Exploring On The Eighth

Today our December focus shift onto two sprawling excursions that took place on the eighth day of the month in 1995 and 1999. Both selections — Cleveland’s “Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” and Cumberland County Civic Center’s “Piper” — feature musical explorations that veer far off the beaten path, providing snapshots of the band’s experimental side as seen through the lenses of 1995 and 1999.


Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” 12.8.95 – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland '95

This multi-tiered adventure moves through several distinct stages in forming a musical labyrinth. Page led the troops through the first segment of the jam with heavy piano, while Trey selectively picked and chose his spots before slowing integrating a melodic theme. Quickly — but not abruptly — Phish descended into a quieter canvas painted, still painted by Trey and Page’s brushstrokes. Moving into an abstract, beat-less realm, this version evoked memories of the depths that plunged “Tweezer” seemingly every night in the experimentally-focused Summer of ’95. Even while Phish cranked out, perhaps, the tightest music of their lives during December ’95, they still carved out plenty of room for abstract exploration. Dipping back into “Tweezer” and building directly into the cosmos again, Phish passed through segments of groove, amorphous jamming, and ambient beauty before morphing into “Kung.” Oozing back into “Tweezer,” the band took a couple minutes to wildly peak the jam, and then several more to slowly bring it to a close in a hefty dose of Fall ’95.



Piper > Dog Faced Boy” 12.8.99 – CCCC Portland, Maine

CCCC - Portland, ME

On the second night of Phish’s visit to Cumberland County Civic Center during their smoking tour of December ’99, they dropped an unconventional “Piper” amidst a six-song set that has flown under the radar ever since. Setting sail into thrashing “millennial” waters, Trey fired off countless notes as Mike crushed frenetic bass-lines in lock-step with his guitarist. But instead of following this more traditional “wall of sound” path, the band peeled away layers, landing in stripped down and particularly un-noisy textures. Page added quintessential ’99 space-sounds and Fishman altered his beat as the band significantly down-shifted into a hauting-turned-beautiful exploratory passage. Trey played subtle melodies over a growing ambient canvas as the music turned into uncharted territory. This segment fused Phish’s more melodic ambient style of Fall ’98 with their abstract and layered psyechedelia of ’99, resulting in an awing musical concoction. Drifting though crystalline, space-aged bliss, the band sculpted a soulful ambient excursion. Concluding the adventure with a grandiose spacescape, Phish gradually melted into “Dog-Faced Boy.”



Jam of the Day:

Halley’s Comet” 12.7.99 I

A phenomenal version from the first night of Cumberland County ’99.




2.12.93 Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

This one goes out to Highway Bill, who describes this special night as…

“…my first real show, a snowy weekday night in Poughkeepsie. The venue was almost empty. I remember quite clearly walking right up in front of Trey (like 3 feet) in amazement of what I was seeing. I would then walk back to where the people I came with were standing and asking them if they were seeing what I was, they weren’t. I could not understand (and still can’t) why they were not being affected. I remember doing this several times…This show hooked me for life.”

I: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Guelah Papyrus, Sparkle, Split Open and Melt, Esther,The Wedge, Chalk Dust Torture, I Didn’t Know, Take the ‘A’ Train, Run Like an Antelope

II: My Friend, My Friend, All Things Reconsidered, Reba, Poor Heart, Big Ball Jam, Fast Enough for You, You Enjoy Myself, Ya Mar, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, Harpua

E: Amazing Grace, Good Times Bad Times

Source: Unknown


343 Responses to “Exploring On The Eighth”

  1. lastwaltzer Says:

    “considering some January/Feb ’78 shows for one of the upcoming shows actually…Uptown Theater, maybe”Mr.C

    I’m sitting two blocks from the ol uptown theater, which is currently rotting away 🙁

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    silly are you trying to tell me you didn’t pick a photo for me? I feel so unloved.

  3. Jtran Says:

    And fyi everyone

    Still in need of 1 12/30

    jtranvt23 at gmail

  4. willowed Says:

    I think Spasm is crashing with us after night 2.

    If you need a place you’re more than welcome.

    I have an extra night 1 if you need it Jtran.

  5. Jtran Says:


    I’ll let you know. Still not sure what my plan is with work/time off/trying to ski a bit that week/leaving for NYC on 12/30 (hopefully)

  6. willowed Says:

    if you need the floor space…it’s yours

  7. Mike in Austin Says:

    “I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power.” — Ron Paul


  8. garretc Says:


    Wow, great article, thanks for sharing! I like the story about the fan playing in SF… Imagine doing that!

  9. poop goblin Says:

    Been killing it on ebay today. My family wants me to buy birthday and Christmas presents for myself. Much more fun bidding when you don’t have to pay for it

    All OG pressings

    Swamp Dogg – Total Destruction To Your Mind (1970)
    Jah Lion – Columbia Collie (1976)
    Augustus Pablo – East of the Village Nile (1977)
    Allen Toussaint – Southern Nights (1975)

  10. joechip Says:

    Swamp Dogg…Rat On!

  11. sumodie Says:

    @garretc: wonder if that guy drummed as well as Fishman’s sub last year in Miami 😉

    would love to have the author make some contrasting comparisons with Fishman’s approach to drumming

  12. garretc Says:


    Yeah, I was actually similarly wondering how he would describe “jam band” drumming in general in comparison… Great minds…

  13. Mdawg Says:

    any peeps in chicago with extra NYC tix to MSG let me know cuz i got CA$H Money for them. Hit me up –> mdawg422 at yahoo . com

  14. poop goblin Says:

    Huge Swamp Dogg fan Joechip

    Actually have a print in our living room of Mr. Williams riding the back of the giant rat off that album cover all framed and shit one of my bros made for me back in the day

    Total Destruction To Your Mind is actually the last album I need to fill the collection

    And probably the best

  15. Kaveh Says:

    Been in the cowfunk zone the last couple of days, thanks to Kenny Powers:

    11.16.97; 11.19.97 and 11.23.97.

    Also been spinning the “Phish Destroys America” tunes as well.

    Sometimes you just can’t get enough of Fall 97.

  16. butterflyeffect Says:

    i feel you kaveh

    i’m like that with japan 2000

  17. joechip Says:

    Agreed Total Destruction is probably his best. But I really love Cuffed, Collared and Tagged from top to bottom. His version of “Sam Stone” is just devastating. And the scatting at the end of Lady Madonna is fucking priceless.

  18. lastwaltzer Says:


    if you don’t have the first two Toussaint records already, GRAB EM! Two of my all time favorites.

  19. poop goblin Says:

    Agreed on his Sam Stone. Excellent.

    I also love Samp Dogg’s Greatest Hits (1976)

    Not actually a greatest hits. They were songs that he knew would become his greatest hits

    Very cool lo-fi small label soul album. Last of the good one’s.

  20. poop goblin Says:

    I know those albums LW but still looking for good OG pressings. Love all his shit through the mid 70’s

    His solo shit is hard to find clean copies of though

  21. lastwaltzer Says:


    I can imagine, doubt they sold well upon release. Do you have any of his Lee Dorsey productions?

    Also, he is playing a set at the symphony center in January, may hit depending on how works go.

  22. hangtime Says:

    Mr. Miner, you are the man. Thank you for these great picks of december jams. Its my 21st birthday tomorrow! Hopefully we’ll see an epcot YEM on the blog tomorrow, if you know what i mean…

  23. butter Says:

    Digesting this “here comes sunshine” from 11-21-73 that Mr. C put up yesterday

    Just exquisite, all the sections are just so clean and bright and organic

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    it is Halley’s like the JOTD that make us all yearn for what that song can be
    but then it is Halley’s like 95% of the ones ever played that remind us that we shouldn’t expect the exceptions

  25. Phamily Berzerker Says:


    great photos

    Cigar guy is there.

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