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. Mr. Palmer Says:

    NY area peeps.

    Phil and Friends shows go on sale tomorrow. Wellmont, Roseland and Capitol Theater

  2. butter Says:

    the back half of Izabella when they drop back into the funk has always been my favorite part of this set

    the Tweez is a monster and have only great things to say about it, but just so awesome when the cover is more than something they stumbled upon

  3. snow Says:

    I forgot to use my special northwest intellect on that one, Palms.

  4. butter Says:

    Palace Piper has some balls to the wall Trey and super sick textures

  5. butter Says:

    a bit late to the party. dropped my 13$ on the alacs today. worth IT.

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Phish had a lot of fun with Golden Age this summer. There were a bunch of exceptional versions. Jones Beach and Atlanta are two that really stick out, but i know I’m missing a couple of other great ones.

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Dick’s also

  8. phoammhead Says:

    listening to dick’s ga right now, palmer . . . yes, golden age delivered. definitely a fav cover of mine

  9. phoammhead Says:

    i guess there was talk earlier about arkansas mm vote going forward . . . that vote will be interesting

  10. phoammhead Says:

    this looks to be the work of DF


  11. butter Says:

    Greek Light still the goods, fact.

  12. phoammhead Says:

    glad you said that, butter

    having caught that . . . def a fav of mine and bek . . . our wedding is essentially inspired by the greek light

  13. phoammhead Says:

    in honor of it . . . going to now switch over to greek light having just listened to dick’s light

  14. kayatosh Says:

    phoam: thanks for the smuttynose IPA rec. bout to slurp down a second. smooth.

    don’t for get about 7.6.12 sally

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Greek Light still the goods, fact.

    What, you think I was all willy nilly picking shit at random this morning? That Light has CONTEXT, dammit!

    Yo, Chicago peeps, I’ll be in town for work next week Tuesday through Sunday (well, the weekend is for the ND game). If anyone is free Tuesday or maybe Wednesday lemme know. Would love to grab a beer or something. Staying at the Allerton downtown.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    kush time

  17. kayatosh Says:

    hops n’ herbs. one of life’s simple pleasures

  18. phoammhead Says:

    i’d love to take credit for that smuttynose rec and that’s the second time i believe someone has credited me, but don’t believe that was me although i’ve had it and it is good. i may have rec’d it several months ago, but not lately. would hate to take credit where credit is deserved elsewhere. then again, i’m prone to late night debauchery on this board and maybe i do deserve credit 😉

  19. butter Says:

    Bethel Tweez (opener) is some pretty sick musical density

    Red just getting super familiar with his new ocedoc. an asserting Mike. Page hammering the grand, sounding fresh as ever, Fish just kinda chuggin along with it all

    goin for Bethel KDF – still remember a txt from AW immediately after the show, that came true, as AW says “they’ve found a new jamming style”

  20. kayatosh Says:

    take the credit.

  21. William H. Bonney Says:


    Finally a women’s basketball league I can get into…

  22. butter Says:


    best thing about em is you only need 2 and 3 is alot

    been nursing along this 12er of lagunitas IPA

  23. butter Says:

    phoam your the effin man

    keep those reccs comin

    had a nice smutty nose in woost after one of the shows at an English Pub

  24. Andrew Says:

    Capricorn Horn’s understanding of Trey these days is an awesome sign for what’s to come.

    Thanks for the video purplehumback!

  25. phoammhead Says:

    i’m into my 3rd boulder mojo and i’m feelin’ it just right

    agree, butter . . . 2 to 3 is the sweet spot

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