Miner’s Mailbag

8.22.12 – Starlight Theatre (Ryan MacNeil)

Today I am trying a new format for a post that I hope will become a weekly feature on Phish Thoughts. Yesterday evening, via Twitter (@mrminer), I put a call out for any Phish-related questions. I would then select some to answer for today’s post…and voila! I think it’s a cool way to keep a pulse on what the community is thinking about and a great way to interact on a more personal level in more than 140 characters. I will try to answer all the other questions via Twitter. I hope you enjoy, and I welcome any constructive feedback.


@phantastic99 Do you feel the long layoffs after summer will hurt phish next summer?

I think Phish proved in Worcester this year that no amount of time off can truly “hurt” them if they practice and prepare for tour, so I suppose the answer to your question is no. But, with such extended time off (if things repeat themselves), I do feel there is a certain amount of “resetting” that naturally happens. It’s no longer like the late ‘90s where the band’s improvisational style directly builds upon itself from one tour to another. It’s more of a catch all—or catch anything—scene these days. For example, during Leg One the band was pushing plinko jams and in Leg Two they were virtually non-existent; everything was coming up blissful. I think that the band is capable of playing in so many different styles at this point, that it is far more about how they are feeling on any given night than what has happened, musically, in preceding shows or tours. Another example, Page was majestically integrating the Theremin into the best jams of Leg Two of 2011, only to bust it out once this year as a joke during Star Lake’s “Scent.” So to wrap back around to your question, I don’t think time off can hurt the band, but it would be fascinating to see where a fall tour that built off such an amazing summer would go to right now. But that’s not where Phish is at these days. With kids in school and families in full force, the band has adjusted their schedule accordingly.


 @deadareus  Audience vs. sbd… What’s your personal preference and why?

Great question, and the eternal audiophile debate. I think that the crispiest, most ideal audience tape will always sound better than a soundboard. But there are so many variables in that audience tape coming out perfectly, that 9 times out of 10 I prefer the current soundboards. It’s a different experience though. Listening to an audience tape is listening to how the room sounded that night; it is an authentic, aural reproduction of the show. It will capture aspects of Phish’s sound that the soundboards can’t. But at the same time, soundboards allow one to hear the detail of the music with far more clarity—hence their advantage—though they can sometimes sound flat. I think LivePhish has their mix fairly dialed in at this point, and that’s what’s on my iPod at all times. With the immediacy of the soundboards these days, everything has changed in the listening game. Without a DAT to pop in immediately like back in the day, I know I’m not gonna’ wait for tapers to post torrents to re-listen to the show. We’re spoiled, but it is what it is.


@WDurgin Does the music suffer when they webcast? #phishtroll

Haven’t you heard? After Leg Two, the theory has shifted: the music suffers when they don’t webcast!


@likeanantelope December 95 or May 1977. Which was a better month of music? #phishandthedead #toughquestions

December 1995 by a country mile, but I’m kinda biased. With December ’95, we are talking about one of the peak months of music ever produced by Phish. There are hearty takeaways from each and every show in this month which, in many respects, was a stylistic culmination of the band’s entire career. My favorite era of Dead music is the early ‘70s—specifically the one drummer era of ’72 and ’73—when the jams were far more wide open and psychedelic. Everyone always touts ’77 Dead, but I always found those tapes to be far less intriguing than their earlier ones.


@alicht What are your top 5 shows of 2012 thus far?

1) 8/31 Dick’s, 2) 8/19 Bill Graham, 3) 9/1 Dick’s, 4) 8/15 Long Beach, 5) Tie: 8/28 St. Louis and 6/7 Worcester; Runners Up: 6/15 AC, 9/2 Dick’s


@AceMcCready68 With the band stretching songs past 20 minutes do you think the 4 song second set will happen in the next year?

No. I don’t think they have the stamina or the drugs to jam four songs in a row for fifteen plus minutes. We can only hope. About the stamina that is.


@seif69 I would like to see you talk about the (non)religious themes in songs like Bug, Lifeboy, Sand, etc. #phish

Clearly, Trey and Tom have exposed an agnostic, if not atheist, bent in these tunes. (“I will choose my own religion…” “You don’t get a refund if you overpray”) With anti-establishment themes like these, the band is subliminally luring their fans away from organized society into a cult of rock and roll idolatry where loyalists spend $75 dollars for ticket, $20 for parking and $50 dollars for a poster every night. When these lemmings are doped up on psychedelics, their fragile minds are suspectible to delicate, lyrical manipulation, as in the instances that you have referenced. (Also see: “Time for the Meatstick, Bury the Meatstick, Time for the Meatstick” and “Please her with a tweezer.”) Most Phish fans are so caught up in hypnotic dance that these messages integrate with their brainwaves on a frequency that is undetectable to the human psyche. These altered brainwaves seduce their followers away from their families and into lives of on-tour debauchery. “It doesn’t matter.” Get it?


@benerickson922 How would the introduction of new original material impact future shows/tours?

Shit. I was hoping it would have impacted shows already. But so far, so good. Ya’ gotta believe if the guys plan on playing for a while, and all signs seem to point that way, that they will cut a new record. That’s what bands do, right? It’s been the longest gap of Phish’s career without producing a new album, and would hope that changes soon. How would it impact shows? It would provide spice and variety while keeping things on the up and up! It’s time to add another signature jam or three to this era to go with “Light” and “Golden Age.” Expect most fans to bitch about any new material for the first tour, and then begin to come around slowly as usual.


Jam of the Day:

Down With Disease” 8.17 II, SF

The most far-reaching jam of BGCA outside of night three.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/2.01-Down-With-Disease.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/2.02-Birds-of-a-Feather-1.mp3] Tags: ,

431 Responses to “Miner’s Mailbag”

  1. RoosterPizza Says:

    Man, DCU Carini is beautiful.

  2. poop goblin Says:

    walton. I wouldn’t do it. but he’s not even phased.

    goin on year 2. his thoughts are fuck it. still only 4 with no priors. no jail time there IMO. just probation.

    plus SFO doesn’t really fuck with anyone. they aren’t stopping to weigh the legal 8 vs a whole one. they don’t care.

    I’m out kids
    been fun
    fuck legal herbs

  3. poop goblin Says:

    and this kid is kinda a douche. so go for it feds. kid probably deserves it.

    now I’m really out.

  4. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    dont we get taxed on all crops when we go to the supermarket? and tobacco? never understood the argument for legal-but-untaxed pot.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    Just don’t let /PhilipMorris/British American Tob./Imperial Tob get involved in herbs

    that’s what scares me about herbs and industry

  6. MiA Says:

    feds process is to wait 24hrs after a know delivery to let receiver open the package. Opening it helps make their case.

    Always wondered what they did when it’s shipped in checked luggage? I mean they scan every single bag that goes through every airport. I think 90% of the time, the guys who have floated 1/8th in the bottom of their shampoo bottle aren’t worth screwing with.

    Wouldn’t want to get caught with 4 lbs that would make a beagle orgasm though.

  7. RoosterPizza Says:

    Imagine a subsidized herb industry instead of tobacco?

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    greek light was ripped off many times this summer.

  9. MiA Says:

    You mean Mexico?

  10. poop goblin Says:

    organics don’t come up in scans MIA

  11. IrieWalton Says:

    Ultimately, I think this is going to go the way of gambling.
    Back in the day it was NV, NJ, and a few tribes that had casinos.

    Now with states’ budgets in the tubes casinos are now popping up in places where just a few years ago you would have thought impossible.

  12. tela'smuff Says:

    Dick’s Piper. yes.

    i’ll take that Sand>Ghost>Piper all day over St.Louis.

  13. MiA Says:

    Good to know. Funny. Landed in San Fran after LBC from LAX and the baggage claim area smelled like a dispensary. Got the impression they really quit caring.

  14. MiA Says:

    Good news Tela’s. Glad to hear everything is going as planned.

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    No one ever talks about environmental concerns…

    there are consequences.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    does everyone forget the greatness of the AC and SPAC pipers?

  17. jdub Says:

    12/30/11 Piper surely is forgotten about. Been a great run of Pipers recently. A few that haven’t left the ground but the ones that have….

    MSG ’12, AC, SPAC, Dick’s

  18. Jtran Says:

    spinning 8/2/98 Deer Creek

    @robear, were you there? Ride Captain Ride in set 1.

  19. tela'smuff Says:

    i love that SPAC Piper @df.

    thx Mia. all good in the hood.

    Dicks 3 set II is amazing. if st.louis gets love cause of flow, then what’s going down at Dick3? that shit is that time of the month heavy flow. word.

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    dick’s sand is the best jam ever.

  21. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i will never forgive myself for missing dick’s.

  22. MiA Says:

    You shouldn’t.

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    why, was it good?

  24. jdub Says:

    12/6/97 Piper trickling into my office. Great timing.

    I’ve been listening to this set2 every afternoon this week, addicted.

  25. MiA Says:

    I’m with ya. For me, the Sand was the jam of Dicks for sure. Lots of very close seconds.

    8.2.98 Ghost. Love it.

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