After a summer of high profile, purportedly ultimate live shows, Dead Heads can shake off their contact highs and rejoice once again. The Grateful Dead’s music is being celebrated with a 59-song tribute album titled Day of the Dead, curated by The National’s resident curatorial gurus, Aaron and Bryce Dessner.
The brothers behind the deep lineups of the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival and Cincinnati’s MusicNOW festival, have pieced together an equally prodigious cast for the upcoming record. Five Day of the Dead tracks were revealed Thursday—each accompanied by a psychedelic video directed by Michael Brown, Nick Ciontea, and Christopher Bartlett: The War on Drugs’ take on “Touch of Grey,” Courtney Barnett’s rendition of “New Speedway Boogie,” a Bruce Hornsby/DeYarmond Edison double-team of “Black Muddy River,” Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis and friends’ collaborative “Sugaree,” and the National’s own version of the Dead’s live standard, “Morning Dew.”
“These 5 are just a sampling, not favorites or singles,” tweeted Aaron Dessner. “Can’t wait for you to hear all 59 songs!!” The National appear four times on the record, bolstering a lineup that runs deeper than Hell in a Bucket.
The three-disc record will also include covers from artists like the Flaming Lips,Mumford & Sons, Wilco with Bob Weir, Jim James, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, members of Grizzly Bear, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, the Walkmen, Bela Fleck, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lucinda Williams, Lee Ranaldo, Kurt Vile and the Violators, and many more.
Day of the Dead arrives May 20 and all proceeds with benefit Red Hot, a non-profit dedicated to fighting AIDs through pop culture. Check out the videos and let us know your favorite Dead track in the comments below.
HT: Rolling Stone