Thursday, January 7, 2010 Gillznfinz TV show is a prime-time fishing hit

For any outdoorsman, Kevin Costner's 165-acre ranch near Aspen, Colo., is idyllic. In the middle of the land that holds elk, deer, and bear, there's a large pond perfect for fishing. Captain Adam Paul and his guests, Charleston roots rockers Dangermuffin, are in awe of the mountains that tower around them.

The idyll is broken by the sound of an approaching storm. Thunder echoes round the mountains, appealing to lead singer Dan Lotti's ear for dramatic timbre. As the storm hits, Costner offers them shelter in one of his smaller houses and the hard-touring band revels in the strong sense of camaraderie that a fishing trip can create. Storm or no storm, this is a hell of a lot more fun than staying in a hotel room. Read more Arrival of Deadheads causes a stir in Mill Valley

In the world of the Grateful Dead, Mill Valley has become Mecca this week for Deadheads from across the country who have descended on the normally serene little town for a series of "live rehearsal sessions" by Furthur, a new band formed by the two surviving members of the Dead who live in Marin County.But the unadvertised series of intimate shows - featuring former Grateful Dead bandmates, guitarist-singer Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh - have stirred mixed emotions in Mill Valley.

Some see this as an economic windfall, bringing glamour and excitement to Mill Valley. Others complain that unsavory Deadheads without tickets have been trashing their downtown, hanging out and causing trouble.

"I want to welcome everybody, but this is a little beyond what Mill Valley can handle," said Doug Canepa, co-owner of the Mill Valley Market, who has accused Deadheads of defecating in his driveway and stealing from his store, among other complaints he has lodged with the city. "What is the city's role in this?" he asked. "Is this what the city bargained for when they issued them permits?"

Conversely, Vasco restaurant in the heart of downtown couldn't be more accommodating, extending its dinner hour from 10 to 11 p.m. and giving Furthur fans a 20 percent discount on meals. "They've been great," hostess Annie Bresnahan, 28, said Wednesday night before a show. "They're very sweet. They come in before the show and they eat and they come back afterward and eat more. They usuallypay with cash, spend a lot of money and tip well."

At The Depot, a popular bookstore and cafe, there have been no problems, and a small uptick in business, said Leonard Jay, bookstore manager. He said he and his staff had to laugh when a woman from out of town asked whether Mill Valley was safe after dark.

The unprecedented run of "rehearsal sessions" at the 225-seat Masonic Hall and the slightly larger 142 Throckmorton Theatre are in preparation for the first national tour by Further, which Weir and Lesh have named in honor of Ken Kesey's psychedelic bus. In addition to Weir and Lesh, the band includes Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, Joe Russo and lead guitarist John Kadlecik, who has been recruited from the Grateful Dead cover band the Dark Star Orchestra. "This is a once in a lifetime experience," gushed Deadhead Louie Lardo, a 48-year-old director of a drug and alcohol treatment center who traveled all the way from Pittsburgh, Pa., to attend as many shows as he could get tickets for. "That's why I'm here."

On Wednesday, Lardo was at the front of the line outside the Throckmorton Theatre along with newly-made Deadhead friends from around the country, including Jeremy Grossbard, a clean-cut 40-year-old veterinarian from Phoenix, Ariz., wearing a Polo windbreaker over his tie-dye T-shirt. "While we may not all live in Mill Valley, there is something hometowny about this," Grossbard, a Deadhead since 1984, said. "This run of shows will be one of my fondest Grateful Dead memories. Unfortunately, tomorrow is my last night, then I'll have to go back to the real world." Read on Umphrey's McGee 12.29 - 12.31 Chicago

Night one at the intimate Vic Theatre was dubbed "Throwback Night," featuring only vintage merch, and only one song from the band's latest album, Mantis (SCI Fidelity), made it into the show, but the music was decidedly forward-looking in terms of performance. UM has roots in the technicality of prog rock and carefully orchestrated improv, but this year has seen more and more experimental jamming with less focus on the specific confines of the method referred to as "Jimmy Stewart."

To wit: the second jam of this first-set "Front Porch." Following a fairly standard yet high-octane blues rock guitar duel between Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss, the band dropped back into the song proper. Then, beginning as a mellow, tweeky jam, it built steadily and joyously without delay. Nothing complicated, but it was a thrilling full-band wave of fizzy, percolating energy, one of those swell-to-bursting jams (with some amazing light work by mastermind Jeff Waful), where nobody's the star but everybody's riding the same cosmic wave. Drummer Kris Myers couldn't even keep up with his own excitement at times, but it only added to the giddy suspense. It was creativity purely outside of any predetermined order, and it slew the crowd. Read more

Live Rehearsal Setlist: Furthur 1.6.10 142 Throckmorton ~ Mill Valley, California

One Set: alabama getaway, don't ease me in, till the morning comes, picasso moon, new potato caboose, looks like rain, welcome to the dance, dear mr. fantasy, china doll, new speedway boogie, west l.a. fadeaway, walking blues

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