Forecast For the Future

6.18.04 Brooklyn, NY

6.18.04 Brooklyn, NY

With nothing separating us from Summer Tour except 12 days, thoughts are beginning to percolate about what will go down.  What songs will we hear and what songs won’t we hear?  With act three of Phish’s career about to open, the musical anticipation is- dare I say it- greater than Hampton.  Admittedly, nothing can match the hype, excitement, and quality of energy surrounding Phish’s return in March- it was like nothing we’d ever experienced; just like a dream.  We were finally getting Phish back, and had no idea what we had in store.

But after an amazing three nights in March, and some subsequent interviews with Mike and Trey, we can make clearer predictions of what lies ahead.  This much we know for sure- there will be a host of new material.  The band is essentially hopping out of the studio and into Fenway Park, having just recorded their new album, not to mention they have written many additional songs beyond the album.  It’s safe to say that setlists will read a bit differently from now on, and it’s new material that this era of Phish will be built upon.  Will they play their classics?  Of course.  But when Phish has new material, they like to explore it in depth- always.  And this is not just a crop of new songs, it’s the ushering in of an entirely new era of Phish and defining a musical direction for 2009 and beyond.

"Ghost" 6.20.04

"Ghost" 6.20.04 SPAC

This is the most exciting part about this summer- a new direction- Phish’s next evolutionary step.  No doubt my brain will pop each time they drop a “Tweezer” or a “Mike’s,” but what will be even more exciting is to see what will develop out of their newest, and virtually unplayed, songs.  To add some specificity to what I am saying, here are seven songs that I believe will blow up this summer and throughout the year.

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1. A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing

"A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing" 6.19.04

"A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing" 6.19.04

As Phish was exiting stage left in 2004, this song was the heavy about to become the next colossal launch pad into the Phish universe.  Played only twice, and improvised on only once, the band had barely scratched the surface of this jam’s potential.  Ironically, the only time the band did jam the song, they used it as a springboard into other-worldly realms.  Among my favorite Phish jams ever, the 6.19 SPAC rendition had the entire community drooling for the next time the band unveiled “Oceans.”  Although we’ve had to wait five years for that next version, it is about to drop, and you can bet that this will develop into one of the defining dark Phish jams of 3.0.

2. Light

16-treyanastasioOn the other side of the darkness, there is “Light.”  A Trey original that has only been performed twice with his solo band has popped up on both recent “track listings” for the band’s upcoming album.  There was no corroborating evidence needed, however, to know that this would be a certain, and amazing, addition to the Phish catalog.  When TAB played “Light” in Wallingford, CT, you could imagine- and practically hear- the spiritual heights to which Phish would take this piece.  Mark my words, this will be a highlight of the summer, taking soaring journeys through places we’ve never dreamed.

3. Valentine

Albany (A. Hill)

Albany 10.08 (A. Hill)

Another song that Trey only played twice with TAB, this song was also on the seemingly-official track listing of the upcoming album.  To be honest, I knew this song would land squarely in Phish’s lap when I first heard it in Brooklyn last summer.  Debuted at his comeback show, and subsequently played only in Albany, “Valentine,” like “Light,” just sounds like a Phish song.  Combining uplifting melodies with a driving rhythm, Trey’s guitar solos were the centerpiece of both TAB versions, something that is sure to change when Phish attacks the song.  Pushing it as far as he could with his “backing band,” with Phish, this song could become a staple of this summer and years to come

4. Undermind

rainbow-sm“Rearranged but not refined”- “Undermind” debuted in Hampton featuring a fresh and chunky groove to which everyone quickly attached.  A song that provides a poignant lyrical accuracy describing Phish at this point in their lives, you can bet that Hampton’s premiere was a sign of things to come.  Possessing a naturally funked out groove, this one should highlight many a set in the upcoming months with its diverse sound and improv.  Already a crowd favorite from its debut alone, I’d look for this one early and often.

5. Time Turns Elastic

Time Turns Elastic

Time Turns Elastic

A virtual shoe-in for a complex, latter-day Phish classic, the press release for Trey’s album even said that the band would be exploring the piece as a rock epic this summer.  With rich imagery, signature composition, and coherent musical themes, this may well become Trey’s consensus best work in a while after Phish gets a grasp of it.  Translating the entire second movement of his orchestral piece to a four piece, this will most likely turn out to be a 15-20 minute song.  It will be very interesting to see how and where Phish improvises within the piece, but regardless, the community will be abuzz about “Time Turns Elastic” very soon.

6. Backwards Down The Number Line

The only new song we heard at Hampton, the band seems to have a soft spot for this one.  About moving backwards and forwards at the same time- rediscovering and progressing- we have only seen the beginning of this 3.0 anthem.  A song that will likely be in heavy rotation this summer, it may find a home opening second sets with extended, rock-based jams- a mature “Disease” for the new age.  Wherever it winds up, look for some spirited improv stemming from “Backwards” all year.

7. Scents and Subtle Sounds

7.30.03 Camden, NJ (A. Phelan)

7.30.03 Camden, NJ (A. Phelan)

While it seems silly to put “Scents” on this list since it was played for almost a year, it was becoming huge when Phish decided to stop.  Boating monster explorations at Camden in both ’03 and ’04, the song also saw its jam break form at Deer Creek (’03) and IT as well.  One of the most powerful Anastasio/Marshall songs in years, one would hope that Phish decides to reattach the song’s psychedelic intro to its body decapitated body.  When thinking of songs that had undiscovered universes left inside of them in 2004, this one immediately jumps to mind.  Having never even played the song indoors (where the real shit goes down) I get the sense that there is a lot left in store for the the centerpiece of Undermind.

Phish’s long standing tradition has always been to break out new songs at the very beginning of their tours, making the prospect of the first week of tour all the more exciting.  While Fenway may be reserved for Phish to blow up “the oldies” in a stadium setting, Jones Beach will certainly be the site of many debuts and “re-debuts.”  Specifically, the lower-key Tuesday, 6.2, show seems like the perfect place to introduce a lot of the future.  Regardless, by the time we head up to Great Woods, my guess is the huge “YEM” and “Mike’s Groove” won’t be the prime subject of conversation.  Maybe I’m wrong- but we’ll know soon enough.

***

Before Hampton, I wrote a column and made a compilation detailing what TAB songs might possibly transition to Phish.  Now we can assume a bit more after seeing the alleged track listing to the album leaked by a Billboard Memo.  If you didn’t grab this then, grab it now- it makes a nice primer on some of the newest possibilities.

DOWNLOAD “TAB > PHISH?” NOW < LINK

DOWNLOAD “TAB > PHISH?” NOW < TORRENT LINK

***

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

5.19.94 Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, OR < LINK

5.19.94 Hult Center for the Performing Arts < TORRENT LINK

Hult Center, Eugene, OR

Hult Center, Eugene, OR

We are taking it back 15 years to the Pacific Northwest for the anniversary of an intimate show in Silva Concert Hall at the Hult Center in Eugene.  Some quintessential ’94 jamming is contained within the show, specifically in “Stash,” “Mike’s Groove” and “Hood.”  Here’s a chance to check out a relatively uncirculated escapade from Spring ’94.

I: Halley’s Comet^ > Llama, My Friend My Friend, Poor Heart, Stash, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Down With Disease, The Mango Song, Cavern

II: Sample in a Jar, Sparkle, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Lizards, Julius, Big Ball Jam, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: Ginseng Sullivan*, Nellie Cane*, Sweet Adeline, Fire

^minor digi noise at the beginning *Acoustic and without mics.

Source: NAK 300 Omnis > D-7

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145 Responses to “Forecast For the Future”

  1. Mr.Miner Says:

    anyone have a Slingbox and taping the NBA finals…trying to figure out how to watch games after the shows…..

  2. bhizzle Says:

    @SOAM – yes those are part of ASIHTOS

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    ooooh slingbox, yeah, who uses one of those? they sound badass.

    Hey Miner, what do you think of the playoffs so far? Do you have a favorite team still in the hunt or just a basketball fan? I think this next round should be interesting in the west – I almost hope the Lakers go to the finals so Kobe can be destroyed by LeBron for all the world to see – but I can’t root for them even for that excellent reason, so go Nuggets!

    hehe…”nuggets”

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i used a slingbox in university last year and they are the worst, gave me so many headaches and they’re horrible quality picture-wise

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    crazy how soon .. can’t wait to hear new phish .. phish coming to my town in 3 weeks from TODAY .. what a beautiful world .. things have been hectic thanks again miner for this place of respite

  6. Manny Phresh Says:

    ^ I think this is Lebron’s year. Can’t wait for the Finals, Cavs v. Nuggets

  7. old dude Says:

    ‘Liberty’ was the perfect anthem for those washed up geriatrics.
    “Say what I mean and I don’t give a damn
    I do believe and I am who I am”

    no really, i like that song. as all jerry songs. and i’m used to the bobby hate by now, but i always enjoyed his song writing complexity and non-conformity. not just chorus-verse-chorus-verse. i think phil said something to that effect too: that jerry’s songs were beautiful, soulful things, but not especially challenging to play.

    anyway, multiple writing styles adds to any band’s vibe. like throwing a cactus tune in the trey mix. there’s a post topic Miner: Gordon-penned Jam Vehicles.

  8. old dude Says:

    some folks call it a slingbox. i call it a kaiserbox. mmm hmm. i like them french fried pertaters. i reckon.

  9. Little Buddy Says:

    @ notkuroda

    I’m not, Mike. Sorry…

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    so many roads and lazy river road are both excellent later garcia tunes ..

  11. Anonamer Says:

    Has anyone heard any rumors about Trey possibly joining Tea Leaf Green in Baltimore on Wednesday or possibly Thursday after the symphony show? I am going to the symphony (got tickets for $25!) and dont plan on going to Tea Leaf after, but I would HATE to miss a appearance by Trey in the 8×10…its no bigger than my living room! Has anyone heard anything, any thoughts? They have played together before, but I imagine that Trey is much more focused on the BSO right now.

  12. elbows Says:

    Mr. Miner,

    Haven’t been to the site much lately, but what a mitzvah you are doing by holding these contests, and giving away free tickets taboot! I won’t be playing, simply because I can’t make any of the shows you’re offering…but thanks for adding positivity to the scene! You, my friend, are a MENSCH!

    So psyched for tour! I’m only doing St. Louis->Alpine, but checking setlists every night from my home in Chicago beats almost any other activity. So pumped!

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    “I almost hope the Lakers go to the finals so Kobe can be destroyed by LeBron for all the world to see ”

    ^ My sentiments exactly!! And i NEED to watch this. Hence the trying to fins someone with a slingbox to tape it for me. If it got down to games 5,6, and 7, I might skip a show to watch the games…..its killing me…

  14. Mitch Says:

    ISO: gorge camping for me and frankie says. VIP preferred.

    tickets@facemelt.net

  15. fromthetub Says:

    I totally agree, Elbows. I’ve been working like crazy the last couple of weeks, but have looked forward to reading Mr. Miner’s posts and the comments daily during lunch or after work late in the evening. It’s so fantastic to find a positive, intelligent Phish-related site… thank you, thank you.

    On a side note, UPS says my Fenway and Jones Beach PTBM tickets are out for delivery! CANNOT wait! It’ll be real when the tickets are in my hand.

  16. fromthetub Says:

    Also, thanks to this site — and the awesomeness of Chalkdustin’ — we are in for Jones Beach 6/4 as well. 🙂

  17. El Duderino Says:

    @JMS The genesis of Simple was Fall Tour ’94 brah 🙂 not ’04.
    ’04 ugh!

  18. El Duderino Says:

    Black Muddy River!!!!!!

  19. Chalkdustin Says:

    You are very welcome fromthetub! Glad to help you out!

  20. El Duderino Says:

    @ Mr. Completely – Did you get the upgrades of the ’86 New Year’s Run?

  21. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    Born and raised in Cleveland. Still live here. I can’t leave for some reason. I always come back. Love this town. Love what LeBron can/do has/done for the city. Only one thing left to bring here Bron: Our Title.

    although I have the same problem… will be on tour for the finals…. ouch!

    my whole life cleveland sports has let me down. the drive, the fumble, the shot, joe table and the bottom of the ninth in 97′ … lebron can erase all that… and i will be in the only place id rather be than cleveland at that time… with the boys …. ahhhh so heart wrenching… ive waited my whole life to see cleveland get a title and ive waited five years to see my boys again…. i guess i cant complain huh? life is grand!

  22. El Duderino Says:

    and you’ve waited your whole life for the massive riot that’ll happen when they do win 🙂

  23. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    si, senior! although i will probably be crying somewhere in a field in TN. im not sure what the schedule for the finals is (or if the cavs will make it) but i have this grand illusion that game 7 could be sat night of bonnaroo and i could leave and go to a telly or bar and catch the game.

    Although my girl had the idea that would actually pay off: bring a 13″ TV and find someone in VIP to hook it up with some electricity. then i reminded her of TV going digital and rabbit ears wouldnt cut it anymore. SOB!

    anyone got any ideas as how to get television at Broo?

  24. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    i also have a grand illusion of going back to cleveland between Fox and Star Lake and that the two days im there will be the championship parade. hahaha im an idiot. im talking like its already in the bag.

  25. ColonelJoy Says:

    Miner,

    Yeah, I’m late to your ball!! Nice Wormtown post in Feb!

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