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. BingosBrother Says:

    Crown of thorns tat would be hall of fame. Thinking of getting a WWF style belt tatted like its draped over my shoulder.

  2. MiA Says:

    That Sand reinvigorated Sand. Well, and that Chalkdust reinvigorated Chalkdust, and that Undermind … and that Runaway … etc.


    This is going huge.

  3. voopa Says:

    What’s a movie?

  4. Jtran Says:

    I forget, has anyone caught this David Byrne/St Vincent tour? Tickets came up on stubhub in SD for $30 below face

  5. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    MiA i agree there is a lot of that Light that just isn’t that interesting. don’t get all the hype, i think there were 10 better jams throughout summer.

  6. voopa Says:

    Jtran- aw went…I’m sure he has a balanced, objective view.

  7. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Winning Comment on that video MiA:

    “I found this incredibly difficult to masturbate to.
    mynameisChesto 14 minutes ago 19 “

  8. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    i mean they hit parts that are Wow moments but, i dont get why it gets the most attention of any jam from the tour let alone that weekend…

  9. snow Says:

    Jesus, MiA. Are you trying to kill @AW?

    At least you posted it when he can quickly medicate with dabs.

  10. snow Says:

    The video is so thoughtful and well done. She is pretty hot, too. And yet, it’s so painful.

    I have kittens exploding out of my head…

  11. MiA Says:

    Grateful Dead references. Nice.

    Pham, that comment is so true.

  12. snow Says:

    This comment is pretty good too:
    “You’ve done more to ruin the image of Venice Beach than street gangs and homeless people defecating in public combined.”

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Healthcare in this country is just great…

    My wife’s uncle had a heart issue he was treated for in the hospital. They sent him to a rehab facility 2 days ago. Now he is back in the hospital with pneumonia, a torn acl, broken ankle and broken tibia…

    rehab ftw!…

  14. snow Says:

    Best in the world Mr P!

  15. MiA Says:

    That blows.

  16. MiA Says:

    They throw him down the stairs?

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    you would think so, Mia…The issue is they rushed him out of the first hospital too soon IMO, you know, make room for the next victim. Wasn’t ready for the shitty rehab center yet. He has numerous health issues, so….

  18. phoammhead Says:

    boulder mojo ipa is damn tasty

  19. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Agreed, MiA.

    That is a jet engine, Palmer.

  20. snow Says:

    It makes me sad to think about my parents getting medical attention and me living far away. My aunt, who is a nurse, says all the time how you have to pay attention when you are in the hospital. Everybody is overworked and has too much going on. At best the make mistakes and worst they take calculated risks to improve productivity. So you need somebody there to pay attention and be ready to stop the nurses and Doctors from hurting the patient.

    At least health insurance companies are profitable. Otherwise I don’t know what we would do.

    Sorry about your dad Palmer. that sucks.

  21. butter Says:

    using zone 2 on my Denon (home gym i built in the garage)

    badd arse except it wont play digital or pure direct thru the 2nd or 3rd zone

    kinda makes it so i dont use it that much really. gotta go all archaic and use rca’s outta the laptop

  22. butter Says:

    spinnin Izabella > twist (duh)

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    thanks snow, but it isn’t my dad, thankfully.

  24. phoammhead Says:

    is anybody else’s local newspaper started to charge subscriptions . . . i get a few free articles then a message yada yada yada

  25. dognamedwilson Says:

    Oooh, well done @dorn

    That period joke was all teed up but I just couldn’t crack that nut

    You nailed it

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