Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Completely Conspicuous 504: American Beauty

I'm joined by guest Phil Stacey as we discuss the Grateful Dead's album American Beauty. Listen to the episode below or download directly.

Show notes:
- Recorded at CompCon world HQ
- Cover art could also be read as "American Reality"
- Also released in 1970; recorded a few months after Workingman's Dead came out
- Even more countrified, Americana-sounding
- Mickey Hart was on his way out, less involvement
- Featured on Freaks and Geeks episode where Lindsay gets into the Dead
- Half the album features "hits": Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, Sugar Magnolia, Ripple, Truckin'
- Very low-key record
- Play Ripple at Phil's funeral
- On 50th birthday playlists
- Phil's idea for a playlist: 5 songs from every year of his life, no repeat artists
- Around this time, the Dead started really growing their fanbase
- Dead fans started following them on tour
- A lot of guests, including David Grisman
- This album isn't as dark as the previous one
- Another fairly concise record
- The Dead played the old Boston Tea Party club (now House of Blues) on New Year's Eve 1969
- The sound on this album is more timeless than the original acid-rock
- Jay: Just say no to DMB
- Phil: More into the Dead's music than the scene
- Truckin' is autobiographical, all about touring and getting hassled by the Man
- Ends the album on an upbeat note, with some ripping lead guitar
- Next up: Europe '72

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Voiceover work is courtesy of James Gralian.