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Sunday, February 02, 2014

There is World-Class Guitar Playing Here

 LN jg1984-05-19.jgb.all.aud-rossi-ford.124791.flac1644

Really great tape. And, while things are a little bit uneven, there's a lot to like in this performance. The arrangements are generally tight and the guitar playing can be outstanding. This band is together. Melvin plays colorfully, drums strong and bass nice and thompin'. Garcia does a lot of very sophisticated layering and building, playing around with tempo, tone, amplitude, etc. etc. Some very creative work. The vocals are not good, but they are not as bad as they would become later in the year. All in all, I'd totally recommend this show to someone, with the proper caveats.

Bias is such a pain in the neck. I am pretty sure that I listen to this show for signs of what I know I believe will come in late 1984: Rock Bottom. But this ain't it, not yet. Pretty interesting listen, all in all. Thanks to the folks involved in getting this into the world, from taper Adam Rossi on through.

Jerry Garcia Band
Arlington Theatre
1317 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

May 19, 1984 (Saturday)
85 min Rossi via McCue-Ford shnid-124791

--set I (4 tracks, 39:55, missing ca. 10-12 minutes at end)--
s1t01. How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You [10:18] [0:04] %
s1t02. They Love Each Other [8:40] [0:03] % [0:14]
s1t03. Let It Rock [9:39] [0:05] % [0:05]
s1t04. I Second That Emotion [10:45] -> Tangled Up In Blue// [0:03#] %

--set II (4 tracks, 45:31)--
s2t01. [0:13] Cats Under The Stars [10:09] [0:03] %
s2t02. Knocking On Heaven's Door [13:56] ->
s2t03. Dear Prudence [13:23+0:02] ->
s2t04. Midnight Moonlight [-0:02+7:44] (1) [0:04]

! ACT1: Jerry Garcia Band #21b
! lineup: Jerry Garcia - el-g, vocals;
! lineup: John Kahn - el-b;
! lineup: Melvin Seals - keyboards (Hammond B3 organ);
! lineup: David Kemper - drums;
! lineup: Gloria Jones - vocals;
! lineup: Jaclyn LaBranch - vocals.

JGMF:

Recording: symbols: % = recording discontinuity; / = clipped song; // = cut song; ... = fade in/out; # = truncated timing; [ ] = recorded event time. The recorded event time immediately after the song or item name is an attempt at getting the "real" time of the event. So, a timing of [x:xx] right after a song title is an attempt to say how long the song really was, as represented on this recording.

! TJS: http://thejerrysite.com/shows/show/1750

! db: http://db.etree.org/shn/108319 (unlineaged aud); http://db.etree.org/shn/124791 (this fileset, now deprecated - d'oh!); http://db.etree.org/shn/125760 (complete show, best available).

! opener: Robert Hunter

! map: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=1317+State+Street+Santa+Barbara,+CA&hl=en&sll=38.997934,-105.550567&sspn=7.229361,16.907959&t=h&hnear=1317+State+St,+Santa+Barbara,+California+93101&z=17

! venue: http://jerrygarciasbrokendownpalaces.blogspot.com/2011/09/arlington-theater-1317-state-st-santa.html

! band: JGB #21b (THE JERRY GARCIA BAND): http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2012/01/jerry-garcia-band-personnel-1975-1995.html

! tags: 1984, Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA, drugs, Adam Rossi, SoCal, JGB

! field recordist: Adam Rossi;

! field recording equipment: Nakamichi 300 > Sony D5;

! field recording media: cassette;

! source tape: master cassette > Sony D6 > unknown Akai home deck > TDK SA90 (Bill Murath's copy, shared by Mark McCue);

! source transfer: Nakamichi Dragon > Lunatec V3 (24/88.1) > Lynx AES 16AES(e) > WaveLab 7.2.1 (UAD-2) > .wav @24/88.2 > Apogee UV22HR/Crystal Resampler > .wav @16/44.1 > xAct (conversion and tagging) > flac16; transferred, edited and mastered by Alex Ford - June 2013.

! R: seeder comment: Thanks to Bill Murath who originally made the 1st gen cassette copy that I transferred.

! R: seeder comment: Last but NOT least, thanks to Mark McCue for loaning me his cassette for the transfer.

! seeder notes: historical: Great American Music Band played the Arlington Theatre on 4/24/74 (without Jerry). Kingfish w/ Bob Weir and Robert Hunter opening also played the Arlington Theatre on 10/29/86.

! setlist: song selection: I am not a huge fan of this first set list, especially given that we don't really get to hear TUIB. TLEO, LIR and ISTE would not typically be my favorites. I like set II a little better, especially CUTS. A 45 minute second set is a fucking ripoff, though. He always talked about how he didn't want to burn his audience, and I think he mostly held up a pretty good standard in that regard. But during 1984-1985 there were some pretty short shows. SoCal seemed to get its disproportionate share of them, with the May 1985 Beverly Theater incident indicating that at least some of the crowd was willing to express its displeasure. Good for them. At least on this night (5/19/84), the food is pretty good even if the quantity's a bit small, which I can't say for 5/31/85.

! R: this is a really, really nice tape.

! R: s1t01 noise and static from 0:00 - 1:35. A little overloaded.

! P: s1t01 HSII Jerry reals tries to belt some stuff out at the end of HSII, but it's phlegmatic.

! P: s1t02 TLEO Jerry's vocal struggles continue. Furthermore, he seems to be adding a measure to the chorus section that everyone else is struggling to stay with. It's Jerry vs. the rest of the band, and I don't blame them. He's pretty wrecked. Over 2-min, he's trying to figure the vocals out. He sounds scratchy, but he's starting to warm up. Late 5-min over 6-min mark, his guitar playing picks up, musical inspiration and manual dexterity meet, say a hot hello to each other, then Jerry layers 'em together a few different ways, pulls 'em apart and puts 'em together, like competitive cup-stacking.

! P: s1t03 LIR is also a little flabby, definitely "lose in the cage" as the P-90X guy's friend might have said.

! P: Observation after LIR. This is a night in which the heroin is working against the vocals and any kind of musical discipline, but the cocaine more than compensates on the instrumental side. Magnesial guitar playing, welders' gear and a release from liability to be up front. That is a first set impression. The second set starts off sluggighly but is probably considerably above averge. The Arlington remains an American masterpiece, leafy classisicist pastels, old Hollywood neon, deep, plush, supportive seats. Somehow there's a stone breeze, like the kind you get walking inside a grotto, church or wine cellar in the Mediterranean summer. Mid-May in Santa Barbara at the Arlington, just like July at the Bowl, can approximate natural and human perfection, true harmony. Jerry Garcia does not attain perfection on 5/19/84. Far from it. There will be moments from three months later in which I don't think he even attains professionalism, not a light criticism. But there is world class guitar playing here. This is the end of Jerry's "metal" period, which in the GOTS context I date from around February 1981 and which continues through about August 1984, in which the vocal quality and certain disciplines decline, but this is often compensated by especially incendiary guitar playing, clearly evident in LIR here. His rock-star fanning of early 1981 reappeared from time-to-time, as in mid-1983by which time it had taken on a more feedbacky sound. By '84 things were really metallic, not rattling your fillings so much as vibrating them at high pich. All told, things are a little feverish with Jerry, around this time, he's running really hot. In three months he'd start his descent to rock bottom, that hair-raising inexorable slide, no guardrails, to January 18, 1985.

! historical: Santa Barbara shows are woefully underdocumented, because it's a town that doesn't need to project itself, for whatever reason. No-one has gone through the local papers (sounds like a trip is in order!). Very few recollections and stubs and pix pop up.

! R: s1t05 very beginning of Tangled Up In Blue is audible, then cuts out.

! P: s2t01 CUTS Starts off sluggish, but in the 5-minute mark we hear heavy metal Jerry and my faith is restored. Through the six minute mark he has a little less grunge, but he's sustaining at a much higher level of grunge than he had been before the earlier filth. I think he pushes on one dimension (say, grunge), then pulls that back to 75% of the peak (but 200% of the prior peak, or something like that), builds up another dimension, etc. Then he runs some phrases and ideas through it. It's definitely equivalent to paragraphing language, hell, it's equivalent to managing a work flow ... lots to stack up and integrate. My main gripe with many versions of CUTS as that he didn't know how to cut it off, and this one definitely outlives its usefulness by the end.

! P: s2t02 KOHD the arrangement is just so perfect, and the playing is gorgeous. The crowd is occasionally yipping with appropriate delight at what this band is laying down. Everyone is locked in. Kemper the pulse, John the swing, Melvin the color, Garcia's poetic intellectualism. Melvin takes a nice lead figure in the 7-min mark. Love love love the reggae arrangement of KOHD they settled on in 1981 and which stayed very fresh all the way to the end. Melvin hits another high around 8:20, Garcia does a big pull and some plucky stuff 8:20-8:30 mark.

! P: s2t04 MM could be such a throwaway to end the shows of this period, when he was racing through to get back to his drugs, first and foremost. These vocals are indifferent, but the guitar playing is stellar. Great run late 1 over 2 minute mark. Another nice run 2-min mark, some big funky Chording. Now, here, he could have gotten back to the vocals @ 3:24ish, but instead he takes another run. I am not going to do it, but I bet a very micro analysis of better vs. worse versions of this song during this period would fine him taking this extra turn on a good night and turning it down on a bad one. But this is conjecture. Melvin nice solo 4-min. The set overall still feels short, but I guess I wouldn't feel totally ripped off, because they did bring good energy. Last night of the mini SoCal tour.

! s2t04 (1) JG: "Thanks a lot, see y'all later."

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