Grateful Dead: Lesh is More Concrète (December 1973)

Jesse Jarnow pointed out that Phil Lesh takes over the Grateful Dead for six, extended, abstract bass adventures during the December 1973 shows.

Here are those passages, in chronological order, gently segued, totaling 39 minutes. The first one gives you a couple of minutes to orient yourself before Godzilla reaches the power station.

These are not bass solos (other players present), but Phil steps beyond the normal zones of 1973-1974 collective abstraction to establish his own soundscape plots - dropping bombs, embracing distortion, shifting an octave, firing off drones and tones. The band generally steps back to give him a canvas, with much of the accompaniment minimal and often gentle. It is paradoxically violent and soothing music.

39-minute mp3 mix zipped up here (dates/cities included in song titles)

Cover art: Howard V. Brown for the May 1934 issue of Astounding Stories. It reminds me a little bit of the cover of Neil Young’s abstract distortion album “Arc,” while also inviting you to hear this music in color.

17 responses
Haven't had a chance to listen to it yet -- it's only been up three minutes -- but the illustration you've chosen for this is fantastic. It sets the scene!
Sounds fun! Can’t wait to listen. Glad you’re back.
Bartographer, I owe you multiple replies!
I don't know why for the life of me, but as I look at the illustration, I can't help but see the man as Craig Ferguson, formerly of the Late Late if I wasn't already going to dig this, now the picture will only add to it...LOL
Wow. A serious deep dive into The Philzone. Well worth it, this was some of the furthest out stuff the Dead ever attempted. Thanks as always for your tireless efforts in recasting Dead material. Yes, and very groovy grafix as always.
Thanks! I look forward to getting my Phil.
The guy in the illustration reminds me of Jerry Lee Lewis bangin' on the ol' piano!
Rich, can't argue your vision over mine, as I can see it too 🤣👍🏻
9 visitors upvoted this post.