Summer Additions?

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

When Phish splashes into an open jam, the adventure is on, regardless of what song the jam stemmed from. But in 2011, a tighter rotation of regular jam vehicles caused a tad of predictability to ooze into shows. Though the music could obviously go any which way, we all knew when jams were coming based on song selection—except in of a handful of surprise instances. With such a wide array of untapped material this era, the diversification of jam vehicles could instantly bolster the excitement of summer tour. In no way longing for the past, I believe the following five jams could be reinvented as platforms into the future.


“A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing”

With only two improvisational versions in this era—Deer Creek ’09 and Super Ball IX—it’s a wonder Phish hasn’t further tapped the vast potential of this sinister jam. Like many great Phish jams, this one starts out with structured improv centered on a monster guitar solo, but once this sequence ends, the flood gates of possibilities open. Not prone to one style of playing or another, “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” could easily mold to whatever direction the band chooses this summer. At Super Ball, the band quickly integrated an ambient-storage style jam into the piece, and back at  SPAC ’04, they launched into a refined excursion in psych-rock. Thus, every time the opening of this song growls through the stacks, there is inherent mystery as to where it will go. Check out Super Ball’s version below.



“Halley’s Comet”

Nothing screams summer Phish like “Halley’s Comet” jams. Making its improvisational name for itself from 1997 onward, “Halley’s” is always a welcome addition to any show in summer months. And when the band used it to craft one 2011’s defining jams out of the piece in Bethel, many fans thought its improvisational prowess had finally been resurrected. But it wasn’t to be, as the song returned to its compact form after its New York state adventure. Though doubtful, it would be invigorating to hear “Halley’s” grooves grace the summer air once again in 2012. Here’s Bethel’s version.



“Scents and Subtle Sounds”

This song has been an enigma in this era after emerging as one of the band’s compelling vehicles the last time around. Played only three times in 3.0—primarily for bust-out purposes—Trey launched into a soaring and emotional solo in Denver that seemed to awaken the spirit of the song. If “Scents and Subtle Sounds” returns to regular rotation—whether used as an open or contained jam—a certain majesty will come right along with it, perfectly meshing with any summer evening. And if this ever does transpire, let’s hope the band brings the intro with it! The following is Super Ball’s version—with intro.



“AC/DC Bag”

“AC/DC Bag” turned a corner in 1997, with so many other songs, and became a legitimate platform for improv. Though never a guaranteed jam, for the next four years, the band took the song in countless directions, from UIC ‘98s drone/ambient psychedelia to Virginia Beach ‘98’s summer funk to Boise ‘99’s all-time spiritual excursion. The Gamehendge favorite hasn’t broken form in this era, which isn’t all that surprising, but if the band ever decided to toss a few “Bag” jams into the second set, things could get spicy quickly! Check out Virginia Beach ’98 below.



“Round Room”

Here’s a dark horse pick. Appearing only a handful of times in the post-hiatus era, the title track from Round Room could make an intriguing launch pad with the band members’ now-polished skill sets. Taken in layered, ambient directions back in ’03, this jam could benefit from the sound-sculpting acumen of Phish these days. I wonder, however, if “Round Room” is even still on their radar. Here’s the Gorge version from 2003.



What song’s would you like to be seen focused on this summer? Respond via Twitter with the hashtag #minertalk, or on the Facebook page! Or just post in comments below, but let’s hear what you think!

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800 Responses to “Summer Additions?”

  1. angryjoggerz Says:

    鬼 = Guǐ

    sounds like gway, like gay with a w in the middle

    鬼佬, or gui lao(m) guai lou(c) is a fairly common insult for foreigners in Chinese, mostly in Cantonese. It basically means “foreign devil”

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    ohh that’s perfect

    i’m writing something about promontory point, utah

    and the insult would fit perfectly

    does anyone know whether it was primarily Cantonese or Mandarin speakers who worked the railroads? Or was it both?

  3. angryjoggerz Says:

    Also, since this is what we call in my field “a teaching moment”, the phonetic romanized version of Chinese is called pinyin. So, you can ask “what is the pinyin for Ghost?” and Chinese speakers would know what you are asking for. Pinyin includes the romanization of the word as well as the tone indicators. There are four tones in Mandarin, and the intonation is part of the indication of which word you are speaking. For example, the pinyin “ma” means four different things depending on the tone you use. Context, though, is also very important. I suck at tones but can get my message across. I make up for it with body language and humor.

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    Primarily Cantonese speakers because people were exiting via southeast China. This also accounts for the large amount of Cantonese speakers in the USA which is sort of disproportionately misrepresentative of the amount of Cantonese speakers in China. Rarely do you encounter a Cantonese speaker in China, unless in the “Canton” (Guangzhou province and Xiang Gong, aka Hong Kong area).

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    awesome, AJ

    that’s really helpful. and I’m always conscious that I could be asking a dumb question, so now I can do it with a little more nuance

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    the only dumb questions are the ones left unasked.

    Jesus, I spend too much time with educators.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    ok, that’s really good to know

    i’ve been working on some writing, and I got this weird idea to try and mix and match gaelic phonetics with mandarin/cantonese (now I know cantonese is more accurate) as a lingual reflection of the railroads

    so all of this is really helpful.

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    and what I mean by accurate is it seems there were more Cantonese speakers working the railroads than Mandarin speakers

    in a similar accuracy issue, you’d be more likely to hear Irish on the railroad than Scots Gaelic.

  9. MiA Says:

    Great book, “Nothing Like it in the world” (which is riddled with errors and opinion) but a decent account of the building of the transcontinental railroad. Including something about the use of Chinese labor.

    I not so secretly hate Ambrose because it’s written very politically, but a good primer.

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

  11. voopa Says:

    “like gay with a w in the middle”

    Awesome. I’m sure he appreciates that.

  12. angryjoggerz Says:

    One final note, sorry. Pinyin is the phonetic system created by China, and is the preferred phonetic system in use these days. However, there was the old one created by some 鬼佬’s (Wade-Giles system) that was used more in our parents generation, resulting in names like Mao Tse-tung and Peking and all that. Wade Giles is for oppressors.

  13. MiA Says:

    “The tip of my mao tse-tung.” – The Coup

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    the railroads fascinate me

    not only were they the source of some of the worst labor abuses in american history, but they created some of the wealth for some of the dirtiest businessmen (JP Morgan)

    some of the railroad strikes became some of the bloodiest labor disputes in american history

    so much ripe for metaphor surrounding the railroads

  15. MiA Says:

    I just discovered The Squeeze and The English Beat are playing concerts together. I’m … emotionally erect. I may be flying up to NYC to go the Roseland Ballroom.

    Maybe my two favorite bands on 1985 or so. I wore out “45’s and Under” and … well every English Beat album.

  16. SillyWilly Says:

    weird, MiA

    all this morning I’ve been singing to myself: “Do you understand the, do you understand the, do you understand the metaphoric phrase?”


    fuck Wade-Giles.

  17. marcoesq Says:

    Morning all, enjoying this VA Beach Bag. My 2nd show, Bag really only the other highlight besides Terrapin and maybe the Gin.

  18. marcoesq Says:

    And what a tough game last night, Pens giving Flyers taste of their own medicine racking up 10 goals. F Crosby

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    marcoesq, Your boys have no chance at the cup with their goaltending. Seems like the only consistent thing about their tenders in the playoffs is that they consistently suck.

  20. MiA Says:

    Awesome Silly.

    I absolutely hate and am fascinated by the railroads together. It is arguably, the worlds greatest invention at the time, and a bigger accelerator of … everything … to exist. It made our world 10x smaller. But that time from 1820 to 1920 is the history of the greatest corruption in the United States too. IMO, makes today’s corruption look tame.

    Suddenly the 3 billion acres of 500 year old trees in Oregon and Washington and California and British Columbia, etc. were available to build … Baltimore and Philadelphia, and fuel the East Coast in lumber, etc.

    And propel the population boom in the West.

    Look forward to talking to you this summer. Woot.

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    I’m really excited for the summer.

    I miss everyone.

    talking on the board is great and all, but there’s no subsitute for laughing with everyone live.

    it’ll be great to catch up

  22. Selector J Says:

    is there any reason i should NOT email programming at kvrx to kindly request that milton gets rescheduled?

    I don’t see why not. :mrgreen: Probably screwed until the end of the semester but good to let programming know that Thursdays at 9am should be off limits.

  23. plord Says:

    @Silly, didn’t see the Byrne book but have been reading his blog and he always mentions what biking is like in whatever city he is touring, what public transit is there, how the public areas are laid out. It’s like a thing with him.

    But just so we were clear, while I may take a bike ride today, I was speaking of a different, more important bike ride of some historical note. “Do you understand the metaphoric phrase?”

  24. marcoesq Says:

    While you do have a point, G$$$, we’re also talking about 2 of the (currently) best scoring teams in the league. To hold them to 3, 4, and 5 goals in the frst 3 games I will take.

    Plus, a lot of junk goals last night. Malkin got lucky, and then so did 8 others!

  25. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Bike day!

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