Settling Into Place

Jones Beach '09 (Wendy Rogell)

Almost two years has passed since Joy dropped, and the songs from Phish’s only modern-era album have found their primary spots in the band’s rotation. Today, we’ll look at some of the most promising songs from Joy that were debuted in 2009 and their role in current shows.

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“Ocelot”

Trey's Ocelot Inlay

Debuted right after Hampton in Fenway’s first set, “Ocelot” seemed like a promising jam vehicle for the band out of the gates. At the time, it’s playful and methodical grooves seemed like the could easily lead the band in adventurous directions. I remember all of June ’09 waiting for a big “Ocelot” to open the second set, but  to this day, the song has still not appeared in any second set at all. “Ocelot” has found its home as a first set staple, often the first improvisational piece of its given show. The jam has developed a roots Americana feel, spouting passages that sometimes evoke the sound of The Grateful Dead. While the song never seems obtrusive and provides a warm musical breeze, the piece has yet to take on any risk whatsoever. Seeming to content to play it straight, Phish has domesticated their “Ocelot,” much like Salvador Dali did. Perhaps one day, the band will let their pet song out to play.

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“Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan”

Jones Beach 09 W.Rogell)

When “Stealing Time” crunched from the PA at Jones Beach ’09, many fans freaked on what seemed like a new dissonant, hard rock launch pad. But almost two years later, we are still waiting on the song to break form. A platform for seething guitar solos, instead of morphing into the next improvisational juggernaut, “Stealing Time” has turned into this generation’s “Character Zero”— a hard-edged set closer that leaves the audience on a high note. Closing only one second set in Hartford (6.18.10), “Stealing Time,” like “Ocelot,” now finds its home in the opening half. And when I first heard it, I would have bet good money against that development. Seemingly reluctant to take their new songs to new places, Phish has also kept this song firmly inside the box.

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“Backwards Down the Number Line”

Trey and Tom (Relix.com)

Perhaps the biggest enigma from Joy, “Backwards Down the Number Line” has blown up a handful of times—most notably last summer at Blossom and Jones Beach—but has otherwise remained a noodly anthem. While some of the contained versions shine more than others, Phish has yet to find a good placement for the piece. Often breaking up the flow of second sets with its sudden beginning and abrupt change of vibe, “Number Line” seems to work better as an opener a la SPAC ’09. Though “Number Line” has had some all-star moments, until Phish finds a natural home or musical direction for their ode to friendship, it will continue to be an awkward piece of the band’s catalog.

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“Twenty Years Later”

Perhaps the most contemporary-sounding Phish songs on Joy, the enchanting-turned-menacing “Twenty Years Later” has most-often appeared as a soft landing pad for outrageous psychedelic jaunts. And just this fall, Phish began pushing the end of the song, itself, creating dissonant and layered walls of sound out of the jam. A song that always seems to fit perfectly at the end of torrid adventures, Phish has definitely found the right home for “Twenty Years Later.”

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“Light”

8.7.10 -The Greek Theatre (Wendy Rogell)

When Trey performed “Light” twice with Classic TAB (before Phish returned to the stage), I immediately sensed that it would be Phish’s next cosmic trampoline. And lo and behold, “Light” has been the most consistent portal to the universe in this era of Phish. An open-ended piece that is routinely placed in the second set, its jam has migrated from thick ambient textures to futuristic groove, while hitting just about every musical place in between. “Light” is the band’s most exploratory piece right now, and has been since it first explored darkened territory at Bonnaroo (6.14.09), and further exploded during Fall ’09. Easily the improvisational MVP of 2010, every time “Light” started up the most interesting jam of the night was almost sure to follow.

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“Kill Devil Falls”

Starting out as another straight forward rocker at Jones Beach ’09, “Kill Devil Falls” got immediately interesting at Bonnaroo as the band’s first stellar and exploratory jam of this the summer. But these type of excursions have been few and far between from of the song, and no version has yet to touch Bonnaroo’s ’09 peak. Staying within the box 99% of the time, “Kill Devil Falls” most often finds its way into a show—or set—opening slot. Providing quality rock and roll, “Kill Devil Falls” warms up the audience for what is coming next.

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Jam of the Day:

Piper > Guy Forget” 10.1.00 II

A classic nugget from the home stretch of Fall 2000.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

12.4.1995 Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload

This December ’95 re-post goes out via reader request to Willowed!

Mullins Center, Amherst, MA

I: Julius, Gumbo, The Divided Sky, Punch You In the Eye, Stash, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Axilla 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)

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643 Responses to “Settling Into Place”

  1. kenny powers Says:

    i’m late to the game….is Selector J’s show at a certain day and time weekly? is there i way to “DVR”-ish it on my iTunes, like suscribe to it? I’ll never be able to listen to tunes at work but it would be cool to throw it on later!

    roots reggae is the all time best cooking music. spoken by a dude who has cooked nothing but frozen Trader Joe’s foods for the last 2 months. which i blame on newfound bachelor-ness, but the point still stands.

  2. willowed Says:

    This is a nice beat.

  3. Selector J Says:

    Should have quit while I was ahead.
    This one’s for you PSHS.
    Then I’m out for real.

  4. ae Says:

    nice snow in nyc, the schools are closed and i work in a school – no work for me!! actually working from the kitchen table, which is not too bad, and listening to the reggae riddimz of the selecta. which is great.

  5. willowed Says:

    speaking of session, I think I need a bane session

  6. Selector J Says:

    Interesting @aj

    Boomski!

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    @PSHS

    wait what that dali comment was said to phil lesh?!?!??!

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    @SJ

    i think you’re in the clear to go ahead and assume that no one else on the show has kids listening from Chicago, Maryland, Boston, Connecticut, and Wis-KAHN-sinnn.

    and anybody else i missed.

    at least, I’m gonna go around assuming I’m part of one of the biggest non-profit radio fan bases in the country.

    everyone needs a dream.

  9. Selector J Says:

    court adjourned.

    Peace!

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    I love that AW both hates and sort of likes Sugar Shack all in one review.

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    @KP

    the show is thursday mornings.

    i think it’s usually only two hours (?) 8-10 eastern, 7-9 central.

    but some days like today it’s three hours.

    (is this right?)

  12. Selector J Says:

    You’re probably right @ SW. I’ll bring it up at the next meeting. Maybe get some assistants. :mrgreen:

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    i thought i felt something circling overhead

  14. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Oh shit. Selecta letting the Vultures loose.

  15. ae Says:

    wait, is this reggae? i’m confused. :)

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    Yes. This is reggae.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I think we can safely assume that there’s no other show on kvrx with an online forum where people are live chatting what the dj is playing. that’s a safe assumption, right?

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    @AJ

    you hitting that starlicker show or is the opera at night?

    Jdawg and i may hit that.

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    i think im dying in the desert…

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Opera that night. Starlicker should be great, though – have a fun one. That place is small small, a storefront, so should be intense.

  21. Selector J Says:

    Yea @SW
    Official time is 7-9am CST. Our station shares the FM frequency with another radio station (different building and everything). The switch happens at 9am on the FM but we still do internet streams 24hr.

    I go over ~ 1 hour/week because no one comes in after me and I get to just play records and don’t have to talk. I like it better than the real show.

  22. lastwaltzer Says:

    Word, i used to live right around the corner from there, had no idea that place even went in.

  23. P.S.H.S. Says:

    lw, the dead met him in the late 60′s at his house. he didn’t understand the acid tests, or the dead’s concerts. i forget which book the story is in, but even the band thought he was a nut, which for them to say that must mean he was completely bat shit crazy. i have a video of dali painting on vhs, i wish i could share with the bb. you’re first impression of him is, wow maybe he shouldn’t have taken the WHOLE vial, but he’s sober!

  24. Selector J Says:

    No archives @KP. Sorry. They’re recorded somewhere, though. If I were so inclinedI could grab the DL and up it to mediafire or something.
    (Not entirely legal, though.)

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    There is a great movie with Dali painting in this clear dome. He is inside, painting with these big brushes and all of these heads are outside touching the dome and stuff. Very 60′s. dude was a nutter.

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