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. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    jig, just checking if you were awake! we need to chat offline. i’m looking for a new job. travelling wine rep……

    thanks dr. palms!

  2. MiA Says:

    Evacuation of Zone A Residents in great NYC areas.

    Now you’ll be wishing you had those 32 oz cokes.

  3. bigjig Says:

    -call me later this week, we are finishing crush tomorrow.

  4. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    jigs, invite us down for those Terrapin X shows! will need to crash at yer place, eat your food, drink your wine and smoke your precious. will bring own clothes.

  5. bigjig Says:

    Later peeps, Happy Sunday. BEAR DOWN!!!

  6. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    will do. also need to know wives fave colors. working on gifts for the lil jigs.

  7. ren Says:

    Preppin’ for the storm here in NY!

    -Char Sui Roast Pork marinating for 36 hours
    -Various hetty ales
    – ” ” nugs
    -ingredients for homemade apple pie

    MTA shutdown= NO WORK TOMORROW!!!!

  8. Oldskool Says:

    Can’t decide what to do here. Supposed to head out to Chicago this evening and return back to MA on Tuesday. I don’t think this storm is going to be that big of a deal here but just not sure. Wife and kids not feeling as convinced as me

  9. Gavinsdad Says:

    @oldskool – they might not let u back in on tues depending on the trajectory of sandy once she hits land. I’m sure it’ll downgrade but can’t be sure

    Was glad TAB got postponed cause my wife was ultra salty about me leaving the family for a concert. I’ll do that in better weather next week.

    Not sure about my eagles today. Already off to a rough start.

    Re: electronica. Think we’ve all mostly agreed that all roads point to kraftwerk, stockhausen, Fred frith, John cage and kraut rock?

    I think Garcia, as was previously mentioned, had more to do with the early embrace and experimentation with midi effects.

  10. sumodie Says:

    Just drove thru COVENTRY! Ackkkkkkk

  11. sumodie Says:

    Tonite’s TAB canceled…??????

  12. Gavinsdad Says:

    Yes @ sumo. Rescheduled to 11/5

  13. voopa Says:

    The whole band was always fascinated with technology, especially once they “went electric”. Jerry toured bluegrass festivals and taped shows with a reel-to-reel before then, and he was one of the first to perform with a guitar synth. Mickey had a state of the art studio by the mid-70’s, and the tales of the GD stretching the boundaries of studio recording in the 60’s are legendary -aside from Weir requesting the sound of thick air from WB’s Hassinger- mainly the contributions of Phil and TC. I’d say their influence on electronic music isn’t direct, but definitely ancillary.

  14. voopa Says:


  15. kayatosh Says:

    warm salutations, BB.

    it’s hard out there for a pimp and even harder for an eagles fan.

    got kids + their friend going ballistic over here. kid frenzy. physical little f’ers.

    storm headed right for us. storm prep = charging vapes and buying a case of dale’s pale.

    good luck, BB.

  16. voopa Says:

    from ^^

    The Alembic R & D department was busy, introducing the first parametric equalizer which Ron designed for Bobby Weir. We embarked on a new project for the Dead, one that later would have world-wide fame and acclaim. It would be dubbed, “The Wall of Sound”, and it was.

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    The hatches have been battened. Bring Sandy you little bitch.

    Vino, precious, and other staples stocked up…

    Go Giants!

  18. kayatosh Says:

    don’t taunt MotherNaytch, palmer. sandy is scaring me. drinking brews now before they warm w/ no powah.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Keep water out of my basement and tree limbs off of my home, and I’ll be happy.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    no whammies.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    if we get through the next 2-3 days w/o incident, my avatar will point up.

    school already cancelled for the next 2 days. craptastic.

  22. kayatosh Says:

    the International Herb (live)


  23. tela's_muff Says:

    C’mon. GD didn’t lead the charge in electronic music. Moog, Dick Hyman, shit, even Stevie Wonder were early pioneers. I’ll give Phil with Seastones, but settle down with the stretch some are making here.

  24. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:


  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    What is the first “modern” electronic music any of u listened to and I’m
    Not talking about soft cell or devo or kajagoogoo cause I know how the BB loves to split hairs.

    “oh I was listening to kreftwerk in utero” or some shit.

    I had “its a fine day” by opus III and this orb side project. This is all 92. The bay area deadheads that went to raves in SF had tapes of local djs that we got as well. They gave me this stuff then I read URB and bought what they reviewed etc.

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