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. Chonz Says:

    Good list TIII,

    I think the 96 Memphis Simple is the only one I’m not familiar with. I can’t seem to get on archive.org for my traditional morning GD show, so I might try to search that one out.

    I’ve been planning on saving the 9.29.99 2001 for the anniversary / trey day celebration in a couple of days.

  2. ren Says:

    Re: The bands view on religion/politics

    I’d like to think that the boys are cut from cloth similar to our own. I imagine they’d fit in well on the BB. Spiritual, philosophical, intelligent, thoughtful and considerate. Surely they have their thoughts on religion and politics, but don’t feel the need to influence others and at the same time are open to others contributing to their world view.

    I’ve never felt like the band pushes an agenda…but they do promote us to think…think about ourselves…think about our world…let us draw our own conclusions. I’m thankful for the “environment” and community they provide for self exploration and the sharing of ideas

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    Obv possum shows they believe in an afterlife.,)

    Also miner, the band is on record saying they are doing an album in the fall.

  4. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers!

    The start of my second, of four, Friday’s in a row! Man…I love Oktoberfest!

  5. ren Says:

    @Bingos-seems like those studio rumors for the fall have been all over the place….wouldn’t the TAB shows play into that equation?

    Definitely hoping this happens. Just curious what other knowledge is out there

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @Miner, I don’t tweeter but I have a question!

  7. seif Says:

    “When these lemmings”

    Miner…are you referring to yourself and the touring fan base as lemmings? Seems like an unnecessary negative slant on phans.

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    seif, it’s called a joke bro.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    any chrome users have any favorite extensions/add-ins they would recommend?

    I use ad block, fb purity, and daily links but I’m sure there are lots of others I would like.

  10. ren Says:

    @Df- same boat here. Never have I Twatted…missed that boat. Happily deleted my FB account as well about 6 months ago

  11. seif Says:

    in every joke there is a bit of truth, my friend

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    so what’s your point? phish fans do suck.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    seem that boat is still around ren

  14. voopa Says:

    Ah yes, but in parody you’re making fun of someone else’s version of the truth.

    I hope next year they say, “Screw the kids. We’ve been home for them for the last 3 years, but we’re a touring rock band, dammit!”

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    new year’s announcement was Oct 12 last year….

  16. jdub Says:

    Nice idea @Miner. Some great answers

    What, no mention of the New Age spirituality plastered all over the Joy Album? I like the tongue in cheek answer to the (non) religious question. Gave me a good morning chuckle.

  17. btb Says:

    I personally don’t think the band wants to jam a 4 song set anymore. They would really have to be deeply immersed in the HOSE to pull that off nowadays.

    That said, the risk taking at Dicks 2012 was so nice to here. Dicks III they just kept pushing and taking risks.

  18. jdub Says:

    Maybe that will happen this spring @Voopa

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    Tasted something new and great today. Who’d have thunk it.


  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Does no one realize that the FYF set 2 was an hour through the first 4 songs, which is the same length that most of the 97 4 song sets were……………

  21. poop goblin Says:

    great post Miner

    don’t agree on no 4 set though. that recent 97 release I believe is only an hour long with encores. some of the 98-99 shows both sets each fit on it’s on CD.

    BGCA 3 came really close with the Xeyed > Light > Sally

    throw on the YEM instead of the filler and you have a 4 song set most likely longer than the famous one’s.

    fuck phishies

    love the religious phishies getting worked up this AM. funny shit.
    have fun kids.

  22. poop goblin Says:

    me and the Canadians on the same page

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Hampton 97 I set II was 61 minutes.

  24. poop goblin Says:

    kill the filler Troy!!

  25. DaNcInG fOoL Says:


Leave a Reply