Weekend Nuggets: Phishin’ the UK

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on May 16th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

phish-london-97In response to a UK reader request, this weekend I am featuring two gigs from England’s capitol city in 1997.  The first show, at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, was Phish’s first performance of the year, kicking off their Winter ’97 European tour.  The second evening took place at Royal Albert Hall, the classic London venue cited by The Beatles in “A Day In a Life.”  While Phish doesn’t have an extensive British catalog, these two shows are high points of their time on the isle.

2.13.97 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK < LINK

2.13.97 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK < TORRENT LINK

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Stash, Walfredo**, Taste, Waste, Poor Heart, Character Zero, Peaches en Regalia, Love Me*, David Bowie

II: Julius, Cars Trucks Buses, My Soul*, Punch You in the Eye,  Slave to the Traffic Light, When the Circus Comes*, Maze, Rocko William**, Harry Hood, Frankenstein

E: Prince Caspian, Johnny B. Goode

*debut, ** debut & with instrument switching

Source: Source: Schoeps cmc64

***

6.16.97 Royal Albert Hall, London, UK < LINK

6.16.97 Royal Albert Hall, London, UK < TORRENT LINK

I: The Squirming Coil, Dogs Stole Things, Taste, Water in the Sky, Sample in a Jar, Beauty of My Dreams, Theme From the Bottom, Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, Oblivious Fool

II: Limb By Limb, Ghost > I Don’t Care*, Reba, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Dirt, Harry Hood

E: Cities, Poor Heart

*debut

Source: Schoeps CMC64 > Sonosax SX-M2 > DA-P1

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“A Day In the Life” 3.7.09

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Fall ’97 Monday Mixup

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on May 4th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Hampton (J.Kravitz)

"Gumbo" 3.7.09, Hampton (J.Kravitz)

It was a gray Sunday afternoon in The Bay yesterday, and instead of going outside to play, I decided to spend the afternoon making an audio post for today in the form of a DJ mix.  Yet, this time there is a twist; the entire mix is composed of music from Fall ’97.  Focusing on the well-known and well-loved tour, I thought of a way to make this an interactive game.  Instead of me posting the “setlist” along with the untracked mix, we are going to turn this into a contest and see who can come up with the closest “track listing (w/ dates)” to the actual mix.  I tried to make this a doable task, without making it a cake walk- we shall see.  The winner will be able to personally choose the Phish Thoughts “Download of the Day” for five days, and will be able to write a short accompanying paragraph explaining their choice that will be posted on the site.  (The only restrictions will be shows that have already been featured.)

So, to recap- you are searching for twelve jams from Fall ’97- New Year’s Run included.  You have until this Thursday, May 7th at 10pm Eastern / 7pm Pacific to enter your “setlist.”  Each person can only enter once, so make sure you have deided before you submit your “setlist.”  Feel free to use any resources you’d like.  Please email your submissions to mrminer@phishthoughts.com with “Fall ’97 Mixup” as the subject line. The winner will be announced Friday and they will choose the downloads for next week.  If I get many correct setlists, then I made this too easy, and the download choices will be split among the winners.

You can listen to the mix on-site by rolling over the link below and clicking play.  Feel free to download the mix by right clicking the link and choosing “Save As,” or even better, use the torrent.  (My apologies in advance for the somewhat abrupt ending- I ran out of room fifteen seconds too soon!) Enjoy the tunes to kick off your week!

***

FALL ’97 MONDAY MIXUP < LINK (Listen or download)

FALL ’97 MONDAY MIXUP < TORRENT LINK

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Fans at Hampton (Daily Press)

Fans at Hampton (Daily Press)

SURRENDER TO THE FLOW SURVEY: Surrender to the Flow, the lot magazine “For Phish Kidz By Phish Kidz,” is currently gathering data for their first summer edition.  Help out by filling out their survey here! Reflect on your feelings for Phish and beyond while contributing to a fan-run publication filled with great writing, travel info, show reviews, and more.  There are a limited number of surveys accepted, so go fill it out now!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

5.4.94 State Palace Theatre, New Orleans, LA < LINK

5.4.94 State Palace Theatre, New Orleans, LA < TORRENT LINK

State Palace Theatre, New Orleans

State Palace Theatre, New Orleans

Today is the 15-year anniversary of this special show from New Orleans.  After a classic ’94 first set, Phish was midway through “YEM” when they were joined by the Cosmic Country Horns- Michael Ray and Carl Gerhard on trumpet, Dave Grippo on alto sax, Tony Tate on tenor sax, Jerome Theriot on baritone sax, and Rick Trolsen on trombone.  Staying on stage for the rest of the show- comprising most of the second set- this turned into a jazz-laced night to remember.  This was one of only three appearances of the Cosmic Country Horns on stage with Phish, (12.2 & 12.3.94.)

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Sample in a Jar, It’s Ice, Sparkle, Axilla [Part II], Tweezer > Lifeboy, Rift > Tweezer Reprise

II: Run Like an Antelope, Bouncing Around the Room, You Enjoy Myself*, Buried Alive* > The Landlady*, Julius*, Wolfman’s Brother*, Magilla*, Suzy Greenberg*

E: Caravan*

*With the Cosmic Country Horns (Carl Gerhard – trumpet, Michael Ray – trumpet, Tony Tate – tenor sax, Dave Grippo – alto sax, Jerome Theriot – baritone sax, and Rick Trolsen – trombone)

Source: Sony ECM260F > DAT

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Weekend Nuggets: Deer Creek ’97

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on May 2nd, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Indiana Cornfields

Indiana Cornfields

A high point of Summer ’97, these two nights in the cornfields featured some of the best playing of the tour.  Two nights blended together, this was a perfect two night stand.  Pretty much everything the band played was money, and there were some all-time highlights held within.  Both the “Spilt” and the “Hood” in the first set present completely unique jams hat stray far from their norms.  The interplay between Trey and Mike in the epic “Cities” is sublime, and the band created quite the adventure out of this second set opener.  The second night opened with the classic combo of “Makisupa > Maze,” and peaked with a half-hour funk odyssey in “YEM.”  The Phish also shone the spotlight some of their new songs with “limb By Limb” in the first set and “Piper,” “Vultures” and “My Soul” in the second.

8.10.97 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN < LINK

8.10.97 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN < TORRENT LINK

1997-08-10moI: Bathtub Gin, Sparkle, Down With Disease, Dirt, Cars Trucks Buses, Billy Breathes, Split Open and Melt, Bye Bye Foot, Ginseng Sullivan, Harry Hood

II: Cities > Good Times Bad Times > Rotation Jam* > Rocko William, David Bowie

E: Cavern

*Page to Theremin (solo), Trey to keyboards, Mike to guitar, Page to bass, Mike joins Trey on keyboards, Trey joins Fish on drums, Mike takes piano solo, Fish to guitar…and into “Rocko William.”

***

8.11.97 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN < LINK

8.11.97 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN <TORRENT LINK

1997-08-11moI: Makisupa Policeman > Maze, Water in the Sky, Guyute, Guelah Papyrus, Limb By Limb, Horn, Run Like an Antelope

II: Timber Ho!, Piper, Vultures, My Soul, You Enjoy Myself, Character Zero

E: The Squirming Coil

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VIDEOS OF THE WEEKEND:

“The Squirming Coil” 8.11.97 Deer Creek

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“Mike’s > Hydrogen” 3.7.09 Hampton

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Weekend Nuggets: The Spectrum ’97

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on April 4th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

In all the madness of Fall ’97, this Philly weekend sometimes gets left in the dust.  Surrounded by Hampton and a legendary Cleveland > Detroit > Dayton run, The Spectrum shows don’t always get the credit deserved.  Both second sets were monsters, strewn with all sorts of improvisation.  and ten tons of cow funk.

12.2.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < LINK

12.2.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < TORRENT LINK

I: Buried Alive > Down With Disease, Makisupa Policeman, Chalk Dust Torture, Ghost, The Divided Sky, Dirt > Taste, The Star Spangled Banner

II: Mike’s Song > Simple > Dog Faced Boy > Ya Mar > Weekapaug Groove, Bouncing Around the Room, Character Zero

E: Ginseng Sullivan, Sample in a Jar

***

12.3.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < LINK

12.3.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < TORRENT LINK

I: Punch You In The Eye, My Soul, Drowned, The Old Home Place, Gumbo > Also Sprach Zarathustra > You Enjoy Myself

II: David Bowie*> Possum > Funk Jam, Prince Caspian, Frankenstein, Harry Hood

E: Crossroads

*Unfinished

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

3.6.09 “The First Tweezer Back”

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My “Go To” Jam

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on April 1st, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Hampton (M. Yates)

Hampton (M. Yates)

Everyone has a go-to jam. It fits any mood you could ever be in, and you’ve listened to it lord knows how times in your life. It is the first piece of music you want to hear when you are glowing after a show, ready to conquer the world. It is the first piece of music you want to listen to after a hard day at work. It is the only piece of music you could never possibly get sick of, even if played on a loop in your head forever. It is that analog tape you wore out, that CD you never lost, and now it is forever stored on your computer, iPod, and phone. It is part of you; you feel the music more than listen to it—it just all fits.  For me, there is only one answer to this scenario—the “Tweezer” from Auburn Hills ’97.

In a tour in which Phish navigated the stratosphere seemingly on auto pilot, this jam tops them all. For twenty-two minutes in 1997, Phish actualized a dream-turned-memory that will last forever. Following a musical path of larger-than-life-funk leading into cosmic psychedelia, the band sculpted a drop-dead masterpiece.

Hampton (T.Caine)

Hampton (T.Caine)

As the band stepped on stage for their second set in Detroit, they toyed with “Tweezer’s” opening lick before an extended drum roll—a la “Possum”—took them into the song. A version that contained many unique brushstrokes throughout its composed section got downright filthy the moment the jam opened. Page led into the open waters with a tweaked clav line and was joined by the brontosaurus-sized bass lines of Gordon. Trey hopped atop the methodical grooves with infectious wah-based rhythm licks. When Phish locks into grooves like this one, everything feels composed, like there is a master plan behind in all.  Maybe Phish didn’t compose it, but the higher powers did, and they were just the messengers, because what transpired on this night was certainly touched by the divine.

The funk was as thick as ever, dripping from the rafters of The Palace like vines of a prehistoric jungle prehistoric. With machine-like precision, Phish threw down a groove session that holds up to any of that famed fall. By this point in the tour, their polished and nuanced “funk” had become a living and breathing entity all its own, every note fulfilling a specific purpose and holding mythological meaning. The music engulfed the arena and united all present in one collective consciousness.

Hampton (A.Kuroda)

Hampton (A.Kuroda)

Page and Trey laid down some effected textures and began a very gradual build out of the lockstep funk into a more futuristic milieu. Before the band took it out to another galaxy, however, they sat into one more funk pattern, climaxing the opening half of the jam in a classic ’97 guitar-scratching, stop-start groove. Directly following this, Trey played a lead melody that galloped the music outwards into the cosmos. As the band followed his celestial lead, Trey opened a wormhole with one majestic lick—and if you know this jam even slightly, you know the one I mean. Within a few minutes we had traveled from the Mesozoic era to place outside of space and time.

From here the music became poetry over which the bards of history would drool. Embarking on awe-inducing path of exploration, Phish transformed The Palace into an alternate, dimension of pure transcendence. Taking a turn for the dark and dramatic, the music harnessing every atom of energy in the building and beyond, transforming into seething odyssey of the unknown. The ensuing improv was the most powerful passage of music I have ever witnessed. Phish plunged the deepest of places within us all and never once missed a beat. The band put on a display that no other four humans on earth could even approach, echoing the soundtrack of the universe’s creation.

Hampton (J.Volkhausen)

Hampton (J.Volkhausen)

As this colossal segment peaked, the band tore right into “Izabella” without wasting a breath. Whoa! We found ourselves smack in the middle of “Tweezabella,” a term that would live on forever in Phish lore. The ensuing “Izabella” produced the most full-on dance rhythms ever heard from the song, and the band would go on to create one of the greatest sets of their greatest tour.

I could listen to this “Tweezer” forever, and once started, it’s hard to stop before the end of the set because the band never did. But in those twenty-two minutes Phish took us on a journey of a lifetime. In a timeless moment that might as well have lasted twenty-two days, Phish bore their soul while touching ours in a spiritual exchange that defines the very ethos of what this is all about.

***

LISTEN NOW:

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What is your “go to ” jam? Respond in Comments!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

4.1.86 Hunt’s “Festival of Fools,” Burlington, VT <  TORRENT LINK

Phish circa 1986 (The Phish Book)

Phish circa 1986 (The Phish Book)

Let’s rewind 23 years to April Fools day 1986.  Phish was still playing covers around Burlington, and writing songs that would become classics.  Highlighting this April Fool’s Day show was the second set opening prank of “Help > Slip > Bag,” as well as early versions of “Harry Hood” “You Enjoy Myself,” “Icculus,” and “McGrupp.”  Enjoy this slice of comedic history as we enter April, or in other words, one month closer to June.

I: Quinn the Eskimo, Have Mercy > Harry Hood > Dave’s Energy Guide, The Pendulum, Jam*, Icculus, You Enjoy Myself

II: Help on the Way > Slipknot! > AC/DC Bag, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Alumni Blues, Dear Mrs. Reagan, Not Fade Away^

*With Zenzile, a poet from South Africa who may have been a student at Goddard College. ^Featured members of The Joneses, with whom Phish alternated sets.

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Weekend Nuggets: The Gorge ’97

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on March 28th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

The Gorge

The Gorge

As the upcoming Gorge shows sold out yesterday, this weekend we will travel back in time to the summer of 1997 and Phish’s first visit to the venue.  Pulling into central Washington at the beginning of August, Phish was midway through their summer of deep funk and this translated beautifully to the open air beauty of The Gorge. The first night was darker and dancy, wile the second was celebratory and triumphant.  After this initial visit, Phish felt right at home at the best venue of the west coast.

8.2.97 The Gorge, George, Washington < LINK

8.2.97 The Gorge, George, Washington < TORRENT LINK

I: Theme From the Bottom, Ginseng Sullivan, Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, The Divided Sky, Wolfman’s Brother, Water in the Sky, Split Open and Melt

II: Down With Disease > Tweezer > Down with Disease > Johnny B. Goode, Sparkle, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Loving Cup, Tweezer Reprise

E: Harry Hood*

*Trey asks Chris [Kuroda] to turn the stage lights off; band jams in darkness to the stars.

Source: Schoeps CCM4>Sonosax>SV-MD1 (FOB)

phish-out-west-97-thumb***

8.3.97 The Gorge < LINK

8.3.97 The Gorge < TORRENT LINK

I: Bathtub Gin > Foam > Samson Variation, Dirt, Vultures, My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own, Twist, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Limb By Limb, Character Zero

II: Julius, Simple, Fluffhead, Lifeboy, Taste, Hello My Baby, Frankenstein

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Slave to the Traffic Light

Source: Schoeps MK5 (FOB)

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PHISH THOUGHTS TICKET EXCHANGE:

2889100254_8494a287a8The Phish Thoughts Ticket Exchange has been updated for all the new shows!  We have opend up the board to the public- no longer will you need to email for a invite.  Please respect the board as this is a community resource to get aroud the sceondary ticket market.  Please respect the board and post carefully to make sure you are putting your info in the right place.  Any questions, please email mrminer@phishthoughts.com!

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Gumbo” 7.17.98, The Gorge

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

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Twelve Years Ago: 2.17.97

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on February 17th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

phish-amsterdam-97Twelve years ago today, and four shows into 1997, the Phish created a monster.  In their second visit to Amsterdam, and their first to Paradiso, Phish played a second set that was not only musically superb, but pointed in the direction the band would head during the famed year.  It wasn’t until the Hamburg show in Germany on March 1st that the band say they “clicked” during the “Wolfman’s” jam, finally realizing the style of collaborative play they had sought.  Yet, this epic night in Amsterdam was like a neon street sign pointing in the direction of Hamburg.

Opening the second set with “The Squirming Coil,” the band built the piano outro directly into the amorphous intro of “Down With Disease.”  Throughout 1996, “Disease” had become a central jam vehicle, creating upbeat rock textures and extended feel-good excursions.  Sparked by the Clifford Ball’s third set version and strewn throughout Fall ’96, “Disease” had developed into a melodic Type I Phish anthem.  This version from Amsterdam would be vastly different.

2.17.97 Paradiso

2.17.97 Paradiso

The band sat in “Disease” territory for the first part of the jam, but as the improv progressed, some layers were pared away and the pace began to gradually slow.  When Fishman dropped his driving beat, things began to get quite interesting.  The entire band found themselves in a more spacious musical medium, allowing them to greatly alter their phrasings.  This segment first developed into a mid-tempo rendition that still held some ties to “Disease,” but that all ended at once.

As the band moved into one of the first extremely slowed down “Disease” jams, a trend that would dominate ’97, this music sounded different!   I vividly remember getting this tape and when listening to it for the first time, being staggered by the pace and patience of Phish’s playing.  This was the same band that wound up 1996 in Boston’s Fleet Center only two months earlier, but they sure sounded completely different.  This was the first early ’97  jam I heard that opened my ears to where the band was heading.  Mike was far more prominent in their slowed down grooves, while Trey played far more sparsely, accentuating the band’s rhythms.  The music seemed like molasses compared to the arena rock of late ’96, and it sounded amazing!

Paradiso 7.2.97 (M. Loertscher)

Paradiso 7.2.97 (M. Loertscher)

Careening down I-95 with a couple of friends, we sat in silent amazement as this analog uncovered the raw ’97 style for the first time.  The band brought the music to a creeping pace where every note offered by each member could be heard distinctly and meant something.  There was no high-speed layering, but a focus on completing the musical ideas that were started by each other.  As the jam hit a few rhythmic stops and starts along the way, listening to this tape was like rediscovering Phish.  Their improv just kept getting deeper and deeper, leaving any remnants of “Disease” far in their wake.

Right out of this dark and methodical jam, Phish seamlessly moved into the debut of “Lucy Had a Lumpy Head,” a song that seemed to fit congruently with their new style.  Far slower than most versions played in the future, the song was a revelation- a dark, eerie composition that catered to the new sound Phish was moving towards.  This wasn’t your happy-go-lucky-Phish; this was something wholly different.  After the band moved through the verses of their newest song, they briefly sat in the thickness before Trey initiated a soaring guitar lick that brought the jam in a totally different and triumphant direction.

244411682_f359516c38

Paradiso, Amsterdam

Leaving the song behind and embracing sublime adventure, Phish built this segment into a cathartic piece of music, complete with spontaneous melodic chants.   Before long, the band was back to a quicker place and carried a strong melodic theme that directed the jam.  Page commandeered the lead with his aggressive piano patterns, while the rest of the band created a dissonant backdrop for his work.  This was Phish in the process of discovering; taking risks with abandon and just creating.

Flowing through more overt psychedelic textures, the band naturally arrived at a chugging rhythm which transformed into yet another section of improv; one far closer to the groove-based sound the band was gradually uncovering.  Spanning several peaks and valleys of musical creativity, this surreal jam out of “Lucy” is must hear Phish- and was so revolutionary in its context.

17Accessing a far more mellow and transcendent realm in its final stage, this jam contained it all- a beautiful illustration of Phish at their best and on the brink of something huge.  Without any awkwardness whatsoever, the band transformed their gorgeous ambient creation into the beginning of “Taste.”

This “Taste” was phenomenal, carrying all the energy and momentum Phish had built over the course of the night; however, instead of focusing on the jam itself, I want to highlight one of the most masterful transitions in the band’s history.  As Phish built the song’s polyrhythmic patterns, it was clear that their musical brains were adhered tightly together.  Moving effortlessly through the soaring jam, the band prepared to approach the final ascent to the peak of the jam- and they were absolutely crushing it.  Building…building…building…the peak was imminent, as Trey hit  the melody signaling to his mates to enter the final stages.  Yet, instead of playing the shrill peak to “Taste,” Trey perfectly- and i mean perfectly- laid down the “Disease” lick at the peak of the jam, bringing them back to where this madness had begun.  The rest of the band moved triumphantly with him, reentering “Disease” immediately.  This was one of those spine-tingling Phish moments that my friends and I listened to at least 1000 times, often cheering in response, as if the band had just hit a home run.

1997-02-17gnPhish pulled off such a full-speed and wildly creative idea with absolute flawlessness it was almost too much to believe.  The perfect apex to an incredibly new-sounding set, Phish was off and running down the yellow brick road of 1997.  The final three songs-  “Suzy, “Caspian,” and “Sleeping Monkey”- were mere afterthoughts to the revolutionary playing that had preceded them.  This was only the beginning, but what a beginning it was!

***

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

2.17.97 Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL < LINK

I: Soul Shakedown Party*, The Divided Sky, Wilson, My Soul, Guyute, Timber Ho!, Billy Breathes, Llama, Bathtub Gin > Golgi Apparatus

II: The Squirming Coil > Down With Disease > Lucy Had a Lumpy Head* > Taste > Down With Disease, Suzy Greenberg, Prince Caspian

E: Sleeping Monkey, Rocky Top

*First time played

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“NO SPOILERS” HAMPTON DOWNLOADS – UPDATE

phishhamptoncrowd

The Mothership

We are making quick progress in our quest to bring “No Spoilers” versions of the Hampton shows to anyone and everyone who can’t make it.  We have created a FAQ and all information related to this project will be hosted at http://phishthoughts.com/nospoilers.  If you have any further questions, comments or suggestions, please email them to nospoilers@phishthoughts.com.

If you are patient enough to stay off the grid, this will be the next best thing to being at Hampton.  You will experience the show in tape delay, but also in mystery, without knowing what Phish decided to bust out.  You can have a legitimate Phish party if you have enough like-minded friends!

Remember, bookmark http://phishthoughts.com/nospoilers !!  (This URL is subject to change; stay tuned!)

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NO MORE LANGUEDOC

Paul @ Hampton '04

Paul @ Hampton '04

The rumor that has bounced around the Internet has been confirmed, Paul Languedoc will no longer be mixing sound for Phish.  Here is some recent correspondence between a Phish Thoughts reader (name removed) and Paul:

Hey Paul,

you’re probably getting a lot of this but the band wont be the same with out you. I hope your back to keep those boards consistent and the band pumping. They need you and most of all we need you! A band is like an instrument with out a main component it will never be the best! You know this better then anyone!


Thanks so much for the compliments, but I’m sorry to say I won’t be with the band on the upcoming dates. I had to move on a few years ago and I like very much what I’m doing now. It’s true that I’m getting a lot of this, nice to be appreciated.

Take care,

Paul L


Best of luck, Paul.  We will miss you.

Just keep making those guitars for Trey!

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Weekend Nuggets: The Back of the Worm

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on February 14th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Paradisio 7.2.97

Paradisio 7.2.97

In the middle of their revolutionary Summer ’97 Europe run, Phish stopped for two nights in Amsterdam.  Following up their amazing show on 2.17.97, Phish brought the heat in the former church turned venue, The Paradiso.  Legend has it that during their weekend in the worlds psychedelic capitol, Trey had some “adventures” resulting in this stage banter:

Now be careful when you walk out of here tonight…because you don’t want to be swallowed up by one of those worms in the canal. You know those toilets on the side of the road here — don’t go in there — because you’ll get sucked down into the canal and be stuck all night riding along those giant worms….you might think I’m kidding around, but it happened to me last night and it was scary.

One can only imagine the antics that went into that story!  Nonetheless, “the back of the worm” became the theme of the weekend, as the phrase was repeated and catcalled by Trey and Fish throughout several jams during both shows.

"Wormtown jam" 7.2.97

"Wormtown jam" 7.2.97

The music over these two shows stellar was very illustrative of the changes the band was undertaking during their Europe run.  The first night started with an extended “Ghost” story, setting the laid back and funked-out tone for the stand.  Both second sets were perfectly flowing sets of improvisational Phish.

7.2 began quickly with a massive first set “Mike’s Sandwich,” while set two featured a 30-minute masterpiece in “Stash,” and a “Llama” that found its way into a jam that brought everyone onto the “back of the worm.”  This legendary set was capped with a double encore- taboot, taboot.  These shows were classic pieces of the Summer of 1997.

7.1.97 Paradisio, Amsterdam, NL < LINK

1997-07-01gnI: Ghost, Horn, Ya Mar, Limb By Limb, Ain’t Love Funny, I Saw It Again, Dirt, Reba, Dogs Stole Things

II: Jam* > Timber Ho!,  Bathtub Gin > Cities, Loving Cup, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: When the Circus Comes

*Fish alone on piano, then builds into a jam distinct from “Timber Ho!”

7.2.97 Paradisio, Amsterdam, NL < LINK

1997-07-02gnI: Mike’s Song > Simple > Maze, Strange Design, Ginseng Sullivan, Vultures, Water in the Sky, Weekapaug Groove

II: Jam > Stash > Llama > Worm Town Jam* > Wading in the Velvet Sea

E1: Free^

E2: David Bowie

*A jam on “Swing Town”  (Steve Miller tune) with dark vocals about “Back of the Worm.”  ^Band left stage after Free.

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VIDEOS OF THE WEEKEND: CLIFFORD BALL DVD PREVIEWS

“Punch You In the Eye”
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“Fluffhead”

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A Desert Antelope

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on February 9th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

I was blindsided at the gym this weekend.  No, not by some musclehead in a roid rage, but by an aggressively improvisational “Antelope” that might as well have been on the cream and the clear.  I had been continuously working my way through a Phish playlist from a friend, and as I was finishing the cardio portion of my workout, the old school version of “Oblivious Fool” came on.  Not particularly suitable for working out, and an odd addition to the playlist altogether, I skipped directly to the next song-  Antelope.

gw2I didn’t bother to look at the date or anything, I just kept going.  Since I consider myself pretty well-versed in Phish, especially Phish highlights, I thought I’d figure out what I was listening to.  Yet, as the jam progressed, it was raging, and though I could tell it was from ’97 or ’98, it didn’t ring a bell.

During the late ’90s, Antelope’s jams generally remained within their predestined structure.  While there was never any lack of improvisational madness, Anetlope jams rarely went “way out” there, or really anywhere except where you thought they would go.  In no way is this a knock on the song; the same holds true for “Harry Hood” or “Slave.”  That’s just the way some Phish jams are.  There was no shortage of huge Antelope’s in the late ’90s, but the song didn’t necessarily possess the adventure it did in ’94 and ’95.  It’s just the way things were.  But this version blaring in my ears was different.

533239286_d84e190ab7As this mystery Antelope raged on, Trey annihilated the early jam with soaring evil licks, before moving into more intricate patterns of notes.  All the while, the band was knee deep in a heavy, sinister groove.  This music began moving in an alternate direction as Fish and Mike switched up the rhythm; less straight ahead than most Antelopes, and as I was doing sit-ups, my ears perked up and took notice of the diverging musical course.

Pretty quickly the improv got really dark and the entire band began jamming out of the song’s structure.  Entering a quiet and murky musical pond, Mike’s bass lines lead the way.  The music continued progressing “way out” of “Antelope” and into some insane Phish improv.  “What!?” I thought.  Quickly flipping over my iPod to see what I was listening to and why I wasn’t fully cognizant of this epic jam I was immediately foiled- no date, Damn!  I decided to ride it out.

Moving deeper in, the music got into some slower melodic places that do not really come out of Antelopes.  Straight up mystical, transcendent Phish- this was crazy!  It was like hearing a brand new Phish jam for the first time; and that hadn’t happened in eons.  The band built the jam into a faster affair with all members just shredding at insane speeds, gradually merging paths with the original course of the song.  As the band built towards the Antelope peak, the playing was particularly frenetic, yet beautifully coherent- one of those things that Phish does masterfully.  To an untrained ear, it sounds like cacophony, but when you hear what they are actually doing at the peak of an Antelope, it’s just absurd.

gw1The jam finally dropped into the post-peak funk at the seventeen minute mark to the monstrous roar of the crowd.  The band continued to heavily improvise throughout the “composed” ending, as they tended to to when they were feeling the flow.  This normally routine section became quite interesting with heavy effects from Page, Mike and Trey, and then they popped into the final chorus with more spunk than usual.  This was my new favorite Antelope, but what was it?  As I looked back at the playlist menu, it was listed under 7.29.97.  A ha! Desert Sky. I had a huge “Oh yeah!” moment, as I remembered the magnitude of this Antelope that batted second in set two.

I wasn’t at that Phoenix show, and for some reason, I hadn’t heard the jam since the late ’90s.  A pretty high key show to have just forgotten about, but aside for the first set “Gumbo,” I had.  That’s what’s so great about Phish- just when you think you’ve heard it all, you’ll hear a new jam that absolutely floors you.  There are just so many out there, and soon, there will be so many more.

LISTEN TO 7.29.97’s Antelope now! < LINK (Roll over link and press play)

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.29.97 Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ < LINK

1997-07-29mo1Here is the show you just read about, and I forgot about.  It’s a certain keeper from the Summer of ’97.  With one of the great “Gumbos,” a classic-sounding “Ghost,” an early, yet all-time great version of “Twist,” and of course the epic “Antelope,” this show was as hot as the weather it was played in.

I: Theme From the Bottom, Beauty of My Dreams, Gumbo, Dirt, Sparkle, Ghost, Swept Away > Steep > Loving Cup

II: Oblivious Fool, Run Like an Antelope, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Twist, Taste, Sample in a Jar, Rocky Top, The Squirming Coil

E: Possum

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HELP SAVE THE ANTELOPE!

400799230152In honor of today’s topic, I wanted to highlight a community member’s effort to help save the North American Pronghorn Antelope.  The website, Antelope Gatefree Paradise, details the issues putting Antelope in danger and what you can do to help.  In addition, you can purchase the classic lot shirts and stickers with the famous “Antelope Crossing” logo under “Merchandise.”  All proceeds go to volunteer organizations actively working to save the Pronghorn Antelope.  You can help out and score one of the all-time classic Phish lot t-shirts all at the same time!

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Weekend Nuggets: The Great Went

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on December 27th, 2008 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

phish-great-went97As we return from the holidays, let’s finish some unfinished business.  The last “Download Of the Day” was night one of The Great Went.  This weekend’s downloads complete all of the music that happened on this historic and memorable first trip to Limestone.  With magic dancing in the air, the feeling of complete isolation from society was enchanting.  Taking on a whole different feeling than The Clifford Ball, the sheer distance that people drove to get to the tip of America made Limestone feel like it belonged to us.  We had our own little Phish city in the middle of nowhere.  The Lemonwheel and IT would carry this tradition proudly, but there was nothing like the first time we stepped foot on Loring Air Force Base.  Relive the weekend in all its glory, including Kevin Shapiro’s broadcasts from the archives that we heard all weekend.  (I’ll put a link to night one in this post as well, for the convenience of having everything in one place.)

8.16.97 The Great Went, Limestone, ME SBD < LINK

8.17.97 The Great Went, Limestone, ME SBD < LINK

I: The Wedge, Beauty of My Dreams, Dogs Stole Things, Vultures, Water in the Sky > Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer > Taste, Carolina

II: Down With Disease > Bathtub Gin > Uncle Pen, Also Sprach Zarathustra >Art Jam* > Harry Hood

III: Buffalo Bill > NICU, Weigh, Guyute, Dirt, Scent of a Mule# > Prince Caspian

E: When the Circus Comes > Tweezer Reprise^

*The band members take turns painting large designs at the side of the stage. Then, the crowd “carries” the pieces of this design to the side of the venue where it is assembled and hoisted for everyone to see onto a tower. This wood tower is tall and covered in painted plywood and has been built during the two shows.  As “Harry Hood” goes into its jam, Trey asks Chris to turn the lights off, and the band jams while the front section has a gigantic Glow Stick War. #No Muel Duel.  ^The entire art tower was burned to the ground.

8.16.97 Late Night “Disco Tent” < LINK

The Great Went Archives Radio Show < LINK

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VIDEOS OF THE WEEKEND:

“2001 > Art Banter” 8.17.97

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“Tweezer” Jam 8.17.97

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