Archive for February, 2007

Dead to the World 2/28/07

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Feel Like a StrangerRatdog 2/14/07 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco

Mama Tried
Here Comes Sunshine
Ratdog 2/11/07 House of Blues, Las Vegas

Keynote address by John Perry Barlow – 2/16/07 Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association conference, Albuquerque NM

Brown-Eyed WomenRatdog 2/14/07 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco

Shade of Grey->
Terrapin
Ratdog 2/11/07 House of Blues, Las Vegas

The Golden Road->
All Along the Watchtower
Ratdog 2/18/07 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC

Terrapin FlyerRatdog 2/11/07 House of Blues, Las Vegas

Phil Lesh to conduct 3/18

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Gala Benefit Concert for Young People’s Symphony Orchestra & the Jazzschool Set for Sunday, March 18

Grateful Dead Bassist & YPSO Alumnus Phil Lesh to Guest-Conduct

Two unique Berkeley music institutions — Young People’s Symphony Orchestra and the Jazzschool — will benefit from a fund-raiser concert to be held Sunday, March 18 at 7:30 pm at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way. Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, who once played violin and trumpet with YPSO and credits the organization with starting his career, is the evening’s guest conductor. Composer Jake Heggie is the Master of Ceremonies.

The concert, Classical Meets Jazz Meets Phil Lesh, will open with the  Young People’s Symphony Orchestra performing Berlioz, Mussorgsky, Ellington, and Mancini. The Jazzschool Advanced High School Jazz Workshop, under the direction of Jazzschool faculty member Michael Zilber, will play a set, and the concert’s grand finale (“Trane of Thought” by Jack Perla, and an arrangement of Jerry Garcia’s “Shakedown Street”) will be performed by all. A dessert reception to meet the artists follows the concert.

“One of the biggest reasons I’m so excited about the collaboration with YPSO,” says Jazzschool Director Susan Muscarella, “is that I feel it’s a wonderful opportunity for students in these two stylistically diverse groups to be exposed to each other’s music.”

Tickets are $75 general admission and $25 for ages 21 and under. They may be purchased by check or credit card; online, by phone (510-845-5373), or by fax (510-841-5373). Tax-deductible contributions enable YPSO and the Jazzschool to maintain and expand their commitment to excellence in music education and community outreach programs.

http://jazzschool.inhousetickets.com/evinfo.php?eventid=14136

David Gans performances

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Hello, friends –

I just got back from a delightful tour of my favorite part of the world: Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado!   I’ve posted a number of photos from my travels:  http://flickr.com/photos/dgans/tags/feb07tour/

Here is the latest gig update.  More summer dates will be confirmed soon.  More info at http://www.dgans.com/gigs.html

BAY AREA this week and next:

* Friday, March 2, 7:30 pm:  Moon News Bookstore, 315 Main Street, Half Moon Bay CA. Free! 650-726-8610

* Saturday, March 3, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm:  Grand Lake Farmers’ Market, at Grand and Lake Park Avenues in Oakland CA (across from the Grand Lake Theater). FREE! Great produce, bread, baked goods, prepared food, and crafts.

* Thursday, March 8, 8pm:  Henflings Tavern, 9450 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond CA. No cover! 831-336-9318

* Saturday, March 10, 9:30pm:  Honky Tonk Hippies at the Connecticut Yankee, 100 Connecticut Street, San Francisco. Mario DeSio opens. 415-552-4440

SOUTHEAST:

* Saturday, March 17, 8:30 pm:  The Venue, 1020 Broad Street Camden SC. Naked Eye Productions

* Sunday, March 18, 9:00 pm:  DG w/ David McCracken (keyboards) at The Blind Tiger, 2115 Walker Avenue Greensboro NC. $5. 336-272-9888

* Monday, March 19, 6:45 pm EST:  DG appears on Michael Johnathon’s Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Webcast live, and broadcast later on various radio stations.  www.woodsongs.com

* Tuesday, March 20, around 3:00 pm EST:  DG will appear on WNCW to play music and talk and all that.  www.wncw.org

* Tuesday, March 20:  Barley’s Taproom, 115 W. Main Street, Spindale NC. 828-288-8388. No cover!

* March 22-25:  Suwannee Springfest, at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak FL. Donna the Buffalo, the Duhks, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice, Jim Lauderdale, Jorma Kaukonen, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, and many more!

* Monday, March 26, 9 pm:  Tim and Terry’s, 1417 NW 1st Ave, Gainesville FL. DG plays a full set, then joins in the regular weekly bluegrass jam.

LONG-RANGE PLANNING:

* Saturday, April 28:  Lake Tahoe Earth Day at The Village At Squaw Valley USA (north of Lake Tahoe).

* June 29-July 1:  American Roots Music Festival at Potomac Pavilion, Falling Waters WV.  Melvin Seals/JGB, Donna Jean and the Tricksters, Juggling Suns, etc al. DG plays Sat & Sun.

* September 28-October 1:  DG teaches looping at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp

Lesh reviews Zappa

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

This review appeared in the June 1983 issue of Record magazine:

Zappa Wields Heavy Baton; Varèse Weeps
The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players;
Frank Zappa, conductor
War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco CA
February 9, 1983

By Phil Lesh with David Gans

“How many of you are having trouble with the silence between the notes?” asked emcee Grace Slick midway through the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players’ program of works by avant-garde composers Edgard Varèse and Anton Webern. “Maybe some of you are waiting for something familiar instead of warming to the unfamiliar.”

It’s a safe assumption that this music was unfamiliar, to the majority of the 2000 or so who came to San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House to see a tuxedo-clad Frank Zappa conducting two compositions by Varèse, one of the heroes of Zappa’s musical youth. And judging from the way Zappa conducted himself on the podium, it’s also a safe assumption that his presence was more a matter of drawing power than was his conducting prowess.

As a fundraising event, it was probably a success. The largest segment of the audience clearly came to see Zappa and Slick first, the SFCMP second – but if Zappa hoped to turn his fans on to Varèse, he should have given them a more spirited, accessible performance. He and the orchestra were underrehearsed; Zappa never looked up from his score during his two pieces (which, in true Ed Sullivan Show style, were the first and last of the evening – ensuring that the audience remained for the non-celebrity portions) and swung his baton in a wooden, metronomic fashion.

Aside from their common birth year – l883 – there isn’t much linking Varèse and Webern. Both were composers whose work challenged established principles of tonality, rhythm and musical structure. Varèse’s Ionisation (the first of the two pieces conducted by Zappa), for instance, is performed by a 13-piece percussion ensemble consisting mostly of sirens, gongs and drums. The play of dynamics and tone colors is what it’s all about; its climax is the brief appearance of pitch – in the form of piano and bells – late in the piece. It’s a hard concept for rock- or classical-oriented audiences to grasp even when it’s played well, and whatever dynamics this rendition had were swallowed up in the poor acoustics of the Opera House.

The most successful piece of the evening, interestingly, wasn’t performed live. Varèse’s Poeme Electronique, a taped creation first presented in 1958, is almost totally free of conventional rhythm, pitch and timbre, but it tells a story, elicits chuckles and chills – in short, does all that music is supposed to do – while ignoring its rules and traditions. As Zappa wrote in a 1971 article reprinted in the program notes, “If. . . you think (Varèse’s) music might make groovy sound effects, listen again.”

Ratdog & Barlow on DTTW tonight

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Thanks to Peter Ammerall and RatdogLive, tonight on KPFA I will play at least an hour of recent Ratdog – Feb 11, 14, and 18.

I will also air a speech by John Perry Barlow, given February 16 at the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association conference in Albuquerque.

Dead to the World airs 8-10pm Pacific Time. Webcast via kpfa.org and kfcf.org, and of course on the air at 94.1 in northern California.

Interesting review of the Cow Palace set

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

This review of Live at the Cow Palace, by Daniel Spicer in Popmatters, started out with a rather unpromising premise, but then it got to the heart of the matter:

Three minutes into “Playing in the Band” they simply take off. Time seems to stand still as the band rockets into a collective improvisation that challenges all the notions of song form they’ve spent the preceding 40 minutes laying straight. It’s jazzy, sure, and exploratory but most importantly it’s utterly transcendent: a meandering yet constantly evolving investigation of melody and timbre that goes everywhere at once while still moving forward with an irresistible linear narrative. Oh, and it’s psychedelic as hell. Twenty minutes in, we realise we’re headed straight back to the infamous regions of the “Dark Star”, on a journey both inwards and outwards: the term mind-blowing could have been invented for this. Deep in the famous “Phil Zone”, bassist Phil Lesh is pouring out impossibly rugged yet sensitive variations; the twin drums of Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann push things along with a free-flowing, liquid propulsion; Keith Godchaux’s piano is like delicately inter-laced fingers holding everyone up: and, centre-stage, Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia weave cramped curlicues of guitar notes around each other, chasing the moment into spiraling wormholes of expression. This, you realize, is precisely what the army of Deadheads gave their lives to. This is unfettered, spontaneous, selfless beauty and it’s no surprise at all that a multitude of young souls decided this was all the perfection they ever needed. This is the Grateful Dead, exactly where they belong, in their native element, live on stage, hammering out truth in the crucible where all their vital alchemy took place.

The whole review is well worth a read.

Grateful Dead Hour #962

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Week of February 26, 2007

Part 1  31:48
Grateful Dead 12/31/90 Oakland Coliseum Arena
NOT FADE AWAY->
EYES OF THE WORLD

Part 2  24:02
Grateful Dead 12/31/90 Oakland Coliseum Arena
DARK STAR w/ Branford Marsalis

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Forward Progressive Investments, offering three environmentally-focused mutual funds for progressive investors – Forward Progressive Real Estate Fund, Sierra Club Stock Fund and Sierra Club Equity Income Fund. You can learn more at forwardprogressive.com. You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. A prospectus with this and other information can be downloaded at forwardprogressive.com and should be read carefully before investing.  Forward Funds are distributed by Alps Distributors, Inc.

The Suwannee SpringFest, a festival of American roots music March 22nd through 25th at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, just across the Georgia line. Performers include Jorma Kaukonen, Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, The Duhks, Jim Lauderdale, and many many more. Information is available at 904-249-7990 and www.magmusic.com

“The Easiest Best Thing Is Be Kind”

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

I have an essay in a new book titled The Easiest Best Thing Is Be Kind, edited by M. Luke Myers. It’s a fund-raiser and consciousness-raiser for Darfur. Also appearing in the book are Ken Babbs, Robert Hunter, John Perry Barlow, Steve Silberman, David Dodd, and others.

Here is a note from the editor:

The mainstream media and the US were ignoring the genocide in Darfur.
I asked a few kind people to write for me, and they did. My hope is
and was that Heads will be willing to help. Just look at what the Rex
Foundation has done for arts in the Bay Area and the Conscious
Alliance has done for hunger. They’re fantastic. The pieces in the
book are by people they know and in a spirit they can relate to.
More at http://deadheadsfordarfur.blogspot.com

Ordering info:
$10 for paperback
$20 for hardcover
(The book is 60 pages, so I imagine the hardcover looks silly. Mostly for libraries.)

http://stores.lulu.com/deadheadsfordarfur

Thanks for you help.

M. Luke Myers

(P.S.  My contribution to the book began as a post on this blog titled The Light That Is One… 

Dead to the World 2/21/07

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

New Potato Caboose
Viola Lee Blues
Grateful Dead 8/4/67 O’Keefe Centre, Toronto, Canada
Turn On Your Lovelight
Alligator
Grateful Dead 8/5/67 O’Keefe Centre, Toronto, Canada

I Want to Tell You->
Me and Kettle Joe
Donna Jean and the Tricksters (unreleased live demo)

RiversideOllabelle, Riverside Battle Songs
Paperwork Avoidance Roy Schneider, The Humble Sessions
Sound of a GuitarJim Page, Whose World Is This?
Bomb the Mars Hotel – Eleventh Dream Day
Jerry Garcia (Sunshine Version) – Big Hunk O’Cheese
Mama Was a Deadhead – Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, Pianist Envy
Sweet and Dandy – Maytals, from The Harder They Come soundtrack
Hammer of the Honky Tonk GodsBill Kirchen, Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods
Last LullabyOllabelle, Riverside Battle Songs
Sittin’ on Your Heinie Roy Schneider, The Humble Sessions
Riddle of the Universe Donna the Buffalo, Positive Friction

Grateful Dead Hour #961

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

Week of February 19, 2007

Part 1 21:57
Grateful Dead 12/27/77 Winterland, San Francisco
ESTIMATED PROPHET->
HE’S GONE

Part 2 32:53
Grateful Dead 12/27/77 Winterland, San Francisco
TRUCKIN’->
WHARF RAT->
AROUND AND AROUND

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

The Suwannee SpringFest, a festival of American roots music March 22nd through 25th at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, just across the Georgia line. Performers include Jorma Kaukonen, Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, The Duhks, Jim Lauderdale, and many many more. Information is available at 904-249-7990 and magmusic.com

And from Forward Progressive Investments, offering three environmentally-focused mutual funds for progressive investors – Forward Progressive Real Estate Fund, Sierra Club Stock Fund and Sierra Club Equity Income Fund. You can learn more at forwardprogressive.com. You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. A prospectus with this and other information can be downloaded at forwardprogressive.com and should be read carefully before investing. Forward Funds are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc.

Stevie Coyle in the Humble Stumble

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

My pal Stevie Coyle of the Waybacks is a character this week in The Humble Stumble, Roy Schneider’s comic strip (which featured me a few weeks ago, too!).

Monday 2/12

Tuesday 2/13

Tune in tomorrow….

BTW, I just bought a copy of Roy’s CD, The Humble Sessions.  Some fine pickin’ there, and excellent songwriting!  I’ll play a track or two on the GD Hour soon.

On tour in the great southwest

Sunday, February 11th, 2007
Performances in Colorado and New Mexico this month:

Sunday, February 11, 9pm: Dulcinea’s 100th Monkey, 717 E. Colfax, Denver CO. $10. 303-832-3601

Wednesday, February 14, 8pm: DG, Chicken Stand Throwdown Band, and Liquid Gypsy at The District Bar and Grill, 115 Fourth St. NW, Albuquerque NM. 505-243-0003

Friday, February 16: House concert in Placitas NM. Email david@trufun.com for details.

Sunday, February 18, 7pm: DG and the Williams Brothers Band at the Liff Auditorium, Mesa State College, 1100 North Ave., Grand Junction CO. All ages! $5

More info on these and other performances here

Grateful Dead Hour #960

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Week of February 12, 2007

Part 1 35:01
Grateful Dead 12/27/77 Winterland, San Francisco
COLD RAIN AND SNOW
LAZY LIGHTNIN’->
SUPPLICATION

Interview: Blair Jackson

Part 2 19:49
Grateful Dead 12/27/77 Winterland, San Francisco
SCARLET BEGONIAS->
FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN

Blair Jackson’s new book is Grateful Dead Gear: The Band’s Instruments, Sound Systems, and Recording Sessions from 1965 to 1995. He is also the author of Garcia: An American Life and other books on the Grateful Dead experience.

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

The Suwannee SpringFest, a festival of American roots music March 22nd through 25th at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, just across the Georgia line. Performers include Jorma Kaukonen, Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, The Duhks, Jim Lauderdale, and many many more. Information is available at 904-249-7990 and www.magmusic.com

Forward Progressive Investments, offering three environmentally focused mutual funds for progressive investors – Forward Progressive Real Estate Fund, Sierra Club Stock Fund and Sierra Club Equity Income Fund. You can learn more at forwardprogressive.com. You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. A prospectus with this and other information can be downloaded at forwardprogressive.com and should be read carefully before investing. Forward Funds are distributed by Alps Distributors, Inc.

Playlist: DG on the G Brown Palace

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

This morning, 9-10 am MST, I was a guest on the G Brown Palace program on KCUV in Denver, with my ol’ pal G.  Several listeners emailed about the playlist, so I’m posting it here.

It’s Gonna Get BetterDavid Gans w/ the Shockenaw Mountain Boys (unreleased)

Riddle of the UniverseDonna the Buffalo, Positive Friction

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles, Yellow Submarine Songtrack

High Water (For Charley Patton) – Bob Dylan, Love and Theft

St. StephenGrateful Dead, Live Dead

Embryonic Journey – Jefferson Airplane, Surrealistic Pillow

Give Me a Ride – Joseph Langham and Each others’ Legend, from Live from Berkeley: Performances from KPFA’s Dead to the World

Sweet and Dandy – Maytals, from The Harder They Come soundtrack

Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Born to Run

That’s Real LoveDavid Gans w/ the Shockenaw Mountain Boys (unreleased)

KPFA marathon is available online

Friday, February 9th, 2007

KPFA archives all our shows. Here is the February 3 marathon, in convenient chunks.

And please consider making a donation to the station. It’s never too late to support KPFA!