The Starting Nine

sp_phish_gambleWith October upon us, and the baseball postseason underway, fans across the nation – from New York to Colorado to Los Angeles – begin to hang on every pitch of every inning. For the next month, right through Indio, the playoffs will be a passionate subplot to many of our days and nights. People have often likened Phish and baseball fans, two statistically-obsessed subcultures within our society. When the game or show is on, everything else is off, as we seek a unique feeling only attained when our heroes really work collectively. Accessing very different parts of our selves, being a fan of baseball and a fan of Phish, can be incredibly compulsive and complementary habits, eating up significant chunks of time. But few things engage me more than these two pastimes. Combining them for just a day, I present to you Phish’s starting post-season lineup.  You can download the nine selections below.

1. Tube

A lead-off hitter needs to get going quickly and have speed to get around the bases. Not placed here for power, “Tube” gets on base early and often. Known to steal bases and use its funk to kick start the team’s offense, “Tube” plays the role of a lead-off hitter perfectly. A short shot of groove sets the table for the bigger jams, “Tube’s” crack-like dance rhythms reach base almost every time. Chula Vista’s first set version from ’99 works quite nicely as an illustration.

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2. Bathtub Gin

4198_1152308280374_1007653377_30464754_3849393_n-2Batting second, “Bathtub Gin,” a solid hitter who specializes in lacing doubles in the gap. Boasting both power and speed, “Gin” fits well in the second position. Rarely coming up empty, and sometimes going huge, “Gin” has the type of steady mid-range jamming that embodies the qualities of a great number-two hitter. Here is an overlooked version from The Palace in ’97 that segues into “Foam.”

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3. Ghost

The three slot usually goes to the best hitter on the team, and since its ’97 debut, there has been no more consistent jam vehicle than “Ghost.” Evolving stylistically with the band,”Ghost” has proven to also be one of the most versatile pieces in their repertoire. A true five-tool player, “Ghost” can go anywhere at anytime, capable of groove, spacescapes, gnarling rock, ambient, and melodic textures. If translated to baseball stats, we are talking .300, 30, and 100 year in and year out. And “Ghost” will get plenty of pitches to hit because look who’s hitting next. This dark-horse version from Portland Meadows in ’99 illustrates the song’s versatility.

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4. Tweezer

The ultimate cleanup hitter, “Tweezer” is the Babe Ruth of Phish songs, swatting jams out of the park with a 42 ounce bat like it’s a toothpick. If there are ducks on the pond, “Tweezer” will clean the base paths almost every time.  Protecting “Ghost” with its intimidating psychedelia, no opposing pitcher wants to face “Tweezer” with the lead on the line. Having been groomed for this position since i’s youth, “Tweezer” ascended to its rightful spot in the order a long time ago and doesn’t seem to have signs of giving it up. These days, when I think “Tweezer,” I think Red Rocks.

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5. Down With Disease

phish20baseball-400-x-585-1Giving opposing pitchers no rest, “Down With Disease” holds down the coveted five spot. Reserved for a powerhouse that rarely strikes out, “Disease” fits the description perfectly. One of Phish’s favorite vehicles, when that fuzzy bass intro emerges, it sounds like a hanging curveball just waiting to be clobbered. “Disease” is a crafty veteran who can get the job done in more ways than one, but most often its with diverse and creative improv. Not necessarily a 40 home run hitter, “Disease” has made the All-Star team every year since 1996. Here is the incredibly cathartic version from 12.30.03 in Miami.

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6. David Bowie

This aging veteran has lost a step in its old age, but “Bowie” can still close sets with the best of them. No longer the psychedelic monstrosity of ’94 and ’95, the song still possesses power and legacy. I’m an AL fan, so “Bowie” will fill our designated hitter slot. Sometimes a defensive liability in the outfield due to older legs and aching knees, “Bowie” still has the potential to come through in the clutch every time it steps to the plate. Here is one from the glory days – 6.18.94’s Mind Left Bowie.

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7. Stash

Another versatile player, “Stash” slides into the seven hole, illustrating the top to bottom consistency of Phish’s line-up. “Stash” boasted an explosive summer of 2009, and goes into the playoffs as hot as any song.  After stellar nights in Colorado, Washington, and Connecticut, “Stash’s” confidence is peaking. Providing spark in the bottom third of the lineup, “Stash” is a versatile hitter who can spray the ball to all fields, slapping 10-minute singles or 20-minute home runs. Here is the foreboding version from Hartford this summer that hasn’t gotten enough props.

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phishfenway18. Split Open and Melt

As we get towards the bottom of the lineup, “Split” boasts an ominous presence for any pitcher. Just when they think there might be a gap in the offense, this scary hitter steps to the plate. Drawing a lot of walks due to its intimidation, “Split” has the highest on-base percentage of any number eight hitter in the league. Capable of legging it out via groove, more often than not “Split’s” outward psychedelia is it’s biggest offensive weapon. Here is an all-time favorite from Niagara Falls ’95.

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9. Run Like An Antelope

Rounding out the staring lineup, and acting as the “second lead-off” hitter is “Antelope.” With the quickest speed on the team, its ability to reach base on infield singles, and to reach third on routine doubles, astounds all opposing teams. If “Antelope” gets to first, it might as well be on third, boasting the highest single-season stolen base total since Rickey Henderson. And don’t be surprised to see some power in his bat, “Antelope” has made a living by popping dingers at the end of any given set. Here is a scorcher from La Mesa ’94.

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**

“Miner’s Starting Lineup” < Torrent

“Miner’s Starting Lineup” < Megaupload

1. “Tube” 9.18.99 Chula Vista, CA

2. “Bathtub Gin > Foam” 12.6.97 Auburn Hills, MI

3. “Ghost” 9.12.99 Portland, OR

4. “Tweezer” 7.31.09 Morrison, CO

5. “Down With Disease” 12.30.03 Miami, FL

6. “David Bowie” 6.18.94 Chicago, IL

7. “Stash” 8.14.09 Hartford, CT

8. “Split” 12.7.95 Niagara Falls, NY

9. “Antelope” 12.9.94 La Mesa, AZ

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.26.91 Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA < Torrent

7.26.91 Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA < Megaupload

phish-summertour-91Here is a return to the Summer of ’91 and Phish’s standout run with The Giant Country Horns. This second-to-last show of the Horns’ run showcases a well-practiced band whose communication transformed Phish’s music into a a sort of prog-rock fusion for a fortnight. The Aquarium Rescue Unit opened this show as the band co-billed their run though the South, switching headlining slots.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Reba, My Sweet One, Foam, Suzy Greenberg, Cavern, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Buried Alive, Bouncing Around the Room, The Landlady, Golgi Apparatus

II: Stash, Dinner and a Movie, You Enjoy Myself, Flat Fee, Funky Bitch, The Squirming Coil, Tweezer, Sweet Adeline, The Lizards* > Tweezer Reprise

E: Lawn Boy, Frankenstein, Split Open and Melt

w/ The Giant Country Horns

* Happy Birthday dedication to Chris Kuroda

Source: Shure 57 > Casio D7 > SPDIF

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283 Responses to “The Starting Nine”

  1. sumodie Says:

    @Miner: Van Halen! I was just thinking about this album -surprised I haven’t heard anyone mention this as a possibility. Would definitely be a surprise pick as well as incite a raucous throwdown.

  2. sumodie Says:

    Looks like Michael McDonald bit the dust before Meddle

  3. beepaphone Says:

    ahh had to take a road trip to southern Indiana (the red Indiana) today…just got back and it looks like i’ve missed a great day on this site.

    @ everyone – YES thank you. Fuck the Pats
    @ Mr. C – Sounds good. I’ll send you my picks and money in a week or 2
    @ Miner – GREAT write-up today…and I don’t even really get down on baseball.

  4. frankie Says:

    dave’s energy-
    there is a lame arcade fire video too

  5. sumodie Says:

    Yup, tour date frenzy tomorrow -sure hope the Portland rumor b/t Albany and MSG pans out. My family has gotten so used to seeing me in the days after T-Day -this makes Albany a potential challenge. I may have to pass on Albany in order to shore up MSG & NYE…..still waiting…for less than 24h I hope.

    And the rumor mill talks of Hampton in December. They’d better announce all 2009 dates at once!

  6. halcyon Says:

    Hey everybody…I have been out of the loop for a while now, but wanted to drop a shout-out for Miner and his topic of the day. Miner has a strong starting lineup in place. I was wondering why Mike’s Groove did not make the lineup on this day.

    I hope all is well with all the wacky characters on this board.

    GO YANKEES!!!!

  7. frankie Says:

    led zepplin (1) also has a link to the misty mtn hop video. weird

  8. joe Says:

    the Portland rumor? what is the date of this rumor? Portland, Me is such an underated place in my opinion (except that it has winter weather for a few weeks too many), but great independent vibe still up there.

  9. quazi motto Says:

    i just noticed on tom pettys shirt the phish logo. sweet!! maybe tom petty will come out on stage and play phish’s new album Joy. or what if phish decides to cover one of their own albums??

  10. joe Says:

    back to baseball analogies. Who is the lefty specialist out of the pen?

    something short in the late innings to fill a specific need.

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    My favorite Rickey story.

    Rickey steps in the team bus, looks around. Pitcher says to Rickey, “sit wherever you want Rickey. You’ve got tenure.” Rickey replies, “ten years? Shit, Rickey got about 14, 15 years.”

  12. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @ joe – I think the LOOGY would be Velvet Sea, its brought out after things get really crazy to settle things down and get everybody back on track.

    For those who don’t know LOOGY=Lefty One Out Guy

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    Loving Cup would be a closer that always got lit up…never could close the door.

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^Lidge-esque

  15. Mitch Says:

    A few things.

    a) F YEAH MSG ANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW! cannot wait til these tix are in hand. Gonna be a tough one but at least it will be mid week so that will help (maybe) hopefully ptbm lotto finally helps me out.

    2) F the pats (and steelers) go horse!

    d) is the Ricky snatch when you leave your mit closed and let the ball hit the outside of your glove and grab the ball? That’s what it sound like from the way you’ve described getting knocked in the face. I used to love doing that. And miner, I knocked out my front tooth and put my teeth through my bottom lip one month after my braces off. Got to wear a retainer with a tooth (removable) for 7 years til I was 22 til my mouth was done growing. Sucks dude. Like yours, mine was my own fault too. Double suck.

  16. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    oh is it the part of the night for bad teeth stories???
    I knocked out/broke three of my front teeth on my 21st birthday. I’ve had three root canals, two gum surgeries, braces, and tomorrow at the age of 32 will get my final crown put on.

  17. joe Says:

    I got my front tooth knocked out when I was pitching and the batter hit one back up the middle in little league. bonus was that I got to miss school the next day and go see the opening showing of return of the jedi (I’m fucking old)…Ryan Franklin just pulled a Loving Cup!

  18. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    where’s T3? looks like today’s setlist needs an addition

    E2: tourdate frenzy>album banter>my teeth hurt

  19. joe Says:

    no way baseball games should be longer than Phish shows. 3-2 National League games should never be over 3 hours long. Never mind Red Sox/Yankees games that take 5 hours. Hoping that is not the ALCS

  20. Little Buddy Says:

    lol at snatch catch. totally forfgot about that. the jheri curl was sick too! how did such a nut become a top 20 all time ball player.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    VTsnow,

    I don’t usually get the chance to post at night these days as I just bought a house and my evenings are spent painting and whatnot. I figured the “Late Night Dance Party” covers the varied subjects covered by the late night/West Coast crowd. But I like your addition. Maybe that can be considered the late-night-flatbed-truck-ambient-tower-set entry…

    The upside to it is that I’ve been getting to listen to a lot of shows while painting, hanging blinds, demo-ing a bathroom, etc.!

    The downside to it is that I have been super delinquent in updating my own blog.

  22. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    T3. I hear you man. I have an infant, and am trying to finish my basement at the same time. The only reason I’ve been on at night lately is my job has forced me to do evening upgrades.
    Congrats on the house!

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    thanks, VT! Gotta say, I’m glad I bought my tickets to *8* before we closed on the house, otherwise I wouldn’t have had the money to do it right now!

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    @snowbank: Red Zone is amazing

    @Jay it’s an NFL network cable channel I realized we’re getting for free for some reason. It’s only on when multiple games are happening – Sunday morning and afternoon. It’s commercial free. They show every score from every game as soon as they can get to it, and when they’re not doing that they just jump between whatever games are most interesting/important.

    I wouldn’t want to watch it all day, but last weekend our early game was a typical Seahawks blowout loss, so for the last quarter we instead caught the end of the Pats-Ravens game and the Browns-Bengals OT and some other end-game action.

    Did I mention it’s commercial free?!?!?!

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    congrats on the house and the baby to both you guys. We did both of those in a last 5 years. exhausting but absolutely worthy…

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