Fall 1989 - The Long Island Sound by The Jerry Garcia Band With Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman is the New Music PIck of the Week

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I discover whats coming out each week through Amazon.  They list pretty much everything but the smallest, most obscure records coming out and they sort it by biggest sellers which helps me see the choicest selections in an easy manner.  Of course it also allows me to be all the crap the masses are buying, but that's my burden to bear.

This week I'm noticing that the vast majority of things making the first dozen pages or so are imports.  Now I'm not entirely sure how Amazons determines what to list as imports.  I mean obviously these things were released overseas and not here, but they don't seem to include everything released overseas, so there is some sort of determining factor.  My guess is that they only include things that they figure will sell well and have already purchased from overseas and currently have in their own Amazon warehouses.  But that' just a guess.

Anyways, it is intriguing that so many imports are making it on to the front pages of the Amazon new release section.  What this says to me is that either there has been a sudden influx of really remarkable imports lately, or more likely there just isn't much being released this week in the States. I suppose the local powers have decided we're all done with our Christmas shopping so we might as well skip until the new year.

I'm not going to talk about any imports as this article is more about whats coming out here than there.  In truth though the pickings are slim this week, what is here is pretty good.

Anyone who knows me or reads me knows that I am a die hard Deadhead.  The Grateful Dead are by far and away my favorite band to have ever existed.  I'll spare the myriad of reasons and compulsions but lets just say if you cut me I bleed tie-dye.  As any good Deadhead knows there is not only a wealth of great Grateful Dead music available for your listening pleasure, but an increasingly great amount of the various side projects the band took up over the years.  First and foremost on that list is the Jerry Garcia Band which now regularly releases excellent shows from two decades worth of shows.

In the Fall of 1989 Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist Bob Weir took to the road with bassist Rob Wasserman opening up for the Jerry Garcia Band for a string of shows.  This set contains two full shows from September 5 & 6 1989 from both bands.  It is a six CD set of awesome.

What I love about the Jerry Garcia Band is that it allowed Jerry to play songs he wouldn't be able to play with the Dead.  Here we get songs by Smokey Robinson, Van Morrison and Jimmy Cliff, plus many others.  Its a side of Jerry you don't normally hear about, and its almost always incredible.

While Bob Weir sticks a little closer to the types of songs he performed with the Dead the arrangements and performances wind up very different with just Weir and Wasserman performing than you get with the full Dead madness.  The duo would also be very important to Deadheads years later when Garcia died as they formed the basics of Weir's new band Ratdog which helped ease our souls after Garcia's untimely death.

It is always great to get my Jerry Garcia Band official releases.  Adding  in Weir and Wasserman to this one is only icing on the cake.  Which is why Fall 1989 - The Long Island Sound is my Pick of the Week.

1978-20012 - John Mellencamp: I used to live in Bloomington, Indiana where Mellencamp is from and still lives. They used to wear his songs out on the radio and whenever he played a local gig the entire town would go flipping' out of their minds.  I have to admit this wore me thin on his music and made me kind of hate him for awhile.  But with time and distance I can once again appreciate his tunes.  Often billed as a poor boys version of Bruce Springsteen, I think Mellencamp tends to not be taken seriously.  Yet looking back on all of his albums I can see a pretty nice collection of really good songs.  

This set includes all of his principle studio albums over his 30 year career, including the long out of print soundtrack to the film he directed in 1992 Falling From Grace.  That's 19 disk of Johnny Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, and John Mellencamp magic.12 of which include bonus tracks.

The Complete Albums Collection - Billy Joel: All 14 albums by the Piano Man have been newly remastered and include new liner notes, new photos, and a lyrics sheet.