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”

  1. mitch Says:

    This hurricane is getting exciting. Looks like a few days off work.

  2. mitch Says:

    Gdad. That’s hilarious. Read your post aloud to a friend. He laughed. He didn’t realiZe you were at dicks sporting goods. Was still funny.

    Kaya, hurricane gonna blow all those leaves away. Take the afternoon off.

  3. mr. palmer Says:

    I think this storm is being blown out of proportion..as usual.

    Last I heard it was more wind than rain, at least where I am.

  4. mitch Says:

    Since this is a bieber blog too now. Did you guys hear about the girls shaving their head to support bieber when it was rumored he had cancer?

  5. littleumbrellas Says:

    @roberto Milton Henry!

  6. littleumbrellas Says:

    Diced Pineappple’s
    Slow Down
    Swimming Pools

    got em all in a row on KMEL

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    Glad you dig the Chicago Odese, Silly. It was Telasmuff who turned me on to them, so the thanks should go his way. Guy has great taste in music. And beer.

  8. phlorida phan Says:

    BOOMER………OU is 1-8 against ND all time, my guess is either ND 14-10, or OU 35-17…..drop a bomb in norman, both teams can go f themselves

  9. PigSong Says:

    Trey torrent finished up, only grabbed 5/11. Now I’m getting “Tracker returned error:invalid event – U/L 0.00KB/s”

    I’ve seen this before, just never cared. I’d like to help seed this show though, suggestions from the floor?

  10. bobby weird Says:

    packing to 4.12.78 winterland vid and, after horrible mic and house light probs, there was even more dead time, whereupon bobby announced, “meanwhile, if you look, closely, you can see billy playing the cymbal with his chin.”

  11. thedayman Says:

    even more dead time? LOL GET IT. LOL

  12. bobby weird Says:

    cameron indoor. my bad.

  13. mr. palmer Says:

    I was listening to that show a few days ago, Weirdo. Love me some ’78 Dead. ’68-’78 – My favorite decade.

  14. bobby weird Says:

    fookin hot show despite the tech issues. wow!

  15. bobby weird Says:

    holy sht. its the last thing i’ll say. but jerry on drums??!! fantastic!

  16. butter Says:

    My friend that was at Beacon TAB last night loved it

  17. bobby weird Says:

    hometown show always $

  18. xpun Says:

    Drove past new Dicks in town. They cut out about 20 trees from the parking lot of the store that used to be there.


  19. kayatosh Says:

    starting to feel some storm anxiety. “prepare for days w/o electricity”. ok. how exactly do i do that? not buying a generator. not sure where it would go (no garage) or how to hook my shit up to it. obummin.

  20. P.S.H.S Says:

    Picked up a ruination big boy tonight as well. Should do me well after I finish this bottle of cab

  21. kayatosh Says:

    the stone ruination IPA is well crafted and delicious.

  22. PigSong Says:

    Battery powered vape? Cooler for the IPAs? Serious questions to ponder here.

  23. kayatosh Says:

    those bases are covered.

  24. Dr Pronoia Says:

    I had a great time last night

    To set the scene I was very ambivalent about going but it’s been since JB since I’ve seen big red, so what the hell. The venue was beautiful in a worn way. Was on the floor about 15 rows back. Crowd about 90% male, non-wook with glasses. Had a distinct “left my kids at home and am going to get drunk vibe,” but that could’ve just been me.

    I hadn’t heard the new album, but that didn’t matter too much. I wasn’t expecting any improv from reviews I’ve read on here, but there were some good grooves and peaks, and the lyrics weren’t as Summer of ’89 or TTE as I was fearing in the new songs. Trey did indeed seem super happy. Better energy and music in the first set, IMO, and I couldve called my highlights even before the show – anything played by phish and a few older TAB tunes

    Basically you guys will have a lot of fun tomorrow night, but I’d be shocked if it warrants a DL or relisten in the future.

    I’ll just say that after 2.0 and 2009-2011 it’s still just amazing to have full confidence that trey can hit any and every note, instead of that little cringe nearing the peak or in a solo where you’re wondering where the flub will be and how badly it could derail things. We’ve had a good year and a half of full chops, and I hope that’s not too faint a praise, but I’m really fucking excited now for MSG and 2013 where the proficiency and fun melds with an intent to explore and jam

  25. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Is this storm combining in anyone else’s head with the election? All the news coverage, trends, momentum, tracks, etc, all of it hysterical and dire? Feel strangely passive and unconcerned about both. Think it’ll be OK

    wife’s hoping that school is cancelled

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