Results for Jerry Garcia
The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead celebrated its 50th anniversary in July with a series of farewell shows at Soldier Field in Chicago. We're using that as an opportunity to reexamine the legacy of the controversial band. The Dead formed in the Bay Area in the 1960s and featured a core membership of guitarists Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, keyboardist Ron“Pigpen”McKernan, bassist Phil Lesh, drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, with important contributions from lyricist Robert Hunter. Though it was the prototypical "jam band," The Dead's sound was much more eclectic and harder to pin down than that sometimes derisive term indicates, incorporating free jazz, psychedelia, bluegrass, blues, early rock ‘n’ roll, and more.
The Dead built a community of devoted fans who would travel with the band from town to town, some of whom would tape the performances and share the recordings, which the band encouraged. Though Deadheads contend the true essence of the band was experienced in its experimental live shows, Jim has little patience for the erratic performances and instead prefers the band's early studio recordings. Greg argues that The Dead was a consistently great live band during its peak in the '70s, before drugs took their toll and the surprise 1987 chart hit "Touch of Grey" altered the fanbase. Garcia, who died in 1995, was an irreplaceable musical genius, and the band leaves behind a legacy of experimentation, eclecticism, and an unparalleled musical community.Go to episode 505
Jim's DIJ pick was inspired by an article he read recently in The New Yorker. In spite of a life-long hatred of The Grateful Dead, Jim made it through (and even enjoyed!) Nick Paumgarten's 25,000 words on the world of Deadhead bootleg tape collecting. No, this critic wasn't converted to the church of Jerry Garcia, but the article did remind him of some particular nasty punk songs with lyrics about the Dead. His favorite, "Pop Songs" by Suicidal Tendencies, is this week's addition to the jukebox.Go to episode 366
The Grateful Dead are coming back from…well…the dead. The four surviving original members of the jam band progenitor are reuniting for a series of shows this July at Soldier Field in Chicago. These performances will commemorate their 50th anniversary as a band, as well as the 20th anniversary of leader Jerry Garcia's death. The band claims these will be their final shows together, but Jim and Greg have their doubts.
The buzz is already building for this summer's big music festivals. Major events like Coachella, Bonnarroo, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest are already announcing big name headliners. There seems to be a growing trend of booking veteran performers like Billy Joel and Elton John who could otherwise fill stadium gigs of their own. Greg's early pick is the Governors Ball in New York featuring Björk, while Jim's curiosity is piqued by the avant-garde lineup at Knoxville, Tennessee's Big Ears Festival.
It's one fine day for fans of Mariah Carey. The chart-topping chanteuse will be holding a residency at Caesars Las Vegas beginning in May. She'll perform selections from her many #1 singles to coincide with a new release aptly called #1s. And while it seems like the stuff of sweet, sweet fantasy, Mr. Showmanship himself, Liberace, is also returning to Vegas, despite having died in 1987. Following in the footsteps of Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur, the glittery entertainer will be recreated as a hologram by the company Hologram USA.
Go to episode 478
Jerry Garcia may be dead, but we're sure he'd also be grateful for huge outcry of interest from Grateful Dead fans for a series of reunion tribute shows in Chicago this summer. According to Greg's reporting for the Chicago Tribune nearly a half million fans went online at the same time with the hope of paying almost $200 a ticket. Many of them, of course, got shut out and can only hope to score tickets on the secondary market…that is if they are willing to pay $8,000 to $116,000! The show's promoter promises fans they will try to make the experience accessible via the web, but we recommend loading up your generic mp3 device with Dead tunes and heading over to kick back at your favorite (free) outdoor spot as an alternative idyll.
Jim and Greg next give an update on two ongoing court cases in the music world. First, the former British glam star Gary Glitter has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after being found guilty of indecently assaulting three girls in the late 1970's. There is no statute of limitations for such offenses in the UK.
And while less unseemly, the copyright case over "Blurred Lines" is also embarrassing for the artists involved. The trial pits Robin Thicke and his co-writers Pharrell Williams and T.I. against the family of Marvin Gaye. They, like many people, hear a lot of similarities to Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." So far the testimonies have been striking. Thicke admitted he was on drugs during the song's recording and that Pharrell was the primary force behind the song.“The biggest hit of my career was written by somebody else, and I was jealous and wanted credit,”he testified,“I felt it was a little white lie that didn‘t hurt his career but boosted mine.”No wonder so many of these cases don’t make it to a public courtroom.
After decades of being ready to review new releases on a Tuesday, Jim and Greg are preparing for a shift to Friday. But in this digital age, there's not much to prepare. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry announced the decision as a way to eliminate variance from country to country (it's Monday in the UK and Friday in Germany). But in a year when Beyonce and Drake can release music whenever they want with no advance fanfare, this is another example of the music industry being well-behind the times.
Tom Wheeler, commissioner of the FCC delivered a ruling that won in a 3-2 vote to approve strong Net Neutrality rules across the country. The Net Neutrality concept posits that the internet should remain a level playing field; certain companies who control data flow cannot show a preference for one company over another due to self interests. Ars Technica reporter Jon Brodkin, joined us to talk about the historic ruling. He doesn't see a downside to the ruling and says that most of the large telecommunication companies will respond with lawsuits. Brodkin adds that the effect on music fans who enjoy streaming services will be largely positive at this point.Go to episode 484
Digitally-savvy Deadheads rejoice! Jerry Garcia's official website is getting an impressive makeover which includes a massive archive of 15,000 hours worth of Grateful Dead material to listen to for free, some of them fan recordings. Jim notes that these bootlegs have been circulating around for a long time, usually traded in person. But now with this update, fans can swap in a virtual“Parking Lot.”The website is so comprehensive that Jim and Greg think the only offerings missing are grilled cheese sandwiches and mind-altering substances.
Tweens across the country are raising their tiny fists to self-empowerment anthem "Let It Go" from Disney's latest animated feature, Frozen. The single, sung by Demi Lovato, is flying up the Billboard charts with over a half million downloads sold. But, only six radio stations nationwide have reported playing the song on-air. Jim and Greg say this isn't the first time an album or single has made it big without the help of radio. Just look at Beyonce's latest release or the Les Misérables soundtrack. Both hosts take this as just another sign of the FM dial is loosing its hit making-or-breaking influence.
Ella Fitzgerald is known for her perfect pitch, something long thought to be a skill developed early in life by only a lucky few. But Professor Takao Hensch of Harvard University says that he's got a pill that makes it possible for anyone to gain that skill, regardless of age. The pill is normally used to treat epilepsy by temporarily retiring the brain to a juvenile-like state, which just happens to be the perfect time to learn all kinds of things. Jim and Greg smile at the idea of auto-tune going by the wayside. But, is taking a pill for perfect pitch like taking steroids in sports? Also, if every artist had perfect pitch, the world may never know another Bob Dylan or Lauren Hill whose voices brim with personality. Perfection is overrated, says Jim.Go to episode 426