Dead Meet-Up does ’89 capital concert

The seventh annual Grateful Dead "Meet-Up at the Movies" salutes the band's gig in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1989. The Dead's cinema event happens Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. local time. The Grateful gathering coincides with the 75th anniversary of Jerry Garcia's birth. Video of the July 12, 1989, capital concert at RFK Stadium is previously unreleased, organizers say. (The band also played RFK the next day.) The recording, which looks crisp, runs just over 2.5 hours. The show opens with the band's unlikely late '80s hit "Touch of Gray" and continues with Dead fare such as "Cassidy," "Ship of Fools," "Sugaree" and "I Need a Miracle." The show closes with what is a rare video-taped performance of "Black Muddy River." The Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies began … [Read more...]

Monterey Pop stars: Lesh, Burdon, Booker T.

Monterey Pop lives. A 50th anniversary revival of the seminal peace-and-love gathering has unveiled its lineup, with Phil Lesh, Eric Burdon and Booker T. topping the bill. The event will run June 16-18 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, site of the original festival that brought stardom to Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Janis Joplin. Lou Adler, co-producer of the 1967 festival, said, "The Monterey International Pop Festival cannot be duplicated but can be celebrated and will be, by the performers and the attendees at the 50th anniversary festival." Adler, who is in his mid-80s, has some role with the production, also credited to Another Planet Entertainment and Goldenvoice. Adler oversees the nonprofit charitable foundation that distributes royalty money from the original Monterey … [Read more...]

‘Grateful Dead Movie’ encores at Meet-Up

The 2017 Deadhead meet-up celebrates the 40th anniversary of the good old "Grateful Dead Movie." The feature film screens at 7 p.m. local time on Thursday, April 20, accompanied by footage from the upcoming Dead docu "Long Strange Trip." There's also a "mini-documentary" about the band's May 8, 1977, show at Cornell University, one of those storied Dead gigs. The Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies began in 2011 and has carried on once a year ever since. The first Meet-Up also featured (a restored) "The Grateful Dead Movie." Pay-per-view specialist Fathom Events organizes and manages the screenings. Venue information and tickets for the 2017 Meet-Up can be accessed via the Fathom web site. Meanwhile, the Dead documentary "Long Strange Trip" will premiere in cinemas in New York … [Read more...]

Slick roasts ad partner Chick-fil-A

Grace Slick and Chick-fil-A make for some strange bedfellows. Slick, possessor of one of the biggest mouths in rock, is an avowed leftie, famed in part for her radical antiwar stance in the late 1960s. Chick-fil-A draws fire on a regular basis for its right-wing affiliations, notably its ministry wing the WinShape Foundation, which has routed millions of its profits to Biblical Christian groups opposed to gay marriage. So when Slick agreed to license the Jefferson Starship hit "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" to the Georgia-based fast-food franchiser, it raised a few eyebrows. Certainly during the Grammys telecast of a week back. Another '60s sellout? Nah. Slick had a plan, one she just shared in a blog post on the web site of capitalist cheerleader magazine Forbes. "I am … [Read more...]

No. 15: ‘Crown of Creation’

"Is it true that I'm no longer young?" Grace Slick sang in "Lather," the luscious and cinematic opening number of "Crown of Creation." Slick was singing about the arrested development of her lover, the Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden, but by extension she addressed the fast-forward aging afflicting the San Francisco scene. That sunny Summer of Love had given away to the chill winds of LBJ's 1968. "Crown of Creation" finds the Airplane coming of age, wary but not yet transformed into the jaded radical-chic collective that rolled out "Volunteers" a year later. The erratic and playful psychedelia of "After Bathing at Baxter's" gives way to songwriting for adults: "Long time since I climbed down this mountain before," a weary-sounding Martin Balin sings on "In Time." "Things … [Read more...]

No. 81: ‘Dark Magic’

Moby Grape had it all, in those early days. The look. The attitude. The Bay Area vibe. And that weird whimsical name that no one ever forgot. But when the San Francisco band's debut album surfaced in 1967, it seems they'd forgotten the psychedelic music. The self-titled album instead was packed with well-crafted singles that anticipated alt-rock. Songwriting so strong that Columbia Records was moved to release five songs to Top 40 radio, all on one day. Today, the band is largely remembered for that majestic album and those concise classics. When NPR looked back in 2012, here's how it characterized the group: "When other San Francisco bands were stretching out with long psychedelic jams, Moby Grape was producing catchy three-minute songs that were composed, played and sung by each … [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...]

Cream, Tull, Prunes, Airplane spark Q2

Psychedelic music just turned a half century old. Far out. Record labels are celebrating with key rereleases from artists like Cream, the Electric Prunes, Jethro Tull and Jefferson Airplane. Here's a curiously curated preview of psychedelic/'60s music titles due in March and into the second quarter of 2016: Cream's "Disraeli Gears" made the cut as one of the first titles in Universal Music Group's upcoming revival of the half-speed mastered process. The psychedelic touchstone ("Sunshine of Your Love," "Tales of Brave Ulysses") was prepped for its latest audiophile vinyl outing at Abbey Road Studios. "This album was cut from a high-resolution digital transfer from the best known analogue tape in existence," says engineer Miles Showell. (Half-speed mastered albums were popular in the … [Read more...]

Dan Hicks dies; swing-music hipster

Dan Hicks, a pioneer of the San Francisco sound who went on to bring swing music to new generations of hipsters, has died at age 74. He fronted Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, which he formed in 1967 with violinist David LaFlamme of It's a Beautiful Day Fame. Before that, Hicks was a member of the Charlatans, a San Francisco band whose extended residency at the Red Dog Saloon has been called a seminal event in the history of psychedelic rock. Although Hicks came out of the Bay Area's rock scene, he rarely played rock. He liked to call his sound "folk swing" and "folk jazz." The Hot Licks repertoire includes a psychedelic folk classic, the haunting violin showcase "I Scare Myself." Hicks had suffered from liver cancer, which he revealed to fans upon canceling a string of concert … [Read more...]

Signe Anderson of Jefferson Airplane dies

Signe Anderson, the original female singer in Jefferson Airplane, has died at age 74. Anderson, who sang with bands in Oregon over the years, had suffered from longtime health problems. Her passing of a heart condition in Beaverton, Oregon, came Jan. 28, the same day as the death of Airplane leader Paul Kantner. "One sweet Lady has passed on," Jefferson Airplane cofounder Marty Balin posted as the news broke. "I imagine that she and Paul woke up in heaven and said 'Hey what are you doing here? Let's start a band.'" Anderson sang on the first Jefferson Airplane album, "Takes Off." The album included her best-known song, "Chauffeur Blues." The singer, a new mother, found the road intolerable and decided to leave Jefferson Airplane in late 1966. Her final performances were at the … [Read more...]

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