a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Blog What Are Phish's "Hall of Fame" Jams?

Posted 2015-04-22 7:00 pm by Icculus - 44 comments

Phish.Net user Matt Burnham (@TheRealBurnham) is in the process of taking votes from fans on Phish's "Hall of Fame" jams. Surely you've listened to a lot of Phish over the years, yes? They're a highly improvisational band, as you are well-aware, and their versions of certain songs (as attested to ad nauseum in this site's Jam Charts) can differ in spectacular ways----harmonically, melodically, rhythmically, hilariously----week to week and tour to tour. You probably wouldn't be reading this if you didn't already have thoughtful opinions on The Greatest Jams In Phish History, right? Here's more information about what Matt is up to, in Matt's own words, and how you can help determine which jams should be in the "Hall of Fame":


Blog Phish's Repertoire as a Population Pyramid

Posted 2015-04-17 11:15 am by Lemuria - 6 comments lists 871 songs written and/or played by Phish, but that includes 22 that were "only" teased or jammed, 42 unperformed originals, and 533 covers, of which 289 weren't played beyond their debut. Of the 274 originals left, 42 were only played once and most were written decades ago.

But don't discount the band's originality yet, as there's good evidence of two forms of overlooked balance. You can see them both in today's chart (the next in a series), which involves several variations on a population pyramid (a.k.a an age-sex graph, a variation on a paired-bar graph).

This chart treats Phish's repertoire of songs as a population, disaggregates them by age (measured by year of debut, with the oldest on top), and distinguishes originals from covers (rather than male/female, as is typical). Further, testingthe bars for each age are segmented ("stacked") to differentiate songs that were only performed once (the lighter tips of each bar) from those performed more than once (the darker root of each bar). Finally, to help understand growth in the repertoire, rows are labelled with studio album releases and musical costume albums performed in the given year.


News Welker's "Rutherford" Wins EB Award; Glow Variant Out This Weekend!

Posted 2015-04-16 2:16 pm by MarcoEsc - 2 comments - Link:

His name was Rutherford the Brave.David Welker's print "Rutherford", the first in a multi-artist series commissioned for The Mockingbird Foundation's upcoming book The Phish Companion, 3rd Edition, was just named Art of the Week for the week of 4/15/15 by the Expresso Beans Art Guide. All of us at The Mockingbird Foundation appreciate the positive reception this special mirror foil edition of the print received, and congratulate David for another award-winning print.

A special, ultra-limited Glow in the Dark Variant of David's "Rutherford" will be shown and sold this weekend at the Bottleneck Gallery's When the Lights Go Out 3 special glow-in-the-dark show in Brooklyn, New York. This special variant is limited to 250 copies, is printed on a deep grey paper, and reveals Rutherford's true lizard nature when in the dark.

The opening reception for When the Lights Go Out 3 is on Friday, April 17th, from 7-9pm. Prints will be sold at the show. If all available prints do not sell out at the opening reception, they will be available online at Bottleneck Gallery on Saturday, April 18th at noon ET. 

Bottleneck Gallery is located at 60 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York. For more information about When the Lights Go Out 3, please visit their website.

News Fare Thee Well Santa Clara

Posted 2015-04-10 3:33 pm by pzerbo - 3 comments - Link:


The original members of Grateful Dead — Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir — have announced two additional shows at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on June 27th and 28th, as part of their “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” run. Along with the three shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, the run will mark the original members’ last-ever performances together.  The band will be joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano) and perform two sets of music each night.

News Mike Gordon June 2015 Tour Announced

Posted 2015-04-07 7:49 pm by pzerbo - 4 comments - Link:


Mike Gordon returns to the road this June with his band on the heels of last year’s exhilarating tour supporting Overstep. The tour will begin down south in Charleston, SC and will include stops in Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, Philly, Albany, Buffalo, New Haven and more. Mike will perform as part of the Lowell Summer Music Series just outside of Boston and will return to the famed Egg in Albany.

The band will make a few debuts along the way including The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, Paper Mill Island in Syracuse and a Father’s Day show at the Academy of Music in Northampton. The band’s  repertoire will be augmented by hints of synesthetic mad scientist gadgetry on and around the stage. Mike will be bringing along his band – Scott Murawski (guitar), Craig Myers (percussion), Robert Walter (keyboards) and John Kimock (drums).
Wired Magazine came out to a show on Mike’s March tour last year to experience and talk about the new visual, audio and interactive tech-ification that will be a part of this June run.
“I like the idea of breaking down boundaries,” Gordon says. Of the theatrics and curiosities onstage on the Overstep tour, the centerpiece is an interactive piano-like instrument spanning the lip of the stage. At certain points during the show, touch-sensitive panels illuminate; by tapping on them, audience members trigger sounds and jam with the band as it plays. That’s just one piece of the big wacky puzzle. To experience it for yourself, catch one of the shows on this tour.
A limited number of tickets are available NOW via a real-time presale at which ends Thursday, April 9 at 5PM ET. Tickets will go on sale to the public beginning Friday, April 10.
For further details, visit To watch the official tour announcement video, visit
06/05 – Charleston Music Hall, Charleston, SC
06/06 – Center Stage, Atlanta, GA
06/07 – Mercury Ballroom, Louisville, KY
06/09 – The Pageant, St. Louis, MO
06/11 – Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH
06/12 – The Deluxe At Old National Center, Indianapolis, IN
06/13 – The Vic, Chicago, IL
06/14 – House of Blue, Cleveland, OH
06/16 – Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY
06/18 – Paper Mill Island, Syracuse, NY
06/19 – The Egg, Albany, NY
06/20 – College Street Music Hall, New Haven, CT
06/21 – Academy of Music, Northampton, MA
06/26 – Boarding House Park (Summer Music Series), Lowell, MA
06/27 – The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
06/28 – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA

Song History Song History: 46 Days

Posted 2015-04-07 10:45 am by Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty) - Link:

At first listen, that being the Round Room version and/or its strikingly similar televised first Live (from New York…it’s Saturday Night) performance, “46 Days” appeared to be a chugging funk-rock stomp in the vein of “Character Zero.” Strikingly similar to “Sneakin’ Sally” in terms of structure and progression, it was seemingly nothing more than a tight, guitar-driven set closer with very little room for improvisational expansion. But as Phish proves over and over, you can’t judge a book by its cover....

News David Welker print for Mockingbird sold out!

Posted 2015-03-31 11:58 am by MarcoEsc - 3 comments - Link:

Our initial allocation of "Rutherford" by David Welker, Foil Edition, sold out in a remarkable two minutes. If you were not able to grab a print, fear not. We held on to some, which will be sold at upcoming art/print shows.

The regular edition of the print, along with the rest of the series created for The Phish Companion, 3rd Edition, will be announced and sold in the coming weeks.

Thank you all for your support, and a special thanks to David Welker for honoring us with your art.

News David Welker Creates New Print for TPC3

Posted 2015-03-25 4:20 am by MarcoEsc - 15 comments - Link:

The Mockingbird Foundation is excited to announce "Rutherford", the first in a series of art prints commissioned for our upcoming book The Phish Companion - 3rd Edition. Gloriously executed by the brilliant David Welker, the artist behind Phish's Rift cover art, this print features an armor-suited Rutherford plunging into the depths of a raging river. Framed by rich Gamehendgian imagery, David's stunning interpretation will be reproduced in TPC3 to introduce the first era of Phish.

This is the first in a series of eight art prints being created by top artists, each representing a different era of the band's career. Each print will be reproduced in full color in TPC3, and also sold as limited edition prints (both individually, and as a complete set). More details about the print series will be released in the coming weeks.

David has created a special mirror foil edition of "Rutherford", which we are excited to make available via our friends at Bottleneck Gallery. This screenprint measures 24" x 18", is printed on mirror foil paper (similar to David's acclaimed Alpharetta '14 print), and has an edition size of 600. (There will also be a standard edition of the print, to be sold at a later date.)

The mirror foil edition of "Rutherford" will go on sale at 12:00 noon EDT on March 31, 2015, via the Bottleneck Gallery website, for $100. Sales are limited to one per person.


Song History Song History: Words to Wanda

Posted 2015-03-23 2:21 pm by Tim Wade (TheEmu) - Link:

Inspiration strikes in the darndest places. If you had to surmise the origins of an elegant piece of art like “Words to Wanda,” you would probably not guess it was born of a drunken romp. But that is exactly how Trey says the song was conceived. “‘Words to Wanda’ was like another style of Tom/Trey writing,” he told Randy Ray in a 2007 interview. “It is me and Tom drinking too much beer and jumping around the room screaming until the lyrics come out. He’s hilarious. ‘Words to Wanda’ is a Tom/Trey screamer.” But this song was not destined to remain a lark. Transformed by a simple melody and a brilliant arrangement, “Words to Wanda” would instead become one of TAB’s most gorgeous songs. ...

Blog Jam Chart Proportions... Charted

Posted 2015-03-20 11:12 am by Lemuria - 7 comments

The next few entries in our charts series summarize some of the information and scrutiny available through First up, a quantitative summary of the site's extensive Jamming Charts, which identify 3,343 recommended performances of 193 songs (an average of 17.3 each) as well as 919 highly recommend versions (an average of 4.8 each).

For the 41 of those songs which were performed 150 or more times, the chart to the right illustrates the total performances (to end of grey), proportion recommended (end of green), and proportion highly-recommended (yellow).

Those 41 songs account for 1,549 recommended versions and 541 highly recommended versions, or about half of all those in the Jamming Charts. But those charts recommend a wide range - from only 2 of the 438 Caverns, to 43% of the 366 Tweezers (of which 63, or 17%, are highly recommended.)


Login Register