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November, 2014

  1. Dylan and the Dead

    November 18, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

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    One of my favorite artists other than the Grateful Dead is Bob Dylan. I think he has an amazing sound that he combines with interesting and deep lyrics. Dylan’s voice is also super unique and fits his folky country-ish sound that a lot of his songs have. Dylan is also an amazing harmonica player and often plays harmonica and guitar at the same time. This is extremely difficult and is very impressive to see. Finally, Dylan has a great live personality. I have watched a lot of his live performances at festivals in the 60’s and 70’s and he engages and jokes around with the crowd in a funny and creative way that doesn’t come off as gimmicky or fake. Because of this he is near the top of the list of artists that i want to see in my life time before its too late.

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    Bob Dylan was friends with and respected many members of the Grateful Dead. Because of this in 1989 a live album titled “Dylan and the Dead” was released. I had high expectations for this album; two of my favorite artists who make amazing live music collaborating on a live album. Before listening to it I believed that this album had the potential to become my new favorite album. Unfortunately, this was not to be. This album was a major disappointment to me. The album is only made up of only Dylan songs. There are no Dead songs on the album, a major disappointment. The Grateful Dead are basically just Dylan’s band. This does allow for some cool Dead jams which Dylan enhances with his harmonica and guitar, but doesn’t capitalize on all the potential this album had. I mean Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir providing nothing but backup vocals, what a waste of talent. I had high hopes for this album, and i have to say it disappointed me.

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    It’s still a good album that is worth a listen, but don’t have your hopes up too high. It’s basically just a Dylan live album. This being said the live versions are still pretty good. In fact it does contain my favorite live version of “Knockin on Heavens Door”. However it is impossible to find a video of them performing that song so I’m going to put a link to “Tangled up in Blue” by Dylan and the Dead, and a live version of “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” by just the Grateful Dead.


  2. Ted Talk Reflection

    November 18, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    Unfortunately I do not have my Ted Talk video. I don’t know what happened for sure, but I’m pretty sure that I pulled my flash drive out too early. I wanted to get out of there ASAP since my Ted Talk did not go at all like planned…

    I think my main mistake was that the way I prepared my Ted Talk. I made a powerpoint for my speech. This powerpoint had pictures but it also had a good amount of words. I was under the impression that i would be able to see my powerpoint out of the corner of my eye while presenting. Because of this I put key facts ad examples on the slides. I memorized my basic ideas and major themes and was planning on relying on the powerpoint for the specific details. For example, I knew the basics of the cycle of growth caused by the creation of groups such as the Tea Party, but I was gonna rely on my powerpoint for specific groups and examples of this cycle. When I gave my speech I realized that i couldn’t see the words on the slides without awkwardly semi-turning around and breaking eye contact with the audience. I also couldn’t make out the words on the tiny screen to my right. This threw me off and i felt uncomfortable and uneasy with my speech which led to more mistakes.

    Since I had lost my confidence early on I made other smaller but still important mistakes. I didn’t get to important examples, examples which I had planned on using as a Segway between my different slides. This interrupted the speeches flow and made it feel less unnatural. My lack of confidence also resulted in me fidgeting with the clicker out of nervousness and accidentally dropping it during the presentation. This might not have been that big of a deal but it felt like the final nail in the coffin for my Ted Talk. The rest of the speech I was unable to think about anything other than my previous mistakes. Because of this I rushed the rest of my speech, which didn’t turn out well.

    Overall my Ted Talk did not go at all as planned and there are many mistakes I wish I could change.


  3. Bob Weir Live

    November 6, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    I want to take a break of my usual format of contextualizing and reviewing Dead Albums to discuss the time when i saw Bob Weir Live. For those of you who don’t know Bob Weir was the second in command and in the Grateful Dead(Jerry Garcia was the unannounced figure head). He was one of its founding members and played with the Dead for their entire musical career. He sings the second most amount of songs (behind Jerry Garcia) and also was the lead guitar player. Bob also wrote a good amount of their most popular songs.

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    For anyone who¬†loves or is interested in the Grateful Dead Bob Weir is a must see concert. The Grateful Dead are no longer a band since Jerry Died due to heart complications from battling drugs and an unhealthy lifestyle for decades. The remaining members will occasionally perform together calling themselves the Other Ones, a reference to one of Bob’s most famous songs “Thats it for the Other One’s I-IV”, but these concerts are very rare and hard to get tickets to. Bob Weir also performs with his solo group (Bob Weir and Ratdog). They play a lot of dead songs as well as some of their original music which is actually pretty good.

    I got the chance to see Bob Weir and Ratdog two years ago. My friends and I love music festivals. That summer we had decided to go to Peach Fest. Peach Fest was a four day music festival set up on a giant Mountain in Scranton, PA. It was set up by the Allman Brothers, another one of my favorite bands, and would feature a double set (ended up being 3 sets) from Bob Weir and Ratdog. Their were a lot of other good bands their but my memory of their names is a little hazy. Anyway I finally got to see a living member of the Grateful Dead perform. I could finally here Dead songs as they were intended, live. It was an amazing experience that i wouldn’t trade for the world. I remember during his second set he started playing at like 4 in the morning because all the other bands had jammed over their time slot(something that no one at festival was complaining about). Anyway, Bob’s setlist was amazing. He even brought Grace Potter ( a female act) on stage with him to do an amazing cover of Dear Prudence. Anyway at like 6am the sun was beginning to come up and Bob was still jamming on stage doing an amazing rendition of “Fire on the Mountain”, a popular Dead Song. It was then that my friend pointed out to me that the sun was coming out from behind the huge mountain the concert was below. He said, and i quote, “Dude their literally is a fire in the mountain”. This blew my mind. It was such a unreal and awesome moment. All of the days events had led to Bob Weir not playing till 4 hours later than he was supposed to and then the song selection at that time was perfect.

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    Bob Weir gave everyone at the concert an extra set two. He was only supposed to play a set on the second and third day. He decided to play on the last day as well. Bob performed an acoustic set that was so relaxing and awesome that it just summed up the festival perfectly. I would recommend anyone to go to Peach Fest or any festival with Bob Weir or the Allman Brothers to anyone.


  4. RCL Ted Talk

    November 6, 2014 by Garren Christopher Stamp

    My paper should not be that hard to turn into a Ted Talk. I kept the Ted Talk in mind when writing my paper. Because of this, it is already laid out kind of like a speech so i don’t have to change the order or format in any major way. The only changes i might make is that i might move around the order in which i discuss the possible results for the future. Overall the format and order of my paper is fine for a Ted Talk.

    The content is also pretty appropriate for a Ted Talk. I might shorten the background portion. It’s not that this information isn’t important, it is, its just that it that it would take up a lot of time during the speech. This would be ok but i have a lot of stuff to discuss that is directly related to the paradigm shift, not just providing backup info. The background section is still necessary to understand the shift that occurred, so it will still be in my speech, just a shorter version.

    I also intend to add a little information to my Ted Talk that was not in my paper. When writing the paper i couldn’t find a place (or a need) to discuss and give examples of modern ultra-conservatives in detail. I briefly named a few more recent candidates when discussing the effects of the Ultra-Conservative candidates. For the speech i intend to talk about this with a lot more depth. I especially intend to discuss the two modern leaders of the ultra-conservative movement, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. It is they who are most important to the ultra-conservative movement and therefore it is also them who will have the greatest impact on politics in the future.

    Overall though I shouldn’t need to modify my speech in any major ways.


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