It’s only fitting that we kick off our first playlist with our store’s namesake. This cut is from the Dead’s 1967 self-titled debut album. Deadheads, please correct us if we’re wrong, but we think this is the earliest Dead song that Jerry Garcia wrote by himself. The band was still 100% proto-punk garage at that point. Can you feel the heat? It’s called “Primal Dead.”
2. Pretty Boy
Have you heard Kurt Vile’s cover of this Randy Newman track? That’s Steve Gunn with the guitar fills. Find this track and 5 other Vile/Gunn collaborations on Parallelograms, an epic compilation released last year by Jamestown NC’s Three Lobed Recordings. We’ll be publishing an interview with label head Cory Rayborn in the near future, so check back with us soon.
3. Box of Rain
The Day of the Dead compilation is one of the most captivating releases of 2016 so far, and Kurt Vile’s cover of “Box of Rain” is one of the best tracks on the 59-song boxed set. Kurt – if you’re reading this, please play this song Saturday night. Thanks.
4. Lost my Head There
Yes, “Pretty Pimpin” is the best track from 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down and one of the best songs Kurt Vile has written. But we chose “Lost my Head there” for this playlist. The minimalist first half (piano/snare drum/vocal) takes the occasional psychedelic fill and builds it into a second half wall of sound. Organs, synths and God knows what else.
5. Here Comes Sunshine
The set opener from Dick’s Picks Vol. 1, Tampa, 1973. It was one of the first Dick’s Picks I bought in college. Back then I loved it because Jerry’s vocals and guitar tone are pure magic. I didn’t realize until reading this piece that it’s one of the few 70s recordings without Mickey Hart or Donna Jean Godcheaux. Hmmmmm.
With the exception of the songs on American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead, it’s a rare thing when a Dead studio cut is better than the live version. But this 1980 album version of Althea is the best there is. And wow. What a record cover.
7. Air Bud
For old time’s sake, check out this 2013 post from the Capitol blog. Back then I said it had a “mellow vibe with a funky touch.” Generic descriptors notwithstanding, I stand by that observation