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. kayatosh Says:

    11-28-2009 wolfman’s. really good stuff. percussive jammin and fiery, clean phrasing by trey. 8 mins. nothin too exploratory, but jams and comes seamlessly back to the theme.

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ ma swank1 is a Mikes

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    in re: to my Weir question…especially after they got into the 80s…

  4. kenny powers Says:

    super easy – Selector J was the one who told me about it. it’s primarily marketed as a way to “clean up” old vinyl, cassettes….any kind of source really.

    but the part that sold me is that it has a real-time EQ with preamp knob and peak meter….

    very user-friendly, easy to break tracks into multiple sections. that last part was super clutch for the work i did on the 9.22.99 2001, in which the taper adjusts the volume 5 or 6 times. i located those moments and set the levels for all the diff sections to be as smooth as possible.

  5. El Duderino Says:

    @ Miner

    There were stickers on tour that said “Bobby Fans Are People Too”

    I wasn’t a Bobby fan hence one of the many reasons I usually call him Booby Weir

    Answer your question?

    But in all fairness, there are some stellar Bobby Tunes

  6. kayatosh Says:

    miner: i don’;t know about being at shows, but my gd listening strongly favors the jerry tunes. just how it is. I do like a few bobby’s — brother esau is a good one.

  7. kenny powers Says:

    stupendous

    also, you can export your projects as FLACs (as well as many other formats), which cuts down on the converting you’d have to do later if you were to export in WAV.

  8. kayatosh Says:

    i like feel like a stranger too.

  9. El Duderino Says:

    But in all fairness too there are some pretty awful Anastasio/Marshall tunes too!

  10. kayatosh Says:

    and there’s playin.

  11. Stupendous Says:

    cool kp!

  12. Stupendous Says:

    The late dead had at least 20 songs way worse than Saint of Circumstance….

  13. El Duderino Says:

    @ Stup not 20.

    6 – 8

  14. ma Says:

    let it grow

  15. Stupendous Says:

    true
    i like to exagerate

  16. Stupendous Says:

    I got to respect Booby cause one of my fav jams is Playing in the Band…
    Also like The Music Never Stopped

  17. El Duderino Says:

    The whole Weather Report Suite is stellar.

    There are a bunch of prolific Barlow/Weir tunes.

  18. Stupendous Says:

    I went on a playing binge just listening to all the playings from 72-75

  19. Stupendous Says:

    Lost Sailor is a good later booby tune imo

  20. Aquaman Says:

    @Miner

    Regarding Booby (Woops I meant Bobby) Weir…..

    Perhaps an example would be the time I tripped face at the Royal Oak Music Theater for Ratdog, and couldn’t look at Bobby, because he looked like an otherworldy amalgam of Jimmy Buffett (he wore shorts), Father Time, Kris Kringle (he had a full goofy beard), and the evil clown face from my circa 1989 Graffix?

    “……am I the victim or the crime?”

    In this case….victim.

    That said, I was truly surprised by Ratdog’s acumen. I assumed they were a back yard barbecue band that covered Dead music.

    Boy, was I wrong about that.

    -Aqua-

  21. fatbastard Says:

    soam is the funniest person on this board

    i for one like bobby in 80’s. throwing stones, black throated wind, let it grow, cassidy, mexicali, el paso…i know he didn’t write all those but he sure brought it imo

  22. SOAM Says:

    Miner-I gonna pretend you never uttered such a thing-have you heard Mike G’s voice?-

    Bobby was the yang in the ying/yang thing-Bobby tunes made you boogie-Jerry tunes made you sway and you head accosionally explode.

    Me and My Uncle>Bucket>Estimated>Music>Let it Grow>Throwin Stones>Saint (great crescendo/release)>Memphis Blues (I know who wrote it)>Desolation Row>Playin>Lovelight>SUGAR MAGNOLIA

    C’mon bro-c’mon now

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    St. of Circumstance isn’t that bad compared to some of the other latter day dead stuff. At least you get the feeling that you are in the 80s when you hear that one.

    I can think of many Bobby tunes that I would put lower on the pole than Circumstance.

  24. fatbastard Says:

    as Toyota Park approaches I live in Wicker Park which is just west of downtown chicago. if any of you are going to be around thursday night and want to grab some beers let me know. I can show ya around the hood and just bought a n’ice’ bong

  25. SOAM Says:

    LOST SAILOR-BT WIND HOLY SHIT

    BOBBY’S VOICE ON jack straw and Cumberland blues

    puleeeeezer tweezer…..

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