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Grateful Dead: From the Mars Hotel

 

 

Growing up and all through college, I always thought the Grateful Dead was more of a movement or a cult than an actual band writing and playing good music. I don't know why but I was never able to appreciate the songs. Maybe there weren't enough drugs. As I have gotten older I have really begun to enjoy their music and appreciate how brilliant some of it is.

 

Another misconception by many is that the songs are just drivel written and performed while completely stoned. A number of guitar players I have come across unanimously say that the music of The Grateful Dead is actually very complex and hard to play well and Jerry Garcia was a real genius.

 

I have From the Mars Hotel downloaded on my ipad for my long flight to Portland tonight.

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I think one of my problems with the Grateful Dead is the disconnect between the freaky psychedelic reputation and the fact that they're just a bar band that plays at inordinate length. Garcia is clearly a good guitarist, but other musicians in the band have been much less polished. If you're not really into soft country/folk rock, you don't want it served in three hour portions.

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I think one of my problems with the Grateful Dead is the disconnect between the freaky psychedelic reputation and the fact that they're just a bar band that plays at inordinate length. Garcia is clearly a good guitarist, but other musicians in the band have been much less polished. If you're not really into soft country/folk rock, you don't want it served in three hour portions.

 

I think the above in bold is the part that many will disagree with. I personally don't think you are giving enough credit to the music compositions.

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Well everybody's dancin' in a ring around the sun Nobody's finished, we ain't even begun. So take off your shoes, child, and take off your hat. Try on your wings and find our where it's at.

 

 

Setting aside Garcia's improvisations, point me to a couple of Dead songs which count as interesting or adventurous compositions.

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mitchells wanted me to give credit to the "music compositions."

 

A rock band that wrote good songs. Fine. Not exactly high praise.

The most interesting thing I recall about the Dead is that I saw one of their early LPs in yellow vinyl.

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The ongoing experimentation bred sufficient familiarity to sustain a collective musical conversation while abandoning the underlying structure for a fresh plane of immanence... The trajectories of the improvisational elements actually produced a group synergy, a collective psychedelic fusion expanding like a musical bubble to envelop the concert crowd and Deadhead affecionados in various combinations of rapture, ecstasy and sublime attunement.

 

 

Oh.

 

(P)recious remnants of Grateful Dead improvisational experiences continue to ensnare the minds and bodies of nomadic spirits with tantalizing gestures wrapped in evocative melodies, spacey interludes, flowing refrains, and wandering jams.

 

 

Aw, c'mon.

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