Minerese: Vol. I

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

With tour just around the corner, I’ll be writing reviews of Phish shows again before too long, and for that I am grateful. While considering my reviews, I thought a good way to change things up and prepare for tour would be to look more closely at some of my more commonly-used phrases when describing Phish music. In an attempt to make my writing clearer for those reading along this summer, I’ve created some audio excerpts to serve as aural definitions of some terms. Today we’ll start with five basic terms, and I’ll put together a couple more installments of “Minerese” before tour starts.

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“Percussive Grooves”

Often growing out of high-speed rock jams, these are the sparser segments where all band members offer rhythmic phrases in unison with each other. When traced back to its origin, this type of jamming grew out of Halloween ’96’s adventure, Remain In Light.

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“Ambient Soundscapes”

11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

Built from layers of sound, these passages can take different forms. While often drifting into spacey realms, “ambient soundscapes” can also remain anchored to harmonies and/or melodies. I’ve tried to select differing examples to illustrate this difference.

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“Blissful Psychedelia”

Emerging deep within a jam, these are the sacred places that Phish reaches after the initial segment of improv has settled. Pieces of unique music that reach deep into the soul, segments described as “blissful psychedelia” evoke the emotions and majesty associated with the magic of Phish.

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“Amoeba Jamming”

An Amoeba

This is a term I coined years ago when trying to describe those musical passages where nobody is truly leading the jam. Each member pushes and pulls the music ever so slightly, creating an “amoeba-like” dynamic of non-linear improv. These jams can also take differing directions, so I, again, tried to choose different examples.

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“Swank Rhythm Licks”

When Trey is feeling his funk-mojo, he’s one of the best rhythm players around. Taking time away from soaring solos, Big Red slices and dices dance grooves like the Iron Chef does meats and vegetables. Check out these vibrant late ’90s examples of Trey getting down with his bad self.

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(If anyone wants to attempt to identify all the audio samples, the winner can select the Download of the Day and write the blurb for the next three days. Some ’09 is featured.)

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Jam of the Day:

Piper” 10.2.99 II

After “Tweezer > On Your Way Down,” Phish was hardly done jamming at Minneapolis’  Target Center in ’99. In a year that saw many an amazing “Piper,” this version is among the upper echelon.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.1.94 Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA < Torrent

7.1.94 Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA < Megaupload

Mann Music Center - Philly, PA

A Summer ’94 stop at one of Phish’s classic venues of the mid-90s, amidst Fairmont Park in Philly.

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Sample in a Jar, NICU, Stash, The Mango Song, It’s Ice,  Tela, Julius, Suzy Greenberg

II: David Bowie, If I Could, Fluffhead, Down with Disease > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday Reprise, Possum, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, Cavern

E: Rocky Top

Source: AKG 451

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550 Responses to “Minerese: Vol. I”

  1. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    4.2. i gues i should have clarified. but the 4.4. version sounds super different so i didnt even think of it.

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    swank2 = 9.9.999 Tweezer

    Ambient1 = DWD 12.3.09

    correct purple

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    neither percussive jam is correct @ purple

  4. SOAM Says:

    Look who’s in the freezer…

    It’s Miners Mineresea

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    percussive #2- Crosseyed @ RR ’09?

  6. kayatosh Says:

    in honor of you all started spinnin 4-3-98 set I. mike’s (superb) > (cool segue) old home (a little rough)>week (stellar)

  7. Mr.Palmer Says:

    ^^ actually, i have no idea. This is not a exercise i’m very good at.

  8. ma Says:

    percussive #2 …maze?

  9. kayatosh Says:

    I know, palms. not easy to place jam snippets. sorry about the vaseline debacle. kids do the craziest . . . don’t get me started.

  10. kayatosh Says:

    4-3-98 — great billy breathes. what a song. only one 09 appearance.

  11. Chuck D Says:

    I’m a big fan of this audio snippit guessing game. It could be a Wednesday staple (it would actually work better on the weekends, as many of us would have more time to play, and access to personal libraries) as the TTFF has become.

    There seems to be three parts to each audio snippet in my mind: Song, Year, Actual Date.
    Most of us could probably give a shortlist of reasonable songs and and a small range of years of said jam, but for me, naming the date would require some dedicated time and focus. Perhaps just a couple would be sufficient in the future, rather than 10.

    nice work tho miner. me likey.

  12. halcyon Says:

    Identify Audio Samples = Halcyon Fail 99% of the time. 🙁

  13. SOAM Says:

    Hear that “What’s the use” from Miami I think-when Trey says this is a fan request-for that guy right there=here you go buddy-

    shiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeett-that is some tasty, heavy shit right there

  14. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    dang! miner! the percussives are hard because a lot of them sound alike throughout 97-04 and even 09…. oh well.

  15. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    i agree @ chuck d, guessing jams would be a good regular feature, either weekly or something.

  16. voopa Says:

    @SOAM

    I think Trey said that before What’s The Use as a goof since they followed it with Tela, the tune that’s people were screaming for all year.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I believe percussive #1 is the Crosseyed from 10.31.96 right?

  18. albert walker Says:

    You could hear a pin drop when they played What’s The Use

    A bunch of new school kids getting a lesson in some retro psyche rock Phish

    With it was placed better in a big psychedelic set but they just nailed it

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ^not gonna lie, when they played ‘what’s the use’ i thought they were doing a radiohead cover or something LOL

  20. lot rat Says:

    SOAM is a touch head who hopped on the bus in 03. his favorite song is bouncin around my tool.

  21. fee4zy Says:

    Mr. Palmer and all parents – Vaseline in hair is a bitch. Sorry. Check out a new blog http://www.shitmykidsruined.com Too funny. Makes me feel better for all the times my girls have ruined something in my house. Good luck with hiring a mommy’s helper. My mommy’s helper is bane 😉

  22. JWP Says:

    By the way, along with my available tickets, I just canceled hotel reservations for Deer Creek and SPAC. So, if anyone was having trouble getting hotels close to the venues, the Courtyard Marriot in Saratoga and the Hampton in by Deer Creek now have rooms available.

    Man, I am bummed about missing these shows.

  23. SOAM Says:

    Blow me lot rat-if it wasn’t for me you’d be touring with Kirk Cameron and bummed out that U2 postphoned their tour….mo

  24. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Wait, Kirk Cameron is on tour?

    what the hell is touch head @ lot rat

  25. ChefBradford Says:

    I think that when I get off of work I’m going to brew some tea, grab a book, and sit on the patio withe the Tower Jam on the ‘phones while it rains

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