a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Blog Seeing Summer in a Heatmap

Posted 2015-01-24 12:15 pm by Lemuria - 5 comments

Already, rumors are spinning about various stops on an anticipated summer 2015 tour. Wherever it's stopped, and whenever it's announced (likely on a Tuesday, late February?), it's almost certain to happen: Phish 3.0 is all about the summer tour.

For most of this chart, each row shows a calendar year (Jan 1 to Dec 31), with a vertical blue sliver for each Phish show. Three heatmaps summarize those 32 years: The darker blue the sliver, the more shows occurred on that day of the year. In all rows (the 32 years and the heatmaps), dates without shows stay white.

The top multi-colored row is based on a sum across all 32 years, and shows that Phish shows have historically been distributed roughly evenly across the calendar year, with only three exceptions: There have never been shows most January days, several days around the start of the school year, and the third week of December. But glance down the chart (where each row is a different year) and see both noticeable gaps and shifts in where they happened.


Blog Phish is Older than the Grateful Dead

Posted 2015-01-17 10:15 am by Lemuria - 20 comments

Though a summer event will celebrate "the music of the Grateful Dead" (emphasis added), the last Grateful Dead show was 7/9/95, 30 years and 65 days after their first. Phish reached that age February 5th of last year, will be a year older than that in less than three weeks, and arguably* became the longest-performing jamband when they took the stage 4/26/14.

Though they are said to have expanded rapidly (even exponentially), Phish's growth was far more gradual than that of other bands, including the Grateful Dead. It wasn't until Phish was perhaps** 7 years old that they played 100 shows in the same year, something that the Grateful Dead did in their 2nd year - and that Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, and Umphrey's McGee, for example***, all did in their 4th. (The fastest growing of these was SCI, who played 226 shows in 1997, their sixth year, after two spare ones - though they've played relatively few shows since their 15th.)


Blog Fare Thee Well - Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead

Posted 2015-01-16 11:03 am by pzerbo - 17 comments

Fare Thee Well – Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead” – will take place at Chicago's Soldier Field on July-3-5. The official announcement follows:

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir will reunite at Chicago’s Soldier Field, nearly 20 years to the day of the last-ever Grateful Dead concert, which took place at the same venue. “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” will take place over three nights – July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2015 – and mark the original members’ last-ever performance together. The band will be joined by Trey Anastasio (Guitar), Jeff Chimenti (Keyboards) and Bruce Hornsby (Piano), and will perform two sets of music each night.

In the tradition of the original Grateful Dead Ticketing Service, tickets will be available via a first come first serve mail order system starting on January 20th, followed by an online pre-sale through Dead Online Ticketing February 12th and will be available online to the general public on February 14th via Ticketmaster.


Song History Song History: Tube

Posted 2015-01-15 2:28 am by Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo); Craig DeLucia - Link:

“Tube” is the musical version of a quickie. Time is a-wastin’ so let’s get down to business. “Tube” is the first component of the quasi-official “Tube Trilogy” along with “First Tube” and TAB’sLast Tube,” though it should not be confused with the apparently unrelated “Tube Top Flop” from TAB or “Fresh Tube” from Page’s Vida Blue project. The original “Tube” combines quirky Fishman-penned lyrics that reference asteroids crashing, tigers in lily patches, and even singer Robert Palmer (though few can decipher the ending lyrics well enough to know what he is doing!) with a fast, shuffle-style verse and a groovy jam in the middle. ...

Blog The Boys are Back: that Venn, again

Posted 2015-01-10 12:15 pm by Lemuria - 30 comments

Referring to the members of Phish as "the boys" was fun, then "so last week", then ironic. Now, it's just sad. But there's always one way to revisit any issue: statistically.

A little over eight months ago, I posted a Venn diagram purporting to show the numbers of common shows with each combination of Phish songs that mention boys:Five-petal Venn diagram of songs mentioning boys Lifeboy, Lawn Boy, Dog-Faced Boy, and You Enjoy Myself. The numbers were solid, but some of you questioned the song selection. (No one objected that the first two mention boys only in their titles, not lyrics, but various users suggested adding other songs.)

So, here's a revision, which includes Fluffhead (thanks @larvalcraze) - though not Harpua (which doesn't always mention Jimmy as a boy; sorry, @The_Crested_Hogchoker) or Little Drummer Boy (a cover; sorry, @markah).


Blog Mystery Jam Monday Part 185

Posted 2015-01-05 1:15 pm by bl002e - 13 comments , posted in the Audio category (1620 listens)

Welcome to the 185th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday! The winner will receive an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of the mystery jam clip. Each person gets one guess per day, with the second “day” starting after I post the hint. A hint will be posted on Tuesday if necessary, with the answer to follow on Wednesday. Good luck!

Notes: Mystery Jam Monday was posted for the first time since September 8, 2014 (17 Mondays). All-Time MJM Results

Blog Miami4 Recap: From Rags to Riches

Posted 2015-01-04 3:36 pm by pzerbo - 14 comments

On Saturday night Phish concluded their season at Miami's American Airlines Arena. Let's cut right to the action...

Saturday’s first set opened with a classic five-song sequence that could have been lifted from a 1994 setlist playbook. “Maze” serves as a power-packed kickoff – along with 9/4/11 Dick’s only the second “Maze” show opener since 1995 – with Page and Trey trading confident and peppy leads. A compact but spirited “AC/DC Bag” set the stage for a sublime “Divided Sky” that anchored the set. “Cavern” kept the energy spiked, though with an odd digi-noise leftover plaguing the song’s beginning, one that would recur several times throughout the gig (feature or bug?). “Scent of a Mule” featured a (comically ‘off’) “Smoke on the Water” tease from Trey and a true Mike bass solo before the song’s “duel” portion, but was otherwise uneventful. First sets have been the achilles heel of modern Phish gigs, but this opening segment delivered solid goods.

Photo © Scott Harris


Blog Recap: Sharin' in the Miami Groove

Posted 2015-01-03 2:47 pm by pzerbo - 24 comments

Joining me (PZ) to recap Friday’s action is my dear friend, LMo.

PZ: Happy 2015, Phish fans! We’ve been on a bit of a ride the past few days on the ship of Phish. The fans making the trek to Miami caught a monster wave with the NYE second set and “Tweezer,” though otherwise the band has presented as adrift, disinterested, and even for stretches taking on water, with New Years Day’s performance being even charitably among the least inspired in holiday run history. While not reaching the Jimmy Carter-level malaise that characterized the 2011-12 MSG holiday run, the band was straddling the Mendoza Line with only one and a fraction high quality sets out of five washing upon the Miami shores.

Photo by Brantley Gutierrez © Phish 2014. All rights reserved.


Song History Song History: Harry Hood

Posted 2014-12-10 1:58 pm by Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo) - Link:

Anyone living in the Northeast US over the last few decades is likely familiar with the Hood dairy company's advertising campaigns and it's signature character, Harry Hood. The little animated milkman in the fridge would proudly rattle on about his company’s dairy products when the "unsuspecting" folks opened their icebox doors. ...

News Mockingbird Announces Ambassadors

Posted 2014-11-14 4:31 pm by Lemuria - 15 comments - Link:

The Mockingbird Foundation is proud to announce a new program recognizing key supporters of its core mission through a new annual process.

Many people beyond the Foundation's formal structure invest significant time, care, and effort into building and improving the Foundation's intellectual property, services, relationships, and grant funds. They have coordinated or administered events for the Foundation, represented the Foundation in some official capacity, or otherwise helped fulfill the Foundation's mission in some exceptional manner. As an all volunteer organization, these individuals provide critical, direct or indirect support of our greater goal: the furthering of music and arts education for children.

In recognition of past work on behalf of or to benefit the Foundation, the board will identify Mockingbird Ambassadors each November. The longterm intent is to identify perhaps five such Ambassadors each year. However, the inaugural cohort is a larger group, of ten individuals each overdue for a public expression of our appreciation, debt, and support.

The 2015 Mockingbird Ambassadors are:

It is our honor to have each of them serve as Mockingbird Ambassadors for 2015.

Song History Song History: Frankie Says

Posted 2014-11-13 9:17 am by Grant Calof (That_Guy) - Link:

Unconfirmed rumors surrounding a spring tour (mini tour, small club dates, etc) used to circulate every year, but in 1998 those rumors thankfully proved true. “The Island Tour” came as briefly as it went, but it drenched the east coast with a handful of new tunes, and thus (in the days before LivePhish, Twitter etc) a handful of new arguments over their correct titles. Debates over the burgeoning threat of the new world order or the possibility of invasion by sentient beings from another plane of existence take a distant back seat to a roomful of passionate fans deconstructing the name of a new Phish tune from sparsely gathered lyrics after its debut. “That girl in the Gamehendge Ranger shirt said that song was “Relax,” but the kid with every backstage pass around her neck says it’s called “Roggae”…”...

Song History Song History: Free

Posted 2014-11-11 11:27 am by pzerbo, lumpblockclod - Link:

"Free" was one of six Phish originals that debuted at the Lowell benefit concert on 5/16/95. Fans quickly took to the song, which tells of a man who contemplates throwing his wife from the boat on which they sail. In fact, a minor lyrical change from earlier versions was released on the Billy Breathes version of the song and all subsequent live performances; this change from “as we go sliding by” to “as the ship goes sliding by” cemented the song’s imagery....

News Announces LivePhish+

Posted 2014-10-28 3:25 pm by TheEmu - 38 comments - Link: has announced a new service, LivePhish+, which will allow access to the entire LivePhish catalog on demand.


LivePhish+ gives you unlimited access to the entire LivePhish catalog, including the latest shows, archive releases, studio albums and side projects. Sign up for a free 10-day trial, and then continue your LivePhish+ subscription for $9.99/month or $99.99/year. Non-subscribers may continue to use the new LivePhish App to stream shows in your Stash as well as Featured Shows rotating on a regular basis.

More information on the service is available through

Song History Song History: Soul Shakedown Party

Posted 2014-10-22 9:46 pm by Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo) - Link:

Walk the narrow streets of Amsterdam, and it is hard to travel very far before seeing some tribute to Bob Marley. Given the obvious admiration members of Phish have demonstrated toward Bob Marley it was no great surprise for them to debut a Marley cover during their second ever visit to Amsterdam. “Soul Shakedown Party” opened Phish’s appearance at Amsterdam’s historic Paradiso on 2/17/97. After one more appearance on 2/20/97 in Milan, Italy, the song then went back into mothballs, gone and seemingly forgotten before even one performance on American soil....

Song History Song History: Ghost

Posted 2014-10-16 3:56 pm by Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty) - Link:

The summer 1997 Europe tour was the spawning ground of the Phishy funk, which was the mind-eating great white shark that ate the remainder of the 90s. During 1997, “Ghost” epitomized the constantly evolving psychotronic-aquadisco sound of the next millennium that appears to have arrived a few years early (or is it 20 years too late?). The ultrasound of the then unborn “Ghost” can be heard in the segue from “Wolfman’s Brother” to “Jesus Just Left Chicago” on the album Slip, Stitch, and Pass....

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