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. voopa Says:

    St. Limb?

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    yeah, that is it. kangfirmed.

  3. dusty Says:

    @gdad after the hunkering down I’m up for that. Starting to plan my trip down to dc for next weekend.

  4. dorn76 Says:

    which bar Gdad? My inlaws are in CH.

  5. voopa Says:

    Wow, I just played Eminence Front for mrs. v…she was unfamiliar. Speechless.

  6. dorn76 Says:

    Joss Whedon endorses Romney.

    Say it ain’t so!


    It ain’t!

  7. voopa Says:


  8. tzara's Says:

    Congrats Voopa. That was a serious pwning. A charismatic team for sure.

  9. voopa Says:


  10. voopa Says:


  11. voopa Says:


  12. halcyon Says:

    what up BB

    workin the storm as it approaches….organized chaos in my work area. more like a bunch of chickes walking around without a head!

    Goodbye Head!

  13. JR Says:

    Dr. Gabel is a funny, sweet tune! WTF are you talking about? Stop being such a critic/hater and enjoy. Jennifer Dances? Talk about awful!!! You’re way off on this one.

Leave a Reply