God Street Wine, 1/24/13, Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA
American Babies & Bustle In Your Hedgerow, 1/25/13, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC
God Street Wine, 1/26/13, Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA
"Dan is pretty like a bitch" -A.F.P.
"We're like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice,
but the people who like licorice really like licorice."
Before we begin, I'd like to explore the above Jerry Garcia quote (thanks to Eliot for the quote) as an introduction for anyone who is unfamiliar with my stance on the Grateful Dead. I hate licorice. If I see a black Jelly Bean, I either segregate it into a separate pile, or avoid it entirely, leaving it in the bag, and watching as 1 black Jelly Bean turns to 2, turns to 4, 8, 16, causing me to dig deeper into the bag to avoid them as they slowly grow in population and become a total score for the type of person who is into that sort of terrible thing. Oh, I've tried. Maaaybe this time I'll finally like the dusty black Necco wafer or a quick sip of Sambuca-- maaaaybe I've finally grown into it. And then I invariably gag and sometimes vomit a little in my mouth.
But I do happen to love Fennel, and have always enjoyed Yonder Mountain String Band's cover of Althea.
My point is, and keep this in mind as you read on, Jerry was right. Are we good now?
For one reason or another, I was not destined to be at God Street Wine's 3 Terrapin Crossroads Rambles, and while it wasn't missing the Rambles part that saddened me (see above), missing the 3 opening sets of GSW would be difficult. However, technology is grand, and a well-produced webstream would help lessen the blow. YAY, ROBOTS!
Yay, GSW in my pajamas (now I know how Hidden Track's Scotty Bernstein felt on Jamcruise!)! Yay delicious gluten-free beer! Yay webstream! When the webcast began, the camera was set on a Chandelier for approximately 10 minutes of live, streaming, unedited Chandelier footage. Feel the excitement! It didn't take long before I became invested in the subject. What's gonna happen with the Chandelier? Will any glowsticks hit it? Will Budke do a one-armed Tarzan Swing across the screen on it? If I cross my eyes and look past the Chandelier, will Jerry appear in the crystals? So many possibilities, and yet, absolutely nothing happened with the Chandelier. It was one of the worst Reality Shows I've ever seen.
Which is why I was extra super psyched when God Street Wine finally came out and started to dust off the cobwebs. Since their shows are getting closer and closer together, the magic is catalyzed more quickly. I felt it kick in somewhere in the bounciness of Drive West. But I didn't get up to dance until Chop! Borderline was fun. Call It Love had some sweet Mookie Moments, Crazy Head will forever transport me to a basement in New Jersey-- this is either SuperWino Paul Ducharme's spirit, or there is still black mold in my lungs. Probably both. -> Gretchen, which was the end of the set. Too soon. Not fair. God Street Wine bumped for Chandeliers Gone Wild.
The rest of the evening featured members of GSW sitting in with Phil Lesh, Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, and Bob Weir. Whenever things got excessively noodly (multiple times), or whenever I started to feel agitated (often), I would get up and walk away for a while. I played tug-o-war with the dog^, ate some crackers, got another beer, and watched the replay of John Kerry calling out Senator Ron Johnson for missing a classified Benghazi briefing that would have seemingly answered so many of the questions he keeps demanding answers to, and played out a little like flicking a mosquito off of your arm the second it tries to suck out your blood. "WTF?" *FLICK!*
There was some fun commentary happening over at facebook amongst many Winos that was helping keep my attention span focused, including the below gem that earned itself: QUOTE OF THE TOUR! Congratulations, A. F. P.! Your prize is endless pride and eternal bloggy glory!
I enjoyed whenever Lo or Aaron sang, especially on the Beatles covers. And Aaron on Into the Mystic. Swoooon. See? I can be Diplomatic.
God Street Wine: Waiting For The Tide > Driving West, Chop*, Borderline*, Call It Love, Crazy Head > Goodnight Gretchen
* – w/ Jeff Chimenti
Phil & Winos Set One: Here Comes the Sun, Dear Mr Fantasy, Into The Mystic, Let It Be, So Many Roads, Here Comes Sunshine, Ripple
Phil, Bobby & Winos Set Two: Help On the Way > Slipknot!, Golden Road, Bird Song > Days Between > Golden Slumbers > Not Fade Away, Eyes of the World > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Sugar Magnolia
Encore: Box of Rain > The End > Imagine
Here's where I decided to mix it up. Clear my head, as it were. Missing God Street Wine would be painful, but missing American Babies and (All-Star Led Zeppelin Tribute Band) Bustle In Your Hedgerow at Brooklyn Bowl would have just been plain stupid. American Babies came out swinging and opened the show with a killer set of straightforward, honest-to-goodness, powerful, American Rock Music. It's so good. So so good. And Swimming At Night? I just. GAH. They were joined by previous & sometimes-bonus-member, Nick Bockrath (Nicos Gun), who was sporting a zazzy 3-Wolves-esque sweater, and whom they should just kidnap to go on tour with them all the time, forever.
Led Zeppelin is one of my favorite bands of all time, so when a crew like Bustle In Your Hedgerow (Marco Benevento, Joe Russo, Scott Metzger, & Dave Dreiwitz) get together to mold the tunes into some strange shapes that only they alone are capable of formulating, I can totally dig into it. And I was totally digging into it, when someone said that the same exact crew + Tom Hamilton from American Babies would be doing two sets of Grateful Dead covers the next night as "Joe Russo's Almost Dead". That's when Caroline mentioned out loud to the wrong company that I don't like the Grateful Dead -> certain specific people were horrified -> the dreaded lecturing began anew -> attempted full-on Grateful Dead Intervention. I eventually squirmed my way out of the discussion with some bowling. Bustle were awesome, because Bustle are awesome. The big booty ass shaking dance competition that started at midnight was confusing and I wish I could erase those images from my mind. Please send Moonshine immediately.
For a 2nd day in a row, I was up until 5AM catching up with all the Wino Action on the West Coast. Missing Light My Candles and Hey Joe were a kicker. And the God Street opener seemed like an interesting choice cuz that song always feels a bit Wino-erudite, but the message is definitely clear: "Take me down, way down to God Street".
I didn't keep a Babies or Bustle setlist, and Big Freedia's Bounce Show replaced song titles with visions of a Post-Apocalyptic world I never want to live in.
God Street Wine Set: God Street, Light My Candles, Wall, The Ballroom > Epiphany > Bring Back The News, Hey Joe* > Get On The Train*
* – w/ John Kadlecik and Jeff Chimenti
Phil & Friends Set One: Viola Lee Blues, He’s Gone, Loser, Simple Twist of Fate, It Must Have Been The Roses, Pride of Cucamonga, Casey Jones
Phil & Friends Set Two: Slipknot! > Franklins Tower> Hey Pocky Way, Scarlet Begonias > Jam (wheel tease ) > Late In The Evening , Uncle John’s Band > The Wheel > The Other One > Fire on the Mountain
Encore: Tangled Up In Blue
Tired. Happy. And then a terrible flashback of Big Freedia that reminded me we are doomed as a society. Good for them, though.
I ate like 3 bowls of cereal. I don't know what happened the rest of the day. At 10PM I was pumped and ready for Lil' Chandy Boo Boo, the name I came up with for the 10 minutes of live Chandelier stream that was up while I waited for GSW to hit the stage. On this episode, Chandy Boo Boo's Mama Joon told her to quit sassin' her Elders, before cooking up some butter, ketchup, Hi-C, Lawry's Seasoning Salt, and the 500 year old Tortoise she had accidentally done run over with a forklift at the Animal Sanctuary the Producers arranged for them to take a trip to. I had some trouble following the plot, but the subtitles helped, and it was definitely better than the first episode about the bees, I'll give it that.
Epilog started the set, and it was gorgeous. Mile x Mile was clear and bouncy. And what happened during Cheap Utah Blues, is why God Street Wine should be required to play multiple days in a row, several times, every year. Goosebumps. Yummy. Fortress of Solitude was very deep and tasty as well, and then -> Other Shore!!! I finally got off my ass and started to dance! And then the stream crashed.
AND THEN, THE FUCKING STREAM CRASHED. The next few minutes were an angry struggle of troubleshooting, cursing at robots, switching browsers, threatening to kick Phil Lesh in the nuts-- but the only temporary immediate fix seemed to be refreshing the page, and getting a 15-30 second chunk, before the stream would shit out again for what seemed like FOREVER, until I could refresh and get another 15-30 second chunk, and just when my hopes would get up that the person responsible for this error had finally discovered and corrected it--- it would shit out again.
I am going to kick this stream in the nuts. #godstreetwine
— Lynn Kestenbaum (@lynnguppy) January 27, 2013
So, I knew they were playing Lighthouse, which made me even angrier, because I love that song, and was only able to enjoy maaaybe like 1 minute of it total, in 5+ separated chunks of various duration, each slightly longer than the previous chunk, just to twist the knife a little more each time. And all I kept thinking was, "They're not going to fix this until it's time for Lil' Fucking Chandy Boo Boo. Those fucking motherfuckers!" Eventually, the stream magically re-appeared for the very end of Imogene, which was the last song of GSW's last set of the January 2013 run. At least I got to hear the Imogene jam up to Aaron's last impassioned "YEAH!" to send me off.
FUCK YOU, CHANDELIER!!! ONE MORE SET!!! #godstreetwine
— Lynn Kestenbaum (@lynnguppy) January 27, 2013
Whatchoo Gonna Do About It? Well, I got a new beer, and Lil' Chandy Boo Boo won top pig at the County Fair. Thing is-- the pig was actually a nutria in a sassy wig the entire time! Hooooo-ey!
Highlights of the Ramble portion of the evening: Althea w/ Lo on vocals (I'm not a robot, people). An energetic Won't Get Fooled Again (sick--- but not as sick as the one in August-- as if that could ever be topped). At some point Tomo started doing a drum fill (I don't know what song), and Lesh suddenly looked up and flashed this genuinely impressed and like, "WHO THE FUCK IS THIS GUY?" look right at Tomo while he's watching him play, and at that very second, Tomo looked up, saw Lesh watching him with aforementioned look on his face, and then Tomo burst into this glowing look of a 10 year old who just impressed his Hero, which was just REALLY FUCKING COOL to watch. And then everyone shredded out a killer I Am The Walrus (with Lo on vocals) for a truly great ending.
GSW Set: Epilog, Mile By Mile, Cheap Utah Blues, Fortress of Solitude (w/ John Kadlecik) > Other Shore > Lighthouse, Imogene
Ramble Set One (Lesh, Chimenti, Kadlecik, Faber, Maxwell, Osander and Crosby on keys except where noted): Alabama Getaway (JK), Althea (LF) %$, Brown-Eyed Women (JK) %#, Mama Tried (LF) %$, Ramble On Rose (JK) $, High Time (LF) $, Sugaree (AM)
Ramble Set Two (Lesh, Chimenti, Kadlecik, Faber, Maxwell, Osander and Crosby on keys except where noted): Bertha (JK), Don’t Ease Me In (JK) $, Jack Straw (LF) $, Shakedown Street (JK), New Speedway Boogie (AM) $, Wharf Rat (JK) $, St. Stephen (JK, PL, AM), Won’t Get Fooled Again (LF) > % Going Down the Road Feeling Bad (JK, PL, AM) $%
Encore : I am the Walrus (LF) %$
$ Jason Crosby on fiddle
% with Jon Bevo – keyboards
# no Jason Crosby
THE AFTERMATH AND BEYOND.
It's been a couple of days. My brain is starting to feel considerably less scrambled, my body clock is slowly un-reversing itself, I'm becoming less curious about what the Chandelier has been up to, and the Adrenaline from coming down off such an emotionally charged live music happening is very slowly working it's way out of my system.
God Street Wine as God Street Wine was my favorite part of these shows. I wish they had more set time, because it's such a rare occasion that they can get together, and just as it was getting hot-- they had to stop. Anticlimactic. I'm really happy they got the invitation to participate in something so special, to have so much fun, play such intimate shows while collaborating with their musical heroes, and entertain so many people. Kudos to Lo, Aaron, Jason^^, and ESPECIALLY Tomo, for rocking out every single fucking song in the run. Watching Tomo grind it out was fantastic! I definitely missed Dan on Bass during the Ramble sets- it felt weird not having him up there at all (like, put dude on background vocals or give him a Triangle or something, amiright?). And while I absolutely love Bevo's new spinoff with Lil' Chandy Boo Boo, I don't think anyone has seriously considered his safety or well-being, and worry the massive Red Bull & Gogurt intake may actually kill him.
Thanks to GSW for playing! Thanks to Terrapin & Phil & Friends for asking them! Hey-- maybe next time they can arrange a Ramble with the surviving members of Led Zeppelin! Lo on Tangerine!!! Tomo on Moby Dick!! ... Anyone? Someone get on it!
It's my blog and I don't have to assign a numerical amount of HUZZAHS if I don't want to, but truth be told, I can't do Math quite yet.
There are definitely ripped copies of the Terrapin shows floating around and you can currently find various resources to download them via the friendly Winos over at BBGSW: https://www.facebook.com/groups/godstreetwine/. Hopefully they will also end up on etree or the archive very soon.
American Babies, 1/25/13, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC: DOWNLOAD THE SHOW
Bustle In Your Hedgerow, 1/25/13, Brooklyn Bowl, NYC: DOWNLOAD THE SHOW
Thanks, Taper Scott Bernstein!!!
The Aforementioned Joe Russo's Almost Dead, who also played on 1/26/13 at Brooklyn Bowl, and apparently crushed it. The clip I heard of Viola Lee Blues was pretty great, the guitars were shreddy, and Tom from the Babies did an incredible job on the vocals-- but a Spoonful of Sugar always helps the medicine go down. Long live the Fennel Clause! DOWNLOAD IT: Thanks, NYC Taper!
^ Dog Training Tip: Never play tug-o-war with a dog, unless you plan on winning.
^^ Jason Crosby played on almost every single song. Close enough!