The Grateful Dead: Dave’s Picks Volume 13, February 24, 1974, Winterland Arena in San Francisco, California

Actually I mostly like this setlist. Might be a top 74 pick. “Morning Dew” has been better, but it’s been worse. Has “Baby Blue” which wasn’t played much that year. Also the earliest 1974 show that’s been released.

The Grateful Dead: Dicks’s Picks Volume 1, December 19, 1973 Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, Florida

Clocks in at just over 2 hours. Not much makes this interesting besides “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and the opening “Here Comes Sunshine.” It’s an okay show, but there are better ones from this period. I think. Honestly, this isn’t my favorite era.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Murder Ballads

The title and subject matter would make one think this would be Cave’s darkest and hardest album. But the music is actually the most restrained he’d made up to this point. Some of the songs are cool. “Song of Joy” is kind of brilliant. But others feel gimmicky and boring. “Stagger Lee” and “O’Malley’s Bar both feel mean and pointless. It’s really inexcusable in the latter cause it drags on for 14 minutes. Musically, “Henry and Lee” and “Where the Wild Roses Grow” feel kind of like the same song. The outtakes were better I think.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Mardi Gras

Tom Fogerty had quit the band, and John Fogerty wasn’t getting along with the other two guys. So he basically sabotaged this album. Insisted that they write songs and sing them. I guess the idea was he wanted to prove how important he was to CCR or give him an excuse to break up the band and start a solo career. Really one of the worst acts of self-sabotage ever. The album isn’t THAT bad, but it’s all just boring and uninspired. Maybe Stu and Doug were trying, but they weren’t cut out for this. Fogerty wasn’t trying. Only one of his songs is any good. He sort of got what he deserved with a middling solo career.