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Phish Summer Tour 2013

With one of the funnier tour announcement videos Phish dropped the plans for their thirtieth year together…and surprise there is some West Coast love.

July 3 @ Bangor Waterfront Pavilion – Bangor, Maine
July 5 – 7 @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, New York
July 9 @ Molson Amphitheatre – Toronto, Ontario
July 10 @ PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, New Jersey
July 12 @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, New York
July 13 – 14 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, Maryland
July 16 – 17 @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Alpharetta, Georgia
July 19 – 21 @ Northerly Island – Chicago, Illinois
July 26 – 27 @ Gorge Amphitheatre – George, Washington
July 30 – 31 @ Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys – Stateline, Nevada
August 2 – 4 @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, California
August 5 @ Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, California
August 30 – September 1 @ Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colorado

I missed last years tour and will try to at least see one show…okay, maybe two. I just need to decided on Lake Tahoe or San Francisco before they hit the on sale date of March 28th.

I asked my wife tonight if she would be interested in going with me to see the band…she thought about it for a few minutes and declined the offer…told me to go and have a good time. I have dragged her to see Phish a couple of times and although she had a good time the music is just not her cup of tea. I only can imagine that this is what she hears when I play Phish…

Phish – Dick’s Sporting Goods on 8/31/12

If you have 3 hours to kill this weekend you can watch Phish play the entire Fuck Your Face show from Colorado. The band was really throwing out the ‘phishiness’ during this show, clearly having fun with their prank. Overall a fun show with musical surprises galore.

Setlist –

First Tube

Uncle Pen

Carini

Kill Devil Falls

You Enjoy Myself

Ocelot

Undermind

Set 2

Runaway Jim

Farmhouse

Alaska

Chalk Dust Torture

Emotional Resuce

Fuck Your Face

Encore

Grind

Meatstick

Phish Just Killed It

I love Phish. I have for quite some time. It took a while for the band to click with me, but once I ‘got it’ I was a fan. I saw my first show in ’97 at Shoreline. I have seen the band many times over the years. I have been to good shows and I have seen a couple of real stinkers. The band just completed the second leg of their summer tour and although they played three nights in San Francisco I decided to skip seeing them this time around. What a mistake…the band absolutely killed on this tour. On 8/19/2012 in San Francisco they played a concert that I would put up on par with their best shows ever. Everything just clicked. The band was locked in and they were playing like a school of fish (or Phish) instinctively following as each would twist and turn the music in a new direction. Each taking turns leading the music toward the surface. I have listened back to that show twice and it amazes me the little extra they put into songs one would think they have played out. Even the ‘little’ songs have a little extra punch to them…it is called creativity. This band can create spontaneous music, composing on the fly once they leave the standard song structure. As a fan I live for the music that emerges when these guys are locked in and of one mind. Take this video of Down With Disease that they will jam out and morph it into the song Sand from 6/29/2012 in Noblesville, IN. At about the 5 minute mark they start to break away from the song and by the 10 minute mark they are just winging it…and it is this that I love to see bloom.

The band also loves a good prank. That is the certain ‘phishiness’ that make this band fun to follow. Like I mentioned earlier they just wrapped up their summer tour with three nights at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park…a soccer stadium located outside of Denver. On the first night the song selection was all strange…they were playing songs that they would normally encore with in the middle of the set. I watched it unfold on the internet and I thought it was strange. When the first set was over I was looking at the set list and thinking it was the weirdest set I had ever seen. Then I looked at the first letter of every song…and it spelled out ‘FUCK YOU’. I laughed out loud. But they were not finished…over the course of both sets they spelled out the title of one of their rare songs and they played it. The song? Fuck Your Face, of course.

They were on fire at Dick’s. All three nights. Take this video of the song Light from the second night in Colorado…23 minutes of bliss.

Capture the Moment in a Photograph

Here is one a captured with my camera. Trey Anastasio (from Phish, duh) on stage August 8th, 2009 at the Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA.

Song for the Rough Week Ahead…

I thought we would start the year out with a video from Phish and the New Year’s show they just had in Madison Square Garden. They incorporate a niffty little visual gag into the countdown to 2012. I bet the concert patrons that were on ‘a little something’ were thinking that it was the best hallucinations ever.

My Favorite Archival Releases of 2011

2011 seemed to be the year of huge boxsets made up of remastered, expanded and repackaged ‘classics’. Some of these were the absolute definitive editions and some just reeked of the money grab. I have picked my top five of these archival releases that saw the light of day in 2011.

5) Miles Davis Quintet – LIVE in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. One

Just when you thought there was nothing left in the Miles Davis vault worth releasing Columbia starts up a ‘Bootleg Series’. These recordings are from radio and television broadcasts recorded over a one week span on a tour of Europe by one of the greatest jazz bands ever…Herbie Hancock on piano, Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on drums and Miles Davis on trumpet. By late 1967 that band had recorded four albums together and were a  juggernaut on stage. This three CD/one DVD set is a improvised music fan’s dream.

4) Phish – Hampton/Winston-Salem 1997

Speaking of improvisation…this set highlights the creativity of America’s best jamband. In 1997 Phish had discovered funk and the joy of laying down a groove…then slowly building on that foundation and watching it grow and morph, usually into dark psychedelia. This is a document of three complete shows on their fall tour. The music is not always perfect (there are a few blown notes and some rough passages) but that just reminds you that the people creating this sublime music are human after all.

3) Grateful Dead – The Complete Europe 1972 Tour

Leave it up to the Grateful Dead to release a boxset of a complete tour. Innovative packaging with an essay on every show from various Dead scholars plus a book full of photos from the tour make this the high water mark for all other boxsets to aim for. This thing is massive and I must admit I have not listened to every note played on the discs, but I will. This is the sound of a band caring about the music and pushing the limits during the improvised sections. Way too pricey for the casual fan, but a must have for the hardcore Dead addict.

2) The Rolling Stones – Some Girls Expanded

When you listen to the outtakes from the Some Girls sessions you will notice the number of ‘country leaning‘ material left off the album proper. Had they added one more country sounding song to the album it would have change the way that the album is now viewed, which is as the Stones answer to the punk rock movement exploding at that time. Some Girls could have been a completely different album, but still as strong…only different. The outtakes hold up and Keith’s version of “We Had It All” is beautiful.

1) The Beach Boys – Smile

This has lived in my CD player since its release. It brings a smile to my face every time I listen to it and every time I listen I hear little nuances that I have overlooked before. ‘Smile’ is an absolute masterpiece of rock music.

Phish – Halley’s Comet Video 1997

Here is a little Thanksgiving present from the fine folks over at Live Phish. They have shared a video from the upcoming audio only box set that will drop on December 6th. Shot fourteen years ago today on November 22, 1997 the band was deep into the cow-funk, playing full sets consisting of four songs on some nights. 1997 was a heavy year for long groove filled explorations, some jaw dropping sublime moments happened during that time frame. In the video they jam out the playful tune Halley’s Comet…for 25 minutes!

You need to make it through the five minute mark of the video (the main song structure) before you head off into the groovy unknown for the following twenty minutes are so…

Head over to Phish Dry Goods to place your order for the Seven Disc box set from Hampton Winston/Salem ’97. It looks to be awesome.

Phish to release Hampton/Winston-Salem ’97 in December

It has not been announced officially by the band, but the following has been posted on Alternative Distribution Alliance website…

The Hampton/Winston-Salem 97(11/21-23)shows featured Phish at an peak of execution and flow. Throughout the shows, Phish seized most every opportunity to lift and expand. Paul Languedoc’s stereo mix, mastered by Fred Kevorkian, funnels the energy of these special shows nearly 15 years later. Hampton/Winston-Salem 97 contains all the music played over these 3 shows for a total of 45 songs – over 8 hours of music – including never-before-heard material from soundchecks at both venues. The 7-CD box set, a must-own collection for any Phish fan.

Look for a street date of December 6th with a price of around $40…just in time for Christmas.

My Favorite Musicians

I loathe lists. They make my skin crawl, my brow break out in sweats, my bowels bubble and churn. I don’t understand all the Top 100,000 albums of the 80’s or 100 Top Keyboard Solos in Progressive Rock or 10 Best Rock and Roll Footwear…I always wonder why and who cares, as I ferociously scrutinize them and mentally argue what the author has omitted or just plain got wrong. So, of course, I decided to make a list of my favorite musicians. I decided to split it into two lists. First, bands/solo artists that you are probably familiar with if you like music at all and second, bands/solo artists that are a little more under the radar. Probably nothing you have not hear of…I am very standard even on my non-standard list. In the upcoming weeks I will share some thoughts and stories of how I heard of the artists or how the artists have shaped me. And I do believe, we as humans, are shaped by all cultural influences. My biggest influences have been through music, followed close by novels, the friends I hang out with, TV / movies…

Making the list was easy…at first. I just wrote them down as they came to me. My criteria was simple…an artist or group that had a body of work that I still listen to and still get something from. Bang, I put fingers to keyboard and had my list. Then I started to look at it. And started second guessing some of my decisions. Am I really going to leave The Minutemen on the list and leave off Iggy and the Stooges? What about Whiskeytown/Ryan Adams? No REM? Come on, I love REM. Where the hell are the Pixies?!? Shit, my whole list is wrong. What will the hipsters think of me and my list?

NO! I must stop the swirling thoughts of everyone rolling their eyes as the scan my list only to quickly click over to some other meaningless blog and more mindless ramblings. But I must be strong…it is my list of my favorite musicians that have shaped my outlook on life and my world of music. Mine, not yours…make your own damn list.

My Top 10 ‘Normal’ Bands/Artists

  1. Rolling Stones
  2. The Beatles
  3. Neil Young
  4. Hank Williams
  5. Grateful Dead
  6. Bob Dylan
  7. Led Zeppelin
  8. Pearl Jam
  9. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  10. Phish

My Top 10 ‘Under the Radar’ Bands/Artist

  1. Black Flag / Rollins Band
  2. Frank Zappa
  3. Butthole Surfers
  4. King Crimson
  5. Minutemen
  6. Sonic Youth
  7. Jesus Lizard
  8. Captain Beefheart
  9. Ween
  10. Tom Waits

There, done. Feel free to point and laugh. As I said, I will be writing something about each artist in the upcoming weeks/months/years…how I discovered them, seeing them live, favorite song or memory and why they belong on my list. Now….discuss.

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