It’s Friday, I’m in love…

@mkgv Mark Gavillet

Hey, guys.

Here’s another big fifty. New stuff from St. Vince, Wolf Parade, Knox Fortune, Alex Lahey, Alvvays, Ratboys, Photay, Daphni, Blondes, Beck, Hundred Waters, Four Tet, Ibeyi, dvsn, Porches, Julien Baker, Angel Olsen, and Belle & Sebastian. Old stuff from the Britpop’s central rivals, Talking Heads, early Stereolab, and later Radiohead.

The intern razzed me a bit on Tuesday about the length of these playlists. I get it. I’ve said before that tl;dr is a thing, so tl;dl probably is, too. Still, these playlists are meant to soundtrack long drives and weekends. I never expect folks (not even my best friend) to get thru them in one sitting. Play, pause, and play again when you have time. I’ve done the hard work of curation. Your part is easy. Just enjoy.

The header image is by Mark Gavillet (@mkgv on Ello). Thanks to him.

More soon.

JF

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Grateful Dead Monthly: Winterland – San Francisco, CA 10/17-18,20-22/78

Road Trips - From Egypt With Love Cover Art

For five nights in October 1978, the Grateful Dead played Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, California.

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Initially named the New Dreamland Auditorium, Winterland was built in 1928 for a then-astronomical $1 million as an ice-skating rink and multi-purpose venue. Beginning in 1966, Bay-area rock impresario Bill Graham booked concerts there. The Dead debuted at Winterland in 1967 and closed it on New Years 1978-79. (That final show has been officially released as The Closing of Winterland.)

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Several months earlier, in September 1978, the band traveled to Giza, Egypt for three shows.  According to Wikipedia, they played in an open-air theater east of the Great Sphinx, and the final night’s performance coincided with a total lunar eclipse.  In his memoir, Searching for the Sound, bassist Phil Lesh recalled that, during the shows, he observed

“an increasing number of shadowy figures gathering just at the edge of the illuminated area surrounding the stage and audience – not locals, as they all seem to be wearing the same garment, a dark, hooded robe. These, it turns out, are the Bedouin, the nomadic horsemen of the desert: drawn in by the music and lights. Each night they remained to dance and sway rhythmically for the duration of the show.”

And in his memoir, Deal, drummer Bill Kreutzmann quipped that “Egypt instantly became the biggest, baddest, and most legendary field trip that we took during our entire thirty years as a band. It was priceless and perfect and, at half a million dollars, a bargain in the end. Albeit, a very expensive bargain.”

Highlights of the second and third shows have been officially released as Rocking the Cradle. The Dead opened the first two shows and the second set of the third with “Ollin Arageed,” a composition by Egyptian oud player Hamza El-Din, a world-music figure who reportedly influenced drummer Mickey Hart.

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A few weeks later, rested and ready to play, the Dead returned to Winterland for five nights – a run that has become known as From Egypt with Love.

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As a whole, the shows are uneven – typical for 1978, as I mentioned in July in the Red Rocks writeup. But there are definite highlights.

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GD guru ECM notes that the band was promoting their new album, Shakedown Street, which was well represented throughout the run.  The first night included the rarely played If I Had the World To Give out of the sorta-well-known “Banjo Lesson Space.”  The second night featured Danish harmonica player and War co-founder Lee Oskar on Drums > Space, and closed with a strong Truckin’ and a I Need a Miracle encore. The third night is somewhat forgettable.

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The fourth night is much better.  El-Din joined the band for the Ollin Arageed opener, and Oskar returned for the post-Space cover of Got My Mojo Workin’. Ed mentions the “heavy metal ending to The Other One,” and calls the Stella Blue one of the best ever.  Finally, the fifth night is fantastic throughout: Another Ollin first-set opener, a hot Scarlet > Fire second-set opener, and a 21-minute Not Fade Away with guitarist and Quicksilver Messenger Service founder John Cippollina that ventured into Caution and Mojo.

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Portions of the last two nights have been officially released as part of the Road Trips series. That’s on Spotify.

Charlie Miller transfers of the soundboards are on the Live Music Archive.

Transport to 10/17/78 HERE.

Transport to 10/18/78 HERE.

Transport to 10/20/78 HERE.

Transport to 10/21/78 HERE.

Transport to 10/22/78 HERE.

Don’t forget to check out Ed’s amazing Instagram account @31daysofdead.  And a Happy Birthday shout to my biggest kid. Have a great day, BTL! See you this weekend.

More soon.

JF

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

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Hey, guys.  How’s life?

Here’s this week’s playlist. New stuff from L7, Wolf Alice, Tennis, Wye Oak, Sharon Van Etten, The War on Drugs (Spotify Single), First Aid Kit, Belly, and Ratboys.  There’s also a nice instrumental segment featuring Toronto’s Do Make Say Think and Montreal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Enjoy!

This week’s header image is from Ello, but I didn’t note the artist. Apologies.

More soon.

JF

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

@whlgmood

Hi.

Here’s this week’s playlist. New stuff from Hundred Waters, Ratboys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Cults, Belle & Sebastian, Blondes, Moses Sumney, Luna, Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Wye Oak, Angus & Julia Stone, liv (a Lykke Li-helmed supergroup), Girl Ray, Offa Rex (a Decemeberists project), and Emily Haines. Old stuff by some other artists. And, quick note: The lead track and the Fergie track have parental advisories for language.

This week’s header image is by @whlgmood on Ello. Thanks.

More soon.

JF

The Liner Notes of Liner Notes

maxresdefaultHey, guys.

I’ve talked about LNHQ before.

It’s on the second floor of a rehabbed warehouse. If you come thru the front door (half frosted glass, headphones logo – my concept was based on P.I. joints from countless movies and shows from the ’70s), there’s a reception area. A low, blonde-wood wall shields a work station, and a few tastefully upholstered chairs sit nearby. OM fought me on those, and they were a bit pricey, but we needed to make a statement as an up-and-coming music blog.

Anyway, beyond that, there’s the conference room. (Header image is approximate, tho with more greenery and a better sound system.) It’s pretty fly – lots of windows and natural light, a huge table, chairs, a chalkboard, maps. Yeah, maps: The pull-down ones like from elementary school. They’re vintage, and I leave them down over the chalkboard when we’re not on deadline. (They’re often down, in other words, which puzzles some staffers. Rhodesia is no longer a country, but it was. There’s probably an o.g. Trivial Pursuit geography question there.)

On either side of the conference room, there are open areas with desks. That’s where the staffers work.  OM and I both have teams.  His is more, hm, focused on outreach? I’m super bad at corp-speak, but they’re the ones who “take meetings offsite” with music “industry people” and “attend events” like bar/restaurant “soft openings” and record release parties. (Their expense reports are usually pretty vague.) Mine is more focused on product. We make the content, and they make the rain. It works, and it doesn’t at all. (We’re sorta bleeding money – mostly my settlement with Adidas for a soccer boot mishap when I was younger, fitter, and recently separated from my kids’ mom. All good, until that runs out. O is working on sponsorship, apparently. Don’t hit up Adidas, dude. They’re still pissed.)

At either end of the space – we’ve reconfig’d, mainly bc I was sick of him bouncing that ball on our shared wall – are our individual offices.  My door is always open; O’s door is usually closed because…calls. Or naps. (Not judging. He’s got two little boys and a sweet couch.) There’s art on our walls, for sure. O has a tight framed pic of Bobby flipping the bird and another of Thierry Henry. I have a 1972 Stones poster and another signed one of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Skinny Fists cover. I’ve described our desks, right? Right.

It’s a great place, and I’m really proud of what we’ve built.

So in a staffer (that’s what O calls staff meetings) last week, one of our people – and I’m not going to name names, Trevor/Tre – suggested that it would help “the brand” if we gave you a “bts” (behind the scenes) look at “the sausage factory” (the blog, I guess). So, yeah. That’s our office. We run a music blog. And we have fun.

Is that good enough? That’s good enough. Stfu.

I was told that this post shouldn’t be about music, but whatever. The new Kamasi Washington ep is amazing. Check it out.

More soon.

JF

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

This Is Not Design @tind

Hey, guys.

Last week, I posed a question about repeats on these playlists. The answer is yes, and many. Sorry.

Recently, I was compiling tracks for my big child’s bday playlist, and using these for material. I discovered that I’ve repeated a lot. Unintentionally, tbh. So I mentioned that I hit certain sources, right? The main ones are my Spotify Release Radar, Pitchfork’s Best New Music, and Drowned in Sound’s Independent Music Monday. When I find a good song, I’ll drop it onto more than one playlist. Or I’ll drop it on one, and then decide to drop it on another one. That’s usually while driving – yeah, not cool. But it’s easy to add, and not easy to delete. And I rarely go back and scan for doubles.

There are some tracks that would be obvious repeats. A new Broken Social Scene track? I’d pry catch that, if it showed up again. LCD Soundsystem? Sure. Something old and well-known? Yep. A bit farther down to totem pole? Bands I like, but don’t listen to much? Well, it gets harder to remember those. I might take a break from the weeklies and cull the repeats. Or I might not. I mean, radio stations do that all the time, ha. If Spotify’s search feature showed which of my playlists featured certain songs, I could figure it out p quick. Rn, that’s not an option. Again, sorry. I’d like to serve up 50 different tracks each week. There’s so much great music, and you deserve better than inadvertent recycling.

Anywhoo.

This week. Wow, that Emma Anderson is great. Her new record is half-great, but wholly sinister. New stuff: her, Angel Olsen, Ratboys (contender for a top five spot – such an outstanding record, front to back), Torres, Lo Tom, Kristin Kontrol, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (also a great record), Goldfrapp, Blondes, Mount Kimbie, Burial (an OM fave), Bjork, Arcade Fire, Luna, Cut Copy, and the Jesus and Mary Chain with Sky Ferreira. Old stuff: SY, and a cool classic-rock-ish segment. Oh, and the song before YLT has become a new inside-joke thing with my best friend. She had lunch at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago last week. And she really, really loves (hates) the blues.

Here’s your 51.

The header image is a crop of something from This Is Not Design (@tind on Ello). Thanks. Your work is fantastic.

More soon.

JF