A Gallery of Possibilities

The Invitation

The Invitation

With their ever-expanding use of technology coupled with their desire to hype up Festival 8, yesterday Phish posted a “gallery” of 99 outstanding albums as the splash page on their web site, introduced by a Festival 8 invitation with the simple instructions: “Phish – Play the Last Record Alive.” Much like the Save the Date map that preceded this haunted galleria, albums have already been “killed off,” with Medeski Martin & Wood’s Shack Man, Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes, Huey Lewis’ and the News’ Sports, Talking Head’s Fear of Music, and Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man quickly getting the axe- literally. And much like the wild-goose chase of their Save the Date map, this list of albums could be just that.

Huey Lewis Is Dead - Or Is He?

Huey Lewis Is Dead - Or Is He?

With a list of 99 records, Phish put almost every Halloween suggestion ever made on the table and then some. The site includes many albums we all know, and most likely quite a few we don’t all know, giving us time to familiarize ourselves with some.  With a reputation of playing more obscure albums, some of the most popular recordings like, Led Zeppelin’s I or IV, The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” or “Electric Ladyland” seem unlikely for Halloween. This gallery of possibilities also contains contemporary classics such as Radiohead’s Kid A, U2’s The Joshua Tree, Rage Against The Machine’s Evil Empire, Nirvana’s Nevermind, and Pearl Jam’s Ten. Although we’ve never seen Phish tackle a modern-day work in full, maybe this will be the year. In my gut, however, this also seems unlikely.

Anything Is Possible

Tom Petty Got the Axe

With defining albums of many genres and eras, along with several obscure gems, the gallery also hangs some records for humor of the imagination- see the offerings from Pork Tornado, Hall & Oates, Kiss, Metallica and Black Sabbath. (Some great albums, yes. Real possibilities, no.) At this point, it’s very difficult to take anything from Phish at face value, making me think this could be ploy to increase interest, boost lagging ticket sales, and divert attention from fall tour speculation.

But what is going to happen with this gallery? Are we going to know what the album is beforehand?! I seriously doubt it. At the same time, I don’t even want the possibilities narrowed to five- that would be incredibly anti-climactic, as the audience has traditionally known nothing about the bands’ musical costume when walking into the venue on Halloween night. While “The White Album” and Quadrophenia weren’t revealed until the set began, Remain In Light and Loaded were unveiled via “Phishbills” handed out as everyone entered the arena – but never has there been any level of knowledge before hand.  This album elimination is a clever idea, but I think they should stop at a certain number to maintain the suspense of the evening.  Is it going to be one of two options walking in?  That would be strange.

Anything Is Possible

Anything Is Possible...

Personally, I loved not knowing Remain In Light, and Loaded when Phish bust them out – it was like a genuine costume; a mystery to me. Each album had at least one song everyone knew (“Once In a Lifetime,” “Sweet Jane” and/or “Rock and Roll,” making it just familiar enough, but making the musical journey a genuine trip. Knowing the album well made for an entirely different – completely surreal – experience with Dark Side, but that was Dark Side.  While knowledge of the album note for note can bring enhanced appreciation, it can also carry preconceptions.  Would I like to know the album when they play it – for sure.  But I’m not gonna chase down every album on this list that I don’t know – and there are many – in the hopes of discovering the music that might transpire, though I’ll definitely download a few. Whether this gallery is a trick or a treat, Phish has certainly exposed us to a plethora of classic albums, a great resource in itself. And in the end, their choice is most likely on the screen right now – but who knows if it has been killed already? Halloween is all about the rising of the dead, is it not? With the masters of trickery at the helm, the suspense never ends.

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Wolfman’s > Lizards” 11.18.98 II


This set opening “Wolfman’s” highlights Phish’s ambient jamming they added to the mix during of Fall ’98. Moving out of the funk and into spacier textures, this little-known version kicked off a significant second set in Greenville, SC. The half-empty, brand-new arena was the perfect locale for a mid-week throwdown. (Note: Yesterday’s “Reba > Walk Away” is fixed.)



9.28.99 Oak Mountain Amp, Pelham, AL < Torrent

9.28.99 Oak Mountain Amp, Pelham, AL < Megaupload

Phish - Fall '99 (A. Foley)

Fall '99 (A. Foley)

On the topic of mid-week throwdowns, here we another that celebrated its ten-year anniversary just yesterday. After a rainy afternoon in the lot, Phish lit a fire inside the southern amphitheatre, bringing hot dance grooves right off the bat. Opening the show with”Wolfman’s,” “Sneakin’ Sally” and “Tube,” Phish set the plate with a hearty dose of funk. “Harry Hood” made a rare appearance as the first set closer, while “Tweezer > Makisupa” and a blowout “YEM” sealed the deal on a great evening in Alabama.

I: Wolfman’s Brother, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Tube, Ginseng Sullivan > Roggae, Maze, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Harry Hood

II: Farmhouse, Heavy Things, First Tube, Tweezer > Makisupa Policeman, Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself

E Halley’s Comet > Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps CMC 641 > Apogee AD-1000 > DA-P1

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380 Responses to “A Gallery of Possibilities”

  1. butter Says:

    ok, i was trippin, Exile was not playin on my speakers, it was Beggars Banquet, and it wasn’t thru Phish’s website, i had been looking at my Stones Albums on itunes, and it started playin. might as well puff one now as i pull stoner moves when i’m not even stoned.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    good point re: allmans – that and the slide thing are maybe enough to move them down a lot

    re: floyd – if not for that consideration I would have put them at the very top – I think there’s still a solid 50:1 shot for that album. They were supposedly not super happy with the Dark Side, given that they didn’t have time to practice it. I could just see them wanting to “do it right”

    – didn’t know about Bruce – good call – consider that one pulled

    @aw – saw nomeansno 2-3x a year while living in Eugene in the 90s. Great guys, great band. Did you know they released a cover of Bitches Brew (the song) recently? crazy.

  3. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    @Señor C nice odds list

    I have often wondered why there are not more folks wagering on aspects of the phish show.


    Bets on the openers, closers and encores.

    What are the odds they’ll drop Suzy vs. Bag after Oh Kee Pa. Theres’ a bet.

    Will they finish this Reba with the whistling? There’s a bet.

    Will Fishman have a vacuum tune this set? Theres’s a bet.

    Do we get the Tweeprise the same night as Tweezer? There’s a bet.

    Will it be Mike’s>H2>Paug or somethign else. There’s a bet.

    I know it would take away for folks’ show experience but it could be a truckload of fun and lucrative to wager on the minutia that the band can create.

    I netted some serious cash one day playing small side bets while at the Phoenix Open, in this manner. Sitting on the grass hill above the 16th green, a friend and I started betting $5 on whether the tee shot would land on the green or whether anyone would birdie or boagie or par the hole. After three rounds a players through other folks got into the wagering and it grew from there for the day. By the end of the round there were close to 40 people gambling and a lot of money changing hands

  4. sumodie Says:

    “I would go as far as saying I don;t know MOST of these albums…Is Exile really that good?”

    This is why I think Exile is a VERY strong contender. I’m a huge stones fan, but it did take me a while to warm up to this album. Now I’m blown away by the amazing depth (and ragged rock n roll simplicity) of this album. I don’t think most phish fans will know most of this album, thereby qualifying Exile as an obscure album.

  5. snigglebeach Says:

    The Yes album on there deserves some serious respect as possibility.

    Mr. C, u completely left that off your whole list.

    From a band and/or musical talent standpoint, Phish / Yes is very comparable. Unbelievable Bass player, rock tones with glaring piano riffs. I have always longed to here phish cover them. Plus the worst part about Yes is the annoying voice of the lead singer. One of the few bands that they would not butcher the lyrics.

    Seems to me, we really have to consider the instrumental makeup up the bands they might cover. And i seriously doubt they would bring up someone to help them (except maybe giant country horns).

  6. butter Says:

    @Mr C- Great description of Exile on Main St. If you play that album after a couple days of partying , it makes so much sense. If they play it we’ll have a “Sweet Virginia” to go with our “Sweet Jane”.

  7. butter Says:

    @sumodie- ahhhh the slide bar thanks

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    @sniggle – I just think it will not be a prog rock album – or if it is, it will be King Crimson. That’s one of my pre-list-making stipulations. However if I were actually taking bets on this, I’d agree they should be on there in the second or third tier.

    But a lot of the logic comes down to the above – if it’s prog, it’s Crimson. if it’s recent, it’s Radiohead or maybe Wilco. and if it’s punk, it’s London Calling – did I leave that off? that should be in middle tier.

    But I don’t think it will be prog, or modern, or punk. It think it will either be a big classic rock band, or a lesser known but very influential older thing like Television or Brian Eno.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    about to dive into first full listen to Exile….ever.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah butter – what others said about it was on point as well I thought – so interesting that the vibe is strong enough that basically everyone feels the same thing

    if you play that album towards the end of a 3 day bender, you will get it.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    get really wasted, Miner 😮

    like tequila and freebase hits, stat

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    I think we should def take bets w/ odds..Mr. C..you wanna be the bookie 🙂

  13. albert walker Says:

    your write up tomorrow
    should be
    “my first exile listen, by Mr. Miner”

    would love to hear what you think
    a shot of china, highly recomended for first listen
    JK on that one, kind of

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    if you’ll bankroll it, Miner, sure

    funny albert and I made the same tasteless joke

    again, says a lot about the album

  15. bearito Says:

    Exile is a real good album. Because the album contains two songs Phish have played before( Loving Cup, Sweet Virginia), I don’t think it will make the cut for the costume. Sticky Fingers is also a bueno album. I’m kinda rooting for Ziggy Stardust personally. I think they could pull it off quite well.

  16. sumodie Says:

    “don’t do it sumodie

    stay lossless

    stay strong brotha

    Mp3 is for mobile devices ONLY”

    I already dl only lossless formats right now. What I meant is that I’m trying to understand the nuances of digital music so that I can dl quality sounding music and listen to it in the optimal format.

    I don’t want to become a mindless mp3 slut! And thanks for the support 8)

  17. albert walker Says:

    put my pre exile formula with mr. c’s formula and it will be a good start

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    @ butter

    your avatar looks weird again. No dog I’m getting a skull of some kind, very strange.

  19. sumodie Says:

    “about to dive into first full listen to Exile….ever.”

    Go Miner! And I second Albert’s comment that you blog about it.

    Funny how so many of us had the same thoughts about Exile.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    the point bearito and albert have made about 2 cuts already having been played is a valid one – maybe Sticky Fingers is more likely

    last thing I’ll say about Exile for now is that like most double albums not every song is a gem. But a lot of them are, and the lesser ones don’t really detract because they fit the mood.

    So, I’m not sayin’ every track on there is all that – it’s the overall vibe and the highlights (again, like most stuff)

  21. sumodie Says:

    White Stripes just got whacked…..

  22. EL Duderino Says:

    Someone on jambase suggested it would be Kiss Alive II. His other rational was that the Kiss Alive II came out in ’78 and how huge it was to every boy between the ages 10-16 which he claimed he was/about as old as Trey. The costumes and pyrotechnics was another reason, it being Halloween and all. Good rational IMO

  23. sumodie Says:

    frak me…and Rubber Soul too…….

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    altho as someone said re: sticky fingers – Trey working his way through Sister Morphine would be quite the harrowing experience for everyone involved

    it is halloween though

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    white stripes would have been hilarious – the best drummer in rock playing the part of the worst drummer in rock

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