Save Your Face Base

Image from Deadbase

The calendar below shows all the dates on which The Grateful Dead played a concert between their Europe 1972 tour and their last show of 1974 (boxed with dot next to the date). This is one of the handmade tools I’ve been using since I decided to finally listen to this entire period, my favorite. I recently recopied it and thought it might interest people who visit this blog. (A heavily marked up Deadbase X and are my other invaluable tools.)

Green on the calendar indicates a concert recording that The Grateful Dead have beautifully mastered and officially released, in whole or in reduced/curated form. This is a great resource, if you want to understand official releases by concert date.

Yellow on the calendar indicates a soundboard recording that I have posted highlights of on this blog. (If it is not definitively green to your eye, then it is yellow.) Sometimes this means I’ve kept as much as two hours from a single show; sometimes it means I’ve pulled together material from consecutive shows into 80 minutes of concentrated intensity. While I’m not always a stickler for the highest bit rate in my sources, I try to use the clearest circulating fan-master. 

As I’ve said before, my mixes are not meant to fill a FLAC-maniac-archivist’s sixth terabyte hard drive of Dead; they’re meant to be a cassette collection that you can carry with you and easily listen to, without wincing or wanting to skip to the next track very often. Hopefully, lots of them are previews of future, sonically-immaculate official releases. 

One way or another, each post/mix here offers a window into soundboard concert recordings that have not been released and maybe never will be (for a variety of reasons). If you don’t expect to listen to the complete 72-74 recordings in this lifetime, but you also want more 72-74 Dead in your life, all the time, then this jukebox-blog is meant for you. I never thought I’d get anywhere close to the end of this quest – even though it covers barely more than two years – but at this point (roughly 50 shows and 2.5 days of curated results) I believe that it’s becoming a pretty good map of the unreleased territory for anyone who’s willing to let a stranger give them an expedited tour.    

Anyway, this calendar might be the best possible document of what’s on this blog, so far, and where it fits into the gigography and into the officially released oeuvre. I’ll update the calendar and this post as I proceed.

7 responses
This post -- and all of them -- has been extremely useful to me, so I want to say 'gracias,' but also wanted to send you this link that might be fun-ish. Since I was a kid, I always had a vague kind of synesthesia when it comes to albums/music: London Calling sounds like black and white mixed with those gross pastels, and Working Man's sounds black and white mixed with a little tan. And so the runs of Dick's Picks and Dave's often bugged me, because they usually had the same color set or cover motif. So for years I've been trying to make covers for shows that I listen to regularly that are unique with images or colors. The link above has some shows from 71 and 72, and I stole some of your images, mostly because I began to associate the shows with the images you had attached to the shows. ...I haven't been able to make a 73 or 74 template that was satisfying, but soon I hope. ....Thanks again for all your work! ...I originally made this link for a friend, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't post the whole zip/folder. Individual files are ok. Carry on!
Alec - these covers are extremely cool, and I respect your commitment to making the music look the way it sounds to you. If I were better at typography, I might be as ambitious as you are. I don't experience synesthesia, but I take great pleasure in finding images that match the music/mood as I hear it. My opinion is that every show ought to be released with the date and place as the primary title (generic, systematic, obvious, organizable) and with a cover that has no relation to any other shows' covers - unique "album art" every time. I'm always pleased when they do a stand-alone boxed set, with its own identity; all releases should be like that. On the other hand, the ornate template of the "Dave's Picks" series, combined with the extremely busy art they almost always choose, just seems like a mess to me; it never sticks to the music in my head. I'm really gratified to learn how useful and pleasurable my mixes have been to you. Back in tape trading days, I was kind of a dead end in the circulatory system, so it's great to be paying it forward now. It has been hugely educational to me, too.
"Back in tape trading days, I was kind of a dead end in the circulatory system, so it's great to be paying it forward now. It has been hugely educational to me, too." This is amazing to read, and very cool. You are doing wonderful work that is greatly appreciated. I'm about 16 months into my exploration of live Dead -- after more than 20 years of loving all the early '70s official albums -- and well-informed fan compilations have played a key role in my new appreciation for their work. Yours are the best I've come across, easily. I'm always excited to see a new post. My favorite part of this calendar is that there are still a lot of white boxes. :) Thanks for all you've done... and all you're going to do!
Tom, this is a fantastic compliment. Thank you. I was really uncertain how people would regard this approach to GD recordings - chopping shows down, editing out vocals, etc. It really does make me tremendously happy that my trail of breadcrumbs is giving other people a lot of joy. Thank you again for the comment.
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