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Of Dead and Downloads: Grateful Dead’s “30 Days of Dead” Free Program Returns

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The long, strange journey continues!  The 2011 calendar has been dotted with plenty of releases to sate even the most voracious Deadhead, with live concerts preserved in the recently-concluded Road Trips series and the Blu-Ray debut of The Grateful Dead Movie, the massive Europe ’72 box set and some vinyl exclusives, like a Record Store Day release for Black Friday and Dick’s Picks LPs arriving through Gordon Anderson and Gabby Castellana’s newly-launched Real Gone Music.

As a “token of our appreciation for making 2011 an epic year,” the band is giving away a 320 kbps MP3 download each and every day this November.  These tracks will add up to quite a collection of vault material at no cost!  A promotion such as this truly utilizes the digital realm in the best way possible, bringing music to fans immediately while still supplementing the band’s series of impressive, ongoing physical releases.

Tape archivist David Lemieux is curating this year’s “30 Days of Dead” in conjunction with a trivia contest asking diehard fans to identify each day’s performance!  Longtime fans likely won’t want to miss the opportunity to enter the contest; there are daily prizes, and the grand prize is a Music-Only Edition of Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings!

Hit the jump for more details!

“30 Days of Dead” is reprised from the successful program of 2010.  For one full month last year, the band offered fans a true cross-section of tracks from various dates and venues over the years, including stands at both Bill Graham’s Fillmore East (1970) and Fillmore West (1969), the Hartford Civic Center (1981, 1983 and 1987), Radio City Music Hall (1980) and Philadelphia’s storied Spectrum (1982).   This year’s program began on November 1, and to date has offered the following tracks:

  1. November 1 – “New Potato Caboose” (Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA, 10/22/67)
  2. November 2 – “Slipknot < Franklin’s Tower” (William and Mary Hall, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 9/24/76)
  3. November 3 – “Shakedown Street” (Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 3/20/92)
  4. November 4 – “Sugar Magnolia” (McNichols Arena, Denver, CO, 8/13/79)
  5. November 5 – “The Music Never Stopped < Don’t Ease Me In” (Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO, 9/3/85)
  6. November 6 – “Estimated Prophet < He’s Gone” (Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH, 4/19/78)
  7. November 7 – “Dark Star” (It’s your guess!)

Don’t worry if you’ve missed out on the past few days; the tracks will remain available for the duration of the 30 Days of Dead campaign.  And plenty more vault material will continue to arrive from the Dead.  Though the Road Trips series of archival concerts has come to a close, its spirit will continue in the Dave’s Picks CD series, named for curator Lemieux.  All Dave’s Picks releases are derived from the band’s master tapes, encoded in HDCD by Jeffrey Norman and including period photos and new liner notes. All four CD releases scheduled for 2012 will be limited to 12,000 individually numbered copies.

Don’t miss out!  You can find 30 Days of Dead online now at the official home of the Grateful Dead,!

Written by Joe Marchese

November 7, 2011 at 09:35

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