Taste the Fear

Merriweather 8.15 (K.Pusey)

Merriweather 8.15.09 (K.Pusey)

With so much new Phish to listen to these days, one of the most engaging and protean jams of the tour hasn’t gotten its proper credit.  Buried in a lackluster second set at Merriweather Post Pavilion, the band played one of their finest pieces of music since their return.  After listening to “46 Days” a few times over, it is certainly one of the most diverse, far-reaching Phish jams of the summer.  From heavy groove to ambient psychedelia, this jam brought us deep into the primordial soup before delivering us to heights uncharted.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

After a high-energy and exciting first set, comprised almost exclusively of bustouts, everyone was ready for the band to bring the heat in the second.  And when they opened with “Tweezer,” it seemed like Merriweather was about to explode.  But instead, Phish played one of the most uneventful renditions in  memory, on the way to a particularly slow beginning of the set.  Segueing quickly into “Taste,” we soon found ourselves listening to an “interlude” of “Alaska” and “Let Me Lie,” but nothing  spectacular had happened to necessitate one.  Thus when Phish started up “46 Days” it could have gone either way.  Phish could have just as easily played a eight-minute rendition of the song, continuing the pattern of the night, or they could have gone huge on the song- something they’ve done more than a couple times in the past.  Needless to say, they chose the latter.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

After a quick pass through the composition, Phish got right into the thick of things.  Springing off a bass-driven platform, the band entered some slowed down molasses-funk, and immediately we knew we were in for a ride.  Before long, we found ourselves knee-deep in a murky swamp of the mind, trudging through layered musical sludge that became slower and spacier with each step we took.  Bombarded with sonic textures, likening an alien encounter, Trey threw us a rope to hold onto via slower sustained melodies stemming from the dark side.  Mike led the band into menacing grooves, killing it with a unique backdrop that only he can provide.  Offering a faster idea, Trey hopped aboard the bass line, and soon infused the jam with its first taste of happiness.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

The band settled into a soundscape with Trey delicately atop, and soon built the piece into awesome whole-band ambient sculpture.  As the music reached its most abstract point, Trey added a faster rhythm pattern that, at first, seemed out of place.  But as the band built around his offering, the music became divine.  And as Trey started to solo in this vein, Fish kicked a dance beat and the band was off into some of the most organic, and spectacular improv of the summer.  Completely switching gears from its dark beginning, the subsequent music is pure Phish majesty.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

As the band continued into a tight, rhythmic pattern, Phish was in complete destruction mode, flowing as their heart desired.  Disconnected from any song structure, they played as if no one were there, and it was perfect.  Trey painted the blissful music with surreal melodic themes that Page complimented masterfully on piano.  Reaching a higher plane, the band collectively blossomed in a splendid segment of pure and utter hose. Trey’s lines transformed into mind-bending waterfalls in one of those you moments you couldn’t believe, even though it was happening right in front of you.

Following the jam’s soaring peak with an artistic denouement and a slip into “Oh! Sweet Nuthin,” Phish gave everyone a moment to breathe after their signature excursion.  The ballad was played with an emotional purpose, punctuating the exalting music that had just gone down.  Though it was the only taste of  exploration all night long, “46 Days” gave Merriweather’s second set some street cred with one of the greatest- and most overlooked- Winged music notejams of the tour.


Jam of the Day:

46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin” 8.15 II




8.5.09 Shoreline, Mountain View CA < Torrent

8.5.09 Shoreline, Mountain View CA < Megaupload

2266988757_3aedc34579This mid-week stop in the Bay Area carried provided more than a few highlights, though has lived in the shadows of Red Rocks and The Gorge.  This show offers one the most exploratory “Diseases” of the year, a fine second set run of “Cities > Maze, Mike’s,” a hot first-set “Bowie,” and the return of Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin.”  Check it out.

I: Golgi Apparatus, Halley’s Comet, Chalk Dust Torture, The Divided Sky, When the Circus Comes, Time Turns Elastic, Ya Mar, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Suzy Greenberg, David Bowie

II: Backwards Down the Number Line, Down With Disease > Limb By Limb, Oh Sweet Nuthin’, Cities > Maze, Mike’s Song > Simple, Weekapaug Groove

E: Let Me Lie, Bold As Love

Source: Schoeps mk41> KCY> Schoeps VMS02IB> Apogee Mini-Me> SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)
(Taper- taylorc)



Merriweather Post Pavilion 8.15.09 (Photo – Kenny Pusey)

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362 Responses to “Taste the Fear”

  1. Robear Says:

    Just gave this ’46 Days’ a re-listen through my headphones. Super sweet build that really shakes, shimey’s and intertwines. Around the 9:00 mark, Trey takes the jam for an absolute lift-off!

  2. Marshall Says:

    @ cowfunk – forget I asked – I remember you’re in Asheville now.

  3. Marshall Says:

    @ cowfunk – I don’t want to hijack this discussion so will you send me your email address or tell me where to find it on your website? I might have a few questions for you.

  4. voopa Says:

    @ Marshall – you can play them from your computer if it’s hooked up to your system, or burn a DVD audio disc.

    Beer:thirty; gotta make 3 stops and get home first tho!

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol, c0wfunk if you want to move to portland I might be able to get you a job here, it’s closer to programming than “design” in the artistic sense, “technical web development” I guess

    but I know you love asheville…

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    c0wfunk (at) yahoo (dot) com is me .. That’s a zero in c0wfunk ..

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    Mr c back end dev is where I’m best right now (php) .. I’ve been freelancing and recently have gone to part time in my av job to get more into web stuff. Mostly doing wordpress contract work right now but it’s going swell. Certainly let me know if you have any outsourcing work that can be done from here though!

    Portland is on the short list of places we’d consider if we left here, but that won’t be any time soon.. Own a house, etc.

  8. MOONSHAKE Says:

    Lycanthropist or Mr. Completely, can’t remember which:

    Ever listen to the OzRiC tEnTaCleSa?

    I”ll check out Ghost… sounds interesting… always into hearing s’thing new

    I don’t know if any of you like electronic music (and I’m not talking about 4/4 trance with a drag queen singing in the background) you should check out…

    1> Richard Dick James (aka aphex twin aka caustic window aka afx)
    2> Tom Jenkinson (aka squarepusher)
    3> shpongle (aka raja ram and company via TIP)
    4> hifana (east japan massive + wamano = deliciously psychokinetic)
    5> eat static (joey and merv from ozrics spaceship)

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    @moon – I used to listen to ozric back in the day – I mean way back like when I was first hearing phish, have not heard them in years

    a friend who is a very serious psytrance, dub etc collector has made me a bunch of disks recently and I’m working my way through them…some cool stuff in there for sure…I have no educated opinions yet though

    I need to spin some of it while spun for one thing

    @c0w – we only do in-house – it takes about 6 months of training to do what we do. Not that it’s that hard, any php guy could learn it, but it’s all custom tagsets & other unique stuff

    glad to hear the contracting is going well, you must be good at it cause it’s not the easiest thing to succeed at!

  10. Marshall Says:

    I’m watching an episode of Chuck from my DVR (from last season) and what do I hear but “once in a lifetime.” Brings back such good memories of the front row at The Omni many years ago.

  11. Marshall Says:

    Santana’s percussionist rocked those cowbells so hard that night. Christopher Walken should have been there that night.

  12. MOONSHAKE Says:

    @mr. c: of the above mentioned artists, eat static and shpongle are the only ones to do any psytrance. others such as rdj or squarepusher, their music is psychedelic but its all together a different animal than trance or anything that is easily defined in a single word or even a single paragraph check it out go on youtube and watch ‘windowlicker’ or ‘come to daddy’ or ‘rubber johnny’

  13. albert walker Says:

    I don’t know anything about electronic music but a lot of people I know are always playing Hallucinogen

    same people dig shpongle

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’ve actually heard a fair amount of squarepusher, there’s a lot of that in there too. he was the first electronica artist I heard that I liked at all, back in the 90s

    it’s a very very diverse mix as far as I can tell, my knowledge of the history and subgenres is basically nil

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    that hallucinogen guy has done some projects with the disco biscuits guitar player, right?

  16. albert walker Says:

    yes, at Red Rocks he was talking about working with him recently
    I have not heard anything they have done together

  17. albert walker Says:

    bass player though not guitarist

  18. albert walker Says:

    Just finished most of east coast.

    I’m still looking for a Fluff

    Darien has a nice outro solo but too much slop in the composed and first Page jam

    I think Red Rocks probably a little tighter composed and has that really slick jam at the end

    I think Gorge is tighter then Darien IMO

    Hampton could still be tightest to date. Although outro sol not that interesting. Great version though

    all great though. Gotta love the fluff

  19. Marshall Says:

    I’ve been thinking about Fluffhead as well. My opinion is the Hampton is the best – they’d clearly been practicing it a lot. It’s also a little funkier in the right places, as compared to Deer Creek (the one other one I heard in person). I happen to like the outro of Hampton’s version – its got several extended peaks to it.

  20. Marshall Says:

    The opening notes at Hampton “pop” in a way that they didn’t at some of the other shows. Certainly they were feeding off the crowd that night. Can’t imagine what it must have felt like for them. Cloud 9 for sure.

  21. albert walker Says:

    it was nice

    I’ve seen Hampton, Creek, and Red Rocks live

    looking back Hampton was the tightest composed
    and I love the outro jam and then the little psyche jam at the end

    just listened to Darien Antelope
    love it, very tasty Trey
    favorite Antelope so far 2009, great light jazzy focused playing, nice

  22. albert walker Says:

    sorry I was talking about Red Rocks jam back there after Hampton

  23. Marshall Says:

    the DEG jam at the end of RR Fluff was pretty cool

  24. MOONSHAKE Says:

    yeah hallucinogen is pretty good psytrance wouldn’t doubt he was doing anything with disco biscuits and shpongle is good but as far as electronic music is concerned hifana is more talented two brothers in japan search youtube for wamano sounds real good and the anime video is groovy too

  25. nonoyolker Says:

    The Fluffhead from Mansfield was actually pretty sweet. Haven’t heard it since a few listens after the show, but worth checking out.

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