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. bhizzle Says:

    Congrats Pig & Mr C! Enjoy the ride!

    And Mike loves his Tweezers!

  2. plord Says:

    Congrats Pig (and MrXian)and Happy Birthday Izzy (and MiA)!

    Momentous week, eh? I am just home from a week long sesshin, my first. Even though it was a “working persons” sesshin, with unscheduled time from 9-5 during the week, it was still pretty intense; jumping from 30 minutes of sitting a day right up to the 6-8 hour range is no joke for the mid or body.

    Now back to this so-called reality.

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    3.0 mike moments: Miami Tweezer, The City Crosseyed, The City YEM and of course Denver Sand when he starts up some of the most beautiful music ever.

  4. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers! Congrats @pig!

    @miner it would be sweet if you could, for the weekend, give some links to the songs you mentioned in your first question. Or next week for that matter. Good group of questions too.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    how’s this for some nerdery?:

    I’ve always thought the X subsititute for Christ functioned on the notion that an X is like a cross

    (this may or may not be true. just how it made sense to me)
    (typically Catholic to associate Christ with the cross and suffering, right?)

    So, I’ve also always thought that a lower case t is more like the crucifix stylee

    and that X-mas should be t-mas

    Going further, the X shaped cross is St. Andrew’s cross. St. Andrew was supposedly crucified on an X shaped cross. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and that’s why the Scottish flag is the white X on a blue field.

    (St. Andrew is the patron saint of scotland because they think St. Andrew’s remains/relics made it to Scotland at somepoint)

    Whenever I see Xmas, I think Andrew’sMass – which is also a celebration.

    Catholicism lingers still…

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “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.”

    Fuck. Yes. No other jam hits me on an emotional level like that hood.

  7. phoammhead Says:

    3.0 mike moment is gorge rnr->meatschtick->boogie on and most especially that thunderous segue from rnr->meatschtick . . . permanent brain damage from those moments

  8. voopa Says:

    Congrats Pig (and MrXian) and Happy Birthday Izzy (and MiA)!
    ^^Well said plord, I approve this message.

    Great Mike on Roggae 7-10-99 (and other Roggaes from that era).

    Is it Friday yet?

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    yus gorge RnR fo sho

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “Is it Friday yet?”

    It is!!!!!!!!

  11. voopa Says:

    Silly- I think the traditional lowercase t has a tail, like here.

    I was told at some point that shortening Christmas to xmas was somehow offensive to Jesus or worshipers or some shit. Obviously I didn’t care enough to retain whatever was told me.

  12. voopa Says:

    Oh thank Jesus

  13. TheSLoth Says:

    Fun mail bag. One of the most original notes from Mike that I’ve seen in the begining of the 6/23/94 (Phoenix Plaza) Bowie jam. Of the musical costumes I’ve seen (94, 95, 96) The White Album was by far the most fun but it was the entire experience.

  14. xpun Says:

    congrats pigsong. i too love the name

    congrat mr christian on the new bride and baby to be

    halloween list looks good to me too. i was listening to the remain in the light set last night. i dont listen to it as much as loaded or columbus, but if i had been there may be a little more connected to it. it did have the biggest impact on the band by far

  15. roberto luongo Says:

    best Mike moment of 3.0 was the Storage Jam

    every best aspect of 3.0 was the Storage Jam

    bass line to start the Miami tweez def up there. Miami Ghost entire jam=Mike bass solo.

    and that little bass groove that sets off Red Rocks tweezer. all epic 3.0 Mike moments.

  16. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    Way to go Pig Pham!


  17. xpun Says:

    “Overshare with the chub there willowed” – i would have to say we know more about how to get willowed and MiA excited than we will ever need to know.


  18. xpun Says:

    I cant get enough of the RR tweezer. im also a big fan of mikes opening solo in dicks paug

    the bombs never translate to tape well, which is nice in a way, it makes being there and that memory of it shaking the room down so much more inclusive to the live setting

    Im going to hunt down some of these listed mikes moments today.

  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    Congratulations, Pigsong and family! Izzy is a great name (biased: my daughter is named Isabel). Enjoy this time together.

  20. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    Subbing at a Spanish immersion school.

    No bueno. Mano y Mano. Corona.

    I’m phucked.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    love the jah stich dub track w/ motorcycles and maniacal laughter (the barber feel it). whole collection is $$$.

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    Silly, from Wikipedia (so it is most certainly correct):

    Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈɛksməs/, but it, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass,[1] while the “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as “Christ”.[2]

    There is a common misconception that the word Xmas is a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas[3] by taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas”.

  23. voopa Says:

    Well there ya go. Thanks aj. Maybe I’ll look up the t tail thing later. Off to work…

  24. Al Says:

    One of Mike’s all-time favorite Splits from 11/06/98 shouldn’t be forgotten.

    Just watched the Dwd vimeo vid from the upcoming Starlake release…Not too impressed. Trey’s g-string is slightly out of tune. A bit flat to my ears. If that happens, I’m out. Can’t stand it. Good Show though, can’t wait to watch that Jim, Reba and Maze.

  25. Guyute711 Says:

    Are we talking about the birth of Santa?

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