Monday, June 27, 2005

Checking in...irenie Babble...

It's time to get packing over here..
For me that means cleaning out my drawers and closets because it's the easiste way to find stuff...rather than tear through everything looking for whatever, leaving my room looking like a crime scene, I merely empty all my stuff on the bed and make 3 big heaps- stuff to be donated, stuff to reorganize and stuff to take. Did that yesterday with my accessorydrawers - jewlery,cosmetics and paper things like addies...Found one set of voltage converters and both battery chargers with rechargable batteries...Not too bad- but considering weve only lived here about 10 months, the junk sure piles up!
Doing pretty well, off work one week now and a week from now, we'll be on our way!
I googled up the Virgin Atlantic Airways and enjoyed purusing the site- looked up which movies & programs they'll have going across and back...Nice to see the have video games on the plane- that should keep the 10 year old reasonable entertained..
Anyhow last week was some scrambling around..wanting to play since school was over but needing to get a few things workied out.
We celebrated by spending an entire day wandering through the streets of SF...
Grabbed the Millbrae BART around 10 am
Usually when BART stops at the airport only a few folks get in or out..but Friday it was crazy! Loads of same sex couples getting into town for the big Castro Street Gay Pride weekend..
So many same sex couples in the city on Friday that it almost felt a little like the 70's...almost.
walked up Mission from 24th street- a much nicer direction than coming down 16th (trust me on this!)
Spent a few minutes at the shop with Scott, choosing dvds to take on the trip from the used dvds they sell.
Decided too early for lunch and so headed out to Mitchell's for ice cream (no relation to Mitchell Brothers sex shows)...We walked up to Valencia all the way out to Cesar Chavez boulevard (2&1/2 miles) Still couldnt find Mitchell's (because it's on San Jose not Valencia-doh!)
So marched back to 24th St BART and decided to go downtown- in search of adventure on Powell street...
We wandered around Union Square unable to decide on where to lunch...remembered that the Virgin Mega store had a cupcake cafe on the top floor so headed there...the cafe turned out to not be what we wanted after all...but still the kids took their time looking through the immense book section...
Another march up to Grant street where in the distance the entry to Chinatown was noted..and so we decided to walk through it to get to Columbus...It took forever to get to North Beach- Chinatown is pretty damn big!
The kids wanted to peer through City Lights Bookstore - We've never found a bookshop we didnt like or car to explore..
this mightve happened because they get their allowance in Borders gift cards..
Marching up Columbus I spied one of venues where Kenny Brooks plays sometimes 'Jazz at Pearl's' is the place, and because my head is in a plane heading to London these daze, I got very excited to see a sax in the window- so I hoped maybe there was an early Kenny gig- but nope a different group was setting kids and I headed back out in search of lunch which we took at Buster's cheesesteak place..avoiding all the yum pizza places since we were gonna be returning to North Beach later for pizza at Tommassos.
Though the city was buzzing with tourists no one was dining at Buster's (it was about 3pm) but us so the management was kind enough to let us takeover an outside table for about an hour..the kids read and I just loafed in the sun, counting the tourbuses stopping (8)to comment in front of the Vesuvius cafe (across the street from Buster's).
We then moved down hill toward the Pyramid building and ending up on Montgomery street heading to the Montgomery BART station. We looked for our Jason among all the suits and ties since he is now gone corporate and working right there in the financial district..
Back on BART this time we took the 16 street exit back to the shop. I was ready to head back to Valencia to check out Beadissimo but the kids just wanted to rest. So we went up to the apartment..The weather was still really pleasant so we sat out on the deck Kids again submerged in books, I again just loafing, enjoying the views- From the back deck, some of the Pyramid is visable and you can see the tops of the shops along Mission from the front deck you can see twin peaks and the rainbow flag of the Castro and the top of the Mission church...
Finally 5:30 arrived and we watched Scott appear from around the to Tommassos to re- consume all the calories we walked off.
A pretty great day practicing being tourists in our own big city!

Was very upset to hear/read of Chet Helm's death!
The fragility of life sort of had been haunting me through the day in SF...Lots of memories of back in the days (my era being the 70's & 80's not really the 60's) when (mostly unbelievably gorgeous) Gay men ruled SF...My buddy Stan, from High School had just come out of the closet in 76 and in between boyfriends and husbands, when I was really really depressed, Stan would insist we go to SF and see what mischief (mostly he) we could get into...Stan like so many others (including Scott's friend Michael) died of Aids in the early 90s...seeing the return of so many same sex couples in SF all day was a bittersweet reminder of the old days with Stan
Do the hustle! YMCA!
I'm just a love machine!
But then to learn of Chet Helms passing, brought me down...
Cant say I knew Chet Helms.. he was everywhere but he was as gentle-practically timid- compared to all the other great charactors of the 60's that still pop up at Dead related events..nothing surreal about Chet with those big doe eyes of his..Anyone and everyone could approach him and he seemed a little shy but happy to oblige with a little conversation or a gentle smile...I mightve found myself having traded pleasantries maybe a few dozen times with him...when they say he was the polar opposite of Bill Graham, I'd have to agree from what I knew of them...
Time to get back to packing...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

{{{{{Chet Helms}}}


We miss you already.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Summer's almost here!

Up to my ears in travel plans...And trying to organize stuff...the "TO DO" list isnt sooo bad....Stuff to do like
making sure
-everyone has enough clean underwear for 10+ days?
-that we have enough voltage converters & rechargeable batteries for the cameras, gameboys,ipods& portable dvd players?

Going online to prelocate banks & atms near our accomodations..Our local bank (Scott went in to make inqueries) gave us a lot of very useful information about things such as which 'siater' bank overseas to use in order to save on the exchange rates....We also had our daily atm limit changed ..because- you never know!
Once we return there will be yet more travels to organize- Sash will return to Wavy's Winnarainbow and I'll be West Virginia Ratdog bound...

Summer food for thought:

see list of all reviews from this issue: July-August 2005
Early Computing's Long, Strange Trip
Jaron Lanier

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry. John Markoff. xxvi + 310 pp. Viking, 2005. $25.95.

Does history matter? No one would think of reading Shakespeare without learning enough of the historical context to understand the Bard's words. But does the history of science and technology matter in a similar way? Does knowing the first thing about the exotic megalomaniac Nikola Tesla make any difference at all to a young engineer plugging a computer into an alternating-current outlet (one of Tesla's inventions that we take for granted today)? After all, the AC outlet will work whether Tesla is remembered or not.

Let's focus the question more narrowly: Does the history of computers as we experience them—the history of the user-interface design, for instance—matter? I say yes. Like Shakespearean English, the computer is a tool that must be understood in depth to be deeply useful, and the richer the information about context, the richer the understanding.

It is nothing short of bizarre, then, that it has taken so long for a book to appear that chronicles the early cultural history of the personal computer. John Markoff's What the Dormouse Said (the title is taken from the lyrics of the Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit") tells the story of the important period when the personal computer and the Internet as we know them came into being. He also describes how a new culture of drugs, sex and rock and roll was created at the same time as the computers, sometimes in the same rooms, by some of the same people. Some readers may be shocked by the degree to which the design of modern computing was a central component of the 1960s counterculture in Northern California.

This is news that might interest young engineering students, for reasons much more important than titillation. The computer and the Internet are cultural as well as technical artifacts, and they are still changing. We can now see for the first time the relation between the aspirations of young idealistic designers and the actual experiences of people using these tools on a massive scale in a world newly rich with information. The story thus far is more inspirational than not, but it is filled with drama and lingering uncertainties.

Markoff's book covers the years 1960 to 1975 and the area south of San Francisco around Stanford University that would later come to be known as Silicon Valley. I arrived in Palo Alto in 1980, after the period described in the book, but got to know most of the people Markoff depicts. I can report that if anything, he underplays the degree to which they behaved in ways that would today be considered outrageous and radical, and what I saw was said to have been mild compared with what had come before.

click for full image and caption

The book captures what can only be called the funkiness of the time and place. I well remember the boomerang-shaped Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, hidden in the hills, at once a futuristic science-fiction vision and a dangerous, dilapidated mess that would be considered unfit for human use in the current climate of liability litigation. Masses of wires blossomed out of the rear ends of hot, giant early computers, looking rather like the hair on the heads of the engineers building them. The ragged, broken walls and ceilings were softened by the hippie décor and the fragrance of marijuana and candles, which created a warm ambience. And yes, there were drugs and naked people in the rooms where some of the code that now drives your e-mail around the globe was first set down. The people who conceived of critical aspects of modern computing moved in the same social circles as the musicians who became the Grateful Dead and the people who invented drug "tripping" and New Age spirituality.

Markoff tells the deliciously scandalous true history of computing in the '60s and also considers how that legacy matters. His principal focus is on one of the enduring ideological conflicts that first appeared then: the struggle between open and proprietary software. He presents a marvelous chronicle of the first open-source project, which was also the first video game: "Spacewar." He also describes some of the early attempts to supplant the open-community method with a proprietary regime, particularly those of a kid named Bill Gates.

Markoff has laid down a reliable record and begun the process of interpreting it, but much remains to be done. Many of the software layers we still use without thinking, like the air we breathe, are remarkably open, and this reflects the cultural context in which they were invented. For instance, when I arrived in the Valley in 1980, it was still considered somehow uncool not to live semicommunally. The ideal of communal living eventually came to be tempered (and was nearly destroyed) by the reality of interpersonal conflicts, which tore apart one group household after another in the 1980s. The architecture of e-mail as we know it was made up during the communal period; had the protocols been defined just a little later, a more realistic or even fatalistic model of human nature might have held sway. The early crafters of the idea of e-mail could have made it much harder to falsify a sender's identity, for instance, and we might have been spared some of the deluge of spam and viruses to which we are now subjected.

Markoff's narrative is organized around the stories of a few of the most creative and influential individuals of the time, such as AI pioneer John McCarthy and journalist/philosopher Stewart Brand. The most beautiful and nuanced portrait, however, is of Douglas Engelbart. Engelbart more than anyone else invented the modern user interface, modern networking and modern information management. In 1968 he demonstrated a computer he had been building, one that had rudimentary implementations of a mouse, windows, word processing, databases, network file sharing and so on. This demonstration turned out to be a transformative cultural moment—akin to the Moon landing, even if it wasn't as widely publicized.

There's an almost mythic sadness to some of the stories of the creative minds behind the modern computer. Engelbart wanted to build user interfaces to support virtuosity in users—the sort of virtuosity one would expect from a fine musician. But instead, to his profound disappointment, a compromise took hold in which only the less challenging of his ideas have come into widespread use. He and many of the other pioneers—Alan Kay and Ted Nelson, for example—labor on to this day, building the computer as they feel it should be, even as the world at large has adapted on a massive scale to a computer that to those pioneers is only half-born.

The book also captures an important early conflict between two cultures of computing that seemed compatible on the surface but actually had opposing aims. On the one side was the human-centered design work of Engelbart, based initially at the Stanford Research Institute, and on the other was artificial intelligence culture, centered on the Stanford AI lab. Engelbart once told me a story that illustrates the conflict succinctly. He met Marvin Minsky—one of the founders of the field of AI—and Minsky told him how the AI lab would create intelligent machines. Engelbart replied, "You're going to do all that for the machines? What are you going to do for the people?" This conflict between machine- and human-centered design continues to this day.

What might all this mean to young engineering students? At the very least, this book will probably serve as a hedge against complacency. How can they read these stories without wanting to prove that they can be more vital, revolutionary and inventive than a charming gang of hippies?

Reviewer Information

Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist best known for his work in virtual reality, is also a composer, visual artist and author. He is currently a visiting scientist at Silicon Graphics and an external fellow at the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day!!

Jerry Garcia tribute album will benefit Camden schools
Friday, June 17, 2005

Courier-Post Staff

Bob Makin recalls the exact moment he was moved to do something for the children of Camden. "I was stuck in a traffic jam on Mickle Boulevard, going to see one of the new incarnations of The Dead (at the Tweeter Center)," recalls Makin, 40, who spearheaded the just-released CD, Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares: A Charitable Tribute To Jerry Garcia. "I looked to my right and saw the Camden County (Jail). Then I looked to my left and saw this obviously impoverished kid. He was barefoot and malnourished-looking. He must have been 7, 8, 9 years old, and he looked right at me with so much anger in his eyes. "And I look at the jail again and think, `What does he have to lose?' Then I thought, `The Grateful Dead will help us help this kid in some way.' "

Makin, who is the entertainment editor of the Courier-News of Bridgewater, which, like the Courier-Post, is published by Gannett Co. Inc., wasn't just indulging in an altruistic fantasy. He actually had the mechanism in place to get the wheels turning. In 2002, he helped found Jersey Jams, Jersey Cares, a fiduciary fund of the Bergen County United Way which, through CD sales and concerts, raised thousands of dollars for afterschool musical mentoring programs for New Jersey children who lost parents in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. "I went to the Bergen County United Way and asked if they wanted to keep it going," he says. "They said, `Keep it going.' That's where the Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares CD came in." The three-disc set, released on June 3, features a number of musicians performing songs written by Garcia, the legendary Grateful Dead guitarist who died in August 1995.

Among those contributing are singer-songwriter David Gans, bluegrass stalwart David Grisman, a longtime Garcia collaborator, and the Dark Star Orchestra, one of the nation's top Grateful Dead tribute bands. Makin's goal is to raise enough money through sales of the CD and live events to enable the school districts in Camden and Garfield to receive $10,000 for the same kind of programs created for the 9/11 kids.

Annette D. Knox, superintendent of schools in Camden, says the district looks forward to receiving the donation. "The Camden City public school district proudly accepts the opportunity to receive this honor from the Jersey Jams fund," Knox says. "Upon board approval, we will be happy to accept the funds to use toward enhancing our music programs. We look forward to learning more about this program and the opportunities it will afford us." Makin is hoping to have the funds distributed through Little Kids Rock, a Montclair-based non-profit organization that creates music-education programs. But, he says, if that doesn't work out, the money will nonetheless get to its intended recipient. "One way or another, the Camden school district is going to get $10,000," he pledges. "One way or another, we're going to make an impact on the Camden school district."

To order a copy of `Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares: A Charitable Tribute To Jerry Garcia,' send a $20 check or money order to the Bergen County United Way (with Jersey Jams Fund in the memo).

The address is: Jersey Jams Fund, 33 Aberdeen Road, No. 355A, Matawan, NJ 07747.
For more on the CD and a schedule of upcoming concerts, go to
Leaving in a few minutes for Father's Day lunch at the nearby grill, then out to buy yet another couch, this one is for our den- looking at sofa beds...
Strange to not have plans with my folks (Scott's are deceased) My Dad is on a safari in Africa...My mother is at Golf Camp...

Friday, June 17, 2005


The power source on my computer burned out!
So, I'm using the 10 year old's computer (my older imac) and it's exxxcruuuciatingly s-l-o-w & the screen seems so tiny and getting into my mail is tricky...So I probably won't be blogging in very much until I get my imac back...
Still visiting all the regular online haunts though...
............The Non Bobby Stuff.................................................
Been a supremely busy few days though!
Sashie graduated Middle School and we are very proud of her and the armload of awards she's received...Sashie spent every year in Elementary school being pulled out of regular class to work with a "resource specialist" Although we spent a lot of time & money to get to the bottom of whatever learning differences were plaguing her, no actual diagnosis was ever made.Though a very prolific and creative storyteller, Sash had major difficulties with reading, comprehension and math...Then at the end of 5th grade, the Special Ed teacher tested her and found Sash to be at grade level and not eligable for Special help...
My friend Julie, who is also an artist and who also has a very creative child researched our local schools and found a Magnet school for the Arts and creative technology among the local Middle schools. A Magnet school is a a school with a particular curriculum set up in a less desirable neighborhood to attract students from other neighborhoods. We all visited the school, were impressed by the arts program and with the enthusiastic approval from the kids, we enrolled our girls.
From the first day to the last, Sasha soared and has succeeded beyond belief!
Among her awards, 3 are for Academic Honors, 1 is for Art and 1 is for (ahem, my favorite!) Citizenship!
Today was Noah's last day of Elementary school..We celebrate his success in moving on to Middle School..A move we werent at all sure would happen as in his case, we are dealing with an array of learning differences- Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Auditory processing disorder..Still his grades have improved and despite all the challenges, he has a good attitude about school...He loves history and is very excited to be travelling abroad with us this Summer...
just a few weeks to go!
Hey, Does it happen to you, too?
Last Night-
I finally got sore/tired of being online- rummaging around the boards etc for Bobby & Grateful Dead news/stuff..
I tell myself "Argh, ENOUGH!"
Grab my beads (still working on my trellis) or my crochet and go to the couch to veg out and watch TV...
I find something on Showtime that seems vaguely interesting- a documentary about a group of guys who grew up together in (I think) the Brighton Beach area..for the longest time they discuss their passion for basketball and then the subject moves on to (cue: Sugar Magnolia playing in the background) their love for The Grateful Dead! How they went to the Midnight Shows and all..Flashing photos from when they looked like young hippies and photos of a very young Grateful Dead!
The Boys of 2nd Street Park-Check it out!

Anyhow, thought it was funny- I swear everytime I conciously think I've had enough, I will run into some sort of reminder!

Monday, June 13, 2005


Last week of work for me!
But today is a Jewish holiday and so no work today!
Actually, I'm typing up the Rainbow Bears' Father Day stories...Some are very cute, but I'll spare ya....
Spreaking of cute- see this recent photo of Bobstar
By Chez

Sunday, June 12, 2005

from the dotorg:
6/12/2005 (Sun.) Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
Jam > Truckin > Playin in the Band, Bird Song > Cassidy > Jack Straw > Ashes and Glass > Two Djinn, St. Stephen, Dear Prudence, Sugar Magnolia
RatDog's 600th Show; Bob Weir's 600th Show; Jay Lane's 600th Show
(Bonnaroo Main Stage)
Thanks Sandy, Jammin John, Doc, and Lizardking

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Relix Reports from The Roo-

------------------------------------------------------------------------Report from the Roo 2005-06-11 (sat. morning)

Glowsticks and covers colored the Dave Matthews Bands’ headlining set Friday night at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. After opening with “One Sweet World,” the Virginia-bred quintet offered over two hours of continuous music, including a cover of the Zombies’ “Time of the Season.” Before inviting Warren Haynes onstage for a version of “Jim Thing,” which gradually slipped into Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It's Worth,” a glowstick war erupted during “Bartender.” Later in the evening, the guitarist invited Robert Randolph onstage for versions of “Louisiana Bayou” and “All Along the Watchtower,” with Matthews sporting Randolph’s trademark brim hat.

The Dave Matthews Band’s first appearance at Bonnaroo arrived near the end of a busy first day. During the Allman Brothers Band’s set on the Which Stage, Jerry Douglas emerged for a version of “Good Morning Little School Girl.” The Allmans also performed its share of covers, including The Band’s “Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and the Grateful Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower.” Later in the evening, Gabby La La added her distinctive sitar style to “The Beltless Buckler” during the Benevento/Russo Duo’s set with Mike Gordon. Before its 1:30am show in The Other Tent, Sound Tribe Sector 9 also offered a set of music under its electronic Live PA alias on the Sonic Stage.

As expected, Galactic’s Krewe De Carnivale served as a springboard for countless collaborations. Nodding to its New Orleans heritage, Galactic invited Big Easy icons Leo Nocentelli (the Meters), Kermit Ruffins (Rebirth Brass Band), Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Gold Eagles Mardi Gras Indians and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s Roger Lewis, Efrem Townes and Kevin Harris onstage at various points throughout its after-midnight set. American Idol runner-up Bo Bice also made a surprise appearance with Galactic after serving as Grand Marshall during Bonnaroo’s annual Centeroo parade. Bice added vocals to a series of covers, beginning with Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” with Teedy Boutte and Dave Matthews Band’s Boyd Tinsley also joining in the fray. Meanwhile, in the comedy tent, four costume-clad Bonnaroo artists performed a surprise “Masquerade Ball.” Filling its set with classic-rock and metal covers like Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine,” the quartet was later revealed to be Marco Benevento and Particle’s Darren Pujalet, as well as Umphrey’s McGee’s Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss. Adding to the confusion, Cinninger traded in his guitar for a bass for the surprise performance.

Throughout the day, scattered showers seeded Bonnaroo’s mud pits, though on the whole the festival’s grounds are still in good condition. Herbie Hancock--perhaps the weekend’s most anticipated performance--performed versions of his “Watermelon Man” and Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” with a new version of his Headhunters. In a press conference before his set, Hancock discussed the jamband scene with Headhunters guitarist John Mayer, Saul Williams and Matisyahu. When asked about his increased presence in the jamband community, Mayer mentioned his admiration for Charlie Hunter and joked about his pop single, “Your Body is a Wonderland.” “When people compliment you, you say ‘thank you’,” Mayer says. “But then you think ‘Wait till you see what I’m about to do next.’”

For more 'Roo news and photos, go to to top
6/10/2005 (Fri.) The Pageant, St. Louis, MO
I: Jam > Tomorrow Never Knows > Mississippi Half-Step > Wrong Way Feelin' > Tennessee Jed > Even So* > October Queen* > The Deep End* > Wang Dang Doodle*+, Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance
II: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl*, Althea*, Tanqueray*+# > Little Red Rooster*+#, Dark Star* > Jam% > Jam%* > Sugaree > Throwing Stones
E: Lazy River Road, Johnny B. Goode*+#
* -w/ (trumpet) and (sax); +-w/ (drums; Jay on percussion besides "JBG" without Jay); #-w/ (bass; without Robin); %-Jeff, Jay, and Kenny Previous "Tanqueray" 11/15/2003 [72 shows]
Photos can be found at

Friday, June 10, 2005

Did I already post this one?

I think not so heeeeeerrrrrreeeee ya go---

'Dead' guitarist brings in Ratdog

By Rick Bird
It was 40 years ago this summer that a band called The Warlocks began playing around San Francisco. It was an eclectic mix of bluegrass, jug band and jazz players destined to become rock's first fusion outfit mixing jazz, blues, soul and country influences.

By the end of 1965, author Ken Kesey considered the group the house band for his "acid tests" and they had changed their name to the Grateful Dead.

In true Dead play-for-the-moment style, band members say, at this point no major concert or event is planned to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their "long strange trip."

The Dead toured last summer, reconfigured with original members guitarist Bob Weir, drummer Mickey Hart and bassist Phil Lesh. Despite 2005's historical milestone, band members this summer are going their own separate ways.

Lesh has his own band and new book on the Grateful Dead. Hart is out drumming with a new group, Hydra, and Weir is touring with his long-time side project, Ratdog, playing Wednesday at the Madison Theater, Covington.

Ratdog now features Weir jamming with musicians from the Bay Area jazz scene. The set lists have been sprinkled with versions of Grateful Dead favorites. In the spirit of the always evolving Dead, Weir is reluctant to explain the Ratdog sound.

"I would be loathe to try to describe it," he said in a recent phone interview. "We do mix it up."

Weir did make one pledge for the Madison concert that is the consummate promise Dead members have delivered to fans for 40 years"

"If you are not smiling from inside your soul and your body is not moving, then we are not doing our jobs." According to Weir, Ratdog may have the incredible number of up to 150 songs in its repertoire.

"Every time a song comes up in rotation it's a little more precious to you because you know you are not going to get a crack at it for a good long time," Weir said about Ratdog - but, in a sense, explaining the concept behind the improv-rock sound the Dead practically created. "There is never tomorrow night or the next night. You really have to focus on the song."

This August also marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Dead cofounder and beloved frontman, Jerry Garcia, or, as Weir prefers to call it, "The anniversary of Jerry's departure."

Weir said a major memorial concert is being put together for late summer in the Bay Area featuring Dead members and "Jerry's friends." "It will be a meaningful event," Weir said, although names, dates and location are not finalized.

Since Garcia's death, Weir has assumed the mantle of Dead bandleader and point man, at least in the eyes of the Deadheads. It's not a role he is comfortable with, but he understands. "There are numerous point men. I'm just one... But I do feel like I have a torch to carry."

Weir is carrying that torch by simply making music and doing it often. Ratdog's Covington appearance is part of a series of warm-up gigs as Ratdog plays its way to Bonnaroo - the four- year-old, three-day jam-rock orgy set for this weekend in Manchester, Tenn. Weir thinks Bonnaroo has quickly become one of America's two great musical events, along with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

"One thing I really dig is Bonnaroo is focused on predominately jam bands, but bands that state a game then work it. It's the jazz mode, but the book of standards is different," Weir said. Of course, a gathering of the jam-band clan would not be possible if the Grateful Dead hadn't pioneered the genre for rock fans. But the self-deprecating Weir is reluctant to connect those dots. For him, the improv spirit of American music is far bigger than the Dead.

"The dots go way back. They go back to Louis Jordan, to Count Basie, Duke Ellington. It is the gift America has for the music world. It is uniquely American that is wonderful stuff I live and die by. I certainly don't take credit for it."

Meanwhile, the Dead's history is being relived with Lesh's book released this spring, "Searching for the Sound: My Life With the Grateful Dead," the first inside history from a band member, although long-time publicist Dennis McNally three years ago released, "A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead." Lesh's warts-and-all book is best when describing the spirit and chemistry of the musicians and at its silly best with such anecdotes as the night a stoned Lesh nodded off in the middle of a set. Hart was so upset he started banging on Lesh's head as if it were a drum.

Weir says he hasn't read the book. "I'm dyslexic. It will take me awhile to stumble through that one," he said. "I suspect it's pretty factual. The question is, how do you get it all into a book? There is so much that happened to us."

Weir said "it might be fun" to someday try his own Dead autobiography, but acknowledged, "If I'm going to do something like that, I'm going to hire a hypnotist to take me back any number of places in time and see what turns up. I'd want to play around with it a bunch."
Publication date: 06-07-2005
Setlist for Columbus Dog- Looks like a great one (mmm mmm 2nd set!)- according to the reviews, it was!
Here Comes Sunshine
Queen Jane
This Time Forever
Shade of Gray
Fly Away
Bury Me Standing

Twilight Time@
Golden Road
At A Siding
Terrapin Flyer

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Welcome back online (((((David))))))!!!
Sounds like a great time-
Info culled off Deadnet:

6/8/2005 (Wed.) Madison Theater, Covington, KY
I: Jam > Feel Like a Stranger > Easy Answers > Baby Blue, Mission in the Rain > Walkin Blues > Josephine, Lucky Enough, Ramble On Rose > Playin in the Band
II: Artificial Flowers@, Me and My Uncle@4, When I Paint My Masterpiece@5>6, Playin Jam > Uncle John's Band > Jam* > Knockin on Heaven's Door > Playin in the Band > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
E: Brokedown Palace
 *-without Bob; "Stranger" tease during 1st set "Playin"
Handsfree - 08:57am Jun 9, 2005 PDT (#2602 of 2636)

Last night was a smoker, scorcher, hot, blazin rippin tight band playing for a sweet crowd charged and howling. First set was solid the stranger and Walking blues ruled...but the Playin was just astounding...some exceptional beautiful music from everyone up there. Man, this band is on fire. Thanks Bobby! Got to say hi to Jeff and Robin...they were so sick. Man, that was a huge amount of fun! UJb was rippin, China Cat...I think they are on another level now...really charged and ready to lay a fat trip on you. Best RD show I've seen from a solid, tight musical perspective. The sound was crystal clear...the Ramble on was a great time too...great ears on these guys, they play togehter so well. It was great! Thanks!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


GO Here:
A rather great interview!
Been busy here- actually, finally getting around to booking our London/Netherlands vacation..About time, eh..since we are taking off in LESS THAN A MONTH!
Reservations went pretty easily...Taking Virgin Airlines nonstop (only 10 hour flight!) to UK then grabbing a flight out to Ams.
Renting the townhouse ABOVE Rookies..It's funky but has a kitchen, more beds than we even need, a rooftop patio and is so perfectly wonderfully located around the corner from Leidesplein..Will probably be noisy but we are good sleepers.
When we finish in Ams- it's back across the North Sea to London..The Sterling is giving us a pounding, no Mayfair this time ( especially since we are +2 more travellers this round) But we are happy to have found a nice place in Notting hill - "a minute away from the underground"..
Then in August- looks like I'll be heading to West Virginia...probably...maybe...looking good!

How about that VH1 Bobby?! Such a rush to see him & the fellers on TV! I love the Hell in a Bucket video!! Turned the TV on to Vh1 again this afternoon and they were playing it again!
Somewhere online is another recent Bobby interview- I'll look for it tomorrow!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Jam on the Dam- No ratdog but...


2 Weeks, 8 Bands, 3000 Fans.

Following the unprecedented success of this year's first ever international multi-band festival in Amsterdam at the legendary Melkweg, Vision International is proud to announce that in 2006, we are expanding to TWO three-day shows. They will be held on back-to-back weeks, at the fan-friendly venue that hosted us so well in March.

Jam in the Dam's "Eerste Week" will be March 12-13-14 and the "Tweede Week" will be March 19-20-21. For the really dedicated, there will be a limited number of discounted tickets, good for both weekends, complete with four days in
between to recharge.

The line-ups are as follows:

Eerste Week (March 12-13-14):

Disco Biscuits
Yonder Mountain String Band
The New Deal

Tweede Week (March 19-20-21):

Umphrey's McGee
Sound Tribe Sector 9
North Mississippi Allstars
Benevento/Russo Duo

Each act will play a long two-hour set each night of Jam in the 'Dam, in one of the two venues. There will be overlap, so that we can accommodate all attendees within the two rooms. Even though the total capacity is 1750, we only plan to sell 1500 tickets to each event, so as to keep it very comfortable for all. This worked very well in '05, and rarely, if ever, did either room get overly crowded.

We are offering members of the Jam in the 'Dam, Walther Productions and artist mailing lists the first shot at tickets, with a limited number of pre-sale tickets available starting Wednesday June 29th at NOON Eastern.
The General Public on-sale will begin a week later on Wednesday July 6th at NOON Eastern at:

Also, at that time or shortly thereafter, travel packages will be available from Madison House Travel. Due to the nature of the show, there will not be a 'one size fits all' package, but packages will include deals on airfares, hotels, and offer travel insurance. Show passes can also be included, but not discounted further.

Buy early and save $30 on your pass! Early-Bird Passes will be sold at $169 per weekend for a limited time only, while supplies last. Once all the Early-Bird passes are sold out, the price will go up to $199 per weekend. We will also have a very limited time offer for a very small quantity of 2-Weekend Passes, good for both the Eerste Week and the Tweede Week shows. For the first week of presales, we will be offering the 2-Weekend passes for a super discounted rate of $245 each, which is a savings of more than $150 on the total cost of purchasing Advance Passes for both weekends. As an added bonus, the first 100 ticket buyers will receive a copy of Joe Pauker's new 2006 edition of "Get Lost: The Cool Guide to Amsterdam".

Pre-sale ticket deal offers can be purchased, starting Wednesday June 29th at Noon Eastern through:

Charge by phone by calling 1-800-594-TIXX (8499)

For more information, visit the official Jam in the 'Dam website. Due to the late confirmation of some bands, the site will evolve over the next few weeks. One of the new features will be a short form video from March.

Please be advised that passes are non-refundable, and once purchased, it is the sole reponsibility of the buyer to arrange travel, whether through Madison House, or on your own.

Thanks for making the first Jam in the 'Dam over the top. We hope to see you and your friends again next March.

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Queen of Busy work

Hey Now!
I will have to return to add links but-
CONGRATULATIONS to Cousin Bud!! I understand Relix is using one of his Bobby pictures!
Cousin mightve talked me into attending the Sunshine Daydream festival..Ive gotten as far checking air fares (as low as $423 from here...but first I must finish planning the big trip to UK & AMS...Finding lowest fares about $889 for SFO-Heathrow...

I love Hotwire & Expedia...Due to camping in Europe when I was a youth, I missed starting my first semester of college ...But at the time SFSU was offering quicky night courses for wanna be Travel Agents (a dying breed I suppose these days). I took a part time job at an agency and filled my nights with travel courses...This was before computers were common and back then being a travel agent required LONG hours on the telephone, Weekly bigger than a drive in movie flight books...And of course, lots and lots of math...Not a career for creative types at all..I gave it up after about 4 months and went on to Art school....
But I still get a thrill out of hunting through Hotwire, Expedia And I do love ferreting out the just exactly perfect hotel...
Front page of promises transcripts of a recent unpublished Bobby interview!
Okay, must drag self away from the computers the Teenyboppers require a ride to the mall..

Friday, June 03, 2005


And I've got a housefull of kids!
Sash has invited a few girls plus a guy over this afternoon..All 4 of them are shrieking it up (as only 13 & 14 year olds can) in the hot tub. Sash's friend Sunshine ought to be here any moment...The girls are sleeping over, the guy will be picked up by his Mom in a little while...
Noah and Aj are mastering the gamecube...
And I'm sorry to have to miss The Waybacks at the Sweetwater tonight..
If you missed it- Mark Karan appeared for an interview and a chat in the Chatroom last night..
You can read the transcripts over on Dot Org-Use the link on this page to get there!
Had fun through it all!
Yay MK! and Thanks Dave Rosenberg & Topher!
For a concert, how short is too short?
Jon Bream,  Star Tribune
June 5, 2005 POP0605

'Damn, you're too nice" is what the subject line on the e-mail said.
As a music critic, I'm not accustomed to hearing that. The e-mail was from Tom Evered, general manager of Capitol Records' jazz and classical divisions, including Blue Note Records. Perhaps Evered, whom I've known since his days in the record biz in the Twin Cities in the 1980s, has forgotten about my scathing review of Blue Note's marquee artist Norah Jones at Northrop Auditorium two years ago.
This time, Evered was responding to my review of Al Green's 51-minute concert at the State Theatre, which he happened to attend. He was surprised that I didn't make much of a fuss about the shortness of the show.
"It's a good thing he was playing for a nice Midwestern crowd," Evered said of Green, who records for Blue Note. "Al just doesn't do a long show. He may have misread the clock and left early. He plays it for the moment. I was caught up in the moment. I wanted to dance for another half-hour."
In an online review, I had opined: "So what if it was an all-too-brief 51 minutes? It was 51 minutes of the most exciting, uplifting soul man as religious experience as you might ever witness." (See the review at
This raises the question: How short is too short for a concert? Or how long is long enough?
For a nightclub or casino gig at which the artist is doing two sets, 60 to 75 minutes is standard -- and long enough. I've seen artists at, say, the Dakota Jazz Club stretch the late set to 80 or 90 minutes when they were in the mood.
For an artist doing a single club set or a concert, there is a different standard. Several factors are involved, including the ticket price, the size of the artist's repertoire and the amount of time filled by opening acts.
An artist's contract with a promoter typically outlines the duration of a performance. Green's contract, for example, called for 60 minutes, said co-promoter Sue McLean, who once presented a 45-minute Green show that she didn't want to replicate.
Other recent shows McLean promoted called for "one 90-minute set" (Branford Marsalis) and "length of show 120 to 150 minutes" (Bob Weir & Ratdog).
She also presented actress-turned-singer Minnie Driver, who performed for only 55 minutes -- including an encore -- April 28 at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul. Even though Driver has recorded only one album, that's too short, especially when tickets cost $30. (She should learn some more cover songs.)
Even when an artist has only one album, the main set should be at least one hour.
That wasn't the case at Bloc Party's packed show at First Avenue on March 30. The British buzz band was on stage for exactly 60 minutes -- but that included a four-song encore.
Sometimes the quality of a performance compensates for its brevity. For instance, when the Strokes made their debut at the 7th Street Entry in 2001, they played a killer 40-minute set. When they returned 12 months later to headline at the Orpheum Theatre, they spent 45 minutes on stage, doing almost all the songs on their debut CD and three new numbers. When the New York group returned last year to promote its second album, the guys rocked for a whopping 70 minutes at First Avenue.
Other hot new acts with only one album -- namely Franz Ferdinand, the Kaiser Chiefs and Keane -- recently gave Twin Cities club shows that lasted about 60 minutes, but those were exciting, crowd-pleasing performances.
When you get to superstars charging $75 or more, then you'd better get at least a 90-minute performance. And when the Paul McCartneys, the Bette Midlers, the U2s and the Rolling Stones are asking more than $150 a ticket, you expect two full hours and a spectacular production.
Like McCartney, U2 and the Stones, Green is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While those other acts are performing in arenas with some tickets going for $250, he filled the State at $60 at ticket. But that show left many concertgoers feeling, "Yeah, but. ..."
"I thought it was short, but a fabulous concert," said Jearlyn Steele, a singer who knows about fulfilling contracts.
"I thought it was too short but very good for the time he was up there; he was definitely on," said Tom Shiah of Minneapolis. "But the last time [he was] at the Guthrie [in March 2004], that was one of my top 10 concerts ever. The Guthrie seemed longer."
It was -- 70 minutes, to be exact.
Shiah felt that for $60 a ticket, Green should have performed for an hour and a half. "But part of the fun is not knowing what to expect," Shiah said.
However, he said, he didn't feel ripped off, as he did when he saw Miles Davis in New York in the '70s for $5.
"I don't think he ever took the stage," Shiah recalled. "He was off to the side of the stage playing [trumpet] by the risers. He still owes me 5 bucks."
What do you think? E-mail Jon Bream at

Wednesday, June 01, 2005



RatDog Set to Appear on VH1 Classic on Sunday
The RatDog taping from New York at the end of spring tour will air this
weekend on VH1 Classic, according to the VH1 Web site. "All-Star Jams" is
scheduled to be shown Sunday, June 5 at 10AM ET and 10PM ET on the channel,
which is generally only available to digital cable subscribers and satellite