Fans of the Grateful Dead feeling bummed about not getting to attend the final Dead series of concerts recently, might consider the alternative of going to check out George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic who are currently on a summer tour that includes some free shows in New York City this week. As anyone like myself who has ever witnessed concerts by both Jerry Garcia's beloved band and by the Godfather of Funk's various funk incarnations (Parliament / Funkadelic / P-Funk All Stars) will attest, both share an approach to concerts that tend towards long extended jams that are related to "the One." So if you were among those Deadheads disappointed to not get to attend either the two anniversary Dead shows last month in Santa Clara, CA or this month's sold-out (and expensive) show series at Chicago's Soldier Field, where the four remaining members of the Grateful Dead - Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann - performed together reportedly for the last time, then I say honor Jerry and the Dead by going to see George and Parliament Funkadelic.
Book Passage and Amoeba Music welcome Peter Richardson to Book Passage Corte Madera to sign his new book No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead on January 28th at 7pm.
For almost three decades, the Grateful Dead was America's most popular touring band. While their albums sold well over time, the group never had a number one song, and they cracked the top ten only once—more than two decades after their formation. Why did they become one of the world’s most legendary bands?
Now, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the band’s creation, No Simple Highway is the first book to answer this deceptively simple question. Drawing on new research, interviews, and material from the Grateful Dead archives, No Simple Highway vividly recounts the Dead's colorful history, adding new insight into everything from the acid tests to the band's formation of their own record label to their massive late career success, while probing the riddle of the Dead's vast and durable appeal.
More info HERE!
With the glut of great garage rock bands in San Francisco, Cool Ghouls have their work cut out for them. Luckily for us, the young lads have tunes and energy for days, pouring out of their recently released self-titled debut in the form of country-rock licks, hippie harmonies and an infectious, sunny attitude. These aren’t poseurs trying to seem laid-back; songs like “Ballin’” are packed with little whiskey-soaked riffs and suddenly harmonic choruses, while “Natural Life” features subtle horns that give its summertime vibes added depth. Recorded by The Fresh & Onlys’ Tim Cohen, it’s a more-than-worthy entry into the S.F. psych-rock/garage rock canon. The band comes to L.A.’s The Smell Saturday June 8, with L.A. faves Dirt Dress, Santoros and Them Howling Bones. Additionally, they'll be at Phono Del Sol in S.F. July 13 and San Francisco Psych Fest Aug. 3. I quickly caught up with the band, made up of Pat Thomas (bass), Ryan Wong (guitar), Pat McDonald (singer/guitar) and Alex Fleshman (drums), all between the ages of 21 and 24, as they gathered around the phone in their Oakland home.
PST: Let’s start with the name. Was it a joke, is there a specific meaning?
April 20 is almost here and you know what that means... RECORD STORE DAY!!! Our favorite holiday, celebrating the glorious musical community of independent record stores! Real record stores are where music lives and thrives, and anyone who works or shops at a neighborhood record store deserves their very own day of glory.
For Amoeba it's one of our best days of the year, when we throw open our doors and welcome one of the biggest communities of music lovers ever assembled under one roof. YOU ARE Record Store Day!
Of course there are hundreds of exclusive RSD releases, and folks line up hours in advance to grab the rarest of the rare. This year features the biggest lineup of exclusive releases yet, featuring records by everyone from The Cure to the Grateful Dead to Notorious B.I.G.. As always, line up early to snag those exquisite jams! The Coffee Bean is providing coffee for the early birds at Amoeba Hollywood, so they'll keep you nice and caffeinated that morning.
But it's more than just the RSD releases. We've been saving up treats and collections and goodies and rare stuff for months, and it's all hitting the floor on April 20th. It'll be a bonanza you won't want to miss! Our pricers and our warehouse staff have been prepping tons of rare records, posters, DVDs, books, 45s, toys and collectables, and piling it high in the warehouse in preparation for the big day. We're putting out bins and bins of fresh CDs in every department. Boxes and boxes of fresh 45s. It's like a whole holiday shopping season in one day and you're a part of it!
Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!
Eric Christensen has made an entertaining and informative documentary called The Cover Story about iconic album covers and how they came to fruition. There are interviews and stories with a number of the photographers and designers such as Bob Seidemann (Blind Faith), Henry Diltz (Morrison Hotel, Crosby Stills & Nash, Eagles), Mouse (Grateful Dead), and Jim Marshall (Allman Brothers and hundreds of others). Along the way he also interviews such rock luminaries as Nick Lowe, Ray Manzarek, Huey Lewis, Elvis Costello, and Sammy Hagar. There’s also a very intimate chat with Yoko Ono where she talks about John’s blood smeared glasses, etc. It is also a hoot to see a psychedelic Amoeba SF in the introduction.