Miner’s Mailbag IV

12.30.2011 – MSG (Joe Iudice)


 ‏@alexriejohnson: Outstanding bass moments from Mike over the years. Unique and original notes/versions

Some of my favorite Mike moments from memory are:

“Tweezer” 7.25.98, Austin, TX: This “Tweezer” contains filthy, Summer ’98 grooves all over the place. Check out the final snippet of the jam in which Mike plays an infectious outro lick before the band fades into “Circus;” my friends and I have always hailed this bass line as one of his best.

“YEM” 7.19.98, Shoreline: This is the first “YEM” in which Mike infused the bass line of Trey’s “The Way I Feel” into the jam. At first, we called it the Shoreline “YEM” bassline, but over the course of the summer and the rest of the ‘90s, it became a de facto part of the song.

“Tweezer” 12.16.99, Raleigh: In this quintessential ’99 jam, Trey doesn’t play leads for the beginning section and Mike takes the opportunity to rip shit up. Amidst layers of sonic wizardry the entire band builds the intro into a mini peak out of which Gordon just goes ballistic. There’s no mistaking the part I am referencing when you hear this jam.

“Tweezer” 6.24.2000, Atlanta: In one of my upper echelon versions of all time, Mike sets the groove plate with a series of the danciest bass lines you’ll ever hear. As the jam starts, Trey hangs back, setting loops and effects, while Mike takes the helm and absolutely owns the intro to this excursion. This is one of my favorite segments of Mike’s playing in memory.

“Tweezer” 7.9.98, Barcelona: Though this version carries an insane whole-band groove throughout, Mike gets straight silly up in this piece from start to finish.

“Piper” 9.11.00, Great Woods: This is a hugely underrated “Piper” in which the band travels far off course into incredibly original territory. Late in the jam, Mike takes the helm, directing the slowed down tempo with an heavy bass pattern that is way out front of the music; definitely one of my favorite Gordeaux moments.

“Ghost” 5.22.00, Radio City — Mike Gordon at his finest exploring the hypercomplexities of groove.


@PhishyMossman: Thoughts on Trey tour? (if you’ve heard any of the shows)

I’ve listened to four of the shows, and while I certainly feel the band has picked up some steam from beginning of the tour, I don’t feel there is much going on musically this tour. The same-sounding snippets of improv are being played in the exact same spots as usual—“Sand,” “Jibboo,” “Money, Love and Change,” “Simple Twist Up Dave” and a couple others. The shows of this tour sound much more like a pop concert than any previous run of TAB shows. I, personally, am a huge fan of Traveler as an album, but the infusion of these songs into TAB shows has done nothing to enhance the live experience, as they have been played more or less straight up. “Plasma” from Chicago is the most original jam I’ve heard thus far, though I haven’t spun the last couple shows. Trey has such a huge solo catalog that it’s a shame he is playing the same songs every night. I certainly have no complaints about the musicianship or tightness of the band, but when I go to a Trey-based event, I am looking for a bit more fireworks than he has displayed on a nightly basis. While I am sure these shows are quite fun to be at, I couldn’t care less that I’m not hitting any of them. As long as TAB provides an outlet for Trey to be happy, I’m all for it, but his modern side project is a far cry from what it used to be in both in the power-trio (w/ horns) and the big-band days—just a bunch of songs. In fact, his comeback tour in 2008 provided more high octane music than these largely sterile affairs.


@Jacobid: If a friend who has never heard a Phish song asks you to hear some of their music, which song do you put on first?

Always a great question, but it kind of depends on who the friend is and what musical background they are coming from. Honestly, I feel you could play “Harry Hood” for anyone from a twelve year old to a non-musical parent to a professional musician and the sheer emotion of the music would affect them. That would be my choice if I had someone that could commit 15 minutes to listening. If they are coming from a dance background, perhaps a “Sand” or “Tweezer;” a pop background, perhaps “Heavy Things” or “Bouncin,”  a more psychedelic background, perhaps a “Split” or “Piper.” It’s all relative. The first song that caught me ear as a non-Phish fan was “Lizards,” so go figure.


@PleasingTweezer: Do you (I do) tend to listen to 3.0 Phish more? Been following/seeing/listening since 93/94, but “old” Phish is what it was.

Yes, 100%. I really only ever listen to the last tour that has ended. This has been the way I have listened to Phish for so long that by the next time a tour ends, I really have no need to consistently listen to stuff form the previous one. Of course the most monumental jams will find their way into rotation, but for the most part, I only listen to the stuff that just happened. It is very rare that I would put in something from the ‘90s at this point just because I have heard it so much in my life it’s no longer that engaging or meaningful. In post show situations or times when I am straight chillin’ with friends, some of the older stuff comes out, but even then, I am far more prone to listen to recent Phish. It just feels more relevant to the here and now.


 @Runaway_Tim: “Dr. Gabel” dead and gone? On new album along with “Steam?”

It better be dead and gone! That is, literally, the worst Phish song I’ve ever heard in my life! (I am a huge “Jennifer Dances” fan—for real.) I actually heard something about the band starting from scratch for their new album, so hopefully we will wind up with all new music (plus a fourth studio version of “Let Me Lie.”)


@jonnyonthespots: How about you rank the Halloween album sets?

This is PURELY based on personal preference:

1)  Remain In Light — unparalleled and forever changed the course of Phish music

2)  Loaded – completely nailed from start to finish. Just glorious.

3)  Waiting For Columbus — a perfect style for Phish; a genuine ‘70s dance party through and through.

4)  Exile on Main Street – the band illustrated a level of soul they had never displayed before; they coouldn’t have pulled this off in their younger days

5)  Quadrophenia — a fantastic performance of a fantastic album; an consistently underrated performance with some true gems

6)  The White Album — a nice, long set of Beatles covers. Nothing more, nothing less.


 Mimi Fishman Foundation Launches New On-Line Charity Auction

The Mimi Fishman Foundation has launched a new on-line charity auction that features several New Years Eve ticket/poster packages as well as Phish memorabilia featuring a very rare kick drum head that was used by Phish in the 90’s and has been signed by the band.  The auction also includes a large number of Phish 2012 Summer Tour posters signed by the band and a very unique memorabilia package from the 2011 New Years run.  Umphrey’s McGee and the String Cheese Incident have kindly contributed New Years Eve ticket/poster packages as well.

The on-line auction is currently live with the bidding coming to close November 14.

To view and/or bid on the auction, as well as read about the charities the auction supports, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page.

The Foundation also announces 2012 3rd Quarter Grants:

$10,000 – Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments

$1,000 – Helping Hounds

$1,000 – Borinquen Defensores de Animales del Sur (BDAS)

$1,000 – Jordan-Elbridge Central School

$500 – Front Range Hippotheorapy


513 Responses to “Miner’s Mailbag IV”

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  1. PigSong Says:

    Hi web friends, proud poppa PigSong here. My beautiful wife brought Izzy Jeanne into this world Thursday afternoon. A perfect, healthy little girl, and I’m smitten. Momma and I danced, showered and bathed together for forty hours. Everyone told me to expect the most intense love imaginable, I didn’t know it would be directed at my incredible partner. Kudos to all the Mammas and Pappas out there, love to all.

  2. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Pig- congrats man. Nothing beats it. Have a great time celebrating. Keeps getting better. So happy for you guys!

  3. MisterChristian Says:

    Congrats Pig, I got married last weekend and looking forward to my future bundle of joy.

    I think some good intro songs for someone with a hard rock background is Chalkdust, MFMF, First Tube, and BBFCFM.

  4. MiA Says:

    Congrats PigSong! Awesome! I share a b’day with your daughter.

    The Shoreline ’00 Gin, has awesome Mike lead grooves at the beginning of the jam. Just superb to me.

    Everyone have a great day today. Off to Olospo tonight in Dallas. Should be a great weekend.

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    Congrats PigSong and MC. Is it 4:30 yet? I need a drink. Spirit of the Radio got me too fired up on the way in.

  6. mitch Says:

    Congrats pig!

    Lotsa new BB babies coming along.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    Izzy is a dope name. Congrats!

    Happy bday mia!

    Hurri Kane Sandy? Prophetic.

    There is a bass line mike plays in 2/20/93 that has always blown my mind. You know which one.

  8. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Congratulations Pig!! And Mr. Xan too!

  9. JamsOnly Says:

    After listening to Richmond last night, I totally agree with your thoughts about the current Trey tour

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    congrats, Pigsong

    everyone’s right: Izzy is such a cool name. She’s gonna grow up with all her friends envying her.

  11. RoosterPizza Says:

    Congrats pig!

  12. phoammhead Says:

    way to go, pig! gotta love a little piggy!

  13. dorn76 Says:

    Nice Miner, will dig up some of these Mike moments today.

    Great stuff Pig, those are some special times.

  14. phoammhead Says:

    enjoyed the read from the mailbag, miner. keep ’em coming . . . and thanks.

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    Uic night Mule Duel

    Page plays a bunch of runs, Mike drops 1 Ice 9 bomb. Winner, Mike.

  16. dorn76 Says:

    Miner’s Halloween list is an outrage! Outrage I tell you!

    Darn right it’s just your personal preference, bub.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    congrats, pig!
    and mister christian too!

  18. willowed Says:

    Outstanding bass moments

    No love for the Worcester Hood on here? There’s a section where Mike takes a little pause during the plinko funk, then slides in with this infectious line.

    You can’t miss it. Each time I spin it gives me a little tingle in my private area.

    Yes, Gordo beats make me chub up.

  19. willowed Says:

    I still remember the bass bomb mike thru down in AC 2010.

    Didn’t we name it the Face Melter 5000?

    Yeah, that was cool.

  20. cwc Says:

    Bingos, I look for that bass drop in all versions of Reba. Never feels quite the same.

  21. Guyute711 Says:

    Mike nailed a couple of the brown notes at Super Ball. Went right through me. That Halloween list doesn’t look bad to me. If you’re not first you’re last and the number one slot is absolutely correct.

  22. mitch Says:

    Almost done with Kendrick’s new album. Listened on the way in.

    While it flows better I liked his flows on the last album more. Maybe it’s cause these are still new. I dig having a dre beat on there. Wish he’d finish his own album already.

  23. mitch Says:

    Overshare with the chub there willowed

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    my cool co-worker who was my age in the early 70s dropped a bunch of the early electric blues stuff on me yesterday

    (I burned him a bunch of Phish and he plays it non-stop in the office, now)

    anyway, I’ve never been a big blues fan – don’t really know why – but the electric Muddy stuff is pretty cool

    definitely has that “I’m riding the Hendrix bandwagon” feel, but I guess I can understand that because so many people copped Muddy Waters

  25. kayatosh Says:

    g’ morning and happy Friday.

    pigsong: congratulations and great name. I especially like the part about the 40 hr. dance/shower/bath marathon. wow. ecstasy.

    time for some nice time w/ jah stich.

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