'Long Strange Trip'

Photos by Nick Tomecek

I started my boyfriend’s record collection with “What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been” this past Valentine’s Day.

Although I couldn’t completely define the borders of his music taste, I could remember one song he mentioned: Grateful Dead’s “Truckin.’” I found this record in a glass encased bookshelf at an antique store, and it had red on it.

What’s more Valentine’s-ish than that?

Long story short, I’m not a deadhead. This isn’t intentional, as I do like Grateful Dead, and I do like this compilation of the group’s greatest hits.

The timing couldn’t be better, as the Grateful Dead’s documentary “Long Strange Trip” recently premiered at Sundance Film Festival and will appear on Amazon this spring. I genuinely can’t wait to watch it.

“Cosmic Charlie” and “Truckin’” are the songs that stand out to me at first listen.

I love the way the verses are spouted off rapidly in “Truckin.’” The softness of this song is nearly a throwback to artists in the 1940s.

I love the dreamy chant that comprises “Cosmic Charlie.” The boyish vocals give this song Beatles’ vibes.

I was surprised to hear on the B-side of the first disc, I recognized a couple songs. I even found myself singing the lyrics to “Playing in the Band.”

After listening to this record a few times, this was a good Valentine’s gift.

I rarely equate blues undertones with whimsical spirit, but this record does just that. “What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been” truly guides you on a fanciful and, at times, melancholy trip.

Grateful Dead has more than 140 albums, which is, in other words, a whole freaking lot of music. But, if I had to guess, I think this record is a versatile representation of what the group can do.

Grateful Dead is your quintessential psychedelic rock jam band, and this record is a great place to start.

The outfit:

Bralette - Free People

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Dress- Free People

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Shoes - Love Culture

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Bracelet - BCBG

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