Friday, February 28, 2014

acid, noodling and nudity

what it is: acid, noodling and nudity
where i found it: a creamery

Busting my knee on an ice patch recently has given me time to sit around and watch things that people have sent over the last few months. One shining example is this 1972 Greatful Dead concert, which I would never otherwise watch in it's entirety. Deadheads have been all hot about the theatrical re-release of this film as of late and I have to say it has it's moments and really kind of immerses you in the lost feeling of a hazed Dead show, especially the middle section. Most of the hippies here are hard core - naked, sub-human, and melted by the ergot and heat alike. The jams go on and on and on beyond any length of noodle that would be decent. Mickey Hart isn't around, which actually gives you a chance to hear Bill Kreutzman's drumming, which is quite good. Sadly, you never see the hidden keyboard player, who adds tons more backbone and interest to the music. But the elephant in the room here is Bob Weir's horrible, horrible taste, opening with a shitty whiter-than-white Chuck Berry number and going from a melted down dream/nightmare extended exploration to a jarring department store/light rock version of Streets of Laredo. They should have fired that guy before he started.

At the end of the day, whether the Dead's music was good or not is an ongoing debate and one that almost doesn't matter. What does seem to matter, and what this film demonstrates well, is that for some reason they were the center of a cultural phenomenon that allowed the emergence of things like that tanned manimal dancing on the pole behind Garcia's head in minute 30 to 45. God bless America.