Description : More than fifteen years since the death of lead guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead stand as a symbol of the unresolved cultural clashes of the 1960s. The band s thirty-year odyssey is a testament to the American imagination, with thousands of live concert recordings by fans and the band itself, preserved alongside an impressive array of images, artwork, and paraphernalia. Most recently, the Grateful Dead have released from their vault their entire 1972 European tour, one of the largest boxed sets of live music seventy-three compact discs ever released. This publicly available archive of recorded music lays the groundwork for David Malvinni s exploration of the band s musical signature as the ultimate jam band in Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation. Malvinni considers a select group of songs from the Dead s early repertoire, from its unique covers of Viola Lee Blues, Midnight Hour, and Love Light to original masterpieces like Dark Star. Marrying basic music analysis to philosophical frames offered by improvisatory musings of Heidegger, Derrida, and Deleuze, Malvinni presents the core aesthetic underlying the Dead s musical styling. In tracing the evolution of the band s unique jam style, Malvinni outlines the Dead s gift as gatherers and inventors of old and new soundscapes in their multifaceted improvisations. Like no other band, the Dead brought together a variety of styles from roots and folk to country and modal jazz to postmodern European art music. Devoted Deadheads reveled in the band s polyglot, risk-filled approach to playing live and the joint band-audience quest to reach a type of sonic cosmic ecstasy, commonly described as the X factor. Although fans and scholars alike recognize the Grateful Dead as icons of psychedelic music, the band s improvisatory approach still remains an enigma to the uninitiated. In Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation, Malvinni unravels this mystery, walking readers through the band s musical decision-making process. Written for rock music fans with little to no background in music theory, as well as scholars and students of popular music culture, the book reveals the method behind the seeming chaos of America s greatest jam band."
Description : Listening for the Secret is a critical assessment of the Grateful Dead and the distinct culture that grew out of the group’s music, politics, and performance. With roots in popular music traditions, improvisation, and the avant-garde, the Grateful Dead provides a unique lens through which we can better understand the meaning and creation of the counterculture community. Marshaling the critical and aesthetic theories of Adorno, Benjamin, Foucault and others, Ulf Olsson places the music group within discourses of the political, specifically the band’s capacity to create a unique social environment. Analyzing the Grateful Dead’s music as well as the forms of subjectivity and practices that the band generated, Olsson examines the wider significance and impact of its politics of improvisation. Ultimately, Listening for the Secret is about how the Grateful Dead Phenomenon was possible in the first place, what its social and aesthetic conditions of possibility were, and its results. This is the first book in a new series, Studies in the Grateful Dead.
Description : The Rock Music Imagination explores creativity in classic rock, its roots in the blues, and its wide cultural impact. The romantic strains of rock imagination are examined in the songs of popular rock bands, the sixties counterculture, science fiction, the rock music novel, and rock’s attention to human rights in the global community.
Description : Since the 1960s, the Grateful Dead have welcomed and participated in academic work on the band, encouraging scrutiny from a wide variety of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, from anthropology to sociology. Interest in Dead studies is growing across the country and around the world, and UC–Santa Cruz’s Grateful Dead Archive continues to attract a high level of attention. In Reading the Grateful Dead: A Critical Survey, Nicholas G. Meriwether has assembled essays that examine the development of Grateful Dead studies. This volume features work from three generations of scholars, including a wide variety of perspectives on the band and its cultural significance. From insiders like lyricist John Perry Barlow and longtime band publicist and historian Dennis McNally to well-known Deadhead scholars such as Barry Barnes and Rebecca Adams, the contributors to this volume offer valuable insights into the Grateful Dead phenomenon. No other Dead book focuses on the growth and development of the discourse, contains such a range of critical approaches, nor features work by luminaries Stan Krippner and Barnes, among others. The four sections of the book describe aspects and approaches to Dead studies, along with overviews of how the discipline evolved and what it comprises today. This collection will appeal to scholars, students, and teachers interested in Dead studies and fans of the band.
Description : ‘Counterculture’ emerged as a term in the late 1960s and has been re-deployed in more recent decades in relation to other forms of cultural and socio-political phenomena. This volume provides an essential new academic scrutiny of the concept of ‘counterculture’ and a critical examination of the period and its heritage.
Description : Deadhead Social Science is a collection of papers examining various aspects of the complex subculture surrounding the rock band, the Grateful Dead. Deadheads, as Grateful Dead fans are called, followed the band from venue to venue until the band announced their dissolution in December of 1995. Deadhead Social Science addresses the questions: What is a Deadhead? How does a Deadhead identity evolve? Why would a person choose an identity that would be viewed negatively by a larger society? Why are Deadheads viewed negatively by the larger society? Is the Deadhead community a popular religion? How did a rock band develop a religious following? The book also examines the music, the role of vendors, and the reaction by "host" communities to the Grateful Dead and its following. One key theme in Deadhead Social Science is the interconnections among teaching, research, and personal interests written from a variety of social science disciplinary traditions.
Description : In Why the Grateful Dead Matter, veteran writer and lifelong Deadhead Michael Benson argues that the Grateful Dead are not simply a successful rock-and-roll band but a phenomenon central to American culture. He defends the proposition that the Grateful Dead are, in fact, a musical movement as transformative as any -ism in the artistic history of this century and the last. And a lot more fun than most. From the street festivals of Haight-Ashbury to the cross-country acid tests with the Merry Pranksters, and from the sound-and-light show at the Great Pyramid at Giza to the ecstatic outpouring of joy at Soldier Field in the summer of '15, the Grateful Dead have been at the center of American life, music, and karmic flow for fifty years. In Why the Grateful Dead Matter, Michael Benson brings it all back to life and makes a compelling case for the band's lasting cultural importance.
Description : This book provides both a historical survey of rock from its evolution in the mid-1950s to the twenty first century and introduces elements of music exclusively through rock and roll. [This book] addresses a multitude of rock variations amid a great array of styles. From soft rock to heavy metal to rap and alternative rock, each style is acutely analyzed with equal emphasis and an objective point of view. The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, and Chicago are only a few of the many great rock artists who are featured in order to exemplify stylistic characteristics throughout the book. Biographical information and in-depth examinations of their blockbuster hits are also highlighted.-Back cover.