With the dog days* of summer upon us, one could do worse than find relief from the heat in the music of the Grateful Dead. It’s a seasonal thing for me: their live stuff goes on heavy rotation around May or June; by September they’re back in the ‘G’ section in my CD library.
I know what some of you are thinking. How can you—so suave and sophisticated, with your Mahler and Schönberg and Beethoven and Janáček—listen to those smelly hippies?
Glad you asked. Rather than discourse on the merits of the music itself, however, I’ll simply point you to a rather lovely treatment of “Ripple” from the 2000 album Might as Well: The Persuasions Sing the Grateful Dead.
We’re all hippies now.
*We can thank the Romans for this phrase. They called the hottest weeks of the summer caniculares dies, their theory being that the Dog Star, rising with the sun, added to its heat, and that the dog days (roughly July 3 to August 11) bore the combined heat of both.