also known as The Starbucks Release. let's discuss...
you can also add comments directly to the Starbucks feedback forum on this release
If 'Nate from Turlock CA' really exists, then one new deadhead has already been recruited!!!!
I went to the local Starbucks the day I saw on this site that it had come out. I looked at it and realized that there was nothing new on it for me. It was funny, I was asking the young lady behind the counter what dates the live songs were from and why they were not listed. Yikes. She was very smiley and thought it was great that the store had the disc and she said she had a couple of Dead discs and asked me if I liked Simon and Garfunkel and Janis Joplin too; I think that she was excited that a real live Deadhead (OK, maybe I'm not a real Deadhead, according to last week Tapers Section) was in the store talking about it to her. She was probably early 20's. At least she has good taste in music. She said it had been selling well.
As for coffee and anything else, I support small local businesses whenever possible. I encourage everyone else to do the same.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Walt Whitman-Song of Myself
Starbucks? Big deal! I consider Starbucks (henceforth called SB for he purpose of this post) to be a simple corporate chain of coffee-houses. They attract a certain type of person, a quasi-Yuppie mix of urbanites and the trendy. I have an SB across the street from me, and I visit occasionally. It's tied to the Chapters bookstore (a major Canadian book-store chain, similar to Barnes & Noble). So you can sit down on the comfy living-room style sofas, while you read the book you just bought.
I personally don't care about SB one way or the other. It's just another trendy urban coffee-house for me. I don't attach any relevance to it's corporate connections. But frankly, I don't care for their oh-so-trendy café-macchiatto with the foam on the side. I'm just not into café-au-laits, or espresso grandés. I prefer a good ol' cup-a-joe, if you know what I mean.
So I order my coffee at the local Tim Horton's donut shop. (Tim Horton's is a major Canadian chain of coffee/donut shops.) But then, I'm more conservative than the average Dead Head. (If you only knew! )
I don't consider SB to be "the enemy" or corporate sell-outs, or "The Man" or any of that nonsense. They're a successful business, nothing more. This hippiesque attitude about corporations is so 1970.
The fact that SB brought out a Dead compilation makes sense, since the business is trendy and tends towards the trendy and hip. Why not? And if, in the bargain, they turn a few newbies on to the Dead, so much the better.
Good for SB, and good for us.
and what a wonderful handle you have. love it!
I was loathe to cross post but your long post really did show me that this was a discussion that warranted its own space.
(this post is being edited to say that it was initially posted in response to dead_tanuki but showed up out of chronological order)
I posted this (exceedingly long) thing over in this week's Taper's Section forum, and I think that may have been in part what prompted this new discussion opening here. Sorry, Izzie! Anyway, I thought I'd do my part to encourage discussion by re-posting it here...
People keep alluding to this, and of course a vehement comment about the Starbucks release is what prompted David Gans's heated response last week...
I think there are real reasons why the Starbucks release concerns many Dead Heads. They may not be fair reasons, but they're valid from a certain point of view, and I don't think they've been aired in a calm way yet (I might have missed a post, though).
First, rightly or wrongly, I'd imagine that for a lot of us, Starbucks represents a certain kind of corporate, yuppie mentality--huge international chain, highly standardized product and merchandizing environment, etc. The opposite of what the Dead stood for in many of our imaginations. That's a romanticized image: the Dead have been a big (or at least mid-sized) business for a long time now. And a negative attitude toward Starbucks may be unfair. But still, there have to be at least a few unreconstructed hippies around the Dead organization who could tell you that the Starbucks alliance would cause a gut reaction in some fans. That gut reaction is not necessarily a reason for Rhino/GDP to refrain from putting out a Starbucks release, but it does, I think, explain at least some of the negative response to it on these boards.
Especially combined with (and this is my second point) the fact that the new Starbucks release comes at a time when archival releases are few and far between. This is two best-ofs released in the last four years. Obviously, it took somebody some man-hours to put the new one together, and I imagine many fans wish those man-hours had been spent on a release that they could appreciate, instead. This combines with some frustration about Three From The Vault, which many found to be a less-than-overwhelming release, but which seems like it may have been easier to market to a mass audience than, say, the once-rumored Winterland '73 box would have been. In other words, there seems to be a perception, not entirely unjustified, that more effort right now is being put into trying to recruit new fans/customers than trying to please the faithful. (To be fair, the faithful can be very hard to please--we're loyal, but veeeery cantankerous, and often passionate rather than considered in our responses.)
There's nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with Rhino/GDP trying to enlarge the audience for Grateful Dead music. It's not like '87, when there was a delicate ecology to the scene that was thrown out of whack by the arrival of the "Touchheads" (then again, that's when I first got into the Dead, and here I am still, twenty years later). Now, it's just a question of how many people are going to buy each new vault release, and so it's truly the more the merrier. Right?
Maybe. Again, I would never argue that Rhino/GDP should NOT try to increase their audience. But from the hardcore fan's perspective, there can certainly be a difference between a label that's dedicated to serving an existing, knowledgeable fanbase and one that's dedicated to appealing to as broad a market as possible. I'm a big Dylan collector, and I don't think I'm alone in feeling that the big problem with Columbia/Sony's approach to Dylan archival sets is that they're trying to appeal to a broad, uncommitted audience, rather than the real hardcore fans. It's no coincidence, I think, that Starbucks also released an exclusive Dylan album, Live At The Gaslight 1962--and Dylan collectors were wildly disappointed with this. What was on it was great, but it left off a good chunk of what's on the circulating Gaslight tape, maybe so as not to scare off casual purchasers with too many unfamiliar songs. Again, Columbia/Sony's Dylan archival releases always seem calculated to rope in as many casual fans as possible, rather than trying to get it right (if I may say so) for the hardcore fans.
It's possible that some of us have reacted to the Starbuck's set, 3FTV, and the discontinuance of the DPs and Download Series as Rhino's steps in that direction, as trying to appeal to a broad but casual audience at the expense of the faithful.
I take DL2's and everybody else's word for it that this is not the case--that it's just taking a while for Rhino to get all its cylinders firing, and that there will be lots of things to make us hardcore fans very happy (something that the Taper's Section mp3s were doing, incidentally--one reason why taking them away provoked such a reaction). I live in hope. But I just thought I'd point out that the reaction to the Starbucks set was not entirely paranoid or silly. Let's hope the Starbucks set creates thousands and thousands of new Dead fans, and that all of them are ready to make a big box o' '73 their next purchase.
Or will they just make more?
(I can see it now, a collectors' item on eBay...)
I was briefly stranded at Starbucks today, and had a chance to chat with a barista. He might be logging in sometime soon, but briefly, he said that the CD set was selling very well in the local stores and that some had even sold out. There was only one on display when I went in this morning for a java fix.
On the heels of Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan’s recent deals with Starbucks, the Grateful Dead has partnered with the omnipresent coffee chain to create a new compilation. Eternally Grateful is a two CD set exclusively available through Starbucks featuring a disc of studio tracks and a disc of live recordings. The studio recordings span the group’s career, including “Friend of the Devil,” “Box Of Rain,” “Althea,” “Eyes of the World,” “Truckin',” “Shakedown Street,” “Cream Puff War,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “Touch of Grey,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Cold Rain And Snow,” “China Cat Sunflower,” “Uncle John's Band,” “Casey Jones” and “Ripple.” The set’s live disc also runs the gamete, featuring “Jack Straw,” “Bertha,” “My And My Uncle,” “Cumberland Blues,” “Me And Bobby McGee,” “Brown-Eyed Woman,” “Morning Dew,” “Johnny B. Goode” and “Not Fade Away.”