"The music never stopped" continues to be a prescient, now even somewhat ominous Grateful Dead lyric. As Rolling Stone writes, the band — or rather its former members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir — have announced San Francisco and Los Angeles performances of a new spinoff called Dead and Company. For those keeping track, that means of the "core four" just Phil Lesh is left out. And "company" is to include John Mayer, the Allman Brothers' bassist Oteil Burbridge, and the RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.

This is all despite having just moments ago played the Bay Area and Chicago on the Fare Thee Well tour, a concert event series billed as the last opportunity to see the core four. But this isn't technically that, and, says Weir, "We're not done with these songs and they're not done with us... We're gonna take these old friends on some new adventures."

Dead and Company performs Dec. 27-28 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, then on Dec. 30-31 will play at the Forum in Los Angeles. Lead up shows take place in Washington, DC, Albany, and Philadelphia. The full show schedule is at the Dead and Company website.

Tickets are being billed as $50 to "under $100," so although some might speculate as to the band's (financial?) motivations for the tour (new redwood decks? Replacement knees?) at least the prices aren't so steep as the Fare Thee Well shows were. That is, before tickets sank to $20 a pop.

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