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Friday, August 08, 2014

Context

As I contemplate writing some of this stuff up for a more general (less maniacal) readership, I see that I am going to have to write plain English in book form and refer back to the blog in endnotes. So I can drop all of the random little tidbits here, which is what I do anyway.

Some of the voluminous research I have done involves, for lack of a better term, context: developing the palette of colors surrounding the Garciaverse. With the help of Corry and the Yellow Shark, we have compiled a spreadsheet of musical events now numbering over 40k. This has distinct historical value, of course, especially the early stuff that forms the Yellow Shark's main focus. For me, it helps me gain some perspective: I see what else was going on in the same clubs that Garcia played (contemporaneously or otherwise) and down the street from his gigs on the same nights he was playing; I see what bands that shared Garcia bills, players that shared the Garcia stage were doing; how the venues evolved and the players moved along in their careers; und so weiter.

I am contemplating a series of "Context" posts that might lay out some of the raw materials underpinning these data - mostly calendar listings, ads, reviews, etc. from local papers. This also allows me to make a methodological point: I am rather haphazardly entering events into my spreadsheets. I am interested in the Longbranch, for example, because Jerry played there (8/27-28/71 and 10/1-2-3-/71 with the New Riders). But I just don't have time/interest to make a complete history of the Longbranch, as interesting as that might be.

If, instead, I put out some raw materials, maybe future historians will find these data useful. So I'll try to put that stuff out there as much as I can.

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