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. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    fuck filler!

  2. poop goblin Says:

    BGCA 3 without filller would have been 63 minutes

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    miner is right though, they don’t have it in them to play only 4 songs in an hour and 20 minutes

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    and then it woulda been a perfect set too, poop

  5. poop goblin Says:

    agreed within the context of the 3.0 massive sets very unlikely we get 4 30 minute jams dropped

  6. jdub Says:

    The great Auburn Hills second set had 22 min Tweezer, 9 minute ‘Bela, 7 min Twist, and 15 min Piper.

    matches LBC RnR->Ghost, BGCA CEP>Light>Sally, and Dicks set 2s as far as total minutes of jam goodness. They are getting their sea legs back

  7. Foul_Domain Says:

    So, girth is more important than length?

  8. btb Says:

    Let’s all just agree they can still bring the HOSE for 4 songs and then they’ll likely drop ADITL and Sleepy Monkey

    We are a fickle bunch! 🙂

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    they could technically play 3 set shows this era and have them be the same length

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    auburn 97 – 2 hours and 25 mins

    3.0 shows are like 3 hours and 20 mins.

  11. poop goblin Says:

    YEM out of Sally. shit the roof would have been blown off that place

    love that fuckin set

    that LIght could still be my jam of the return.

    never trust a spunion like this working water wheel. cracks me up


    really out now. laterz kids.

  12. halcyon Says:

    T3 if you use evernote, evernote clearly, and web clipper are great extensions.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    actually 3.0 shows are more like 3 hours on average. BG 2 and 3 seem to be longer than most

  14. jdub Says:

    Major upward trend in consecutive minutes of hotness this summer, starting with Worcester 1. These damn 85 minute sets are diluting the gold.

  15. plord Says:

    Hell, I was gonna go through the lyrics and try to figure out when Tom Marshall became a Buddhist.

    Shows what I know.

    On the comparison front, I think it’s closer than Miner does and I may tend towards May 77 in terms of overall consistency. Consider the overall % of formal releases from each band that fall into the time periods in question. Phish has released 3 shows from Dec 95. The Dead have released at least 5 shows from May 77: 19th, 21st, 22nd, 25th, 28th, just off the top of my head. And that doesn’t even include the endless-internet-argument about which is the best of the 7/8/9th.

    Close call either way, IMO.

  16. poop goblin Says:

    one more thing just to prove phishies suck

    north carolina and atlanta are in the top 5 downloads from summer and not BGCA 3. fuck.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    who let all the fucking timers in here?

  18. jdub Says:

    All in good fun T3.

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    here’s something cool:

    all the music from this summer combined is 4 days, 2 hours, 21 minutes and 29 seconds

  20. btb Says:

    20 Min Jam listing – while we’re on the long jam discussion thing…


  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    you really think I’m being serious, jdub? 😐

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I just want to take this opportunity to apologize to the IT Waves.

    You were my first truly loved Waves after the few unmature ones that passed through my life before you, and the one I always said I’d grow old with. There was that hussy at SPAC in 2004 who threw herself at me with that unexpected jam, but I knew she was just as crazy as the Maze teases she brought with her. We were apart for a long time, you and I, and a few other Waves came and went but none of them could match your majesty. I swear that SPAC Waves was a one night thing and it’ll never happen again.

    When they came back I thought “hey, maybe there’s a new Waves on the scene I should check out now that IT Waves is off the market” and sure, there were a few out there but none that you’d ever want to really get down with, you know? That one with Billy K. was cool and all but after a while the conversation kind of dwindled and you’re left standing there wondering whether it’s worth it to ruin things over a Waves that’s only kinda cute.

    But then starting last year there were these new, younger Waves flaunting around with their blissful, uplifting jams and full band interplay and I was tempted. Oh, was I tempted. First there was that one from Bethel with the beautifully trilling Trey run and the perfect segue into Caspian. She had me remembering how much I yearned for Waves. And then I found her older sister the Tech Rehearsal Waves with her Love Supreme-esque jam and that swaggering jam that I didn’t want to leave but I loved to listen to as it went. And I thought I was going to fail you with her, IT Waves. I thought she would be the one to make me turn away from you.

    But as happens, she passed by and other less memorable Waves came passing by. This summer I was caught staring at the Deer Creek Waves’ ass right before the drop into Bug, but who doesn’t appreciate the back end of a finely formed Waves?

    And so here we are again, IT Waves, you and me. I find myself listening to your beautifully crafted opening, your soaring composed jam, and together we ride out into the murky deep together. I am reminded of that night we shared together and how it can never be taken away from us. I don’t know if this is forever, but for now I can say that there’s no other Waves out there for me.

  23. gavinsdad Says:

    side note:

    neighbor came by during dinner last nite and hit us with 5 free tix to last nites phils v nats game. 2nd to last home game and got to take my daughter to her first game. 17th row up from 3rd base dugout. pretty pretty nice even with the loss and the shitty season.

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:


  25. gavinsdad Says:

    i am listening to far too much phish lately. it’s endless(ly fun). the internet turning me into a crackhead.

    driving to nyc in a few…soundtrack will be auburn hills and providence bowie then some non phish

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