Musings On Our Muses

5.31.09 (mkdevo)

5.31.09 (mkdevo)

With another day of rest and relaxation, the Jones Beach show has gotten plenty of play on the tour iPod.  After much review, my initial assessment holds true; the many high points of the night- “Timber,” “Cities,” “Reba,” “If I Could,” and “Harry Hood”- were incredibly high, while much of the second set was characterized by high-energy, yet relatively low-risk playing… No one can argue with “Mike’s Song” ever- it is part of the dark side of Phish- but it would be great to see the band dig into some true improv in the song.  Post-’98, most “Mike’s” have fallen into the composed, guitar-solo jam structure, without a dive into the song’s deeper, exploratory second jam.  I’m all about snarling Trey licks and uncompressed evil Phish grooves, but here’s to hoping that “Mike’s” gets the full treatment sometime soon…Not to harp, but the transitions between “Mike’s,” “Simple,” “Wolfman’s” and “Weekapaug” were noticeably forced and awkward, showing that there are still some kinks to work out.  We have to remind ourselves that even though during some jams we are right back in the thick of things, it is still only the second show of a long summer.

5.31.09 (mkdevo)

5.31.09 (mkdevo)

But any thoughts of messy segues and composed jams were whole-heartedly erased by a paradigm-shifting “Harry Hood.”  Taken in a completely new direction- morphing into ambient bliss- Phish opened up a plethora of possibilities for future “Hoods,” while more importantly, announced loudly and clearly that they are completely comfortable taking massive musical risks, and playing like there is no tomorrow.  Incredibly exploratory, spiritual, and successful; it was as if the entire venue had a collective out-of-body experience during the jam- you could have heard a pin drop in there.  The jaw-dropping musical result showed that the adventure-taking, cliff-diving band we loved so dearly is again coming to stage nightly.

5.31.09 (mkdevo)

5.31.09 (mkdevo)

Setlists are so interesting at this point, featuring many new songs interspersed with colossal versions of their heavy-hitting classics- it makes for an incredibly dynamic show experience… After a few listens, I am sure that “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” is going to be huge.  With a sound that begs for psychedelic exploration, I can’t wait to hear it placed in the context of a second set… Another on the list of impressive debuts over the first two shows, Phish seems armed with songs aplenty, heightening anticipation for their July 29th album release… It could be the best one yet…I still can’t get enough of the Fenway “Tweezer > Light”- epic in every sense of the word- one of those timeless welcome to tour jams that we will be listening to for years to come.



6.3.09 - City Winery

6.3.09 - City Winery

Although the band took the night off, Mike celebrated his birthday with a public party at City Winery downtown in New York City last night, performing two sets of music with Billy Kreutzmann and Scott Murawski.  Consisting of mostly covers, the trio killed a quality show, improvising consistently as they ran through well-loved song after well-loved song.  Before this all went down, rumors spread throughout the New York City area last night of a potential stealth Phish show at the same location.  Yet when all was said and done, there was no Phish, but an intimate circle of fans that made their way downtown for a laid back night of music, food, and drink.  The setlist to Mike’s “Birthday Bash” is below- (Incomplete)

Gordeaux, Kreutzmann, Murawski – 6.3.09 City Winery, NYC

I. Doin’ My Time, Eyes of the World > Cumberland Blues…

II: Peggy O, Tore Up Over You, Come Together > Skin it Back, US Blues, Express Yourself, Quinn the Eskimo, ?

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525 Responses to “Musings On Our Muses”

  1. old dude Says:

    R1 – there’s a blank where your mind should be

  2. old dude Says:

    (if you inserted the words “too much”, i might have been with you)

  3. R1 Says:

    Just drink L

  4. Frankie Says:


  5. msbjivein Says:

    Did someone mention “L”…………………..That got my attention.

  6. whole tour! Says:

    L trey

  7. whole tour! Says:

    take the A train

  8. old dude Says:

    Mushy Tea Mike

  9. Jay Says:

    Sendspace is a direct link to a download. The other is a link to a torrent file that your torrent client uses to download the torrent way.

  10. kevin are hollo Says:

    if you think i’m joking about pop music, forget it.

    and i was serious about bobby.

    fav dead songs: lost sailor/saint of circumstance, black throated wind, blow away (love brent)

    the history of america is written in popular music, of which phish is a strange part. i took to calling them avant-pop for a while, as they seem to defy much of the trad modes of generic/classification while still maintaining a huge audience and popularity (in the agora and the margins).

    but the solo stuff seems to be an honest attempt at strict pop music. and it’s a super fail.

    for another perfect example of great pop music, see all of david byrne’s solo catalog.

  11. c0wfunk Says:

    bar 17 tracks I like ..

    the opener, host across the potomac is a very nice composition with a great peak; if you’re walking is a groovy little lilt and is a story about coventry that I dig; dragonfly and mud city are cool little rockers; let me lie is a gorgeous tune; whats done is done is a little bit of a downer but a great opening into trey’s mind..; goodbye head is a really great composition with cool lyrics and nice orchestration; a case of ice and snow is a nice little downer tune too; gloomy sky is one of my favorites dreamy and wonderful; cincinatti is huge and blows it up and is a nice wrapup

    so that’s my little review and I like most of the tunes quite a bit. I also remember trey talking about how he composed some of the jams -> he improvised a line, played that for his buddy ernie styles, who wrote some orchestration for that line, then he muted the original line and reimprovised a line – so you got an improvised harmony with a new improvised melody in the end – you can hear it during the orchestral section of goodbye head. He also talked about taking his ipod around to different musicians houses and having them record their tracks, and the album grew organically like that – I think that’s a great, cool idea too.

    So there you go – Why I Like Bar 17 .. I can’t figure out why NOBODY else does .. I’ve never met a single soul.

  12. whole tour! Says:

    cypress curtain > tweezer > taste mmmmmmmmmmmm

  13. SJC Says:

    drank L once…climbed pine trees for 6 hours. Took me a month to get that sap out of my hair.

  14. whole tour! Says:


  15. c0wfunk Says:

    kevin I disagree vehemently .. I respect and hear what you’re saying, but I’m a bit of a pop-music historian myself, and I think Trey writes great short songs, and has gotten much better in recent years.

    This is what I don’t get : why are people so bent on having something they don’t like about phish. If I didn’t like somehting about it, I’d go find something I really enjoyed all of.

    I guess I’m just addicted to Trey and have a hard time finding things he’s done that I don’t enjoy, even if it’s just to understand his evolution more.

  16. old dude Says:

    here’s something i don’t like about phish:

    they go on tour on the other side of the country while i have a full time job and some little kids that keep me at home.

    have they no decency? fucking doucheband.

  17. nonoyolker Says:

    @ cowfunk, thanks man, i’ll give 17 another go at some point. good to hear the point of view of someone who digs it.
    For trey’s self titled album, that shit is sick. People would be hard pressed to find issue with that album or the subsiquent tour. summer ’01 trey was nasty! tracks like Alive Again and Push Until the Day are summer venue rockers. I own most all phish side project ish and can (usually) find something sick on all of them.

  18. Chalkdustin Says:

    @cOwfunk, I’m a big fan of Bar 17. I always go to it for a good variety of songs. Cincinatti has been known to be on repeat every once in a while.

  19. Chalkdustin Says:

    I will also be first to admit I like Shine. I have a Shine t-shirt. 🙂

  20. old dude Says:

    I will be the first to admit that i don’t know what ‘agora’ means.

  21. Jay Says:

    Listening to Phish 3.0 (especially Hampton) I get the feeling that Phish (especially Trey) want to make a “Classic” rock song or two vs. “Pop” songs. The obvious references to The Beatles, Velvet Underground, Stones is obvious. They want to make songs that will stand up as master examples of great Rock and Roll. The ones historians are want to reference.

  22. Little Buddy Says:

    I’m a big fan of Bar 17 as well. All Trey’s solo stuff is pretty good IMO except for Shine. That album always seemed cheesy to me. Miner did a nice write up on Bar 17 quite a while back, but its worth reading if you haven’t already. Green Sparrow was good. Didn’t really like Page’s album except for one song – can’t remember the name of it, no time to look it up now. Bar 17 though, that;s really good stuff to me. Dark and Down and Let me Lie are both very good songs IMO, but I can see why some pholks can’t get on board, I guess. It’s really nothing like Phish.

  23. bcb Says:

    I really dig the sound of Page’s albuml, but i can’t stand his singing on it. I am usually a fan of his voice, but i just thought it sounded flat and annoying on the record. I really like the tracks Heavy Rotation, Complex Wind and Back in the Basement.

  24. SJC Says:

    “here’s something i don’t like about phish:

    they go on tour on the other side of the country while i have a full time job and some little kids that keep me at home.

    have they no decency? fucking doucheband.”

    I’ll feel the same way in August.

  25. Chalkdustin Says:

    Dark and Down is on the 18 Steps EP, no?

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