweet and savory with this year's edition of Record Store Day: Black Friday. Top 1960s sonic explorers with goods on offer include Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, the Mothers of Invention, Timothy Leary and Sun Ra. Record Store Day's Black Friday edition dawns the day after Thanksgiving -- Friday, Nov. 25 -- at your favorite indie shops. Releases are on vinyl and are Record Store Day exclusives unless noted. Jimi Hendrix: "Morning Symphony Ideas" updates and abridges the Dagger Records release of 2000. This time it's three tracks that date back to 1969: the 9-minute "Jungle," "Room Full of Mirrors" and "Strato Strut." On 10-inch vinyl from Sony Legacy, limited to 3,000 copies. The Mothers of … [Read more...]

Dead’s movie close-up from Foxboro

Another Grateful Dead tradition comes of age -- go figure. The sixth annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies is set for May 11, with the screening of an unreleased concert from July 1989. The Dead movie night again comes via the band's label, Rhino, and the cinema one-off specialist Fathom Events. The main event is the entire Dead concert from Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, dating back to July 2, 1989. It was the "tour-opening show from what would be one of the Dead's best tours of their final 15 years of performing," organizers say. Key tracks at the Sullivan Stadium show included 12 minutes of "Friend of the Devil," a rare opening of "Playin' in the Band," and "Eyes of the World." The gig featured an extra helping of psychedelic-era covers, including "Queen … [Read more...]

Psychedelic year in review: Top titles

A half century hasn't dampened demand for the psychedelic goodness of the 1960s. The year 2015 found record labels still stuffing bins with high-quality releases, carefully crafted to take you higher. Here's a review of the year's top reissues of music connected with the psychedelic era. All are still available as 2015 fades to black, although some remain specialty items worth grabbing before the collector's price gouging gets under way. Jimi Hendrix: Completists welcomed the CD release in 2006 of "Burning Desire," the Dagger label's collection of "authorized bootlegs" from the master guitarist's final years. Now Sony Legacy has the expanded vinyl version, on two LPs. Tracks were recorded at the Record Plant in late 1969 and early 1970 with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Listen for … [Read more...]

Lesh recovering from bladder cancer

Longtime Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has been treated for bladder cancer, but says he's expected to make a full recovery. Lesh, 75, canceled several sold-out shows at his Terrapin Crossroads bar that were to feature Chris Robinson. "I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in early October, and have spent the last few weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale (Ariz.) doing tests and eventually surgery to remove the tumors," Lesh said in an Oct. 16 email sent to customers and later posted on the Terrapin Crossroads web site. "I am very fortunate to have the pathology reports show that the tumors are all non-aggressive, and that there is no indication that they have spread." Lesh successfully battled prostrate cancer in 2006. He also underwent a liver transplant related to hepatitis … [Read more...]

Fare Thee Well set lists

Here are the set lists for the Grateful Dead's final concerts, dubbed "Fare Thee Well." The concerts were on the band's home turf in Santa Clara, Calif., and in Chicago. Almost no songs were repeated, the exceptions being "Cumberland Blues," Bob Weir's "Truckin'" and the instrumental workout "Drums / Space." The Grateful Dead veterans were Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. They were joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The Dead called the shows "our final stand," vowing there will be no further concerts. "This is it." CDs and Blu-rays/DVDs from the concerts are due for release Nov. 20. Concerts were divided into two sections, with the sets divided by an hourlong break. (Years refer to Dead originals' … [Read more...]

80 CDs of live Dead: Here comes ‘Sun’

The half-century celebration of the Grateful Dead continues at warp speed, with news of an 80-CD box set of unissued live shows. "Thirty Trips Around the Sun" resurrects 30 concerts, with more than 73 hours of music. The limited edition set (6,500, numbered) checks in with a $700 price tag. Release date for the Rhino set is Sept. 18. A four-CD set, "Thirty Trips Around the Sun: The Definitive Live Story, 1965-1995," boils things down considerably. A USB drive with all of the "Thirty Trips" content is planned as well, also at the $700 price point. The USB edition is limited to 1,000 copies. Dead partner Rhino is issuing the box set, which will be sold exclusively via dead.net The set more or less coincides with the series of "Fare Thee Well" concerts featuring surviving … [Read more...]

‘The Other One’: Bob Weir docu shines

"I've led kind of an unusual life," says Bob Weir, in a moment of understatement. "I've seen stuff that no one has seen," the guitarist adds, bringing to mind that "Blade Runner" replicant in the rain. And yes, Weir says, quoting himself: "It's been a long strange trip." The rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead steps out of the long shadow of Jerry Garcia in the documentary "The Other One," which just made its public debut streaming on Netflix. The film, by Mike Fleiss, offers a splendid collection of clips, some fine musical performances by Weir and recent collaborators, and of course a snoutful of nostalgia for Grateful Dead fans. It's an entertaining, fast-moving film whose revelations will be revelations only to non-fans. The documentary likes to stay in … [Read more...]

Quad Doors, live Yes, EL&P spark Q2

Classic but freshly repolished goods from the Doors, Yes, the Yardbirds, EL&P and Miles Davis promise a strong second quarter in the psychedelic music world. The Doors' music remained in strong demand a few years after the death of singer Jim Morrison. Elektra looked to give the music new spark with a "Best Of" collection in quadraphonic. The four-channel format fizzled, and Doors marketers moved on to other repackaging jobs, but the quad collection was never forgotten by the early adopters of long ago. Ace audio revivalist Steve Hoffman delivers the goods June 2 with a hybrid SACD containing the original quad mix and his re-do of the two-channel stereo mix. Tracks include the usual suspects as well as "Who Do You Love," "Take It As It Comes" and "Moonlight Drive." "I think that … [Read more...]

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