Weekend Nuggets: Florida ’96

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on September 18th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEKEND:

11.3.1996 O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL < Torrent

11.3.1996 O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL < Megaupload

O'Connell Center - Gainesville, FL

In the days following their transformative Halloween in Atlanta, Phish headed back to Florida with Karl Perazzo along for his third and fourth consecutive shows. After their well-documented escapade at Coral Sky in West Palm Beach, the band played this show at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Perazzo played his final two sets before Phish traveled to the Midwest, off and running on their percussive pathway to 1997. Remain In Light took immediate effect as the band continued their collaborative grooving. Check out the late-set “Tweezer” for a show-stopping  highlight featuring this  emerging style of improv.

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Jam of the Weekend:

Mike’s Song” 10.29.96 II

Phish blew up this second set “Mike’s Song” in Tallahassee, Florida, the show before Halloween. The band got some down-low practice during “Mike’s” second jam as they grooved significantly on Talking Head’s “Houses In Motion.” With Karl Perazzo on board, this piece really took off.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Stash” 11.2.96 – More from Phish’s upcoming Coral Sky release

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Ten Tunes For Friday

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on September 17th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

6.26.10 (Graham Lucas)

It’s Friday; and with a little time in between tours, the situation called for another installment of “Ten Tunes.” This week, new and old Phish jams are juxtaposed side by side in playlist that spans over a decade. Enjoy the weekend – but first, enjoy the selections below.

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Wolfman’s > Piper” 10.30.09 II – With all the focus on Indio falling on the Exile and acoustic sets, this jam from the night before Halloween continues to fly under the radar. With a trip to the other side in “Wolfman’s” and an “I Just Wanna’ See His Face” jam in “Piper,” this segment is a true ’09 highlight.

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Ghost” 9.8.00 I – On opening night of tour in Albany, Phish dropped this “Ghost” as the third song to kick off Fall 2000.

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Tweezer > Theme” 6.18.10 Hartford II – This groove-laced “Tweezer” from Hartford during Summer’s first leg still gets plenty of play in my current rotation.

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12.4.09 (G.Lucas)

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Yamar” 7.25.98 I – While much of the focus falls on the second set from this Austin show, Phish took “Yamar” for a ride in the first half.

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Timber” 6.24.10 I – Musical density at its finest – 2010 style.

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Reba” 8.14.96 II – Before Hersheypark Stadium had a revamped sound system and rubberized dance floors, Phish still raged Chocolate City. In the band’s one stop between Deer Creek and The Clifford Ball, Phish played a wildly underrated show at Hershey that featured this gorgeous, first set “Reba.”

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Antelope” 11.8.98 II – This dynamic “Antelope” punctuated a spirited Saturday night of rock and roll at UIC ’98.

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Slave” 8.7.10 II – Capping this summer’s Greek run in style, this “Slave” concludes Friday’s Ten Tunes with similar majesty.

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http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/2-05-Piper.mp3
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A Curve To the Place Where I Stay

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on September 16th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

12.28.09 (Shawn Williams)

While Phish has dipped into their post-hiatus material this go-round, for some reason they haven’t gone for some of the era’s most significant pieces. While keeping ‘”Seven Below,” 46 Days” in rotation, the band has also touched on “Undermind” from time to time. In this era of their career Phish has, not surprisingly, favored their classic vehicles to pieces from their second era whose quality is constantly debated in the community. While they continue to inexplicably ignore two of their most profound jam vehicles in “Scents and Subtle Sounds” and “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing,” there is another post-hiatus song, yet to make its debut this era, that would fit the band’s current style congruently – “Round Room.”

Round Room (2002)

“Really?” you might ask. Yes; really. In its four appearances in 2003, “Round Room” produced four pieces of layered, abstract, and melodic jamming – a style that came into play this past summer. The post-hiatus versions, all played before the their decline,  lent themselves to intricate, interwoven fairy tales. And with the whole band communicating in such fine style these days, and Fishman tearing apart rhythms behind ambient collaborations, “Round Room” could be a source of deeply engaging improvisation.

But alas, will Trey allow Mike’s song to thrive? It seemed like Red’s reputation for keeping his band mates’ songs at bay was loosening during Leg I when Phish debuted Page’s “Halfway to the Moon” and Gordon’s “Idea,” but both songs were never heard from again, and in retrospect, almost seemed like a formality.  If the band does decide to dig into their post hiatus vault, one would only hope Trey sees the shining pool of possibilities that lie in his bass player’s title track to Round Room.

6.17.10 (J.Reiss)

With the band pulling out songs from throughout their career, why not take a look at this one? With the potential to morph into sessions of selfless jamming, “Round Room” seems congruent with the band’s current direction and could develop into a psychedelic trampoline. Phish is doing just fine – don’t get me wrong – but if they are looking to expand their group of live offerings, consider this a suggestion. A piece that could shoot innocent concert-goers into outer space with little warning, the island-turned-galactic anthem would make a stellar addition to the current catalog.

Here are a couple versions from 2003. See what you think.

2.28.03 Nassau

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2.16.03 Vegas

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Jam of the Day:

Disease > Lizards” 12.12.95 II

Some ferocious December ’95 psychedelia from Providence Civic Center – another Fall 2010 venue.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

12.4.1995 Mullins Center, Amherst, MA < Torrent

12.4.1995 Mullins Center, Amherst, MA < Megaupload

Mullins Center - UMASS

The first night of Phish’s two-night stand at Amherst ’95. After the following night, Phish hasn’t returned to the on-campus arena – until now! This fall Phish is heading back to the venue that has already hosted four mid-90s spectacles, and is primed to make Mullins Center a central stop in their 2010’s New England path.

I: Julius, Gumbo, The Divided Sky, Punch You In the Eye, Stash, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Axilla (Part II), The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Hello My Baby, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

II: Timber Ho!, Sparkle, Ya Mar, Run Like an Antelope, Billy Breathes, Cars Trucks Buses, You Enjoy Myself, Sample in a Jar, Frankenstein

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Rocky Top

Source: AKG 460B/ck61 > custom pre-amp > Teac DA-P20 (@ 48kHz)

Tags: , ,

What About Austin?

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on September 15th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

6.25.10 (G. Lucas)

With all of the recent hubbub duly centered on Phish’s retro-sized fall tour – their most anticipated of this era – everyone has forgotten about the band’s first appearance of the season at Austin, City Limits Music Festival. Headlining the opening night of the indie based event with a two-hour set, Phish will close out the evening at one of the nation’s premiere musical gatherings. But the question remains, “What will they do in Austin?”

ACL 2010

Taking part in their second mega-fest in as many years, will Phish actually play a significant set of music in Texas? Over their two shows at Bonnaroo in 2009, Phish threw down out two of their most creative jams of a rather tame June in “Kill Devil Falls” and “Light.” Otherwise, the band played it fairly straight up. But that was their first month back on the road and Austin presents a completely different situation than America’s McFestival.

6.18.10 (K.Lindner)

Because Austin will be the first set of tour, Phish will have something planned in advance. If they were to come out and play off the cuff and wound up with a typical first set of tour, their slot would be a disaster. One might imagine a set featuring “Stash,  “Number Line,” “Bowie,” “Hood” and  “YEM,” with a significant “Light” placed somewhere within. And depending on the course those pieces take, they could form a stellar or average set. Since Phish is only now beginning to jam consistently in their own shows, and have Broomfield looming, the possibility of an innocuous festi set hangs over the band’s Austin appearance.

The Strokes

Playing overlapping sets with The Strokes, the hipsters may evacuate the Phish stage in favor of New York’s neo-garage rockers. When the lights drop for Phish, the scene may not be so unfamiliar, as Phish fans are sure to flood the festival grounds on Friday night. Given a large stage and two hours, a lot can happen in Austin if Phish wants to go that route. But perhaps more of a payday than an intent to make any statement at all, the band may fill their time with palatable music and move onto their own 3-night bash to kick off fall for real. With  rumors of a club show silenced and squashed, Phish could be in Austin for less time than their fans en route to Colorado. But could that time be spent playing a ballistic set of music? That is the question at hand.

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Jam of the Day

Kill Devil Falls” 6.12.09 II

This was the first jam of ’09 to really jump outside the box, and it happened at Bonnaroo.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

4.8.1994 Recreation Hall. Penn State, University Park, PA < Torrent

4.8.1994 Recreation Hall. Penn State, University Park, PA < Mega

Only the fourth show of 1994, this month saw Phish gearing up for a long road ahead.

I: Maze, Glide > Foam, I Didn’t Know^, Punch You In the Eye, The Horse*> Silent in the Morning, Down with Disease, If I Could, Lawn Boy, Llama

II. Split Open and Melt, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, It’s Ice > Digital Delay Loop Jam**It’s Ice, Sparkle, Harry Hood, Bouncing Around the Room, Big Ball Jam, David Bowie, Suzy Greenberg

E: Contact, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars

^ w/ Mimi Fishman on cymbals, *w/ Trey on acoustic, ** first digital delay loop jam

Source: Neumann RSM 190i> neumann m/s preamp> Teac DA-p20> Oade Active > Sony D-7 @ 48k

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To There and FLAC Again

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on September 14th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

12.31.09 (Wendy Rogell)

Once upon a time, legions of fans listened to cassette tapes to relive those magical moments from shows past. But there was a catch to this tie-dyed culture of tape trading: unless you got a tape within its first two generations from its master recording, a venomous hiss  poisoned the tape, making the nuances of the music inaudible. One might as well have had a pillow over his or her head while listening to the show. But the community continued dubbing tapes to higher generations and enjoyed the memories – however muddled. Only few people in the larger scheme of things were close enough to tapers to get quality recordings, so countless fans spun tapes that would be deemed unlistenable by today’s standards.

A Classic Dual-Deck

Then, just as everyone had accumulated at least two hundred Maxell XL IIs, the CD-R appeared on the scene, eliminating that tape hiss forever and transforming everyone’s collections into useless relics of the analog age. Burning CDs became the rage, as there was no loss of quality. Thus CD-Rs were the media of choice…for a while. They sounded the way the music should sound, with their only drawbacks being their ability to scratch and their size. One couldn’t easily travel with tons of music, though I often pushed these boundaries. Heading to Amsterdam to visit friends during the CD era, I brought 1000 CDs as carry-ons in two Case Logics. Once there, the books were unquestionably worth having as we passed through the archives in all sorts of mind-states. But walking through airports and toting them on crowded trams with luggage was hardly fun at all.

The Original iPod

One fine day, Apple came up with a solution to this sort of over-sized music conundrum: the iPod. All of a sudden, one could hold all of their  CDs in the palm of their hand or put them in their back pocket – the concept was nothing short of revolutionary. But there was one drawback: the mp3. IPods only play new-school compressed audio files – mp3s – that, even when sampled at the highest rate, compromised the true sound of the music. Lopping off the highest and lowest frequencies, mp3s sounded “close enough” for most people to make the quick conversion. But many held out, and I was one of these people.

I watched people buy generation after generation of iPod while I carried my Sony Discman to the gym because it just sounded better. Way better – especially for live music. So I kept downloading FLACs and burning them to CDs so my music remained portable. With no foresight, I routinely deleted the FLACs because they took up so much room on my hard drive. This was my method through 2004 and beyond, as I continued to build by collection after Coventry. I never caught onto to straight FLAC listening because my computer was never my main source of music – that was left to my stereo – so I stuck to CDs.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

But in 2005, I caved and bought my first iPod mostly for the convenience of having other music available, leaving my Phish listening primarily on disc. But at some point during the off years, a friend gave me the generous gift of a magic hard drive. All you had to do was think of a show, navigate through some folders, and it would appear on the screen. Needless to say, this hard drive changed everything for me. Any and all Phish at the click of a finger? Was I on Candid Camera? But again there was one drawback – every show was encoded in 320 kbps to mp3 . But with such an archive at my access for the first time ever, I simply didn’t care. I loaded my iPod with music I had never heard before and was as happy as a pig in shit.

When Phish returned in 2009, the audiophile in me had already been lulled to sleep by the overwhelming ease of mp3s. If I kept ’em at 320 kpbs, how much difference could there really be? This is how I rationalized my assimilation into the Apple empire. When Phish came back and began offering downloads within hours of the show, I began pulling the mp3s while on the road in order to load them onto the iPod for in-car listening. Thus when I got home, I had the entire tour on my computer and never thought about upgrading.

iTunes and ALACs

But just two weeks ago, I learned of ALAC files. When someone turned me on to Apple’s new lossless format (.m4a files), I decided to try them out. I downloaded The Greek’s third show from LivePhish, loaded the ALACs into iTunes and clicked on “Light.” As the track started, I was transported to The Greek Theatre, sitting dead center about halfway up the amphitheatre – the golden spot. The sound was impeccable and the difference from the mp3 was not only immediately apparent over my small computer speakers, it was astounding! I could actually hear each and every cymbal hit from Fishman. Mike’s countless bass nuances popped from my subwoofer, uncovering sound unattainable through mp3s. The tone of Trey’s Ocecdoc screamed out of my mini Harmon/Kardon speakers, while Page sounded far more present due to the lossless files’ most obvious improvement – their musical separation. One could choose which instrument to follow and listen note for note without any muddied tones or compromised highs and lows. The band hadn’t even finished the verses to “Light” before I was completely reawakened with the musical equivalent of the red pill.

I immediately remembered why I had toted Case Logics around the world like brief cases and sworn to never get an iPod: when listening to music I hold as sacred, mp3s simply don’t cut it. Yes, they have their time and place, and their convenience is undeniable. But when listening to Phish, a band with a multi-dimensional rainbow of sounds and effects, one is simply cheating himself of the full experience when listening to mp3s. I had always known this, but had gradually become acculturated to the world of modern convenience.

The Gorge '09 (G.Lucas)

Needless to say, it was time to upgrade my old-school iPod with a larger-than-life 160 gig device. One by one, I downloaded my favorite shows in ALAC and FLAC (which are all convertible to ALAC in a cinch on a Mac) and began loading “Lossless Larry” with pristine files at the rate of approximately one gig per show. Though mp3s provide a limitless choice of music, I decided that an ever-rotating group of 145 lossless shows should do the trick. And with a portable hard drive that holds 500 gigs and is barely bigger than the iPod itself, my updated set up has me amped while only 25 gigs into my re-conversion. Honestly, the difference in quality with standard ALACs and/or FLACs (16/44) is painfully obvious even on low-budget ear buds.

After my post-tour realization that I can carry 145 lossless shows on an iPod, it goes without saying that I’ll never be downloading another mp3. An external hard drive solves any storage issues I once imagined existed, and I’ve re-entered the lossless lounge forever. What had I been thinking?

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

And to make things even easier, the brand-new $9.95 download credit for mp3s that comes with every ticket for Fall Tour can be applied to the FLAC or ALAC files for only $3 dollars more – the best $3 dollars money can buy these days. (For those on PCs, ALACs work with all versions of iTunes and load right onto your iPods as well.)

So if convenience calls, and you want to grab a show to listen quickly or  you need that impossibly long list of choices that an mp3-loaded iPod provides, 320 mp3s offer a legitimate option – no disrespect whatsoever. But if you want to listen to 100% of the music that we travel across the country and drain our bank accounts  for in quest of life’s ultimate, maybe you should check out lossless files if you haven’t already. I realize I’m late to the game here, but my reawakening has been profound. Every time I plug my iPod into my home stereo, my car stereo, or simply throw on my headphones, each moment sounds more authentic than ever. Lossless SBD files allow you to relive the show in the best seat in the house, regardless of where you wound up on that particular evening; a priceless experience.

As they sing on the tripped-out childrens’ show Yo Gabba Gabba!:”Try it… you’ll like it!

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Jam of the Day:

Limb By Limb” 12.3.99 II

A definite re-post from the past, I was reminded of this psychedelic masterpiece yesterday. Some quintessential late-’99 jamming lies within.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.8.1998 Zeleste, Barcelona, Spain < Torrent

7.8.1998 Zeleste, Barcelona, Spain < Megaupload

Europe '98

The first night of Barlecona ’98 got going quickly with a thick “Moma Dance” and one of the more shredding, structured”Bathtub Gins” you’ve never heard. “Punch,” “Frankenstein” and “Antelope” rounded out the first-set vibe. The second set, though a bit disjointed and underwhelming for this tour, featured solid versions of some stand alone songs. This file set contains a bonus SBD recording of a soundcheck jam and a partial SBD of the first set that cuts off in “Guyute.”

I: The Moma Dance, Bathtub Gin, Punch You In the Eye, Beauty of My Dreams, Frankenstein, Guyute, Run Like an Antelope

II: Wilson, Birds of a Feather, Dirt, Piper, Sleeping Monkey*, Ghost > Johnny B. Goode

E: Julius

*w/ crowd guest, Beatrice

Source: SBD and unknown

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Miner’s Picks: Summer Leg II

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on September 13th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

8.7.10 -The Greek Theatre (Wendy Rogell)

After some weeks away from tour and plenty of time to listen to August through and through, it has come time to unveil “Miner’s Pick’s” for Leg II of Summer 2010. In a tour with many eye-popping jams, many fans could have compiled a similar list. However, I allowed myself only one version of each song, leaving several legitimate highlights absent from this compilation. What you will find inside is an aural trek down memory lane of Phish’s most accomplished tour this era. With tracks assembled to create a natural flow over the the six and a half hour highlight reel, download “Miner’s Pick’s: Leg II,” kick back with loud volume, and enjoy an afternoon of the best Phish jams we’ve heard since their return.

*****

MINER’S PICKS: SUMMER 2010 – LEG II < Torrent

MINER’S PICKS: SUMMER 2010 – LEG II < Megaupload

8.9.10 (W.Rogell)

1,2. “Cities > Moma” 8.5 Greek: The funk that awakened the band and audience alike during The Greek’s second night.

3. “Light” 8.7 Greek: This transcendent journey gets my vote for jam of the tour. Easily.

4. “Caspian” 8.9 Telluride: Trey spouts gorgeous and original leads in this dark-horse highlight from Telluride onto which Phish tacked  a Mind Left Body-laced outro.

5. “Tweezer” 8.5 Greek: This version drips with laid-back, west coast energy. Mike runs shop throughout this thunderous piece and Trey unleashes some of his pimpiest leads of tour.

6-8. “Boogie > Piper > Mist” 8.9 Telluride: Ferocious funk? Check. Footbell? Check. Defining “Piper” of 2010? Check.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

9,10. “Disease > What the Use?” 8.14 Alpine: Phish pushed boundaries in this top-notch piece, finding  some of the most sublime moments of summer and a transition that defies words.

11. “Harry Hood” 8.7 Greek: In a tour that went a perfect 3 for 3 in outstanding “Hoods,” this centerpiece from The Greek’s final set stands head and shoulders above the rest.

12-14. “Drowned > Jibboo > Bathtub Gin” 8.12 Deer Creek: This three-song sequence that opened Deer Creek’s second set showcased three different styles of improvisation. This standout run to start the second half set the tone for a set that never stopped. “Drowned” is my pick for the most-underrated dose of psychedelia from Phish’s fortnight in August.

8.13.10 (M.Stein)

15-17. “Ghost > Theme > BBFCFM” 8.15 Alpine: This one-two punch demonstrates the full-on guitar acrobatics that Trey showcased at Alpine Valley. The always-elusive old-school antics of “Big Black Furry” capped the smoking segment.

18,19. “Carini > Free” 8.10 Telluride: This alien encounter highlighted a fun, but improvisationally-thin, second night in The Rockies.

20. “Rock and Roll” 8.6 Greek: A jam that gets unrightfully buried in the avalanche of standout music from The Greek, it’s one of the most sublime examples of the band’s newest, rhythmically-driven “urgent ambient” style.

21. “Antelope” 8.14 Alpine: While never moving outside the box, this version crushed harder than any other in August.

22,23. “Split Creek > Dog Faced Boy” 8.12 Deer Creek: Moving into experimental territory, Phish slowly descended from menacing grooves into “Dog Faced Boy” late in Deer Creek’s second set.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

24. “Reba” 8.14  Alpine: This is the pick ’em song of tour, as the band simply slayed all three versions. I, actually, prefer The Greek, but the unmatchable peak in Alpine’s version and the already Greek-heavy highlight reel pushed this version onto the compilation.

25-27. “2001 > Suzy > Slave” 8.7  Greek : Complete with a scintillating “Suzy Reprise” jam that surprised me on listen back, this trio provided a powerful sequence to conclude an ornate, top-notch set of Phish music.

28,29. “Lengthwise > Maze” 8.17  Jones Beach: A nod to the early-90s, Phish also acknowledged the resurgenmce of “Maze” in 2010 with Jones Beach’s final version of summer.

30. “Sand” 8.9 Telluride: A scorching opener to Telluride’s most impressive set; and only the fifth “Sand” since 2000.

8.5.06 (W.Rogell)

31. “Timber Ho!” 8.18  Jones Beach: A thrilling entry into the summer’s final set.

32. “Mikes Song” 8.14 Alpine: I keep coming back to this “Mike’s” with Trey’s flowing and creative leads, thus it kick’s off our August 2010 “Mike’s Combination Groove.”

33. “Simple” 8.6 Greek: One of the most original and exploratory pieces of summer, this was the first full-blown, mind-expander of tour.

34. “Number Line” 8.17  Jones Beach:  One of August’s upper-echelon jams, Jones’ Beach’s “Number Line” appeared within “Mike’s Groove  and produced the band’s final improvisational peak of the summer.

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

35. ” Sneakin’ Sally” 8.14 Alpine: Popping up late in the set as a surprise link in Alpine’s “Dirty Sally Groove,” this version brought some dance grooves to an otherwise dark-themed frame of Phish.

36. “Weekapaug” 8.17  Jones Beach: Perhaps Phish’s most original take on “Weekapaug” this summer, the band’s lightening quick percussive work morphed with their melodic sensibility in a stellar version that capped a summer “Weekapaug” return to significance. Trey absolutely went to town in this one, punctuating a phenomenal suite on the water in Long Island.

37. “YEM” 8.10 Telluride: In an anthem-laced show, Phish broke out a super-charged rendition of their seminal piece to cap tw0 unforgettable nights in the paradise of Telluride’s Town Park.

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Jams of the Day: Near Misses

Were it not for other versions, these pieces could have wound up above.

“Light” – 8.18 Jones Beach

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“Harry Hood” – 8.12 Deer Creek

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“Reba” – 8.7 Greek

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“Disease > Free” – 8.5 Greek

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Weekend Nuggets: Fall Tours Past

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on September 11th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEKEND:

10.29.1995 Louisville Gardens, Louisville, KY < Torrent

10.29.1995 Louisville Gardens, Louisville, KY < Megaupload

Pollock - 1995

Phish’s famous final show before Halloween ’95 – a two-set rager with a superb “David Bowie” anchoring the second half.

I: Buried Alive > Poor Heart, Julius, Punch You In the Eye, Cars Trucks Buses, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Split Open and Melt, NICU, Gumbo, Slave to the Traffic Light, Sweet Adeline

II: Makisupa Policeman > David Bowie, The Mango Song, It’s Ice > Kung > It’s Ice,  Shaggy Dog > Possum*, Lifeboy, Amazing Grace

E: Funky Bitch

*Beat It teases.

Source: AKG 460/ck61

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Jam Of the Weekend:

Bathtub Gin > YEM” 11.29.98 II

This farewell combo closed Fall Tour ’98 in Worcester, MA.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Run Like An Antelope” 11.2.1996 – A preview of Phish’s upcoming DVD

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Three More From Leg Two

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on September 10th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Last week we looked at a spectrum of significant jams Phish played in August. But in a tour that favored more improvisation than any other in this era, there were many more highlights of note. Amidst the buzz of tour’s most staggering musical moments, some other serious pieces of improvisation haven’t gotten as much attention as they should. Below are three more jams from Leg Two that showcase Phish’s late-summer exploratory spirit.

***

“Rock and Roll” 8.6 II – Berkeley, California

8.5.10 (W. Rogell

Phish sped out of this torrid rock jam and quickly into psychedelic pastures, skipping usual routine stop in regurgitated percussive grooves. Fishman immediately stood out by slaughtering alternating beats, while Trey and Mike stepped forth to lead the jam on a dissonant course. Page stepped forth over Mike and Trey’s cooperative backing, playing lead piano lines over an urgent, ever-changing rhythm. Boasting gorgeous melodic interplay between guitarists, this jam took a distinct turn into blissful, uplifting textures. A perfect example of the band’s new-school “urgent ambient” jamming, Mike remained at the center of the music and Trey painted it with emotive brushstrokes, while Fish framed their transcendent interplay like an eight-legged beast. Trey, Mike and Page echoed each others’ phrases as they merged into a glowing orb of melody and harmony – an awesome piece of collaborative jamming over masterfully intricate rhythms.

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“Carini” 8.10.10 – Telluride, Colorado

8.10.10 (W.Rogell)

Amidst a sea of rock anthems in Telluride’s final set, “Carini” provided the highlight of the show, churning some of the most intergalactic soundscapes of summer. As the band departed from the lyrical refrain, Page led the onset of the jam as Trey wound up his now-rarely-used “millennial” effects: seething sheets of snarling sound that emerged in 1999. Fish and Mike formed a heavy pocket highlighted by Gordon’s crafty bass lines. After setting his sonic place-mat, Trey came to the forefront with a volcanic solo, erupting with scalding intensity. When Mike shifted to a groovier bass line and Page sustained a dissonant backdrop, Trey turned his wailing solo into an uncharacteristically melodic segment that brought the jam to a climax. But after this peak, Fishman moved the band into a drone landscape that Trey began littering with dirty effects. Now the the adventure really began. Morphing into a menacing and abstract passage, Fish threw in a vocal tease of Pink Floyd’s “One Of These Days,” while the music continued its maniacal soundtrack of minds warping through a post-apocalyptic alien ambush. With stunning sonic density, this jam likened the descending of a Mothership right in Town Park, as all band members contributed to this bubbling psychedelic cauldron. Resembling pieces of ’99 Phish, “Carini” ballooned in abstract intensity and carried a futuristic, mechanical beauty. “Free” provided the splash down from outer space, continuing the rowdy setlist.

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“Drowned” 8.12 – Noblesville, Indiana

8.13.10 (M.Stein)

One of the most under-the-radar jams of tour, this “Drowned that opened the second set of Deer Creek’s first night is a dark-horse piece of elegant interplay. After plowing through the initial section in a high-speed, rock and roll chase, Trey and Fish cut up the music with percussive offerings while Mike filled the spaces in between. When Page moved to organ, he coaxed the band into far mellower, ethereal textures. Trey adjusted quickly, sprouting a delicate, soulful lead while allowing space for Page to answer his ideas. Fishman favored the cymbals in a shimmering beat and Mike backed the piece with murmuring bass lines. Eventually progressing to a more abstract rhythm, Fishman coaxed Trey to follow him while Mike meshed his own idea into an experimental section of spanking new Phish music – an ambient-melodica over increasingly intricate drumbeats. Mike, Page and Trey formed an harmonic convergence without any lead, turning the piece into a gripping jam. Trey peeled surreal melodies over the feel-good futurama and once again, a musical risk had succeeded.

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Jam of the Day:

Lengthwise > Maze” 8.17.10 II

Phish opened Jones Beach’s second set with conscious nod to the old-school in this mid-90’s combo.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.8.1999 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY < Torrent

10.8.1999 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY < Megaupload

On the home stretch of a month-long tour in Fall ’99, Phish stopped at Nassau for two oft-overlooked shows. On the second night, the band nailed this second set in another classic dose of Nassau Phish. After an awesome opening segment from “Halley’s” through “Hood,” Tom Marshall came out and did his best Roger Daltry, hamming it up with the band on a cover of the Who’s Tommy classic, “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

I: Piper, AC/DC Bag, Suzy Greenberg, Meat, Meatstick, Run Like an Antelope

II: Halley’s Comet > Tweezer > Bug, Fee, Harry Hood, We’re Not Gonna Take It*, Chalk Dust Torture

E: The Squirming Coil, Tweezer Reprise

* debut, The Who; w/ Tom Marshall

Source: (FOB) Schoeps mk4 > kc5 > cmc6 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Apogee AD1000 > Sony D100 (Set I @44.1kHz, Set II @48kHz)

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This Is Mike’s Song Too

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on September 9th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

8.14.10 (M.Stein)

When Phish plotted their return in 2009, Mike Gordon said he wanted to leave time for his solo project within the framework of his larger band. Well – he wasn’t kidding. This week, Mike announced a 17-show club and theatre tour in November that stretches from coast to coast; a nationwide path that resembles the road many fans wish Phish would undertake. Moving from Los Angeles up the coast to Seattle and back down through Missoula, Montana, Utah and Colorado, The Mike Gordon Band will play seven shows out west before taking on the heartland of America. Tallying seven more gigs in the Midwest from Omaha to Cleveland, Mike is really spreading the love across the land. Concluding with only three east coast dates that end in Portland, Maine and Boston on November 26 and 27, Mike’s tour finales wipe out the rumor of a Phish Thanksgiving run in Hampton. Covering many miles this fall, specifically the markets Phish won’t be hitting, Mike will hop off Phish tour and right onto his own – a bass assassin on a never-ending mission.

In conjunction with his national tour, Mike will also release his third solo album entitled Moss. Available now for pre-order, many of Moss’ songs were played during Mike’s last tour and according to his website, “half of its songs stem from the same 50-song burst of creativity that seeded [The Green Sparrow].” Likely carrying a similar bass-led and melodic vibe as his last album, some of the deeper cuts morph into more experimental music. Another quote from Gordon’s press release reads:

A four-song sequence, comprising “Flashback,” “The Void,” “Got Away” and “Spiral,” goes places no songs have gone before. You might suppose these soundscapes are musical evocations of particularly fanciful sights and sounds experienced while on hallucinogenic vision quests. Songs like “Spiral” and “The Void” detour into evocatively abstract, meterless areas of sound with a mysterious, textural richness.

Mike Gordon - Moss

While “Spiral” was a psychedelic centerpiece of several shows last tour, I am not familiar with the other three other three engaging titles. But by their ornate descriptions and knowing Mike’s eclectic tastes, they will provide some outstanding launchpads come November. Phish debuted the final track of Mike’s album, “Idea,” in Portsmouth, Virginia’s second set on June 15, bringing the debut out of a murky “46 Days” with infectious grooves and two springboards for improvisation. (Listen here.)

Unlike many solo projects where the sole spotlight shines on the front man, full-band improvisation is the focus of The Mike Gordon Band. With Mike serving as both band-leader and bassist, he infuses an engaging dynamic in the music, often anchoring the rhythm of jams while, simultaneously, providing melodic leads. Featuring Scott Murawski on guitar, Todd Isler on drums, Tom Clearly on keyboard and Craig Myers on percussion, Mike’s band gets into legitimate sonic experiments and takes musical risks. Also playing an array of diverse covers in their live show, the reports from Mike’s last tour were glowing across the board. With a year and half of Phish under his belt, things can only get better this time around.

8.13.10 (M.Stein)

Ironically, it was Mike’s work with this solo project that brought him back to Phish far more polished and prepared than his band mates in 2009. And since their comeback, Phish has sculpted their new sound around the creative lead-presence of their all-world bassist. Trey has taken a step back, happily willing to co-lead jams with his partner in a move that has dramatically increased the diversity of Phish jams this year. And while Trey, Page, and Fish take a break this season, Mike will be right back out there honing his skills for what is sure to be a stellar December.Aat the end of the day, Mike Gordon simply loves to innovate with his bass. And for two straight months this fall, that is exactly what he will do.

11/6 Troubador, West Hollywood, CA
11/7 The Independent, San Francisco, CA
11/8 Alladin Theater, Portland, OR
11/10 Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA
11/11 The Wilma Theatre, Missoula, MT
11/12 The State Room, Salt Lake City, UT
11/13 Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO
11/14 The Waiting Room, Omaha, NE
11/16 Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
11/17 Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI
11/18 Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
11/19 Bluebird, Bloomington, IN
11/20 Madison Theater, Covington, KY
11/22 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
11/23 The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY
11/26 Port City Music Hall, Portland, ME
11/27 Royale Nightclub, Boston, MA

Pre-Order tickets now until Thursday September 16 at 5pm EST. It’s fun, you actually get them!

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Jam of the Day:

Piper > 2001” 8.15.10 II

One of Alpine Valley’s many standout segments.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

11.18.1995 N.Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC < Torrent

11.18.1995 N.Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC < Megaupload

This is the first of two shows ever played at North Charleston Coliseum. With a quick-starting first set with stong versions of “Reba” and “Slave,” Phish offered a balanced meal on this evening. The second set featured a soupy-’95 style “Free”, a show-stopping “You Enjoy Myself,” and some Phishy antics switching between “Acoustic Army” and “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.” The show ended in classic fashion with Dr. Jack McConnell dancing The Charleston and singing his famed guest spot, “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?”

I: Dinner and a Movie, Bouncing Around the Room, Reba, Lawn Boy, Punch You In the Eye, Slave to the Traffic Light, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome^, Sample in a Jar

II: AC/DC Bag, Sparkle, Free, I’m So Tired, You Enjoy Myself*, Contact, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars > Acoustic Army > Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Cavern

E: Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?**

^ acoustic, * w/ “Brickhouse” jam,**w/ Page’s Dad

Source: Unknown

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The Re-Birth of “The Groove”

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on September 8th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

8.10.10 - Telluride, CO (Graham Lucas)

When Phish returned to the stage in 2009, they reeled in “Mike’s Groove” from its days as an improvisational centerpiece to its old-school format of “Mike’s > H2 > Weekapaug.” Barely extending each piece beyond eight minutes run-thrus, the routine of the modern era “Mike’s Groove” grew quickly tiresome. The opening riff of “Mike’s Song” – once a jolt of adrenaline to the heart – now signified 20 stagnant minutes of music while Phish churned out generic version after generic version of each bookend. Rarely adding meat to the simplistic sandwich, for over a year “Mike’s Grooves” provided little investigation into the unknown. But throughout this summer, Phish bolstered their musical suite in unexpected ways. Though “Mike’s Song” remained a structured descent into darkness, the feats that the band accomplished after the song’s closing power chords brought the adventure back into the “Groove.”

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

Beginning in Canandaigua, New York at the end of June, Phish began to switch things up. Segueing into “Simple” and then into “I Am the Walrus” before bursting into “Weekapaug,” this entire “Mike’s Groove” had gained liftoff, forming a half-set escapade that departed from its played-out pattern. Fast forwarding to July 4th’s tour closer in Atlanta, the band lit the fuse of a late-set “Groove,” and the spark led to an array of Phishy fireworks. In a slot where the band had placed so many cliched versions, this holiday “Mike’s Groove” turned out to be anything but usual. Segueing surprisingly into “Tela,” and then eve more dramatically into “Harpua,” Phish packed significant bust-out action into this patriotic tale. But when Trey’s story led to the cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In the Name,” this tour-ending “Mike’s Sandwich” resembled a monstrosity from from New York’s Carnegie Deli.

When the second leg rolled around, Phish molded larger musical suites, using “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug” to bookend adventurous pieces of improvisation. During The Greek’s second night, Trey abruptly bust into “Ghost’s” jam with the opening of August’s first “Mike’s Groove.” Any memories of the ugly transition dissipated in the vapor trail of Trey and Mike’s fury, and when the band stepped into “Simple,” nobody expected a tour-defining jam to emerge. But to the surprise of most, that is exactly what happened as Phish transformed the anthem into an abstract and melodic experiment. Popping with sonic originality, “Simple” grew into the first breakthrough jam of tour; a jam that blossomed in between “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug.” Phish also squeezed in succinct versions of “Number Line” and “Seven Below” into this super-sized “Groove.”

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

In Telluride, Phish beefed up an early-set “Mike’s Groove” by inserting the run’s only “Crosseyed and Painless” before merging with their traditional path of “Hydrogen > Weekapaug.” After ripping the universe wide open with “Disease > What’s the Use?” on Alpine’s first night, Phish laid back into a swanky “Dirty Sally Groove.” Using”Dirt” as an introspective comedown from a particularly sharp “Mike’s Song,” the band wasn’t done with this second-half “Groove” just yet. Feeling the flow, the band dropped into the slithering funk rhythms of “Sneakin’ Sally” and absolutely annihilated the cover. Guided by Mike’s laser bass lines, Trey bounced a lively solo over an ocean of liquid grooves. Bringing this late-set treat to a head and through a vocal jam, Phish set up a blistering “Weekapaug” to punctuate this dynamic musical paragraph.

Only two shows later in Jones Beach, however, the band pieced together the most eventful “Mike’s Groove of the season. Providing the meat and potatoes of the second set, Phish combined a standout “Simple” and a defining “Number Line” with a creatively placed “Rock and Roll” to form the most flowing and vituosic “Mike’s Groove” of summer. Finishing this suite with a spunky “Weekapaug,” the band cranked up the feel-good anthem as they did all summer long. While “Mike’s” certainly took on added life in August, “Weekapaug” saw far more attention as several versions turned into high-flying highlights. Blasting off into lands of melodic percussion, the band magnified the suite-closer with creative jaunts that infused shows with ending momentum rather than methodical motion.

8.9.10 Telluride (G. Lucas)

In a season of revitalization, “Mike’s Groove” fell in line with the larger trend of summer. Finding original pathways to creativity, the band breathed new energy into a stagnant part of their catalog. Not long after many fans called for its shelving, “Mike’s Groove” bounced back resiliently, providing highlights to every Leg Two show in which it appeared. Snowballing with Phish’s over-arching head of steam in 2010, the band’s classic musical combo came into focus during a significant second leg of summer. While the spotlight shifted away from “Mike’s” and onto the rest of the “Groove,” craftsmanship and improvisation came back to Phish’s hallowed sequence during a summer that held nothing but future promise.

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Jam of the Day:

Reba” 8.7.10 II

One of three stellar “Rebas” along the trail of August; this one  from The Greek.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.27.96 N.Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC < Torrent

10.27.96 N.Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC < Megaupload

This is Phish’s second, and last, visit to North Charleston Coliseum, another venue that will host a two-night stand next month.

I: Runaway Jim, Punch You In the Eye, AC/DC Bag, Fee, Scent of a Mule > Catapult* > Scent of a Mule, Split Open and Melt, Talk, Taste, Suzy Greenberg

II: Chalk Dust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Rift, Prince Caspian, Ya Mar, Tweezer, Fluffhead, Life on Mars?, Tweezer Reprise

E: Possum, Carolina

*performed twice during the Mule Duel; first by Mike, and then by Page solo on the theremin

Source: Sennheiser ME-67’s

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