The Shows We’ll Never See

The Younger J and I are true believers in the live show—when it is possible nothing matches the experience of seeing a band perform. Now, while at times the experience is sublime, at other times, it can also have a deleterious effect on your view of a band. Despite the outcome, however, the experience of witnessing a musical performance and, more importantly, absorbing the reaction of other audience members as well, alters your relationship with the music irrevocably.

(I was not a Bare Naked Ladies fan (back in the Gordon days) until I saw them live; their energy and improvisation made me respect a band I would have otherwise ignored. Conversely, my heart was broken at a Dandy Warhols show, but that is a story for another time…)

These days, I leave most of the concert going to my brother. I am old an ornery: most good shows start after my bedtime . (Old, Old Man.) But I do have some experience to draw on: my first show ever was Jerry Garcia; my last concert was the Austin City Limits. There are many and varied acts between.

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Covers in Fantasy Time #1

After writing about the Notorious B.I.G. and guitar solos last week, as well as getting some of our highest views for our blog ever, my brother and I spent some time on the phone discussing what was working and what wasn’t. I need to post more because I’m a slacker (and he needs to learn to love Primus.)

As spring approaches, I need to step up my posting because, after this terrible winter, I’ll need to be outside a lot and I have no more excuses to slack off and can even have a beer or two to celebrate now that lent is over. My goal is to write a short piece and a longer piece each week so our collective brothers’ output is more equalized and I can stop feeling like I let down my big brother/best friend. A suggestion he had was for us both to write quick posts on covers, something he’s done in long form before.

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American Beauty: Best Studio Dead Album

The underrated but awesome show Freaks and Geeks is what really introduced my brother to the Grateful Dead, even if he was lucky enough to see Jerry Dawg himself with our dad  back in the early 1990’s. I have talked before about my love for the band and why they represent some of my happier years in life, those hazy days of college. But my brother has long maligned it as “stupid stoner music” if I remember his words correctly. He has maintained this position in our years-running argument on the band with almost no give. This is not true brother and I hope I can open your eyes as to why or at least explain why I so love the band.

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Current Events:Three Quick Notes

First off, in response to my brotherls post about Mumford and Sons the other day, I may have been a little preemptive in my assessment. I had read how one of the members had come from a lot of money and I did exactly what my brother said and judged them on it. I have a reason which is certainly not an excuse. We were raised in a society where rich people were scorned, ultimately because I think most people are cash poor in rural areas and are thus jealous of those they perceive to have more than them. Jealous isn’t the right word but it will work; my point is, one thinks money will solve all your problems and we all know that is not how it works.

As for Mumford and Sons, my brother gave a pretty awesome description  of why they are so good. They are also making a stop here this weekend on their very short North American tour so I have been hearing their music a lot lately.  I really like “Little Lion Man” and its funny because the slide player in my band now played it for me right before we went to Mountain Jam 2010 which is where we also saw Jerry Douglas. I hadn’t seen my buddy who is now the slide player since high school and it was two years later that we started playing music together. We did both groove on Jerry Douglas , the most amazing dobro player ever, when he played with Alison Krause and Union Station. So, it works out nicely that my favorite song that involves the Mumford crowd is their cover of “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel on Jerry Douglas’s new album. It also features Paul Simon himself on guitar so those boys must be on cloud nine right now. I wish them all the best.  Here is one of the illest things we saw Jerry do. It’s a cover of “Little Martha” by the Allman Brothers, one of the last things Duane ever recorded. Enjoy.

In strange news of my own life, I’ve mentioned in my post on procrastination that I am landscaping this summer in an upscale neighborhood in the same town that is hosting the big “Gentlemen of the Road” tour stop with headliners Mumford and Sons. I was cutting back hemlocks this morning and suddenly three cops pop up in front of me with their hands on their guns. One has a fucking machine gun strapped to his chest! I may work in a city, but it’s one that averages less then five murders a year so this sight is not a common one. I drop my rake and they ask if I had seen anyone with a shotgun walking by. I said absolutely not and that maybe someone thought my shears was a gun or something.  I do wear an orange hat so most people know me in the neighborhood, but you never know. We joked a little and then they left the house but it was startling. Why didn’t I hear them coming up? I was listening to the shitty studio version of the song “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons which sounds cool live in the video below. I love the lyric “the path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell”. It hits me.

Last, but certainly not least, it was my man Jerry “Dawg” Garcia’s birthday yesterday and I needed to at least mention this to whoever might actually read this blog. I love the Dead as I have mentioned before in posts like the one about unrealistic shows. They represent a certain time and vibe from college and I think I will always love them a little bit. My brother also mentioned seeing Jerry back before died and I am forever jealous. I hope my dad met up with Jerry in the great gig in the sky and they chilled out. Jerry was into way heavier shit than my dad would ever dream of but I am sure they would find an even philosophical ground. Anyway, Happy Birthday Jerry, keep on jamming.

The Shows We’ll Never See

The Younger J and I are true believers in the live show—when it is possible nothing matches the experience of seeing a band perform. Now, while at times the experience is sublime, at other times, it can also have a deleterious effect on your view of a band. Despite the outcome, however, the experience of witnessing a musical performance and, more importantly, absorbing the reaction of other audience members as well, alters your relationship with the music irrevocably.

(I was not a Bare Naked Ladies fan (back in the Gordon days) until I saw them live; their energy and improvisation made me respect a band I would have otherwise ignored. Conversely, my heart was broken at a Dandy Warhols show, but that is a story for another time…)

These days, I leave most of the concert going to my brother. I am old an ornery: most good shows start after my bedtime . (Old, Old Man.) But I do have some experience to draw on: my first show ever was Jerry Garcia; my last concert was the Austin City Limits. There are many and varied acts between.

Continue reading