Archive for Side Projects

What’s Been Goin’ On?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 6, 2008 by Mr.Miner

What a weekend it was to be alive!  The landscape of our lives has been severely altered- back to the way it was, back to the way it should be.  About to return to the source, the four-part magical mystery machine that provides our portal is coming back together.   After traveling divergent personal and musical pathways for some time, the band members’ four roads are about to merge again, each bringing their new experiences and perspectives to the table.  We all know what Phish was, but what Phish will be remains to be seen.  In a Phish-less world, Phish side-projects sometimes got overlooked or simply didn’t seem relevant.  Right now, however, all band members are playing actively, happily, and separately- something that bodes well for the future.  On the brink of a cosmic convergence, before jumping into Phish 3.0, let’s check out what each of our four super heroes have been doing in their recent musical lives, and what effect it may have on the new Phish.

photo-Meaty

photo: Meaty

The undeniable driving creative force behind the band has always been Trey– and he is at it again.  Having persevered his well-publicized addiction, arrest, and subsequent drug program, it seems that Trey is, once again, at a creative highpoint.  Having only played three shows since he’s been “back,” the new material has been astounding.  In one of these shows he debuted a thirty-minute orchestral composition, “Time Turns Elastic.”  With the emergence of a thirteen-minute solo acoustic recording from The Barn, it seems that the second movement of this piece could be arranged for Phish and turn into a mature epic.  One of those three shows was Brooklyn, in which he debuted seven- yes, seven- new songs, many which are sure to transition to Phish.  He and Tom Marshall have been writing together again, churning out as many as ten more yet-to-be played songs.  With a great diversity of new material, Trey seems to have his mojo back.  From the pop-rock of “Backwards Down The Number Line” and “Peggy” to the grooving lyrical poetry of “Valentine,” from the multi-part composition of “Greyhound Rising,” to the inspiring soundscapes of “Light,” Phish will have plenty to work with when they return to the stage. (Listen to these new songs by rolling over and clicking play on each link! Listen while you read!)  With lush multi-part harmonies (noticeably absent from TAB) and great improvisational potential, each of these could translate into Phish beautifully.

His Classic TAB eight-show October tour takes on a greatly enhanced significance after the announcement video appeared on the first of the month.  We will most likely see the reappearance and early evolution of the new songs from Brooklyn, as well as some completely new songs, taboot.  There will be an even more intensified atmosphere at every show, knowing that this tour is serving as a warm up for Phish.  As if the fulfillment of having Trey back shredding guitar wasn’t enough, knowing that we are all on the same page and on a mission for Phish in five months, these shows are sure to blow up.  After seeing his Brooklyn and All Points West shows, it sure seems that our maniacally creative and enthusiastic guitar Jedi is back.

photo-Lara Purvis

photo: Lara Purvis

Mike is fresh off his most well received solo tour to date, boasting an eclectic band and an entire album of personally written material- including many potential Phish songs.  Fans from the road have been raving about Mike and his band killing it nightly with originals, covers, and lots of improv.  Mike, never short on the bizarre, even featured an end of the tour variety show with guest musicians, acrobats, and performers who assisted in acting out the dream sequence described in his new fan favorite, and potential Phish song, Andelmans’ Yard.  In multiple interviews, Mike has expressed sincere excitement about his new band and album, and a desire to keep playing with them regardless of Phish’s schedule.  As fate turns him back to Phish, he is certainly riding a creative wave as high as any crest in his personal career, and Gordeaux will undoubtedly bring new and rejuvenated musical ideas to Phish’s next chapter.

photo-Eric V

photo: Eric V

Page, after recording a solo album in the years away from Phish, recently sat in with old-school New Orleans funk trio, PBS- George Porter, Russell Batiste, and Brian Stoltz, for a run of four New England shows in an outfit called “Moodoo.”  Scribing solo material and improvising with legends of the Bayou, Page also took both personal and musical steps away from Phish recently that will no doubt influence his own thinking as he approaches the return of his role as “Chairman of the Boards.”

"The Greasy Troll"

"The Greasy Troll"

Fishman, who always seems to find a way to be playing drums with one band or another, has a two show sit-in planned with Yonder Mountain String Band next week in New York and Philly.  Throughout the last two years, he has played with the quartet for several shows, as well as joining them at Rothbury this past summer.  Backing a four piece string outfit in venues of all shapes and sizes is certainly something outside the Phish realm, and illustrates Fish’s incredible dexterity and creativity.  In addition, Fish will head up to party in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Ashville, NC, as he joins Everyone Orchestra at the Loki Music Festival directly after the Philadelphia show.  Always enthusiastic and ready for adventure, Fishman will no doubt bring his new experiences, as well as his classic zaniness and unconscious beats back to the mix.

Phish was only going to happen again if all four members found themselves with the right combination of personal happiness, health, enthusiasm, and dedication- and that time has come!  As evidenced by the band members solo endeavors, music has returned to the forefront of their lives, and whenever Trey, Mike, Page, and Fish are all playing music- they should most definitely be playing it together.  They know that, we know that, the universe knows that; and so it will be.

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Ticket Update: This lottery is getting ridiculous.  The orders started at #4300000 on Saturday afternoon, a friend made request # 4404609.  That means there is well over 105,000 ticket requests with two more days for request.  I don’t think it is silly, at this point, to think they will get 175,000 requests.  The odds of getting tickets in this lottery, where Phish has in the realm of 3-4000 tickets is incredibly slim.  Preemptive ticket transactions are happening on eBay for between $200-350 per ticket.  The Ticket Master server is gonna’ be slammed, if not overloaded, on October 18th, leaving it up to pure luck whether we will score a ticket online.  There are no TM outlet sales, so you can’t drive to Yuba City, CA or Fargo, ND to be the first in line.  There will be thousands of people both on the phone and online across the nation at 10am EDT on October 18th; I’m not sure there is an precise strategy.  This could become pretty crazy, especially with a tight per person ticket limit.  Get your friends and relatives in on the mission with you, because who know what will happen after the 18th!  (Mind you, it is probable they will announce dates throughout the rest of March once 2009 hits.  You think they’re just gonna play three and stop?  I doubt it.)

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DOWNLOADS OF THE DAY:

MINER’S PICKS: PHISH RETURNS PT. 1 <LINK

MINER’S PICKS: PHISH RETURNS PT. 2 <LINK

Due to corrupted files, I’m not positive everyone who downloaded the Miner’s Picks: Phish Returns! compilation on Saturday got all the tracks.  I wanted to put up links here to make sure everyone gets them, because this is like one five-hour Phish set of pure fire.  The track listing and descriptions of selections are in the post below.

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12.16.99 Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, NC <LINK

Reynolds Coliseum - Raleigh, NC

Reynolds Coliseum - Raleigh, NC

A standout show in a climactic December 1999 run leading up to Big Cypress, this one took place on campus at NC State with an oddly dispersed crowd.  Styling if you were on the empty floor- not so much if you were in the packed fieldhouse seats, Phish threw down huge.  A boisterous beginning of Wilson > Chalkdust got things revved up, while a late set combo of Camel Walk, Possum brought it back to the old school.  The second set, as usual, is where things got crazy.  Opening with a twenty-two minute Sand, one the best of the many ’99 Sands, you were knee deep in this set within four minutes.  Beginning with his mini-keyboard, Trey rips a very cool melody over the heavily textured backdrop as the band churns out dissonant grooves.  Hopping off keys and grabbing his guitar, Trey puts this one in the the books.  A very ’99-esque late set Tweezer with heavy walls of sound, building into a Slave jam, makes this one a personal favorite.

I: Wilson > Chalk Dust Torture, Lawn Boy, Limb by Limb, Horn, Get Back On The Train, Roggae, Heavy Things, Camel Walk, Possum

II: Sand, The Mango Song, Wading in the Velvet Sea > Jam > Tweezer > Runaway Jim

E: Bittersweet Motel > Tweezer Reprise

Page Sits In With Mike’s Band

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 18, 2008 by Mr.Miner

Page sat in with Mike’s new band on Friday night, August 15th, for four songs, totaling almost an hour at Waterfront Park in Phish’s hometown of Burlington, VT. (You can listen and download below.)  The extended sit-in featured a tight seventeen minute jam out of the blues-rock, “Traveled Too Far,” a song on which both Page and Trey appear on Mike’s album.  The jam showcased not only Page, but Mike’s whole band who engage in some pretty intense playing.  They also performed a playfully improvised version of the upbeat Gordon tune, “Voices,” which allowed Page to take some solos and loosen up a bit.  With guitarist Scott Murawski and Gordon, the three join in some very cool musical exchange in this jam.  The bluegrass/honky-tonk song “Walls of Time” follows, and Page’s sit-in ends with a bit of Phishy foreshadowing with an roots-based version of “Makisupa Policeman.”  Mike’s band plays this really well, in an authentic island-sounding way, and Mike and Page play some very smooth dub in the short jam.  I’m not sure who comes on stage, but they rip a feeststyle over the second verse!  This is fresh rendition of a song that I thought got pretty dull with Phish.  All in all, the show is really good and worth a listen.  It gives you a sense of what Mike- the busiest member of Phish- is doing these days.  And The Page sit in is great.  Half of Phish is half of Phish, any way you slice it.

LISTEN TO VOICES and the MAKISUPA POLICEMAN NOW!

DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE SHOW HERE!–>>MIKE GORDON BAND 8.15.08

Gordeaux and The Green Sparrow

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 13, 2008 by Mr.Miner

While Trey’s weekend has captured the headlines in Phishland, our very own secret agent, Mike Gordon, has been on mission of his own, out on the road touring behind his new album, The Green Sparrow.  With most every song on the album led by prominent big round melodic bass lines, Gordon is certainly the musical lead and centerpiece of his band.  While teaming up with a host of different musicians on the album, he is currently touring with guitarist Scott Murawski, keyboardist Tom Cleary, drummer Todd Isler, and percussionist Craig Myers; and reviews have been stellar.  The album has a distinctly Gordeaux feel to it with quirky lyrics, smooth rhythms, and a very listenable vibe.  The vocals sound particularly good, as Gordon shows off his range and control on tracks that he dedicated a year to writing.  A shift away from the calypso feeling of his previous collaboration with acoustic guitar craftsman, Leo Kotke, on Sixty-Six Steps, The Green Sparrow is definitely a rock and roll album strewn with Mike’s eccentric and unique funk bass lines.  With an eighteen-month creative process behind the album, The Green Sparrow exists as Gordon’s most developed and focused solo effort.

Some tracks that are typical of the albums large rhythms and smooth harmonies are the opening track “Another Door,” “Dig Further Down,” and “Radar Blip.”  Although Gordon seems intent on keeping this band together regardless of a Phish comeback, it would be hard to imagine that a few songs would not leak into the Phish repertoire.  Ironically, the three Phishiest songs come right in a row on the album in “Pretend,” “Traveled Too Far,” and “Andelmans’ Yard.”  A collaboration with Trey, Page, and Bill Kreutzmann, “Traveled Too Far” seems like a shoe in, and defintely has a place for Phish to explore the rock/bluesy textures of the song.  I can hear Phish playing “Pretend,” a love song to an an unknown woman, as a mellow and groovy stop late in their set, with lush vocal harmonies and a Trey solo at the end.  It would be great to see them adopt “Andelmans’ Yard,” an upbeat funky song with which Phish could really create cool jams in the vein of Undermind‘s “Access Me.”

It is interesting that little has been heard from Gordon’s tour, though people who have seen shows have nothing but good things to say.  On the road through the first week of September, everyone still has a great chance to see him as he will be hitting venues, literally, all over the nation.  Gordon is one who loves to tour, and on more than one occasion, has referred to Phish tour as a “mission” he was on, and how it never grew tiresome, regardless of the stresses it put on his bandmates.  That being said, he is surely happy to be touring again, as his circuit is hitting New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, Oregon as well as all the big markets.  (New Yorkers- Highline-tonight!-8.13)  Take the time and check it out, it really highlights Mike and the sound is infectious, and unlike previous solo albums, very danceable.

Mike Gordon Band 8.5.08 in Richmond, VA- sleeveless.

(This is the best clip I could find- the audio is not that hot.)