Singing thank you, for a real good time!
May 20, 2004 11:28 AM   Subscribe

The Leeching Never Stopped! Archive.org is adding the complete live catalog of the Grateful Dead. There are still a few gaps, but they already offer over 1,300 shows for download. Get early favorties, all-time classics, famous guests, the last show, and nearly everything in between, in lossless and mp3 formats.
posted by muckster (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There's a great argument for an EMP bomb if I've ever heard one.
posted by keswick at 11:34 AM on May 20, 2004


Ok, i'm outta the loop. Why is this leaching and why should they be "bombed" Doesn't "The Dead" encourage fans to collect and trade live recordings of the concerts?
posted by bradknapp at 11:47 AM on May 20, 2004


I think it is very neat, seeing as I can grab shows I was actually at. Now to listen to them and see if I have any memory whatsoever of the actual shows.
posted by a3matrix at 11:53 AM on May 20, 2004


(sensing some sort of deja vu)

Hey, I'm still trying to get my hands on Sugaree from the show in the Shrine Auditorium, October 15, 1976. . . .arguably the most trancendent moment of my life. . .
posted by Danf at 3:05 PM PST on March 14, 2002 (15525)
posted by Danf at 11:54 AM on May 20, 2004


Brad: keswick probably doesn't care for the Dead and/or their hirsute followers.

I went through a pleasant Grateful Dead phase in high school, but - thankfully - grew out of it. I've not listened to their music in some time, but still have hundreds of taped shows under my old bed at my parents house.

Now that they're all available for free download, I'm starting to think that all of that time spent buying tapes, dubbing and cataloging was . . . wasted.
posted by aladfar at 12:00 PM on May 20, 2004


Its not Leeching as the band permits and encourages this activity. In reality allowing their recordings to be freely traded probably contributed to their success as much or perhaps more than anything else they did.

As for keswick, sounds to me like he is being unduly aggro* towards mellow tunes. I don't really care what kind of music he likes, more power to him. That he would wish to deprive me of free access to music I like seems rather selfish and short sighted, but everyone has a right to their opinion. (I know, he was probably joking.)

* Slang for aggressive.

On preview: Aladfar, technology always marches on. If one tried to only invest time in technology that would be sure to endure, one would have few options. Nothing done and enjoyed is ever really a waste, is it?
posted by jester69 at 12:08 PM on May 20, 2004


I used 'leeching' as synonym for downloading. Seemed to have more of a ring to it. No value judgement implied.
posted by muckster at 12:12 PM on May 20, 2004


I'll have some of whatever Danf was on, please.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:13 PM on May 20, 2004


As for keswick, sounds to me like he is being unduly aggro* towards mellow tunes. I don't really care what kind of music he likes, more power to him. That he would wish to deprive me of free access to music I like seems rather selfish and short sighted, but everyone has a right to their opinion.

Hey man, is that Freedom Rock?
posted by crank at 12:25 PM on May 20, 2004


Hey man, is that Freedom Rock?

Well, turn it up!

Seriously, this is a Good Deal; I went through my Dead phase in the early '90s and still like to listen to my bootlegs (I only ever amassed about 50 or so) when the summer rolls around, because going to see the Dead here in the east was always a summer thing to do.

But I've got broadband at work but no burner, a burner at home but no broadband!?! What to do?!?
posted by kgasmart at 12:34 PM on May 20, 2004


What did the deadhead say when his acid wore off?


"Man, this band really sucks!"

muHAHAHAHAHA!
posted by item at 12:37 PM on May 20, 2004


This is cool. God, how I wish the rest of the music industry would learn from the Dead. They give away live music (which is unquestionably their artistic meat-and-potatoes. I mean, who cares about Dead albums?) and have always encouraged their fans to tape and trade their shows. Anyone who has ever been to a Dead (or Phish or probably a bunch of other modern jam bands, to be fair) show can tell you that the tapers have the most sonically prime spot in the venue--right next to the soundboard.

And what has this courtship of lost marketing opportunities done to their financial stakes? Oh yeah, they're the richest fucking rock band ever! I wonder if they like that? Maybe I'll call up Bob Weir's personal assistant on his diamond telephone and ask him.

I just can't believe that when people bitch about filesharing's speculated future impact on artists (not just labels) they always insist on ignoring the Dead, probably the only available empirical case study involving major commercial "stars." Who'd have ever thought that treating your fans like gold would keep them (financially) loyal? Stupid hippies indeed. I wonder if Metallica will still be making money 20 years from now, let alone whether they have remained creatively viable even this long?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:42 PM on May 20, 2004


Allowing their recordings to be freely traded probably contributed to their success as much or perhaps more than anything else they did.
It sure didn't have anything to do with their music. (Actually, there are two good songs on their first album, "The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion" and "Cold Rain and Snow," and maybe one good song each on "Workingman's Dead" and "American Beauty," and many years down the road, "Touch of Grey." But considering that they've released thousands of hours of taped and recorded music, four or so good songs is not a good ratio.)
What did the deadhead say when his acid wore off?

This is still the only good riddle to come out of rock and roll. In all seriousness, just close your eyes sometime and listen -- if you walked into a bar and heard this band, not knowing who they were, would you stay more than two seconds?
posted by Faze at 12:56 PM on May 20, 2004


Ignatius brings up some good points -- live bootleg trading only furthers the desire for the audience to go see a show live which is where the Dead certainly made all their cash.

That being said, there is a difference between show trading and MP3 rips of commercial albums which one would imagine had the Dead been around, they would have probably not smiled too kindly at. Also note the distinction between tape -trading- and digital file leaching, the former being an exchange of value and the latter being rather one-sided (then again, if you've already got all the concerts, what would you want in trade?)

I would think that artists who enjoy playing live would encourage archiving through taping of otherwise lost art , but there are more than enough acts (Metallica included) whose show variation relies mostly on what momo they can find in the audience to point the microphone at and are nearly undifferentiated otherwise.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:58 PM on May 20, 2004


aladfar: Bingo!
posted by keswick at 1:00 PM on May 20, 2004


1994 is missing at this point, so I can't grab the one show I attended.
Or did I?
posted by emelenjr at 1:11 PM on May 20, 2004


It sure didn't have anything to do with their music.

Due to the fundamental nature of subjectivity, I can't prove that you're wrong, but I can certainly say that you're full of shit all I want. So...you're full of shit.

If you deem the dead's ouvre to be simply the sum of their albums, than you could come to the conclusion that they didn't crank out that many great songs. It would be worth noting that about half the songs you get from them in a given show are covers or American traditional tunes (such as Cold Rain and Snow). The Dead's music is unique--even if you hate it, and I certainly didn't like them when I was younger--because they apply a jazz sensibility to country and R&B songforms. I came to appreciate them as a sort of revue of American music, and (arguably) outside of Cream, they're the really the only rock band I can think of whose "leader" (in terms of how the songs/jams progress, not any social sense) is the bass player, and they have two drummers, blah blah. I think that what sounds like disorganized cacophony to most Dead neophytes is often the stuff that is most appreciated by their devotees. It's like when someone hears a Sonic Youth album for the first time and says "they're just making noise." Well, that's both untrue and exactly the point. It's OK to not get it, but make no mistake, you're not getting it. It's fine for you to think it silly that one must hear their live shows in order to really hear what tehir music is all about, just as it's fine for me think that eating fish eggs is silly. But I don't lay claim to any authority as to what good caviar is.


if you walked into a bar and heard this band, not knowing who they were, would you stay more than two seconds?


In any case, I can see from your enjoyment of the Deadhead joke that you are making your judgment about their music based on the wacky subculture of people who followed them around on tour. That's fine. Not everyone likes phatty veggie burritos (tm). But it shows that you are likely the one who has never made a musical evaluation of their stuff in a baggage-free manner.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:23 PM on May 20, 2004


Great link, muckster. Another good source is GDLive.com.

Unfortunately, the remaining members of the Dead don't seem to believe in free music any more...
posted by grateful at 1:39 PM on May 20, 2004


if you walked into a bar and heard this band, not knowing who they were, would you stay more than two seconds?

If you walked into Birdland in June 30, 1950, and didn't know who was playing, you'd probably walk out of there after two seconds as well.

Friggin' idiot.

But considering that they've released thousands of hours of taped and recorded music, four or so good songs is not a good ratio.

That's because you're thinking of music in terms of albums, and shows are just when the musicians play the stuff on the album. People who think like that get really mad when the live version deviates from the recorded version at all. That is not what these bands are about. Each iteration of a song varies somewhat -- there is a structure, but the artists are free to deviate from it when the mood strikes them. The Dead and their ilk are far closer to jazz music in this regard, but say this to the ignorati and get scoffed at. "Jazz!? Surely not!"

Watching Phish play, for example, was an amazing experience because I play, and I have tried to write music before, and thus, I know how hard it is. Watch a live performance and you are watching musical creation, not regurgitation. Sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes they'd take a song, futz around for a few minutes and go nowhere with it. Sometimes, however, they create something brand new that sounds wonderful, and you just witnessed its inception.

This is the reason people keep going back to these types of shows. The chance for witnessing that creative spark ignite before your eyes, even if it doesn't happen every time, makes it worth it.

But people nowadays have no concept of musical creation. They see American Idol and get the impression that all a "musician" needs to do is repeat something that's already been done before, and presto! they're famous. No innovation, no creativity whatsoever. They have no appreciation for the magic of musical creation, they just want to hear what's on the CD, exactly like the CD. These are the people that are ruining music.

And you know something? It's precisely these kinds of "artists" who are completely lacking in creativity that get most annoyed when their music is distributed over P2P networks. Know why? Because they have nothing else to offer the world. Phish, the Dead, and their ilk -- they couldn't give two shits. Each of their shows is unique, and many times a live performance of a song will be far better than the recorded version (YEM comes to mind for Phish). But the pre-packaged artist can never hope to rise above the carefully constructed and delicately produced versions that appear on their CD's. That's the best they'll ever be.

The funny thing is, most artists' CD's aren't even "real" in that "captured moment in time" kind of way. They're oversampled, pitch-corrected technological wonders that never actually occurred in the studios save in short spurts.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:54 PM on May 20, 2004


nice thought, but the dead suxors. «--- one guys opinion, please do not flip out and call me a "friggin' idiot"
posted by bob sarabia at 2:00 PM on May 20, 2004


"Our audience is like people who like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice"

-Jerry Garcia
posted by birdsong at 2:02 PM on May 20, 2004


I actually think it's fine for them to sell soundboards, grateful. Their policy is now similar to Phish's--they're offering professional recordings of every show for sale (within 48 hours), but if you don't want them, you can still tape and trade to your heart's delight. Nobody has taken anything away; it's just another option. I just wish they'd offer the shows for download instead of mailing CDs, which is slower and more expensive.
posted by muckster at 2:04 PM on May 20, 2004


Right on, Civil_Disobedient.
posted by emelenjr at 3:27 PM on May 20, 2004


Faze, if you could write a script that scraped MeFi for music threads and automatically posted how much the band in question sucked, you'd have so much more free time to go tell everybody at the ice cream stand their favorite flavor sucks.
posted by yerfatma at 3:29 PM on May 20, 2004


Just think how much time we would all save if someone could write a script that scraped MeFi for political and current event threads and automatically posted how much Bush sucks.
posted by keswick at 3:40 PM on May 20, 2004


yerfatma, that's classic. keswick, that's tired.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:20 PM on May 20, 2004


I know, tell me about it.
posted by keswick at 5:25 PM on May 20, 2004


bob sarabia - This may surprise you, but I'm not a fan of the Dead's music, either. I think some of the stuff Garcia did with David Grisman is joyously wonderful (check out "Grateful Dawg" on Kazaa, for instance), but Jerry's voice kinda grates on me. That said, I have enormous respect for their work and the music they inspired. It's the quality of their talents that most impress me -- watching a group of talented musicians communicate with each other without saying a word is fascinating and beautiful. Phish took this idea and practically made a science out of it.

You shouldn't judge a musicians work by their fans. I spent all of my highschool years making fun of 'heads because of their uninspiring sameness -- same clothes, same interests, same stupid way of dancing... then I actually took the time to listen to their music, and never looked back. It is a bit wierd being the "odd-man out" at a concert, luckily most of their fans don't care too much. It's not like dressing preppie and going to a Metallica concert, for example.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:32 PM on May 20, 2004


muckster, this was a fantastic post! You highlighted some definite classics in your links, mostly the same ones I would've guessed from your titles. Like someone else said, I, too, have 100 tapes gathering dust under my bed, but there are three I keep in my car as old standbys when the radio sucks: 5/8/77 Barton Hall, 7/8/78 Red Rocks and 6/14/91 RFK (my first show and a great one).

And C_D, great comments re: the magical moments of live music of the Dead and Phish.

grateful (perfect nick for this thread, eh?): thanks for your links as well.

Metafilter: Been here so long, I've got to callin' it home. (had to do it)
posted by msacheson at 6:28 PM on May 20, 2004


5/8/77

Ah, man, I wish I was in my parents' basement right now. That is the smokinest 3 hours of music I have ever heard. If only I had been born then.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:02 PM on May 20, 2004


I used 'leeching' as synonym for downloading.

The verb 'to leech' in this context is generally considered to have a negative connotation, and implies the leecher is downloading without sharing or contributing in any way, particularly in a peer to peer context.

For what it's worth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:05 AM on May 21, 2004


This is freakin' awesome.

I bought an iPod because of this.

I'm currently grabbing 8-16-91 Shorline. One of my all time favorites (of shows that I attended), because of the Scarlet>Victim>Fire. That's the sort of moment we all went to shows for, something truly unique and improvisational. And GOOD.
Never had such a good time
in my life before
I'd like to have it one time more
One good ride from start to end
I'd like to take that ride again
Again

posted by ehintz at 12:49 AM on May 21, 2004


Hey, I'm still trying to get my hands on Sugaree from the show in the Shrine Auditorium, October 15, 1976. . . .arguably the most trancendent moment of my life. . .
posted by Danf


Having a huge collection of live recordings, and my fair share of transcendant moments, I'd suggest you download all you want but leave those "moments" a memory. They never quite hold up when revisited.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:16 AM on May 21, 2004


I'd suggest you download all you want but leave those "moments" a memory. They never quite hold up when revisited.

Yes I know that. I was being serious and ironic at the same time.

Actually my fave Dead moment came at Autzen a few years ago. They were opening with Jack Straw. . .Bobby's guitar was not working. . .no signal. . .he's getting more and more agitated, trying to sing and wondering wtf is wrong with his guitar. . .during a very extended instrumental break he runs backstage, and can be seen, from a few angles repeatedly smashing said guitar over an amp. Then his tech fitted him with another guitar and he came back and finished the song.
posted by Danf at 7:30 AM on May 21, 2004


kgasmartBut I've got broadband at work but no burner, a burner at home but no broadband!?! What to do?!?

Get thee a USB flash/pen drive. Unless your workplace is hopelessly out of date it should just work and they are smaller than your average car door remote. And they are available in 512MG and 1GB sizes so you can grab whole CD's at a time.
posted by Mitheral at 9:15 AM on May 21, 2004


if you walked into a bar and heard this band, not knowing who they were, would you stay more than two seconds?

Depends on the song, If they were playing "St. Stephen," "The Golden Road," or "Box Of Rain," then, yeah I'd stick around. If they were in the middle of some looong-ass jam, prolly not. And "Hell In A Bucket," was a refreshingly nasty slice of mean (for the Dead.)

I stated it in another thread once, they're not the greatest band in the world (although I went through a phase in High School where I wore a Blues For Allah tee) or even among the SF Scene (the nod goes to the Airplane for that, because of Grace & Marty) but they ain't as bad as their detractors say.
posted by jonmc at 10:40 AM on May 21, 2004


Thanks, I think I haven't heard any Grateful Dead before, honestly.

There's also a large number of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones shows over there.
posted by ikalliom at 4:10 AM on May 22, 2004


I have been downloading about a show a day since you posted this. I also told a few friends that have been loading up as well. Thank you.
posted by jester69 at 1:25 PM on June 4, 2004


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