Author: Ben Wiser

Test of the Boomerang is an in-depth exploration of some of the best material found on the Live Music Archive.
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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: The Grateful Dead, “Crimson, White and Indigo”

The summer of 1989 was when the Grateful Dead got big. I mean really big. The success of 1987’s In the Dark lead to an influx of new...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Happy Birthday, Phil!

This week in Test of the Boomerang, Ben Wiser wishes a happy 70th birthday to Dead legend Phil Lesh....

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Music, Popdose Flashback '90

Popdose Flashback ’90: Peter Murphy, “Deep”

Twenty years after it was released, Ben Wiser says Peter Murphy's Deep still cuts you up....

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: Virulence, “If This Isn’t a Dream … 1985-1989”

By the mid 1980s, many of hardcore’s old guard were outgrowing their three chord attack.  A lot of bands found a new identity in...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Reliving “Relix” — A Chat With Toni Brown

Relix editor Toni Brown discusses her long history with the Grateful Dead -- as well as her own musical career -- in an interview with Ben...

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Book Reviews, Books, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: “The Lord of the Logos”

My copy of Lord of the Logos arrived just after the monstrous snow storm hit. While the snow drifted six feet up my stairs, some mysterious...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: New Releases — Skullflower and Sigh

Skullflower: Strange Keys to Untune God’s Firmament (Neurot) Strange Keys to Untune God’s Firmament is the latest offering from cult...

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Books, Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: Hellbent For Cooking – The Heavy Metal Cookbook

Ben Wiser interviews Heavy Metal Cookbook author Annick Giroux in an unusually delicious edition of the Chronicles of DOOM....

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: Pelican, “What We All Come to Need”

Well met, knaves, rogues, and scoundrels. I’ve been a fan of the Chicago band Pelican since I first heard Australasia on a late-night...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: Dio at Donington, 1983

I’m sure by now everyone is aware that Ronnie James Dio was diagnosed with stomach cancer in November. He is currently recovering...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: The Grateful Dead, “Winterland 1977 – The Complete Recordings”

Hey gang, sorry it’s been so long since we last rapped, but things have been way hectic. I finally cut my hair and got myself a...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: Kiss, “The Elder Demos”

I watched a documentary on KISS recently. It was a pretty in-depth affair. Paul and Gene, talking openly, candidly about their long and...

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Bourbon Street, Consumerism

Bourbon Street: Corner Creek Reserve

I used to frequent a seedy bar on Market Street called The Top Hat. I don’t think it’s there anymore, but I would get $2...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of Doom: New Releases

Start off your Thursday with punishing chunks of doom from some of the best new metal releases, including brand new Yoga, Baroness, and...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: OM, “God is Good”

At four songs, Om‘s God is Good feels less like a whole album than a brief and tantalizing glimpse at what is yet to come. Om is a...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Tom Constanten and Friends, “The Tarot Outtakes”

In the spring of 1971, Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten, along with the band Touchstone, produced and performed the music for an...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of Doom: A Chat With Aidan Baker of Nadja

Since 2002, Nadja — the Toronto-based duo of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff — have released over 40 full length LPs, split...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Phish, “Joy”

Phish is back with their first album in five years, and Ben Wiser thinks it might be their best yet. Also: A list of potential candidates...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM II: Ancestors and the Black Box

MONOLITH OF DOOM AND DESTRUCTION UNLEASHED UPON THE POPULACE – BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED The Black Box (Flingco Sound System) The box...

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Music, The Chronicles of DOOM

The Chronicles of DOOM: The Gates of Slumber, “Hymns of Blood and Thunder”

II. Kromrod the Fierce wiped the blood from his massive broadsword. The chill fog of the Northern Wastes cleared the fetid dungeon air from...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: “A Bunch of Dead Beats!”

“But there was something else tugging at Garcia as 1964 turned into 1965. For one thing, like half of America under the age of 25,...

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Book Reviews, Books

Turn Me On, Dead Man: Nick Cave’s “The Death of Bunny Munro”

Nick Cave has spent the better part of the past decade reasserting himself in his role as true rennaisance man. After the subdued and...

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Lost in the '80s, Music

Lost in the ’80s: Fields of the Nephilim

My colleague John Hughes has graciously let me take the wheel today for this edition of Lost in the ’80s. Fields of the Nephilim were...

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CD Reviews, Music

James Perry, “Now You’re Gone”

Meet James Perry, whose debut solo CD arrives after 20 years spent playing in Bay Area bands. Perry speaks with Ben Wiser about the...

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Books, Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: J.J. Colagrande, “Headz”

For this week's edition of Test of the Boomerang, Ben Wiser sat down for a chat with author J.J. Colagrande to discuss his new book,...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Jerome John Garcia, 8/1/42-8/9/95

Jerry Garcia would have been 67 on Saturday, and to celebrate his birthday, Ben Wiser has delivered another fine Test of the Boomerang mix....

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” at 30

In the first part of a multi-week look back at the double album, Ben Wiser revisits the birth of Pink Floyd's The Wall....

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Soundchecks, Rehearsals and Outtakes, Part Three

The 2009 Dead made their last stand on July 4th at Rothbury. The second year of the Michigan festival was a rousing success and the...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Drums of Passion

Babatunde Olatunji – Drums of Passion (Legacy Edition) Columbia/Legacy has just released a glorious two-disc edition of Babatunde...

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Music, Test of the Boomerang

Test of the Boomerang: Best of the Fests, Part One

Hey gang, welcome back to another edition of Test of the Boomerang.  Happy summer solstice. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy these...