Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Things I Can’t Be Bothered To Read, But Have Opinions About

Listen, man: new Dave’s Picks are coming out, Prince might be the new Garcia, and the new Joker is some sort of Redditor – I simply don’t have the time or interest in close-reading anyone’s Grand Summations on Chicago.

Maybe you’d like to. If there’s anything I should have noted in these articles, then bring it up in the comments; I just need to get these fucking tabs off my browser.

The Dubious End of the Grateful Dead, which is a decent article with an awful title, is by Stephen Hayden, who is a decent writer, and appears in Grantland, which is a terrible site. He watched from his couch and gets a little too into the “DEAD INVENTED SHOW BIZ” thing, but there’s nothing objectionable about the matter.

GRADE: Spending the night in Reno just to watch it die.

As Dead Exit, A Debate Will Not Fade Away appeared in today’s New York Times and examines Chicago, and Santa Clara, from a little-examined point-of-view: what do assholes think? No one before this article had thought to ask what nasty and self-righteous baby boomers had to say. “I got mine,” a man born through sheer luck in the right place and time to see the Dead 400 times said. “Fuck these kids: if the Grateful Dead isn’t PRECISELY LIKE I WANT IT TO BE, then it’s shit.”

GRADE: Being described as “X years young.”

Fake Rainbows, Hologram Jerrys, and the Sloppy Legacy of the Grateful Dead’s Final Shows by Rob Mitchum can be found in Pitchfork right next to the 10.0 review of Chief Keef’s latest mixtape/deposition. It may be satire: references to Nuggets, Stephen Malkmus, and Sonic Youth? Yup. Insinuation that since people Pitchfork says is cool think the Dead are cool, then ipso facto? Uh-huh. That fucking Don Henley line? Oh, yeah.

GRADE: But, what does Steve Albini think?

Goodbye To Shakedown Street, The Grateful Dead’s Traveling Drug Bazaar can be found at Buzzfeed and was written by Amanda Chicago Lewis and is every bit as good as the Buzzfeed brand suggests. At the end of the piece, there is a quiz entitled “Which dead Dead member are you!?” I got Brent.

Ms. Lewis follows some suburban burn-out around as people goof on him; there are grand pronouncements; she quotes from far better writers and the whole thing blows donkeys. Nothing good has ever been created by anyone named Chicago; I include The Dinner Party.

GRADE: Is Your Fandom On Fleek Or Problematic?

Grateful Dead ‘Fare Thee Well’ Report Card by Stewart Sallo can, if read aloud, summon the Abandoned Gods and begin the Dickening. (It’s like the Quickening, but with dicks.) Let’s partially list the transgressions at random:

  1. Maybe don’t open with John Lennon being shot in the face.
  2. Don’t continue the analogy with Lennon being replaced for a Beatles tour because the Beatles weren’t a live act.
  3. I can’t even with this.
  4. “Problematic.”
  5. This word, man.
  7. Besides the neat semantic trick of shifting agency onto the statement/person/action.
  8. Calling, say, a book problematic is different than saying you have a problem with the book.
  9. By employing the passive construction of “problematic,” you essentially relinquish choice to the now-inherent wrongness of our hypothetical book.
  10. Stop blaming shit cuz you don’t like it.
  11. Wait, isn’t this one of those Open-Letter writing ninnies who whined until Peter Shapiro called him and made him feel special and smart?
  12. Ain’t nobody got time for this.

GRADE: You lose! You get nothing! Good day, sir!

You’re a ray of sunshine.

Sunshine’s made of skin cancer.


Anything good?

Well, yes: Call Them Hippies, But the Grateful Dead Were Tech Pioneers in Wired is a thoroughly intelligent and well-researched read by Jesse Jarnow. Good stuff on the almost-ludicrous myriad of ways the Dead did everything first, mostly due to luck and orneriness. Sure, it leaves out stuff like the Dead’s attempt to build a rail gun (it went poorly,) or their second attempt to build a rail gun (which went far more poorly in the sense that they succeeded and now, you know: the Grateful Dead has a rail gun.)

GRADE: Please don’t take your dick out in Foot Locker again.


  1. What is this “problematic” thing you keep addressing? Am I not paying attention or is this something new??????? It feels familiar but idk

  2. You clearly read them, liar

  3. A little disappointed there was no quiz at the end of the buzzfeed article

  4. Rule Of Thumb: If the text won’t fit on a meme poster, I don’t bother reading it.
    You’re Welcome.

  5. The Lee Ranaldo piece was great. Dick out at footlocker type stuff

    There’s an odd part in this Trixie Garcia interview where she says her highlight was hearing Iko Iko. Which I found problematic because I’m pretty sure they didn’t play Iko Iko.

  6. Pitchfork is the go-to stop for learning what uber-privillieged white men who legitimately think that they are not uber-privillieged think about music you’re not cool enough to like.

    Reading Pitchfork is all of the worst parts of those kids in high school who had to one up you in everything with something more obscure that they don’t even like, but that no one’s into because it’s obscure garbage for a reason. Corollary: Reading Pitchfork is like high school.

    Reading Pitchfork is like being slapped with a forest full of dicks, like stepping on a dick-rake a la Sideshow Bob over and over again, leaving you with humungous dong-shaped welts all over your person.

    I don’t much care for Pitchfork’s particular brand of dick-based music “journalism” is the take away.

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