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. snow Says:

    there is an interesting article up on http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/ that I am not going to discuss or link to.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    but you just did link to it, snow.

  3. snow Says:

    the site, not the article.

  4. IrieWalton Says:

    See, that’s where I disagree.

    Because in the land that I dream of sure, you’ll have your lower ends (aka Budweiser). But over time you’ll see more of the micros popping up (aka Russian River Brewing Co.; Deschutes; etc.)

    All are producing the same product, all are paying the same tax, but offering plenty of varieties for the consumer to choose from at different price points.

    All without needing to look over your shoulder or be fearful of it costing you your job, lawyer fees, or jail time.

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    oh, so it wasn’t the one in ALL CAPS ON THE FRONT PAGE? 😛

  6. snow Says:


  7. MiA Says:

    If you have a medical card, and are growing for yourself, I think California law is 100% behind that. The tragedy of the story was the girl who had all the documentation, etc and still had her plants confiscated.

    Some folks don’t want a felony to get their medicine. They want to a legal system that allows them access to their medicine whether they buy it from a qualified grower, that knows how to keep out pests, and mold, etc.

    I love and trust that a guy like Slick, sees moldy flowers and puts them straight in the trash. Probably the difference between $60/3.5 oz vs $180 for a oz from some illegal dude.

    I trust Slick, because he’s a professional. Guys who aren’t professionals … they could poison you (IMO). I really defer to guys like Slick though.

  8. poop goblin Says:

    as long as I can grow 20 myself.

    ya’ll can buy your feddie herb.

    making herbs legal but growing illegal makes no sense at all. you can brew your own fuckin alcohol.

  9. butter Says:

    Main problem in CA is the medical cannabis laws are different from county to county and aren’t actually “laws” at all. Just recommendations. This leaves room for local law enforcement interpretation. It’s a grey area, and the only thing that is fully licensed are the dispensaries. So you can sell it fully permitted, but not grow it.

    It has to come from somewhere right? This year the Feds have put pressure on state employees threatening them with prosecution if they license medical grows. This action alone has local police feeling like they are doing their job if they eradicate grows. (medical or not) Election year politics at their finest.

    If the best arguement the government has for shutting down medical grows is because they are “for profit” it’s total bs. You mean they make money like all other legal biz? Weird. You mean you want compensated for your hard work?

  10. MiA Says:

    Wow, typed that up terribly, please ignore the obviously stupid errors in it.

    3.5 gms, etc.

  11. poop goblin Says:

    none of the cali club herb is tested for chemicals or left over ferts or anything MIA

    any cat just walks in. sells a piece. they check for thc % and it’s done.

    not much more quality control at all actually.

    plus a lot of my friends do go both channels. one just costs a bunch more.

  12. MiA Says:

    you can brew your own fuckin alcohol.

    True. Don’t sell it as Samuel Adams.

  13. poop goblin Says:

    makes no sense MIA

    all those strains started out in the black market. some of my most talented farmer friends have never gotten big enough to fuck with the legal market

    just small time cats with great genetics that are talented as fuck.

    seen way better herbs outside the clubs then in IMO.

  14. phoammhead Says:

    inconsistency good, clean meds is a real problem . . . it’s a big reason i don’t hardly bother anymore

  15. poop goblin Says:

    the edibles and concentrates are great in the clubs. the flowers are just alright usually.

  16. MiA Says:

    “none of the cali club herb is tested for chemicals or left over ferts or anything MIA”

    Good point PG. That blows. They should fix that right away. Maybe why you should buy brands that you trust who do that outside of the dispensary. Like Loompa Farms.

    I have no response to Butter. I’m just saying I’m behind Medical Marijuana, and the politics behind it bewilder me. I get the slippery slope problem though. The whole point about it is that as MM gets closer and closer to being a “Food and Beverage” then you have the same “legislation” that goes into manufacturing as you do any other “food stuff”

    Know tons of kids that got sick off of shit they ate on a lot. Of course you did. That dude looks like he’s put his finger up his own … and then sold you a grilled cheese. Good luck with that. Not everyone on the lot, takes care not to leave their cooked meat out in the sun to avoid botulism.

  17. Guyute711 Says:

    I wouldn’t sell it as Samuel Adams, nobody would buy it.

  18. MiA Says:

    Makes tons of sense. You just have friends that don’t sell you shitty stuff. Internal ethics or whatever.

    Not everyone is your buds.

    Lots of folks are only in it for the money.

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    mmm botulism

  20. poop goblin Says:

    I guess. I just now my herbs are cheaper, cleaner, and better outside the clubs

    so for me to pay more in the club makes no sense

    I guess some dude buying beesters or shitty chem indoor maybe but it’s basically lose, lose for anyone that knows anyone in the game.

  21. sumodie Says:

    MM is a drug and will never be classified as a ‘food and beverage’

  22. poop goblin Says:

    $60 an eight for headies is a raping. should not be supported IMO.

  23. MiA Says:

    Food and beverage is very closely becoming under the same legislation for manufacturing that Drugs do right now. Thus the Food and Drug Administration.

  24. MiA Says:

    Spinning DTE Disease. Lovely.

  25. Phlorida Phan Says:

    Don’t the buyers out there kief the stuff they buy, remember someone on here seeing their stuff behind the glass, with noticeably less crystals on them. Its like they cut the product to make edibles and such, etc.

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