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Does anyone else think Jeff is getting carried away with the Grateful Dead thing?


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This is my psycosis but the GD are about my least favorite band of all time. In fact, I usually call them the Hateful Fred (thanks to Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices). I saw them a few times & was bored out of my skull. The second time I walked out after a few songs. Santana opened & was the main reason I went. I had a former friend whom I did a favor & hired to work in the warehouse I ran. He made me listen to them every single f'n day for 2 excruciating years. Since then I can't listen to them in any context even by bands I like, Wilco being an example. If "US Blues" popped up in a Wilco concert during the encore I think I would leave. Jeff said something in an interview about there being a Fred influence on the last record. Could be the reason that subconsciously that it's probably my least favorite Wilco record. Just say no!!!!!!!

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First off: Dead fans, many of you seem accustomed to people shitting on your favorite band and you seem to handle it with grace and good humor. You do you. It's refreshingly unpretentious.

 

Secondly, I am a fellow Dead skeptic. Although, I find some rewarding music can be found on American Beauty and Working Man's Dead as the pure folk side of the band, I find their overall shtick and sound to be annoying and lame like you.

 

As for Wilco, I think the Dead connection on CC might be some subtle echos of those two folkier GD albums I mentioned above. I've seen them play "US Blues" and it was fine. Everyone was having fun so I bit back my cynicism for love of humanity. I think this is about as Grateful Dead as you're going to see it get (unless for some reason you're going to a Philco show). The thing with Wilco is like My Morning Jacket- they have some crossover fans with String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic and other jam band fans. This connects with the Dead too. While far more deliberate and concise in their music, these folks get off on the level of improvisation and instrumental prowess the Wilco guys bring to a show. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is, "Don't worry." That stuff has always been adjacent. It's sweet, harmless, and horribly dorky but it's not exactly where our favorite Chicago sextet is coming from. This is as Dead as it's going to get.

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I second your emotion.

 

JT - "When we kicked into that song the first time we did it, in an encore, I don't know if I've ever seen a reaction like that from such a sizable portion from the audience."

 

- which doesn't say if it was a good or bad reaction, though I suppose it means good.

 

https://www.grammy.com/news/wilco-cruel-country-jeff-tweedy-interview-new-album

 

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I am a Deadhead -- I don't see any correlation between the two bands.

 

Tweedy and Cline played with Phil Lesh over the summer and they must have enjoyed playing "U.S. Blues" that night,  thus they put in it their set, I don't think there is anymore to it. Over the years they have played a cover at the end of their set - so I don't think it anthing nothing new. 

 

I was at the Phil show that night and I thought the band's version of U.S. Blues was the weakest song of the night. When I read that Wilco played it in their own set, I was skeptical -- then I heard their version and really enjoyed it -- definitely had a lot more punch than the version with Phil Lesh. I think Kotche and Stirratt bring that punch ---- plus the tune is a great solo vehicle for all the rest of members -- Jorgensen even  has an opportunity and on the versions that I have heard, he nails it. 

 

Honestly, I am not too familiar to their latest record -- waiting for it to be released on vinyl. I streamed it once and maybe it has a American Beauty/Workingman's Dead vibe to it. But not sure what Tweedy is referring to in that interview. Perhaps they way it was recorded?

 

Also, Tweedy use to play "Ripple" back in the day during his solo show --- so playing a Grateful Dead song is not unprecedented. 

 

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I wasn't trying to offend anyone. I'm chemo sick this week & just had to get it off my chest. Wilco has long been a favorite band (since Summerteeth) & I just don't want to see them go too far in that direction. Other artists I like have covered songs. Hell, even Midnight Oil did one but they didn't continue on that path. On the other hand, I don't care for the National. They took it way too far. Overall, with a few exceptions like MMJ, I'm not a jam band guy. More of a 2 guitars, Marshall stacks & a cloud of dust guy.

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54 minutes ago, chuckrh said:

 I'm chemo sick this week & just had to get it off my chest. 

 

Oh dang. Sorry to hear it. Wishing you well.

 

56 minutes ago, chuckrh said:

On the other hand, I don't care for the National. They took it way too far. 

 

Wait, you detect traces of Dead in the National?

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Thanks for posting this. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one in the world who doesn't love the Dead. I like a few of their records... American Beauty and Working Man's Dead are solid. But yeah, when I saw Wilco this September and they played US Blues everyone got excited and I was just thinking about the show a few nights earlier that got Kicking Television. 🤷‍♂️

But I'm sure there's some Wilco fans who don't like Neil Young and wouldn't get excited like I did when the band busts out Cinnamon Girl like they did in St Paul in 2019. Not even the Beatles are admired by everyone, and that's fine.

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1 hour ago, chuckrh said:

I wasn't trying to offend anyone. I'm chemo sick this week & just had to get it off my chest. Wilco has long been a favorite band (since Summerteeth) & I just don't want to see them go too far in that direction. Other artists I like have covered songs. Hell, even Midnight Oil did one but they didn't continue on that path. On the other hand, I don't care for the National. They took it way too far. Overall, with a few exceptions like MMJ, I'm not a jam band guy. More of a 2 guitars, Marshall stacks & a cloud of dust guy.

 

I by no means was offended (if you were talking about me) ----- to each there own when it comes to music. 

 

Members of the National and Bob Weir have played together. Weir put out a record called Blue Mountain with some of the members. Saw a show with while Weir was supporting the record --- a great show. Must admit I was not familiar with any of his backing band and they all sounded pretty great. 

 

https://pitchfork.com/news/67639-grateful-deads-bob-weir-shares-new-song-with-the-national-members-listen/

 

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3 minutes ago, TCP said:

Thanks for posting this. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one in the world who doesn't love the Dead. I like a few of their records... American Beauty and Working Man's Dead are solid. But yeah, when I saw Wilco this September and they played US Blues everyone got excited and I was just thinking about the show a few nights earlier that got Kicking Television. 🤷‍♂️

But I'm sure there's some Wilco fans who don't like Neil Young and wouldn't get excited like I did when the band busts out Cinnamon Girl like they did in St Paul in 2019. Not even the Beatles are admired by everyone, and that's fine.

I love Kicking Television

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1 minute ago, calvino said:

If I had choice between U.S. Blues and Kicking Television - I would pick Kicking Television.

 

And who would want to hear a Beatles' cover - ugh. 

Last Wilco show I saw they did Helter Skelter with Young Fresh Fellows (Scott on lead vocals) & it was a lot of fun. Extremely noisy!

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Also, Tweedy probably wishes he was hip as the Grateful Dead is now. Regardless of liking their music or not -- one should at least admire that Weir, Kreutzmann, Hart and others are still filling up stadiums 27 years after Garcia died. For me it about the tunes that they wrote, but again to each their own. 

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9 hours ago, calvino said:

Also, Tweedy use to play "Ripple" back in the day during his solo show --- so playing a Grateful Dead song is not unprecedented. 

 


At Irving Plaza in 2001 Jeff made comments that he really didn't like the Grateful Dead. He played Ripple a night or two before (Philly or Baltimore perhaps), and I recall that the story was he sang made-up/derisive lyrics. I don't have that tape but I was at/have tape of the Irving show. Maybe Jeff was just needling the particular audience member who got his attention, and didn't really mean what he said about the Dead. But I was surprised when later on when Jeff teamed up with the various remaining Grateful Dead elements. Maybe was just acting nice after growing up and sobering up, and having moved on to a higher rung in the rock and roll ladder where it paid to be more respectful of the elder statespersons, or maybe he really was a fan all along.

 

Anyhow, as far as Wilco goes, I don't think they've taken the GD thing far or anywhere at all. I don't hear a GD influence in CC or any albums. The only time I ever felt like "wow, that sounds like the Grateful Dead!" was Ashes of American Flags at the Capitol Theater in 2014. It sounded right out of spring '77.

 

I am far more interested in the Dead than in numerous bands that Wilco has covered and who Jeff has covered/referenced on the Tweedy show, or who they've invited to SSF. Wilco's musical influences and my personal favorites don't overlap much and the Dead is one of the rare cases where they do. The audience sing-along Ripple finale of that Capitol Theater run in 2014 was one of the best concert experiences I've been part of.

US Blues is fun and I dig Wilco's version.

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I do not like The Grateful Dead. I love some of their songs when covered by other artists. I thought that the Dead covers album with Dwight Yoakam doing Truckin’ was/is an incredible album. I saw The Dead in 1978 when I was 15. It seemed as though they played one song for 2 hours or more. Granted, I was higher than any 15 year old should have been, but I did not enjoy it, music-wise. I have a close friend who is a serious fan. We don’t talk about them! Ha! 
I can listen to studio Dead, such as American Beauty and Working Man’s Dead, but any live recordings turn me off. The entire jam thing does nothing for me. I saw the Dylan tour with Bob Weir, MMJ and Wilco (with my Dead loving pal!) If memory serves, it was just Weir and a guitar. I enjoyed it. When he joined Wilco for a Dead song or two, it was excellent. 
Basically, I usually enjoy when a band I love busts out a Dead cover. It's rarely an extended jam bore and I love it. So even though I do not like live Dead, I like when they are covered live. So I’m cool with Wilco Deading it up in concert, as long as they don’t do masturbatory noodling.

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