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Dead shakes down NPR request


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From Boing Boing

"Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney, now has a blog on NPR's website. She put together a mix of songs, and wanted to include a track from the Dead (since the songs are on the NPR site, she asked permission, unlike every other MP3 blog in the world). Look what happens:"

"An interesting tidbit: This mix was supposed to have the Grateful Dead on it, whose music I really love, but they refused unless we promised to do a piece on them on All Things Considered. In addition, we would need to run a feature on The Dead on the site. Here's a sentence I've never written: Someone needs to take a bong hit and chill out. Just a simple "no thanks" would have sufficed. Are The Dead really in need of publicity? Because I swear there's a dancing bear sticker on every third car I see in Portland. And now I've written a paragraph on them anyway, for free, not even in exchange for a song. Doesn't that count?!"

The Dead are fucking greedy, money and media grubbing bastards. Fuck 'em.

good tunes though...

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Well then you're a rush-to-conclusion short-fused dickhead. How's that for a summary conviction?

It was probably a Dead management decision and not a "Dead" i.e. band decision.

Failing that it's all Bobby's fault.

Dead Management decision or Dead "band" decision = still a decision for the band, still a choice that affects the public image of the band and makes them money and media grubbing bastards.

Dickhead maybe, but this isn't a rash choice - I've known the Dead were fucking pricks for a long time now.

But it's mostly Bobby.

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Tale of the Tape:

Mickey Hart


Mickey Hart is best known for his nearly three decades as an integral part of an extraordinary expedition into the soul and spirit of music, disguised as the rock and roll band the Grateful Dead. As half of the percussion tandem known as the Rhythm Devils, Mickey and Bill Kreutzmann transcended the conventions of rock drumming. Their extended polyrhythmic excursions were highlights of Grateful Dead shows, introducing the band's audience to an ever-growing arsenal of percussion instruments from around the world. Exposure to these exotic sounds fueled Mickey's desire to learn about the various cultures that produced them.

His tireless study of the world's music led Mickey to many great teachers and collaborators, including his partners in Planet Drum. Planet Drum's self-titled album not only hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart, remaining there for 26 weeks, it also received the Grammy for Best World Music Album in 1991-- the first Grammy ever awarded in this category. Planet Drum is one of twenty-nine recordings released on Mickey's the WORLD series on Rykodisc. The WORLD offers a wide variety of music from virtually every corner of the globe with releases like Voices of the Rainforest from Papua New Guinea and Living Art, Sounding Spirit: The Bali Sessions. In 2002, Mickey established The Endangered Music Fund to return royalty payments from many of these recordings to the indigenous people that produced them, and to further the preservation of sounds and music from around the globe.

Mickey's experiences have paved the way for unique opportunities beyond the music industry. He composed a major drum production performed by an assembly of 100 percussionists for the opening ceremony of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Additionally, Mickey has composed scores, soundtracks and themes for movies and television including Apocalypse Now, Gang Related, Hearts of Darkness, The Twilight Zone, the 1987 score to The America’s Cup: The Walter Cronkite Report, Vietnam: A Television History, and The Next Step. In 1994 Mickey was inducted with The Grateful Dead into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Mickey has written four books documenting his lifelong fascination with the history and mythology of music. These include Drumming at the Edge of Magic, Planet Drum, Spirit into Sound: The Magic of Music, and Songcatchers: In Search of the World’s Music.

Long a social activist, Mickey appeared in August, 1991 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging, speaking on the healing value of drumming and rhythm on afflictions associated with aging. Since joining the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Hospital in 2000, Mickey is continuing his investigation into the connection between healing and rhythm, and the neural bases of rhythm.

In 1999, Mickey was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress where he heads the sub-committee on the digitization and preservation of the Center's vast collections. In October of 2000, the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters upon Mickey for his work in advancing the preservation of aural archives.

Phil Lesh


Phil Lesh is best known for his nearly three decades as a belligerent alcoholic with little or no creative input into the Grateful Dead, he turned things around slightly in the late 90’s when he grew the worst mullet in rock history.

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"What's wrong with bartering a feature for FREE rights to use a song on an ad sponsored website?

Nothing, if you're an up and coming band that is looking for a little exposure. In this instance it's a case of greedy grabby hands trying to feed the dying marketing beast."

Shouldn't NPR - America's public radio already have an article about the Grateful Dead? they are rather culturally important.

Up and coming or not that shouldn't really matter. Journalism ultimitely shouldn't just be seen as marketing and promo.

It is only FAIR that NPR do a piece on the Grateful dead for free rights to their music

that would be a great thing for an intern to spearhead...and exactly the kind of initiative that would demand NPR have beefier intern program, giving people a great foot in the door and something great for their experience, helping foster community...

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