The National Unveil Massive Grateful Dead All-Star Tribute Album - Rolling Stone
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The National Unveil Massive Grateful Dead All-Star Tribute Album

Flaming Lips, Jenny Lewis, Wilco, Stephen Malkmus, Courtney Barnett and dozens more cover jam legends on ‘Day of the Dead’

The National‘s Aaron and Bryce Dessner have unveiled the full details of their massive Grateful Dead tribute album Day of the Dead, featuring the Flaming Lips, Wilco with Bob Weir, Jenny Lewis, Mumford & Sons, Jim James, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Courtney Barnett, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and dozens more.

The album, produced by the Dessner brothers, will be released digitally, on 5-CD and as a limited edition vinyl boxed set on May 20th. All proceeds from the mammoth 59-song, six-hour collection will benefit the Red Hot Organization; Day of the Dead also serves as Red Hot’s follow-up to their all-star 2009 comp Dark Was the Night, which raised over $1.5 million dollars for organizations fighting AIDS. Check out the Day of the Dead site for pre-order information.

Other artists covering classic and obscure Dead tracks as well as songs inspired by the jam legends include members of Grizzly Bear, the Walkmen, Bela Fleck, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lucinda Williams, Lee Ranaldo, Bruce Hornsby, Charles Bradley, Kurt Vile and the Violators, the War on Drugs, Anohni and yMusic and the National.

“They’re one of the great, ‘do everything’ bands, take from whatever you want and warp it into something new,” Adebimpe said of the Dead in a statement. “I’m sure that some of the space rock and psyche jam DNA of the band has seeped into what we do.”

The Dessmer brothers opted to take on the project after having a “life-long love affair” with the Dead; the Dessmers, alongside National drummer Bryan Devendorf, played the Dead’s “Eyes of the World” together at their first jam session when they were teenagers. Weir later invited the National to play at his fundraiser in March 2012; two years later, Weir joined the National onstage at the band’s Bay Area concerts.

Will Oldham, who records under the moniker Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and covered three Dead songs for the comp, said in a statement, “I have worked with a few people whose minds are brilliant and complicated, musically. There’s something about the Dead that allows these big-brained pickers to just chill the fuck out and feel good about it. There’s basic types of song forms and melodies that I have an affinity for, and the Grateful Dead have helped other people find their ways into these musics. So it isn’t as hard to establish connections with folks out there that might not otherwise share some of what I am digging into.”

A Day of the Dead live performance will take place this summer at the second annual Eaux Claires Festival on August 12-13, featuring Vernon, the National, Lewis, Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck, Lucius, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Perry, Matt Berninger, Justin Vernon, Bruce Hornsby, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson and more.

Grateful Dead; Tribute; Album

Day of the Dead Track List

“Thunder” (Vol. 1)

1. The War on Drugs – “Touch of Grey”
2. Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & Friends – “Sugaree”
3. Jim James & Friends – “Candyman”
4. Moses Sumney, Jenny Lewis & Friends – “Cassidy”
5. Bruce Hornsby and DeYarmond Edison – “Black Muddy River”
6. Ed Droste, Binki Shapiro & Friends – “Loser”
7. The National – “Peggy-O”
8. Kurt Vile and the Violators (featuring J Mascis) – “Box of Rain”
9. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends – “Rubin and Cherise”
10. Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten & Friends – “To Lay Me Down”
11. Courtney Barnett – “New Speedway Boogie”
12. Mumford & Sons – “Friend of the Devil”
13. Lucius – “Uncle John’s Band”
14. The Lone Bellow & Friends – “Me and My Uncle”
15. Lee Ranaldo, Lisa Hannigan & Friends – “Mountains of the Moon”
16. Anohni and yMusic – “Black Peter”
17. Bryce Dessner – “Garcia Counterpoint”
18. Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and The National (featuring Josh Kaufman, Conrad Doucette, So Percussion and Brooklyn Youth Chorus) – “Terrapin Station (Suite)”
19. Angel Olsen – “Attics of My Life”
20. Wilco with Bob Weir – “St. Stephen (live)”

“Lightning” (Vol. 2)

1. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “If I Had the World to Give”
2. Phosphorescent & Friends – “Standing on the Moon”
3. Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band – “Cumberland Blues”
4. The Tallest Man on Earth & Friends – “Ship of Fools”
5. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends – “Bird Song “
6. The National – “Morning Dew”
7. Marijuana Deathsquads – “Truckin'”
8. Cass McCombs, Joe Russo & Friends – “Dark Star”
9. Nightfall of Diamonds – “Nightfall of Diamonds”
10. Tim Hecker – “Transitive Refraction Axis for John Oswald”
11. Lucinda Williams & Friends – “Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad”
12. Tunde Adebimpe, Lee Ranaldo & Friends – “Playing in the Band”
13. Local Natives – “Stella Blue”
14. Tal National – “Eyes of the World”
15. Bela Fleck ¬– “Help on the Way”
16. Orchestra Baobab – “Franklin’s Tower”
17. Luluc with Xylouris White – “Till the Morning Comes”
18. The Walkmen – “Ripple”
19. Richard Reed Parry with Caroline Shaw and Little Scream (featuring Garth Hudson) – “Brokedown Palace”

“Sunshine” (Vol. 3)

1. Real Estate – “Here Comes Sunshine”
2. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Shakedown Street”
3. Hiss Golden Messenger – “Brown-Eyed Women”
4. This Is the Kit – “Jack-A-Roe”
5. Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear – “High Time”
6. The Lone Bellow & Friends – “Dire Wolf”
7. Winston Marshall, Kodiak Blue and Shura – “Althea”
8. Orchestra Baobab – “Clementine Jam”
9. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – “China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider”
10. Bill Callahan – “Easy Wind”
11. Ira Kaplan & Friends – “Wharf Rat”
12. The Rileys – “Estimated Prophet”
13. Man Forever, So Percussion and Oneida – “Drums -> Space”
14. Fucked Up – “Cream Puff War”
15. The Flaming Lips – “Dark Star”
16. s t a r g a z e – “What’s Become of the Baby”
17. Vijay Iyer – “King Solomon’s Marbles”
18. Mina Tindle & Friends – “Rosemary”
19. Sam Amidon – “And We Bid You Goodnight”
20. The National with Bob Weir – “I Know You Rider (live)”


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