Reader’s Picks: Marc “Kaya” Tosh

SPAC 2012 (SammyC via Crowdseye)

SPAC 2012 (SammyC via Crowdseye)

All text and selections by @Kayatosh

Mango Song > Jam” 9.17.00 II, Columbia, MD

A loose, tired sounding version that feels like it might fall apart at any moment but doesn’t thanks to Page Piano. After the triumph of successfully holding it together, a dark, percussive, free-form jam emerges.



Yamar” 11.2.96 II, West Palm Beach, FL


One that slipped through the cracks the last time Miner covered 1996. Karl Perazzo enhanced.



David Bowie” 6.24.95 II, Philadelphia, PA

This long form version starts off promisingly with a spacey intro.  The “Low Rider” flavored jam hints at the funk the band would actively mine in the next few years.  From the chunky funk, the jam journeys into a slower, softer vibe that retains the trademark 95 dark edge. A subsequent move into speed metal features Trey out front blazing a white hot path with the other three matching his intensity.



McGrupp” 8.7.93, Darien Lake, NY

A confident version of a favorite Phish tune from a golden era. Page tickling the ivories; Fishman tickling the washboard. See also, 11.30.94 McGrupp for more of Page channeling Keith Jarret.



Jam > Leprechaun” 8.24.93 Sndchk, Vancouver, BC

Four-way bluesy, uninhibited play. A pocket so deep you could lose a joint in it. Listen to Fishman’s super human fills. Midway through the 10 minute jam, Fishman settles on a steady groove, and the jam becomes a composed sounding romp. And then the elusive Leprechaun does his jig.



Chalkdust Torture” 7.16.94 II, Sugarbush, VT

A take no prisoners, almost off the rails, “Barracuda” teased Dust, featuring Trey in berserker mode.



Sneakin Sally > Frankie Says” 4.2.98 II, Uniondale, NY

Slower, thicker version of a classic phish groove vehicle. Your head will involuntarily bob as the laid-back, syncopated riffs start bumping up against your brain.   “Sally” jam slides smoothly and gradually into “Frankie Says,” which features a nimble fingered Trey.



Ghost > Drowned” 12.28.97 II, Landover, MD

Silky, late ’97 funk feel with a healthy dose of clavination. “Ghost’s” jam is of the hypnotic variety with intermittent hints of “Psycho Killer.” After you’ve been mellowed to the point of floating, the jam inconspicuously swirls into a funnel cone (twice), stops on a dime, and then launches into “Drowned!” Trey’s strong Hendrix impression in the “Drowned” jam finishes off the listener. Listen for The Note. “Drowned” jam concludes in soft, spacious fashion.



Makiuspa Policeman” 11.23.96 II, Vancouver, BC

“Woke up in the morning. Border Guard in my Bunk.” Listen for the Star Wars effects.



Bathtub Gin -> Cities -> Jam” 7.1.97 II, Amsterdam, NL

July ’97, Amsterdam — a time traveler’s dream destination. There’s a segment mid-“Gin” that mirrors the feeling of falling down stairs in slow motion. After a slick “Gin” theme tease, the jam patiently builds to a murky, not quite peaked conclusion that becomes the intro to “Cities.” The “Cities” jam sonically represents what it might feel like to be adrift at sea on a gelatinous raft. After all “Cities” flavor has been wrung from the jam, an ambient, looped section takes hold of your dome and places you right on the back of the worm. By mid ’97, this band was an ear candy machine.



Timber Ho!” 7.26.97 II, Austin, TX

More liquid gold from July 97 with a looped out, cosmic jump rope jam conclusion before the “Timber” themed coda.

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399 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Marc “Kaya” Tosh”

  1. gavinsdad Says:

    Handful of whole show listeners on the BB @mudbuddy. Hope they respond to u. And oh yeah, I’m not one of em. Tho I have like listening to full 3.0 shows.

    Nice work KT. And I like how u worked that lost J in there 🙂

  2. gavinsdad Says:

    Ps….haven’t fixed a flat in a good while. Luckily I just had to in this gravel driveway and not on the side of a highway w a van full of young kids. Took the tire down the road to get a plug and was happy to come back alive. I really am in the fucking sticks right now yet only and hour and 45 from NYC. Crazy how that works.

  3. kayatosh Says:

    ^^^ great observations mudbuddy. the communal shift in listening habits that you note is very real.

    3 major forms of listening: 1) highlights and segments; 2) sets; and 3) complete shows. each form creates a different impression.

    I like your idea re. the importance of the stuff that encases and swims in and out of the music. It’s even more subtle than context. Call it gestalt.

    reader’s picks has been fun and most thanks is due to Miner.

  4. kayatosh Says:

    Indeed, GD, the J eating jacket inspired that analogy. Glad to hear that the flat didn’t get the best of you. PEACE

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    the only problem I have with kaya’s list is that I now want leprechaun to come back even more than I already did. fucker. 😐

  6. Dorn76 Says:

    Full set listening.

    Only way to hear the orchestra.

  7. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Bien hecho, Kaya!

    You took my Timber. Ho well. 😉

  8. Chonz Says:

    Nice picks, Kaya. Love that the McGrupp from my first show is getting pamped.

  9. verno329 Says:

    @kaya Thanks for the list! Looks like some excellent selections to get me through the day.

    @plord Thanks for the link to that Zero show w/ Derek Trucks. Got that one saved for later.

    I used to be a full set listener but I find now that I mainly listen to highlights and mixes. Mostly this is due to never being able to find the time to listen to a whole set uninterrupted.

    I listen to tunes at work a bunch and my work basically consists of constant interruptions. It can take me an entire day to try to make my way through one set and not miss anything. Now I throw on highlight mixes or jam mixes (like the 97 one in my orange now) since I know I can’t get the whole flow of a set anyway. Just my two cents. Good discussion topic.

  10. PigSong Says:

    Thanks voopa for that playlist.

  11. Chonz Says:

    P.S. I am still mostly a whole show or at least set listener. Always have been. Occassionaly, I will pick out highlights, and I always listen to the selections featured on this site, but if I’m just chilling at home, i usually like to take the full ride.

    I also listen to albums in their entirity too. Unfortunately, the art of the complete album seems to be dying off in the age of itunes.

  12. MiA Says:

    Love me some whole shows or at least sets. As noted, it makes the big pops all the grander. But you have to carve out some time. Seems just getting 30-40 minutes of listening straight is tough. And some 90 minute sets really take a commitment.

    Mostly it’s done when mowing the yard or doing outside work, or someplace like my garage, where I can put it on, and go. Or a walk.

    All things that are better than just sitting around.

  13. jtran Says:

    Catching up on my 4/2 highlights, mainly set 2 that I didn’t spin yesterday.

    @aw still waiting on your set 2 thoughts yo

  14. jtran Says:

    phosphorescent in SD tonight. Anyone check him out live before? That album was pamped here by df and telas last week right? Just listened to it yesterday for the first time.

  15. howard_roark Says:

  16. tela'smuff Says:

    haven’t seen him love @jtran. hopefully will at Pitchfork this year. loving the new album though.

    whole show listener for there right shows, segment listener for the right segments, jam listener for the right jams.

  17. Henry Says:

    Perhaps my favorite picks yet

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @jtran, skip that show and come see them for pitchfork fest

  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    Im a highlights guy myself. I have a super duper 3.0 list that I update continuously and then pair down from time to time (when a tune gets trounced by a new version).

  20. Phamily Berzerker Says:


  21. mmmhmm Says:

    great list Kaya. Love the Philly Bowie

  22. jonacho Says:

    For most of my listening career, I have been a ‘purist’, meaning I want to listen to the entire show, or set, as a complete work of art.
    Lately, however, I have been much more selective in listening to the jams.
    Its just my reality I do not need to hear Fluffhead again for the 100th time. I’d rather hear Dicks light or Island Twist.

  23. BNCB Says:


    Too far in the stix to listen. Lucky cats.

    Working for your future pleasure.

  24. Monsterpus Says:

    I did a ‘project’ where I listened to an entire Dead show from each year of their existence in order. No skipping songs (not even Drums-Space) and never listening to any other Dead. In a world where everything is available, sometimes self-imposed limitations make listening more interesting

  25. mudbuddy11 Says:

    funny, i was never a drums/space skipper.

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