Step Three

Posted in Uncategorized with the on July 31st, 2009 by Mr.Miner
7.30.09 Red Rocks (G.Lucas)

7.30.09 Red Rocks (G.Lucas)

In a clear step forward, and quite a strong statement out of the gates, Phish greeted the salivating Colorado crowd with a barn-burning second set last night at Red Rocks.  Boasting a much looser and more exploratory feel, the band navigated a frame that raised more than a few eyebrows on the opening night of tour.  Above all else, the show represented a third-step in the re-evolution of Phish that could easily deliver us to the greenest pastures yet.  Building off of Hampton’s recital-esque showcase and June’s directed, yet not-so-exploratory improv, the band loosened considerably last night with playing that reminded us of who we are really dealing there on stage.

7.30.09 (G.Lucas)

7.30.09 (G.Lucas)

Using the other-worldy atmosphere of Red Rocks to launch phase three of their comeback, the surreal, tiered and barrier-less surroundings gave you the distinct sensation of floating in space while watching Phish perform on another planet.  And perform they did.  Kicking off summer’s second leg with the heaviest “Mike’s Groove” of 3.0, the band finally treated their classic suite with the care it deserves.  Blowing out both ends of the “Groove” with the most significant incarnations of “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug” since their return, the band let the juices flow, and opened the four-night stand with a monstrous roar.

Yet the band silenced any over-celebration with the ominous opening of the first-ever Red Rocks “Ghost.”  Certainly the centerpiece of the second set, this extended jam explored several psychedelic palettes before before Trey picked up on a familiar melody- possibly a quote- and built it into the peak of the jam.  Stretching in many directions, it was a joy to hear Phish take their time and craft an exploratory excursion of the likes that we haven’t seen this summer.  The conversation piece of many a post-show conversation, this “Ghost” exhibited the risk-taking, open-ended improv that we have all missed so dearly, foreshadowing what is to come.

7.30.09 (G.Lucas)

7.30.09 (G.Lucas)

The non-stop meat of the second set continued with a looser, more extensive “Wolfman’s,” whose rounded contours and bulbous, over-sized grooves matched its surroundings perfectly.  Taking the jam in a more exploratory direction, the band found themselves into a quasi-reprise of the “Ghost” jam that had preceded it, thematically tying the two pieces together.  The “Ghost > Wolfman’s” excursion will certainly live on as an early tour-highlight, regardless of what is to follow.  The band followed up the set’s darker journeys with a beautifully placed “Limb By Limb”, brightening the feel to the otherwise sinister set.  Also centered in this cool oasis was a stunning performance of “Billy Breathes,” a song the band had soundchecked earlier and prepared for this moment.  Taking the necessary patience and allowing the composition to blossom, this was certainly a highlight of the second set.

7.30.09 (G.Lucas)

7.30.09 (G.Lucas)

As if the band hadn’t done enough on night one of tour, Trey was chomping at the bit to start up “Bowie” as Page wound down his piano solo of “Squirming Coil.”  A devastating version of the show-closer put a furious exclamation point on a incredibly encouraging first night of tour.  Boasting a far more relaxed feel than any of the June shows, it seems that Phish is settling into a more confident style of communication.  With virtually no straight ahead rock-based improv, Phish brought it last night, relying far more on their original creativity and less on the pre-charted path of any of their songs.  Another page has been turned in the the ongoing saga of the Phish, and all signs point to shining galaxies ahead.  With improvisation aplenty that already outshone a lot of June, last night got things started in the best way possible.  These next three nights are gonna be something special.

***

First Set Notes: A well-placed and poignant “Divided Sky” opened the show as the inclement weather of the day broke into a beautiful night for music.  The second song “Ocelot” gave us the first glimpse of the band’s looser style, as Phish explored the piece for its most engaging version yet.  The “Stash” was completely off the meat rack, immediately dwarfing any piece of improv from June and crafting one of the enduring memories of the evening.  Stash away those June recordings and make room for new ones, because it will only be getting better from here!

I. The Divided Sky, Ocelot, The Wedge, Poor Heart, The Moma Dance, Horn, Stash, The Horse > Silent in the Morning
Possum

II. Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Ghost > Wolfman’s Brother, Limb By Limb, Billy Breathes, The Squirming Coil, David Bowie  E: Loving Cup

***

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Red Rocks 7.30.09 (photo: Graham Lucas)

Red Rocks Revisited

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on July 29th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Red Rocks Amphithetre

Red Rocks Amphithetre

As we pack up, hop in the car and board planes on the way to the Rocky Mountains, I figured we’d revisit the band’s legacy at Red Rocks.  While I didn’t have the time to put together an entire “Tour Stop” post on the legendary venue while packing and preparing, I managed to compile some of the highlights of Phish’s Red Rocks career.  Before we jump in and start creating new memories tomorrow night, let’s rewind and relive some old ones.  While not trying to be comprehensive, these are some of the frozen moments that comprise Red Rocks past.  So if you have some travel time, or just time time to kill, here is 4 1/2 hours of pure Morrison magic in “Miner’s Picks: Red Rocks Revisited.”  (Note: I’ll be traveling and setting up shop in Colorado today, thus the next time you’ll hear from me will be after night one!  Have a good show!)

Download “MINER’S PICKS: RED ROCKS REVISITED” < TORRENT

Download “MINER’S PICKS: RED ROCKS REVISITED” < MEGAUPLOAD

8.20.93 SBD

1. “Run Like an Antelope” I

2,3. “2001 > Slave to the Traffic Light” II

6.11.94 SBD

4,5. “YEM > Rift” I

6. “Stash” I

7. Fluffhead II

8. “Split Open and Melt” II

6.9. – 6.10.95

9.” David Bowie” 6.9 II

10. “Slave to the Traffic Light” 6.9 II

11. “Mike’s > Hydrogen >Weekapaug” 6.10 II

12. “A Day In the Life” (debut) 6.10 E

8.4 – 8.7.96

13. “Reba” 8.4 I

14-16. “2001 > Disease > It’s Ice” 8.5 II

17,18 “The Curtain > Tweezer” 8.6 II

19. “Harry Hood” 8.6 II

20. “Runaway Jim” 8.7 II

21.” Colonel Forbin’s > Mockingbird” 8.7 II

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NO SPOILERS: SUMMER ’09 – Pt.2

Taper's Section (otrane)

The Section (otrane)

For all of those wondering, No Spoilers is locked and loaded for this final summer run!  We have all the shows on lock-down, and ironed out most of the kinks from June.  Make sure to stay off computers starting tomorrow night, and get ready for Red Rocks- Night 1!  The Red Rocks shows should be up fairly quickly, so stay tuned to Phish Thoughts No Spoilers- the next best thing to actually being there!

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Tweezer > Taste” 8.17.97 I The Great Went

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As we prepare for the next leg of summer, today we have a distinctly summer-time jam.  The morning after a raucous first night of The Great Went, Phish brought out this laid back day-time dance session to welcome everyone back to day two.  With teases of “Cities” and “Simple”- both highlights of the night before- this funked-up “Tweezer”- only the second of Summer ’97- was one of the dark horse highlights of the weekend.   Utilizing their classic combination with “Taste,” this was the perfect afternoon suite.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

5.1.93 Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA SBD < TORRENT

5.1.93 Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA SBD < MEGAUPLOAD

Tower Theatre - Upper Darby, PA

Tower Theatre

As Phish pulled back into the Northeast during the final week of their winter / spring tour of 1993, they made a two-night stop at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia.  Here we have the adventurous first night.   Interestingly enough, in this “Mike’s” jam, you can hear teases of the riff that would become “Simple” the following year.  Enjoy!

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Guelah Papyrus, Split Open and Melt, Fee, Rift, Sample in a Jar, It’s Ice, Glide, David Bowie

II: Chalk Dust Torture, Fluffhead, My Friend My Friend ,The Squirming Coil, Big Ball Jam > Halley’s Comet, Paul and Silas,  Mike’s Song > Great Gig in the Sky > Weekapaug Groove, Cavern

E: Carolina, Rocky Top

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A Pre-Tour Wishlist

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on July 28th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
6.9.09 Asheville (D.Vann)

6.9.09 Asheville (D.Vann)

Two more days!  It’s hard to believe that all the rumors and speculation that swirled around this Red Rocks stand for the better part of a year are coming to fruition in just two days.  Everyone will set up in Colorado for a relaxing four nights in the mountains to kick off the second half of summer tour at one of the greatest venues in the country.  As I think of the shows ahead, here are ten trends and/or developments that I hope to see over the course of August- in no particular order:

1. The return of “Scents and Subtle Sounds”- this was just getting good.

2. Mike needs to be louder again- back to the drawing board!

3. Increased musical risk taking- success or fail.  June was for safety, now let’s take the plunge.

4. The exploration of “Ocelot,” “Faulty Plan,” and “Twenty Years Later.”

5. The improvement of LivePhish SBDs.  Immediately.

6. Keep the “Tweezers” coming!

7. The use of ambient jamming as a creative tool, not a crutch. (e.g. Deer Creek “Oceans” and Alpine “Crosseyed”)

8. At least one big “Mike’s Song?” Red Rocks?

9. The re-emergence of “Free” as a jam vehicle.

10. As many “Songs I Heard the Ocean Sing” as possible- this is the new path to darkness.

What developments would you like to see this tour?

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Miner’s Travels : A Word About Show Reviews

phish5Before this next run of shows gets underway, I just want to say a brief word about my show reviews.  Phish is such a personal experience for all of us, it’s impossible to be objective in conveying the experience of a show, and that’s not even my intention.  My “thoughts” are exactly that- my reflections on the music and experience of that night, at that moment.  Sometimes I have the chance to listen to the show before I write, and sometimes I don’t.  At times in June, I felt like my “thoughts” were interpreted as an attempt to objectively state things about a show, set, or jam- and that is never my goal, it isn’t possible.  My thoughts are different from your thoughts, and our experiences and perceptions differ as well.  The amazing thing about Phish is that many of our personal experiences are so similar, that we can relate to each other and share our ideas.  Once tour is over, we will return to our regularly scheduled analysis and see how things stack up.  Until then, enjoy the ride!

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

“Bathtub Gin” 7.8.98 I Barcelona, SP (listen)

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This second-song “Gin” came in the first set of the band’s three-night Barcelona stand that concluded Europe ’98.  A soaring “type-I” highlight, the band was clicking from moment one on this night, and throughout this standout tour.  Besides one (allegedly) Absinthe-induced night in Prague, the tremendous music never stopped.  A high quality SBD makes this one even more enjoyable for a summer day.  Enjoy!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.25.92 Performing Arts Center, Stowe, VT SBD < TORRENT

7.25.92 Performing Arts Center, Stowe, VT SBD < MEGAUPLOAD

Trey and Carlos - August '92 (phish.com)

Trey and Carlos - August '92 (phish.com)

This classic one set nugget from the Summer of ’92 comes to you via reader request in time for Red Rocks.  This well-known opening set includes a fantastic guest sit-in by Carlos Santana, and his bandmates, Raul Rakow and Karl Perazzo, and remains one of the most well circulated tapes in history.

Runaway Jim, Foam, Sparkle, Stash, Rift, You Enjoy Myself*, Llama*, Funky Bitch*

Opened for Santana. *With Carlos Santana, Raul Rekow, and Karl Perazzo

Tags:

“PhanArt” – A Record of Us

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on July 26th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
8.9.04 Hampton Coliseum

The Phish Community - 8.9.04 Hampton

Beyond the musical masterpieces and vibrant fantasy lands that comprise Phish tour, there is a community; a people who have defined the cultural significance of Phish as much as the band’s music, itself.  Phish fans play an integral role in the energy flow to and from the band every singe night, and it is this dynamic interplay that separates the live Phish experience from that of most other bands and their fans.

But this exchange of energy and creativity overflows beyond the confines of arena and amphitheatres, and into the lot.  The Phish lot, taking its cue from The Grateful Dead’s, has been a traveling psychedelic bazaar of artists and merchants- a revised throwback to the Renaissance days of atria and bartering.  People vend, congregate, drink, negotiate, share smokes, and celebrate- like an ancient rite that has been passed down through generations- creating a living, breathing community.  In this nomadic open-air market, art created by fans has long been a centerpiece of creativity, expression, and transaction; the collective art of us.

Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish

Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish

This art represents the intersection of musical inspiration, individual creativity, and the communal experience- and this is where the book “PhanArt: The Art of Phish Fans” comes in.  In a sprawling visual epic, editor Pete Mason has compiled a definitive history of the Phish community.  Combining fan contributions, memoirs, historical writing, interviews and anecdotes with a visual archive that will blow your mind, “PhanArt” is a trip through Phish lots of yore, and an essential piece of recorded history for our largely underrepresented sub-culture.

PhanArt

PhanArt

“PhanArt” was first conceived by Mason and friends as they drove away from Coventry, coming to the realization that IT was really over.  But beyond the somber truth, they felt a need to record what had happened, to document the community and phenomenon that lived around the music of Phish.  Mason had the idea to collect relics from lot- those nuggets of Phishy culture that we would never see again- the stickers, the t-shirts, the posters, the artwork- the expression of fans through the years.  Within weeks of conception, a Gmail account was setup and word began to spread for submissions.  The goal of 1400 items was reached in 2006, and Mason began to edit and compile this mass of memories.  What resulted is an overwhelmingly comprehensive and entertaining tomb that Phish fans of any age- but particularly ones that have been around- will enjoy for hours on end.

PhanArt

PhanArt

Combining the writings of community members and chronicling the art of so many people you know, recognize, or have bought something from, “PhanArt” is a vibrant record of we have created.  With every piece of lot regalia you’ve ever seen- and many that you haven’t- this book will definitely bring you back, while reminding you of some shirts you lost along the way. This book-based museum contains amusing sections,  including a compilation of the eternally-popular “corporate-logo-turned-Phish-song” art and an archive of  Simpsons / Phish mash-ups, as well as fan-artist profiles with samples of their work.

PhanArt

PhanArt

Mason is the first person to take the time to chronicle the artistic offshoots of this circus act we call Phish tour.  With all net profits going directly to The Mockingbird Foundation, Mason has truly done a selfless service for all fans, providing an external hard drive of memories to compensate for those lost over time.  A joy to read and a legitimate archive of Phish tour, I highly recommend picking one up.  And, if you were wondering, I am not getting anything to write this- it’s really that good.

PICK UP YOUR OWN COPY NOW BY CLICKING HERE!

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Guess the Halloween Album – Win Money While Saving Antelope!

933413139244Speaking of fan artwork and community participation, over at “Antelope Gatefree Paradise,” they are running a “Guess the Halloween Album 50/50 Raffle,” with half the proceeds going to the winner and half going to the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge out west.  While you are there, you can also pick up some classic Antelope T-shirts for the second leg of tour.

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Winged music noteJam of the Day:

Twist > Piper” 7.5.97 Como, Italy

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This “Twist” was an offshore highlight from the Summer of ’97.  Part of their funk explorations through Europe in June and July, this jam sprouted in the middle of a free, single-set, outdoor show in Italy.  Seamlessly jamming in and out of  Deee Lite’s “Groove Is In the Heart,” this one is a great piece of improv you may of never heard.  Segueing unfinished into “Piper,” this was an early incarnation of the oft-combined songs.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

6.20.97 Prague Poster

6.20.97 Prague Poster

6.20.97 Divaldo Archa,Prague, CZ ^TORRENT

6.20.97 Divaldo Archa,Prague, CZ ^MEGAUPLOAD

Taking it from Italy over to Prague, we have another chapter of the funk-laden story that was Europe ’97.

I: Taste, jam > Cities, Horn, Ain’t Love Funny,* Limb By Limb > I Don’t Care > Run Like an Antelope

II: David Bowie, Ghost, Bye Bye Foot, Ginseng Sullivan, Cavern, Twist, Bouncing Around the Room, Julius

E: When the Circus Comes, Rocky Top

**First time player, J.J. Cale cover

Source: Schoeps cmc6/mk4 > Sonosax SX-M2 > DA-P1

Tags:

Weekend Nuggets: Classic Spring ’92 SBDs

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on July 25th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Fall '92 Poster

1992 Poster

Two of the most classic nuggets of any Phish collection, these shows need no introduction.  Along their phenomenal west coast run during April ’92 Phish churned out great show after great show, and these are two of the highlights.  Both taking place on California college campuses, these two have many old-school highlights.  Among these four great sets, be sure to check out the Anaconda “Mockingbird” and, of course the famous “Harry Hood” from Stanford.  Enjoy the crispy recordings as we enjoy the last weekend before tour starts up again!

***

4.16.92 Anaconda Theatre, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA SBD < TORRENT

4.16.92 Anaconda Theatre, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA SBD < MEGAUP

I: Buried Alive, Possum, It’s Ice, Bouncing Around the Room, Split Open and Melt, Rift, Fee, Maze, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Icculus > Famous Mockingbird, Run Like an Antelope

II: Sanity, Llama, Lizards, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Horn, Poor Heart, Cold as Ice > Terrapin > Cold as Ice, Carolina, Memories, Sweet Adeline, Suzy Greenberg

E: Sleeping Monkey

***

4.18.92 Wilbur Field, Standford University, Palo Alto, CA SBD < TORR.

4.18.92 Wilbur Field, Standford University, Palo Alto, CA SBD < MEGA.

Spring '92 Poster

Spring '92 Poster

I: Wilson, The Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, Poor Heart, Split Open and Melt, Esther, Possum, It’s Ice, Sparkle, All Things Reconsidered, Run Like an Antelope

II: Glide, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Rift, Manteca > Bathtub Gin, Lizards, Mound, Llama, TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu > TMWSIY, Dinner and a Movie, Harry Hood*, Cold as Ice > Love You > Cold as Ice, Rocky Top

E: Contact, Big Black Furry Creature From Mars

Free show. *With “Linus and Lucy” tease

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Weekend:

Tweezer” Red Rocks 8.6.96 II

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We are thirteen years removed from the last Red Rocks Tweezer, and less than a week until the next.  Excited yet?

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“David Bowie” 11.2.90 Boulder, Co – (Sick!)

Tags: ,

Festival 8 Announced In Indio!

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on July 24th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Picture 1

Booyah!

Forget “Save the Date,” we’ve got Festival 8!  After much speculation, the logistics have been hammered out and  Phish’s Halloween festival has been announced.  As expected, we will be meeting on the outskirts of the desert at Empire Polo Fields in Indio, CA for three nights beginning on October 30th.  Combining two of Phish’s most hallowed traditions, the band will play their first solo-festival of the modern era and their first Halloween show since 1998.  Eight sets over three days, including a musical costume, equals the biggest bash Phish has ever thrown- even if it doesn’t have the most creative name.  And tickets go on sale Monday!

Empire Polo Fields, Indio, CA

Empire Polo Fields, Indio, CA

It’s great to finally see confirmation of this three-night desert throwdown, and the return to the old-school Phish festival.  In the list of “What Will Be Provided To Campers” things provided for campers on the festival’s site amenities, along side ATMs and cell phone charging station are “a communal sense of rapture” and” occasional deja vu.”  While intended for humor, both of these “items” are completely accurate and they will engulf us as we re-enter Phish’s fantasy land once again;  this time, on the west coast, and amidst psychedelic surroundings.

Empire Polo Fields

Here We Come!

There will be camping, RV accommodations, as well as day parking for those staying off site.  Three sunrises in the desert- we are in for something special.  The festival will open at noon on the 29th and close at noon on the 3rd- this is gonna’ be fun!  With a webiste strewn with humor, and a comical FAQ, things are feeling a bit more at normal with the Phish spirit back, hosting festivals, and playing Halloween shows.  With Red Rocks less than a week away, everyone’s attention will be diverted for the weekend, as they think about what might become in the biggest Phish event ever! I’ll see you there!

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

“Stash” 8.15.93 L’ville, KY SBD (listen only)

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Here we have a devastating “Stash” from Louisville, KY from the summer of ’93- the day after the famous Tinley Park show.  Another spectacular piece of improvisation from August ’93, this one is a psychedelic masterpiece.  Exploratory and cohesive simultaneously, this one steps to the edge of the abyss and looks over, before plummeting back to earth; some high-quality lunacy to kick off the weekend!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.28.91 Elk Ballroom, Telluride, CO SBD < TORRENT

10.28.91 Elk Ballroom, Telluride, CO SBD < MEGAUP.

Fall Tour 1991 Poster

Fall Tour 1991 Poster

Finishing off the week with another old school soundboard, this Colorado show right before Halloween brought more than a few treats.  An Fall ’91 installment contains early incarnations of ‘Tube,” Harpua,” and the covers “Whipping Post” and “Highway to Hell.”  Enojy the final weekend before Red Rocks!

I: Runaway Jim, Cavern, Poor Heart, Reba, I Didn’t Know, Tube, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Foam, Fee > David Bowie

II: The Divided Sky, Wilson, Dinner and a Movie, Stash, Paul and Silas, Bathtub Gin, You Enjoy Myself, The Squirming Coil, Whipping Post*, Harpua, Highway to Hell

E: Horn, Rocky Top

*With Mimi Fishman (Fish’s mom) on vacuum and Fish on slide guitar

Tags: , ,

Iron Mike Gordon

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on July 23rd, 2009 by Mr.Miner
6.7.09 Camden (D.Vann)

6.7.09 Camden (D.Vann)

Nobody can ever claim that Mike doesn’t have a passion for the game; he lives and loves to play music.  The man who never wanted Phish to break up in the first place will be buying time between tours on the road with his own band for a 21-date fall tour.  Winding up in early October, Mike will have enough time to flip his laundry and head out west with Phish.  Totaling over sixty shows between the summer and the fall, Mike will have plenty of musical space to express his thoughts within the context of two separate bands.

Before Phish reunited, Mike said he wanted to make it a point to carve out time for The Mike Gordon Band, but who knew this is what he meant!  Playing clubs and theatres over the month long “Get Bassed” tour, Gordon’s band will move all around the east and the Midwest, but making it no further west than Chicago.

6.6.09 Great Woods (D.Vann)

6.6.09 Great Woods (D.Vann)

Consistently overshadowed by Trey’s solo projects, Mike has quietly carved out a fine solo career of his own.  After various small side projects, in 2002 Mike collaborated with finger-picking folk-guitar legend, Leo Kottke, in a virtuoso experiment called Clone.  The two eclectic musicians meshed quite well, both personally and instrumentally, and the the duo followed up with a second album, Sixty Six Steps, that gained critical acclaim.  With a laid back, yet sophisticated vibe, this the 2005 release also included a percussionist, lending a calypso sound, and solidified Gordon and Kottke as a legitimate musical team.

After performing stints with the Benevento-Russo Duo, Serial Pod (Trey and Billy Kreutzmann), the Burlington-based honky-tonk group, Ramble Dove, and some shows with the Rhythm Devils (Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Steve Kimock) between 2004 and 2007, Mike decided to step out on his own.  Taking over a year to write and record The Green Sparrow, his second solo album*, he took the next logical step and formed The Mike Gordon Band.  With longtime friend and guitarist Scott Murawski (formerly of Max Creek), Brooklyn drummer Todd Isler, keyboardist Tom Cleary, and percussionist Craig Myers, Gordon was now a band leader after spending his Phish life in Trey’s shadow.  And he loved it.   *(Mike’s first solo album was the soundtrack to his 2003 movie, Inside In.)

1319106_170x1703In all of the interviews, Mike spoke of how proud he was of his new album and how much he enjoyed playing with his own band.  And when they hit the road for a 25 date tour last fall, fans across the nation raved about the shows.  Playing an array of covers interspersed with Mike’s quirky, yet catchy, new songs, he had himself his own rock and roll band.  And they liked it so much they are doing it again in September.  Here are the dates:

09/08 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY
09/09 – Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA
09/10 – Port City Music Hall , Portland, ME
09/11 – Bearsville Theatre, Woodstock, NY
09/12 – State Theatre, Falls Church, VA
09/14 – Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC
09/15 – Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
09/17 – Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
09/18 – Freebird Live, Jacksonville, FL
09/19 – WorkPlay Soundstage Theatre, Birmingham, AL
09/21 – Minglewood Hall, Memphis, TN
09/22 – Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
09/24 – The Vogue, Indianapolis, IN
09/25 – Park West, Chicago, IL
09/26 – Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI
09/28 – 20th Century Theatre, Cincinnati, OH
09/29 – The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI
09/30 – Mr. Smalls Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
10/02 – Mod Club, Toronto, ON
10/03 – Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY
10/04 – Higher Ground, Burlington, VT

Check out Mike’s site for complete tour and ticket info!

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“SAVE THE DATE” MAP CONCLUSION:

Picture 1

The Final Map

In Phish.com‘s mystery turned mockery, last night the organization finally gave up the information we all knew from the start, the Halloween festival will be in California.  With one last flash animation, the absurdity ended as we watched Washington drilled, and drain into California.  But we still got no information about the actual festival! So Indio, here we come- but how ’bout some details?  Get it together guys!

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Antelope” 11.13.94 Erie, PA I

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They just don’t make ‘em like this any more!  This first-set closer reaches the very essence of  “Antelope” with a ferocious jam that few others can match.  Sitting on the precipice of huge success, and fully immersed in psychedelic improv, the band played like their life depended on it each and every night- a sense that clearly translates in this jam.  This one is a monster that provides a vibrant portrait of a time gone by.  Warning: This may not be appropriate for office listening without headphones!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.24.93 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC SBD < TORRENT

8.24.93 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC SBD < MEGAUP.

Summer '93 Pollock T-Shirt

Summer '93 Pollock T-Shirt

Phish’s fourth-to-last show on an extensive and smoking summer tour began to wrap things up for the epic month of August ’93.  The band had been touring almost constantly since Februrary, and they were playing better than ever. Phish reached another peak during August, a month that is considered one of the best of their career.  Luckily there are many soundboards out there to remind us!

I: Chalk Dust Torture, All Things Reconsidered, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice*, Nellie Cane, Split Open and Melt, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Uncle Pen, Maze, Golgi Apparatus

II: Llama, Horn, Ya Mar, Mike’s Song > Ginseng Sullivan > Weekapaug Groove, Wilson > Rift, Suzy Greenberg, HYHU > Cracklin’ Rosie > HYHU, Run Like an Antelope

E: Halley’s Comet, Poor Heart, Sweet Adeline

*With an “I Feel the Earth Move” jam

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When The Funk Came Home

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on July 22nd, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Summer 1997

Summer 1997 (S.Nissman)

The day had finally come.  We hadn’t seen the band for six months- six months that had changed everything- and we had finally made it.  We were in Virginia Beach, and it was July 21st!  It was here.  After waiting over half a year that seemed more like an eternity, we would finally see what this new funk was all about!  Unless you were lucky enough to make it to Europe earlier in 1997, you were in the same boat- fiending for Phish and more curious than ever.

phish-amsterdam-97-subwayAfter finishing off 1996 with a smoking New Years Run, peaking at the Fleet Center amidst unreasonably cold temperatures in Boston, the band disappeared from the American scene.  Only two months later they were off on their first of two European tours before we’d have a chance to see them in the states again*.  Their twelve-show winter run continued the transformation to groove-based playing that had begun during the second half of Fall ’96.  And once we got a hold of that 2.17 Amsterdam tape, we knew something special was going on.   That “Disease” slowed down into some thick music we’d never heard before- and then segued into a dark, new song called “Lucy Had A Lumpy Head”- who was this band?!  This was different music than we heard in Boston- that was for sure- and it was very engaging!  Phish went on to play their infamous Markthalle show captured on Slip, Stitch, and Pass, but at the time, that Amsterdam tape was all anyone could talk about. *(Phish did play a small benefit in Burlington on 3.17)

6.19.97 Arena, Vienna, Austria

6.19.97 Vienna, Austria

We got some of the other winter tapes as well, and then we waited.  The band took off across the pond once again in June- this time armed with an array of new songs that spilled out quickly over their first two nights in Dublin.  “Ghost,” “Twist,” “Limb By Limb,” “Dogs Stole Things,” “Piper,” “I Saw It Again,” “Oblivious Fool,” “Vultures,” “Velvet Sea,” “Water In the Sky”- and come Virginia Beach, most of us had never heard them!  These were not the days of instant uploads and digital Phish; the tapers were all in Europe.  With only ten days separating the last European show and Virginia Beach, most of us didn’t have time for a blanks and postage deal.

(R. Bleckman)

(R. Bleckman)

But while we weren’t getting Phish music instantly online, it was around this time that Phish internet space- and the internet in general- began to catch fire.  On message boards and over email, we heard stories about twenty-minute funk jams played really, really slow; about this new song called “Ghost” that was all the rage; about bass led grooves coming from everywhere!  But they were just stories.  With each passing day and setlist, excitement amongst fans grew exponentially.  After six and a half months of no Phish coupled with tales of legendary jams, our imaginations were about to burst- we couldn’t wait any longer.  And we didn’t have to, because the day had arrived.

The Gorge '97 (J.Schwartz)

The Gorge '97 (J.Schwartz)

When we got into the amphitheatre, the energy was palpable as the entire crowd seemed to be on the verge of explosion.  How long would we have to wait before we heard all these new songs?  As a rainbow appeared over the lawn, breaking the day’s inclement weather, Phish stepped on stage with the first stateside drop into “Ghost.”  The music felt immediately addictive- its deep bass and slow grooves coursing through your veins.  It was a new high you’d never felt before- and Wow!- it felt good.  You had to dance, no matter how awkward it might have looked; this shit was funky!  And as the band entered the jam, we experienced the first gooey excursion of what would be a stellar summer tour.

Ghost —————————————

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1997-07-21gnFollowing up with “Dogs,” “Piper,” and “Dirt,” the band was as eager to introduce their new material as we were to hear it.  When listening to just the abbreviated version of “Piper,” you could feel the magic in that song from day one.  And finally, to welcome everyone to their US Summer Tour, Phish ripped apart a funktatstic “Bathtub Gin” that saw Trey jokingly chant “USA! USA! USA!” at the end.  Spirits were soaring; the band was as ecstatic to start a long US tour as we were, and a new era had truly begun.

Bathtub Gin ———————————–

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7.21.97 Virgina Beach, VA – 12 Years Ago Today

I: Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, Piper, Dirt, Ginseng Sullivan, Bathtub Gin*, Character Zero

II: Wolfman’s Brother > Magilla, David Bowie, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Theme From the Bottom* > Funky Bitch*, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Loving Cup

*w/ Leroi Moore

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

You Enjoy Myself” 11.28.97 Worcester SBD

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Perhaps the greatest version of “You Enjoy Myself” from Fall ’97, this one will get anyone’s head bobbing.  Coming in a show opening combo of “Curtain > YEM” to begin Worcester’s three-night stand, Phish got the party started right.  While not necessarily a dark-horse, a run through the SBD of this impeccable jam brightens any day.  With a fierce and funk-laced “Crosseyed” segment, this one is a keeper.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

3.20.92 Broome Co. Forum, Binghamton, NY SBD < TORRENT

3.20.92 Broome Co. Forum, Binghamton, NY  SBD < MEGAUPLOAD

Spring '92 (phish.com)

Spring '92 (phish.com)

Keeping with the early-era soundboard trend of yesterday, here we have one of the greatest shows from the hallowed Spring of ’92.  This Binghamton show was an analog staple back in the day, with a SBD source that circulated early on.  In a show strewn with highlights, the “Antelope” stands out as one of the greatest early-90′s versions.  The first set is absolutely flawless, and set two isn’t far behind.  Enjoy this gem!

I: Wilson, Reba, Brother, Glide, Rift, Fluffhead, Maze, Lizards, Mound, Run Like an Antelope

II: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Sanity, The Sloth, The Mango Song, Cavern, Uncle Pen, Harry Hood, Terrapin*, Possum

E: Lawn Boy, Fire

* Trey explains “Secret Language” before “Possum”

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Summer ’91 and The Giant Country Horns

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on July 20th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Arrowhead Ranch July 1991

Arrowhead Ranch w/ GCH July 1991

If we were to travel back 18 years in time this week, we would find ourselves in July of 1991, right in the middle of Phish’s famous summer tour with The Giant Country Horns.  Spanning only sixteen shows, Phish took local musicians Dave Grippo (alto sax), Russell Remington (tenor sax), and Carl Gerhard (trumpet) on the road for what was an exciting and musically divergent few weeks.

phish-summertour-91Taking their moniker from Giant Country White Bread, a brand of bread from New Hampshire, The Giant Country Horns were born.  Spicing up many standard compositions with horn arrangements that sounded completely natural- like they were meant to be there- the horns gave songs like “Gumbo,” “Cavern,” and “Suzy Greenberg” new life for this summer run.  In more open improvisational pieces, like “Tweezer,” “Mike’s” and “Stash,” the horn ensemble lent a darker feel of fusion to the jams, enhancing the band’s interplay and adding another layer on top of the textured jams.  This well-loved tour of early-era Phish started in their home town of Burlington, and culminated at Amy Skelton’s Farm in Auburn, ME for what would be the earliest foreshadowing of the Phish festival.

In addition to enhancing songs already in the band’s rotation, the addition of The Giant Country Horns also allowed Phish to break out some jazz tunes that had been shelved such as “Caravan” and “Flat Fee,” some new covers in The Doors’ “Touch Me” and Charlie Parker’s “Moose the Mooch,” and breakouts like “Frankenstein.”  The horn lineup certainly lent a jazzier feel to Phish’s early music, which was rooted in jazz tradition, itself.

7.14.91 Townshend, VT (M. Gordon)

7.14.91 Townshend, VT (M. Gordon)

Largely contained to the Northeast corridor, Phish’s 1991 Horns Tour did stretch all the way to Atlanta during a four-show southern dip between the festival-like weekends at Arrowhead Ranch in Parksville, NY and their finale at Amy’s Farm.  Though the members of The Giant County Horns would reappear in various incarnations come 1994 and beyond, it was this sixteen-show collaboration that was the central focus of Phish’s experiments with their horn section.

With Grippo, Remington, and Gerhard on the bus for the tour, the band’s onstage dynamic took new form.  Trey and the horns played off of each other dynamically, and the band, as a whole, took on a new sonic shape for these shows.  Often adding rhythmic lines as well as complementary lead melodies and psychedelic backdrops, the horns brought a whole new element to Phish’s music.  Trained in the jazz tradition, Phish easily blended with their guests, playing off of their musical ideas amidst jams as well allowing space for their composed accompaniment.  What resulted over the abbreviated tour was some of the most memorable music of Phish’s early years.

Phish Update - Summer 1991

Phish Update - Summer 1991

The Giant Country Horns appeared as a six-piece ensemble with Phish for a couple more shows in 1994 at Burlington’s Flynn Theatre (4.4) and New York’s Beacon Theater (4.15), and the band periodically featured different horn lineups through the years.  The Cosmic Country Horns- a six-piece lineup led by New Orleans’ Michael Ray, included Grippo, Gerhard, and some of his own Cosmic Crewe- joined the band for a few shows in 1994.  This lineup gave the music a more free-jazz / Sun-Ra feel rather than the more classic swing style of accompaniment of The Giant Country Horns.  Additionally, individual members of both groups have appeared with Phish over the years, including their landmark Remain In Light performance in which Grippo and Cosmic trumpeter, Gary Gazaway, joined the band for their defining set.  Grippo and Russell Remington would go on to become integral members of Trey’s solo band in later years, and friendships between the musicians still exist.  Will we ever see the return of the horns-  who knows?  But just as always in this Phishy world- anything is possible.

Below is an all-SBD compilation of highlights from Summer ’91 with The Giant Country Horns.  Check it out to hear a wholly different vibe to our favorite band.

DOWNLOAD “MINER’S PICKS: GIANT COUNTRY HORNS ’91″ < TORRENT

DOWNLOAD “MINER’S PICKS: GIANT COUNTRY HORNS ’91″ < MEGAUP.

1. “The Landlady” 7.23 Washington, DC II

2. “Tweezer” 7.21 Arrowhead Ranch, NY II

3. “Cavern” 7.23 II

4. “Magilla” 7.14 Townshend, VT II

5. “Split Open and Melt” 7.14 II

6. “Bathtub Gin” 7.14 III

7,8. “Oh Kee Pa > Suzy” 7.23 I

9. “Stash” 7.15 New Music Seminar, NYC, NY

10. “AC/DC Bag” 7.21 II

11. “Flat Fee” 7.23 I

12,13. “Dinner and a Movie > Gumbo” 7.23 II

14. “Frankenstein” 7.15

15,16,17. “Mike’s > Hydrogen > Weekapaug” 7.21 I

18. “Contact” 7.11 Burlington, VT E

19. “Caravan” 7.15

20. “Touch Me” 7.21 E

21. “You Enjoy Myself” 7.20 Arrowhead Ranch, NY II

22. “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars” 7.14 E

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Tweezer” 4.21.92 Eureka, CA SBD

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If you know this “Tweezer,” you love it, and if you don’t, take fifteen minutes of your time with some headphones and fall in love.  One of the most unique and sublime jams to come from the band’s amazing west coast run of Spring ’92, this “Tweezer” is musical nirvana- all surrounded by redwoods in Northern California.  This is an impeccable soundboard recording of one of my all- time favorite jams.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.14.91 Townshend Family Park, Townshend, VT SBD < TORRENT

7.14.91 Townshend Family Park, Townshend, VT, SBD < MEGAUP.

7.14.91 Townshend, VT (phish.com)

7.14.91 Townshend, VT (phish.com)

Here we have a three setter from the Summer of ’91, showcasing Phish and The Giant Country Horns in all their glory.  The horns joined the band for most of the second and third sets of this marathon show.  While the compilation gives you snapshots of the era, this is a portrait of the band during a very special tour.

I: Reba, Llama, The Squirming Coil, Golgi Apparatus, Guelah Papyrus, My Sweet One, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Famous Mockingbird, The Sloth, I Didn’t Know, Possum

II: Suzy Greenberg, Caravan, The Divided Sky, Gumbo, Dinner and a Movie, Bouncing Around the Room, Split Open and Melt, Magilla, Cavern, Run Like an Antelope

III: AC/DC Bag, The Landlady, Esther, Chalk Dust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, HYHU > Touch Me, Harry Hood

E: Contact, Big Black Furry Creature From Mars

With The Giant Country Horns for most of set II and III

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“Golgi” 7.20.91 Arrowhead Ranch, Parksville, NY (partial)

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Won’t You Come Out To Play?

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on July 20th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

6.16.09 The Fox (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 The Fox (B.Kisida)

As Red Rocks, and the second leg of summer, sits less than two weeks away, my thoughts have begun to move past June to what may be coming in August.  With the tour coinciding loosely with the now-unknown release date of their album, “Joy,” we are sure to continue hearing Phish’s new material early and often.  But along the second road of summer, we will almost certainly see the transformation of some of these new songs into larger jam vehicles.  Thus far, all have remained largely contained, in what will likely be their album form.  Phish will slowly put these pieces put under the spotlight in the second set, and scribe complex adventures we can’t yet conceive.  Taking into account all their new songs, I see the following three as the most engaging launch pads.

“Ocelot”

6.16 (B.Kisida)

6.16 (B.Kisida)

I continued waiting for Trey’s slow opening chops of “Ocelot” to creep from stage to start a second set towards the end of June, and I am waiting still.  A song that has turned into a new-school fan favorite seems quite conducive to some summer time improv, and I think we will see the loafing groove expand into something colorfully improvisational in August.  The jam could take the direction of a slowed down whole-band folk-funk fusion, or they could also take it into psychedelic blues-rock territory.  Trey’s solo in Fenway’s debut hinted at a potential dirtier direction as well.  The playful tune could create some Phishy excursions before summer is done, and they would be great to hear.

“Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan”

15_Phish_at_the_Fox

6.16 (B.Kisida)

This song seems destined for dirty psychedelia whenever the band decides to let loose on it.  With a slower rhythm and ominous feel, Phish will create some monstrous jams out of “Stealing Time” once they establish its improvisational framework.  I could definitely see this one coming out of the box during August, and oh, the places it could go!  With a composition that easily lends itself to rock, ambient, or dissonant psychedelic planes, the improvisational possibilities of this song leave me salivating.

“Light”

5.31.09 (mkdevo)

5.31.09 Fenway (mkdevo)

Though the band scratched the improvisational surface of “Light” in Bonnaroo’s closing set in June, we have only seen the beginning of where this new song is going.  With a fast-paced texture, “Light’s” jam caters to breakneck exploration in the vein of “Piper.”  This song is a certain jam vehicle, as we have already seen it reach diverse musical places in its only version following its Fenway debut.  Emerging from darker jams- “Tweezer” and “Rock and Roll”- both times it was played the band, apparently, finds it an ideal landing point for jams, as well as a jam, itself.

As we move through this upcoming tour and also into the fall, many of these new songs will take on enhanced musical significance for us.  Ever the innovators, Phish used June to introduce their songs, and will, in all likelihood, soon begin to expound on them.  As we take another step deeper into chapter three in only ten days, it will be exciting to see which ones we will ride to musical heights- and we will soon find out!

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Reba” 7.6.94 Montreal, QC

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Nothing like a “Reba” to kick-start the week, and why not one of the best?

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

11.16.94 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI < TORRENT

11.16.94 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI < MEGAUPLOAD

phish-ann-arbor-lansing-94Here is an analog classic that comes via reader request.  While there is a lot of bluegrass within the show- for better or for worse, depending on your tastes- it all boils down to the colossal “Simple ” jam that segued out of “Mike’s” in the second set.  This wildly creative version, clocking in at over a half- hour, was one of the most intriguing jams from the band’s highpoint of November ’94.

I: Sample in a Jar, Foam, Fast Enough for You, Reba, Axilla [Part II], Lizards, Stash, Pig in a Pen*, Tennessee Waltz*, Bluegrass Jam*, Swing Low Sweet Chariot*

II: Mike’s Song > Simple, I’m Blue I’m Lonesome**#, My Long Journey Home**#, Chalk Dust Torture, Fee, Run Like an Antelope

E: Amazing Grace, Suzy Greenberg

*With Rev. Jeff Mosier on banjo and vocals **Acoustic #First time played

Source:  AKG 460B/CK61

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