Tag Archives: Berkeley

Tonight: Grateful Dead’s “Dark Star:” A Psychedelic Lecture by Dr. Graeme Boone


Mickey Capper ’13 reminded me to post about this. Here’s the blurb from the official Facebook page for this event:

Born and raised in San Francisco—the home of the Grateful Dead—Professor of Music Graeme M. Boone attended the University of California at Berkeley, the Universite de Paris, and Harvard University, where he taught before joining the faculty at Ohio State. Following an overview of the band’s early history and style, Dr. Boone’s talk includes the showing of a “mandala movie” which helps elucidate the Dead’s open-ended song “Dark Star,” conveying a holistic, organic analysis of the tune, and incorporating every salient element in the extended, psychedelically evocative improvisations of its first 150 recorded performances.

With lyrics by Robert Hunter and music by Jerry Garcia, “Dark Star” can cover a broad spectrum of moods and musical ideas—incorporating anything from R&B cover songs to outer-space apocalypse—but the attentive listener can also hear lines of force binding the jams together: structuring devices, strategies, and trajectories that direct each improvisation and also serve as fundamental guideposts. An animated movie with changing colors and annotations follows two specific performances of the song, recorded in London on 4/8/72 and 5/23/72 during the band’s European tour that spring (the original 16-track analog tapes of the entire Europe ’72 tour were remixed, mastered in HDCD format, and released by the band in 2011).

UC Berkeley Students Protest Fee Increase


Students at the University of California, Berkeley, have been occupying a major university building all day to protest a fee increase at all UC campuses. From the Wall Street Journal:

The takeover by as many as 50 students and their sympathizers took place before dawn Friday, a day after the UC Board of Regents approved a 32% increase in student fees to cope with California’s long-running fiscal crisis.

Campus police made three arrests in the occupied Wheeler Hall classroom building after discovering furniture and other items propped up against doors at about 5:30 a.m. Friday, a school spokeswoman said. There were unofficial reports of at least one person arrested outside for allegedly crossing a police line marked by yellow tape.

By Friday afternoon, the standoff continued, as an estimated 500 other students and supporters assembled around the building, despite a driving rain. They banged drums, chanted and cheered as some of the occupants of the building used megaphones from a second-floor window to shout encouragement.

Pretty crazy stuff—but it must sound pretty familiar, I imagine, to some of the professors who’ve been at Wesleyan for 20+ years. Read the full article here.

EDIT: Apparently dozens of students have now been arrested in the protest. Updated story on MSNBC.