Deep or Wide

Ever since I put up the question as to which year of the Dead to do next I’ve been pondering whether or not to get more focused. Let me explain, as I said then it took me roughly 15 months to get through 1969. Now even if I pushed harder on the Dead and got one year of shows down to 12 months posting time it would still take me 28 years to get through the rest of them.

Now I have no intentions of quitting this blog anytime soon but there is no way I’ll be doing it for 28 more years. If nothing else the technology will catch up to me and everybody will be streaming all the shows straight to their synapses.

Then, of course when we start looking at Bob Dylan’s staggering output and the numbers get even higher.

Truth be told I’ll never get all the shows posted on this blog, but it occurs to me some of you may prefer a more concentrated amount of what I used to call the Holy Trinity (Dylan, Dead, Morrison) and less of all the shows from miscellaneous artists.

So, dear reader, would you rather me mostly ditch the other artists and just concentrate on the trinity, or do you like things the way they are with an assortment of artists?

As a slight aside I’ll say something I wrote in a comment on a David Bowie post that was deleted after discovering that show had been officially released.

I’ve gotten into a pretty good groove. I now upload particular artists on particular days (I’m a couple of weeks ahead in terms of what I upload to when I post it so these days won’t match the posting dates.) Uploads go like this:

Monday: Bob Dylan
Tuesday: Jerry Garcia
Wednesday: Grateful Dead
Thursday: Neil Young
Friday: Van Morrison
Saturday: Reuploads from shows on my hard drive.
Sunday: Reuploads from my CD collection

I usually get 2-3 shows from the artist each day and when I’m in the mood I grab shows from artists not listed. That happens probably three times a week.

You all have seen how this turns out in the posts so I won’t get into that any further. If you like the way this is going let me know. If you would prefer I drop the extras and maybe Neil Young (or anybody else) let me know that too.

If I was guessing I’d say you all like the variety, but I thought I’d ask. We can totally do a more concentrated effort for Dylan and the Dead and get through a lot more shows.

53 thoughts on “Deep or Wide

  1. My first answer is both.

    But that doesn’t do you much good. So I would say wide.

    Your blog has done very well by the current Dylan/Dead/Morrison emphasis, peppered with whatever strikes your fancy.

    I think your instincts are good, and I’d continue to go with them.

    1. I’m trying to upload three new shows from the trinity each week plus an extra helping of reposts from at least one of them. That’s pretty good, I think but some folks may want even more 😉

    1. I love me some Van as well. I’ll continue posting him as long as I can. Trouble is I’m getting close to running out of boots by him. Close being a relative term as I’ve still got probably 50.

      Trouble is Van doesn’t have a huge presence online, at least not in terms of bootlegs. With the Dead I have access to pretty much every show that was recorded and I’ve got hundreds more Dylan boots on the hard drive and I’m grabbing more every day. But Van boots are more difficult to come by so eventually I will run out.

      I’ll do that faster if I speed up how quickly I post them. But I’ll continue posting him as long as I can.

  2. I like the groove you’ve gotten into, it works pretty well. If you really want to mix things up, maybe try offering something different on weekends; I think Big O does a jazz boot every Sunday, for example. But really, I think you’re on to a solid groove right now anyway!

    1. Thanks. I love the idea of doing a jazz day or a bluegrass day, but I’m really bad at that sort of thing. I’ve only just recently got into a regiment of uploading the Trinity on specific days. I always forget Jerry Garcia week and I never remember to posts boots from folks who have birthdays or who have recently passed away, etc.

      Still, its a fun idea. One of the other blogs does a deal where they post boots that were played on this day in history which I think is rad.

  3. Delightful regiment you have, its not broke no need to fix it, grateful all the way round. Trippin Tuesday is my fav 🙂

    1. Trippin’ Tuesday, I love it.

      Personally I love an assortment of music, and I dig posting stuff from a wide variety of acts. But when I look at the numbers in terms of how visitors come to the site, where they leave comments and what they download it always comes back to Dylan/Dead/Van. Anything else doesn’t have nearly the pull, so I thought I’d ask and see if folks wanted to skip the miscellaneous stuff.

  4. Love the variety — but also can’t argue against more Dylan & Dead — so I guess I’m no help at all. All I can say is Good Job and Big Thanks. I look forward to checking out the site first thing every morning.

  5. I would love you to be more diversified. The Dead are critical but it would spice up my life if some early Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Jefferson Airplane would be put in the mix. Love your site and what you do though.

    1. Funny , I just uploaded a Jefferson Airplane show so you can look forward to that soon. I have a little Pink Floyd too. I’ll try to keep throwing in various other shows each week.

  6. Hi Mat,

    I love what you post and I do like variety. A couple of months ago I download and listened to the Dead 30 trips box set (80 discs) and Dylan’s Cutting edge box set (18 disc) and realized I craved something different. I would prefer if you were not too regimented, and posted what is of interest to you ( which I’m sure would include Dead, Garcia, Morrison, Dylan, Neil Young) at the moment. As far as Dead shows, just post what interests you, it doesn’t have to be a whole year. The Dead themselves do box sets of a tour or venue run. You might do something like that rather than every show from a given year.

    I really love your site, and have substantially increased my music library thanks to your efforts. Thank you so much.!!!

    Bob W.

    1. I appreciate that. I go through spells where I just listen to Dylan shows or Dead shows for awhile and then I’ll need a break.

      Ultimately I am posting what interests me. I never grab a show that I don’t think I’ll personally like. But I’m also an obsessive collector grabbing way more stuff than I’ll ever have time to listen to. Which is where the Dead by year comes in. I personally like the idea of collecting every show and doing it systematically by year and if I’m collecting them that way I might as well post them that way.

  7. Sincèrement j’adore la variété des artistes que vous nous proposez. En plus je pense que pour vous cela doit être moins astreignant de varier les plaisirs,… Peut-être pourriez vous tirer au hasard les shows de la ‘Trinité’ que vous postez. S’il vous plait gardez le maximum de diversité afin de nous aider à découvrir de nouveaux artistes.
    J’espère que la traduction automatique sera compréhensible…..
    Merci du fond du coeur

  8. Hi Mat,

    I come to your excellent blog primarily for the Dead and Van and pick up some Dylan and occasionally other artists on the way. I agree that you should go with your instincts but not lose artists other than the Trinity entirely. I think a focus on them plus occasionally whatever interests you would be great. You’ve been doing a great job so far. You’re one of my top three music blogs I visit pretty much every day and I really appreciate what you’re doing. Keep up the good work!

    Oh, and I think Bob W.’s idea of doing some Dead tour runs rather than a whole year is a good compromise. I’d start with autumn 1981. Anyway, whatever you decide I’ll be visiting your blog eagerly.

  9. You should do whatever is easiest and convenient for you……if downloaders don’t like that then they can always look elsewhere. I know for a fact I greatly appreciate your time and effort and the quality of your work. Well done!!!…..Cheers from MikeFromOZZ

  10. Hi Mat

    Here are my thoughts for the mix

    1. I’d ring fence the artists, just for focus and to avoid repetition with other blogs etc. To the terrific threesome (Dead,Dylan,Van) i’d choose 3 or 4 more and be done with it. You can always have a special day (or week) once in a while focussing entirely on Blues or Jazz or Bluegrass or whatever!
    My personal additional choices would be Neil (good fit for the blog), Joni (tragically underposted elsewhere), Arlo (ditto twice) and Tom Waits (ditto twice). I think these artists would hold plenty of interest to regular cafe diners?

    Leave all the Stones.Jimi,Zep,Who,Floyd etc to the others. Believe me it’s all been posted to death anyway!

    2. I’d focus on tour legs rather than years, as you mentioned in your notes. Tours often straddle years anyway. Bob’s tours within a given year vary wildly in content and sometimes quality too!
    Focussing on particulat tour legs brings things into a better perspective. It gives the opportunity to seek out the best performances and/or recordings for each leg, to evaluate song selections and the evolution of arrangements/interpretations etc.
    I think this approach worked well when we did the Dylan/Dead special or the 2000 euro tour. Of course for some tour legs it will be case of tracking down the best stuff. For others (for example Bob ’74 tour) it would be nice to pool resources and try to do a number on it, locating and posting the best/ref version for each show. Maybe other cafe diners (or me) will be able to assist in plugging some gaps!

    That’s it, taken up far too much space. Anyway, I’ll still be popping in for breakfast whatever menu you choose to put on!

    1. That’s a good point about the classic rockers. You can find them all over the place. I may slow down on posting them a bit. I’ll still post some because I have a lot of those shows, and I like a lot of those shows so I might as well post them. But maybe in slower doses as I want to listen to them.

      I’ve been collecting a lot of Neil so he’ll continue to be posted and I think he’s gone through so many transformations that he remains an interesting artist after all these years.

      Hardly ever see any Joni Mitchell out there. Ages ago I found a great Tom Waits site and grabbed a bunch of shows, but the site died before I grabbed everything. I’ve already posted most of it, but I’ll eventually get around to reposting. And I’ll always grab his stuff when I see it.

      I like the idea of doing tours over years, but its gonna take some thinking on in terms of logistics.

      I can easily get all the Dead tours and post them. Doing it by tour would mean I could get through it faster than a whole year which means I can post a wider range of dates.

      Dylan would be more complicated as I don’t have access to everything. I’ve got a lot of shows and I’ll grab more from Expecting Rain, torrents and other blogs, but trying to tackle an entire tour may take some effort.

      If you want to start thinking about what tours I should do send me a PM and we can start pulling our resources.

  11. I don’t want to put too much on your shoulders here, but I don’t want to lose the resource of your perspective as it pertains to other things. At my age, I have a well developed tendency to go with what I know, (you mentioned the trinity), but I also download the other things, (well, many of them), just to try them, because your site is pretty solid (and Amazon delivers fairly quickly and reliably).

    Responding to the issue you asked about? I don’t know. Limiting the site to just three?
    There are a lot of those already. The issue, for me, would be how to make the most of a vast supply and a unique perspective.

    1. One of the things I really dislike about my blog is that I am unable to make good comments about the shows I’m posting.

      Ages ago when I first started posting bootlegs I was putting up shows that I’d owned a long time and had listened to regularly. At that point I was able to write mini-reviews and talk about sound quality or the performance.

      Over time my ability to listen to the show was bypassed by my desire to regularly post them. These days I’m posting three shows every day and I simply don’t have the time to listen to every single one of them and have something to say about them by the time I’ve posted them.

      I hate that. Sometimes I think I should slow down the posting in order to listen to the shows and be able to talk intelligently about them, but in the end I always side with sharing more and talking less.

      Anyways, that’s a ramble. Thanks for your comment.

      1. Well, again, for my part, I am enjoying listening to a few new items on general principle, just because they were recommended here. I understand your desire to review, and I would not be unhappy if you featured three or four shows a week with reviews and offered a few others of value on the same basis you described.

        Try something, you can always adjust as needed.

  12. Mat, you always post the best, most interesting stuff. I go to your blog daily because I have to see what your latest shows are. I am a big fan of the Dead and have loved your 1969 posts & have commented about them in the past. I can’t wait to see what direction with Dead you will go next. As far as Bob & Van go, Do what you feel is right. It’s been successful so far!

  13. your time and efforts to spread the music far and wide is highly appreciated.
    I have noticed you have recently been posting over at ER. I’ve gotten most of my fill from Bob from ER over the last decade. only started to listen to Jerry and the boys again since 2011. could not listen to Jerry from 1995-2011. it just made me very sad. but now it brings me joy.
    have not gotten into Van.

    but that said, I would echo someone who posted, maybe focus on a spring or summer or fall or holiday tour from Jerry and the boys.

    on the other hand, luv all the JGB…

    much mahalo…

    1. Yep I’ve been reposting to ER quite a bit. I figure I’ve received so much from that site I might as well give back.

      As I wrote to DylanDave up above I like the idea of doing tours. I might start doing that.

  14. I like the variety, especially if they seem the sort of band you won’t see cropping up commonly elsewhere. That way you learn something as you go along.

  15. Love it all, especially the Jerry…..the Dead is easily found online, but JGB, not as much. Really appreciate the occasional other artists as well…so I would say the schedule is going fine (with an occasional extra JGB lol!) Thanx so much, check your site at least once a day, usually more : )

  16. Thank you for all you do. As mentioned earlier I follow the trinity with fervour but appreciate some of the other less obvious postings. It would be great if the variety could continue and the suggestion re tours seems very apt. Please continue to include unusual venues (Dylan at Tamworth!!!) definitely gets my vote.

    1. I’m glad you decided to post some ’81 Dead…a year sorely underrepresented in my collection. I must admit I downloaded almost all of ’69!

  17. I tend to favor the Dead and Jerry Garcia Band posts..My idea would be to break a month into four parts..The first Week would feature Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia and Dead related material from 1995 and earlier (Classic week). The second week would be a mixture of Dead related material from 1996 to the present from bands such as Ratdog, Phil and Friends..The Dead ..the other ones.. (recent history). Third week would feature various artists new and old (mix week). Fourth week would be lucky draw week where a random pick is chosen from from the first 3 categorys (Classic, recent history or mix). Knowing me i will still be collecting shows 26 years from now. Who knows? In the future you might be able to fit all the Grateful Dead shows on one disc and download it in a minute.

    1. I need to post more stuff from the post Jerry years. I need to listen to more, actually. I know there is some great music from the rest of the boys but everytime I start to listen to just miss Jerry.

      Yea, I figure someday we’ll be able to download it all super fast. But then we’ll have to find time to listen to it all.

  18. Hi Mat – my suggestion would be: keep throwing different things into the mix

    a) we all know must know what it’s like to O/D on too much Dylan and/or Dead.

    b) surely a good thing about a musical blog is that it expands our horizons

    I’d post anything that makes you say, yeah, now they’re good!

    PS –
    speaking of which, and sorry to go slightly off topic here, but did you ever grab
    The Waterboys / 1989? set that DylanDave recommended recently? If you ever got
    round to reposting that it would be cool – but I appreciate posting something available
    elsewhere but seem a waste (so perhaps I shouldn’t ask). Most of these free sites just
    don’t work with my connection these days. Your posts rock 🙂

      1. thanks Mat, that would be much appreciated
        (but like I say, I do hesitate to ask because that sort of thing could get out of hand!
        all the best

  19. Dear Sir

    Wide or Deep is a good question. If you intend burrowing deeper into Dylan, Van Morrison and The great Grateful Dead [up to and including 1978], then I am all for it! Wider? Maybe you can find gems of this strain? One of a kind?

    Additional and personal comment on each concert will be icing on the cake. Why not give a star rating for the kind of recording that is being made available? Some recordings of very early Grateful Dead needed warnings for poor quality.

    Otherwise, continue doing all that you are doing, go wider, do deeper!
    A Fan in Kollam in Kerala in Inda

    A. Ashokan

  20. Don’t know where to start – – other than to Thank You for the blog and the time and energy and expense you have sharing this music. “The Holy Trinity” – well I wojldn’t go that far but can say that I will see a show from a Zimmie era that I like…(for example he one you just posted with Robillard..amazing guitar player)….a show from a Belfast Cowboy tour (if his past 20 years of ‘touring’ in America can be called touring!!!!!) that I’ve seen…I’l click and save in a second. I always look forward to those postings….and if it looks familiar…a lot of times it’s a much better quality recording courtesy of your generosity. I’m sure, like others, I might go on kick of a particular artist and just llook for some live shows…as an example I’m looking for some Patti Smith shows at the present on the ‘net (and that’s not a request just a statement of fact). I’m always looking to hear new live music from New Orleans and also enjoy some of the acoustic shows you post. It’s your Midnight Cafe and I am not one to suggest what you might offer on your menu…..because there area always options on your menu….and, with the diferent postings of the day, different ‘specials’ are offered. The main point of this is to continue to thank you for your spot on the web!

  21. What to do differently? Not much. I think dipping into ’81 for the Dead can yield some interesting results. Looking at just legs of a tour would be great to do too. Not every show is essential…just for people that have the collecting bug…like me. But that’s what the archive and certain add ons in my browser are for.

    Lately I’ve found myself moving into jazz and would love to see what someone else’s taste in the field are. But that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I think occasionally throwing in a curve ball is nice. I’ve enjoyed picking up the Ryan Adams and Wilco shows when you post them. Not that those are left field considering the regular artists, but they always lead to other things too.

    I will hold out hope that there is something interesting and in spectacular quality from Joni Mitchell tucked away in your collection. She’s one of the few artists that I think could be lumped in with your trinity as is. Big, big fan of her.

    Mostly, carry on. You do us all a great service and I cannot thank you enough for helping expand my library with some truly FANTASTIC shows (like all that primal Dead). Have a great holiday! Looking forward to more Dylan.

    1. Jazz to me is like Primal Dead – I like it, but I rarely listen to it. Its just something I have to be in the mood for. I’m talking about jazz like Miles and Coltrane or more far-out stuff. The vocal jazz like Ella and Billie I can dig anytime. None of it is stuff I see all that often in bootleg circles. But I’ll get what I can and post when I do.

      I really have not seen much Joni Mitchell out there at all. Can’t say I’m a big fan though so I’ve not really looked. I’ll keep my eyes open.

  22. As much as I love the Dead, some Van and like Dylan, I wouldn’t give up Neil Young, Pink Floyd, The Stones, etc. for them. Wide, please.

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