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February 08, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-08

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 8, 2000 - 9

JIart keeps on truckin' after the
end of his tenure with 'Dead'


The Hartford Courant
You'd never guess from listening to the pleasant, interna-
tional sounds on the new disc "Spirit Into Sound" that it all
comes from the guy who spent 30 years pounding drums
for the world's biggest touring psychedelic circus, the
rateful Dead.
Rather, Mickey Hart is making music that sounds like
he's fully relaxed after years on the Dead-go-round, and
happy to share his joy of music and the crates of percussive
instruments he has picked up during international jaunts.
He was so relaxed, in fact, he was asleep half the time as
he composed it.
"I get this stuff in dreams; that's where it comes from,"
said Hart over the phone from his California home. "I'm a
big believer in listening to my dreams."
While working on his latest book, which has the same
name as the CD, the musical ideas would fill his head at
*ght, and he recorded them with a tape machine at the side
of his bed, then more fully in the morning at his home studio.
"I try to lay down whatever remnant I have on tape," he
said. And when he can't, he said, "I use self-hypnosis and
tell myself to remember my dream. It's a very powerful way
of getting into the unconscious. And there are other tech-
niques I use to mine the dream state."
Whatever approach he uses, it's not conventional. "I don't
sit down and compose it as much as it composes me," he
said, begging to sound like a Zen master. "I use a lot of yoga
d deep-breathing techniques to get me to play new music

instead of old music."
Also, for the first time he used a collaborator, Planet
Drum and Super Lingua vocalist Rebeca Mauleon, whose
voice can be heard over the exotic instrumentals, which use
Peruvian flutes.
"Working with Rebeca Mauleon has been an invigorating
experience for me. She sings like an angel, and as a co-
composer, there's a lot of chemistry," he said.
Hart has worked in tandem before, mostly for years with
co-drummer Bill Kreutzmann in the Dead to produce night-
ly percussive improvisation.
"I love the group experience; as you know, I specialized
in that," Hart said. "But working with one other person
compositionally is very rewarding. The grooves have a cer-
tain direction and are very cogent."
The best selling book version of "Spirit into Sound" is a
collection of quotes about music from sources as varied as
Plato, Confucius, John Lennon and Ice-T. The album,
released Jan. 25, seems best reflected by a quote from Bob
Marley: "One good thing about music: When it hits, you
feel no pain."
The guests on the album include former Dead band mate
Bob Weir, but it more often turns to such international
musicians as Zakir Hussain and Haroon Tahir.
Hart, 49, is gratified that, for the most part, fans from his
old band have allowed him to travel freely to such foreign
musical grounds.
"I credit my audience and fans and friends who have
encouraged me to go outside of the Grateful Dead," he said.

Courtesy of dead net
Mickey Hart, former Grateful Dead drummer, continues his musical forays, experimenting with a variety of percussive sounds,

"I don't want to go out and just be an echo of the Grateful
Dead. They can get that on tapes and get the real thing.
Everything else is just knockoffs. I don't want to play
'Truckin' when I'm 70 years old. It's not my idea of a fulfill-
ing life."
Still, he imagines there will be some playing with The
Other Ones, the surviving Dead group with Weir and Bruce
Hornsby (although bassist Phil Lesh, after one Other Ones
tour, has said he'd rather lead his own band in the future).

"Once or twice a year, I'm going to go out and do that"
Hart said. "Bob and I and Bruce are going to go outanld,
make that kind of music and I'm going to love it, and enjoy it
to the max. But every month for the rest of my life? No. I'll
be going back to visit it and really love it. And why not? I
created it. But to base my musical existence on the music of
the past? No. I have no interest in that at all. I've already done',
it. All that has already been done."

The Los Angeles Times

Voyeurism head to Summer TV




The major networks are finally making good
on a long-standing pledge to provide more origi-
nal summer programming - although many of
e programs in question will be an odd mix of
'0TV's cinema verite "The Real World" with
voyeuristic elements seemingly plucked from the
nightmare world of the fantasy feature "The Tru-
man Show."
The latest, and perhaps most provocative, entry
in this genre is "Big Brother," a Dutch project
that confines 10 strangers in a house for 100
days, monitoring their every move with 24 cam-
eras and 59 microphones.
CBS has committed to airing 50 hours of the
*ogram, which will be shown at least five nights
a week beginning in July. The network, which
won rights to the series - a huge hit in Holland
quickly spreading across Europe - after a bid-
ding contest among several networks, had previ-
ously announced plans to air another European
"reality" show this summer, "Survivor." That
series documents the activity of a group of peo-
pie stranded on an island near Borneo.
This infusion of so-called reality programs not
only ups the ante on voyeurism but reflects a
ncerted effort to provide fresh summer fare

after years of lip-service to the idea, including
grand announcements that were later abandoned.
The key development to jump-start the process
has been the explosive popularity of "Who Wants
to Be a Millionaire," which ABC introduced last
August with an experimental run on 13 consecu-
tive nights.
ABC has also enjoyed success, albeit on a less-
er scale, with "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," an
improvisational comedy that made its debut in
the summer. And the network is likely to launch
"Mastermind" - a new quiz concept under the
stewardship of "Millionaire" producer Michael
Davies _ next summer, perhaps during the same
August window that proved such a blessing for
the existing show.
In similar fashion, Fox has announced plans for a
concert series and is developing a documentary
program that could air multiple nights each week,
in which a camera crew chronicles the daily goings-
on in a high school. Fox is describing the concept
as a "reality drama."
"As long as I've been in American television,
people have been talking about how it's crazy not to
put on original programming during the summer,"
said Davies, a native of England, adding that suc-
cess of "Millionaire" has "given people no excuse
not to go and do it."

Networks have long relied on second runs of pro-
grams in the spring or summer as a vital part of
their economic equation, since the fee paid to pro-
ducers covers two airings and programmers seldom
make a profit on the first showing.
Still, programmers have discovered there is con-
siderable risk in freeing viewers to sample splashy
cable movies and series during those months, as
well as potential value in using summer as a labora-
tory, provided the programs themselves are inex-
pensive enough to justify production, similar to the
model followed on cable.
Some executives have argued that expensive
series such as "ER," "NYPD Blue" and "Every-
body Loves Raymond" remain the best way for the
major networks to command viewer loyalty and
define themselves, in part because such offerings
aren't readily available on cable channels, whereas
game shows, quirky reality series and movies are.
The astonishing ratings for "Millionaire," how-
ever, have dealt all conventional logic a setback -
attracting audiences that exceed "ER" at a fraction
of its cost and for considerably less than most dra-
mas and sitcoms.
"The old rules are all very, very different from
what they used to be," said CBS Television Presi-
dent Leslie Moonves at a news conference Thurs-
day announcing the deal on "Big Brother."

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