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. Selector J Says:

    @KP

    Saw some dudes on the green boards the other day talking favorably about your remasters. One dude said something like, “I think he’s one of the guys that works for LP’s From The Archives.”

    :mrgreen:

  2. SOAM Says:

    This must be heaven-tonight I cross the line…

    step aside shakespeare-brilliant..and there is more right in that song-perhaps the ultimate touring anthem-sure don’t know what I’m going for-but I’m gonna go for it fo sure (with jerry singing ‘shooooaaahhh’

  3. SOAM Says:

    I have to say that I cannot stand Ratdog-I hate them but I’ll always love Bob-I was with him the day Jerry died….what can you say…

    he would so much better if he just went acoustic (maybe Rob W) and shaved that silly beard-

    I thought I heard that KC WHEN SHE MOANED

  4. SOAM Says:

    There’s mosquito’s on the river…fish are rising up like birds-it’s been hot for 7 weeks now..

  5. Chuck D Says:

    +1 on The Black Keys: Brothers rec a few people put out yesterday. I found this disc to be a bit of a departure from their previous sound… it was a pleasant surprise to me. The flow of the album is great too; it feels very “complete” to me.

    (FWIW, I’m not heavily into the keys: only seen ’em live once, listened to most their discs less than a handful of times.)

  6. Chuck D Says:

    ^^ might just be me, but at times I kept thinking “these guys sound like the wood brothers right now”… weird eh?

  7. fee4zy Says:

    I agree that too many Bobby songs bring me down. He tries too hard and just sounds like he is singing and whining at the same time. I’m much more of a Jerry and Phil Dead fan, but even Phil was too much sometimes.

  8. fatbastard Says:

    Lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac.
    I can tell by the way you smile he’s rolling back

  9. butter Says:

    “Here’s my question for serious Dead fans…how in god’s name did you take Bob seriously every night while tripping face. (Or maybe you didn’t) Was he the big joke of the Dead? I mean, to me, some Bobby songs just murder sets.”

    1) you def didn’t take him too seriously, you would catch Jer smirking too when Bob was showering the first few rows with spit

    2) there was just so much going on that Bobby was just another aspect of your trip, at any given time there were 100 other things just as ludacris as Bob’s short shorts our shrieking vocals going on

    3) you just got used to him, like Fish wearing a dress, no biggie

  10. Selector J Says:

    Back in late 1.0 era Phish, I was talking to this dude in the lot who got popped by undercover on Dead tour. It was a lady undercover and he sensed things were off so he started subtly testing her about other shows and her favorite tunes. Favorite tune? None other than ‘St. of Circumstance.’

    So of course, I sang to him in my best Bobby voice, “Never know now, just don’t never know, no, no.”

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

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

    ^^ oh jeez..hard to believe

    Ans SOAM, Mike’s voice works for Phish, I can’t say the same about BW. Honestly, i can’t believe there were Bobby fans.

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    3) you just got used to him, like Fish wearing a dress, no biggie

    ^ but Phish’s dress doesnt effect the music 😉

  13. butter Says:

    gettin me some Bobby on all weekend…..Furthurfest baby

  14. butter Says:

    when Fish’s running around in circles around the stage, i think it may effect the music

  15. Aquaman Says:

    @SOAM

    Cannot stand?!?!?

    Chimenti alone is worth the price of admission. That guy rocks.

    I think if anyone can listen to 4/2/2005 Royal Oak Theater, Royal Oak, MI – for the quad dip of Dark Star and still say Ratdog bites it………well they may just not like Dead music.

    I thought I would get a re-hash of previously listened to jams, but I received so much more. The Blackbird and Dear Prudence almost lead me to cry in fact I think Prudence did.

    Now it may have been the green monkey’s flying out of Booby’s joker beard, but that didn’t matter. The music spoke volumes.

    Spin it…win it.

    -Aqua-

    P.S. And since I just have to start a fire before heading off to daycare. This comes with love, believe me.

    Get ready…

    3….

    2….

    1…

    Brent Midland is the worst Dead member of all time. Any vocals of his lead me to feel is if hearing nails on a chalkboard.

    I know John Kahn was seen as part and parcel to Jerry’s downfall…….but where are the heads holding Brett’s feet to the fire?

    Damn junkie

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    let it grow is legit, black throated wind is legit, obv playin, music never…i guess i’m talking more 80s weir….wow

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    when Fish’s running around in circles around the stage, i think it may effect the music

    ^ this is a joke. There is nno music happening then. Bobby songs were “supposed” to be taken seriously.

    no competition here, just an odd dude that bob

  18. butter Says:

    the same way Gordo’s voice works for Phish , Weir’s worked for GD….plain and simple

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    I dont find his voice meshing well ever really….except in his younger years…would hat to be at a show and want to press FF 😉

  20. butter Says:

    shouldn’t just try to compare Bobby and GD to phish, you just want an explanation for Weir right Miner?

    Estimated Prophet, Samson + Delilah

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    ok, just wanted some opinions…Long Live Bobby…

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^exactly butter (though i happen to hate Samson)

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    my wife is a huge Bobby fan. I know. You don’t need to tell me. But what can I do?

  24. butter Says:

    it just wasn’t like that ..wanting to press fastforward

    the way they would trade off Jer/Bob songs, you where out of breath scraping your brain off the floor after a deep Jer tune, and it just sort of worked

    we all knew Bob was a cheeseball…that is not up for debate

  25. SOAM Says:

    Miner-you are all knowing when it comes to Phish and I love Mike’s voice-but Bobby was an integral part of the dead-one of the most unique rythmn g’s alive and he can sing-IMO-His somgs we never a let down.

    I do not like Ratdog since jerry died-he has not been the same guy.-singing way too many Jery tunes

    Brent-NOT BRETT-was an incredible keyboard player andhis background voice was very sweet sounding. BRENT AND JERRY NEVER USED DRUGS TOGEHTER

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