What’s Up With Halloween?

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on September 28th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

"Loving Cup" 10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

With a haunted gallery of 99 possible cover albums and a wild-goose chase with the infamous “Save the Date” map, Phish put together elaborate guessing-games for their fans to hype up Halloween 2009. This year, we have heard nothing at all. The silence around Halloween – the band has made no official announcement as to their intent for the show – has caused some people to question whether Phish will be covering an album at all. With a similar ticket time as the other two Atlantic City shows and billed as a “very special Halloween show,” fans have been left to their own devices to figure out what Halloween will bring.

Halloween 1996

Conventional wisdom – and tradition – dictates that Phish will cover an album during the show’s second set. With nothing stated to the contrary, one would assume business as usual. In addition to fun and mystery, last year’s fanfare around Festival 8 was – in large part – a marketing campaign to get east coasters to Indio. But it was also an aberration. Aside from the fan balloting in 1994 and 1995, the band didn’t made a lot of noise about their Halloween plans in the past, and with a $3 price increase to pre-order the show on LivePhish, the band has all-but confirmed a three-setter. Thus far, fans have stuck with more classic rock hypotheses for Phish’s likely musical costume with Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” leading the charge. Will Phish stick to their path of covering classics, or might they step to a more contemporary record as suggested by several of last year’s finalists? Might they take a stab at the long-time fan favorite, “Thriller,” test the rock and roll fantasy of “Ziggy Stardust,” or honor New Jersey’s native son with “Born to Run?” Would they really try to play Radiohead as rumored was the orginal plan for Indio? The questions abound, but there have been no clues leaked as to the answers.

Halloween 1995

As Fall Tour mail order tickets trickled in over the past couple days, fans began to wonder if the ornate ticket designs – each representing a different Phish song – could be a clue to an alternate Halloween plan. Of six venue-specific designs, four depict Gamehendge-based songs – “Llama,” “Mockingbird,” “Sloth,” and “Punch You In the Eye” – prompting some to theorize that Phish would play Trey’s hallowed musical fable on Halloween…until the last two tickets were discovered to be “Ocelot” and “Dog-Faced Boy.” Others saw an animal theme aside from “Punch” and followed that clue to Pink Floyd’s “Animals.” But having already covered Dark Side during Fall ’98, a repeat artist seems highly unlikely. Like sleuths looking for a needle in a haystack, fans tried to pull any clue from the ticket layout, but, in all likelihood, there are none there.

Per usual, Phish has their fans guessing what is coming next, and that is part of the fun of Halloween. The band has clearly kept their plan under wraps and things will likely remain that way until we walk into Boardwalk Hall on October 31st. And that’s how it should be. While last year’s album elimination brought a lot of fun and the introduction to droves of new music, the essence of Halloween is the unknown – trick or treat? Between now and then, fans will continue to guess what album will fill the second set of October 31st – but if things follow past patterns, Phish will likely surprise us all. “Houses of the Holy?” “Electric Ladyland?” “The Band?” “Lark’s Tongue In Aspic?” “Greetings From Asbury Park?” “Hot Rats?” Your guess is as good as mine…

=====

Jam of the Day:

Free” 12.15.99 II

A stellar ’99 “Free” from Washington, DC that featuring a segment of Trey on keyboard that works masterfully.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.10.1994 Palace Theatre Louisville, KY < Torrent asap

10.10.1994 Palace Theatre Louisville, KY < Megaupload

The Palace - Louisville, KY

I: Sample in a Jar, The Divided Sky, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Sparkle, Stash, Guyute, The Old Home Place*, Ginseng Sullivan*, Nellie Kane*, Chalk Dust Torture

II: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Esther, Tweezer, Fee > Rift, Down with Disease, Hold Your Head Up > Love You > Hold Your Head Up, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Foreplay/Long Time*, Tweezer Reprise

* w/ Steve Cooley on banjo

Source: AKG 460 (likely)

Tags: ,

Trick or Treat or Double Down?

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on August 2nd, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Atlantic City, NJ

With the fan community sitting on the precipice of Summer Tour – Part Deux, the rumor mill exploded over the weekend with multiple sources all but confirming Phish in Atlantic City, New Jersey for Halloween 2010. In a reversal of coasts from 2009’s Festival 8, Phish will wind up back east for this year’s three-set extravaganza. The band will supposedly play Boardwalk Hall, with a capacity of 13,800 (and rumored to be a GA show) making this a fairly intimate Halloween affair. While last year, anyone could have walked up and bought a ticket for Phish’s Halloween festival in Indio, this year things will be far more competitive to gain entry into the under-sized arena. Atlantic City will be the smallest Halloween show since 1994, when Phish donned their inaugural “musical costume”  in Glens Falls, New York, among 5,800 fans. Unless things have been sorely mis-represented, we’ll be meeting up on the Jersey Shore come October 31st.

Phishbill 2009

Many fans have gone ahead and booked rooms at the nearby casinos for the holiday weekend, while others have complained about the shows’ locale. While Atlantic City may not be Las Vegas, it will certainly provide ’round-the-clock entertainment unlike Albany or Providence, the other cities thrown through the  rumor mill. Whether one gambles or not, the beach, boardwalk and the many casinos in which to carouse will certainly provide an entertaining backdrop for a couple of celebratory shows.

With the “confirmation” of a Halloween show, the conversation immediately turns to the album Phish will cover during the second set.  By playing The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street so masterfully last year, the band set a high bar for Halloween covers this era. The early and obvious call from many has been a Bruce Springsteen album, but even though in  New Jersey, and Born To Run was in the infamous gallery of 99 last year, this just seems too transparent for Phish. Let the guessing games begin as there are officially three months until the band unveils its sixth musical costume of their career.

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

If nothing else, this rumor confirms a Halloween show, giving us a possible ending point for a tour that likely starts on the 8th at Austin City Limits. The only other strongly-rumored dates right now are three nights in Broomfield, Colorado after Austin. Does Atlantic City cancel out Las Vegas, or will Phish visit the casinos of both coasts in one tour? Many questions linger about Fall Tour 2010, including the eternal wondering of a west coasters if a run will come their way, something that may be less likely with an eastward-flowing tour. But with a possible three weeks to play with in between the two solid dates we have, any sort of routing is possible. It seems that we won’t be finding out any answers about Fall before the end of this coming tour, as any announcement this week is highly unlikely.

Inside Boardwalk Hall

So the mill will continue to spin, spitting out rumors throughout the upcoming weeks, but if one thing seems certain, Phish will keep their families close to home this October holiday, playing only hours from New York and Vermont. Keeping things in the Northeast for Halloween and New Years (at MSG), the high holy days of the Phish calendar will return to haunts of old after tropical vacations in California and Miami in 2009. While they may not provide the warm climate of last year, something tells me the shows could be a lot hotter, equalizing the meteorology of sure-to-be a stellar weekends of Phish.

Oh yeah. Three days ’til the Greek…

======

Jam of the Day: Leg II Venue History Week

Drowned > Chalk Dust Reprise > Chalk Dust” 7.22.00 I

This portion of Deer Creek’s first set laid the groundwork for a zany Phish show. The entire evening is featured below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

======

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.11.2000 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN < Torrent

7.11.2000 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN < Megaupload

"Astron" (Pollock '00)

Some call it epic, some call it corny, but here is “The Moby Dick Show” from Deer Creek 2000.

I: Ya Mar, The Moma Dance, Uncle Pen, Drowned > Chalk Dust Torture Reprise > Chalk Dust Torture, Theme From the Bottom,  Cavern

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Down with Disease > Moby Dick > Down with Disease,  Runaway Jim > Moby Dick, Back on the Train > Moby Dick > Back on the Train, Harry Hood > Moby Dick, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Hold Your Head Up > Moby Dick* > Hold Your Head Up, Character Zero

E: First Tube > Moby Dick > Chalk Dust Torture Reprise

*Trey on drums, Fish on vacuum

Source: AKG ck61/480(DIN/OTS) > Audio Magic X-Streams > Graham Patten DMIC-20@48k > Sony D-8

Tags: , ,

A Happy Halloween

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on November 6th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

After nailing their costume of  Exile On Main Street, Phish emerged for their third set of Halloween. Usually reserved for uber-exploratory, dark jamming, the final sets of Halloweens past have featured ’94’s demonic “David Bowie,” ’95’s colossal “You Enjoy Myself,” ’96’s combo of “Maze” and a dark-horse “Simple,” and ’98’s terrorizing masterpiece of “Wolfman’s Brother.” So when the band came out for their final frame, it wasn’t a leap of faith to think that we were in for some heavy psychedelia, ’09 style. But when the dust settled after the triumphant five-song set, many were left wondering where the ghosts and goblins had gone?

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

Instead of delving into their hallowed haunted experiments, Phish laid down their most upbeat and cheerful Halloween set ever. Many waited for the spooks to arrive, but even when the band launched into a third set “Ghost,” no harrowing darkness emerged. Slightly thrown, waiting to hear a larger and more sinister piece of music, expectations poked at my third set experience.

10.30.09 (W.Rogell)

10.30.09 (W.Rogell)

Opening the set with “Backwards Down the Number Line” seemed like an odd Halloween choice, but remembering the burgeoning versions of late-summer, it seemed Phish would use their favorite new-school vehicle to take us into the abyss. The last times we heard the song, it blossomed into uncharted psychedelia at SPAC and Chicago. But on this night in Indio, the jam barely broke form, and when it did, it spilled right into “Fluffhead.” Featuring the once-elusive opus in almost every big set this year, Phish played a particularly strong version of their revived composition. And when “The Arrival” hit, the tree-sized tiki-torches that surrounded the concert field shot blasts of fire for the first time of the weekend. A triumphant guitar solo had the crowd in the palm of Trey’s hand, and upon the ending of the song, Phish dropped into the “Ghost” we had been waiting for.

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

“The Indio Ghost” – it sounded nasty before it even started. As Phish darted into the jam, they carried a distinct rock and roll texture with them. Some short clav patterns and rhythm chops would be as funky as this version got, as the band veered away from deep groove or dark psychedelia in favor of a straight forward rock grooves. Minutes into this section, Page initiated a piano pattern that spurned a gradual, band-wide peak into the fields of bliss. Trey decided he would take this one as far from the dark side as possible, doubling as a geyser of spiritual melodies in one of the most energetic peaks of the weekend. A relatively concise jam ended on very high note before winding back down into the song’s ending. A solid version no doubt, but certainly nothing eerie or supernatural.

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

At this point, it became clear Phish chose a different path for this Halloween set, or perhaps their emotions just brought them there. Having just finished the Exile set, and no doubt hanging with all of their guests during setbreak, the obviously fun energy of their evening may have led them to choose feel-good music to finish off the night. And in the Phish universe there is nary a feel-good song like “You Enjoy Myself.” The ensuing version that followed a “Circus” interlude transformed into an instant show highlight with a series of grooves and continual peaks that showcased the band’s precision and passion on this special night. Phish slaughtered their classic in one of the strongest renditions of the year. An extended bass vamp led into a vocal jam in which Kuroda improvised with the fire of the tiki-torches rather than the stage lights – creating the most entertaining ending segment in memory.

Following the vibe of the show, the encore brought back the horns and singers for a blistering gospel-rock version of “Suzy Greenberg, complete with a “Suzy Reprise” jam once the song ended. It may have been Halloween, but Phish had just thrown down a definitively rejoiceful set with smiles all around. As the band transformed “Suzy” into a climactic show-closer with their entire ensemble, the positive energy oozed off the stage. A celebratory Halloween, this night will be remembered for its grab bag of musical treats rather than any wicked trickery.

Winged-music-note=====

Jams of the Day: 10.31 III

Ghost

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You Enjoy Myself

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

phish-festival8-ticket10.30.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Torrent

10.30.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Megaupload

I: Party Time, Chalk Dust Torture, The Moma Dance, NICU, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Stash, I Didn’t Know, Poor Heart, Cavern, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Ocelot, Time Turns Elastic

II: Punch You in the Eye, Down With Disease > Prince Caspian > Wolfman’s Brother > Piper > Joy, David Bowie, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: Character Zero

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S (din) > Lunatec V2 > Benchmark AD2K > Sound Devices 722 (24/48) (Taper: Z-Man)

Tags: , ,

Evoking the Soul of Rock And Roll

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on November 5th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

“What Phish is doing tonight is more than covering a record. They are telling, through these songs, their own stories about ecstasy, madness and survival.”

– David Fricke in Festival 8’s Phishbill

The Exile Set (G.Lucas)

The Exile Set (Graham Lucas)

The Rolling Stones’ 1972 masterpiece “Exile On Main Street” chronicles the adventures and experiences of life in a rock n roll band. Via the album’s 18 songs, the Stones’ illustrated both the glamorous and dark sides of life as a touring act; a thematic fit for Phish in 2009. The band has returned to glory after living twenty-plus years of the rock and roll life, with many successes, tribulations, and anecdotes under their belt. By donning the music of Exile, Phish vicariously narrated their own tumultuous path of super-stardom, with each song providing a snippet of the experience. But when looked at as a whole, Exile On Main Street is a definitive cultural record that chronicles both the “beautiful buzz[es]” and “torn and frayed” nature of the rock lifestyle. And beyond its narrative nature, the album, itself, provides a veritable history lesson on the musical influences of rock and roll.

The Exile Set (G.Lucas)

"Loving Cup" (G.Lucas)

While the album’s subject fit congruently for Phish, its music hearkened back to the roots of Americana rock and roll. Colored with blues guitar licks, country rhythms, and soulful lyrics and backed by a sparkling horn section and outstanding singers, Phish threw down one of their most powerful Halloween sets to date. With gospel-esque harmonies and horn arrangements that popped with cleanliness and authority, one could tell that the entire group had rehearsed the album plenty of times before stepping on the stage. Instead of pushing the band in a new musical direction, “Exile” seemed to be reflection of Phish’s current state of music. Joy’s cohesion lies in its blues-rock feel and its narrative, thematic storytelling, both facets that are part and parcel of Exile. Thematically similar – reflecting on darker days and the hope of a brighter future – “Exile” seemed incredibly appropriate as the set got going. And beyond its lyrical themes, Phish absolutely nailed the double-album of music.

If one word could define the feeling of the Exile set, it is “soul.” Combining a virtuoso horn section of David Guy (trumpet), David Smith (trombone), and Tony Jarvis (tenor saxophone) with Sharon Jones of The Dap-Kings and Saundra Williams on vocals, Phish created an ensemble that cooperatively killed the entire set. Sometimes out front and sometimes subtle, the horns provided impeccable accompaniment throughout the album, while the singers gave the set an authentic feel of southern gospel fusion. Collectively, their performances formed a near-religious run-through of the hallowed album.

Phishbill (Jamtopia)

Phishbill (Jamtopia)

Fans received Phishbills the morning of the show, eliminating any last-minute surprise to the Halloween set, but also giving fans time to re-listen to Exile a couple times during the afternoon. Once Phish took the stage, however, the captivating album sprang to life. With the popular opener “Rocks Off,” Phish and friends were off and running in what became a classic night in the band’s history. After settling in through the first few songs, Phish grew far more relaxed and by “Tumbling Dice” had loosed up to absolute comfort while having the time of their lives.

With eighteen songs on the album, Phish, more or less, played each true to form. But after a poignant version of “Sweet Virginia” with Fishman on vocals, the band let their chops loose on “Torn and Frayed” – a highlight of the set and the top contender to remain in the band’s rotation. Taking the emotional and groovy composition on a Phishy ride, the song seemed like a perfect musical fit for Phish at this stage of their career. Trey took liberty on his solo, lacing the song with his signature licks and crafting a massive high-point of the first part of Exile. Interestingly, Trey switched between two Languedocs during the set – one to mimic Kieth Richards’ metallic, rhythm-like playing and one for searing solos; this time he used the latter.

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

The Rolling Stones’ ode to civil rights activist, Angela Davis, “Sweet Black Angel,” directly following “Torn and Frayed,” provided one of the most powerful moments of the set with its acoustic, southern-spiritual feel. This felt like the church of rock’s past, and we were all congregants. Goose bumps arose as the band delicately moved through this piece. The vocal harmonies were enough to make your heart melt all by themselves, and when the horns oozed into the mix, they provided a subtle, yet poignant, layer to one of the albums most meaningful songs.

The blow-out version of “Loving Cup” came next, boasting a completely full sound with the horns’ accompaniment. As the mid-point of the record, “Loving Cup” injected the set with a huge dose of energy. The horns and singers added so much to the song; a festive and Phishy moment amidst an album strewn with more somber themes. As expected, the crowd reacted enthusiastically to the suped-up version.

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

As the band turned the corner into the second half of the album, they were firing on all cylinders and carried a distinct musical momentum into the final stanza. The upbeat “Happy” kept the energetic vibe moving forward, as did the country-blues “Turd On the Run.” On these songs, as throughout the set, the horns shone brightly, illustrating flawless chops and a dynamic layer to the overall puzzle. The set took on a more-traditional blues feel with the slow-paced but infectious “Ventilator Blues.” Phish slid from this number into another set highlight – “I Just Want to See His Face.” With a refrain of “Let this music relax your mind,” and a sparse gospel texture, this song transported us into a small church rejoicing in the south. Jones and Williams, while defining the album’s feel, shone like stars on this song. “I Just Want to See His Face” provided a cool and refreshing moment as Trey integrated some Phishy effects into the mix; simply gorgeous.

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

From this point on, the album continued to build to its emotional peak, continuing with “Let It Loose.” Representing one of the Stone’s most prominent forays into gospel, Phish interpreted the piece with indelible accuracy. Page’s lyrical treatment of the piece infused a soulful feel, and combined with Jones and Williams, the band sounded spot-on. The emotional wave of the album began to peak in earnest with this piece. As the horns came in with their backing layers, the song dripped raw emotion onto the crowd, beginning the transformative – and hopeful – ending of the album.

After “All Down the Line” and “Stop Breaking Down,” two catchy blues-rock numbers, the set came to a cathartic peak with “Shine A Light.” Providing a stunning church-like musical experience, this may have been the most powerful cover of any Halloween album in the band’s history. Climaxing the set, both thematically and musically, lyrics have never seemed more appropriate for Trey, Phish, and for all of us at this stage of the game.

May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Make every song you sing your favorite tune.
May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Warm like the evening sun.

Peaking the darker album with a hymn of hope, the band and their guests absolutely crushed this song, creating a warm feel of Phish-gospel.

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

The album’s closer “Soul Survivor” carried a double-entendre, referencing the record’s musical roots and the band’s physical survival through their years of debauchery. A rocking denouement to a masterful set, this song punctuated one of Phish’s greatest Halloween escapades.

More than a simple cover, the Exile set provided a gorgeous glimpse into rock and roll history, bringing the genre’s roots to the forefront of the stage as Phish crafted one of their most memorable cover sets to date. More than any other musical costume, “Exile On Main Street” held a real meaning to the band members – both collectively and individually – a reflection of their own experiences as life-long rock stars. A record that each member fell in love with during their youth, both Trey and Page have dreamed of playing Exile forever. And on Saturday night, their dream came true, translating the classic album into Phish with grace and proficiency in the band’s triumphant return to Halloween.

Winged-music-note====

Jams of the Day: Some Exile Highlights

Torn and Frayed

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Sweet Black Angel

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Let It Loose

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Shine A Light

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.31.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Torrent

10.31.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Megaupload

Indio Pollock

Indio Pollock

I. Sample In A Jar, Divided Sky, Lawn Boy, Kill Devil Falls, Bathtub Gin, Squirming Coil, Runaway Jim, Possum, Run Like An Antelope

II. Rocks Off, Rip This Joint, Shake Your Hips, Casino Boogie, Tumblin’ Dice, Sweet Virginia, Torn And Frayed, Sweet Black Angel, Lovin’ Cup, Happy, Turd On The Run, Ventilator Blues > I Just Want To See His Face, Let It Loose, All Down The Line, Stop Breakin’ Down, Shine A Light, Soul Survivor

III. Backwards Down The Number Line > Fluffhead, Ghost, When The Circus Comes To Town, You Enjoy Myself

E: Suzy Greenberg*

* w/ horns and singers

Source: (FOB) Schoeps CCM4V’S (din) > Lunatec V2 > Benchmark AD2K > Sound Devices 722 (24/48) (Taper: Z- Man)

Tags: , ,

Halloween Music – An Audio Post

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on October 27th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

Aj Mathsay Festival 8 Print

Aj Mathsay Indio Print

When considering Phish’s darkest, most demonic improv, few eras – if any – can compare to Summer ’95. Waging psychedelic jihad nightly, Phish made no bones about jumping off the deep end many times per show, churning out some of the most engaging music of their career. When thinking of what type of Phish best fit the essence of Halloween, I didn’t have to think very long. Whether you are going to Indio or not, this “Halloween Music” will make for some haunted late-night listening over the holiday weekend. All selections are excerpts of much larger jams. Enjoy. I’m packing.

***

Halloween Music – Summer ’95

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Lossless version < Link

Tweezer 6.8 > Bowie 6.13 > Mike’s 6.20 > Free 6.26 > Runaway Jim 6.16 > Bowie 6.29 > Bowie 7.3 > Tweezer 6.14 > Tweezer 6.28 > Tweezer 6.14 >  Mike’s 6.9 > Bowie 6.24 > Mike’s 6.30

=====

Phish Thoughts During Festival 8

phish-festival8-ticketGiven the 24-hour nature of Phish festivals and the one of a kind atmosphere that we are about to encounter, my posts over the festival may be a bit more informal, and less than full-blown show reviews. I will definitely post something each day – possibly more than once a day if the wireless is legit – and will keep you abreast of the essentials. But I will most likely leave comprehensive show analysis for after Indio, as there is just too much to do at a Phish festival to be strapped to a computer for periods of time. Who knows what will happen, but disclaimer made. Thanks for understanding.

***

No Spoilers – Indio

No Spoilers” is a go for this weekend! We will try to get the links up the night of, but given the festival atmosphere, they could go up that night or by the next afternoon. While we have a plan in place, and will try get them up asap, we may be depending on the first source posted and that’s out of our control. Worst case scenario we are looking at the following morning / early afternoon. In summary, No Spoilers – Indio is 100% go; but if its not up a few hours after the show, don’t stay up hitting refresh all night. Ya dig? Stay tuned to phishthoughts.com/nopoilers all weekend long – it’s the next best thing to being there!

=====

Check out HeadCount’s “Reality Check” Game Show at Festival 8

headcountIf you are a maestro of Phish trivia, or an expert on current events, you’ll have a chance to prove it at Festival 8. Headcount, fresh off announcing superb stastisical results from last year’s voter registration campaign, will host the “Reality Check” music and political trivia game at Festival 8. The grand prize winner will walk away will receive an uncut sheet of four Pollock Halloween masks, available at the Water Wheel table throughout Festival 8. To make the prize one-of-a-kind, Jim is doing a special illustration on one uncut sheet – meaning the winner goes home with a true Pollock original.

“Reality Check” will pit you head-to-head with another competitor as a host quizzes you on Phish history, classic albums, the news and government. Plus, there will also be a Family Feud-style “Survey Says!” question. If you win three straight times, you can advance to the Tournament of Champions, held before Phish’s final set of the weekend on Sunday, Nov. 1.

Winged-music-note=====

Jam of the Day: Festival Week

Sabotage > 2001” 8.16.98 III

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The ballistic beginning to Lemonwheel’s final set.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.2.95 Sugarbush Summerstage, North Fayston, VT < Torrent

7.2.95 Sugarbush Summerstage, North Fayston, VT < Megaupload

Sugarbush '95

Sugarbush '95 (J.M.Richter)

My wife’s pick from the analog era, this end-of-tour party at Sugarbush represented the precursor to The Clifford Ball in 1996. Playing to a populated side of a ski slope at the end of a musically ludicrous, Phish inched ever closer to their first-ever full-blown festival. The second set jams “Runaway Jim” and “Tweezer” provided the improvisational meat of the second set, while “Reba” and “Slave” stood out as well.

I: Sample in a Jar, The Divided Sky, Gumbo, The Curtain > Julius, Camel Walk, Reba, I Didn’t Know, Rift, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

II: Runaway Jim > Makisupa Policeman, Scent of a Mule, Tweezer > Ha Ha Ha, Sleeping Monkey, Acoustic Army, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Halley’s Comet > Tweezer Reprise

Source: B&K4011’s

Tags: , ,

The Final 8 ?

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on October 22nd, 2009 by Mr.Miner

WARNING! :: This post contains spoilers about the set-up of Festival 8!

Picture 1As Indio is less than a week away, a leaked copy of an overall schematic for Festival 8 titled “Battle Plan” hit the internet this week, uncovering some potentially revealing details about The Halloween Set. In the festival site, there are eight campgrounds, each named after one of the potential musical costumes. Conventional wisdom would say that these campground names will be the final eight albums left alive. The campground names are:

Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones)
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Genesis)
Hunky Dory (David Bowie)
Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix)
Purple Rain (Prince)
Kid A (Radiohead)
Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (King Crimson)
Oracular Spectacular (MGMT, Rumored, not visible on map)

6.6.09 (G.Lucas)

6.6.09 (G.Lucas)

Now there are multiple ways to interpret this information. The first, and most obvious, way to make sense of these campground names is that Phish will play one of these eight albums. In this scenario, all other albums should be “killed off” by the time we head into Indio. Maybe there will be a process of elimination at the festival to get down to the last album alive, maybe we’ll get “Phishbills” as we walk in on the 31st and maybe the band will just get on stage and begin one of these records – who knows?

The second going theory is that there is a secret 100th album that has been “murdering” all the other records in the gallery. In this hypothesis, the entire elimination process has been a decoy, and Phish will solve the “Who Dun It?” mystery by playing the “murdering” suspect – widely conjectured to be The Rolling Stones’ appropriately named “Let It Bleed.” This scenario would certainly fit Phish’s prankster spirit and provide the “Trick” in the holiday’s “Trick or Treat” tradition.

6.4.09 (W.Rogell)

6.4.09 (W.Rogell)

A third way of looking at the leak of these campground names is to call their bluff; this could be all bunk information to mislead us to the very end. Everyone will listen to these eight albums at their campsites to make sure they are familiar with them, and then Phish will come on stage and play “Thriller” or “Ziggy Stardust,” or something different altogether. I certainly wouldn’t put it past the band to have led us on a month-long wild-goose chase while they sat behind the scenes and laughed while rehearsing something else.

phishpumpkin-300x240It’s hard to believe that the band will conclude this album elimination game without any twists or turns – this is Phish after all. With the spirit of Halloween trickery in the air, and with a band known to fuck with their fan base, the only thing to expect is the unexpected. I, personally, believe there is a missing piece that has yet to be revealed.

A bit about the potential Final 8. Noticeably absent from the campground titles is many fans’ favorite, “Ziggy Stardust.” Again, these name may have no predictive value whatsoever, but if they do, the band has opted for “Hunky Dory,” a more mellow, lyrically-based Bowie album that wouldn’t seem to fit for a Halloween blowout. “Larks ‘ Tongues” has awesome potential, though I suspect it would lose the interest of many fans not familiar with King Crimson. Radiohead? MGMT? They just don’t seem to fit, but could push the band in completely different directions. If this really is the final eight, it leads me to think they will play “Exile” “Electric Ladyland” or “Purple Rain.” But, again, who knows?! The questions  and theories will continue to flow until the answer is revealed, and, in the meantime, all we can do is keep guessing!

3432964090_5421b05d2a=====

Phish Thoughts Ticket Exchange

The ticket exchange board has been revamped for Fall Tour and ready to facilitate trades.  Check it out, post your extras, find the trades you need!

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Mike’s > Weekapaug” 12.7.95 II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The stellar end to a monumental show in Niagara Falls during December ’95.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.28.94 Galliard Auditorium, Charleston, SC < Torrent

10.28.94 Galliard Auditorium, Charleston, SC < Megaupload

11.29.03 (C.Raig)

11.29.03 (C.Raig)

Back in 1994, the band was on the road leading up to Halloween, and this night this night in South Carolina marked their second-to-last show before they debuted The White Album. Along the path of a momentum-building tour, this show was no exception. The second set sequence of  “2001 > Bowie > Manteca > Bowie” highlights a well-played show. PS : The Audio Archive is well on its way!

I: I Didn’t Know, Llama, Guelah Papyrus, Scent of a Mule, Stash, Glide, Axilla (Part II), All Things Reconsidered, Sample in a Jar, Carolina

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > David Bowie -> Manteca -> David Bowie, The Lizards, Peaches en Regalia, Rift, Lifeboy, Chalk Dust Torture, The Old Home Place*, Nellie Kane*, Foreplay/Long Time

E: Fee, Highway to Hell

*Acoustic

Source: Unknown

Tags: , , ,

Five Other Possibilities

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , , on October 15th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

Despite Ziggy Stardust being my personal choice for Phish’s musical costume, plenty of other engaging album choices still remain. Assuming Phish is working off their provided list, several defining records could still hold the golden ticket. While everyone has their own opinion of what could work and what certainly will not, I present to five other albums – in no particular order – that Phish could destroy.

***

Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones

exile_on_main_stHailed as one of the Stones finest accomplishments, their 1972 masterpiece blends the influences of blues, rock, country and soul to form a double-album considered among the best “studio” works of all time. During the recording process, nine years into their career as one of the biggest rock acts in the world, the Stones found themselves in financial straits, and decided to flee England to avoid paying income tax. The band drove to the French Riviera, setting up shop in the basement of Villa Nellcote, Keith Richard’s mansion by the sea. As they began recording in their makeshift studio, the band members were at the height of their drug and alcohol addictions, including Keith Richards’ notorious heroin habit. The combination of cramped quarters and intoxicated, unreliable band members created a frustrating dynamic for the band as they plugged away sporadically – usually in the middle of night – in all sorts of chemical states.

The resulting work, however, has since been exalted as a trendsetting record of the gritty, drugged-out rock and roll scene that blossomed in the Seventies. “Exile” came first, spawning a generation of bad-boy imitators,  but no one did it quite like the Stones.  Some hail the mere fact that the Stones actually got “Exile” recorded as a miracle, as they were hardly in control of anything during this period. But what resulted was “Exile On Main Street,” the Stones tenth album, and  snapshot of ragged rock stars trying to keep it together. Perhaps Robert Greenfield, author of “Exile on Main St.: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones” said it best:

To say that the human toll exacted during the making of Exile on Main Street was extreme is an understatement of major proportions. But then even if you had tried to tell the denizens of Nellcote that far too many of them would, in the immortal words of Pete Townshend, die before they got old, no one would have listened. They were all too busy getting high.

***

London Calling – The Clash

London-callingIf Phish were to veer from classic rock, The Clash’s dynamic double-album, London Calling, would be an outstanding choice. The band’s third album, released in 1979, represented a shift in The Clash’s musical style, steering away from the classic punk sound, with  elements of ska, pop, soul, rockabilly and reggae. And unlike The Rolling Stones odyssey of “Exile,” The Clash recorded London Calling within a matter of weeks; many songs finished in one or two takes. “London Calling” was the Clash’s watershed album, transforming the scruffy British quartet into bona-fide rock stars.

Their musically diverse songs carried various political messages. Whether attacking fascism in “Clampdown, denouncing drug culture in “Hateful”, or commenting on political rebellion in “Spanish Bombs,” The Clash’s songs often carried serious meaning amidst their playful feel. “London Calling’s” copious grooves and dub rhythms could provide Festival 8 with a horn-laced, desert dance party with a grand finale of the infectious pop single, “Train In Vain.”

***

Hot Rats – Frank Zappa

zappa_frontThe quirky time signatures, sudden changes, and generally bizarre complexity that defined Phish’s early work can be largely traced directly to Frank Zappa. An iconoclast to the end, Zappa made music his own way – a style that Hot Rats illustrates with vibrancy. Released in 1969, and comprised of only six tracks, Zappa described the album as “a movie for your ears.” Departing from his shorter satirical songs and raunchy lyrics popularized with his band, The Mothers of Invention, Hot Rats focuses on longer, jazz-like instrumentals with extensive soloing – a format that sounds perfect for Phish.

Though the album’s opener, “Peaches en Regelia,” has been in Phish’s long-time repertoire, the overwhelming complexity of the record’s compositions makes me question its real chances. This summer Trey was still working on nailing the licks to “Sugar Shack,” and for this costume he’d have to pick up the nuances of 17-minute track “The Gumbo Variations,” among others. But given the proper time and attention, this album could make for a mind-numbing set. Just thinking about Phish playing “Willie the Pimp” makes my ears drool.

***

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – Genesis

The_Lamb_Lies_Down_on_Broadway-1aThis 1974 double concept album from Genesis could make a spectacular Halloween set, but with a ninety-minute running time “The Lamb” seems like a long shot. However, if Phish were to come out and nail the surreal tale of Rael, a juvenile delinquent in New York City who is swept underground to face his personal demons and split personality, the results would be astounding. Akin in structure to “The Wall,” “Lamb” is a theatrical rock opera that Genesis coupled with an elaborate stage show during their touring days for the album; a show that could translate to the stage in Indio. Peter Gabriel actually played the story’s protagonist, adding another potential layer of costume for Trey. If Phish took this route, they would certainly showcase hours upon hours of  meticulous preparation.

With little to no time for improvisation, Phish would likely play this psychedelic relic straight through. But within the album, the songs differ in feel from the groovy to the eerie to the spoken word. The first record boasts ten structured songs, but the second half contains nightmarish soundscapes as Rael descends into the underworld. Though many wouldn’t know what hit them, there would be a lot of new Genesis fans leaving Indio on November 2 if the band chose The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

***

Thriller – Michael Jackson

michael-jackson-thriller-coverWith Phish’s gallery of 99 albums, the talk of Michael Jackson’s masterpiece has faded to silence – and this could be exactly what Phish wants. Potentially a diversion to keep people preoccupied, the gallery has certainly kept the community’s heads spinning. But maybe – just maybe – this is all a smokescreen, and the band will come out and rock Jackson’s 1982 classic that fans have been pushing since 1995.

The most popular argument against “Thriller” is the wide range of dynamic vocals that fill the album, but if we start eliminating album choices because Phish aren’t the vocalists that their predeccessors were, we’d have to cross out quite a few. Could they reproduce Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Mick Jones, or even David Lee Roth? No – but that certainly hasn’t ruled out any of those albums, so I think “Thriller” must be legitamately considered. There could be a guest vocalist, Trey could “sing” with his guitar, or they could have another arrangement already in place. The bottom line is that this album would blow Indio apart – and what better subject matter for Halloween?! Just imagine the look of the crowd when Phish starts “Wanna’ Be Startin’ Something.” Now imagine the look of the crowd 20 minutes later after the disco-funk jam concludes. You know the songs; you get the picture. Just outside of his former Los Angeles home, and months after his passing, this could be Phish’s lasting tribute to the King of Pop.

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Down With Disease > Have Mercy > Disease” 11.12.94 II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A historic chunk of improv from Kent St, Ohio during Fall ’94.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.15.94 Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Pelham, AL < Torrent

10.15.94 Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Pelham, AL < Megaupload

phish-san-jose-94Everyone knows about Oak Mountain’s 1999 installment, but if we rewind five years from there, or fiftteen years from today, we find The Dave Matthews Band opening for Phish in their only other visit to the Alabama amphitheatre. After a classic first set and an adventurous second, the band invited their guests out to join them on “The Maker.” A southern nugget from Fall ’94.

I: Wilson, Sparkle, Simple > Maze, Glide, Reba, Down with Disease, Golgi Apparatus

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Runaway Jim, Halley’s Comet > Scent of a Mule, You Enjoy Myself > Catapult > You Enjoy Myself, Amazing Grace, Foreplay/Long Time*, Bouncing Around the Room, Suzy Greenberg

E: Drums** > The Maker***

*Acoustic, **w/ Carter Beauford on drums, ***w/ Dave Matthews Band, debut

Source: Audio Technica 822 > Sony D8

Tags: , , , , ,

The Case For Ziggy Stardust

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

frontIn the compelling debate of what album Phish will play for Halloween, many ideas and theories have been posed as to which records would create an ideal musical costumes. After perusing many of the potential albums, there is really only one choice for me – David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. Encompassing themes of hope and love within a plot of rock and roll idolatry in an apocalyptic society, Ziggy Stardust is often hailed as the seminal concept album of the 1970s.

****

The History Behind Ziggy

Leeds, UK. June '73 (M.Rock)

Leeds, UK. June ’73 (M.Rock)

Ziggy Stardust was David Bowie’s alien savior, who brought a musical message of salvation via rock and roll, but eventually fell from grace due to the perils of rock and roll decadence. In Bowie’s own words:

Ziggy was my Martian messiah who twanged a guitar. He was a simplistic character. I saw him as very simple… Someone who was dropped down here, got brought down to our way of thinking and ended up destroying himself (1976). Ziggy Stardust…was very much Japanese Theatre meets American science fiction (1978).

Far more than a fictional character, Ziggy Stardust gave Bowie an alter ego, one which began to take over his reality. Beginning in 1972, Bowie began introducing himself at concerts as Ziggy Stardust and his band as The Spiders From Mars. Appearing in full costume and character, Bowie was Ziggy Stardust, and as his theatrical performances continued, he over-indulged in his on-stage character.

It was quite easy to become obsessed night and day with the character. I became Ziggy Stardust. David Bowie went totally out the window. Everybody was convincing me that I was a Messiah, especially on that first American tour (late-1972). I got hopelessly lost in the fantasy (1972)

Before long, Ziggy came off the stage, permeating Bowie’s everyday life. Appearing publicly in costume, the line between Bowie and Ziggy Stardust became dangerously blurred.

I thought I might as well take Ziggy to interviews as well. Why leave him on stage? Looking back it was completely absurd. It became very dangerous. I really did have doubts about my sanity. I can’t deny that the experience affected me in a very exaggerated and marked manner. I think I put myself very dangerously near the line. Not in physical sense but definitively in mental sense. I played mental games with myself to such an extent that I’m very relieved and happy to be back in Europe and feeling very well (1977).

Beverly Hills, CA -October '72 (M.Rock)

Beverly Hills 10/72 (M.Rock)

In two separate interviews in the early ’90s,  Bowie reflected on his period of mental instability as he battled – and basked in – his alter-ego. Ziggy had literally become an escape from himself and his every-day life; a place to hide from David Bowie.

I enjoyed the character so much and it was so much easier for me to live within that character that, along with the help of some chemical substances at the time, it became easier and easier for me to blur the lines between reality and the blessed creature that I created – my doppelganger. I wasn’t getting rid of him at all – in fact I was joining forces with him (1990).

There was a theory that one creates a doppelganger and then imbues that with all your faults and guilts and fears and then eventually you destroy him, hopefully destroying all your guilt, fear and paranoia. And I often feel that I was doing that unwittingly, creating an alternative ego that would take on everything that I was insecure about.  Ziggy served my purpose because I found it easier to function through him, although I probably put myself on a path of pure psychological damage by doing what I did.  But it felt like it was going to be easier living through an alternative self.  Of course the major problem was that I was blurring the lines between sanity and an insane figure, and finally did break the lines down in the mid-Seventies where I really couldn’t perceive the difference between the stage persona and myself (1993).

David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust

Looking further into Bowie’s analysis of this era, one can see parallels to the rock-idolatry and excesses that contributed to Trey’s downfall. After working his whole life to become a rock star, once Ziggy/Bowie/Trey attained his goal – well – what next? As Bowie describes Ziggy’s fate, he could easily be talking about Trey.

It was his own personality being unable to cope with the circumstances he found himself in which is being an almighty prophet-like superstar rocker.  He found he didn’t know what to do once he got it.  It’s an archetype really – the definitive rock n roll star. It often happens (1974).

Always cast outside of the rock and roll mainstream, Trey’s former demise followed a not-so-uncommon path. As was Ziggy’s fate, the decadence surrounding his rock and roll super-stardom brought him down; the fame, the parties, the ego, the glamour, the sex, and ultimately, the drugs. Like Ziggy’s finale, “Rock and Roll Suicide,” dark habits threatened the very survival of certain Phish members, forcing them to “break up the band,” following the fate of The Spiders From Mars. Bowie’s personal relationship to Ziggy Stardust mirrors Trey’s battle with his own rock and roll stardom and inner conflicts that brought each man to the brink.

****

Ziggy Stardust– The Album

Ziggy and The Spiders From Mars (Unk)

Ziggy and The Spiders From Mars (Unk)

For the elaborate theatrics and space-aged costumes alone, Ziggy Stardust would make a superb spectacle for the Halloween set. But beyond the glamorous show this album could provide, the music and lyrics of Bowie’s record fit perfectly with Phish’s place in time. The dreamy psychedelia of Ziggy Stardust seems made for Phish to play, incorporating all band members (and a few horns) in forming a tapestry of Bowie’s early ’70s sound. And the copious fade-outs on almost every track is an essential detail of the record, leaving the door wide open for Phish to improvise out of almost any song. With musical coherence, symbolic relevance, poignant lyrics, Ziggy Stardust is the perfect choice for Phish this year.

1. “Five Years”

We got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
We’ve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that’s all we got

The album starts off with Ziggy singing a melancholy dirge for humanity, stating there are only five years left before the apocalypse.  Due to a lack of natural resources, the world is on the verge of perishing. In Bowie’s explanation of the song:

Ziggy was in a rock n roll band and the kids no longer want rock n roll. There’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s advisors tell him to collect news and sing it, cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news (Rolling Stone, 1973).

The obvious Phishy reference in this song lies in the title “Five Years,” alluding to the past half-decade we lived without Phish in our lives. But now, like Ziggy and The Spiders, the band is back to save us from a degrading society with their universal musical messages.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

2. “Soul Love”

Victoria Hall, Hanley, UK (P.Calvert)

Victoria Hall, Hanley, UK (P.Calvert)

This wistful song details various forms of love and their interrelation, including the highest form – “Soul Love.” Suggesting an overt spirituality, there are religious undertones to this song, asserting that “Soul Love” is embodied by every human, a central theme in Ziggy’s extra-terrestrial message. The beauty of the universe lies within everyone, there is still hope.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

3.”Moonage Daydream”

Phish would absolutely destroy this scorching song that has often been cited as the strongest track on the album. Recounting times they played the song live, Trevor Bolder, a member of The Spiders From Mars observed:

It really used to get the kids going. That would start the kids off. Every night you knew that “Moonage Daydream” was going to be the one that really lifted them. (1976)

This song introduces Ziggy Stardust – the Space Invader / Alien Messiah – who offers rock n roll salvation from earth’s imminent disaster outlined in “Five Years,” and a object for society’s religious worship evident in “Soul Love.” Its searing guitar lines and syncopated keyboard patterns lift off into wild sheets of sound, and could provide Phish with a serious launchpad for improvisation. In some ways congruent with Phish’s place as worshipped rock and roll superheros, “Moonage Daydream” details the seduction of rock stardom. If the first two slower tracks don’t get people going, “Moonage Daydream certainly would.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

4. “Starman”

There’s a Starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a Starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile

David Bowie / Ziggy (Unk)

David Bowie / Ziggy (Unk)

The only single off Ziggy Stardust, “Starman” tells the story of Ziggy’s origins as an “infinite being,” and details his message that hope and love can save the world before earth comes to an end. This, as Bowie explained “was the song that Ziggy wrote which inspired people to follow him…but he continued and then he was crushed by his own ego” (1974). Phish are the “Starmen” of our generation, enlightening us; showing us a different way of living amidst a war-torn, segmented world. Grandiose? Sure. Far fetched? Not so much.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

5. “Lady Stardust”

Bowie’s personal tale of rock and roll androgyny kicks off the B-side of the album. But for Phish, and specifically for Trey, the power of this ballad lies in the lyrics.

And he was alright, the band was altogether
Yes he was alright, the song went on forever
Yes he was awful nice
Really quite out of sight
And he sang all night long

Seemingly written for this exact occasion in Phish’s career, these lyrics would bring shivers to every fan in the desert when Trey (or Page) sang them.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

6.”Star”

This song details the Ziggy’s dreams of super-stardom with a more upbeat song. In the chorus, Bowie sang:

I could make a transformation as a rock n roll star
So inviting – so enticing to play the part
I could play the wild mutation as a rock n roll star

Fame and stardom allured both Bowie and Phish, dreaming of success while not compromising their art. In Phish’s modern era, however, “Star” would be a reflection on the band’s past inspiration as they fought for the big time – a glimpse back to the years of the early ’90s and the musical hunger that defined them.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

7. “Hang On To Yourself”

Well come on, come on, we’ve really got a good thing going
Well come on, well come on, if you think we’re gonna make it
You better hang on to yourself

bloom73bThis song chronicles the height of fame for Ziggy Stardust with a rocking feel and melodic hooks. But as his popularity grew, so did his indulgences – hence the song’s title. Loosely parallel to the years of 2000-2004, this was the era that Phish barely hung on to themselves, battling the very temptations and indulgences as Bowie’s fictional rock-god. “Hang On To Yourself” leads naturally into the infectious album’s infectious title-track.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

7. “Ziggy Stardust”

A classic song in the annals of rock history, Ziggy’s title track would be the song that any Phish fan is guaranteed to know. And hearing Trey destroy the song’s signature guitar riff would be worth the price of admission on its own. The song, itself, details the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust – a symbol of the ultimate rock god – as told by one of his band members.

Making love with his ego, Ziggy sucked up into his mind
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man, I had to break up the band

Alluding to several of rock’s fallen idols, “Ziggy Stardust” explains the character’s fate as an idolized rock star and, subsequently, a rock and roll tragedy. In the end they had to break up the band – sound familiar?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

8.” Suffragette City”

1972 (Unknown)

1972 (Unknown)

One of Bowie’s favorite originals, this is the most rocking track on the album by a long shot. This song – like “Drowned,” “Crosseyed and Painless” and “Rock and Roll” – would be a heavy favorite for Phish to keep in their permanent rotation. Chronicling  Ziggy’s decadent over-indulgence, many fans theorize that this song should have came before “Ziggy Stardust,” as it sets up the star’s fall from glory. “Suffragette City” would also see a guest appearance from a horn section.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

9. “Rock N Roll Suicide”

This acoustic piece narrates the fate of Ziggy Stardust, and his final demise. Despite its somber ending, Bowie’s wife saw an uplifting message of unity in the song’s final chorus :

Just turn on with me and you’re not alone
Let’s turn on and be not alone
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful
Gimme your hands cause you’re wonderful
Oh gimme your hands

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

So...

When looked at as a holistic piece of art, strewn with congruences and parallels to Phish’s career as rock superstars, Ziggy Stardust emerges as an ideal fit for the band’s Halloween set. Imagine Trey dressed as Ziggy, and Mike, Page and Fish as The Spiders From Mars?! This album could take Phish’s musical costume to a whole new level. Strewn with symbolism, artistry, and musical theatrics, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars presents not only one of the most engaging musical choices for Festival 8, but one that holds plenty of significance as well.

(References – Rolling Stone, Blender, Pop Matters, The Ziggy Stardust Companion)

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Reba” 10.18.94 II SBD

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A soaring “Reba” from Nashville, TN in a year that redefined the song.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.6.2000 Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON < Torrent

7.6.2000 Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON < Megaupload

2000-07-06moHere we have Phish’s second visit to the beautiful Molson Amphitheatre, right on Toronto’s waterfront. Standout versions of “Reba” and “YEM bookend the 90-mintue opening set. The second frame opens with a delicate jam bridging “Limb” and “2001,” and closes with the feel-good combo of “Hood,” “Loving Cup.”

I: Reba, Dogs Stole Things, Taste, Dog Faced Boy, Heavy Things > The Moma Dance, First Tube, I Didn’t Know, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Prince Caspian > Golgi Apparatus, You Enjoy Myself

II: Limb By Limb* > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Bug, Piper > Driver, Harry Hood, Loving Cup

E: The Squirming Coil

*Unfinished

Source: Unknown

Tags: , , ,

So Much Great Music

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on October 1st, 2009 by Mr.Miner
The Haunted Gallery of Albums

The Haunted Gallery of Albums

Ever since Phish unveiled their haunted gallery of albums on Monday, there has been a distinct buzz throughout the community as people continue to discover, rediscover, and imagine Phish donning each costume. Text messages and calls have crossed the country with predictions, picks, and commands to “Check this one out!” Fans from coast to coast have been digging into these 99 albums ferociously, thanks to a mysterious Halloween blog that  continues to post them. As I type this, I am listening to The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds from top to bottom for the first time ever, and though I think Phish should steer clear the vocal-centric surf pop, it’s a pleasure to hear these songs in their original context. This week, I have discovered more amazing music than any week-long period in memory, and ironically I have Phish to thank.

Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

Who knew that old-school Genesis is incredibly psychedelic stuff? The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, their concept double-album, somewhat akin to “The Wall” but slightly groovier, is a brand new discovery for me. This could be a spectacular dark-horse choice that would make for e a ninety minute spectacle.  I hadn’t listened to The Clash’s London Calling in close to a decade, and I remembered how much I love it. Filled with dub bass lines, infused with a ska-reggae vibe, and boasting a distinctly un-punk melodic framework, Phish could transform this double-album into a desert dance party.

eno,brian-before_&_after_science-lpInspired by Brian Eno’s ambient work and collaborations with David Byrne, I plucked his solo album Before and After Science from the gallery –  another unknown to me. After listening through, the electro-ambient pop only further confirmed Eno’s place in a league by himself, as a producer-musician. If Phish were to choose this, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to take a few more drops.

mE5IXpbXbqf7uzlbaD7cwmI7o1_500I’ve also sunk my ears into some The Rolling Stones albums that everyone keeps pimping as favorites for Festival 8. Revisiting “Sticky Fingers” for the first time in ages, it held up just as remembered. But I had never listened to “Exile On Main Street” in full, the Stones seminal work that spawned a generation of imitators. The raw blues-based, drug-fueled double-album has a gritty feel and flow that could make an epic Halloween set if Phish were to go the classic rock route.

King_Crimson_-_Larks_Tongues_In_Aspic-frontOne of the most engaging aspects of this 99-album melange is the variety of genres and eras covered – all of which are legitimate possibilities – we think. The Halloween set would diverge greatly if they chose the folk-rock of Bob Dylan and The Band’s Basement Tapes or King Crimson’s prog-rock epic Lark’s Tongues in Aspic. The latter would be a mind-numbing 45-minute excursion, though it might lose half the crowd. Phish’s gallery contains everything from Prince to Queen and The Roots to Rush. Compiling a virtual top-100 of all-time list, the band once again has exposed me – and most of their fans – to music never heard before; spreading the good word.

Ziggy+StardustDavid Bowie is the only artist with three albums in the gallery and Phish had covered his music, making Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust popular predictions. Ziggy Stardust, the saga of Bowie’s apocalyptic alien protagonist who brings his message of peace and love to a world void of rock and roll, would be amazing.  In addition, Phish has given a nod to more than a few of their contemporaries such as U2, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jane’s Addiction, and The Beastie Boys. Radiohead’s Kid A and Jane’s Ritual de lo Habitual are the two most viable of the group, and they would both be stunning. It’s cool to a glimpse into what albums the band, themselves, like and respect.

led_zeppelin_ivAnd then there are the classics like Led Zeppelin, Traffic, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd. Yes, they are all in there somewhere. Regardless of what direction Phish chooses to take, I suspect we will all be happy, and therein lies the beauty to this musical smorgasbord.  But what a great way for the community to spend the time leading up to Indio. I never imagined this dynamic when the gallery appeared, but it’s been nothing but fun. I’ll be back with some final picks before we head to Indio, but until then, I’ve got some more albums to check out.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day:

Ha Ha Ha > David Bowie” 6.15.95 II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This “Bowie” from Lakewood ’95 represents the harrowing psychedelia that fans encountered nightly during this summer.  A journey into the abyss was resolved later in the set by this sublime “Slave.”

Slave to the Traffic Light 6.15.95 II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

4.4.91 WOW Hall, Eugene, OR SBD < Torrent

4.4.91 WOW Hall, Eugene, OR SBD < Megaupload

WOW Hall - Eugene, Oregon

WOW Hall - Eugene, Oregon

This old-school nugget from Phish’s first run through the Pacific Northwest comes at you via reader request. This show is a relic from the days that Phish toured the country in a van, seeking an ever-expand fanbase fueled by dreams of what could be. Complete with band introductions, this SBD is a portrait of the band’s evolutionary era.

I: The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, You Enjoy Myself, The Squirming Coil, Llama, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Possum, Carolina, Golgi Apparatus

II: The Curtain > Runaway Jim, Guelah Papyrus, David Bowie, Lawn Boy, The Landlady, My Sweet One, The Divided Sky, HYHU > Love You > HYHUBig Black Furry Creature from Mars >

E: Magilla, Highway to Hell

E2: Contact, Uncle Pen

Source: SBD

Tags: , , ,

Halloween ’96 – Changing the Game

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on October 1st, 2009 by Mr.Miner

pb1Never has one show affected the course of Phish’s musical direction as much as Halloween 1996. Deciding to cover Remain in Light, an album centered on percussive grooves, forced the band to acclimate to a different style of play. Phish approached its tracks from a rhythmic point of view; different from the arena rock psychedelia that captivated audiences throughout Fall ’95. As 1996 moved into its second half, Phish hovered in a holding pattern, ready for a fresh musical path, but not exactly sure what that would be. As a result, their initial east coast run of the Fall was nothing to write home about. But as they prepared to unveil The Talking Heads’ album for Halloween, Phish brought other musicians into the mix, and their extensive practice sessions pushed the band towards their destiny.

With the addition of Dave Grippo and Gary Gazaway on sax and trumpet, and more specifically, Santana’s percussionist, Karl Perazzo, the band worked on executing the collaborative patterns that were strewn throughout the record. Phish’s meticulous preparation for their third musical costume resulted in a masterfully interpretive set in which they killed the album from beginning to end.

During a 1998 interview with David Byrne for Sessions at West 54th, the band discussed each of their Halloween “costumes” and how they subsequently affected the band’s style. Page noted the profound influence of covering Remain In Light.

It may have had the biggest effect on us because we really learned the grooves and we really tried to get inside the grooves on the album…I took so much away from that. And the groove-oriented playing that we’ve done in the last few years – repetition, pulling things out, putting them back – all that sort of thing, a lot of it was from learning [Remain In Light].

The effects Page spoke of began to emerge at the very next show in West Palm Beach. To open the second set, Phish launched into an extended groove exploration of “Crosseyed > Antelope,” and the music sounded more like the rhythmic jamming that defined Remain In Light rather than the fast-paced, guitar-centric playing that peaked in ’95 and spilled into ’96.

10-31-96 The Omni (T.Wickersty)

10-31-96 The Omni (T.Wickersty)

“Crosseyed > Antelope” began a gradual evolution of the band’s sound throughout the rest of the fall. Starting to slow down and funk out, Phish started moving towards their groove-based playing of 1997 and beyond. When comparing the pre-Halloween shows with those after October, the changes leap out. Pieces that helped define this shift included the Auburn Hills “YEM” (11/9), the Grand Rapids “Tweezer” (11/11), the San Diego “Mike’s” (12/4), and the Vegas “2001”(12/6).

While ’96’s New Year’s Run didn’t necessarily capture this emerging style of jamming, the band was poised for a transformation come 1997. And during their winter tour of Europe in Markthalle, an intimate club in Hamburg, Germany, this evolution came together. The band references “Wolfman’s” from 3.1’s Markthalle show as the moment they realized the type of 3329098551_6cb1b984f6collaborative playing they had quested after. Everything simply clicked, bringing the community their first helping of “cow funk,” mastered and released on Slip Stitch, and Pass. And so it began – 1997’s rhythmic revolution was underway – but the process of transformation started late one Fall night in Atlanta – and Phish never looked back.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day:

Crosseyed > Antelope” 11.2.96 II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

***

Ghost > Runaway Jim” 7.2.98 II

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Capping a three-night stand at The Grey Hall, Phish threw down a four-song second set; this is the first half. Only the second version featuring the song’s new intro, this “Ghost” sits among the upper echelon of all-time renditions.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.1.00 Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ < Torrent

10.1.00 Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ < Megaupload

Desert Sky Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ

Desert Sky Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ

The night after Vegas ended, Phish made their way into the desert for the last show before the final four.  Markedly better than the previous performance, “Piper > Guy Forget” (an old soundcheck song never performed live) held down the opening segment of the second set, while a thick “Camel Walk” and a solid “Bowie” closed it out.  After Phoenix started the fateful final four of 2000.

I: First Tube, Wolfman’s Brother, Back on the Train, Beauty of My Dreams, Vultures, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Billy Breathes, Llama, Lawn Boy, Runaway Jim

II: Roses Are Free, Piper > Guy Forget* > When the Circus Comes, Camel Walk, Driver, David Bowie

E: Waste

*debut

Source: B&K 4011’s > Lunatec V2 > Apogee AD-500 > Tascam DA-P1

Tags: , , ,