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. SillyWilly Says:

    On my list of “flow” analogies, I think “that time of the month” comes way after other flowing entities like

    rivers (the Nile, Mississippi, and Amazon provide numerous metaphoric opportunities)

    the oceans tide (ebbs and, you know)

    sprinkler systems

    just think we skipped – maybe even tripped and fell down – some steps on our way down to the gutter, there.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    one last track for the day’s playlist…

    07.07.99 MLT>Velveeta>MLT

    odd that I chose so many 99 vintage tracks, but I guess that’s the mood I was in today. seemed to go well with reading lease documents and whatnot…

  3. tela'smuff Says:

    ha. come on silly. period jokes are all the rage.

  4. ren Says:

    @DF- same boat here ;- ( Usually when you come to this realization…you make it there the next time…just to realize you still missed the boat. Hope this is not the case for Dicks next year…but they’ve set that bar pretty high

  5. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    “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”

    i totally agree. i love this set!

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    You’re right, Tela’s.

    I might be on mine.

    need some chocolate, yo.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    Dicks Chaldust needs its own writeup.

    As far as legal herb, I sure wouldn’t have minded it 17 years ago spending 30 days in jail and 7 in solitary during a cold ass wisconsin winter. I think Ken Kesey, Roky, and many others would concur. Thats all I have to say about that.

  8. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Do not miss CO phish!

    just don’t.

  9. ren Says:

    point taken @Pham

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    You got no cred w/out yo dreads pb.

  11. dorn76 Says:

    Good show! I enjoy a good period joke.

    “Who is the greatest chicken-killer in Shakespeare?”

    “Macbeth, because he committed murder most foul.”

  12. YborCity Says:

    I would argue that “cred” skyrockets when dreads are gone… 🙂

  13. ren Says:

    one mans dread is another mans wook tail

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    A wook tail is the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard. Wonder if anyones done it.

    This django django is very tight butthole.


  15. YborCity Says:

    django django is like an ant’s butthole…. the groove in their song “default” has be dancing in the car every time i hear it

  16. ren Says:

    “A wook tail is the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard”

    ^Often more than one dread morphing together…sometimes resembles a beaver tail

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    Bingo’s, where at up here? if you don’t mind me asking…

    don’t get in trouble in Wisco.


    I think we should take down most prisons/jails.

    so there’s that.

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    I think you’ll dig The Stepkids Ybor.


    @chi-kidz : White Denim at Lincoln Hall onsale tomorrow $15

  19. YborCity Says:


    Wow. The drop into that funk beat is really nice.
    I love White Denim too. That psychedelic sound is great.
    Do you like alt-J? Their album “An Awesome Wave” is great too…

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Walworth County, same as AV. Which makes each phish show a very cleansing and sometimes paranoid experience.

  21. Jtran Says:

    Think I just listened to 8/3/98, not 8/2

    No Ghost!

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    Never heard alt-j. Thanks for the rec. Will check out soon.

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    white denim really good live

    I think sumo had some really good things to say, too

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    yeah, Bingo’s.

    walworth has a bad rep

  25. butter Says:

    Gin -> Foam from Auburn hills 97 captures the essence of Foam

    newbies, that is why i love Foam, but in 3.0 the Foam has gotten much thinner

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