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. Mr. Completely Says:

    Like Exile, every side of that album has *at least* one absolute masterpiece

    so amazing, holds up so well

    one of very few albums from the so-called “psychedelic” era that really are well suited to LSD – that and Anthem of the Sun and not many others

  2. EL Duderino Says:

    Speaking of Electric Ladyland:

    We need a new high tech transfers from the original masters of Electric Ladyland and Axis: Bold As Love. Like they recently did for the Beatles Box’s. Those transfers done in the late 80’s no matter what band all suck tea bags!!!

  3. William H. Bonney Says:

    House Burning Down has one of the coolest lick’s on the record. Just a great piece of work, easily Jimi’s finest. I concur Blind Faith is uneven and not long enough for a full set.

  4. EL Duderino Says:

    We’re Only In It For The Money was always fun on really good LSD. Laughing fits we’d have over that shit!

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    the 3rd CD remaster of Electric Ladyland is a vast improvement. Janie Hendrix may be a Jesus-lovin nutcase, but she let Eddie Kramer loose in the Hendrix catalog and the results are very impressive. If you don’t have the Eddie Kramer versions of Electric Ladyland and First Rays Of The New Rising Sun you should stop whatever you are doing and go buy them right now

    go on, we’ll be here when you come back 😮

  6. EL Duderino Says:

    When was that done Mr. C. ?

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    good call El Dude – those classic Mothers albums especially Money are very psychedelic indeed, and hilarious – I once fell sideways off a couch flat onto the floor tripping out on that album in headphones – laid me right out

    add that to the short list for sure!

  8. William H. Bonney Says:

    Why no mention of Joe’s Garage? Is it not option because of copyright or was there so comment about Frank not wanting it played live? Or is that all BS about the Zappa estate? I have not heard enough Zappa to comment only have a couple Joe’s, Sheik and Apstrophe. So plan on checking Hot Rats and have heard good things about Were only in it for the Money.

  9. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    Back in the day, literally over a decade ago, we would go buy a case of whipits and my favorite song to do a whipit to was definitely moon turn the tides. It just sounds like nitrous in your head, and then nitrous kind of amplifies it. I think I ended up scratching that disk all to hell…..maybe need to re-up on it.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    late 90s? early 2000s?

    there’s a “40th anniversary” version of it out in 2008 which I bet is basically the same thing, the Kramer remaster

    His version of First Rays is the definitive version of all that posthumous stuff that was originally released as Cry of Love etc.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    no mention of Joe’s Garage because it’s not in the list on the Phish website 😮

    It It For The Money is definitive early Zappa/Mothers, very very funny parody of hippiedom and brilliantly engineered

    Hot Rats is straight genius, my favorite Zappa I think

  12. Lycanthropist Says:

    12 7 99 Gin is sublime

  13. EL Duderino Says:

    It’s everyone’s favorite FZ album it’s also his biggest sellar to date! Umbrella > Gumbo Variations=20min of goodness

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    any Hendrix fan that hasn’t heard that release of First Rays of the New Rising Sun should really check it out – Freedom, Izabella, Beginnings, Dolly Dagger, really just a lot of great Jimi tunes on there, all in one place and with a modern CD remaster

  15. EL Duderino Says:

    If we we’re dosed and in a Zappa mood, it would always be Money Uncle Meat and Hot Rats not in that particular order. Those are my three favorite, good memories good times.

  16. albert walker Says:

    a nice sit in on violin for Willie the Pimp

    the jamming on that one (besides the violin) always reminded of Phish’s live sound

    besides the fact that it is only a few songs and they’ve already played Peaches, I was thinking this one was very possible

    as big of Genesis fans as Phish are I’m making my girl listen to Lambs
    I think there is a pretty good chance of that one

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    download request?

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    Genesis is not my thing, wasn’t a Yes fan either.

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    weird but a personal favorite of mine:

  20. EL Duderino Says:

    Keil Center ’96 Nov I think Miner!!!

  21. EL Duderino Says:

    Brought to you by the letter m and the number 420 Mean Mr. Mustard

  22. EL Duderino Says:


  23. Chuck D Says:

    While I’ll be happy with the most of the discs they put up, Apostrophe and Hot Rats are by far and away my desired picks.

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    @ albert –

    haven’t heard Lamb…
    thinking i should check that one out.

  25. albert walker Says:

    never dug Genesis either but Lamb Lies Down on Broadway really is an amazing record

    I remember hearing a song from it on the radio when I was in college and thinking how much it sounded like Phish

    I could not figure out what it was and then figured it had to be Gabirel Genesis just nothing else fit

    That album really is amazing. The more I listen to it I have grown to actually love it.

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