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. bouncin fan Says:

    I hear yeah man

    My family had tix since the dark days

    The hawks ruled this town in the sixties

    People realizing once again its the greatest pro sport to watch

  2. flarrdogg Says:

    I’d love to hear Inigo Montoya weigh in on Bobby.

    Bottom line, he was a part of the experience. I accepted this fact early on- much like Phish playing bluegrass. Often makes me crazy and ask myself “what the fuck?”. Sometimes not.

  3. butter Says:

    stup – good point on the 80’s being the 80’s, must take everything in context

  4. whole tour! Says:

    i learned everything i need to know about the 80’s from “American Psycho.”

    The genesis discussion is classic!

  5. whole tour! Says:

    ^ that and i grew up in the 80’s 🙂

  6. butter Says:

    Jon, my intelligence is insulted , that you thought our intelligence was insulted

  7. whole tour! Says:

    friggin challenger blew up on TV…i remember watching that shit. It was like right before my birthday. back in the day…86.

  8. bouncin fan Says:

    He taught me a man should be comfortable enough with his own self to rock

    Daisy dukes with a popped collar pink izod

    Fuckin epic

  9. whole tour! Says:

    bobby used to rock madonna shirts before rocking madonna shirts was cool (Wha Wait???) lol

  10. Chuck D Says:

    my intelligence hurts because of you.

  11. flarrdogg Says:

    There is a joke here about ‘free mustache rides’ that I’m gonna leave alone.

    Streaming 5-2-87 Palo Alto- straight to the gut. There is no GD without Bobby. Do I prefer Garcia/Hunter tunes? Absolutely. Was Bobby essential to keep the train on the tracks? Most definitely. Acceptance is key.

  12. bouncin fan Says:

    I hate all my yuppie neighbors giving me and my dog looks cuz there afraid he will eat there lame pocket sized squirrel dogs

    The local media has brain washed everyone on the breed

    Lame

  13. whole tour! Says:

    ^ my dog ate a little dog once. it happens.

  14. Robear Says:

    bouncin’ fan, AW has the same trouble with his dog.

    r they looking at you, or the dog?

  15. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Boo hiss Bouncin.

    Hardly a bad dog, but lots of bad owners, sadly.

    Drop some market insights on the fuckers, then tell em the dog will squeeze their shorts.

    I just realized I graduate high school 20 years ago today.

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ dude. yeah, never liked Samson…like the more psychedelic dead and not as much the roots/blues dead. what can i say? just my taste. Is Weir a good player at least?

  17. Chuck D Says:

    Man, I already heavily censor my comments; if I didn’t, Jon would be really pissed. I mean, a good 70% of the stuff I type never makes it past the first re-read.

    Really, you’re only getting the cream of the crop out of me. Therefore, I’ll blame the rest of you for insulting Jon. How could you?! Learn some manners guys. I’m insulted by your behavior.

  18. bouncin fan Says:

    Could be robear

    I’ll try pulling my pants up and straighten my bill like them

    Could be the package
    We both hate small dogs anyway

    Loving blueberry kush first puff

  19. bouncin fan Says:

    Meant perfectly curved hat bill

    Too Irie Damn tube

  20. voopa Says:

    “In ’87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is “Hip to be Square”, a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself.

    Hey Paul!

    TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW YOU FUCKING STUPID BASTARD! YOU, FUCKING BASTARD!”

  21. flarrdogg Says:

    Chuck D- My posts often contain the expression ‘free mustache rides’, so I’m certainly responsible for my fair share of Jon-inteligence-insulting.

  22. oneshowatatime Says:

    Busy day, just logged in.

    VERY cool article today Miner, really creative concept for your post and some sublime improve to illustrate your “Minerese” diction.

    Love it, thanks!

  23. whole tour! Says:

    voopa FTW!!!

  24. flarrdogg Says:

    Miner- percussive #1?

  25. William H. Bonney Says:

    For everyone ripping on Bob Weir and saying they like Garcia. I can tell you one guy who liked playing with Bob and it was Garcia. He is the one who kept him in the band when Phil would have liked to remove him and Pig. I always thought it was fun to rip on Bob, but to question him as a musician and performer is laughable to me…

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