Schizophonographics* }{ Side A }{ First Cut

*Evocations of the schizophonic condition through the graphic representation of materials and/or processes pertaining to phonography.

Side A: Juxtapositions from the ruins of an unwritten treatise on haunted phonography in the cinema.

Love from Mother Only }{ Dennison Ramalho }{ 2003

The Curves of the Needle }{ Theodor Adorno }{ 1927

Dead & Company }{ Summer Tour One-Offs (2017)

05_31 - Hollywood Bowl

As I did last year, I’m tracking the set-lists for DeadCo’s summer tour with special attention to one-offs, song sandwiches, and unusual set-list positions. They made it through the first four shows with no repeats, one further than last year if memory serves. I will simply add each full set-list annotated with details on repeats, song sandwiches, and unusual set-list positions. Although this information is also being tracked by excellent sites like and, my goal here is to provide an at-a-glance guide contained on a single page geared specifically towards these particular statistics, and make notes on interesting developments as I go.

Quick Updates:

* [06/01] 60 songs played so far without repeats (excluding “Drums” and “Space”).
* [06/03] 6 lost + 11 gained = 71 songs played / 65 one-offs
* [06/04] 11 lost + 5 gained = 76 songs played / 59 one-offs
* [06/07] 10 lost + 7 gained = 83 songs played / 56 one-offs
* [06/09] 11 lost + 3 gained = 86 songs played / 48 one-offs remain
* [06/10] 7 lost + 3 gained = 89 songs played / 44 one-offs remain
* [06/13] 10 lost + 2 gained = 91 songs played / 36 one-offs remain
* [06/15] 4 lost + 4 gained = 95 songs played / 36 one-offs remain
* [06/17] 6 lost + 1 gained = 96 songs played / 30 one-offs remain


* [05/28] First instance this tour of two classing pairings – “Sailor>Saint” and “Scar>Fire” – being played in the same set.
* [06/03] All the first repeats came on 06/03, and they were all repeated from the set-list of the very first show on 05/27. This suggests a conscious decision to put as much distance between songs as possible, at least at this early stage in the tour.
* [06/03] “Deal” and “China > Rider” have been played in the same set both times.
* [06/03] So far “Playin’ in the Band” and “One More Saturday Night” are the only tunes to hop sets, both with second set starts on 05/27 and first set repeats on 06/03.
* [06/03] “Dark Star” and “Playin’” have provided our only sandwich bread so far. A second set sandwich with “Plyain’” on either side on 05/27, and “Dark Star” with a” Drums>Space” filling on 06/01.
* [06/03] Oteil’s first lead vocal for DeadCo on “China Doll.” He rendered it beautifully, but I can’t help but think that he got a little shafted by the unusual set position before “Drums” instead of the more hallowed ballad slot in the region between “Space” and the big finale of the evening. Reminds me of when they let Trey sing “Standing on the Moon” at Fare Thee Well in a similar spot to tonight’s “China Doll.” Oteil blows Trey away on vocals (as well as Mike Gordon on bass for that matter – so happy Gordon turned down DeadCo’s original offer for the spot), and I’d love to hear him take up some more expense real-estate on future set-lists.
* [06/04] So far they’ve already played three of the six tunes that stood as one-offs last summer, “Little Red Rooster,” “Promised Land,” and “El Paso.” Will these be in more regular rotation this time around?
* [06/04] First “Hard Rain” tonight. I loved it when they broke this out last summer, and it was clear that they planned the only three iterations carefully to deliver one on each leg of the tour: east, middle, and west. Will they do the same this summer? It’s my top choice for what I’d like to hear at SPAC, the only show I can make this tour.
* [06/04] With “Help>Slip>Frank” followed by “Scar>Fire,” this marks the second instance this tour of two classic pairings (or triplings) being played in the same set.
* [06/04] Tonight’s repeats drew from across the first three shows of the tour, shrinking the minimum spread between songs to three shows while expanding the maximum to five.
* [06/07] Tonight’s “U.S. Blues” encore marked the first and only repeat from show #4, with the other 9 repeats still culling from the first three shows of the tour. This keeps the minimum spread between songs at three shows. However, the bulk of the repeats came from show #2, which is five shows back. Interestingly, their last two shows have pulled exactly the same number of repeats from shows #2 and #3 (five from the former and three from the latter). This means that while show #6 concentrated its repeats on four shows back, show #7 has concentrated its repeats on five shows back. This breaks the general pattern of pointing four shows back for the source of most repeats on any given night.
* [06/07] So far only one tune, “Jack Straw,” has crossed the five show spread mark, expanding the maximum spread to six shows. This suggests that once a tune escapes repeat after five shows, it might actually be less likely to hear again and more likely to remain standing as a tour one-off by summer’s end.
* [06/09] Big bust-out tonight with “Dancing in the Street” as first set opener, DeadCo’s debut performance of that tune.
* [06/09] “The Music Never Stopped” is now the second tune to move beyond the five show spread, also breaking the six show record by reaching all the way back to the first show to expand the max spread to seven shows. Meanwhile “The Other One” becomes their first repeat inside of three shows this tour, reaching back only two nights to show #6.
* [06/09] “Ripple” jumps sets from 05/31 encore to 06/09 first set closer.
* [06/09] Perhaps the funniest Bobby Botch of the summer came before the first solo in their “St. Stephen” second-set opener.
* [06/09] Relatively rare DeadCo iteration of the classic “Estimated>Eyes” pairing. Jam at the end of “Eyes” was reminiscent of the pre-hiatus end jam that morphed into “King Solomon’s Marbles” on Blues for Allah and played in sequence at the famed Great American Music Hall show in 1975. But here they came to an abrupt and seemingly unplanned stop and then awkwardly changed gears into “Deal,” their first double repeat.
* [06/09] Gorgeous jam out of space teasing “A Love Supreme” into “The Other One,” their second double repeat of the tour.
* [06/10] “Help>Slip>Frank” was unexpected this weekend, having been played twice already this summer and only the second instance of a repeat inside of three shows, last played only three shows back on 06/04.

Set-lists with single performances in bold and details on repeats, song sandwiches, and points of interest [in square brackets]:

Show #1 – 05/27 – MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas

Set 1:
01. The Music Never Stopped [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
02. Dire Wolf [1/2: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
03. Jack Straw [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
04. Loser [1/2: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/2: 06/10 (Show #9)]
05. Friend of the Devil [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/18 (Show #13)]
06. Brown-Eyed Women [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/18 (Show #13)]
07. Bird Song [1/2: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/2: 06/04 (show #6)]

Set 2:
08/1. Playing in the Band [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/13 (Show #10)]
09. Deal [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/09 (Show #8)]
10. China Cat Sunflower [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/10]
11. I Know You Rider [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); F2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/10]
12. The Other One [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/04 (show #6); 3/4: 06/09 (Show #8); 4/4: 06/15 (Show #11)]
13. Black Peter
14. One More Saturday Night [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
08/2. Playing Reprise [First sandwich: full second set filling]

15. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door [1/2: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]

Show #2 – 05/28 – Ak-Chin Pavillion, Phoenix

Set 1:
16. Feel Like a Stranger [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
17. Bertha [1/2: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/2: 06/10 (Show #9)]
18. Minglewood Blues
19. Cassidy [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #15)]
20. Peggy-O
21. Loose Lucy
22. Sugaree [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
23. Samson and Delilah [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (show #6); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]

Set 2:
24. Lost Sailor [1/2: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/2 06/07 (Show #7)]
25. Saint of Circumstance [1/2: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/2: 06/07 (Show #7)]
26. Crazy Fingers [1/2: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/2: 06/07 (Show #7)]
27. Scarlet Begonias [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/3: 06/13 (Show #10)]
28. Fire on the Mountain [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (show #6); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
29. Dear Prudence
30. Casey Jones [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (show #6); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]

31. Touch of Grey [1/2: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/2: 06/09 (Show #8)]

Show #3 – 05/31 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Set 1:
32. Shakedown Street [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/13 (Show #10)]
33. Cold Rain and Snow [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3) 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3 06/17 (Show #12)]
34. Black-Throated Wind [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
35. Ramble On Rose [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 06/17 (Show #12)]
36. Cumberland Blues [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2 06/15 (Show #11)]
37. Althea [First repeat 06/09 (Show #8)]
38. The Promised Land [2016 one-off / First 2017 repeat 06/07 (Show #7)]

Set 2:
39. Truckin’ [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
40. He’s Gone [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
41. Help on the Way [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
42. Slipknot! [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
43. Franklin’s Tower [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
44. Stella Blue [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2: 06/10 (Show #9)]
45. Sugar Magnolia [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2 06/13 (Show #10)]

46. Ripple [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]

Show #4 – 06/01 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Set 1:
47. Hell in a Bucket [First repeat 06/09 (Show #8)]
48. Next Time You See Me
49. West L.A. Fadeaway [1/1: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/15 (Show #11)]
50. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
51. Little Red Rooster [2016 one-off]
52. Uncle John’s Band [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
53. New Speedway Boogie [First repeat 06/09 (Show #8)]
54. U.S. Blues [First repeat 06/07 (Show #7)]

Set 2:
55. Estimated Prophet [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
56. St. Stephen [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 06/18 (Show #13)]
57. Terrapin Station [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
58/1. Dark Star [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
58/2. Dark Star reprise [Second sandwich: Drums>Space filling]
59. Morning Dew [First repeat 06/09 (Show #8)]

60. Not Fade Away [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]

Show #5 – 06/03 – Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View

Set 1:
Playing in the Band [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/13 (Show #10)][First time in Set 1]
61. Viola Lee Blues [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/15 (Show #11)]
62. Tennessee Jed [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
63. Here Comes Sunshine [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
64. Candyman [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
65. Me and My Uncle [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]
One More Saturday Night [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)][First time in Set 1]

Set 2:
66. China Doll [First repeat 06/10 (Show #9)]
67. Eyes of the World [1/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
68. The Wheel [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/15 (Show #11)]
69. Looks Like Rain
70. Good Lovin’

71. Black Muddy River [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]

Show #6 – 06/04 – Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View

Set 1:
72. El Paso [2016 one-off]
73. They Love Each Other [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
74. Don’t Ease Me In

Set 2:
75. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
76. Brokedown Palace [1/2: 06/04 (Show #6); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]

Show #7 – 06/07 – USANA Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City

Set 1:
Feel Like a Stranger [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
77. I Need a Miracle [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2: 06/17: (Show #12)]
78. Wang Dang Doodle
79. Row Jimmy [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2 06/15 (Show #11)]
80. When I Paint My Masterpiece
Jack Straw [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
81. Big Boss Man [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Sugaree [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
The Promised Land [2/2 - Last played 05/31 (Show #3)]

Set 2:
Lost Sailor [2/2 - Last played 05/28 (Show #2)]
Saint of Circumstance 2/2 – Last played 05/28 (Show #2)]
He’s Gone [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
Crazy Fingers [2/2 - Last played 05/28 (Show #2)]
Shakedown Street [[1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/13 (Show #10)][First time in Set 2]

82. Standing on the Moon [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2: 06/17: (Show #12)]
83. Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad

U.S. Blues [2/2 - Last played 06/01 (Show #4)]

Show #8 – 06/09 – Folsom Field, Boulder

Set 1:
84. Dancing in the Street [1/2: 06/09 (Show #8); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Cold Rain and Snow [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3) 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3 06/17 (Show #12)]
Hell in a Bucket [2/2 - Last played 06/01 (Show #4)]
85. Big River [1/2: 06/09 (Show #8); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Althea [2/2 - Last played 05/31 (Show #3)]
New Speedway Boogie [2/2 - Last played 06/01 (Show #4)]
The Music Never Stopped [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Ripple [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)][First time in first set after 05/31 encore]

Set 2:
St. Stephen [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 06/18 (Show #13)]
Estimated Prophet [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Eyes of the World [1/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Deal [3/3 - Last played 06/03 (Show #5)]
86. Let it Grow [1/2: 06/09 (Show #8); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
The Other One [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/04 (show #6); 3/4: 06/09 (Show #8); 4/4: 06/15 (Show #11)]
Morning Dew [2/2 - Last played 06/01 (Show #4)]

Touch of Grey [2/2 - Last played 05/28 (Show #2)]

Show #9 – 06/10 – Folsom Field, Boulder

Set 1:
Truckin’ [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
87. Smokestack Lightning
88. Spoonful
Bertha [2/2 - Last played 05/28 (Show #2)]
Ramble On Rose [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 06/17 (Show #12)]
Friend of the Devil [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Loser [2/2 - Last played 05/27 (Show #1)]
Brown-Eyed Women [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/18 (Show #13)]
89. Turn On Your Love Light

Set 2:
Help on the Way [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Slipknot! [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Franklin’s Tower [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
China Doll [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/10 (Show #9)]
Dark Star [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Stella Blue [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2: 06/10 (Show #9)]
China Cat Sunflower [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/10 (Show #9)]
I Know You Rider [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); F2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/10 (Show #9)]

One More Saturday Night [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]

Show #10 – 06/13 – Lakewood Amphitheatre, Atlanta

Set 1:
Scarlet Begonias [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/3: 06/13 (Show #10)][First time in first set; first time separated from "Fire" this tour; first time ever played without "Fire" in the same show]
Shakedown Street [3/3 - Last played 06/07 (Show #7)]
Dire Wolf [1/2: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
Tennessee Jed [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
They Love Each Other [1/2: 06/04 (Show #6); 2/2 06/13 (Show #10)]
Black-Throated Wind [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]

Set 2:
Here Comes Sunshine [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)][First time in second set]
Playing in the Band [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/3: 06/13 (Show #10)]
Uncle John’s Band [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
Playing in the Band [Second Playing sandwich]
Terrapin Station [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]
90. Milestones [!!!!!!!!!]
91. Days Between [1/2: 06/13 (Show #10); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Sugar Magnolia [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2 06/13 (Show #10)]

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door [1/2: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/2: 06/13 (Show #10)]

Show #11 – 06/15 – Key Bank Pavilion, Pittsburgh

Set 1:
Feel Like a Stranger [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
92. Easy Wind
Cassidy [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #15)]
West L.A. Fadeaway [1/1: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/15 (Show #11)]
Row Jimmy [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2 06/15 (Show #11)]
Cumberland Blues [1/2: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/2 06/15 (Show #11)]
93. Throwing Stones

Set 2:
Jack Straw [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
Viola Lee Blues [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/15 (Show #11)]
He’s Gone [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]
The Wheel [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/15 (Show #11)]
The Other One [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/04 (show #6); 3/4: 06/09 (Show #8); 4/4: 06/15 (Show #11)]
The Other One [First Other One sandwich; Fourth sandwich overall]
94. Wharf Rat
Casey Jones [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (show #6); 3/3: 06/15 (Show #11)]

95. Liberty

Show #12 – 06/17 – Fenway Park, Boston

Set 1:
The Music Never Stopped [1/3: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Cold Rain and Snow [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3) 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3 06/17 (Show #12)]
Me and My Uncle [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Big Boss Man [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Ramble On Rose [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 06/17 (Show #12)]
Sugaree [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/07 (Show #7); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
96. Passenger [1/1: 06/17 (Show #12)]

Set 2:
Dancing in the Street [1/2: 06/09 (Show #8); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Help on the Way [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Slipknot! [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Estimated Prophet [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Eyes of the World [1/3: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/17 (Show #12)]
Eyes of the World [First Eyes sandwich ever]
I Need a Miracle [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2: 06/17: (Show #12)]
Standing on the Moon [1/2: 06/07 (Show #7); 2/2: 06/17: (Show #12)]
Franklin’s Tower [1/4: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)][First Frankliln's split this tour]

Black Muddy River [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/17 (Show #12)]
One More Saturday Night [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/17 (Show #12)]

Show #13 – 06/18 – Fenway Park, Boston

Set 1:
Samson and Delilah [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (show #6); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Brown-Eyed Women [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/04 (Show #6); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Big River [1/2: 06/09 (Show #8); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Candyman [1/2: 06/03 (Show #5); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Let It Grow [1/2: 06/09 (Show #8); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Friend of the Devil (Acoustic) [1/4: 05/27 (Show #1); 2/4: 06/03 (Show #5); 3/4: 06/10 (Show #9); 4/4: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Dark Star v1 (Acoustic) [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)][First time ever in first set; first ever acoustic]
Ripple (Acoustic) [1/3: 05/31 (Show #3); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]

Set 2:
Truckin’ [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/10 (Show #9); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Fire on the Mountain [1/3: 05/28 (Show #2); 2/3: 06/04 (show #6); 3/3: 06/18 (Show #13)]
St. Stephen [1/3: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/3: 06/09 (Show #8); 06/18 (Show #13)]
Dark Star v2 [First ever cross-set Dark Star sandwich]
Days Between [1/2: 06/13 (Show #10); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]
Not Fade Away [1/2: 06/01 (Show #4); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]

Brokedown Palace [1/2: 06/04 (Show #6); 2/2: 06/18 (Show #13)]

Posted on June 4, 2017 at 7:52 am by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Concerts, Dead & Company, Grateful Dead, Music

To Music (in Pictures) }{ Gary James Joynes (Clinker)

To Music (in Pictures): a photo series founded upon a double-entendre. 1. An homage to music through the art of photography. 2. A series of photographs that participate in the art of musicking, following Christopher Small’s recasting of “music” from noun to verb: to music, an action set that encompasses the activities of musicians on stage through to the array of practices performed by roadies, venue staff, recording engineers, graphic designers, photographers, audience members and scene communities whose collective activities comprise any given musical event. These images are culled from my Inevitable Plastic collection, all shot on a Holga CFN120.


Gary James Joynes (Clinker) }{ Soundbursting

Usine C }{ Elektra 2015


Posted on January 23, 2017 at 8:10 am by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Concerts, Inevitable Plastic, Music, Photography, Sound Installation, To Music (In Pictures)

Dead & Company }{ Summer Tour One-Offs


Need some fodder for your DeadCo show bragging rights? As of their two-night stand at Alpine Valley there are 19 songs that they have played only once on summer tour (7 played for the first time ever by DeadCo). I’ve listed them below in order of performance date. If you were at any of these shows, you’ve been present for the only time these have been played this summer (or perhaps ever). Will the list get longer or shorter? How many will stand by tour’s end? Stay tuned for updates as the tour progresses. [Post-tour update: Survivors listed in bold below.]

06/10 – Charlotte:
*Liberty (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/13]
*Love Light
*Promised Land

06/16 – Cincinnati:
*Me and My Uncle [First repeat 07/22]

06/17 – Noblesville:
*Looks Like Rain [First repeat 07/13]

06/20 – Camden:
*Watchtower (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/13]

06/21 – Saratoga:
*Here Comes Sunshine [First repeat 07/22]
*Iko Iko [First repeat 07/28]
*Little Red Rooster
*Loser [First repeat 07/15]

06/23 – Bristow:
*El Paso
*Candyman [First repeat 07/28]

06/26 – NYC:
*Peggy-O [First repeat 07/15]

07/02 – Boulder:
*Even So (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/28]

07/03 – Boulder:
*Next Time You See Me (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/15]

07/07 – Clarkston:
*Big Boss Man [First repeat 07/27]
*Masterpiece (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/23]

07/09 – Alpine Valley:
*Dire Wolf (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/23]
*Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/23]

07/13 – Burgettstown
*Maggie’s Farm
*In the Midnight Hour

07/22 – Portland
*Easy Wind (DeadCo debut) [First repeat 07/29]

[Update 07/13: lost 3, gained 2 = 18 one-offs remain]
[Update 07/15: lost 3, gained 0 = 15 one-offs remain]
[Update 07/22: lost 2, gained 1 = 14 one-offs remain]
[Update 07/23: lost 3, gained 0 = 11 one-offs remain]
[Update 07/26: lost 1, gained 0 = 10 one-offs remain]
[Update 07/27: lost 3, gained 0 = 7 one-offs remain]
[Update 07/29: lost 1, gained 0 = 6 one-offs remain]

Posted on July 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Concerts, Dead & Company, Grateful Dead, Music

My Fuzzy Warbles }{ Disc Three }{ Only Lovers Left Alive (12″ Limited EP)

Only Lovers Left Alive (Triple Black 12")

“Remember that 12 inch I was telling you about? Check it out man.”


“Triple black man.”

“That’s great. 180 gram vinyl?”

“180 gram man.”


“Yeah. No printing anywhere.”

“Yeah that’s awesome. So mysterious.”


It’s intermission in a small Detroit rock club. The White Hills have just finished up a set. Adam has been reluctantly cajoled into a rare night on the town with his wife Eve and her precocious little sister visiting from LA. They’re accompanied by Adam’s gofer Ian, charged with procuring rare vintage guitars and other gear used by the compulsively reclusive space-rocker to produce the music for which he is becoming increasingly sought-after. Ian runs into another client and excuses himself for a moment. A stack of unmarked LPs changes hands near the bar. A handshake ensues, and with that we have a new spin on the notion of the “record deal.”

Rarely have I craved anything as much as those weighty unmarked vinyls. What pleasures they must contain, shrouded in mystery, available only on the black market (pun intended because necessary). Eve recognizes her husband’s music on the PA shortly after the deal goes down. Is that what’s on the record, passed quickly to the house DJ after the sale? We are told that Adam has willfully put his tracks into circulation, though the means remain undisclosed. One thing is crystal clear: his wish to remain unacknowledged. A vampire old enough to have fed music to Chopin – without asking for any credit – he has developed a philosophy of anonymity over the centuries, desiring only to “get the work out there” while keeping his authorial status in the shadows. He doesn’t want a record deal. So when the hipster vinyl enthusiast turns his gaze towards Adam, a moment of high tension portrayed in a protracted shot/countershot sequence rendered in slow motion, the threat of recognition is too much for the vampire to bear. This is why he doesn’t like to go out, and he’s quick to head for the exit shortly after the exchange.



In this moment, the space between Adam and his unwitting fan is charged with the tension between competing ways of life on a doomed planet: with little respect for the historical depth of the past, the “zombie” humans destroy everything in their wake on their march of progress, while the old soul vampires cultivate relationships of love and respect fuelled by artistic practice honed by the sagesse incurred from their centuries lived. This tension is framed by Adam’s love of vintage music gear, increasingly difficult to maintain in this deteriorating world of the 21st Century so aptly portrayed by the ruined city of Detroit as played against the much older – and much more vibrant – city of Tangiers to which they return by film’s end.

This distinction between worlds old and new is framed most poignantly through the film’s lingering over mid-20th Century music technology. Only Lovers Left Alive is a pre-digital technology fetishist’s fever dream, but the value of this fetishization is left open to question. The opening title sequence spins a time lapse starscape over top of a phonograph turntable while the music pans around the theatre’s surround sound system in 360 degrees. After that it’s one set piece after another foregrounding the grooves on records, the whirl of tape reels, the textures of old books, etc. But to what effect?



Poring over vintage music technologies walks a fine line between the worlds of aging musicians reluctant to accept change and hipster romantics cultivating nostalgia for a past they never knew. But Adam is neither. At his age, his love of “vintage” gear plays more like an extended engagement with a time that is, in the context of his life span, relatively new. Adam can live long enough to savour historical periods much longer than mere mortals can afford. Is today’s resurgence of interest in the “not-digital“, in part, a grasp at immortality by extending the lived experience of fleeting technological moments? Or perhaps it more tangibly connects to the materiality of human life in the face of its perceived dissolution into the digital ether. Or maybe it’s just the cyclical nature of fashion trends working their way through consumer culture’s back catalog. What judgment might the film be passing through the charge between those bespectacled glances on that night in Detroit?

The cinema is an art form long in love with audiovisualizing its many relatives across the media technology universe, and Jarmusch plays with this remediation in a tradition as old as film itself. Outside the film, however, Jarmusch has moved into the realm of media convergence, marketing the musical soundtrack through the release of a 12 inch unmarked EP with three tracks from the film etched within its grooves. The record deal in the film reaches out like no 3D technology can to wave that object in the face of the audience, and in pressing only 1000 copies in the real world they ensure the scarcity that will make the object all the more coveted. But the mystique that surrounds the mystery disc in the film cannot be replicated in the world outside. It’s not like an action figure or a poster, paratextual items that remind of the film. The EP is a prop replica, inviting the owner to live the experience of the characters in the movie – an exercise doomed to failure.


The disc’s lack of markings is, in its offscreen context, an aesthetic choice only. In every other way it is clearly labeled, from its listing on ATP Recordings to the sticker on its plastic wrapping and the download card that comes with – complete with track listing. It’s the download card that is perhaps most offensive, but also the most instructive about the role of vinyl in today’s resurgent market. At one point in the film Eve’s sister spools up one of Adam’s master tapes in his absence, and upon his return home she asks if she can “get a download.” The answer, of course, is “no.” He circulates his work, but there is an undeniable cachet to this distribution existing outside of digital networks with all their enhanced traceability. You need to get your hands on a physical copy to hear it, which necessitates different patterns of acquisition. You need a record deal. This is one promise of new vinyl in today’s world that is undermined by simultaneous release in digital formats. Indeed, vinyl is oft-used much like a prop by many of today’s users, a symbol of fandom purchased for display while the music streams to their ears from a digital device. This betrays the joys of vinyl’s sound, undeniably different from any other format, whether the particularities are thought to be better or worse. More significantly, as “bandwidth” at the pressing plants is maxed out with ever-increasing demand for these objects, is there an ethical problem in expending precious resources for items that won’t serve their traditional function? And how does this speak to the problem in identifying with the record’s value in the film while playing into its digital trappings in the world outside the screening room walls?

What’s more, Jarmusch formed the band SQÜRL to create some of the music on the soundtrack, also performing live in promotional concerts for the film, thus positioning himself in Adam’s place as partly responsible for creating the music associated with this character in the film. It’s a dicey game. Jarmusch’s personal cool is legendary, but never upstages the cool of his on-screen creations, always operating a notch or two above the director’s own level. Here he might have stepped over a line, offering himself as the real-world progenitor of the mythical role that music plays for the characters in Only Lovers Left Alive. The mystique of anonymity that is the subject of this film is thus made to work in the service of supporting the director’s auteur status, and so the game falls apart in the world offscreen. However intriguing Jarmusch’s transmedial exercise may be, the EP available to us can only function as the opposite of what it represents in the film.


Adam and Eve battle against the “zombie shit” that surrounds them, connecting the world in a tangled mess of connectivity that strangles more than it supports. The vampires might well agree with Ryan Diduck that to make the world more livable we have an immanent need for “media and their networks to resound … [a] multitude of voices and a legitimate counterculture beyond aggregation and measurement.” The unmarked vinyl promises such a legitimate counterculture, liberated from the Discogs’ and Ebays that have destroyed the age old art of binning, spoiling most of the surprises that the world of music collecting has left to offer. To covet the EP – as I do – is to grasp at this legitimate counterculture while contributing to its continuing dissolution amidst the boundless tracking of the digital age. This disc isn’t to be found in a beat-up box at the back of the record store, mysteries intact even upon playback. You buy it online, and you know what you’re getting.

In the film, Adam’s fans seek him out, killing the music off in so doing. More effective than the wooden bullet that Adam has made for himself in a moment of contemplated suicide, the risk of discovery is enough to chase him out of town – and there will be no more music made in that old house with all that old gear. This is a similar process to Jarmusch’s own posturing as the unknown cool behind the cool that can’t help but become known. In appearing on stage, Jarmsuch reveals the source of the music even before it has a chance to take on its promise of potential in the film’s narrative, and the subsequent soundtrack release leaves only the trace of disappointment in its wake. Nevertheless, I can’t wait until my copy of the EP arrives in the mail.

Coda: An Unexpected Treasure

One thing that isn’t marked on any of the EP’s support materials is its 45 rpm pressing, which I unwittingly played at 33 the first time through. Thanks to a lack of push-button speed shifting on my turntable (the belt has to be adjusted beneath the platter), I let it run that way for its full duration. And it was marvelous. Particularly so on the opening track: “Funnel of Love”, as good a candidate as any for a 21st Century Oswaldian “Pretender” treatment. As Madeline Follin’s raspy and eerily high-pitched vocals took on the inflection of a male tenor, an unlikely experience in any digital format, I was reminded that not everything is how it sounds and there may be a few surprises left to be had after all.




Posted on September 27, 2015 at 9:53 am by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Film Reviews, Film Sound, Music, My Fuzzy Warbles, Phonography, Sound Technology

Mapping the WSP Archive }{ Soundscapes of Canada (Free Online Streaming)

As I was editing a series on the World Soundscape Project for the Sounding Out! blog I discovered that the WSP’s 10-hour CBC Radio series Soundscapes of Canada is accessible in streaming format on the website of the Canadian Music Centre. While their site is searchable, there is no convenient way to see all 10 episodes grouped together in their proper order with their correct titles clearly displayed. And so I provide this simple list with titles culled from the official Soundscapes of Canada information page and links to the streams at CMC. Descriptions of each program are available on both the SOC and CMC pages. You need to register with the CMC site to listen, but all they want is a name and email address and it’s free. Enjoy! 

Program One

“Six Themes of the Soundscape” – by Barry Truax and R. Murray Schafer

Program Two

Pt. 1: “Listening” – by R. Murray Schafer

Pt 2: “Games and Play” – by Bruce Davis

Program Three

“Signals, Keynotes, and Soundmarks” -  by Bruce Davis and R. Murray Schafer

Program Four

“Soundmarks of Canada” – by Peter Huse

Program Five

“Summer Solstice”

Program Six

“Directions” – by Peter Huse

Program Seven

Pt. 1: “Dawn Chorus” – by Bruce Davis

Pt 2: “Work” – by Bruce Davis

Program Eight

Pt. 1: “A Maritime Diary” – by Barry Truax

pt. 2 – “Soundscape Design” – by R. Murray Schafer

Program Nine

“A Radio Program About Radio” – by Howard Broomfield

Program Ten

Pt. 1: “Soundscape Study” – by Barry Truax

Pt. 2 – “The Bells of Percé” – by Bruce Davis

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 5:51 pm by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Acoustic Ecology, Archives, Radio, Soundscape Composition, Vancouver Soundscape

Winlaw Watersheds


It’s World Listening Day! This year’s theme is “H2O” so I’ve decided to release my 2009 soundscape composition “Winlaw Watersheds” into the wilds of the Internet as a small contribution to the project of collective meditation on our most precious resource and the increasing challenges we face around its regulation and distribution.

“Winlaw Watersheds” is composed from a series of field recordings that I made in August of 2007 just outside the town of Winlaw in the Slocan Valley region of British Columbia, Canada.

When I arrive the area is experiencing a drought, and forest fires blaze amidst the devastation of the pine beetle epidemic. As helicopters fly low through the valley channel to bring water to the affected areas, their pulsating reverberations serve as reminders to everyone living on the banks of this natural amphitheater that the rain is long in coming. In seeming contradiction to the drought, the region is blessed with a vast network of fresh creeks and streams that serve the population within its reach. Yet like the trees, the region’s water systems are also under threat of devastation: new hydroelectric power projects designed to plug California into British Columbia’s supply have positioned many of the region’s creeks in line for future damming.


This composition is intended as a portrait of an environment threatened with extinction, and is structured to explore the spatial and aesthetic connections between water, surrounding forest, and the properties that have been developed on these lands. It is a meditation on the constantly shifting balance between nature and industry in British Columbia’s interior. Moving from the heart of the creeks that feed the Slocan River to the farmland sprinkler systems that draw their water, and from the helicopter blades of summer to the rain that finally came on August 19th, this is an exploration of the connections between water, land, air and fire within a single ecosystem. Without biased commentary on the situation facing the watersheds, my hope for this piece is that it will open up a space of reflection where the relationships and contradictions inherent to this environment and its inhabitants can be contemplated. With a minimum of processing, these recordings are presented essentially as captured by my placement of the microphones, with a structuring hand in the editing suite to guide the listener into associational thinking across the region’s disparate yet uniquely entwined spaces. And with a light touch of self-reflexivity, this piece is ultimately as much about the tenuous relationship between artist and subject as it is about the current state of BC’s wilderness and its shaping by industry.


The recordings were made on Koch Creek, Hird Creek, and other areas around Perry Ridge near Winlaw, BC. As of this writing, a permit is under consideration to harness Koch Creek using the run-of-river hydropower process, as are permits for dozens of other creeks in BC.  You can track the status of all BC creeks under consideration at The Perry Ridge area is also being slated for logging which will have an effect on the creeks that provide water for the area. There are also mining talks under way. A lobby to turn Perry Ridge into an ecological reserve has been under way for some time, but so far the idea has been consistently turned down by the provincial government. For more information about Perry Ridge, a detailed record of the proposal, and the government’s responses to it, visit For more information about the situation facing British Columbia’s fresh water supply in general, visit:


Winlaw Watersheds premiered at the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, March 23-27, 2009, in Mexico City – just after World Water Day (March 22nd).


Special thanks to Randy Kenny for inspiration, information, and transportation.

Posted on July 18, 2015 at 12:37 am by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Acoustic Ecology, Soundscape Composition, Soundwalking

Have You Ever Heard a Rainbow? }{ Trey Comes Out in Santa Clara



The band was unquestionably tentative while performing the first weekend of the “Fare Thee Well” celebrations at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The “core four” hadn’t played together much over the last decade and there’s only so much that limited rehearsals can accomplish. This was particularly true for Trey Anastasio, charged with learning around 90 songs to cover the five night run across which they repeated only two numbers. It’s understandable – even laudable – that Trey would restrain his bombastic Phish persona for this project, resulting in equal measure from lack of comfort with the material and respect for his position in Jerry Garcia’s spot. Most agree that it wasn’t until a week later, for the first show in Chicago on July 3rd, that he really started to let loose. In the post-show wrap-up on the MLB video stream Steve Liesman referred to Friday night’s performance as “Trey’s coming out party” as he soared through two sets of material from 72-78, much of which suits his style very nicely indeed. But there were moments in Santa Clara that prefigured Chicago and let us all know what Trey was capable of in this context.

The first time this struck me was during the lengthy jamming on “Viola Lee Blues” to close the first set of the run. The band was dragging its feet a bit, but in the last jam section before the spacey meltdown conclusion the band picks up the tempo and Trey gets into some soloing that takes the whole affair up a couple of notches. Listening to one of the audience recordings from the taper section you would be forgiven for thinking that the uproarious cheering that sends up as Trey moves his riffs into the higher octaves (starting around 2:05 in the excerpt above) came in appreciation of the guitarist finally letting his guard down. This was, however, the exact moment that the infamous rainbow appeared causing everyone to lose their shit, so perfectly timed to coincide with this shining conclusion to the first set that some were convinced it had to have been staged. It was certainly appropriate visual support for what I would argue was Trey’s real coming out moment well ahead of Chicago’s Friday night barn-burner. The synchronicity of the moment was all but lost on the video stream where differentiations in crowd noise were carefully dampened and the rainbow wasn’t revealed until right at the very end of Trey’s solo. But in the stadium it was exhilarating. For this one, friends, you had to be there.



Posted on July 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Concerts, Dead50, Grateful Dead

Fare Thee Well, Grateful Dead }{ Part 1: There is No Band

Fare Thee Well Poster - 3000

What shall we say, shall we call it by a name?

The Grateful Dead? No. But then they never claimed to be, contrary to popular misconception surrounding the 50th anniversary “Fare Thee Well” shows going down this week. They’re everywhere, headlines like: “Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip to End in Chicago”; or “Warren Haynes Talks About the End of the Grateful Dead”; or “Ten Writers on the End of an American Adventure“. A misconception intentionally generated by the promoters, certainly. Pretty effective too. “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead” is a long title for a show. To make people’s lives easier, Ticketmaster billed the event on their website as The Grateful Dead.

Ticketmaster - The Grateful Dead

But that’s not what it says on the ticket.

Fare Thee Well Tickets

The “Fare Thee Well” title is more like what you’d label a multi-band tribute festival. In a way, that’s what this is, except all the bands are playing at the same time: there are strains of The Grateful Dead proper, but also of the distinctive approaches taken by post-Jerry Dead projects like Bobby’s Ratdog, Phil and his many friends, Mickey’s solo outings, and Furthur. Let’s not forget, either, that this isn’t some long awaited reunion of the “core four” as though they haven’t played together since Jerry’s death in 1995; they’ve toured together on and off as well over the years, as recently as 2009. They don’t sound much like Jerry’s Grateful Dead either. Each of these configurations has explored new avenues for The Grateful Dead repertoire by members of the original band, continuing to push the sound in different directions, just as The Grateful Dead proper always did. So while there’s good reason to continually compare post-Jerry Dead projects to the real thing, doing so has meant that many have lost track of all the things these new projects have done differently. Meanwhile The Grateful Dead proper are essentialized into a single unassailable entity, forgetting their many distinctive eras with their tremendous variations in quality and style.

Re-creating the sound of The Grateful Dead has never been the goal of any Dead project, including The Grateful Dead proper. Leave that to Dark Star Orchestra, the cover band famous for performing specific shows from the band’s history with meticulous attention to the historical details of gear, instrumentation and performance style. The fact that they are so popular is evidence that there is a desire for the kind of nostalgic recreation of what once was, something NOT being fulfilled by the post-Jerry projects involving surviving members of the band who are traveling different roads. “Fare Thee Well” owes its sound as much to these different roads – now 20 years in the making – as to the previous 30 with Jerry at the helm. And yet, this event has people obsessed with the notion that it is somehow a triumphant return of The Grateful Dead, for one last time. To frame “Fare Thee Well” as some hallowed return to The Grateful Dead proper is to misunderstand what that band was, and what its music continues to be today. It sets up unreasonable expectations while deafening us to new possibilities. And it structures reception according to patterns of comparison/contrast rather than assessing the music on its own terms. It has also ensured an unprecedented demand for any Dead project, including those that involved Jerry Garcia, making it very difficult to get tickets.

The weight of the number 50 is heavy on this event, the popularity of staged anniversaries being the catalyst for regrouping at this particular time. To aid the celebration, and profit-taking, for the first time in any post-Jerry Dead project the name Grateful Dead appears on all merchandise as part of the full title of the event. It’s a good trick, branding these shows with a heightened measure of authenticity while covering their asses against charges that they are disrespectfully resurrecting a name that was consciously retired upon Jerry’s death. Many are confused enough to cry blasphemy on this issue, often tied to some good old-fashioned Phish-bashing. How dare they let that obnoxious upstart Trey Anastasio stand in Jerry’s spot (even though he is the only – yes, ONLY – true successor to the scale of jam band success achieved by The Grateful Dead as Phish inherited much of the community upon Jerry’s death while legitimately forging one of their own). Every post-Jerry Dead outfit has had to suffer endless bitching about who plays lead guitar, but since none of these bands ever claimed to be The Grateful Dead the bitching was all pointless. This isn’t a post-Waters Pink Floyd sort of thing (a situation that could have been easily solved if the remaining three had simply called themselves “The Floyd” after the bassist’s departure; arrogance stood in the way for Pink Floyd, but was easily cast aside by Jerry’s bandmates upon his death). If there’s an analogy to be drawn between post-Jerry Dead projects and any other examples from the annals of rock, I would argue that the closest relative would be what King Crimson did with the ProjeKcts in the late 90s, breaking the larger band into smaller configurations to explore new ways of pushing the music forward. But in another way, King Crimson provides an opposing example: there is no King Crimson without Robert Fripp, the only member to play in every line-up since their beginning not too long after The Grateful Dead. One could scarcely imagine Jerry Garcia having labeled a succession of new line-ups over a 40 year period – some entirely new – as “The Grateful Dead”. In this way, the core four seem to provide some semblance of stability to the idea of The Grateful Dead.

Even here, though, the boundary line around the core line-up has been a bit fuzzy. History showed us that keyboardists could be swapped while keeping The Grateful Dead intact, though Jerry did briefly consider retiring the name after Pigpen’s death. We’ll never know how important Bobby or Phil would have been to the operation had they died before Jerry, though there was a time when Phil and Jerry wanted Bob out of the band. Notably, however, the few gigs they played without Bob in that period came under the name “Mickey and the Heartbeats.” Lest we forget, also, that there were Grateful Deads both with and without Mickey Hart. In fact, some hold that the band’s best period was while Mickey was on hiatus in the early 70s. So maybe we should be talking about a “core three” then? At this point it’s water under the bridge. For now, it’s enough that for the last 20 years Bob, Phil, Billy and Mickey have at least agreed on one thing (and perhaps only one thing): there is no Grateful Dead without Jerry. So what, then, are these 50 years of The Grateful Dead that we’re celebrating?

Outside of line-up considerations, The Grateful Dead produced music under that name for 30 years, with new compositions joining established repertoire at every stage of their career right up until the end. This period set the canon, and the music lives on through their recordings, now the bread and butter for the surviving members as the vaults are mined for official releases in what is, for all intents and purposes, an endless supply. If they ever do manage to release everything the vault has to offer, new formats would ensure re-issues ad nauseam. And you know what? I think that’s just fine. 30 years of incredible music should be celebrated, circulated, and offered in the best possible way that the technology of the moment has to offer. The band deserves to get paid for that work, and the fans deserve the opportunity to continually reassess what the band laid down while contemplating its continuing relevance today. All of us, in turn, deserve the opportunity to discover where the music can go. That’s what the last 20 years of Dead projects have been about, and to my way of thinking, that’s what we’re celebrating here.

It’s fitting, then, that the band taking the stage in Santa Clara and Chicago remains unnamed, for they are but the latest incarnation of a group of people who have performed Grateful Dead material under a half dozen monikers over the years. What we’re celebrating is the music as interpreted by those who created it and are still alive to explore its potential. Sure, the core four have stated for the record that they will not play together again. But how important is that, really? Phil and Friends are booked into his venues for the rest of the year and rumors are nearly confirmed that the remaining three will tour with John Mayer this fall. If “Fare Thee Well” is about celebrating the dynamic between the four of them, we’re bound to be disappointed if for no other reason than they simply have not practiced together enough to achieve the heights that Furthur managed as a full-fledged touring operation from 2009-2014. And then there’s Trey, certainly capable but not immune to the need for practice as a vehicle to progress. In some ways it’s Trey that I’m most excited about here, a new element with the potential to bring this music into uncharted realms. The most disappointing aspect of this band, in advance of their performance, is that they are not committed to pushing themselves as a band. They’re here for a brief time and will then fly on. Whatever they make of it, it’ll be but a taste of what they could do if they toured over a longer period. To me, this is the opposite of closure, for they’ll be opening a new and tantalizing door only to leave it permanently ajar while we wonder what might have been as each of the members continues to play Grateful Dead music in various other ways until they meet their own graves.

People are expecting some kind of catharsis out of “Fare Thee Well,” expecting Jerry to appear in the clouds like the second coming to bestow his blessing upon the affair (as some thought he did with that rainbow in Santa Clara, and which the Garcia family wisely chose not to emulate with a holographic projection of our dearly departed). As I heard one aging fan put it on our way into the Levi’s Stadium for the first show: “Finally we can get some closure on this thing!” But really, where is the closure? If we’re saying goodbye to The Grateful Dead it is, as Rolling Stone put it, a long goodbye  – one that will continue for me long after “Fare Thee Well” has come and gone. Making this about Jerry diverts attention away from what his co-conspirators on this adventure have done with their legacy since. We all said goodbye to Jerry 20 years ago. The music he made with Billy, Bob, Phil and (mostly) Mickey lives on, and this is just another iteration to enjoy, in the moment if you’re lucky enough to be in one of the buildings, and forever more once acquired on the format of your choice. After that, I’m hoping Bill Frisell might find his way back to Terrapin Crossroads, ’cause that was some of the best Dead material I’ve ever heard.

Let it grow.

Posted on July 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Concerts, Grateful Dead, Music · Tagged with: 

Robert C. Jordan Archive }{ Five Quiet Songs

This is a series of posts about the music of Robert Christopher Jordan, my dad. He began his musical career as a violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra not long after arriving in Canada from England in 1957, but he made his name as a classical guitarist in Vancouver where he remains one of the most respected musicians in the city. He was most active as a performer between the 60s and 80s and was frequently featured on radio and television, most often on the CBC. Most of these recordings haven’t been heard in decades now, gathering dust in the archives if not lost to the ether. I have recently begun the process of tracking them down and will be posting my findings here with each new acquisition.

Robert Christopher Jordan

To begin, here’s a radio broadcast of a duet with singer Gloria Doubleday performing John Duarte’s Five Quiet Songs. I sourced the recording from a reel-to-reel tape in Robert’s private collection, which sounds like it was made by placing a microphone in front of a loudspeaker as the program played live on the air. I have no supporting information about the broadcast, except that it would have aired sometime after 1968 when the music was written. I will update with any new information as it becomes available. For now, enjoy Five Quiet Songs.

Robert Jordan and Gloria Doubleday by Robert C. Jordan Archive on Mixcloud

Posted on June 21, 2015 at 7:26 am by rjordan · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Archives, Concerts, Music, Radio, Robert C. Jordan Archive

Vancouver Soundscape Chronicles }{ Bell Tower of False Creek }{ Phase 3: Super 8

This is the film component of the Bell Tower of False Creek project. The full 10-minute version will premiere at Resonance and Remembrance: An Interdisciplinary Bell Studies Symposium at the University of Michigan in March 2017.

Preview Edit:


A thick fog gathers under Vancouver’s Burrard Bridge in the winter of 2013, blotting out the gentrified skyline across the waters of False Creek. It’s the centenary of the first systemic clearance of indigenous residents from Kitsilano Indian Reserve on this site in 1913, and one can almost imagine the air filled with the smoke of shelters set ablaze or the chimneys of industry that settled on these shores thereafter. The sounds of transportation have been a mainstay here since rail lines first cut through the reserve in 1899, trains joining churches in the ringing of bells that defined the boundaries of early settler communities. Industrial urbanization would soon step in to sound out the economic heart of the newly incorporated city, replacing the parishes of old and Native communities older still. Today the trains are gone, but the thumping of bridge traffic in the absence of industry reveals the continuingly shifting status of the contested lands underneath.

Bell Tower of False Creek uses the church bell as metaphor for the traffic on Burrard Bridge as it casts an acoustic profile roughly equivalent to the area recently returned to the Squamish Nation as reserve lands in 2002. Recorded on the 40th anniversary of the World Soundscape Project’s first major case study on the city of Vancouver, the film juxtaposes archival recordings of the WSP members in conversation about the city’s endangered sounds with new audiovisual material exploring current indigenous presence around the bridge. Amidst the fog, listeners are invited to imagine the sound of traffic noise recasting the bells of old as markers of territorial boundaries, challenging stereotypical biases against urban noise pollution (typical of the work of early acoustic ecology) in order to rethink narratives that posit the death of indigenous culture in the face of modernization.

Production Stills:

Bell Tower Production Stills - 1

Bell Tower Production Stills - 2

Bell Tower Stills - 01

Bell Tower Production Stills - 3

Bell Tower Stills - 13

Bell Tower - Pillar Mic

Bell Tower Stills - 06

Bell Tower Production Stills - 5

Bell Tower Stills - 16

Bell Tower Production Stills - 4

Bell Tower Stills - 17

Bell Tower Production Stills - 6

Bell Tower Stills - 03

Bell Tower Production Stills - 7

Bell Tower Stills - 04

Bell Tower Production Stills - 8

Bell Tower Stills - 02