Miner’s Mailbag V

6.25.10 Camden, NJ (Graham Lucas)


@EdCochran18: Can you address the cultures of different venues?

This is one of the weirdest factors of going on tour—by far. Because you are (usually) in a different state every night, the first thing that comes into play are state laws. Last summer, for example, when tour jumped from California into the south and then back to Colorado, the culture was like day and night. Weed and other drugs are seen so differently from state to state in the US, its hard to believe we are still in the same country sometimes, (see OKC.) Thus the first thing to verse yourself on is the laws of where you are and how seriously they have it out for hippies. But then the venues, themselves, can be extremely laid back or tight. For example, at Bill Graham Civic the ushers patrolled to make sure you were smoking weed and not cigarettes (this is a fact), while at Merriweather, there are teen-aged girls, backed by an urban security SWAT team, making sure your feet don’t cross painted lines on the aisles in the pavilion, less they kick you onto the lawn (also a fact.) Sometimes security takes themselves way to seriously (Jones Beach) while others they encourage you to have fun (Hampton.) It’s pretty crazy to bounce from venue to venue and have to adjust to a new set of norms on a nightly basis when all you’re trying to do is dance and feel good, but—alas—that’s why Jedi training is a huge asset on Phish tour.

Chillest Venues: The Gorge, Hampton, Dick’s 

Tightest Venues: Merriweather Post, Jones Beach, Virginia Beach


@Teddier: Five years into the future-what are Phish doing to keep their interest fresh and will their music change much by then?

Five years! Wow. Phish has only played four years in this era and we are jumping five more ahead. I’ll be completely honest and say that Phish 2017 may or may not exist. While I certainly hope so, five more years is a long time for these guys to keep going. For some reason, I don’t see Phish following the Grateful Dead model of play until you drop. I suppose nothing stands in their way of playing five years and beyond except a desire to move on. If they are still playing in five years, I sure hope the band has a couple more albums under their belt and we are hearing a hell of a lot of new material! Improvisationally, however, the sky is the limit. As long as these four guys are committed to each other, I am confident they will crank out high quality jams. Any stylistic conjecture would be sheer speculation of which I wouldn’t even know where to start. If Phish has one thing going for them, their fans will never lose interest no matter what they do. Tour wise, let me take a wild guess—maybe summer tour and a new years run?


@Matthewgerber79: Do you ever see Mikes Song or YEM ever returning to their former improv glory, or has that ship sailed along with Halley’s?

Interestingly, all it takes is Trey’s will and either of these songs can snap back into form on any given night. But for whatever reason, I don’t see it happening. “YEM” doesn’t feel like as huge of a loss as “Mike’s,” which has gone from a top three jam vehicle for the second half of the ‘90s to a recycled guitar build. But at least “Mike’s” is over in eight minutes these days, while “YEM” still has nearly ten minutes of composition and five minutes of a vocal jam, leaving the song with negligible payoff on any given night. Everyone has been focusing on the rarity of “YEM” over the past two years as if it’s a bad thing, but if the band is only gonna step into four minutes of generic funk, my preference is to leave it on the shelf. There’s no need to kill so much of a set with the theatrics that are “YEM.” It’s unquestionably one of Phish’s greatest songs, but they’ve played it so much over their career, it seems like they no longer know how to make it interesting.

 @henryilnicky: top 5 bliss, groove, shred, space/weird jams #nextaskminer

Here are some personal favorites in no particular order and without racking my brain:


“My Left Toe” 7.21.99, Star Lake

“Reba” 7.6.94, Montreal

“Harry Hood” 12.28.10, Worcester

“Bathtub Gin” 8.17.97, Great Went

“Bathtub Gin” 9.12.99, Portland Meadows


“Sand > Quadraphonic Toppling” 12.31.99, Big Cypress

“Ghost” 5.22.00, Radio City

“Bathtub Gin” 7.29.98, Riverport

“Roses Are Free” 4.3.98, Nassau

“Mike’s Song” 12.31.95, MSG


“Tweezer” 12.2.95, New Haven, CT

“Piper” 7.18.99, Oswego

“Antelope” 10.24.95, Madison, WI

“Drowned > Rock and Roll” 6.29.2000, PNC

“Antelope” 12.9.94, La Mesa, AZ


“Drowned” 9.14.00, Darien Lake

“Wolfman’s Brother” 10.31.98, Vegas

“David Bowie” 12.29.94, Providence

“Disease > Free” 6.26.95, SPAC

“Reba > Walk Away” 10.29.98, Los Angeles

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369 Responses to “Miner’s Mailbag V”

  1. SillyWilly Says:


    of course, I’m jumping the gun.

    Yeah, Vampire lit sucks and you could make a living demonstrating how this whole vampire craze is connected to problematic perspectives on sexuality #TakeiteasyCrazySilly

    On the flip side…

    This was kinda fun to read in the Smithsonian Mag from a month or two ago:


  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    course description

  3. sumodie Says:

    I’m mostly spinning whatever’s on the LP app when not replaying legII highs. AC’10 2001, Bowie still crushes. I still laugh at myself for not being dialed in to those heaters because I was still pissed at getting blue balled by the jamless TweeZep sequence

    Little Phish on the deck later today!


  4. sumodie Says:

    Speaking of Atlantic City environs, I was psyched to learn that Lucy the Elephant survived Sandy. She is by far the coolest Proboscidean I’ve ever met.


  5. sumodie Says:

    zombie and vampire related college classes have been springing up across the country

  6. alf Says:

    crazy, isn’t it, how tightly bound our lives are to fossil fuels? through no choice of our own. and how tenuously achieved ‘normal life’ is.

    i have many thoughts on this of course, but i’ll spare the bb and read tim mitchell’s carbon democracy instead. and bump this: http://www.singleape.com/featured/jah-guidance-mix/

  7. MiA Says:

    +1 for Proboscidean

  8. SillyWilly Says:


    you’re way better than me at sparing people your thoughts.

  9. MiA Says:

    Not sure the great dumbing of America starts or ends with the love of Vampires, badly written S&M Internet novels, and idolization of people who live in Laguna Beach or Jersey Shore as having “interesting” lives.


  10. kayatosh Says:

    great mail sack today, miner. entertaining read, esp. the venue observations.

    re. sandycane — things starting to get back to normal in SE PA. kids back to school.

    Hang in there dorn and palmer and anyone else toughing it out. Jersey shore pictures are sad. Place looks bombed.

    The recurring ?’s after all major storms like this — 1) why does the gov’t subsidize the building of homes on the beach in the form of below mrkt. rate flood insurance (private insurers won’t touch this business; why should the gov’t?)

    2) how much environmental damage did this storm reak? All that NYC sludge is now part of the watershed. Does any mechanism guard against this outcome? Are our waterways and oceans just giant toilets? Shouldn’t we value the environment more and collectively take actions to ensure that there is an environment left for our kids?

    short trade cashed in (prematurely, as the morning gap up scared me just enough to start looking for the exits once i got in the black). equity bulls looked like they wanted to continue their run from yesterday PM. but that was met with a bucket of cold water.

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    I think the Earth is trying to heal herself.

    In the same way a fever kills bacteria/viruses…

    One of my favorite things to think about:

    “So many indigenous people have said to me that the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is. Trees and rocks and rivers really do have things to say to us.”


    “Protect your air quality, you can’t have sex without it.”

  12. ren Says:

    Merging some thoughts here…

    I think its interesting how dependent humans are in general…not just in regards to fossil fuels. From the moment human life begins..we are dependent. The most dependent babies in the animal kingdom…and that dependency never stops…if it wasn’t fossil fuel it would be something else. In reality we AREN’T that different from VAMPIRES. Human life is sustained only by consumption of energy on multiple levels…and just seems to be how it goes. It is hard for me to imagine a human existence that does not thrive off of some other life form or treasured source of energy…from animal flesh to solar power. In the past fossil fuels were seen as the key to our success and development. As fossil fuels emerged as our favored power source I doubt we were able to foresee how it is playing out now. Who knows…what future alternative power sources hold???…and how long those solutions will last. We really need to be addressing the root of our problem which is our human dependence…this desire for a continuously progressing and so called “improved” lifestyle. For all our technology and modern medicine etc. it can be argued that the “quality” of life has not improved. For all our “time saving devices” we don’t seem to have any more time available in our day to day lives. People live longer…but are they any happier during those years?

    Guess I needed to get some shit off my chest.

    Rant over.

  13. alf Says:

    ya, silly, i’d say that has a lot to do with our jobs; you’re forced to say things you don’t fully believe in, and i guess i now relish the opportunity to spare my thoughts

    watersheds kaya? get with the program, the sky is pink yo http://vimeo.com/44367635

  14. MiA Says:

    I don’t like to think of heavy things. I like to surf for hotties on tumblr, love my precious, listen to Phish and get paid a six figure salary. Check. What a wonderful world.

  15. alf Says:

    relish, condiments, hallucinogenic hot sauce, aj vs. gdad

    peace kids! and good luck out there

  16. MiA Says:

    PS. Thank you dead dinosaurs. I can cruise the land of the brave and free listening to this kick ass Went Gin.

  17. xpun Says:

    of course the vampire lit is a night class.

  18. Dorn76 Says:

    No view, but at this point the DCU Center is on my list.

  19. MiA Says:


    For those who have never done it … Shoreline ’00 Gin – SBD – fast forward to 5:00 and get set for the greatest Mike groove you’ve never heard (starts at 5:30 really).

    If that doesn’t make you strut around, nothing will.

  20. xpun Says:

    i cant remember ever seeing security or ushers at hampton. just a big sand box for us kids to play in. msg usually has pretty relaxed staff as well

    va beach sucks, and great woods seemed pretty hard core although i was only ever there in 99.

    i was next to AW at bgca and saw security double check he had a joint and then nail the guy behind us on the steps for cigs. classic

  21. xpun Says:

    mike really does kill this rcmh ghost. such a bad ass and he knows it man

    need to go back and make a playlist of mikes greatest hits from miners last mailbag

  22. ren Says:

    Sorry to get so heavy….anyone down for some TT?

  23. MiA Says:

    I’d like that playlist too xpun.

  24. MiA Says:

    Love to Ren, but I need to get at least an hour of work done on a Friday.

  25. Guyute711 Says:

    Gonna get a little delic for CRB tonight in conjunction with some of Leo’s famous caramels. Good time to block out all garbage that seems to be going on lately. Should be a fun night. Vibes to the northeast of course.

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