Last week, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart officially announced his upcoming solo album, RAMU (short for “Random Access Musical Universe”), and released a pair of new tracks (“Wayward Son” and “Big Bad Wolf”) featuring Animal Collective’s Avey Tare and Tank and the Bangas’ Tarriona “Tank” Ball. Today, Mickey has shared the third single from the new album, the album’s first track, “Auctioneers”. The enthrallingly disorienting track begins in a sonic space you might find deep into a good old fashioned Dead “Drums” jam, and proceeds from there into a full break-beat freak-out.Listen to the newest release off Mickey Hart’s upcoming solo album, RAMU, below or here via Billboard:As Billboard explains, “The song is built from Library of Congress recordings of a 1948 tobacco auction in Kentucky, over which Hart and his collaborators built an uptempo, polyrhythmic swirl of sound. ‘It’s the rhythm of the auctioneers, that’s the energy of [the track],’ says Hart, who works regularly with the Library of Congress as well as Smithsonian Folkways, “They’re selling tobacco, but at such a rapid speed that it’s just fantastic, rhythmically, and it has a melody to it and it fits into the dance. It’s kind of a precursor to rap, in some ways. So I just created something on top of that old sound recording.”Mickey Hart Announces Solo Album, Shares New Singles With Avey Tare & Tank BallHart expounded on what “RAMU” was to Pitchfork last week. As he explained, “’RAMU is truly a multidimensional instrument that allows you to travel to new universes at the flip of a switch…Everything goes through RAMU, the mothership. It’s my instrument, and it’s a very powerful compositional tool. It’s vast, it holds new treasures, and it’s still revealing itself to me.” He continues, “This record includes sounds from radio telescopes around the world, solar winds, the radiation that comes from light and is turned into sound, weather conditions from hurricanes.”“‘I want people to appreciate and understand what’s lying in the archives of the world, just sitting there waiting to be discovered,’ continues Hart, who began developing RAMU during the ’80s and has continued to refine and perform with it, over the years. ‘I live with that stuff all the time, just being in the archives all these years. I’ve got my finger on the button there, and I’ve always loved it. All these things have never really coexisted; I mean, I’ve found things that never coexisted before and kind of married them and the music. You can really have fun with it, and ‘Auctioneers’ is a perfect example of that.’”Dead & Company Added To Band Together Benefit Concert, Oteil Burbridge Cancels NYC Show“‘I didn’t want it to sound like a standard record by any stretch of the imagination,’ Hart explains in the Billboard interview. “I didn’t want to use cliche elements that you would normally put in a pop or rock ‘n’ roll (album). I didn’t use much bass at all, very little guitar, no keyboards, not a lot of cymbals, not a lot of tom-toms leading into verses, choruses or bridges. I pulled out a lot of those things that I identify with modern music. I was looking for the new.”In addition to Tank (Tank and the Bangas) and Avey Tare (Animal Collective),the album features bassist Oteil Burbridge, guitarist Steve Kimock, the String Cheese Incident’s Jason Hann, Planet Drum cohorts Zakir Hussain and Sikiru Adepoju, Michal Menert and others. Longtime Dead conspirator Robert Hunter provided lyrics, and the track “Jerry” even features samples of the late Jerry Garcia experimenting with MIDI guitar during the late ’80s.Dead & Company Announce Fall Tour WebcastsWhile the album release is fresh on his mind, Hart doesn’t have any plans to tour behind RAMU as of yet. He’s focusing on his “day job” in Dead & Company and appreciating how smoothly that ship is sailing. “There’s really hardly any words to describe it ’cause it’s so good now…We finally know how to do it, I think, after 50-some odd years. I think we finally figured it out…” Hart also says that Dead & Co is toying with the idea of hitting the studio to make a new album. “We’ve talked about it…We’ve got some new songs from [Robert] Hunter, and we’re considering it, just thinking about schedules and when we want to go in the studio and so forth and so on. It’s one of those things; We were never a great studio band…it’s really our live performances — and it’s not just the music but kind of a community experience when people come. It really is about them, not us. I think the music is secondary in some ways. We’re kind of just the soundtrack, just like it’s always been.”[h/t – Billboard][Cover photo – Phierce Photo by Keith G; Instagram: @phiercephoto]
Four Red Bank Regional (RBR) Visual & Performing Art students were selected to the prestigious All State Chorus. They are, from left, Courtney Ravelo and Vincent Martini, both of Union Beach; Evangeline Athanasiou, Red Bank; and Katie Robinson, Little Silver. The students successfully auditioned with 1,400 of their peers in New Jersey. About 20 percent are accepted into the chorus. The All State Chorus has performed at various venues this year. The NJ All State Chorus is sponsored by the NJ Music Educators Association, a division of NAfME, the National Association for Music Education.