Miner’s Mailbag V

6.25.10 Camden, NJ (Graham Lucas)

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@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

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@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?

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@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:

Bliss:

“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

Groove:

“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

 Shred:

“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

Space/Weird:

“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. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Good stuff Mia.

    Thankfully they cancelled the marathon. Would have been in real poor taste.

    Still powerless.. Moved locale once again to inlaws who regained power today. Plus , they are dog friendly here.

    Biggest issue now is this gas crisis. Never seen anything like it in my life.

    Nor’easter headed this way next Wed. Oh joy.

  2. Jtran Says:

    pro tori
    anti tory

  3. Jtran Says:

    who am I kidding though, I dig tory too

  4. phoammhead Says:

    hang in there, MrP. yeah, sometimes regular events, sports, etc. need to take a back seat to getting people back up on their feet . . . priorities and all.

  5. phoammhead Says:

    heard they opened NYC harbor today, which could help with gas supplies.

  6. phoammhead Says:

    yeah, jtran it’s fun and in style to bash trey, but we all love him. if someone doesn’t, they are posting up on the wrong blog.

  7. Squirmingoil Says:

    Oil scarcity is a fraud.

    http://mobile.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/on-energy/2011/09/14/abiotic-oil-a-theory-worth-exploring

  8. P.S.H.S. Says:

    pete complaining about sound problems? how can he hear them, hasn’t he had serious ear problems for the last few years? oh well. heard him do an acoustic drowned on ‘later w/ jules holland’ a few weeks ago, it was awesome.

  9. voopa Says:

    Interesting, Squirming. Pretty much goes against everything I’ve read about oil supplies.

    *gives up*

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    Everyone knows the earth is hollow.

    http://www.ourhollowearth.com/

    Pro clean air
    Anti fart

  11. Dr pronoia Says:

    Only two areas left in manhattan without power are where my apartment and office are

    Should be back by tomorrow

    Very thankful to my inlaws but 4 generations of my better half’s family (all women) has just started to fray my nerves. Happy to get home soon

    Vibes your way Palmer and suburban BB

  12. SillyWilly Says:

    thanks, jtran!

    tori is the shit

  13. DavidSilver Says:

    Yes, she is. Stay the fuck away from her Silli Vanilli.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    xpun,
    that album we discussed in the TT is now in my orange in the LoS area.

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    @ Voopa

    peak oil is irrelevant

    if burning fossil fuels is on the whole bad for the earth, for our non-human neighbors, and thus, for humans, then the discussion is over.

    (and we’re not even talking about whether how we acquire fossil fuels is bad)

  16. xpun Says:

    thanks t3

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    Pro livin

    Anti what I have to do to live

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    Pro 11/2/94, 11/2/96, 11/2/98
    Anti 11/2/12

  19. voopa Says:

    Oh I know.

  20. Bigjig Says:

    Amen Gavin’s Dad!

  21. angryjoggerz Says:

    damn, two Modus Hoperandi’s and a Qingdao last night and I wake up feeling all sorts of torn up.

  22. phoammhead Says:

    one hoptimum, one ruination, one glass of malbec and i’m just getting up at 10am . . . sounds about right

  23. alf Says:

    did selector tell me yesterday the sky was pink??!?

    too beautiful a morning to get into it, i’ll bump some reggae sel j turned me on to instead ;-)

  24. El Duderino Says:

    4 Hop Czar’s and I was a bit wobbly last night…
    might have something to do with the Vanilla Kush and the bubble but who the fuck knows.

  25. sumodie Says:

    Bumpin Neil’s & Troy’s latest works.

    I get what Troy was aiming for with Traveler’s slick pop confectionary production, which has creates a warm cohesive feel to the album. He could care less if the crusty vet likes it or not. I kinda dug it, tho only spun once

    Neil, on the other hand, revels in all those qualities one either loves or hates about the man. Many/most songs have that classic droning backbeat, which generally works well. Some great lyrics, and excellent guitar work taboot. Neil’s not tryIng to craft anythIng dIfferent (like troy attempts with mixed results) but hot damn psychedelic pill has some terrific crunchy grunge rock.

    Neil still wants to get messy & loud live. Trey, as a solo artist, still yearns to craft tightly polished pop

    also got an actual CD of Jonathan Wilson’s Gentle Spirit album. I can’t get enough of Wilson’s stoney mellow tunes. EXCELLENT songwriter taboot, i wish Troy could collaborate with him.

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