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The Grateful Dead and Kenny G: A Side-by-Side Comparison

​Those who seek the weird will be immediately drawn to the Dead Kenny G's -- currently on tour supporting Primus and playing a free show at Hurricane Bar on June 5 -- simply by virtue of the name. Adding to the allure is their appropriately ridiculous look -- they are goofy-looking dudes who don long curly wigs. 

Oftentimes, bands that present themselves in this way do so to make up for a lack of musical substance. The Dead Kenny G's, however, are no novelty act, though there is plenty of ingenuity. Their goofy weirdness is backed up by serious musicianship and a fun and exciting musical vision. The résumés of the players involved include stints accompanying Roger Waters, Ani Difranco, Les Claypool, and many obscure projects such as Crack Sabbath. Their sound is equal parts funk and punk and branches off into Afro-pop grooves and sax jazz.

In the spirit of their weirdness and eclecticism, we thought we'd have a little fun with that name of theirs. So, here is a brief comparison between the Dead and the living, breathing Kenny G.

They've both got long hair and a devoted fan base, but they smell different.

Where the former reeks of pot, patchouli, and all things divine, the latter reeks of expensive salon products and the armpit of hell. It's no secret that Kenny G was sent up to the surface by Satan himself to lull the masses to sleep so he could someday sneak into their bathrooms and sneeze on their toothbrushes. Gladly, it hasn't been working. Lucky for us, Satan has underestimated the musical taste of much of the human population.

Jerry Garcia used to say that he thought the U.S. government should hire the Dead to get the people high. Unfortunately, the Man never went for that, obviously. Seems they were hoping for the Satanic Kenny G thing to pan out.

The elements of jazz can be found in both the music of the Dead and Kenny G.

However, the sweaty improvisation of the Dead certainly honors the wild spirit of Coltrane and the bunch far more righteously than the manicured, cocoa-buttered fingers of wimpy wigman.

Finally, the drugs.

We know the drugs of choice for the Dead (in the good times) were pot and acid. Kenny G, we can only assume, is more into meth and Tylenol -- meth to keep him from being lulled to sleep by his own music and Tylenol to ease the headache that must come from hearing that much wimpy contemporary jazz.

Well, there you have it. We hope that this has been an enlightening discussion and that you enjoy the Dead Kenny G's more than you enjoyed this ridiculous blog.

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Note: Much love to the G man. Only teasin' (don't cry).

The Dead Kenny G's. 9 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at Hurricane Bar & Lounge, 640-7 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray. Admission is free. Click here.


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