When Phish plotted their return in 2009, Mike Gordon said he wanted to leave time for his solo project within the framework of his larger band. Well – he wasn’t kidding. This week, Mike announced a 17-show club and theatre tour in November that stretches from coast to coast; a nationwide path that resembles the road many fans wish Phish would undertake. Moving from Los Angeles up the coast to Seattle and back down through Missoula, Montana, Utah and Colorado, The Mike Gordon Band will play seven shows out west before taking on the heartland of America. Tallying seven more gigs in the Midwest from Omaha to Cleveland, Mike is really spreading the love across the land. Concluding with only three east coast dates that end in Portland, Maine and Boston on November 26 and 27, Mike’s tour finales wipe out the rumor of a Phish Thanksgiving run in Hampton. Covering many miles this fall, specifically the markets Phish won’t be hitting, Mike will hop off Phish tour and right onto his own – a bass assassin on a never-ending mission.
In conjunction with his national tour, Mike will also release his third solo album entitled Moss. Available now for pre-order, many of Moss’ songs were played during Mike’s last tour and according to his website, “half of its songs stem from the same 50-song burst of creativity that seeded [The Green Sparrow].” Likely carrying a similar bass-led and melodic vibe as his last album, some of the deeper cuts morph into more experimental music. Another quote from Gordon’s press release reads:
A four-song sequence, comprising “Flashback,” “The Void,” “Got Away” and “Spiral,” goes places no songs have gone before. You might suppose these soundscapes are musical evocations of particularly fanciful sights and sounds experienced while on hallucinogenic vision quests. Songs like “Spiral” and “The Void” detour into evocatively abstract, meterless areas of sound with a mysterious, textural richness.
Mike Gordon - Moss
While “Spiral” was a psychedelic centerpiece of several shows last tour, I am not familiar with the other three other three engaging titles. But by their ornate descriptions and knowing Mike’s eclectic tastes, they will provide some outstanding launchpads come November. Phish debuted the final track of Mike’s album, “Idea,” in Portsmouth, Virginia’s second set on June 15, bringing the debut out of a murky “46 Days” with infectious grooves and two springboards for improvisation. (Listen here.)
Unlike many solo projects where the sole spotlight shines on the front man, full-band improvisation is the focus of The Mike Gordon Band. With Mike serving as both band-leader and bassist, he infuses an engaging dynamic in the music, often anchoring the rhythm of jams while, simultaneously, providing melodic leads. Featuring Scott Murawski on guitar, Todd Isler on drums, Tom Clearly on keyboard and Craig Myers on percussion, Mike’s band gets into legitimate sonic experiments and takes musical risks. Also playing an array of diverse covers in their live show, the reports from Mike’s last tour were glowing across the board. With a year and half of Phish under his belt, things can only get better this time around.
Ironically, it was Mike’s work with this solo project that brought him back to Phish far more polished and prepared than his band mates in 2009. And since their comeback, Phish has sculpted their new sound around the creative lead-presence of their all-world bassist. Trey has taken a step back, happily willing to co-lead jams with his partner in a move that has dramatically increased the diversity of Phish jams this year. And while Trey, Page, and Fish take a break this season, Mike will be right back out there honing his skills for what is sure to be a stellar December.Aat the end of the day, Mike Gordon simply loves to innovate with his bass. And for two straight months this fall, that is exactly what he will do.
11/6 Troubador, West Hollywood, CA
11/7 The Independent, San Francisco, CA
11/8 Alladin Theater, Portland, OR
11/10 Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA
11/11 The Wilma Theatre, Missoula, MT
11/12 The State Room, Salt Lake City, UT
11/13 Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO
11/14 The Waiting Room, Omaha, NE
11/16 Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
11/17 Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI
11/18 Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
11/19 Bluebird, Bloomington, IN
11/20 Madison Theater, Covington, KY
11/22 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
11/23 The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY
11/26 Port City Music Hall, Portland, ME
11/27 Royale Nightclub, Boston, MA
Pre-Order tickets now until Thursday September 16 at 5pm EST. It’s fun, you actually get them!
Jam of the Day:
“Piper > 2001” 8.15.10 II
One of Alpine Valley’s many standout segments.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
11.18.1995 N.Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC < Torrent
11.18.1995 N.Charleston Coliseum, Charleston, SC < Megaupload
This is the first of two shows ever played at North Charleston Coliseum. With a quick-starting first set with stong versions of “Reba” and “Slave,” Phish offered a balanced meal on this evening. The second set featured a soupy-’95 style “Free”, a show-stopping “You Enjoy Myself,” and some Phishy antics switching between “Acoustic Army” and “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.” The show ended in classic fashion with Dr. Jack McConnell dancing The Charleston and singing his famed guest spot, “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?”
I: Dinner and a Movie, Bouncing Around the Room, Reba, Lawn Boy, Punch You In the Eye, Slave to the Traffic Light, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome^, Sample in a Jar
II: AC/DC Bag, Sparkle, Free, I’m So Tired, You Enjoy Myself*, Contact, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars > Acoustic Army > Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Cavern
E: Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?**
^ acoustic, * w/ “Brickhouse” jam,**w/ Page’s Dad