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.Miner Says:

    that is not a christwire excerpt! 🙂

  2. MiA Says:

    It’s a parody of a parody!

  3. snow Says:

    Ha ha MiA.

    I agree PooG. but I will be happy that there is a ‘white’ market.

    The one thing would be if there is some kind of paperwork or label that comes with the official herbs. I guess you buy that once and then have the container.

    Whatever ends this BS of FBI agents in fatigues.

  4. jdub Says:

    You can still support the local farmers but at least the cartels pushing shit to the masses wouldn’t be getting the tax money. Majority of herb sold in the US is sold by drug cartels I would bet. But I could be wrong.

  5. jdub Says:

    Hilarious Miner.

  6. snow Says:

    miner overestimated our intelligence.
    that joke would have worked with King Co phans.

  7. sumodie Says:

    Pg, i mean that the illegality of herb drives up prices, which is akin to a tax

    Furthermore, the govt profits off of drug seizures, thereby increasing the budgets and the supposed needs of police & prison systems. That also counts as a ‘tax’ to me

  8. Dorn76 Says:

    Yo, I pointed out that Miner nailed the religion question.

    It’s easy to ignore Punchy, I get that. Maybe should camo my handle, get a few more reads.

  9. Snigglebeach Says:

    I’m guessing nearly 100% of schwag comes from cartels (I mean really who grows that garbage. Seeds, meh)

    But good weed is grown by good old fashioned Americans. (Or Canadians)

  10. Dorn76 Says:

    Dog Bless American Weed!

  11. Snigglebeach Says:

    Damn Canadian drug cartels..

  12. Phlorida Phan Says:

    8-19-12 set 2


  13. sumodie Says:

    Miner, great piece today

    love how some miss the humor entirely
    def look forward to more writeups like today’s

  14. jdub Says:

    Canadians pushing the beasters, where does that fall? They are in it for the money, but product is neither schwag nor headies.

  15. IrieWalton Says:

    Gotcha, I’m in a similar situation in that I know that I’m supporting one friend from having a traditional job and secondly, that I’m helping to put a few friends’ kids through school.

    However, this doesn’t discount the fact that it’s taxed insane amounts right now. Heard or read somewhere that if legalized it would be cheaper to mass produce than rice.

  16. MiA Says:

    Tough thing for me. I am 100% for medical marijuana. And I get that there is a big push nationally and socially to allow those that are confirmed to be sick, to get their medicine.

    As a grower, if I went through the process of following every rule. Legally documenting everything I did. Getting legal counsel and “doing exactly what they asked” and open my doors to inspections as necessary, and insuring that my product was not stolen, or sold to those not in the Medical Marijuana business …

    I think it is fair to say that the neighbor next door, who illegally grows, who doesn’t have a license, and isn’t selling to medical dispensaries, should be shut down.

    I’m all about making this a legitimate and respectful business. Respect for folks like Loompa that are doing it on the high road (so to speak).

    Illegal manufacturing is like counterfeiting. If someone grows something, then pops a sticker that says Underdog on it, and it isn’t. Fuck those guys. That’s a crime.

  17. poop goblin Says:

    actually sumo. top shelf at a bay area club I visited was $60 an eighter.

    my friends charge $175 an oz for generally better herb

    the medical is cheaper and better is total bs.

  18. MiA Says:

    If you don’t have to follow the laws, then you surely can make anything cheaper.

  19. MiA Says:

    Just ask the Chinese.

  20. poop goblin Says:

    in Colorado they keep a record of every transaction at their clubs and who made them

    that’s something nobody needs

    when the feds decide to make it illegal again who knows how those records could come back to bite you

    fuck legal herbs

  21. Jtran Says:

    “provide spice”

    +1 Miner

  22. voopa Says:

    I would like to grow whatever plants I want, tyvm.

  23. poop goblin Says:

    agreed voopa

    that’s why it will never work. to easy to grow and everyone I know will grow our own.

    not buying my OG from Marlboro. fuck that.

  24. snow Says:

    I don’t understand this debate at all.
    We all want cannabis to be treated like a regular plant. Maybe with a minimum age to buy seeds, plants and end-user products.
    Taxing it is just a way to make legalizing it more politically palatable.

  25. ren Says:

    @ MiA-thoughts on growing “illegally” for your own personal use and not to be sold on the “market”?

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