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Mickey Hart's Planet Drum
Regardless of what you think about the Grateful Dead, you have to give props to drummer Mickey Hart for his legitimate ethnomusicological enterprises. It seems a youth full of doses has paid off by expanding Hart's vision well past the Dead's interminable psychedelic jams. In 1989 he teamed up with Rykodisc to produce and release nearly a dozen albums, from African drum rituals to Tibetan tantric chants, in The World series. A couple of years later he introduced Planet Drum, a one-world percussion-based collaboration with international superstars like Zakir Hussain, Babatunde Olatunji, and Airto Moreira. The album held the No. 1 slot on Billboard's world music chart for 23 weeks, and subsequent tours were well-received by the Dead and un-Dead alike. Though this weekend's Furthur Festival is largely an excuse for arrested hippies to bond amid clouds of patchouli and sinsemilla, Mickey Hart's Planet Drum will provide a measure of original musicality against which the Black Crowes and Ratdog will surely come off as bland rock 'n' roll rehash.

— Sam Prestianni

Mickey Hart's Planet Drum appears at the Furthur Festival on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 4 p.m. at the Shoreline Amphitheater, 1 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View. Tickets are $32.50 for reserved seating and $19.50 for general admission; call 967-3000.

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