Deadstein.com is Back

After being down for approximately 3 years, Deadstein.com, the official website of Deadstein is back up and running. We have been on the Internet since the mid 90s and we’ve been blogging about our adventures ever since. I developed issues with the programming of the website several years ago and my web host took my site down saying it was causing problems on their servers. I wasn’t into figuring out a solution at the time but rather found an alternative, WordPress.com. I migrated our Deadstein blogging to WordPress for the past three years and have about 180 posts on WordPress.

WordPress has served us well. It’s easy, it’s been easy to maintain, it’s me keep up with my blogging since it makes it so painless to actually do a posting week in and week out.

Earlier this year I honed my Internet development skills by resurrecting my work website, MCMUA.com and that got me the chops, the skills and finally the impetus to get Deadstein.com back up and running.

With the release of the Jerry Garcia songbook version 8 over the previous few weeks, I now have new versions of all the individual PDFs of each individual song that make up the bulk of the book. I knew I wanted a good way to post those PDFs somewhere on the web to make it easy to retrieve them. Additionally I recently got Google+ going for Deadstein and I wanted to provide a link to it on our blog website and somehow that’s related to the final push that got me to put a website up.

In a couple hours I took a simple template of a simple website design and put in some elements I knew I would like for the Deadstein’s website. I also took some of the old database elements from the old site and incorporated them into the pages. We have so much history as a band and so much content for a website that it was just waiting to be plucked and featured on a new website.

I was able to get the random picture generation going and now that looks real nice and pretty up on the front page. I also brought back an old favorite of Kevin’s, “Today in Deadstein” with random generated pictures based on those actual posts. I was also able to connect the rss feed from the “my Steal Your Space book” blog nicely to fit right onto the homepage. It’s intertwined within it all; updating the website automatically as the blog gets updated. This is pretty cool. I really like that.

Likewise, I have a Twitter feed that also updates with the Deadstein’s current Twitter feeds going down the page.
One of the things are really like about the new webpage is the ability to bring in the old jams database, as well as old school HTML jam listing into one location. It works pretty well at this point so it’s great to be a will to go back and reminisce and read about all those old jams, those old arguments, those old meals and those old people that were the life and times of Deadstein.

Finally, I was able to incorporate all the new PDFs I’ve made of each song. In addition I have an automatically generating songs page so you could look at all the songs and select one to view. That and this is all rudimentary at this point and all to be improved as I get another couple of hours to actually do these changes. And I am looking forward to it. And one last thing, this one’s for Kevin, every time you open the homepage; located right under the songs picklist is a randomly generated song from the song database. This is something Kevin has always been asking for. We do do it through the iPhone random shuffle which is in essence the same thing and a little faster and better, but the random song generator is a real plus I am sure in Kevin’s book.

This was just a quick little posting about the new Deadstein.com revitalization project as it’s up it’s running and it’s working and I am looking for bigger, better and bolder things in the near future. There are a lot of capabilities of my hands now with the simplified website and I expect big things.

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New Song Book is Printed – Version 7

At the December 3, 2009 jam I distributed the newest version of the Jerry Garcia Song Book which I recently updated and printed.   While I call this version 7, to keep up with the recent Microsoft Windows release, it really is the 5th major release of this song book.  This song book has been a multi-decade effort on my part starting in my early days of guitar playing as a means to remember how to play the songs.  The song book has remained such ever since.

It must have been around 1990 that I found a text file of many Grateful Dead lyrics which I then copied and used as a foundation on which I added my chord charts.  Many of those I transfered from the official Grateful Dead song books and others I just knew from playing with others.  Then again, there are many that I have figured out on my own since I started playing the Grateful Dead.  As those who have used my books in the past, I’m not going to claim they are totally accurate, I wish they were better and will accept any recommendations, but they are as good as I can do in the time I dedicate.  Take a look at the books at the links below in both PDF and Word format, so make you own damn book if you don’t like mine.

The reason I was able to get this release out at this time is the new exciting world of working on the web.  Kinkos now has an online printing service where you can upload a Word document and print and bind it directly on Kinkos copiers/printers.  There is no need for me to print out the documents myself.  This is a great convenience.  In addition, the quality is much better being a much more direct route to paper.  I printed up 9 copies, of which 6 have been spoken for, so I have 3 left so if anyone want an already printed version let me know.  First come first server at $35/book.  Printing at Kinkos online was so easy that I now look forward to the release of a Deadstein Song Book Packet V1 in the near future that includes all those other songs that we may play that aren’t in the JGSB-V7.

It has always been my intention to make the charts usable during a jam and to fit the entire song and its structure on one page.   Eventually as the Internet became a resource I found the clutch Ed Bick library of Grateful Dead text files and tabs and I took a lot from that.  Of course there were lots of mistakes in the music along the way and this Version 7 represents a new version that incorporates most of the corrections discovered to the songs over the past 10 years or so.  While there aren’t many new songs in the book, from version 4, there are plenty of fixes and subtle corrections.   The only real new songs are a few that were included from the Pizza Tapes. To the right is the cover from my home version of the Release 4 of the song book.  My jam copy of the song book was missing the front cover and a few songs at the end.  Few others still had there release 4 books.  Scott lost his and Kev’s blew apart and he was working off a half-ass mid-term release in 2 volumes.  Yuck!  For history’s sake, below is a link to a link to the Release 4 of the song book.

There is still a lifetime of improvement to make to the book and our playing, but a new printable release marks an important stepping stone in at least my playing and probably those who play in and around me.