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. angryjoggerz Says:

    Agree’d Tela’s. Here is a pretty interesting and insightful timeline:


    Electronic music is not new. In fact, it is older than rock. 1867 bitches.

  2. voopa Says:

    Gdad- Probably Jean-Michel Jarre, around Junior High.

  3. angryjoggerz Says:

    Switched on Bethoven when I was a kid was my favorite 8-track in my dad’s collection, not sure if that counts for modern.

    Yaz – Upstairs at Erics in 5th grade (thanks to my very new wave sister)

    Hot Mix 5 on WGCI Chicago starting maybe 1984-85? Farley Jackmaster Funk, Frankie Knuckles, Ralphie Rosario, Mickey Oliver.

    Then clubs (all ages places like Medusas and the all ages nights at Limelight) starting freshman year in HS, which got me more into house and industrial music.

    Waxtrax Records

    First rave in 1991

    First West Coast rave in 1992 wth Tim Leary and Psychic TV.

  4. BingosBrother Says:

    @miner – how about a best of Trey moments next week?

    #1 – The lick about 3:30 into UIC Waves. Miraculous.

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    The Space part of GD shows was early electronica. Far out shit.

  6. Gavinsdad Says:

    Fun to see what people did pre “jam bands”. I didn’t dance to electronic music until 91. But 85-87 we went to hardcore and “skate rock” shows at Cbgbs. I’ve mentioned it many times before but at my first GD show in 87 when I saw what was happening in the hall (total freak out minus the violence) I was immediately hooked.

    My brother had techno djs from denver at his house in fort Collins in 92. I couldnt stand it. But one day In Oakland djs set up in the parking lot post show playing funky breaks and it was a revelation. I stayed in SF dancing for a week. Total page turner for me.

  7. tela's_muff Says:

    Great question Gdad. I was straight hip-hop/punk early 90’s. I didn’t get into electronic until Aphex Twin and Orb. Maybe 94?

    Nice article AJ.

  8. tela's_muff Says:

    Check out Stevie Wonder’s project called TONTO

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    The livephish app has all the Halloween shows featured this week. Talking Heads FTW.

  10. sumodie Says:

    Local gas pumps already going dry here in western mass (home from quebec city!)

  11. sumodie Says:

    ISO 1 floor – port chester TAB (no, i don’t want my OG ticket back 😉

  12. MiA Says:

    I love how Eli manning gives hope until the 4th quarter

  13. dusty Says:

    Posted up with rents in south jeez. 40-50 mph gusts so far with some flooding. Lucky this baby is coming in at low tide or it would be pretty bad. Avery ipa, troegs imperial ipa and dog fish biches brew imperial stout for the long haul. Really nice beer selection rd here. Go giants!!

  14. voopa Says:

    Best of luck, East Coasters in the path. 80 and clear here today.


  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Good luck to the SF Giants.

    The NY Giants nearly gave me a stroke before.

    Calm before storm. Be safe. In the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson..

    ” Hold on to your butts”…

  16. dorn76 Says:

    Wife came home with a case of Dogfish 90. Generator ready, necessities readied.

    5-10 foot surge predicted for LI sound, during moon high tide tomorrow. CT got whacked by Irene, this surge predicted to be worse. Never been so glad to be too poor for a house on the beach.

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    @miner – how about a best of Trey moments next week?

    ^ we’d be here all day

  18. viola Says:

    hola bb faithful

    miner: maybe a post on who you’d like to see sit in with the boys from vt?

    a list of notable sitins and a sitin wish list?

    p.s. dude of life does not count as a sit in… nor does a tom m. appearance.

  19. Gavinsdad Says:

    @dusty – hope things stay calm by you. I’m over near cherry hill. If u still around when this tapers off our local watering hole has 18 taps and 60 bottles. We should grab a pint.

  20. voopa Says:

    Who’s not here all day?

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I’m afraid to plug in my hard drive in case the power gets zapped. Have a restricted hurricane playlist as a result.

    Ever do a Jon Fishman “moments” post? Probably pretty hard though. Some jams were he just dominates like a dress-weariing octopus. Some of the stuff from 93-95 is just nuts. One benefit of watching old videos on you tube is focusing on Fish. At shows, when i can see the stage well, I always try to focus on him. It’s tough to not get diverted back to Troy though.

  22. viola Says:

    oh snap miner…. i just found your post from may 4th 2009 on sit ins. you hallowed the aquarium rescue unit. i will continue that read now.

    thank u mr.miner

  23. viola Says:

    found the grail miner: november 12 2008:

    great list bela 11.29.95, karl p. fall 96, my favorite michael ray, and peter apfelbaum. of course you gots to mention jay z.

    funny stuff that you put kid rock as worst of all time? fish on his knees doing joe c. was and still is off the chain highlarious. how can that be worst of all time? and vegas for troy b-day? p-funk on 12.30.03 was by far the worst ever.

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    well that was a fun night!

    shared a great meal with willowed, his wife, and some of my friends preshow, caught an energetic show with a couple of good highlights, stuck around town for a beer and some shenanigans (there’s never not shenanigans, is there?), and then headed home to watch the ND win on DVR (yes, it was a late night for me) after somehow successfully getting through the night without finding out the score. big props to my wife for not telling me as I guess she knew the whole time.

    willowed flat disappeared into the venue right before the show and then I guess his phone died so we never saw them again. had the row with halcyon which worked out great. yeah, that late night construction on the pike really sucked. did not need that at 1:30am…

    highlights for me from the show: ML&C set the tone for the night, Burlap Sack had a great sax solo, Drifting had that nice soaring Trey solo, Push capped the first in fine style, Jibboo was what you want out of that song, Architect was oddly a highlight almost as much for the great lighting as much as the playing, and a solid Sand blew the crowd up as well.

    I’m not saying this was epic or anything more than what it was, but aside from the interspersed lullabies (I’m looking at you Flock of Words) this was a solid Saturday night energy rock show. I know I had fun.

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    so last night while on my extended drive home the Grateful Dead channel on XM played the Miami 89 show… but stopped it right before the Dark Star. WTF?!?

    Thankfully I flipped over to Jam_On and they had a LxL going that went OUT of bounds in a big way. I know I’ve heard it but I could not place it last night. Going to have to do some homework to figure out which one it was…

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