July 8, 2008

“The Family Dog Presents The Art That Defined a Generation”

A large selection of lithographic posters created by Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso as part of the Family Dog collective, are on display at Jack Gallery (6333 W. 3rd St. and 14th Los Angeles.) They herald the early performances of Big Brother, Quicksilver, Jefferson Airplane and the Dead. Rhino Entertainment, the artists, and S2 Editions are mounting the exhibit, which runs through July 14.

Productions celebrate the spirit of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Chelsea on the Rocks, Abel Ferrara’s new film (which debuted at this year’s Festival de Cannes) chronicles the Chelsea Hotel, New York’s legendary residential hotel through vintage archive footage, re-enactments, and interviews with current and recent residents (including R. Crumb who was once a local resident around our region.) Those who’ve seen this film say its most wondrous moments involve Janis jamming with the Grateful Dead. And then there is Tom Stoppard’s play Rock’N’Roll directed by Trevor Nunn which continues to be touted as “dazzling,” “passionate,” and “epic.” It sweeps from Cambridge in 1968 to Prague in 1990, and songs from Pink Floyd, the Stones, and the Grateful Dead (“Chinatown Shuffle”) underlie and support emotional performances from the cast.

All Graceful Instruments

All Graceful Instruments: The Contexts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon by Nicholas G. Meriwether and other contributors (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007) got a great review in The Journal of Popular Culture (see volume 41, Issue 2, pps 352-353.) The book, a compilation of essays in areas of literary criticism, musicology, sociology, philosophy, and business theory explores “the meaning and significance of the music of the Grateful Dead, the implications of their artistic and commercial success, and the social dimensions of their following, the Deadheads.” Scott MacFarlane, writing in The Journal of Popular Culture notes the book “provides analysis into, not only the band and its music, but also the way the Dead’s phenomenon engendered a sociospiritual microculture of Deadheads that evolved into the most intriguing fan base in rock history.” MacFarlane touts the work’s breath and comprehensiveness, and praises All Graceful Instruments as “compelling.”