Tag Archives: Grateful Dead

the Beijing Dead Live @ Hot Cat Friday Night


The Beijing Dead and Illness Sickness are rocking Hot Cat this Friday Night. Get your Grateful Dead fix in China. The show starts at 9pm. It’s free. Hot Cat Club is located at 46 Fangjia Hutong. Dig.


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The Riffhard World Cup: Who’s In?

Without further ado, here are the qualifiers for the Riffhard World Cup. For a summary of the rules click here.

Keith Richards Group

– Jumpin’ Jack Flash

– Satisfaction

– Happy

– Honky Tonk Woman

the 90s Group

– Come As You Are (Nirvana)

– Killing in the Name of (Rage Against the Machine)

– Chalkdust Torture (Phish)

– Enter Sandman (Metallica)

The Hendrix Group

– 3rd Stone From the Sun

– Purple Haze

– Machine Gun

– If 6 Were 9

the 80s Group

– Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top)

– Texas Flood (SRV)

– 1999 (Prince)

– Crosseyed & Painless (Talking Heads)

the Led Zeppelin Group

– Good Times, Bad Times

– Immigrant Song

– The Crunge

– Dazed & Confused

the Funky Soul Group

– Sex Machine (James Brown)

– Soul Man (Sam & Dave)

– Just Kissed My Baby (the Meters)

– Beat It (MJ)

the 1960s Group

– Day Tripper (the Beatles)

– Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)

– Tired of Waiting for You (the Kinks)

– My Generation (the Who)

the 1970s Group

– Cocaine (Eric Clapton)

– Midnight Rider (the Allman Brothers)

– Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)

– Everybody Knows this is Nowhere (Neil Young)

Surprises? Songs I totally screwed over? Let me know what you think in the comments. Keef and the 90s start pool play on Friday. Who’ll get their satisfaction?



Filed under China, Music

Chinese Bands Should Learn to be Gratefully, Dead

I don’t mean Chinese bands should sleep with the fishes…obviously. But I do think Chinese bands need to start thinking about the business side of things like the Grateful Dead did. Here’s a few business lessons from the Dead.

1. Live first.

Everyone loves a good album, that’s a given. But the disruptive force of the internet makes it very, very hard to make money off an album. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them, however. Albums help legitimize and advertise your band. Every couple of years you need to make an album to let people know you’re still here. Just don’t expect a lot of people to buy it.

The Dead, for whatever reason, could never really make an album that successfully captured their on-stage magic. But it didn’t matter. The Dead put the live experience first, relentlessly touring and building a strong fan-base.

Being a live band is grueling and building a fan-base takes time, but I don’t see an alternative in China. Maybe, if you’re beautiful enough, you can become one of those pop star/actor/advertising personalities.


2. Let them tape, let them share.

The Dead didn’t build their audience through touring alone. They crowd-sourced their fans as a broad distribution network by allowing anyone & everyone to tape their shows. No Dead show was complete without a strange battery of recording equipment brought by fans who wanted to capture the Dead’s shows and share them. Slowly, a worldwide tape-trading network developed and the Dead’s music was advertised through word of mouth and a community of rabid fans. For Free.

Deadheads had to trade their shows the old-fashioned way: either you had a circle of friends that included a taper or you traded cassettes through mail-order vines. Today, the process is much easier. Web 2.0 has so many different audio/video sharing options it is pointless to list them. Anyway, you don’t need to control where your audience puts their recordings and videos. Give them the opportunity to do it and they will.


3. The connection between live first + let them tape.

The real key for Chinese bands is figuring out how to combine points 1 and 2. If you aren’t amazing live, no one will want to listen to your shows. It’s important that bands in China start working on their live shows, making them more entertaining and more unique. If every show is the same, no one really needs to trade it or come back for another bite. As a band in the 21st Century you’re making content, and like any other content, music has to be great and unique for people to share it.


4. Residence A

Residence A is a band that’s on the right track. They put on a great show and they’ve self-booked a 30 date tour. Hopefully a community of audio/video traders will develop around the band and help take them to next level.


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Filed under China, Music, Not There

Listening Project Wave 5

After way too long a break, the Listening Project continues…

Artist: Brian Eno

Album: Ambient 1: Music for Airports

Comments: Enjoyed listening to this a lot, very relaxing. Eno’s “Ambient Music” might be the last “new” genre of music. The influence of this album can be felt from Phish to the Mars Volta. No standout tracks since it really has to be enjoyed as a whole.


Artist: Grateful Dead

Album American Beauty:

Comments: A folk rock masterpiece. Robert Hunter’s lyrics are haunting, cryptic and full of an imagined “old, weird America.” “Box of Rain” is close to a perfect song: meaningful, challenging and beautifully produced.


Artist: Johnny Cash

Album: America IV: When the Man Comes Around

Artist: Not as good as I remember it being. The song selection is forced and maudlin. “Hurt” is interesting and probably the only thing that stands the test of time.


Artist: Del McCoury Band & Preservation Hall

Album: American Legacies

Comments: What should have been an interesting collaboration isn’t actually very interesting. Turns out Bluegrass and Dixieland, despite common roots in the blues, make pretty uncomfortable bedfellows. The songs sound over-stuffed, like a stew with too many ingredients.


Artist: Jackie Greene

Album: American Myth

Comments: Middling post alt.country rock. “So Hard to Find My Way” is a great song that’s worth checking out on Spotify. It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Van Morrison record from the early 70s.


Artist: Anders Osborne

Album: American Patchwork

Comments: NOLA’s favorite Swede swings and misses. The rocking songs don’t rock and the ballads would be better left to a country crooner. The highlight is Stanton Moore’s half-swung, half rocking drumming, but I’d rather listen to Galactic.


Artist: the Black Crowes

Album: Amorica

Comments: I got Amorica as a gift when I was a teenager and it still rocks hard. “Wiser Time” and “A Conspiracy” are great fucking rock songs. Highly recommended for anyone that likes whiskey & guitars.


Artist: NIN

Album: And All That Could Have Been

Comments: I have no idea why I have this or where it came from. A tepid live album that doubles as a greatest hits package. I’ve never seen NIN. Are they really this bad live?


Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: Animals

Comments: A forgotten prog-disco Pink Floyd Album! Songs with Animal themes! Pretty cool, but it won’t be replacing Dark Side of the Moon in your rotation.


Artist: Uncle Tupelo

Album: Anodyne

Comments: The smartest thing Jeff Tweedy did was leaving to start Wilco. Uncle Tupe hasn’t aged well & Jay Farrar’s vocals are pretty damn ragged. The highlight is probably “Give Back the Key to My Heart” which features a gurgling but beautiful duet with folk-rock hero Doug Sahm. I also like the Tweedy penned “New Madrid” which seems to be about St. Louis.


Artist: Brian Eno

Album: Another Green World

Comments: Amazing.


Artist: Bob Dylan

Album: Another Side of Bob Dylan

Comments: Dylan’s first attempt at reefer drenched wit isn’t his best, but “Chimes of Freedom” and “My Back Pages” are genius. Worth a spin just to hear them in the original context.



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