The Road to Cypress

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on May 27th, 2014 by Mr.Miner

ticket-jpgAfter a high-quality Twitter exchange with TJ Scheu (@Lyfeboi) yesterday morning, I re-spun 7.10.99 from Camden, New Jersey, and developed a new strand of thought about one of the musical narratives of 1999. TJ asserted that “a huge thing happened” in Camden’s “Chalk Dust” that the band continued to build on and reference throughout the year. While I certainly knew that something huge happened in Camden’s “Chalk Dust,” I never, necessarily, put the jam in the context of its entire year. While listening intently to this all-time version in this way, I had an organizing thought: Camden’s “Chalk Dust” was the first signpost on the road to Big Cypress.

Within the Camden “Chalk Dust” jam, Trey leads the band to a truly cathartic peak—one of those Phish moments that are hard to believe at the time and give you chills for the rest of your lifetime. It’s not just that the music is incredible—Phish has many virtuoso conversations—this jam is drenched in emotion, the likes of which you don’t quite experience in everyday life. The Jedi-like guitar work of Mr. Anastasio led to a sublime, whole-band arrival that invoked communal elation among the 25,004 involved. This musical theme of  “soul emoting” or “ultra bliss” as illustrated by Trey, with the support of his bandmates, in this “Chalk Dust” jam, provided a narrative string that would carry throughout 1999. As his band set its sights on December 31st—the biggest night of their lives—Trey returned to this style of play throughout the year, expressing indescribable emotions through his guitar like only he can.

The Stroke of Midnight (Unk)

The Stroke of Midnight (Unk)

I distinctly remember feeling momentum build throughout ’99, most distinctly through Fall Tour and the December run. Summer was fun, but once Fall started, it felt like a mission to the Everglades, one show at a time. The anticipatory emotion, excitement and sense of wonder surrounding Big Cypress was palpable, and it increased each and every time the band took the stage during this momentous year. I can only imagine that if the fans felt this energy pulsing through themselves and the community during this time, that the band members felt it several times more intensely. In many ways, Phish’s entire career had led them to this point—the year of 1999 and the brink of the new millennium. In retrospective interviews, the band has openly discussed how after Big Cypress, the crest of the wave had broken. They weren’t sure what was supposed to come next and, not surprisingly, in less than a year, they’d be gone.

I have assembled a playlist that follows this, largely, Trey-anchored narrative through 1999. While his style of “soul emoting” wasn’t a nightly occurance, it happened enough times to establish a legitimate pattern. The following jams become fully structured around this style of play, and represent the most significant examples from the year. Not all of these jams sound exactly the same, but they reach that special place and share a common emotional power that, I propose, came directly from their specific point in time for Phish. As Cypress crept closer, these jams waned in favor of darker, more ominous ones that emerged towards the end of fall and in December. Even at Big Cypress, the band tapped into the source with mostly different, far more relaxed feels, but the following pieces represent their building energy and incredible sense of purpose as they neared their date with destiny.

Chalk Dust Torture” 7.10.99 I, Camden, NJ

Following a”Wilson” opener, Phish tore into this monumental jam—the first brick laid on the golden road that would end up in Alligator Alley.

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Birds of a Feather” 7.10.99 II, Camden, NJ

Brick two was unfurled only a set later in “Birds”—Camden “Chalk Dust’s” kid brother.

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My Left Toe” 7.21.99 II, Burgettstown, PA

Music that is as glorious and emotive as any ever played. By anyone.

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Tweezer” 8.1.99 II, Niigata, JP

The final “Tweezer” of the Summer, performed in the shadow of Mt. Fuji on the “Field of Heaven,” certainly illustrates Trey’s emerging “soul emoting” of ’99.

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AC/DC Bag” Boise 9.14.99 II, Boise, ID

This household jam needs no introduction, but when looked as a part of this larger narrative, it becomes even more poignant.

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Boogie On” 9.18.99 II, Chula Vista, CA

Towards the beginning of Fall Tour, this second set opener brought the audience to a dizzying plane of catharsis in the middle of the warm California desert. On a side note, can we please go back to Coors Amphitheatre as soon as possible?

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Wolfman’s Brother” 9.24.99 II, Austin, TX

This dark-horse Fall ’99 jam elevates about halfway through and never looks back.

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Tweezer” 12.16.99 II, Raleigh, NC

Raleigh’s to-die-for “Tweezer” represents an intersection of December’s slower, heavier and more ambient style with the “ultra-bliss” feel established during the summer months.

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Split Open and Melt -> Catapult” 12.31.99 I, Big Cypress

Perhaps the most iconic jam that came out of Big Cypress, this “Split” represents the culmination of this anticipatory musical narrative on the road to Big Cypress. In this piece, Trey is speaking directly from his soul hours before the biggest night of his life.

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Down With Disease”  12.31.99 II, Big Cypress

You can, literally, hear the excitement, relief and relaxation in Trey’s guitar tone in this jam—he is so happy to have finally arrived on the stage he had been looking towards all year long. All the pressure had been lifted, and this “Disease”  provided the portal into a night that nobody present would ever forget.

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12.31.99, Big Cypress (Danny Clinch)

12.31.99, Big Cypress (Danny Clinch)

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Trey Goes to Toronto

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on January 24th, 2013 by Mr.Miner

Last Friday, Trey traveled north of the border for the first time since his ’06 arrest, kicking off his brief winter TAB tour at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. Phish Thoughts had photographer Jesse Herzog on the scene to capture Trey’s first international performance since his 2008 comeback, and today I share with you some of his shots from the night up north.

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1.18.12, Toronto, Ontario (Jesse Herzog)

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1.18.12 (Jesse Herzog)

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1.18.12 (Jesse Herzog)

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1.18.12 (Jesse Herzog)

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1.18.12 (Jesse Herzog)

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1.18.12 (Jesse Herzog)

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1.18.12 (Jesse Herzog)

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1.18.12 (Jesse Herzog)

 

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Thinking Out Loud

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on March 14th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

9.12.09 - Carnegie Hall (B.Slayter)

One thing that stood out to me at Trey’s performance with the LA Philharmonic on Saturday, was his absolute focus and attention to every minute detail from note of the show through the last. Trey—while usually far more playful and animated—seemed to approach this performance with a sense of respect and reverence. His emotional presence and his incredibly precise playing illustrated a capacity for—dare I say it—perfection. Wrong notes are not allowed in the symphony, and Trey did not hit one throughout the near two and half hour show. The diligence with which he listened to the orchestra and meticulously placed his offerings within the context of the whole, provided a snapshot of an ego-less musician respecting and honoring the music above all else. Trey’s performance was nothing short of breathtaking, and the thought I had later that night was, “What if he brought the same attitude to Phish these days?”

Despite 2011’s musical greatness, which I am the first to tout, the band’s democratic dynamic often seemed unbalanced at times throughout the year. Beyond the well- documented cases of “Rip Cord Red” pulling the string on so many jams-in-progress, there was an overwhelming sense that whatever Trey wanted, musically, was what happened. If he didn’t feel comfortable within a jam, for whatever reason, most often he simply interrupted the musical conversation with the chords of a new song. I’m not quite sure what the orchestral equivalent is to an awkwardly aborted “Ghost” jam, but lord knows Trey would never come close to committing such an atrocity on the stage of a symphony. He just wouldn’t. Has he lost his sense of reverence for Phish? Are jams no longer sacred to him? One can only wonder.

The Gorge '09 (G.Lucas)

While the essence of an orchestra is precision, the essence of Phish has very much been about improvisation. And while the band—no doubt—engaged in many thrilling jams last year, the overall vibe of many shows shifted from a group-mind led journey to to a Trey-led rock concert. When Trey did let go of his over-orchestration of setlists in 2011, Phish played some of the greatest shows of this era. For prime examples of this, see Bethel 1 & 2, Clarkston, Charlotte, The Gorge 1, UIC 1 and 2 to name more than a few shining examples. In these standout shows, the music flowed with far greater vitality and with far more care than the lesser shows of summer. There was no obvious impatience on the part of Trey to get through a certain number of songs; these shows carried an organic movement from beginning to end, a far cry from the choppiness of of PNC 2, Merriweather 1, Camden, Raleigh, Tahoe 2 or UIC 3, among others. One question I’ve often wondered after these less impressive and less cohesive efforts—“Do they talk about the show?”

At one point in his career, Trey, self-admittedly, pored over setlsts for hours each night, making sure that Phish shows had the perfect composition. Then the band executed this plan as a whole. Not to belabor the analogy, but this process sounds similar to his orchestral performance. When looking at Phish shows of last year, there are many instances where it seemed that Trey was trying to execute one plan while his band mates were immersed in another. Was Trey listening as closely to Mike and Page as he hacked the PNC “Ghost,” Alpharetta “Tweezer” or (insert many jams here), as he was to the first chair violin player on Saturday? Clearly not—but the unanswerable that question begs to be asked is, “Why not?”

8.16.11 - UIC (M.Stein)

Looking back over Phish’s most prolific years, regardless of era, there is an unspoken patience between all band members that allowed the music to progress as a single entity—a four-headed, though single-minded, creation. Masterful segues like 7/22/97’s “Disease -> Mike’s” or 6/26/95’s “Disease -> Free” unfolded over the course of minutes as a natural progression of the entire band, not as the impulsive idea of one member. For a while in this era, I could understand the “sobriety makes Trey less patient” line of thinking, but after observing his patience on Saturday—albeit in a different setting—and in shows like 8/5/11 and 8/15/11—I no longer give that theory credence. Trey is still Trey, a master of his craft, and I am convinced that it his mind and lack of attention that get in the way of weaker Phish shows, not his skill set.

One of the most commonly heard laments by fans these days is the ever-present 3.0 gripe, “They don’t jam enough.” In a very candid recent interview given by Chris Kuroda, he even joked about how Phish doesn’t jam as much any more. Jokingly (but not so jokingly) he said “they should look into that,” while then sharing a funny aside about how he and Brad Sands give the band shit about this issue all the time. But he also made sure to say that it was all out of love. Kuroda also hypothesized this improvisational shift wasn’t premeditated, but just a natural extension of who the guys are at this stage in their life. But if we are going with his theory, Mike, Page, and Fish seem at a different stage in their lives than Trey. Either way, with Kuroda’s admission, it’s clear the band is aware of their lessened jamming, but do they care?

As many know, I’m the first to gush over Phish when they are killing it, which—I believe—they are quite capable of doing on a nightly basis. But the shows that feel bumpy or “off” all seem to stem from the attention—or lack thereof—of our beloved six-string assassin. The puzzling factor to me has been how the “on” nights, where the whole show flows well, and the “off” nights, where just a jam or two stand out, are totally arbitrary. This factor makes seeing a couple shows very hit or miss for a fan. While there is a distinct possibility that one will walk out blown away, there is just as likely a possibility that he won’t—an interesting dynamic.

"2001" - 8.10.11 (E.Batuello)

With a full slate of Phish this summer, one has to wonder which side of Trey is going to show up more often—the patient collaborator and sound-sculpter whose playing brings the band to an entirely different level, or the impatient rock star who focuses more on his own agenda and song choice than what is actually happening on stage? With the band’s skills quite polished, and the clear willingness of Mike, Page, and Fish to go deep, we are all waiting to see which way the captain will steer the ship this summer. Your guess is as good as mine.

Just months ago, on September 5th, 2011, Trey was quoted in Believer Mag saying such things as:

I see improvisation as a craft and as an art. The craft part is important. There’s a lot of preparation and discipline that goes into it just so that, when you’re in the moment, you’re not supposed to be thinking at all.

…Musicians come and go and they’re stewards of the music for a brief period of time. But once the music plays — it’s really between Beethoven and the listener at that point. The musicians are there to get their goddamn hands off of it. All that training! Thousands of hours! Sight-reading every day! All so they can get the hell out of the way because nobody gives a crap about them at all. The less you notice them, the better it sounds…

But are these simply sound-bytes that he has programmed in his mind since the mid-’90s, or are these thoughts still the driving ethos of Phish? Sometimes it is hard to tell.

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Jam of the Day:

Ghost” 6.15.00 I

This “Ghost” inspired me yesterday, so I am featuring it today. Enjoy the only version from Japan 2000—an uplifting beast—remastered by Kenny Powers.

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A Night In the Key of Trey

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , on March 12th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

3.10.2012 - Walt Disney Concert Hall (Daniel Kalette)

Throughout his musical life—as a member of Phish and beyond—just about any time Trey has stepped on a stage, his guitar playing has instantly become the defining facet of the music and the center of attention. Most often leading his bands with his spontaneous six-string narratives, Red has come to relish the spotlight. But despite standing in the center of the orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday night in Los Angeles, and working closely with conductor, Scott Dunn, on cues, his guitar playing was not the focus of the performance. Featuring delicate, subtle licks and often “implying” far more than he was actually playing, Trey’s legendary axe was but one piece of the rich sonic tapestry that was the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Allowing his music to come to life in way he, himself, had imagined for decades, Trey’s compositions—and Don Hart’s masterful arrangements of them—became the focus of the show, themselves. Blending in with the symphony, though clearly voicing his electric and acoustic guitar tones, Trey shone in a completely different way on Saturday night, while realizing but another dream in the finale of his four-city symphony tour.

2.14.12 - Pittsburgh (M.Stein)

Several pieces, such as “Divided Sky,” “Water in the Sky,” “Brian and Robert” and “Let Me Lie,” were backed solely by the strings section, providing an ethereal and dreamlike quality to these more mellow songs. But the unquestionable highlights of the show came when whole orchestra joined in the mix, turning pieces like “First Tube,” “Guyute (Orchestral),” “Stash” and “You Enjoy Myself” into mind-bending, guitar-laced, hybrid pieces that pushed the boundaries of classical music. Trey phrased his solos in “First Tube,” “Stash,” and “YEM” in a way that sounded just like his classic playing, but often offering partial licks with little sustain, allowing your mind to connect the dots. At the same time, many parts of his typical solos were given to other members of the orchestra, whether trumpets, flutes or violins, creating an entire melange of Trey’s melodies coming from every angle. Not only diffusing the spotlight, Hart’s arrangements allowed the orchestra to authentically express Trey’s thoughts, underlining their tight partnership since 2004.

Walt Disney Concert Hall (C.Highsmith)

One of the largest ovations in the acoustically immaculate Walt Disney Concert Hall came after Trey’s two-movement piece, originally debuted in 2008 with Orchestra Nashville, “Time Turns Elastic.” Though much maligned by the Phish crowd in the rock setting, the piece was, at times, unrecognizable to its mainstream translation, as the intricacies of the composition were able to breathe through the instruments of an entire orchestra instead of forced through the amps of a rock quartet. Taking on a completely different character in its intended setting, “Time Turns Elastic” was the most challenging piece for the audience to digest. The extensive opening movement (before anything comes in or out of focus) fuses a jazz-like guitar style into an often atonal, and clearly emotional, musical sequence. The meticulous way in which Trey hit every note made it very clear that each one counted—there were no flubs allowed—and this formal tone even translated to his typically goofy face.

Trey and Scott Dunn - 2.14 (Stein)

Throughout the second movement (the known song) it was striking how little guitar Trey played. With his music dancing around him, his focus turned to his heartfelt lyrics and their precise delivery. Trey layered his singing atop the piece as the orchestra did the bulk of the playing. In certain spots he contributed signature licks of the song, while taking enhanced guitar roles in others, but for much his magnum opus, Trey held the strings on his guitar or played in very minimalist fashion. And when “Time Turns Elastic” came to its concluding peak and the audience responded, satisfaction—rather, elation—shone from Trey, as his introspective piece was given proper treatment.

Though Hart’s arrangements took center stage throughout the night, perhaps the most noteworthy Phish-to-symphony metamorphosis took place with “You Enjoy Myself.” Hearing the band’s seminal piece interpreted by so many musicians in an a concert hall that Trey noted, mid-performance, was the best sounding room he’d ever been in, was nothing short of majestic. Following the composed half of the song, the trombone took the honor of “Boy,” “Man,” “God, “Shit,” and the orchestra proceeded to interpret a “YEM” jam! Highlighted by the call and response soloing between Trey and the trombone player in the “jam,” this segment carried a legitimate groove. This “jam” sequence truly illustrated the mastery of Hart’s arrangements, as Trey found some space to take liberty with his own part, even weaving in a tease of “Streets of Cairo” (likely from muscle memory at this point.) But the most impressive part of “You Enjoy Myself,” believe it or not, was how the orchestra interpreted the vocal jam. Taking the parts of the band members’ “voices,” the strings (plus?) imitated the section with staccato phrases that fit congruently with each other, clearly patterned after an actual vocal jam.

2.14.12 - Pittsburgh, PA (M.Stein)

Trey’s emotion of the night was summed up in the way in which he performed a solo chant over this final section. Eyes closed and stepping slightly away from the orchestra, Trey soulfully chanted over the music in a way he debuted in a hallmark performance at Carnegie Hall on 9/12/2009 . A very special evening was topped with an instrumental encore, “The Inlaw Josie Wales,” and ended in multiple standing ovations for all involved. For Trey, the dream continued, and for the LA Philharmonic—a symphony that, in the words of Conductor Laureate, Esa-Pekka Salonen, is “interested in the future” and “not trying to re-create the glories of the past”—their vision was fully realized.

I: First Tube, Water in the Sky*, Divided Sky*, Brian and Robert*, Goodbye Head, Guyute (Orchestral)^, Let Me Lie*, Stash

II: Time Turns Elastic, If I Could*, You Enjoy Myself

E: The Inlaw Josie Wales*

*Trey on acoustic

^Trey on acoustic > electric guitar > acoustic

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Trey In Symphony

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on November 29th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

Carnegie Hall, 2009 (Chad Batka - NYT)

Just yesterday, Trey shed some light on the band’s early 2012 plans by announcing a his first ever symphony tour. Hitting four cities over the course of a month beginning on February 9, Trey will focus on his fourth current project, and it seems that Phish will remain quiet for at least the first quarter of the year. Trey will perform in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver and Los Angeles, with seemingly plenty of time has been factored in for rehearsals, as each date will feature Trey with a different local orchestra. Scott Dunn, however, will be conducting the entire tour. Despite the ho-hum reaction from much of Phish’s fan base, these shows promise to be unique musical experiences that illustrate diversity of skills possessed by our red-headed Jedi. After annihilating a monstrous summer with Phish and having completed work on his first Broadway musical, “Hands on a Hardbody” with Amanda Green, Trey carved out time to play with the Trey Anastasio Band while also heading into the studio with his solo outfit. Now, as our jack-of-all-trades gets ready to implode Madison Square Garden in a highly-anticipated year-end bash, he has his sights set on a more placid project in the new year. When Phish came back in 2009, all band members said they wanted to leave space in their lives for other endeavors, both musical and familial, and thus far, that is exactly the path they have followed.

9.12.09 - Carnegie Hall (B.Slayter)

Trey first opened this chapter of his career in September of 2008, before Phish came back at Hampton. On September 26th, backed by Orchestra Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee, Trey debuted “Time Turns Elastic” (in its proper setting) while also playing a first set or orchestral pieces, with the only rearranged Phish piece being “Divided Sky.” The following year, in 2009, Trey appeared in Baltimore and New York City for orchestral performances that featured far more Phish material and solo compositions. The second came on September 12 at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic—a phenomenal night of music that ended with a standout orchestral translation of the Phish opus, “You Enjoy Myself.” The New York Times hailed this ground-breaking performance as:

“that rarest of rarities, a classical-rock hybrid that might please partisans from both constituencies. Set amid a generous group of popular Phish songs — gentle, string-cushioned ballads like “Brian and Robert” and “Let Me Lie,” as well as the audacious, intricate instrumentals “Guyute Orchestral” and “You Enjoy Myself” — the new piece [“Time Turns Elastic”] could hardly have gone wrong.”

Trey’s upcoming, four-show tour will allow him to take the next step step down this cross-cultural career pathway, one that he has taken to notable enthusiasm. As Phish continues to mature together, they will also continue to mature apart from each other. Whether the time apart has taken the form of the Mike Gordon Band, the Trey Anastasio Band, a new child, or simply time-off, the guys of Phish seem to have a solid understanding of what they want out of life these days, and they are doing everything within their power to grow in many directions at once. For most of their lifetimes, these guys have dedicated themselves to Phish, and it’s only natural that their musical interests would diversify over time. But for every musical experience that band members have away from Phish, they bring back new approaches, styles, and ideas to the main stage to push forth the development of our favorite quartet.

9.12.09, Carnegie Hall (Ben Slayter / Slayter Creative)

Those fans hanging onto rumors of winter or early spring dates, however, will have to stash those hopes away for the time being, as it now seems that the earliest we will see Phish come 2012 will be the late-spring, and likely not too much before the beginning of a potential summer tour. The band has previously stated that 2012 would be a light year of touring, specifically because Page is having a child, and this may be the start of such a schedule. Speculation seems pointless now, however, as we still have the biggest stand of the year coming up in just one month! But while we ready ourselves for a return to Madison Square Garden, tickets will go onsale for Trey’s four-show 2012 Winter Tour. The details are as follows:

Tickets will be available through a real time presale beginning Thursday, December 1, at 10:00 am ET and ending Wednesday, December 7, at noon ET at treytickets.rlc.net. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, December 8, for Denver and Los Angeles, and Friday, December 9, for Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Visit Trey.com for further details.

  • 2/9: Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta, GA
  • 2/14: Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2/28: Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver, CO
  • 3/10: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA

The Carnegie Hall “You Enjoy Myself

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HAMPTON / WINSTON-SALEM Box Set Giveaway!

The Prize

To promote giving this holiday season, Phish Thoughts is giving away two free copies of the hotly-anticipated 7-disc box set release of Hampton and Winston Salem ’97! All you need to do to win a copy is submit a description of your favorite jam from the three shows in 500 words or less. I will select the five most creative, interesting, and engaging  entries, assign them each a number, and draw the two winners out of a hat! Let’s add some creativity to the contest. The winners, and likely the top five entries, will have their pieces posted next Monday.

All entries must be submitted by this Friday, December 2, at 5 pm Pacific time to mrminer@phishthoughts.com.

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From Cash or Trade.org: New Years Ticket Giveaway!

Cash or Trade.org

“Thank you, fans, for setting the standard for face value tickets and fair trade. To demonstrate our gratitude, we will be selecting seven members who participate in our “New Years Eve Ticket Giveaway” and will be them two tickets to one of the following events: Phish, Furthur, Widespread Panic, Sound Tribe Sector Nine, Umphrey’s McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, or Moe. Visit CashorTrade.org to enter!

Thank you for taking a stand against ticket scalping and continuing to “Embrace the Face!”
~ Brando and Dusty

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Jam of the Day:

Bathtub Gin > YEM” 11.29.98 II

Thirteen years ago tonight, this stellar sequence closed out Phish’s final show of Fall ’98

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Shots From New Jersey

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on October 19th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

"Money, Love and Change" - 10.12.11 - Montclair, NJ (Michael Stein)

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"It Makes No Difference" - Montclair, NJ (Michael Stein)

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"Money, Love and Change" (Michael Stein)

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"It Makes No Difference" (Michael Stein)

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"Burlap Sack and Pumps" (Michael Stein)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”).

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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.

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TAB - 2.25.2010 (Michael Stein)

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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)

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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)

 

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Trey Tour Kicks Off

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on October 2nd, 2011 by Mr.Miner

2.25.2011 (Michael Stein)

Trey kicked off his solo tour on Saturday with a benefit show for Vermont Flood Relief efforts in Burlington. From all reports, Trey’s band was far more patient and focused on jamming than last tour. He ditched the acoustic sing-along for two sets of electric work, and included the horns in the jams far more than last year. And Trey even debuted two two tunes! I wasn’t able to make it to Vermont, so I asked another fan, and reader of Phish Thoughts, Jonathan Tran, to do the honors. His review is below and links you over to the “Reader Reviews” page. If anyone is interested in writing a review for one of the upcoming TAB shows, please shoot me an email at mrminer@phishthoughts.com.

I: Cayman Review, Simple Twist Up Dave, Liquid Time, Gotta Jibboo, Snake Head Thumb*, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Money, Love and Change, Magilla, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Drifting

II: Acting the Devil, Alaska, Clint Eastwood, Push On ‘Til the Day, Sand, Let Me Lie, Valentine, Winter Queen*, Tuesday, Windora Bug, First Tube

E: Hey Ya!, Show of Life

*debut

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TAB @ Higher Ground, Burlington, VT: 10.1.11 / by Jonathan Tran

2.25.11 - Pittsburgh (Michael Stein)

Trey and his solo band opened their tour with an inspired effort Saturday night in Burlington, where the band played the 750-person Higher Ground for a show that was only announced two weeks ago. With proceeds benefiting Vermont flood recovery efforts TAB threw down a musically relevant show that only foreshadows good things to come this tour.  Before you wonder any longer, yes, Trey decided to drop the acoustic first set in favor of two electric. And, yes, this was a welcome move by just about every fan in the room. Also of note was the return of improvised horn parts (instead of leaving stage) during jams, which was absent from last February’s winter tour. In short, all signs pointed towards “Go!” on the first night of Trey tour.

With the energy already at a peak before show time, the band came out firing with the up-tempo “Cayman Review” followed by the ever-requested “Simple Twist Up Dave.” It seems as though Trey’ has decided that TAB tour is where “Liquid Time” will stay, and the band crushed the tune last night. The uplifting jam fit the Irene recovery vibe of the evening and this lesser-played song went over as well as anything with the crowd.

The fireworks came out next as the band grooved into “Gotta Jibboo.” This version veered away from recent Phish versions and turned into a full-band dance showcase with Trey comping Ray’s clav and organ parts, while Russ and Tony held down the low end. The presence of the horn section throughout the jam seemed to push Trey further into the groove, all the while filling space with well placed musical accents. The debut of “Snake Head Thumb” came next, and was also well received by the attentive Burlington crowd.  A “Stealing Time”-“Steam”-“Ocelot” mash-up, this gritty blues number developed into a hard-edged jam that fits Trey’s current guitar style. I could see this song making it to the Big League, and it would be a welcome first set addition…READ ON HERE!

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TAB @ LA

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on March 10th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

Here is the final download from Trey ‘s winter tour. As Mike’s shows become available, I will be posting them with audio clips as well.

3.4.2011 The Music Box, Los Angeles, CA

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

2.25.2011 (M.Stein)

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Prince Caspian, Theme From the Bottom, Joy, Cavern, Backwards Down the Number Line, Wilson, Heavy Things*, Liquid Time*, Gotta Jibboo^, Push On ‘Til the Day^

II: Cayman Review, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Ocelot, Valentine, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Money, Love and Change, It Makes No Difference, Acting the Devil, Night Speaks to a Woman, Clint Eastwood, Shine, Sand

E: Dragonfly, First Tube

* w/whole band, acoustic, w/whole band, electric

Source: 3 Mic Mix Stereo Pair Neumann U-89’s (1st Set to Hyper & 2nd set Cards) into V3, Plus 1 Earthworks SR-77 Down the Center > Littlebox (W/Input Stage Transformer)

Night Speaks to a Woman

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It Makes No Difference

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TAB: Denver Downloads

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

3.1.2011 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO

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

2.25.11 (M.Stein)

I: Farmhouse, Wolfman’s Brother, When the Circus Comes, Timber Ho, Theme From the Bottom, Tube, Gumbo, The Wedge, Joy, Backwards Down the Number Line, Strange Design, Lawn Boy, Let Me Lie*, Heavy Things**, Liquid Time**, Gotta Jibboo^

II: Night Speaks to a Woman, Acting the Devil, Ooh Child, Ocelot, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Clint Eastwood, Last Tube, Alaska, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Plasma, Tuesday, First Tube

E: Words to Wanda, Magilla, Sultans of Swing

* w/ Jen and Natalie, w/ full band, acoustic, ^w/ full band electric

Source: Beyerdynamic MC930 > Naiant Tinybox > Sony M10 (@24/48)

Gotta Jibboo

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Plasma

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3.2.2011 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO

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

2.26.11 (M.Stein)

I: Sample in a Jar, Mountains in the Mist, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, My Friend, My Friend, Runaway Jim, Carini, Wilson, Shine a Light, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan**, Hey Ya!^, Push On ‘Til the Day^^

II: Cayman Review, I Done Done It, Valentine, Money, Love and Change, Drifting, Small Axe, Burn That Bridge, Mozambique, Simple Twist Up Dave, Windora Bug, Goodbye Head, Sand, Show of Life

E: The Birdwatcher, Black Dog

*w/ Jen and Natalie, ** w/ Jen, Natalie, and Russ, ^w/ whole band, acoustic, ^^w/ whole band electric

Source: fob/dfc: Milab VM44-link > Lunatec V3 (24/44.1k) > Sony D50

Money, Love and Change

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Simple Twist Up Dave

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