The Top Ten Jams of Fall

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on November 15th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
Boardwalk Hall (Andrea Nusinov)

Boardwalk Hall (Andrea Nusinov)

I’ve spent the past week spinning the hell out of Fall and I have come up with my top ten jams of tour. These are—by my ear—the most hooked up, flowing pieces of improvisation from an all-too-short fall run. As always, ranking these was an incredibly difficult task, but that said, I’m quite happy with how this top ten turned out. always, Enjoy the playlist!

10. “Ghost” 10.31 III, Atlantic City, NJ

This locked and driving jam opened the third of set of Halloween with a bang.

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. “Down with Disease” 10.29 II, Reading, PA

After steering through a couple different moods, the band found the end of the rainbow in a southern-style pot of gold.  This Allmans-sque passage and earth-shattering peak cement Reading’s “Disease” as a keeper.

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. “Golden Age” 10.27 II, Hartford, CT

Fishman absolutely destroys this rhythmic jam, as the band dances around his inhuman beats for much of its duration. The band truly sits into this jam, something they are becoming more and more comfortable doing with “Golden Age.”

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. “Twenty Years Later” 10.29 II, Reading, PA

Methodical, growling, and funky as James Brown’s band on their worst night, this mid-set surprise obliterated the dance floor and left people picking up pieces of their brains off the walls of Santander Arena. Sliding into a rootsy, Americana outro, this jam hit the feel-good spot as well.

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. ”Twist” 10.23 II, Glens Falls, NY

This jam provided the pivot point of tour; from here on out, everything the band touched turned to gold.

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. “Carini” 10.31 III, Atlantic City, NJ

A free-form, third-set joyride that reached profound planes following some early-jam hiccups. The improvisational centerpiece of the Halloween show.

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. ”Light” 10.26 II, Worcester, MA

The most slamming “Light” of Fall has so much to offer, including a searing guitar solo, a passionate composed jam and the the most sophisticated groove exposé of the entire tour. Hey!

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. “Twist” 11.1 II, Atlantic City, NJ

The central part of this jam provided the most cathartic group moment of the year aside from Tahoe’s “Tweezer.” Very powerful music; very powerful energy. The band came down from the mountaintop and retained cohesion through a mini-”Under Pressure” jam, continued into a full-blown, psychedelic third segment of music, and finally came down via a dreamy denouement.

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. “Carini” 10.18 II, Hampton, VA

This multi-staged, super-dynamic jam is the only piece of Fall—other than my number one pick—that flows with a completely effortless nature from beginning to end. And that’s quite impressive considering the amount of ground it covers, including a scintillating mid-jam, peak and a funked up final section. Despite Sunday’s scorching final set, this “Carini” is the everlasting gem of Hampton 2013.

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.

***

1.Tweezer” 10.27 II, Hartford, CT

The guys clicked from this jam’s first note, locking into a sacred stride and never missing a beat. No jam from Fall flowed more effortlessly that this—four-minded, egoless, soulful music from start to finish. As if God pressed play and the band simply allowed the music to flow through them—this is what it’s all about.

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.

Hampton Coliseum (Andrea Nusinov)

Hampton Coliseum (Andrea Nusinov)

Tags: , , ,

TTFF: 50 and a Short Poll

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on February 22nd, 2013 by Mr.Miner
IMG_1223

12-28-12 (Graham Lucas)

 

Here are ten more jams/sequences—unranked—that take the next ten slots in 2012′s Top 50. Below, I threw in a random reader’s poll. Take a few seconds to weigh in on some Phishy questions.

Tweezer” 8/26 II, Charlotte, NC

This jam could be ranked higher.

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.

***

Back On the Train -> Hold Your Head Up” 6/28 II, Noblesville, IN

A rare move outside the lines of “BOTT” brought the show to outer space.

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.

***

Disease > Sand -> Twist” 6/29 II, Noblesville, IN

This sequence felt like the start of a huge set.

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.

***

Stash” 8/22 I, Kansas City, MO

A first set scorcher, one of the dark horse chunks of leg two.

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.

***

Golden Age -> 2001” 6/30 II, East Troy, WI

A hearty dose of whole-band funk at Alpine.

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.

***

Crosseyed > Slave” 6/16 II, Atlantic City, NJ

Solid Phish through and through.

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.

***

Twist > Piper > Billy Breathes” 6/15 II, Atlantic City, NJ

A quality, mid-set chunk of 6/15′s second set.

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.

***

Run Like an Antelope” 7/3 II, Wantagh, NY

A full-throttle run through the set closer.

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.

***

Drowned > 2001 > Reba” 6/17 II, Atlantic City, NJ

Another high-quality start of a set.

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.

***

Tweezer” 6/10 I, Manchester, TN

The Bonnaroo “Tweezer.” The best of Leg One.

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.

 

 

 

Tags: , ,

The Top Ten Shows of 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on February 7th, 2013 by Mr.Miner

10. 8/28—Chaifetz Arena, St.Louis, MO

I: Punch You In the Eye, Runaway Jim, Ocelot, Reba, I Didn’t Know, The Curtain > Peaches en Regalia, Mound, Sample in a Jar, The Sloth, Camel Walk, Possum, Quinn the Eskimo

II: Chalk Dust Torture -> Frankie Says -> Undermind -> Sand -> Walk Away, Limb By Limb, Julius, Also Sprach Zarathustra > You Enjoy Myself

E: Shine a Light

St. Louis Official (Vastagh)

St. Louis Official (Vastagh)

Set I: The first set in St. Louis combined a host a rarities and some well-loved classics to form a very entertaining set of music. A powerful trifecta of “Punch You in the Eye,” “Runaway Jim” and “Reba” kicked things off in the Gateway to the West, and after “I Didn’t Know,” the rarities started to surface. Phish dropped the first “Curtain” of Leg Two, but when they were ready to drip into the “With” jam—as they had done every time in 3.0—they rolled directly into “Peaches En Regalia” to form a potent one-two punch. Backing up this pairing with “Mound,” the guys continued to drop non-rotation songs, also including “The Sloth” and “Camel Walk” before closing out the set with “Quinn the Eskimo.”

Set II: This is a darkhorse set from summer tour that has lived in the shadows of its surrounding shows. Splicing together several mini-jams with patient segues, the band unveiled a set-opening sequence of ‘Chalk Dust -> Frankie Says -> Undermind -> Sand -> Walk Away” that moved with a liquid flow. “Chalk Dust” and “Frankie Says” each contained unique, out of the box jams that fluidly migrated into the next song, and though “Undermind” possessed no adventure, the band peaked the sequence with a blistering “Sand” before capped things off with “Walk Away.” Just when one thought the band might cool down with “Limb by Limb,” the song exploded into the centerpiece of the night with a spectacular type-II fiesta that stands as the best version of the song the band has ever played. The “breather” of the set came in the form of “Julius” before the guys topped off a non-stop second half with the classy combo “2001 > YEM.” This set should have been included in my previous posts about the well-crafted sets of the year, because it was certainly one of them.

X Factor: Flow and More Flow—I walked out of this show with it in the highest regard, as it was an experiential masterpiece. The second set never relented for a second, and the entire night never flirted with a slow moment. Though the mini-jams of set two are a bit more concise than they felt in the live setting, there is no denying their quality. And that “Limb by Limb” served as the most out-of-left-field centerpiece of the year, likening a musical left hook that nobody saw coming. St. Louis was a quality two-setter thaty, admittedly, was more of a live experience than one with limitless playback value.

*****

9. 12/30—Madison Square Garden, NYC, NY

I: Runaway Jim, Cities, Divided Sky, Back on the Train, Ride Captain Ride, Ocelot, Ya Mar, Horn, My Friend, My Friend, Run Like an Antelope

II: Down with Disease > Twenty Years Later > Carini > Backwards Down the Number Line > Julius > Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Harry Hood > Show of Life

12/30 Sketch (Masthay)

12/30 Sketch (Masthay)

Set 1: Coming on the heels of a totally sterile performance on the 29th, the first set of this show felt like more of the same—well-played standard versions of common songs. A few quasi-rarities dotted the setlist in the form of “Ride, Captain Ride,” “Yamar” and “Horn,” but these selections didn’t do much of to enhance the vibe of the set. The energy turned up at the end of the frame with “My Friend” and “Antelope,” but like so many shows last year, the real action started after setbreak.

Set II: Check out yesterday’s summary of this set, excerpted here: The second set of December 30th provided the most musically impressive and conceptually crafted stanza of the New Year’s Run. This frame contained a darkness-into-light progression, though the entire vibe changed a bit to abruptly to necessarily label it artistic…

X Factor: Darkness—Rarely, if ever, in this era has Phish assembled such an extensive menacing adventure as they did on this night. The playing within “Disease > Twenty Years Later > Carini” is very scarce in this era of good feelings, and when Phish let the cat out of the bag on this night, the results were astounding.

*****

8. 6/23—Star Lake, Burgettstown, PA

I: Funky Bitch, Backwards Down the Number Line, Gumbo, Maze, Torn and Frayed, The Moma Dance, Scent of a Mule, 46 Days, You Enjoy Myself

II: Gotta Jibboo, Mike’s Song > Simple > Light > Weekapaug Groove > Seven Below, Bouncing Around the Room, Julius, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: The Lizards

Star Lake (Millward)

Star Lake (Millward)

Set I: This set didn’t possess a heck of a lot of meat, causing Star Lake to drop to the bottom of the top ten. People love “Mule,” but I don’t dig on that song at all, thus this opening frame amounted to a set-closing “YEM,” and we all know how “YEMs” go these days—purely generic. But the second set was a different story.

Set II: Check out yesterday’s summary of this set, excerpted here: Phish’s second set at Star Lake stood out the minute it ended. With impeccable flow, clear structural intent, and plenty of improvisation, this one had it all. Firing collectively on this Saturday night, the band dropped a timeless frame of music in their Pittsburgh-area venue of lore…

X Factor: Cohesion—The most cohesive second set of Leg One, hands down. The songs not only flowed from one to another, but the improvisation within “Simple > Light > Weekapaug > Seven Below” was all cut from the same cloth.

*****

7. 6/28—Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN

I: The Birdwatcher, The Curtain With, Fuck Your Face, The Old Home Place, Pebbles and Marbles, Weigh, Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, Cool It Down, Tweezer, Tela,  Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan

II: Mike’s Song > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Back on the Train -> Hold Your Head Up > Bike > Hold Your Head Up > Weekapaug Groove, Prince Caspian > Waves > Bug > David Bowie

E: Show of Life > Tweezer Reprise

Deer Creek '12 (Masthay)

Deer Creek (Masthay)

Set I: Amidst 100-plus degree heat, Phish stepped onto the famed stage in the cornfields of Noblesville and dropped one of the most complete first sets of the year. Following an a cappella opener of “The Birdwatcher,” the band rolled out a series of rarities including “The Curtain With,” Fuck Your Face,” “Pebbles and Marbles,” and “Weigh.” After this run of songs, it felt as though the band hit the reset button and launched into the second half of the set comprised of more classic selections. “Chalk Dust” kicked this segment off and it led into funkified “Wolfman’s” which was followed up by the tongue-in-cheek combo of “Cool it Down” and “Tweezer,” as the band poked fun at the blistering heat while planted behind their stage fans. “Tela” emerged from an old-school ending in “Tweezer” and the setlist train kept rollin.’

Set II: This set kicked off with heavy-hitting “Mike’s Groove” sandwich that included the most improvised “McGrupp” to date and a version of “Back on the Train” that jumped way beyond convention into a dark, ambient fantasy before it seamlessly transitioned into “Hold Your Head Up.” “Bike” gave way to more antics in “Weekapaug,” as Fishman started the anthem on guitar while Trey still sat behind the kit. The two joined forces for a drum duet before Trey picked up his axe and slayed song’s feel-good jam. Phish didn’t allow the second half of this set to fizzle like so many others of the year, weaving together a gorgeous quartet of songs to close things out. This late run was centered on the first “Waves” of the year, a stunning rendition that covered a great deal of territory from quickened groove, through a cathartic passage and into deep space before subtly merging into “Bug.” “David Bowie” closed the door on a show that was quickly filed into history under the chapter of Deer Creek lore.

X Factor: Heat—The temperatures peaked in triple digits on this late-June day, making it—easily—the most tortuous show of summer tour. The band clearly understood this and treated the audience to a proper two-setter as they spared us from sitting through any filler in the ungodly heat.

*****

6. 6/15—Bader Field, Atlantic City, NJ

I: The Sloth, My Sweet One, 46 Days, Camel Walk, Tube, Cities > It’s Ice, Ginseng Sullivan, Stash, Simple > The Wedge, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Squirming Coil

II: My Soul, Birds of a Feather -> Back on the Train > Heavy Things > Twist > Piper > Billy Breathes, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > David Bowie

E: First Tube

AC 6/15 (Masthay)

AC 6/15 (Masthay)

Set I: The first set of Atlantic City’s three-day weekend contained quality songs throughout and also carried a flow of its own. “The Sloth” provided a jolt of energy in the opening slot and the band backed it up with a rare “My Sweet One.” Following “46 Days,” Phish stepped into a groovy triumvirate of “Camel Walk,” “Tube,” and “Cities,” highlighted by the best “Tube” of the year. If you’ve forgotten about this version, check it out, it was my first jam of the morning for most of Leg One. The band included “It’s Ice,” “Stash,” “Simple,” “The Wedge” and “Squirming Coil” over back half of a set that fit congruently with the sunset vibe.

Set II: Check out yesterday’s summary of this set, excerpted here: This set from Atlantic City is one of the more glossed over stanzas of Summer Tour. Boasting a liquid-like flow and non-stop jamming, there is no doubting its rightful place among the year’s best frames of music.

X Factor: The Festival Feel—Bader Field provided a festival-like atmosphere for the weekend, and coming after Worcester, as most skipped Bonnaroo, this show was the transition to summer tour in earnest. Everyone could easily congregate around speaker towers with all their friends and enjoy the wide-open freedom a Phish festi for the only time in 2012. The nearby casinos graced the show with a visual backdrop and a quasi-circus feel as this Atlantic City became a destination spot for much of the Phish community on this weekend in mud-June.

*****

5. 6/7—DCU Center, Worcester, MA

I: Buried Alive > Runaway Jim, Torn and Frayed, Funky Bitch, The Moma Dance, Rift, Nothing, Ocelot, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Possum, Rocky Top

II: Carini -> Taste > Ghost > Boogie On Reggae Woman > If I Could, Quinn the Eskimo, Harry Hood, Cavern > Buried Alive Reprise

E: Loving Cup

Worcester 2012 (Masthay)

Worcester 2012 (Masthay)

Set I: The first set of the year kicked off in high-style with “Buried Alive” and continued with “Runaway Jim” and “Torn and Frayed.” Just like that we were underway; the highly anticipated indoor shows to kick off the summer were off and running. The band sounded polished and ready for tour, adding the rarities of “Nothing” and “Beauty of a Broken Heart” in the opening frame. Though the setlist was far from eye-popping, the music was spot on and everything seemed primed for take off in set two.

Set II: Check out yesterday’s summary of this set, excerpted here: Since 2010, Phish has most often come out on the first night of tours and dropped a monster show. Last summer’s opener in Worcester followed this pattern congruently. The second set of 2012 holds up as one of the year’s best, containing several standout, stylistically diverse jams.

X Factor: First Show After MehSG—Outstanding first shows of tour have become a tradition over the past couple of years, but this one carried a little extra weight as the first show of the yearn and considering it was the first performance since 2011’s lackluster New Year’s Run. This night in Worcester, specifically the second set, likened a soul cleansing for all involved after the band had slogged through their year-end party. The course had been corrected, illustrating that the MSG was a clear aberration and the band was ready to launch into 2012.

*****

4. 8/15—Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA

I: Suzy Greenberg, Cities > Kill Devil Falls, Guelah Papyrus, Cool It Down, Rift, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Bathtub Gin, Quinn the Eskimo

II: Rock and Roll > Ghost > Limb By Limb, Guyute, Dirt, Harry Hood > Good Times Bad Times

E: Julius

288753_10150966771891290_416359656_o

Long Beach Official (MMM)

Set I: So much focus has been placed on the amazing second set of this show that the first set has been largely forgotten. But as first sets go in 2012, this one wasn’t too shabby. “Cities” appeared in beefier form than usual in the second slot of the show and Velvet Underground’s “Cool It Down” came two songs later. The two most significant pieces of this frame, however, came in “Stash” and “Bathtub Gin,” the latter being one of the strongest and most overlooked versions of the year.

Set II: Check out yesterday’s description of this set, excerpted here: When Phish hit the west coast to start Leg Two, everyone had Long Beach circled as a potential blowout. A tour opener in an old-school area before a high key, three-night weekend in San Francisco had all the ingredients of a must-see show. And when the dust settled, Phish had dropped another spectacular tour opening bomb that contained, arguably, the set of the year.

X Factor: The Advent of Long Form Improv—Leg Two represented a crucial juncture in Phish’s modern era development. The band had grown quite proficient at nailing 10-15 minute jams, but the question remained as to when the band would stretch things out into the long form passages so many of us love. The band came out on the first night of Leg Two and immediately spoke to that question with a devastating combo of “Rock and Roll > Ghost” that spanned 40 minutes. We had our answer. They were ready to dig deeper than ever before in this era, and over the course of this tour they would add quite a few more monstrous jams to their 2012 resume, all sparked on this gorgeous night in Southern California.

*****

3. 9/1—Dick’s Sporting Goods Stadium, Commerce City, CO

I: Run Like an Antelope, Backwards Down the Number Line, Tweezer > Fluffhead, Roses Are Free, Funky Bitch, The Moma Dance, When the Circus Comes, Theme From the Bottom, Golgi Apparatus, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan

II: Golden Age > Prince Caspian > Light, Boogie On Reggae Woman, The Wedge, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Mike’s Song > No Quarter > Weekapaug Groove

E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Repriise

Denver Official (Stout)

Denver Official (Stout)

Set I: Most of the audience that filled Dick’s Sporting Goods Stadium on 9/1 was still riding high from 8/31’s throwdown, and when the band opened up this show with “Antelope,” the first such occurrence since 1990, everything picked right back up where it left off. Extraordinary song choices dotted the front of this frame, as “Tweezer > Fluffhead” backed up a second-song “Number Line.” Lost in all the highlights of Dick’s, this “Tweezer” is actually quite good, capping off a proficient second leg for the song with a slick, groove-based incarnation. The rest of the set had a more conventional contour, but the juices were flowing and the band was ready to dig far deeper after setbreak.

Set II: The 50-minutes that kicked off set two—“Golden Age > Prince Caspian > Light”—dominated the landscape of this show. Though the movement between songs wasn’t fluid as in Bill Graham’s sequence, the playing within was just as mind-melting. This segment, anchored by a version of “Light” that stands as the most incredible jam of the 3.0 years, stood out immediately and has matured like a fine wine over the five months since it took place. The focus of this night has so squarely been on the multi-thematic, other-worldly “Light” that the first two jams in the set have been (rightfully) overshadowed. “Golden Age” is one of the strongest versions of the year, while Trey took “Prince Caspian” off course into darker territory, crafting one of most unique renditions of all time. Following the centerpiece of the weekend in “Light,” the band exhaled via “Boogie On,” “The Wedge” and “Horse > Silent,” before ramping things up with an adrenaline-fueled “Mike’s > No Quarter > Weekapaug” to close out the set. Despite a slight pause in the action to recoup, this set is absolute fire.

X Factor: The Best Jam of 3.0—When you hear the best improvisation the band has played in four years, the stakes of the set—and show—are immediately raised. Spanning so much of their musical spectrum within a single jam, Phish had everyone’s jaw firmly planted on the ground by the end of this treasure. Building on each version of summer and far outdoing them all, Dick’s “Light” will be the eternal takeaway from Summer 2012. If Phish played nothing else to support the stunning take on “Light,” it would have been fine by me, but they added quite a but more, putting this night right up there with the best of the year.

*****

2. 8/19—Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

I: Crowd Control, Party Time, Axilla, Reba, Free, Mound, Walk Away, NICU, Back on the Train, Gotta Jibboo, Roggae, David Bowie

II: Crosseyed and Painless > Light -> Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley -> Crosseyed and Painless > Theme From the Bottom, Rocky Top, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Meatstick, Bug, You Enjoy Myself

E: Ride Captain Ride > Tweezer Reprise

BCGA 8/19 (Taylor)

Set I: This set picked up with the mid-set run of “Reba,” “Free,” “Mound” and “Walk Away,” but it’s peak came at the end with the threesome of “Jibboo,” “Roggae,” and “David Bowie.” All in all, this was a solid first set, but nothing out of the ordinary. At setbreak, I said that if the band didn’t play a massive second set that the Bill Graham run would be seen as a disappointment. And we all know what happened next.

Set II: Sometimes an out-of-this-world sequence of jamming can elevate an entire show, and this set’s “Crosseyed > Light -> Sneakin’ Sally > Crosseyed” did exactly that. Totaling 50 minutes of unbridled adventure, this run of songs takes the cake for the improvisational segment of the year. Combining “Crosseyed’s” open-ended exploration with tight, thematic jamming in “Light,” and capping things off with a funk-filled victory lap in a bravado-laced “Sally,” Phish threw down the gauntlet at the top of this set. This three-song leviathan knocked the socks off anything played in 2012 up to that point, and still stands strong as the most focused hour of jamming in this era. The back side of this set left a little bit to be desired, but it was all gravy at that point as the entire venue was on cloud nine. The band brought things home with “YEM” to skillfully close one of the most exhilarating sets of the year.

X Factor: Intangibles—It’s hard to describe the feeling in the intimate Bill Graham Civic Auditorium that night, as the vibe was intense and infectious. This show defined the energetic exchange between band and audience that makes the Phish experience so sacred. There was no show in 2012 that contained a more unified feel between every person in the room; it felt like each of the 7,004 participants was locked into the moment. It is even harder to describe the metaphysical explosion that took place during the segue of the year, when a “Tweezer Reprise”-laden build at the end of “Light” spilled seamlessly into “Sneakin Sally.” A communal eruption like none in memory provided the experiential moment of 2012—one of those magical occurrences that nobody in the room will ever forget. This special night in the city by the Bay can’t be recreated or relived by tapes alone, there was something more at hand. And that’s why we go.

*****

1. 8/31 —Dick’s Sporting Goods Stadium, Commerce City, CO

I: First Tube, Uncle Pen, Carini > Kill Devil Falls, You Enjoy Myself, Ocelot, Undermind

II: Runaway Jim > Farmhouse > Alaska, Chalk Dust Torture > Emotional Rescue > Fuck Your Face

E: Grind, Meatstick

551881_10150998571741290_845694855_n

Denver Official (Stout)

Set I: Phish dropped two bombs in this first set in the form of “Carini” and “Undermind,” the latter being a top five jam of the year. It is rare to see any long form improv in opening frames, let alone jams of this magnitude, thus this set jumped forth as the most significant opening frame of 2012. An extended, third-song “Carini” signified something strange was afoot at the Circle K, and a mid-set “YEM” confirmed this. By the time “Undermind”—the most astounding first set closer in memory—ended, it was clear this would be the show of the year.

Set II: Though many figured out the setlist gag by setbreak, the band came with one surprise after another in the second half, furthering the face-fucking theme of the night. The guys added two more outstanding jams to this show’s resume with the first exploratory “Runaway Jim” of this era and, arguably, the greatest “Chalk Dust” ever played. The best show of 3.o included “Farmhouse” and “Alaska” smack dab in the middle of the second set, as well as an intentional “Also Sprach” fake-out, illustrating the well-planned nature of the show-long trickery. The first “Emotional Rescue” since 2000 and an absurd “Meatstick,” “Grind” encore capped the night that everybody has been talking about since it ended.

X Factor: FUCK YOUR FACE—Forcing their own hand with a limited number of songs to spell out “Fuck Your Face,” the band extended jams all night long. Despite the setlist games, however, this show—unquestionably—contained Phish’s most impressive playing of the year. With four astounding jams, including two that are easily among the best of this era (“Undermind” and Chalk Dust”), Phish left a wake of fire in the Rockies on the final night of August. Aside from the top-shelf improv, their outlandishly tight playing shone through all night in selections such as “First Tube,” “Uncle Pen,” “Farmhouse” and “Ocelot.” This show was not just a standout performance, but a conceptual masterpiece as well.

*****

Honorable Mention: (in chronological order) 6/16 Atlantic City, 6/22 Cincinnati, 6/30 Alpine Valley, 7/1 Alpine Valley, 7/3 Jones Beach, 7/6 SPAC, 8/22 Kansas City, 9/2 Denver, 12/28 MSG

Tags: ,

TTFF: The Second Ten of 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on February 1st, 2013 by Mr.Miner

8.19.12, Bill Graham (Ken Scelfo)

Once again, don’t make too much of the rankings here, as I could have cut and pasted all night. I do, however, like the order in which these tracks settled. Look for jams 21-30 next week—there’s that much (plus more) any left to cover! Also, stay tuned next week when I unveil my picks for the sets and shows of the year.

20. “Roses Are Free” 6/8 I, Worcester, MA

Some of the freshest sounding music to come out of Leg One. Fishman’s work is immaculate.

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.

***

19. “Ghost > Boogie On” 6/7 II, Worcester, MA

This segment needs no introduction—some of the more fluid jamming of Leg One. Trey owns the “Boogie.”

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.

***

18. “Light > Weekapaug” 6/23 II, Burgettstown, PA

“Light’s” calypso section is hard to beat, and this is best “Weekapaug” of the era.

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.

***

17. “Waves” 6/28 II, Noblesville, IN

The only “Waves” jam of the year, and it was a winner.

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.

***

16. “Birds of a Feather” 6/15 II, Atlantic City, NJ

A stellar jam at the onset of one of summer’s most complete sets.

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.

***

15. “Limb by Limb” 8/28 II, St.Louis, MO

I think its safe to claim this jam as the most impressive “Limb” of all time, as the band smoothly moves from the song’s theme into a wide open adventure.

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.

***

14. “Fee” 7/1 I, East Troy, WI

A stunning foray into ambient sound-sculpting while the sun still shone at Alpine.

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.

***

13. “Rock and Roll” 6/24 II, Pelham, AL

This personal favorite is one of the fiercely underrated pieces of 2012. The heavenly final segment was worth the price of admission alone.

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.

***

12. “Sand” 9/2 II, Commerce City, CO

Though the band akwardly exits the groove for the outer reaches of the galaxy, once they get there this jam takes off.

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.

***

11. “Carini” 6/7 II,  Worcester, MA

Perhaps the most underrated jam of summer; stunning interplay throughout.

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.

Tags: , , ,

Miner’s Top 10 of 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on January 25th, 2013 by Mr.Miner

12.28.12, MSG (Graham Lucas)

It took a ton of deliberation, crossing out and remaking lists to come up with my favorite jams of 2012. I pondered not even trying to pare down Phish’s prolific year to a “Top 10″ because there are plenty more jams that are outstanding, but when it comes down to it, these are my favorite pieces of music from 2012. Don’t read too much into the rankings, as deciding on an order was quite the ordeal and I flip-flopped places many times before settling on this one. Enjoy the music and come back next Friday to check out the ten jams that I would put just behind these. A great weekend to all.

10. “Down With Disease” 12.30 II, MSG

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 and Roll > Ghost” 8.15 II, Long Beach, CA

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. “Twist” 6.22 II, Cincinnati

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. “Light > Ghost” 7.1 II, East Troy, WI

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. “Carini” 12.30 II, MSG

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. “Crosseyed > Light” 8.19 II, San Francisco, CA

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. “Chalk Dust Torture” 8.31 II, Denver, CO

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. “Undermind” 8.31 II, Denver, CO

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. “Tweezer” 12.28 II, MSG

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.

***

1. “Light” 9.1 II, Denver, CO

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.

Tags: , , ,

MYFE. & Miner Present: The Island Run

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on August 15th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

4.3.98 – Nassau (livephish)

The Island Run needs no introduction. Four shows that were spontaneously announced in the spring of ’98, because the band was teeming with creativity have become legend in the Phish community. Following the well-loved tours of Fall and New Years ’97, the band had a European jaunt planned for June—but they couldn’t wait that long. They wanted to play now. And the rest is history. As they began to blend a spacey ambiance into their funk stylings of ’97, Phish dropped, arguably, the greatest four-night run of their career in Nassau and Providence, resulting in timeless jams that sit amongst best of all-time.

In the modern era of Phish, beginning at Hampton’s comeback in ‘09, fan-created, jewel-quality, cloisonné pins have emerged as collector’s items of choice. From Gamehendge characters to song representations and from original art to classic logo-rip offs, pins are everywhere on the scene today, taking almost all focus away from lot t-shirts while reducing the hype about posters. Fans rock these pins on hats, shirts, bags and any number of other places. Additionally, collectors have pin boards on which they display their collection. More easily viewable than twenty five posters that are still in tubes in the closet, and retailing for less money, Phish pins have become all the rage in 3.0

4.3.98 – Nassau Coliseum

After I published my book last winter, I decided to think up some pins. Though people had created pins to represent all things Phishy, I decided to take the idea a step further and develop pins that creatively represented historic jams in Phish history. And what better place to start with than The Island Run? Within days I had four designs in mind, but I also had a problem— I didn’t know the first thing about how to make a pin! As fate would have it, in reaching out to the pin community, a kind soul connected me with one of the original and most respected pin making teams in the scene, MYFE. Designs.

Just before the Hampton 2009 reunion, MYFE. Designs was part of the team that launched the first pin of the 3.0 era; the pin that ‘started it all.’ Since then, MYFE. has grown into one of, if not the most, respected pin companies in the scene. Anchored by a two-man team of Tanner Council and Mike “Monk” Cavagnino, MYFE. is known for their thoughtful creative process that has produced some of the highest quality and most sought after pins in the scene today.

Thus, it is with great pride that I announce the first MYFE./Miner collaboration—a four-piece limited edition collectors set representing my favorite jams from each night of The Island Run. Each set of pins comes fixed in it’s own custom-built collector’s case—a free-standing, crystal-clear, plexi-glass tower—that perfectly displays the artwork and detail on both the front and back of these pins. No expense was spared in getting these pieces up to showcase status for your collection. Below you can read about why I chose each jam, and the design process that went into each pin. These collector sets are available for purchase for $80 from MYFE.’s site, and go on sale very soon—as in later today!

The Backstamps

(Note: Photos do not accurately reflect the color and detail of the pins.)

***

Twist” 4.2.98 II, Nassau Coliseum

4.2.98 – “Twist”

Coming late in the second set of The Island Run’s opening show, this “Twist” jam elevated in full, giving us the first true sense that something greater was at work. What started as an outrageous Phish concert had turned into a completely sublime experience. Fusing groove and melody in way never truly done before or since, this version of “Twist” grew a life of its own, enveloping the minds of the unsuspecting Nassau audience. Part and parcel of this unforgettable jam, was Chris Kuroda’s one-of-a-kind lighting display. As “Twist” reached a higher plane, Kuroda blanketed the venue with moving, narrow white beams of light, creating an overwhelmingly, extra-terrestrial feel. As the futuristic music with this alien lighting display, a powerfully cathartic moment crystallized; a moment so surreal that if you were there, you’ll never forget the Nassau “Twist.”

Design: When thinking of a design to represent this “Twist,” Kuroda’s indelible lighting display immediately came to mind. I wanted to convey the way the beams took over our visual field while we danced to this divine music. Initially, I sketched this design from memory, but then, on a call with MYFE., we decided to look at the actual YouTube clip from the show. Instead of going with my original sketch, we paused the video at the exact moment that I had attempted to draw. Capturing a screen shot of the lights, precisely as they were during the jam, MYFE.—vectored a proof directly from the image, assuring an accurate reproduction of the scene. After considering different materials and accouterments to accentuate the lights on the actual pin, we decided that sticking true to the white beams, lined with simple black nickel, would be the classiest call. Complete with seven “cut-outs,” 4.2.98’s “Twist” is the first pin in the commemorative series.

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.

***

Roses Are Free > Piper” 4.3.98 II

4.3.98 – “Roses > Piper”

Hailed by many fans—including myself—as their favorite jam of all time, “Roses -> Piper” is a household term in any Phishy abode. Covering the gamut from seductive grooves to deep-space, sound sculptures and everywhere in between, “Roses -> Piper” has come to define the astounding capabilities of Phish for an entire generation. Kicking off the second set, this timeless pairing covered 45 minutes of the greatest improv you’ll ever hear. April 3, 1998—a night that will always live in infamy—is eternally synonymous with this unparalleled jam. Read more about this “Roses -> Piper” here.

Design: This was the first pin I designed when sitting down last winter. I wanted to create something that would aesthetically do justice to my favorite sequence of Phish music. The first image that came to mind was a worm (“Piper, Piper the red, red worm) slithering through roses, conveying the interconnectedness of this life-changing sequence. But there needed to be a sense of place, so I printed and traced an image of Nassau Coliseum and laid it behind the first piece of paper with the worm and roses. I then traced my entire design onto a single piece of paper. When I got together with MYFE., we all agreed that there was nothing that needed to be changed with this design. With some slight cleaning up of the leaves and roses, and some re-angling of the worm’s curves, this pin represents the original, hand-drawn design.

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.

***

Birds of A Feather > 2001” 4.4.98 II

4.4.98 – “Birds > 2001″

Phish debuted “Birds of a Feather” during The Island Run’s first show at Nassau. But when they opened Saturday night’s second set with “Birds” in Providence, only two days later, the jam exploded into one of the highlights of the four shows. Blending spacier textures —sounds that would come to define 1998—into the rock jam, Phish pushed the envelope in this hybrid experiment. To say the interplay within this “Birds” is airtight would be a gross understatement. Carving a ferocious and forward-looking jam out of the brand new song, it felt as though the band was looking to top themselves for a third straight night. Finally returning to the last verse after a profound journey, Trey hit the final chord of the song with a delay effect that immediately morphed into the beginning of “2001.”

Crafting an alien-like ambiance before liftoff, with Fish’s snare hit, Phish spun into one of the elite versions of “2001” ever played. Carrying a white-hot intensity, a break-neck pace, and layered with droves of loops and effects, this version launched into the stratosphere, setting a new standard of what was possible from the one-time, three-minute funk cover. If you love Trey solos over “2001,” this is the version you’ve been looking for you’re whole life. If you’re a groove junkie like me, this version never fails to provide that magical fix. This is one of the best. Interestingly, the band never passed through the second theme of the “2001,” instead, breaking the groove down into a percussive vocal jam before starting “Brother.” Clocking in at over half hour of infectious improv, the pairing of “Birds > 2001” is but another timeless paring of Island Run lore.

Design: This pin underwent the most change from original sketch to final product. Before I was in touch with MYFE., I had a simplistic drawing of birds flying through space, but after a long call one night, we decided to incorporate the iconography of Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where the music originated. After re-watching “2001” the next night, I loved our idea of birds flocking around the Monolith—the mysterious, extra-terrestrial object that brought higher consciousness to the apes at “The Dawn of Man,” and to species throughout the universe. When confronted with the Monolith, apes, men, and other species—literally—flocked around the object, providing the ideal image for the birds in the pin. At the end another call, we randomly pulled up an old movie poster for “2001” that only portrayed the astronaut helmet used by the main character, Dave. We quickly thought of putting the entire scene within the visor of the space helmet—as if the astronaut was viewing the birds and the Monolith. This was the answer. And it came out perfect.

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.

***

Oh Kee Pah > YEM” 4.5.98 II

4.5.98 – “Oh Kee Pah > YEM”

Despite the fun of the deep funk jam that brought “Possum” into “Cavern” at the end of this show, the most impressive music of the Island Run’s final night came right at the beginning. Rolling with the momentum of the past few nights, Phish came out and played one of my favorite versions of “You Enjoy Myself” in history. Taken entirely by surprise, the audience erupted as the band dropped into “YEM” out of “The Oh Kee Pah Ceremony” for the only time in their career! This move signified a rabid band ready to tear apart the Civic Center once again, and what a way to get the party started! Moving into a totally original jam, laced with sinful whole-band groove, Phish needed no time to warm up on this night. Playing incredibly expressive leads, Trey sounded as if he was narrating a story rather than playing a guitar solo. An original collaboration of rhythmic acrobatics, there is no other version out there that sounds like The Island “YEM.”

Design: The original sketch of this pin had a trampoline over Rhode Island with the letters of “O-h K-e-e P-a-h” bouncing off surface of the tramp. But when MYFE. completed the first rounds of the proofs, such an obvious image didn’t hold up to our other three designs. One night I had an idea: instead of spelling out “Oh Kee Pah”—both literally and figuratively—we’d include images of all the elements that comprised the band’s infamous, collegiate rites of passage. We’ll let you do the detective work from here. With a star marking Providence on the state of Rhode Island, this pin balances the sense of place present in 4.3’s “Roses > Piper” pin.

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 Island Tower

 

Tags: , ,

2011′s “Type I” Highlight Reel

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on January 9th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

8.6.11 - The Gorge (Graham.Lucas)

Phish’s current creativity is far-reaching, seeping into all parts of their show and certainly extends beyond their exploratory jamming highlighted on Friday. I was going to wait until this coming Friday to highlight the band’s best contained, or “type I,” jamming of  2011, but instead, let’s get right to it! This following is how these picks are organized. First, I listed—in no particular order—the band’s strongest “type I” vehicles of the year, and highlighted my favorite version of each. I also noted one or two other standout versions as well. The tracks are simply ordered for playlist listenability. Then, I have a series of “One Timers,” or songs that only blew up once during the year—but that version deserves mention. Enjoy the many tunes, our the continuing look back at the year that was 2011.

***

Bathtub Gin” 5/28 I, Bethel, NY

“Bathtub Gin,” though never making into the second set last year, still produced a couple of standout versions and was always reliable for a solid piece of improvisation. My favorite version of the year came in Phish’s second show in Bethel, New York. Closing a spectacular first set, this jam moves into a serious funk jam, eventually blending with “Manteca” and back into “Gin.” One can hear the electricity in the air during this version, as Phish began their conquest of 2011. Honorable Mention: 9/4 Denver—a guitar clinic in groove.

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.

***

Reba > David Bowie” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY

The Gorge 2011 (G. Lucas)

Phish played some standout versions of both of these classic jams throughout 2011, and wound up pairing them to finish the first set of Super Ball on July 3rd. Each of these Super Ball versions represent my pick for the top “Reba” and “Bowie” of the year. You can hear the fluidity of the band as they were in top form for their mid-summer festival, specifically, this final show of the weekend. Page and Trey flirt with “Dave’s Energy Guide” as the “Reba” builds into an out-of-character section. The two songs are joined by an ambient, storage-laced bridge. Honorable Mention: “Reba” 6/17 Charlotte—a second set version where the band swims in IT, “Bowie” 6/3 Clarkston, MI—the conclusion of “Disease -> Fluffhead > Bowie”

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.

 ***

Sand” 6/19 II, Portsmouth, VA

“Sand” absolutely blew up in 2011. Every single version, less 12/30’s, was a legitimate highlight of its show. Featuring full-band interplay in every version since its reinvention last Fall, this became one of the anthems of summer. My favorite version came in June’s final show at Portsmouth, Virginia. Getting into a retro-futuristic stop/start funk jam, as well as a “Sand Reprise,” the band’s dynamic, rhythmically-focused imporv truly popped off in this summer highlight. A “Sand” and then some.  Honorable Mention: 8/6 The Gorge—Trey infuses a slight whale call into the groove while the band crushes within the venue’s open air anvirons; segues back into “Tweezer!”

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.

***

Run Like an Antelope” 8/6  II, The Gorge, WA

6.5.11 — Cincy (M.Stein)

Though “Antelope” has remained fairly standard throughout 2011, a couple versions expanded beyond the norm. In the Gorge’s version of 8/6, not only did Trey provide a summation of the second set within the song’s intro, the band locked into a slammin,’ yet laid back, jam that oozed with both patience and ferocity. Passing through a “Golden Age” segment of the jam, teasing the final song from the set, Phish came together in this “Antelope” in far more engaging fashion that any other time last year. Honorable Mention: 6/4 Blossom—a quality first set closing rendition.

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.

 ***

Wolfman’s Brother” 8/15 I, Chicago, IL

It seems like “Wolfman’s” has permanently settled into a role as a first set song in 3.0. After taking some of its jams out in 2010, Phish brought the song, largely, back to form but for one or two occasions when it segued into another. My selection for the most engaging “Wolfman’s” of the year is an easy one—UIC’s version from 8/15. After moving through a legitimate funk session, Phish moved into a second jam where Trey initially laid way back in the mix filling in the space of his band mates groove. Gradually he integrated his lines into the music, finishing in victorious fashion. Honorable Mention: 7/2 Super Ball—a fury of funk grooves to get the festival going during its first set.

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.

***

Stash” 7/2 II, Watkins Glen, NY

Though “Stash” more often than not provides the first jam of its show, and hasn’t made it into the second set since the band’s return—the noted shows was a three-setter, and set II was essentially set I—Super Ball’s version carried a bit more rhythmic complexity than usual. This “Stash” represented the point where the band began to build momentum for the rest of the show and their late-night Storage Shed extravaganza. A quality moment that is often forgotten about from the last year’s festival. Honorable Mention: 6/10 Camden—a classic, modal take on the jam with quality tension and release.

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.

 ***

Tweezer” 6/5 II, Cincinnati, OH

Though I highlighted the phenomenal Denver “Tweezer” on Friday, most often, the song was a vehicle for “type I” jamming rather than open exploration. In this Cincy version, the band sits into a vicious funk exchange for much of the piece before Trey peaks it with foreshadowing “Crosseyed” licks. Far dirtier and groovier than Denver’s melodic mind-meld, this is the other side of “Tweezer. Honorable Mention: 7/2 Super Ball—a crunchy, mechanical, larger-than-life version dripped from the speaker towers before ending abruptly for “Julius.”

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.

 ***

Harry Hood > Roggae” 9/4, II, Denver, CO

9.2.11 - Denver (G.Lucas / webcast)

“Harry Hood” continued to offer energetic and passionate playing throughout 2011, often finishing sets with cathartic exclamation points. But each of my two picks are versions that were more centrally located in their second sets. Denver’s 9/4 version melds the jam’s modern staccato soundscapes with the airtight, thematic playing of lore to create a new-school masterpiece. A truly triumphant piece of music, no version approached the Denver “Hood” this year. And the “Roggae” that followed harnessed the same vibe as the “Hood” jam, standing out in its own right. Honorable Mention: 5/28 Bethel—more exploratory than given credit for, 8/15 UIC—ended the night on a huge high.

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.

 ***

Slave to the Traffic Light” 6/19 II, Portsmouth, VA

Several times this era, Phish has centered “Slave” in the second set rather than leaving it as the shows denouement. And my pick for “Slave” of 2011 comes from Portsmouth, Virginia, in this exact context. Capping an opening run of “Crosseyed > Walls,” this version was incredibly patient and reached divine levels of interplay. Complete and utter bliss, this rendition is what this song is all about. Honorable Mention: 8/9 Lake Tahoe—another mid-set monster, 9/2 Denver—the conclusion of the “S” show, Trey holds a sacred note for quite some time.

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.

 ***

Chalk Dust Torture” 8/16 I, Chicago, IL

8.15.11 - UIC (M.Stein)

The usually straightforward Phish anthem veered into more than a couple memorable jams in 2011, and my pick for the “Chalk Dust” of the year comes from the first set of UIC’s second show. Roaring to life like few versions have this era, Phish attacked this jam with uncharacteristic aggression, reaching intricate points that were more reminiscent of “David Bowie.” Sparking the show as the third song, this one provided a golden memory. Honorable Mention: 6/3 I Clarkston—a laid-back and patient take on the song to close the first set, 8/9 Lake Tahoe—intense version laced with teases and breaks down beautifully into “Slave,” 12/29 MSG—a fantastic transition into “Hyrogen” amidst a “Mike’s Groove.”

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.

 ***

Backwards Down the Number Line” 5/28 II, Bethel, NY

On a night when the band could do no wrong, they shredded this second set “Number Line” with atypically active interplay for this song. Focused on a whole band conversation rather than Trey’s noodling, this jam gets intricate and quite engaging, easily qualifying as version of the year. Honorable Mention: 6/19 Portsmouth—Trey gets into some Allman—esque soloing while the rest of the band is playing gently accompanying him.

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.

***

Crosseyed and Painless” 7/1 II, Watkins Glen, NY

7.1.11 (G.Lucas)

Though it pains me that Phish has decided to use this once prolific jam vehicle as a means to high-speed and aggressive rock playing, they, nonetheless, routinely shred the composed jam to bits. Two versions standout above all others in my memory from 2011, and its no surprise that each contained a little bit extra. My highlight version comes from Super Ball, as an ambient jam led into the song and out of it before a Trey emerged with a cool transition into “Chalk Dust.” Honorable Mention: 8/17, UIC—featured a tripped out interlude between “Crosseyed” and “No Quarter.”

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.

 ***

Weekapaug Groove” 6/8 II, Darien, NY, and 12/29 II, NYC, NY

“Weekapaug” has consistently proven to be more interesting than “Mike’s” in this era, a trend which certainly held true last year. Two versions stand out to me from 2011, the plinko-laced rendition from Darien Lake and the more commanding percussive-funk of December 29th’s version. Since we are all familiar with the recent one, I’ll play Darien.”

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.

***

ONE TIMERS:

2001” 6/8 II, Darien Center, NY

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.

Light Up or Leave Me Alone” 6/14 I, Alph., GA

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.

Destiny Unbound” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY

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 Curtain With” 6.10 I, Camden, NJ

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.

 —

Limb by Limb” 8/16 I, Chicago, IL

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.

Wilson” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY

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.

Mound” 7/3 I, Super Ball

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.

Scents and Subtle Sounds” 9/2 II, Denver, CO

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.

Tags: , ,

TTFF: The Top Ten of ’11

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on January 6th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

8.5.11 - "Rock and Roll" (Graham Lucas)

For this week’s installment of Ten Tunes For Friday, let’s review the band’s open, or type II, jamming of 2011. This week’s playlist is comprised of my ten favorite jams or jam sequences from this standout year of Phish (that didn’t take place in a storage shed). I am not claiming this to be any sort of definitive list that anyone else should agree with, rather, my personal picks for the year’s top jams. This list was quite hard to “rank” after numbers one and two, but for the sake of fun, I worked it out. The many honorable mentions are below the playlist in italics, listed chronologically.

***

10. “Piper” 12/30, NYC, NY

The standout piece of improv from the recently-completed New Year’s Run breaks the top ten with an exploratory yet coherent jaunt that came out of nowhere amidst a relatively sloppy show. The band shook off the jitters for a heavy dose of confident, exploratory, and psychedelic playing. Comprised of several modern textures, this jam served as a stellar cap to the many quality versions of “Piper” in 2011, ending with a segment as stunning as any.

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. “Halley’s Comet” 5/28, Bethel, NY

This is, straight up, one of my go-to jams of 2011. So tasteful, smooth and groovy, the band builds out of “Halley’s” into one of the more original jams of June that always leaves me wondering what I’m listening to. The centerpiece of an outstanding first set in Bethel’s second show, this “Halley’s” sparked and foreshadowed one of the strongest two-set shows of the year.

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.  ”Rock and Roll” 6/7, Mansfield, MA

I can’t believe I let this jam drop so low in the “top ten,” but that is a testament to the unbelievably high quality of music we heard from Phish last year. This “Rock and Roll” has it all, first moving from rock grooves into a soulful and uplifting middle section with composed-sounding melodies rolling off Trey’s guitar with speed and confidence. After fully exploring this melodic enterprise, the band moved into darker, scathing and more abstract playing. Transforming into a psychedelic monstrosity, this jam provided the centerpiece of an otherwise clean but uneventful set, but this is one of those jams that can carry a frame of music all by itself. Read More…

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. ”Twist -> Piper” 9/4, Denver, CO

This classing song pairing absolutely popped off in the band’s final show of summer, as each piece was laced with high-level musicianship. “Twist” weaves in and out of “Low Rider” before a perfect segue into “Piper.” And this “Piper” absolutely smokes, showcasing Phish at the end of a long summer of playing. Hitting a notable groove, the band added an indiscernible chant (around a jam of the Modern Lovers’ classic “Roadrunner”) into the mix, before bringing the piece down for the most impressive use of the Theremin all year. With Page on his magic instrument, the band engaged in a futuristic, Mind-Left-Body-laced chase through a high-speed, musical wormhole.

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. “Waves -> Undermind” 8/15, Chicago, IL

In the meat of UIC’s “Elements Set,” Trey gets into some dirty, uncompressed playing amidst a stellar “Waves” jam before the band surprised most everyone in the arena with a segue into “Undermind” that transpired under our noses with hardly anyone noticing. “Undermind’s” jam moves cohesively, blending into the final Theremin jam of Leg Two—a majestic passage of music.

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. “Down With Disease -> Fluffhead” 6/3, Clarkston, MI

This gorgeous one-minded collaboration brought a jolt to tour as the band let loose in a multi-faceted adventure. Moving through several cohesive and engaging segments of jamming, the band landed in the theme of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”—the starting point of the piece’s final movement which blended seamlessly into “Fluffhead.” Read More…

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. “Rock and Roll -> Ghost” 6/17, Charlotte, NC

This “Rock and Roll” gets very deep, unique and complex with outstanding interplay between all band members. An exploratory and spiritual jam in its own right, “Rock and Roll” blends smoothly into—easily—the “Ghost” (and one of the jams) of the year. The entire band was locked in and on point for throughout this heavy-hitting sequence that took place at the tail end of June’s tour. And the guys brought “Ghost” to hugely emotive heights, as Trey digs into some his most inspired playing of the year in what was, perhaps, the strongest night of Leg I.

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. “Light” 8/9, Stateline, NV

Experimental, extended, and absolutely otherwordly, this jam is some of the most original music made by Phish all year long. Coming on the heels of The Gorge, Mike forged a path for the band as they flirted with outer realms of the galaxy in a dark odyssey that goes very underrated when it comes right down to it. The relatively abrupt ending does little to tarnish the monumental ground covered. This is Phish without a net. Some love it. Some don’t. I most certainly do.

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. “Tweezer” 9/3, Denver, CO

The most cathartic jam of the year, this “Tweezer” is a melodic masterpiece. Peaking with some of the most soul-cleasing grooves of the year, Trey spirals off the mountaintop and begins to layer and loop two different phrases before he lays down a timeless lead melody that takes the jam through a final stage before an ambient denouement. Fishman holds it down with infectious beats throughout this “Tweezer,” perhaps the smoothest and well executed jam of the year. This piece of music touched the heart of everyone I spoke to in that Colorado soccer stadium, and that is saying something.

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.

1. “Rock and Roll -> Meatstick -> Boogie On” 8/5, The Gorge, WA

This sublime sequence opened up the second leg of summer at The Gorge with the most mind-bending jam of this year in “Rock and Roll.” Integrating their full musical spectrum into this piece, the band also infused the theremin and “storage jamming” into their live show for the first time, and succeeded with flying colors. From the uplifting to the Theremin funk to the evil “Gorgae” segment, the band were like musical superheroes on this night. The Gorge always brings out the best in Phish, and in the most magical sequence of 2011, Phish sculpted the defining piece of 3.0, along with a segue into “Meatstick” that still produces a rush of adrenaline every time I hear it. The band’s momentum spilled right into a stellar “Boogie On” to complete the standout sequence of 2011 by leaps and bounds. Read a memoir…

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.

***

Honorable Mentions (in chronological order): “Simple” 1/1, “Waves > Caspian” 5/27, “After Midnight” 5/31, “Drowned” 5/31, “Sneakin’ Sally” 6/4*, “Down With Disease > Free” 6/10, “Down With Disease -> Maze” 6/14, “Simple” 7/1, “Golden Age” 7/2, “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” 7/3, “Down With Disease > No Quarter” 7/3, “Light” 7/3, Waves -> What’s the Use?” 7/3, “Roggae” 8/5, “Light” 8/15, “Down With Disease -> Twist” 8/16, “Seven Below” 9/2, “Ghost -> Guy Forget -> Ghost” 9/4, “Carini” 9/14, “Carini -> Tweezer” 12/28

* This “Sally” would have been number 11.

=====

Type II Cast

TYPE II CAST: MSG REVIEW PODCAST

A couple nights ago, I sat down with Type II Cast‘s host, Stephen Olker, YEMBlog curator and the editor-in-chief of Hidden Track, Scott Bernstein,and Phish.net veteran, Charlie Dirksen, to discuss the recent Holiday Run. The 90-minute conversation flowed really well, and the podcast—with jam-only audio clips—should be a fun listen for fans of all ages. Click on over to Type II’s page and give the show a listen! Thanks to Stephen and Type II cast for having me on the show!

-

Tags: , ,

Trey’s New Songs

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , , on October 11th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

2.19.10 - Chicago (M.Stein)

After such an extensive summer of Phish music, I haven’t been keeping up with Trey tour as usual. I haven’t listened to a full show or many jams, but reports have been solid all around. The most interesting aspect of Trey tour for me, however, has always been its proving ground for new songs and the potential they may hold for Phish. Trey’s larger band slayed 33 shows over the summer while debuting exactly one new original, thus I would imagine that on the first tour of 2012—whenever that may be—we’ll hear a batch of new songs. With work on an album forthcoming as well, one has to wonder what new Trey debuts might crossover to the Phish stage. With more than half his tour left, we may see  Trey unveil more pieces yet, but for now, lets look at his first four debuts.

***

Land of Nod” – 10.7.11, Myrtle Beach, SC

Trey’s most recent debut, “The Land of Nod”—first played in the encore of the Myrtle Beach show—is my favorite and the most original of his new pieces. Written by Trey, alone, the song begins with a heavy, bass-driven groove and when the horns come in over this rhythm, the piece resembles genuine Israeli gyspy-dub (a la Balkan Beat Box.) With ridiculously danceable rhythms, Phish could slaughter this piece if they could adapt the horn lines to the quartet. The middle of the song moves into an uplifting and melodic passage with the refrain, “I was asleep for so long…”— a total juxtaposition of styles within the piece. When the song moves back into gypsy-dub stylings, TAB winds it down, though this is where Phish could just get going. Then again, this is one tune that could be tailor made for his solo project.

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.

***

Glacier“ - 10.1.11, Burlington, VT

The first Anastasio/Marshall composition of tour was debuted late in the second set of Higher Ground’s opening show, and that is exactly where I can see it fitting in a Phish show as well. Though the piece has already been pegged as Trey cheese by many fans, but I actually enjoy it quite a bit. While the lyrics are bit over the top about the Winter Queen and the Prince of Music, the guitar melodies and sparse supporting textures are both ethereal and cerebral. Trey and Tom usually write songs for one band and one band only, so I wouldn’t be surprised “Glacier” in the bigger pond at some point.

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.

***

Snake Head Thumb” – 10.1.11, Burlington, VT

Inspired by a dream had by the Dude of Life in which Trey’s thumb was a snake’s head, this debut came in the first set of the first show at Higher Ground. A slow and filthy groove, “Snake Head Thumb” illustrates how 2010’s Halloween cover of Little Feat has influenced Trey’s songwriting. Crafted in collaboration with the Dude of Life, the chorus makes way for a slow and infectious groove that methodically moves to dirtier and dirtier places. The only debut that had included a jam, Trey unleashed his compressed growl over heavy organ swells in this percussive piece. A jam that Phish could take to sinister realms, this could be the second new-school Anastasio/Pollack contribution to the rotation (with “Show of Life”).

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.

***

Frost” – 10.6.11, Asheville, NC

Beginning with beautiful vocal harmonies, this song’s opening gives way to a minimalist and chilled out groove, allowing its focus to remain on Tom Marshall’s lyrics. “Frost,” the second Anastasio/Marshall debut of tour could easily translate to a powerful Phish ballad. Containing the refrain of “Maybe you could sail away,” this section seems tailor-made for big-time Phish catharsis. Though more straightforward than many of Trey and Tom’s playful numbers, the more I hear this one, the more I like it.

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.

TAB - 2.25.2010 (Michael Stein)

======

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

MINER’S PICKS: Summer 2011 – Denver/VT

Here are the final download links for the Summer 2011 Miner’s Picks series—all with the best sources available. Thanks again to Chris Keiner of Phish Listening Room for all the hard work!

TORRENT LINKS:

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Denver (FLAC)

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Denver (Mp3)

***

DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINKS:

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Denver (FLAC) Pt.1

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Denver (FLAC) Pt.2

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Denver (Mp3)

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 — Downloads

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on October 6th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

8.6.11 - The Gorge (Joe Iudice)

For the end of the week, and with the help of Chris Keiner of Phish Listening Room, I have assembled downloads of all the Miner’s Picks that were posted last week. And here’s where Chris comes in. As audience sources of each current show are posted on etree, he reviews the same four songs from each and every source, honing in on—in his opinion—the best available recording for every show played. These installments of Miner’s Picks were assembled from Chris’ selected sources, thus feature the “best” sounding source for every single track! Also, for the first time in Miner’s Picks history, I am offering the compilations in both lossless and mp3 formats.

Below, you will find any link that you will need to download these summer compilations. The torrent links are listed first and are the easiest way to pull entire compilations at once. There are two sets of torrent links—one comprised of FLACs and one comprised of 320 kbps mp3s. Additionally, if torrenting isn’t your thing, there are also direct Megaupload links for the compilations as well. I had to keep each Megaupload file under a 1 gig, so there are multiple download links for the FLAC compilations, though the mp3s files all fit into a single download for each set of picks. Enjoy the summer highlights in any format you choose!

I want to also thank Eric Masters for organizing and re-uploading all the Leg I picks, by far the heartiest compilation of them all. In addition, download links for “Miner’s Picks: Denver” will be provided as soon as they are ready. Enjoy the weekend!

***

TORRENT LINKS

FLAC

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg I (FLAC)

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Super Ball (FLAC)

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg II (FLAC)

***

Mp3

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg I (mp3)

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Super Ball (mp3)

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg II (mp3)

======

MEGAUPLOAD DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINKS

LEG I

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg I (FLAC) Pt.1

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg I (FLAC) Pt.2

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg I (FLAC) Pt.3

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg I (mp3)

***

SUPER BALL

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Super Ball (FLAC) Pt.1

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Super Ball (FLAC) Pt.2

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Super Ball (mp3)

***

LEG II

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg II (FLAC) Pt.1

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg II (FLAC) Pt.2

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg II (FLAC) Pt.3

Miner’s Picks: Summer 2011 – Leg II (mp3s)

***

Miner’s Picks: Denver: Coming Soon…

 

 

Tags: , ,