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

Tags: ,

283 Responses to “The Starting Nine”

  1. Robear Says:

    GP, I’m ‘messenger birds’. My gf is ‘Posternutbags’.

    Anyone watch ‘secret girlfriend’ on Comedy network?

    Daily hijack by Robear:

    Any suggestions for a K-3 art project?

    Mr. C, niners are giving fans something to cheer about again!

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    i just wish it were an earlier Police album…all the earlier ones are better than Ghost in the Machine IMO

  3. bhizzle Says:

    @Pence – thanks for posting. Absolute LMAO. I have to watch it again. The text goes fast.

  4. ColonelJoy Says:

    @everyone,

    Stateside in two weeks.

    Life threw me a wicked curve in the last few days, but man on second had hooked me up with the sign, and I’m in the process of putting good wood on it….

    Nobody liked my Billy Ripkin reference….come on people!!

  5. fat bastard Says:

    remember billy ripken “fuckface” error card?

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    **** HALLOWEEN “FINAL 8″ BETTING POOL ****

    I was serious about this yesterday. If a few of you want in,we’ll do it. My proposed rules:

    1) Pick the final 8 albums on the list. Each correct pick is worth 1 point. Each correct pick that isn’t picked by anyone else in the pool is worth 1 bonus point.

    2) Pick the “winning” cover album that is actually played. Correct choice is worth 8 points.

    3) as tiebreakers, pick 3 Phish rarities that will be played at Festival 8. Rarity is defined as a song that has been played only once or not at all in 2009. Each is worth 1 “tiebreaker point.” Ties remaining after tiebreakers will split the pot. And the money too.

    The logisitics:
    ==========
    1) Entry is proposed to be $10. Payment will be done via PayPal after the winner is determined, due within 1 month of the determination of the winner (so, end of November), so no sending money up front or anything. If you don’t have PayPal set up, it’s insanely simple to do so don’t worry about that.

    2) I’ll keep the spreadsheet unless someone else wants to do it.

    3) Post your entries here AND email them to me at tyler23rh at comcast dot net. In that email, include your picks, your PT screen name and the email address you use for posting here.

    4) Due to the fact that eliminations are ongoing entries are due (both in email and here) by midnight Sunday (10/11) PST. If you make your picks early and one or more of your choices are removed from the list before the deadline, you may replace them if you do it by the deadline. I will post the resulting locked-in bets on Monday.

  7. bhizzle Says:

    @ Colonel & Fat Bastard

    the reference was not wasted on me. see my comment on last page. Also I have all three (?) different versions of that card sitting in my basement.

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    5) if the winner is at 8, he/she may choose to receive heady goods instead of cash if those are offered in person by any losers (er, non-winners) who are also on-site.

  9. Little Buddy Says:

    11 yr old me: “Dad, you gotta take me to the card shop so I can buy some fleer packs.”

    Dad: “Why so urgent, son.”

    11 yr old me: “Because Dad. There is a Billy Ripkin card that says “fuckface” on the barrel of the bat. It’s gonna be worth hundreds.”

    Dad: “Okay, son. If you say so. Let’s go see if we can’t get ourselves one of those “fuckface” cards”

  10. Little Buddy Says:

    I guess it wasn’t on the barrel though… Oops.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    I always thought card collecting was silly…then a friend of mine got his out of his mom’s attic and bought a house with the proceeds

    same thing happened again later with Magic cards, a friend who worked at White Wolf did trades with an early Wizards employee and got cases – that is, boxes of boxes – of black border 1st ed cards, sold em at the top of the boom, netted mid six figures

    ridiculous

  12. Jay Says:

    hilarious story lb!

  13. Jay Says:

    maybe a card game called Phish – The Gathering would be a hit?

  14. fat bastard Says:

    that video is funny as shit

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    PhantasyTour is truly the 4chan of the Phish world – a brutal place to hang out, but man, does some funny shit come out of there

    also, you don’t want to piss them off (see recent EW poll)

  16. bhizzle Says:

    @ Little Buddy sounds like you and your father have an honest and open relationship…hysterical.

    Also, have Magic cards rolling around with the sports cards in the basement. Indeed, those 1st edition did collect a pretty penny. I feel pretty nerdy saying that shit, but had it not been my interest in D & D back in the day I would have never puffed my first jib.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    Nerds rule the world now, dawg. Fly your geek flag with pride. I was a gamer from day 1. We also had a stoner gaming crowd for a long stretch too. Very fun.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again: anyone who isn’t willing to care about something – anything – enough to geek out about it probably isn’t worth knowing, and all geeks are equal. Baseball, phish, funny-dice games, fantasy sports, sci fi, whatever.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    Although rock n roll geekdom is a lot more likely to get you laid than most other varieties FWIW

  19. fat bastard Says:

    MG FUCKING MT!!

  20. Little Buddy Says:

    “Although rock n roll geekdom is a lot more likely to get you laid than most other varieties FWIW”

    True ‘dat. Not too many chicks at baseball card shows.

  21. voopa Says:

    “pick 3 Phish rarities that will be played at Festival 8. ”

    Not Walfredo!

    Hilarious writeup today Mr Miner! Thought you would get some crap for it, but glad to see folks playing along.

    9-30-00 Esther: Ted Williams’ head

  22. flarrdogg Says:

    Comeback players of the year- Fluffhead/Curtain

    Little Buddy- fuckface? awesome.

  23. BTB Says:

    Trey to bring back “gold pants” at Festi 8 – that’s my rarity VOOPA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggvnwpwkOJQ&feature=related

    Pimpin Pants Bro…Trey got his bitches in check

  24. fat bastard Says:

    2 beers voopa for walfredo!

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’d totally accept Gold Pants Trey as a rarity

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