April 20, 2009

The Dead Live On and On

Ben Ratliff in an amazing three page color, illustrated article appearing in the April 12th Sunday issue of the NY Times entitled "Bring Out Your Dead" discusses the five different levels of how fans talk about the Grateful Dead. There are those who discuss the band's commercially released albums, those that get into the period or eras, and those that focus on the band's best night, or on particular songs from particular performances. Ratliff then gets to "thinner air" where he says discussion goes to audience vs. soundboard tapes, the mixing bias of engineers, and onward into what he calls "the darkness of obsession." But truly mesmerizing are the online comments from fans that, in response to the article, have voted for their greatest shows and submitted their photos. It's an extraordinary outpouring; find it at "The Dead Live On." nytimes.com/music.

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