Undecided, Undefined

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

Out of the 84 songs we heard over the three nights at Hampton, only three were new to the Phish catalog.  Though the band has over twenty demos recorded for their new album, they broke out only three “new” songs.  But the choice of these three songs placed amidst the sacred Phish canon fit congruently with Trey’s assessment of the weekend in Rolling Stone- “Let’s take a step back together- and simultaneously a step forward.”

“Backwards Down the Number Line,”  “Beauty of a Broken Heart,” and “Undermind”- the debuted triumvirate- all carry a common thread of reuniting and moving forward.  As carefully as Trey worked over these setlists, you can be sure that these three songs were specifically chosen to communicate a message; one of re-found happiness, reunion, and redemption.

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

“Backwards Down the Number Line” opened the first second set of chapter three, and placed in this significant slot, its meaning cannot be ignored.  Originally, the song was a birthday poem that Tom Marshall wrote to Trey while he was living alone in upstate New York.  In Rolling Stone, Trey referenced the first time he got the poem from Tom.

As soon as I read it I put it to music.  It summed up how I feel not only about Tom but the band and our audience.  It’s about getting younger.  Let’s take a step back together- and simultaneously a step forward.  That’s what these shows feel like.  I had to play that song.

Reuniting and moving forward; remembering the past with our sights set on the future- that is what Hampton was all about, and Trey couldn’t have summed it up better.  “The only rule is it begins,  Happy happy oh my friend.”

Page McConnell (hiddentrack.com)

Page McConnell (A. Kaufman)

“Beauty of a Broken Heart” was the biggest surprise of the three debuts, coming from Page’s self-titled solo album released in 2007.  Written as a reflection on Phish’s breakup, there couldn’t have been a more fitting song for the band to adopt as they came back together.

Immobilized I realized
misjudged the situation’s size…

A love supreme, an ancient art
a finely tuned piano part
that plays its notes from stop to start
and hinges on a broken heart…

Though seasons change and seeds may start
the beauty of a broken heart
cannot be seen but in full view
the colors can come back to you.

These lyrics, written as a musing on something that had ended grew new meaning now that Phish is back together.  Most literally, the colors have come back to us.  This was not only a poignant moment of the show, but also a rare addition from Page to the Phish repertoire.  Seeming like the band may try to incorporate their diverse solo material into the collective mix, this could be the beginning of a pattern.

3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

Perhaps the most symbolic debut of the weekend was “Undermind.”  The long awaited title track made its appearance in the first set of the last show, foreshadowing what is to come in the Phish world.  Tweaked musically, the performance featured crunchier grooves than we were used to hearing on the album.  Downplaying melody in favor of rhythm, the song adopted a funk-reggae feel.  But as infectious as the grooves were, the lyrics painted a playful picture of where the band is at right now.

Undecided, undefined
Undisturbed, yet undermind

Relocated, not retired
Reprimanded and rewired

Mystified and mishapen
Misinformed, but not mistaken

Reinvented, redefined
Rearranged, but not refined.

With the repetitive line of “Undecided, Undefined” leading out of the jam into the end of the song, the message was clear- the future is wide open. A song that seems like it was written and shelved just for the band’s comeback, the synchronicities between its lyrics and the state of the Phish scene are remarkable.  Perhaps the most exciting debut, musically, fans immediately foresaw this groove-based vehicle going places come June and beyond.

3.7.08 (M. Walters)

3.7.08 (M. Walters)

While new material may not have been the focus of Hampton, the carefully selected debuts conveyed a powerful message.  Between the three songs, we can infer a genuine enthusiasm for the band’s reunion and a commitment to forge a new path for Phish.  As we move in to summer and will hear more of what “the new” has to offer, understand that it represents where the band is coming from now.  Don’t be that jaded fan to knock a song because you never heard it before and it’s not “Tweezer”‘- even “Tweezer” was a new song once too you know.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.4.96 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO < LINK

8.4.96 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO < TORRENT LINK

Red Rocks (Hidden Track)

Red Rocks (Hidden Track)

With all the Red Rocks madness engulfing the scene over the last 24 hours, I figured we would revisit the epic four night stand that got the banned in the summer of ’96.  Here’s night one, with others to follow.  Again, please use torrents.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Funky Bitch, Guyute, Fee, Split Open and Melt, The Mango Song, The Sloth, Maze, Loving Cup

II: AC/DC Bag,  Reba, Scent of a Mule, Sample in a Jar, David Bowie, Sweet Adeline, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Star Trek Theme*, Rocky Top

*Page, solo on Theremin.

***

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3.8.09 – Photo: Marc Walters

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177 Responses to “Undecided, Undefined”

  1. whole tour! Says:

    i just had an idea for a whole new generation of EPIC lot shirts….take the boys from “ROTN” and place a shot of their face of the front of the shirt…then on the back, kinda like a baseball jersey…have say “poindexter 09″….”or “booger 09″…ect. ect…

    guarenteed to bank on the lot this summer!

    or even better…..a fraternity style Lambda Lambda Lambda(in the greek letters) for the guys….and Omega Mu for thge ladies!!!

    lol…anyone know how to make t-shirts?

  2. nonoyolker Says:

    i just replayed the entire montage in my head, giggled uncontrollably, and had to try and had to explain the concept of the 80’s montage to the other girl in my office. I don’t think it translated well…

  3. nonoyolker Says:

    Do ROTN shirts with phish circa 1984 pics on them. It is the comback tour, the REVENGE of the NERDS! Trey is Wormzer, Fish is Booger, Anthony Edwards is Page and mike is louis skolnick. Million Dollar Idea…

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    awesome .. I remember in high school when we rediscovered that movie and all the bongs and “wonder joints” and started watching it daily .. put the other foot down .. down .. down .. awesome! I think that’s the scene where booger hands the violin guy a j and he immediately starts passing out as he’s painting.

  5. Cactus Says:

    Great post once again Miner..Undermind definitely was a statement song referring to where the band stands at eh present and in the future. Which
    Got me to thinking about a line from Julius as I was reading the post. “With your past and your future precisely divided, I’m at that moment…don’t take another, don’t take another, before you take another step…”
    Talking about the present, in the song Julius…we’re in the present and Phish has 25 summer dates schedules… what could be better than that?

    ^^Miner

    Read the post on the 11-6-98 Melt. I like the Krazy Glue line, and I was I could’ve witnessed it.

  6. SOAM Says:

    we got poindexter on the violin

    and booger presley on the main guitar.

    and a rap by little ol me LAMAR.

  7. RobAins Says:

    Moses Hightower: I was a florist.
    Carey Mahoney: A florist?
    Moses Hightower: Yeah, you know, flowers and shit.

  8. RobAins Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmTbhZCxq9s

    “Wormzer’s a master at aerodynamics. And he designed the Javelin to go along with Lamar’s limp wristed throwing style.”

    Fucking love this movie!

  9. elihu Says:

    we got Bush!!

  10. Al Says:

    @ RobAins,
    I’m from Germany – thanks for your definition. I think I deserve a medal for the first and only Phishead who doesn’t know what a narc is! Now I know it and can say, no I’m not. My first Phish show was the Cologne, Wartesaal 02/16/97…..

  11. RobAins Says:

    “What the fuck is a Robster Craw?” 🙂

    Al: no prob. I’m sure all this talk of Revenge of the nerds and Police Academy has you scratching your head…..did these classic 80’s movies ever make it over to Germany?

  12. SOAM Says:

    Pan down

  13. nonoyolker Says:

    I just downloaded the Lamar rap, scoop here for free: http://www.airmp3.net/download/-revenge_of_the_nerds/mp3/dlXa2_fdfd9_0
    This is going to be the party jam of the weekend! I am going to drink like Takashi tonight!
    “That’s my pie!”

  14. SOAM Says:

    Just released in Germany, France and Texas.

    btw-something has to be going on in Texas. But-didnt a plane fly around LA announcing summer tour 1 and there are no shows in LA?

  15. RobAins Says:

    When they’re putting the massage oil into the Jock’s jock straps, Takashi makes a classic observation that “Oohhh, iss like a-salad”

  16. RobAins Says:

    Good point SOAM.

  17. Wilson Says:

    The Blue Oyster Bar …. funny stuff.

  18. RobAins Says:

    “It was an all you can eat buffet at the Blue Oyster”

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    @pencilneck – usually in Moses Lake. just google around for hotels. they’re filling up fast – we got shut out of the Best Western where we had stayed before.

  20. RobAins Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzAJs7NutM

  21. nonoyolker Says:

    What the fuck’s a frush?

  22. RobAins Says:

    Booger: [showing his cards] Oh, well I’ve got two sevens and two sevens beats a frush.
    Takashi: Oh, thank you.

  23. Al Says:

    Almost everything makes it over to Germany – except a little Phish Tour…

  24. RobAins Says:

    Good to hear. I figured 80’s American Pop Culture would make it over there….just look at that no talent ass clown David Hasselhoff!

  25. R1 Says:

    “Trey is Wormzer, Fish is Booger, Anthony Edwards is Page and mike is louis skolnick”

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    That’s some funny shit.

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