TTFM: Summer ’99 Lesser Knowns

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on May 28th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

7-7-1999, Charlotte, NC (musicgods.com)

Summer ’99 was the third summer in a row in which Phish expounded on groove-based playing. With Mike in the middle, throughout this summer they began to sculpt their millennial sound that would carry them through the year. The band moved into a more layered, drone and hypnotic style of play, as Trey favored harder-edged guitar with sheets of sound and dissonant, effect-laden soundscapes that veered from the center-stage soloing of summers past. Phish cranked out a ton of highlights during their month-long jaunt, and many of them are household jams at this point. But for today’s playlist, I assembled some of the less talked about jams from another Summer ’99. Worcester awaits…

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Bathtub Gin” 6.30.99 I, Bonner Springs, KS

The very first song of summer blossomed into a 20-minute, ambient-laced affair.

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Down With Disease > Caspian” 7.1.99 II, Nashville, TN

This jam took place while an impending storm zeroed in on Nashville. Once the band splashed into the following “YEM” jam, the skies opened and the place got hit with a deluge.

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Split Open and Melt” 7.26.99 II, Noblesville, IN

The last jam of the US tour from the final set of Deer Creek.

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Fee” 7.8.99 I, Va. Beach, VA

A second-song monster from Virginia Beach.

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Antelope” 7.3.99 II, Atlanta, GA

A scorching, mid-set rendition from Lakewood.

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2001 > Misty Mountain Hop” 7.20.99 II, Toronto, ON

This set-closing combo punctuated of Phish’s quick stop north of the border.

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Ghost” 7.20.99 I, Toronto, ON

Possibly the only Summer ’99 “Ghost” that isn’t well known at this point. Mike anchors the band with outlandish rhythmic calisthenics from the get-go in this first-setter.

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Tweezer -> Catapult -> Tweezer” 7.24.99 II, E.Troy, WI

While not exactly dark-horse, Alpine’s thick and looped-out “Tweezer” has always lived in the shadows of Camden’s masterpiece and Oswego’s standout version. And what’s a playlist without a “Tweezer?”

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Birds of a Feather” 7.23.99 II, Columbus, OH

An exploratory beast that came amidst a heavy-hitting second set at Polaris.

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David Bowie” 7.4.99 I, Atlanta, GA

This “Bowie” closed the first set of July 4th on its highest point before Phish came out and threw down a monster second.

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YEM” 7.7.99 II, Charlotte, NC

This groove-centric “YEM” capped one of my favorite start-to-finish sets of summer.

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Retro Post: Exploring on the Eighth

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on December 8th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

8.15.11 - UIC Pavilion (Michael Stein)

Today, I’ll let my blog do my work for me. Here’s a link to last year’s December 8th installment of December jam memoirs, a series of posts in which I tracked the calendar using Phish jams. The intro is below.

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Exploring on the Eighth

Today, our December focus shift onto two sprawling excursions that took place on the eighth day of the month in 1995 and 1999. Both selections — Cleveland’s “Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” and Cumberland County Civic Center’s “Piper” — feature musical explorations that veer far off the beaten path, providing snapshots of the band’s experimental side as seen through the lenses of 1995 and 1999…Read On!

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Jam of the Day:

Piper > Dog-Faced Boy” 12.8.99 II

Part of a stellar second set at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. Read about it in the article linked above.

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VIDEO OF THE DAY: “Jennifer Dances” 12.7.99 II

One of the three December ’99 performances of the much-maligned tune. I’ve always wondered, “What’s not to like?”

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Weekend Nuggets: Pure Magic

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on April 16th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

Twelve years ago…

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“Shakedown Street” 4.15.99 II

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“Row Jimmy” 4.16.99 I

*****

Jam of the Weekend:

Dark Star -> It’s Up to You” 4.17.99 I

The peak of a jaw-dropping weekend.

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Bonus Jams:

Wolfman’s -> Uncle John’s Band” 4.15 II

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Prince Caspian > St. Stephen -> The Eleven” 4.16 II

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Downloads of the Weekend: Phil and Friends April ’99

4.15.99 SBD, 4.16.99 SBD, 4.17.99 SBD < Megaupload

ALL THREE NIGHTS - SBD (FLAC via etree) < Torrent

4.15.99

I: Viola Lee Blues, Big Railroad Blues, Jack-a-Roe, Cosmic Charlie, Wolfman’s Brother -> Uncle John’s Band

II: Alabama Getaway, Sugaree, Like a Rolling Stone > I Know You Rider, Row Jimmy, Shakedown Street -> The Wheel > Not Fade Away

E: Mr Tambourine Man

4.16.99

I: Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower, Wish You Were Here, Tennessee Jed, Stella Blue*, Alligator

II: Bertha**, Prince Caspian > St Stephen -> The Eleven > Unbroken Chain, Chalkdust Torture, Mountains of the Moon, Scarlet Begonias**-> Fire On The Mountain**

E: Ripple (acoustic)**

*instrumental ** W/ Donna Jean Godchaux MacKay

4.17.99

I: Dark Star -> It’s Up to You, Days Between -> Dark Star (first verse) -> My Favorite Things, Mississippi Half-Step, Birdsong

II: Terrapin Station -> Down with Disease -> Dark Star (second verse) -> Friend of the Devil, Casey Jones, Morning Dew, Goin Down The Road Feelin Bad* > And We Bid You Goodnight

E: Box of Rain

* w/ Donna

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Phish For Japan

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on March 24th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

7.31.99 Field of Heaven, Fuji Rock Cover

In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that recently hit northeastern Japan, yesterday Phish announced the official release of 7.31.99‘s iconic performance from the Fuji Rock Festival’s Field of Heaven as a benefit for the Japanese people. The show will be remastered by Fred Kevorkian and released in both download and CD formats, with all proceeds going to Peace Winds America. All funds collected for disaster relief will go to support operations through their sister organization, Peace Winds Japan. Relief operations are currently underway in Miuyagi Prefecture, where Peace Winds is on the ground providing food, clothing, medicines and temporary shelter to survivors. With an inevitably abrupt transition, let’s now take a look back at the show selected for release.

Right after the their US Summer Tour concluded in Deer Creek on July 26,1999, Phish hopped across the Pacific Ocean to make their first appearance in Japan at the Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata. And ever since the 40 minutes of “2001 > Bowie” traveled from the Field of Heaven back to America, this show has been one of legend. One of the finest “Bowie’s” of the late-’90s built into an intricate psychedelic beast in the intimate wooded setting of the Field of Heaven. And coupled with a smoking and extended ’99-style “2001,” this segment has lived in lore since it happened. But there are other treats in this show as well.

8.1.99 - Japan (phish.com)

First and foremost, late in the second set Phish played one of the greatest versions of “Prince Caspian” of their career. The usually uplifting song reached a whole ‘nother level on this night, and the result was nothing short of astounding. Carrying a far slower pace than usual—a characteristic that defined all of Phish’s playing at open-air Field of Heaven—the band patiently built one “Caspian’s” most cathartic versions. With searing guitar licks amidst a laid-back groove, Trey screamed from his soul through the entirety of this majestic highlight. Mike and Page joined in the climactic jamming while Fishman framed the piece with an unusually slow and dramatic beat.

Following this all-time “Caspian,” Phish stepped right into “Fluffhead,” maintaining the triumphant feel of the latter part of the night. One last explosive peak on this signature set gave way to a “Squirming Coil” denouement. And even the encore included something special. Before any song started, Tibetan monk Nawang Khechog came on stage to discuss human rights in Tibet. When he was done, Khechog performed a meditative piece with on a traditional horn with Fishman on vacuum, and then joined the band on wooden flute for “Brain and Robert.” The show finished with an experimental jaunt though “Simple” as Trey built his solo into furious sheets of sound over the band’s mellow textures. Morphing into to a searing-turned-ambient-turned-rocking jam, the band never stopped bringing IT until the show’s final cymbal crash. The first set is no slouch either, highlighted by a gorgeous “Limb by Limb,” a tar-thick “Free” and a particularly snarling version of “Character Zero. Needless to say, the band was on all night—and all weekend—at Fuji Rock.

Pollock '99

It’s great to see Phish using their music for a good cause, but it seems like a odd move to choose a show that widely circulates in soundboard fashion to generate donations. (Some believe it to be a pristine audience recording.) While I am sure Kevorkian’s treatment will juice up the recording and provide a considerable upgrade, why not drop something completely new from Phish’s Japanese exploits—specifically Summer 2000? Aside from the already-released gem from Drum Logos in Fukuoka (6.14.00), the band played several other monster shows during that tour—an awesome run that represented their last full-on gasp of creativity before slowly winding down over the rest of summer and fall towards Shoreline. Why not drop the Tokyo “Tweezer” and the On Air East show (6.9.00) or the Zepp-Osaka tour-closer (6.16.00) and its next-level “Runaway Jim?” And there are also stellar options in between, such as Zepp-Tokyo (6.10.00) and The Big Cat in Osaka (6.15.00). Despite all these choices however, the organization definitely chose a stellar show for remastering; a gorgeous portrait of Summer ’99. I just hope, for charity’s sake, that as many people buy the upgrade as would a brand new show.

The expected release date of the download at LivePhish will be April 15th. The expected ship date of the CD from Phish Dry Goods will be May 10th, though pre-orders are being taken now through both sites.

In the past, charitable downloads at LivePhish.com have raised over $100,000 for four non-profits: the Harbor House of New Jersey (The Headphones Jam), the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fund (Katrina Relief) and the American Red Cross (Haiti Relief). Additionally, the Mockingbird Foundation receives funding on an on-going basis from the proceeds at LivePhish.com.

I: My Friend, My Friend, Golgi Apparatus, Back on the Train, Limb By Limb, Free, Roggae, Sparkle, Character Zero

II: 2001 > David Bowie, Wading in the Velvet Sea > Prince Caspian, Fluffhead, The Squirming Coil

E: Jam* > Brian and Robert**, Simple

* w/ Nawang Khechog on horn, ** w/ Nawang Khechog on wooden flute

*****

“Prince Caspian” 7.31.99 II

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Jam of the Day:

2001 > David Bowie” 7.31.99 II

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

3.22.2011 MGB @ Brooklyn Bowl, NYC

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

3.22.11 (C.LaJaunie)

I: Idea, The Walls of Time, Sugar Shack, Cities, Can’t Stand Still, Heavy Metal > The Spiritual Jam, Crumblin’ Bones, Black Tambourine, Hap-Nappy

II: Horizon Line, The Void*, Cruel World, Got Away, Middle of the Road, Suskind Hotel > La La La > Suskind Hotel

E: Meat

* w/ dance contest

Source: AKG se300b/ck91 > Edirol UA-5 (bm2p+) > iRiver h120

Idea

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*****

3.22.11 - Brooklyn Bowl (C.LaJaunie)

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Remembering Raleigh

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on December 16th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Phish wound their way down to Raleigh on December 16, 1999, and after their performance at Reynolds Coliseum on campus at North Carolina State University, only two shows separated the band and their millennial destiny. On this night 11 years ago, Phish threw down a show that would top Hampton’s next two, featuring a pair of December 99′s defining jams in the second set.

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Sand” 12.16.99 II

12.2.99 - (Unkown)

Opening the set with “Sand,” the song of the tour, this version blossomed into, perhaps, the most impressive until Big Cypress. A colossal excursion filled with layers of sonic manipulation, this version brought together many of the ideas presented in “Sand” throughout the tour. The initial section — an eerie bass-led soundscape — featured more effects that Phish used during all of Fall 2010. Stirring this psychedelic cauldron, the band brought the jam to a lead-less rolling boil before Trey got onto his keyboard to offer a sense of guiding melody. Building off his work in Washington, DC’s “Free” from the night before, Trey laid down a more complex, hypnotic melody that infused the sinister jam with swagger. Toying with this layer for some time, he then got onto guitar and improvised around the identical melody he had just created on keyboard. Turning into a showcase of apocalyptic groove, Page offered piano retorts to Trey’s seething lines, while Fish and Mike annihilated the bottom half of the music. Morphing his notes into dissonant melodies and then abstract phrases, Trey joined his band mates in creating a wide-open wall of psychedleia. Easily the most listened-to “Sand” in my collection, this version provided a perfect snapshot of Phish as they headed for the their all-night trek into 2000.

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Tweezer” 12.16.99 II

12.18.99 (Chris Heppner)

The second set of Raleigh started with “Sand,” and peaked with this millennial journey into the stratosphere. Setting the jam at a menacing pace, Phish used its initial section to, specifically, craft the drone backing for their musical conversation. Upon a mini-build, Mike burst onto the scene with a section of lead-bass acrobatics that got the jam moving in earnest. And then Earnest came in. Offering the perfect compliments to Gordeaux’s monster statements, the entire band locked a series of slamming ’99 grooves before taking the jam to a place of calm. Out of this brief respite, Fishman switched into a delicate rhythm nd Trey joined him with short, accented licks that pushed the music in an original direction. As Page and Mike hop joined this groove, one of the most magical sections of Fall ’99 Phish emerged. Taking a cathartic climb out of the dark and dissonant, the band gradually built into a soul-searching “Slave” jam that retained aspects of the grungy backdrop. A blissful sequence that peaked with passion and descended back down into abstract layers of sound, this “Tweezer” provided one of those out-of-body experiences that are only possible when Phish is tapped into to the universe’s greater powers.

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Jam of the Day:

Reba” 12.16.95 II

Since I haven’t mentioned the first night of Lake Placid — 12.16.95 — here is the show’s most significant jam. The following night would blow this one out of the water.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.7.1994 Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, PA

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Stabler Arena - Lehigh University

The first show of Fall ’94 goes out as a reader request for Henry Gale — or so he says.

I: My Friend, My Friend, Julius, Glide, Poor Heart, The Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, Stash, Guyute*, Golgi Apparatus

II: Maze, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Reba, Wilson, Scent of a Mule, Tweezer, Lifeboy, My Sweet One, Tweezer Reprise

E: Foreplay/Long Time*, Cavern

*debut

Source: Unknown

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Another December Holiday

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on December 11th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Continuing our run through Decembers of legend, today I am re-posting an article originally published on December 11, 2008, called “Two Anniversaries.” Discussed are the insane shows of 12.11.97 in Rochester and 12.11.99 in Philadelphia. Had I more time, the article might as well have been called “Three Anniversaries” and included the Phish’s top-shelf stop at Portland, Maine’s Cumberland County Civic Center on the same day in 1995. Audio highlights from all three standout 12.11′s are included below in “Saturday Jams.” (Click show dates for direct download, torrent and grab a 12.11 remaster below the setlists.)

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“Two Anniversaries”

Today we find ourselves on the anniversary of a couple very Phishy shows. In addition to the Cumberland County ’95 show, this date brought two monsters in 1997 and in 1999. These two nights in Rochester and Philly were both instant fan favorites of their respective tours, and both are vibrant illustrations of where the band stood at that time. Happy 12.11!

12.11.97 War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, New York (SBD)

First, let’s circle back to a cold and dreary winter day December 1997. Phish was on the brink of finishing their now legendary fall tour. On the heels of a monumental Midwestern weekend and a stop at State College, Phish pulled into the Rochester’s War Memorial Auditorium, a room that hosted the Grateful Dead on several occasions. The show proved to fall right in line with Fall ’97’s colossal outings featuring one of the best second sets of the month.

11.24.09 (C.Garber)

The night opened up with the energetic three-song combo of “Punch, Disease > Maze.” “Punch,” one of the great openers in the band’s catalog, set the table on this night for a phenomenal “Down With Disease.” Within this upper-echelon excursion, Phish tore apart the song’s thematic jam for ten minutes before slowing down into syrupy rhythms that quickly brought the music to a far deeper place. From this juncture forwards, it grew quite apparent that Phish was tapped into greater energies on this evening. As the piece developed, Trey began to solo with a menacing musical scowl while the band dropped into a dripping groove around him. This now-famous “Disease” became a significant tour highlight mere minutes into the first set. Phish flicked the switch on early in the night, and it remained locked in position for the duration of the evening.

Phish brought “Disease’s” delicate dance patterns to a slow and winding close, as they seamlessly morphed into “Maze.” Bringing maniacal madness into the mix, Phish took the energy already in the room, and channeled it directly into their harrowing improv, creating a forty-minute set-opening segment that jumped off the stage and directly down the throats of the audience. Allowing little time for warm up, the band reserved their mellower moments for the end of the set, decelerating with “Dirt, “Limb by Limb” and “Loving Cup” before closing with an out of place “Rocky Top.”

This mind-bending improvisation continued throughout the standout second set. Phish quickly upped the ante with a twenty-minute “Drowned” opener that immediately sat among the heaviest, most creative, and darkest slices of psychedelia dropped during the tour. After jump-starting the show in shredding fashion, the band put the pedal back to the metal as soon as set two began. About halfway through “Drowned,” the band gradually moved away from the song structure into original improv. Moving from uptempo ferocity into slow and murky textures, this jaunt, all of a sudden, became a lot more interesting. For the duration of the piece, the band explored eerie musical planes with the patience and precision of a surgeon, methodically juxtaposing the two halves of the jam. As Trey layered infectious licks over a thickening groove, this jam soon tramsformed into an ambient affair with loops and effects galore.

Bittersweet Motel DVD

In a now-famous moment, this standout jam wove its way into the debut of Ween’s “Roses Are Free,” a performance made famous by the documentary, Bittersweet Motel. While few were familiar with the song on this evening, all would come to know it as sacred ground come Nassau merely four months from this debut. The ending riff to the song proved a perfect launching point for the rare “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.” The lights went dark with white strobes, and the band dove into the quirky Phish-metal.  Trey ran laps around the stage amidst the maddening music, lending a deranged and tone to the already standout show. A version that lasted eight minutes, full of dissonant build and distorted climax, this was not your average “BBFCFM!” As if the band had gone temporarily insane, the asylum’s soundtrack morphed into an excessively slow and heavy groove, not unlike the ending of “Axilla.” Painting a sinister musical backdrop, Phish reveled in pushing the crowd to the brink. After a two-minute ending of beatless distortion, the band dropped into a perfectly placed funk-relief in “Ghost.”

Giving the crowd exactly what they needed, this “Ghost” leaped onto the top shelf of all-star versions in a standout year for the song. Providing the show with a much needed release of flowing Phish grooves, the band took liberty in precisely ripping the only “Fall ’97 funk jam” of the night – another factor that made Rochester so unique. A seamless “Disease Reprise” emerged out of this multi-dimensional odyssey, artistically closing the musical ideas sparked at the beginning of the show, and bringing the evening full circle.

I: Punch You in the Eye > Down With Disease > Maze, Dirt, Limb By Limb, Loving Cup, Rocky Top

II: Drowned  > Roses Are Free* > Big Black Furry Creature From Mars > Ghost > Down With Disease (Reprise) > Johnny B. Goode

E: Waste

*Ween cover, first time played

FLAC Torrent (SBD/AUD Matrix) < Link

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12.11.99 The Spectrum Philadelphia, PA

The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

When Phish came back to The Spectrum for the second consecutive night in December ’99, they had a little redeeming to do. After a botched transition from “Have Mercy” back into “David Bowie” the night before, the band bailed on the idea in full and awkwardly moved into a Fishman interlude of “Cracklin’ Rosie,” all but killing the momentum of the set. The band stumbled to the finish line with low-energy versions of “Twist” and “Waste,” but what a difference a night can make!

1999′s version of December 11 presented, arguably, Phish’s strongest outing of their climactic December 1999 tour. Opening with “Harry Hood” for the first time in almost ten years (1.20.90), the twenty-minute version let everyone know they we were in for a treat! Expecting a breather to follow the intense “Hood,” Phish brought “Mike’s Groove” – ya’ gotta’ love it! Giving the “Groove” full treatment, the band migrated from the evil soup into “Simple” then “Hydrogen” before closing the segment with a smoking “Weekapaug.” After a reflective moment in “When the Circus Come to Town,” Phish leapt into Gordon’s rarity, “Scent of a Mule”- all in the first set! The Spectrum buzzed loudly during setbreak with the feeling that set two would be extraordinary. And it was.

In one of the tightest sets of 1999, Phish destroyed their classic Philly haunt with a frame of celebratory segues and pure dance madness. If you liked to move at Phish shows, then “Sally > Ghost > 2001 > Disease” provided the perfect soundtrack. Packed to the hilt with dense Phish grooves and a complex ambient build before “2001,” this sequence stood on par with any music that reared its head in ’99. “Ghost” and “2001” were both top-notch versions, and the latter space odyssey spun The Spectrum with the ease of Medowlark Lemons, Spaldings and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” The entire segment totaled 55 minutes of pure Phish crack; one of those unquestionably special sets that everyone agreed upon when it ended.

An incredibly well played show comprised of almost all improvisation, December 11, 1999 was an unforgettable night. One can hear the crowd roaring on the tapes, responding to the full-on Phish carpet bombing all night long. A night of beauty in a the City of Brotherly Love, December 11 brought, perhaps, Phish’s greatest performance in The Spectrum (with 12.15.95 as the only contender).

I: Harry Hood, Mike’s Song > Simple > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, When the Circus Comes, Scent of a Mule, Cavern

II: Boogie On Reggae Woman , Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Ghost > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Down with Disease

E: Possum

DOWNLOAD 12.11. REMASTER! < Link

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Saturday Jams: December 11th Highlights

Drowned > Roses Are Free” 12.11. 97 II

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Sally > Ghost > 2001” 12.11.99 II

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Reba” 12.11.95 I

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The Curtain > Bowie” 12.11.95 II

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From Darkness Into Light

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on March 24th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Big Cypress Poster

Darkness and light, opposite symbols that go to the very core of cultural mythology. The psychedelic journey often mirrors these poles, taking one from the eye of the beast to the most glorious, self-realizing peaks. Staring down the dark side in order to most clearly see the light of one’s new self. While Phish regularly condenses these introspective rites into three-hour sessions, on one occasion they had all night. In the swamps of Florida, on the brink of 2000, Phish finally had the setting to match their goal – an all-night affair with no restraints. In the Clifford Ball DVD extras, filmed in 1996, the band spoke of the “LG,” or the “Long Gig” they envisioned one day, where the band would just keep playing and playing, outlasting even the fans who stayed all night and beyond. They claimed it would happen; they’d get port-potties onstage, and one day they’d play their “Long Gig;” it was the ultimate goal. While the band exaggerated in typical fashion throughout the interview, the glimmer in their eyes told a different story. Through their goofy looks and hyperbole, one can see the sincerity behind their claims. They meant it. And finally, on December 31, 1999, Phish had their “LG.”

Big Cypress - 12.31.99

In their 1996 interview, Trey pondered what type of music the band would play after 60 or 70 hours straight. Well on this night, eight would have to be the test. And the results were other worldly. Producing jams that were connected by a certain ethereal quality, like a patient thread splicing together the band’s divine musical offerings. Without time constraints, and armed with their port-o-potty, Phish played as the spirit moved, extending jams as long as felt natural. While no single piece of music broke any record, (somewhat surprisingly), the night included many extended jams, first highlighted by the night’s opening features of “Disease,” “Bathtub Gin,” and a sublime “Twist > Caspian” which truly began to set the musical tone for the evening. Following next came one of the nights longer, thematic and defining jams, “Rock and Roll.”

The darkest chunk of the night kicked off with a scorching “Crosseyed,” which carried a melodic progression throughout the jam, and peaked with a percussive 40-minute apocalyptic grooves of “Sand > Quadraphonic Toppling,” bringing the many climactic late ’99 versions to an unquestionable head. Resolving this darkness with a multi-tiered “Slave,” the band commenced the jam without even a beat remaining until it became time to move. Phish let is all hang down on this night, playing a macrocosm of any regular show, we all finally had a place to be instead hallucinating in hotel rooms until the sun came up.

The Beginning of "Roses" (D.Clinch)

Perhaps the most connected piece of music came in the depths of the evening, as the band brought a reprise of “After Midnight” into one of the most hallowed musical passages of their career – set and setting considered. Powerful, soulful, music, channelled from the ether, where every note mattered as much as the next. The final peak of the night came as the sky began to turn a dark grey, foreshadowing the oncoming day. Phish sat into “Roses Are Free” for one of few times since their epic Nassau adventure in April ’98, but never had they again transcended the composition. But when they unshelved the song on the brink of dawn to bring in the millennium’s first sunrise, everyone knew this time would be different. Moving right out of the song into multi-faceted epic, the band passed through several planes of ambient, melodic, and, finally, deeply dark and churning music. The ultimate stage seemed as though the universe’s final plates were shifting into alignment for the onset of the new era.

Before the sun began to rise in earnest, the sky boasted stunning patterns of pink puffy clouds that nobody who witnessed will ever forget. Phish and the forces were at work again, this time collaborating on a soundtrack for the passage of time. And while that is what the entire night represented, the entry back into morning’s light boiled down to the second-only “Roses” jam.

And it was good.

Almost eight hours, or a lifetime later, Phish had finally done it. They had played their “LG.”

***

“The Long Gig” – Clifford Ball Extras, 1996

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Jam of the Day:

Roses Are Free” 12.31.99 > 1.1.00

Here’s the epic piece that brought darkness into the dawn of the millennium, and a sampling of the newly circulating Cypress FOB source, taboot.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.7.1999 Verizon Wireless Amp, Charlotte, NC < Torrent

7.7.1999 Verizon Wireless Amp, Charlotte, NC < Megaupload

Verizon - Charlotte

Continuing our tour of Summer 2010 venues, here’s Phish’s stop in Charlotte in the Summer of ’99. The second set really brings the heat with its 35 minute “2001 > Disease” and grows more abstract with some ambient sound-sculpting out of “My Left Toe.” After a guitar-driven “Bug,” a catalog of Phish grooves closes the night in one of the summers most infectious “YEMs.”

I: Back on the Train, What’s the Use?, Billy Breathes, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Axilla, Rift, Wolfman’s Brother,  Maze, Loving Cup

II: 2001 > Down with Disease,  My Left Toe > Wading in the Velvet Sea > My Left Toe > Bug, You Enjoy Myself

E: Possum* > Funky Bitch*

*Derek Trucks on slide guitar

Source: Schoeps cmc6/mk4v > Lunatec V2 > Tascam DA-P1 (@ 48 kHz)

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Moments In a Box: Big Cypress Redux

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on January 8th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

12.31.09 (S.Williams)

Aside from all of the significance Miami ’09 posed for the future, it also hailed as the ten year anniversary of Big Cypress, the culmination of Phish’s career at that point, and the most profound night of music in the band’s history. Phish, themselves, have said they didn’t know where to turn when they stepped off that stage – what could possibly top that? December 30, and more specifically, December 31, 1999, represent holy days in the annals of Phish history. The band channeled a greater energy as time turned into 2000, through a night of musical perfection. Y2k madness overtook America, except in the swamps of Florida, where things transformed into an experience of a lifetime.

12.31.99 - Big Cypress (D.Clinch)

Rumors swirled earlier in 2009 about a return to The Everglades for an anniversary weekend, but landing close by in Miami had nobody complaining. Throughout the weekend, Cypress memories flooded our minds and conversations, and I’ve got to imagine the band’s as well. As friends and I sat on the beach listening to the Cypress “Roses” as the sun rose on December 31, an incredible synchronicity existed as morning broke into the spiritual anniversary. Ten years later, who would have predicted we’d be in Florida again with Phish to ring in the next decade? But there we were, recalling the unmatchable majesty of that weekend a decade ago in our lives, while living new memories.

Throughout the four Miami shows, Phish made musical reference to the festival more than a few times, but the following moments seemed to be clear nods to the band’s legendary millennial performance.

*****

“Heavy Things” 12.29 II

12.29.09 (W.Rogell)

Deep into an enchanting Phish set, the band playfully toyed with “Jibboo,” weaving in and out of “Wilson” in a calisthenic groove-a-thon. And when the band settled back into “Jibboo,” they seemed headed for the song’s ending. But instead, Trey kept the band moving, segueing relatively smoothly into “Heavy Things.” At first it seemed completely random, and then upon second thought, completely appropriate. Ten years earlier, ABC featured an awkward guest spot from Big Cypress, the millennium’s largest concert. The song Phish played for the national audience was “Heavy Things,” birthing the entire “Cheesecake” theme of the Cypress and beyond. When the band showcased the song amidst, arguably, the set of the this year’s run, one couldn’t help draw parallels. As the band took their pop single for a scintillating ride, “Heavy Things” never sounded so good, providing a soaring interlude in a non-stop set

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*****

“Sand” 12.30 II

12.30.09 (W.Rogell)

Among the many colossal jams of the all-night set, none were more ominous than “Sand’s” forty-minute apocalyptic groove clinic. In the depths of the evening, the band went on a culminating rhythmic trek, bringing the stellar run of late-’99 “Sands” to a outlandish peak. With sinister licks and millennial sheets of sound, Trey let loose over thick layers of groove. Reaching sublime portions of improv and morphing with the ambient-melodic “Quadrophonic Toppling,” the Cypress “Sand” is the consensus best-ever, as far as conversations I’ve ever had. Interestingly, when the band opened the the 30th’s second set with “Sand,” the style of jamming resembled a millennial feel, albeit a bit toned down. Gnarling guitar leads grew more abstract as the piece developed, evoking memories of ’99s dissonant psychedelia. While clearly not in the same ballpark as the Cypress version, Miami’s bust-out of “Sand” likened a collective memory of a night long ago while soaring into the future.

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*****

“Corrine, Corrina” 12.30 I

12.30.09 (W.Rogell)

Played out of nowhere on December 30, 1999, in the opening set of of the weekend, Phish broke out the “Corrina” for the first time in ten years at Big Cypress. Though they played the song twice within the “aughts,” the bust out of the traditional cover on the 30th in Miami – ten years to the day – seemed like obvious evidence that Phish had Cypress on their mind. A staggeringly beautiful rendition showcased the band’s enhanced soul and lyrical ability, as well as their nuanced improvisation that characterized the New Year’s Run. At this mature stage of the game, “Corrina” sounded more natural than ever coming from the band.

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*****

“Auld Lang Syne > Down With Disease” 12.31.III

12.31.09 (S.Williams)

While Phish may have played “Disease” at midnight one way or another this year, its inclusion in such an allegorical weekend had significance any way it’s sliced. Inserted in the iconic slot after “Auld Lang Syne” – exactly as it was ten years earlier – “Disease” brought in the New Year for the first time since our spiritual sojourn in the swamps. One of the band’s career-defining anthems, “Disease” re-emerged in 2009 as a central launchpad for Phish, and its midnight placement acknowledged its role in 2009 as much as anything. Featuring the band’s first great jam of the era in Hampton, “Disease” has been one of the most consistent pieces of improv last year. As the life-sized disco ball sat center stage, shooting a million beams of light around the arena, and oversized balloons danced to the celebratory rhythms, all had come full circle. We were once again careening into the future with the Phish from Vermont.

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=====

Jam of the Day:

Stash” 12.28.09 I

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A fierce chunk of darkness amidst the first set of the run.

=====

DOWNLOADS OF THE DAY:

Here is an alternate Schoeps source for the Miami run from taylorc to go along with padlimike’s recordings. Everyone hears things differently, so download both, and take your choice. I find these to be a bit of an upgrade with a thicker bottom end that really pops; some very full-sounding recordings. You can use this week’s “Jams of the Day” to sample this source.

12.28.09 Miami, FL < Torrent / 12.28.09 Miami, FL < Megaupload

***

12.29.09 Miami, FL < Torrent / 12.29.09 Miami, FL < Megaupload

***

12.30.09 Miami, FL < Torrent / 12.30.09 Miami, FL < Megaupload

***

12.31.09 Miami, FL < Torrent / 12.31.09 Miami, FL < Megaupload

Source: Schoeps mk41 > KC5 > M222 > NT222 > Lunatec V3 > SD 722 (@24bit/48kHz)

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Ambient Evolution – An Audio Post

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , on October 13th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
The Fox - 6.16 (B.Kisida)

The Fox - 6.16 (B.Kisida)

In an effort to switch things up, I decided to go with an “audio post” today. I often write about Phish’s ambient styles, and ever-evolving use of sound and layered psychedelia, so today I put together a mix that brings you on an audio tour through 1998, 1999, and 2000. Instead of focusing on songs or jams, I put a lens on ambient improv, creating an 80-minute “Trip Through the Late ’90s.” The jams evolve from a section of ’98, to a section of ’99, and concludes with a section of music from 2000. I will post a setlist once I figure it out, as I made the mix on the fly and it’s getting late out here. See if you notice an evolution through the years, or just kick back and space out. Enjoy! (As usual, click the orange track title to download the mix.)

A Trip Through the Late ’90s

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Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

David Bowie” 10.12.94 II

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The first serious Fall ’94 “Bowie.” There would be many more.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.12.94 The Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, TN < Torrent

10.12.94 The Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, TN < Megaupload

phish-palumbo-94-miniThis show – Phish’s most recent October 12 offering – celebrates its fifteenth anniversary today. In only the fifth show of a 40+ gig tour, Phish boasted well-polished chops and masterful communication. A soaring second-song “Reba” led into this focused night of music that centered on the second set jams of “David Bowie” and “YEM,” and ” Harry Hood,” with “Bowie” taking the cake.

I: My Friend, My Friend, Reba, The Sloth, Poor Heart, Split Open and Melt, The Lizards, Guelah Papyrus, Julius, Sweet Adeline

II: Peaches en Regalia, David Bowie, Bouncing Around the Room, Scent of a Mule, You Enjoy Myself, Nellie Kane*, Foreplay/Long Time, Harry Hood, Sample in a Jar

E: Good Times Bad Times

*Acoustic

Source: Unknown

Tags: , , , ,

Step Into Space

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on October 9th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
(A.Foley)

Albany '99 (A.Foley)

A tour that started in Vancouver exactly one month earlier, had traversed the nation moving down the west coast, across the south and back up the east coast. We had made it to Albany on October 9 for the final two-night stand of tour. Boasting many fine shows along the way, Phish returned to their home turf of the Northeast to close another tour in the friendly confines of “Knickerbocker” Arena. Fall ’99 saw Phish experiment with sound in a different direction, favoring abstract dissonance and amorphous spacescapes. Following a trend that began during summer, their jams became increasingly layered, veering from the groove and calm ambient playing of ’98 to more aggressive, distortion-based textures and artistic sound sculptures. Phish displayed these trends in droves this night on this next-to-last night in Albany.

Albany '99 Pollock

Albany '99 Pollock

The first set had its own space-excursion, as a straight-forward “Ghost” grew outwards in scope, then seamlessly merged with the primordial soup of “My Left Toe.”  In the middle of the first set, Phish set their controls for the heart of the sun, morphing from a fast-paced rock-groove into a slower arrhythmic pattern that suggested a voyage to the other side. Page layered walls of sound that supported the jam, while Fishman flowed with all sorts of polyrhythms. A magnificent showcase of one of the band’s current foci, they wasted no time merging with the infinite, dripping into “My Left Toe” without anyone really noticing. A free form jam, itself, it has no set pattern but for a drum beat and some distinct guitar groans. Deep into space exploration, Trey looped one pattern while adding others; Fish played a shimmering ever-shifting beat; Page’s favored sound over melody; and Mike blended his notes in a non-linear pattern. The band took a high dive into celestial sludge before emerging with the heavy opening of “Free,” back in the era when “Free” was still a legitimate piece of improv. The thick groove showcased Trey’s classic “millennial” style, moving from searing sheets of resounding terror into growling leads. With the end of tour within reach, Phish rejected complacency in favor of cerebral creativity – good to the last drop.

Fall '99 (Unk)

Fall '99 (Unknown)

Phish stepped back into the cosmic realm at the beginning of the second set, combining “Limb By Limb” and “2001″ into 35 minutes of millennial madness. Slaughtering the typically complex “Limb” jam with super-glued communication. Just before the band collectively peaked, they descended from their melodic heights into a darker, rhythmic milieu.  Fish kept the polyrhythms flying at lightning speed, as Trey and Mike’s dark interplay led the band down the road less traveled. Creating an abstract sonic brew, Phish embarked on a distinctly ’99-esque segment of improv that the band absolutely annihilated – you can hear the response from the crowd on tape.  Effortlessly re-merging with “Limb’s” cathartic theme, the band – and specifically Trey – smashed the peak of the jam to smithereens, leaving approximately 17,500 jaws firmly lying on the arena floor.

Fall '99 (Unk)

Fall '99 (Unknown)

Trey joined Fish’s ending drum solo, and as the song formally ended, Trey continued his pattern over a blanket-like ambiance that the rest of the band instantly created.  Oozing back into a quiet jam that suggesting “Limb’s” rhythmic structure, Phish began to build a spacescape whose intensity and stature grew with each passing moment. Entering a gorgeous plane, Fishman faded his drum beat in, the lights came up, and the arena lifted off into the tour’s last “2001.”  Leaving the laid back grooves in the summer amphitheatres, this version took off with a faster pace and an enhanced zest. After joining the dance party with a series of choppy funk licks and leads, and once the the band locked into some full-on grooves, Trey left his axe behind, hopping onto his mini keyboard. He immediately complemented Page’s Rhodes with staccato patterns he might play on guitar. Mike and Fish pulsated consistently, never coming apart, providing the adhesive for the top-layer experiments.

1999-10-09moTrying all his tricks, Trey used his keyboard proficiently and enhanced the groove with an array of sounds and effects. But once the band passed through the song’s first theme, he stuck to his guitar. Mike’s super-sized bass patterns dominated the second half of the piece, as Trey and Page wrapped slick melodies around them. Thumping throughout the arena, his diverse lines led the band away from clap-able rhythms into alternate grooves during this “2001″ marathon that lasted almost 20 minutes.

Segueing into “Disease,” Phish’s space-camp ended for the evening, as they closed the show with the energetic anthem followed by “Simple” and “Loving Cup.”  But our galactic treks in both sets comprised the enduring memories from this night in Albany ten years ago.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day: 10.9.99

Ghost > My Left Toe > Free” I

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Limb By Limb > 2001 > Disease” II

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=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.9.99 “Knickerbocker” Arena, Albany, NY < Torrent

10.9.99 “Knickerbocker” Arena, Albany, NY < Megaupload

The "Knick" Today

The "Knick" Today

This is the typically darker and more exploratory first night of Phish’s two-night finale to Fall ’99. Getting to some spaced-out jams, the band showcased their abstract millennial sound that grew throughout the tour.  A great setlist with great playing – good stuff all around.

I: Punch You In the Eye, Wilson, Guyute, Ghost > My Left Toe > Free, Sparkle, Possum

II: Limb By Limb > Also Sprach Zarathustra*> Down with Disease > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Simple, Loving Cup

E: Slave to the Traffic Light

*Trey on keys for part of jam

Source: Unknown

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