Monday 12/05/2016 by sausagemahoney

LIGHT THE SONG WITH SENSE AND COLOR: A CONVERSATION WITH TAIT

Phish.net was delighted to have the chance recently to talk to the accomplished production designers and engineers at TAIT Towers, the team that designed and built the LED video screens that debuted in 2016 as part of Phish's new-look onstage setup. As you'll read, TAIT is a company with longstanding ties to and a love for Phish, who were only too thrilled to be asked to work with the band on the most dramatic revision to its stage presentation in its 33-year history.

You couldn't miss it. When Phish took their usual places onstage in St. Paul to kick off their 2016 summer tour they had some impressive new hardware at their disposal. First, behind them in a half-circle, stretching from stage right to stage left, was a five-and-a-half-foot tall wall of light-emitting diode (LED) video screens. Second, above their heads was another huge, rectangular screen, facing down and toward the audience. As the show started, colors and images began playing across both screens. For the entire first set, the overhead array stayed in a compact rectangle. But when things got cooking at the start of the second set—during the throbbing minor-key “Mike’s Song” jam—the big rectangle fragmented, spreading apart into a patterned array of smaller screens, a look reminiscent of the hordes of perpetually attacking spacecraft from classic arcade games like Space Invaders and Galaga.

Photo © Rene Huemer

Photo © Rene Huemer

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Monday 12/05/2016 by ucpete

MYSTERY JAM MONDAY PART 251

Welcome to the 251st edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the first and easiest of December. The winner will receive an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of the mystery jam clip. Each person gets one guess – if no one guesses correctly, I will post a hint on Tuesday, after which each person gets one more guess before I reveal the correct answer on Wednesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!

Answer: Congrats to @dbertsch who quickly identified the 11/30/94 My Friend, My Friend outro jam and wins his fourth MJM – he's now more than halfway to Emeritus status. Will he get there next? Stop by on Monday for MJM252, when @Dog_Faced_Boy takes the reins.

Wednesday 11/30/2016 by phishnet

HF PODCAST WITH MOCKINGBIRD PRESIDENT MARCO WALSH

[Editor's Note: The following is from user swittersdc of the Helping Friendly Podcast.]

We at the Helping Friendly Podcast had the privilege of interviewing Marco Walsh, Board President of The Mockingbird Foundation and a prominent member of the Phish.Net community, who's given countless hours of his time over the years. You can access the interview here.

This interview gave us the chance to talk in depth about the history of the site and the Foundation, while hearing about the incredible work that all the volunteers have done for 20+ years. We touch on the evolution of the website, the community’s relationship with the band, and of course, the Phish Companion. Hey, it's the holidays! Pick one up for a friend or loved one.

Marco also shares memories from his first show, 4.17.92 at the Warfield in San Francisco. We talk a bit about that tour and that show, and we play a few tracks from that night. A great memory for Marco and a good show to revisit.

If you haven’t listened to our podcast, we hope you give it a shot! We regularly combine the music of Phish with interesting guests from in and around the scene. You can find us on iTunes and Twitter. We’re looking forward to many more collaborations with this team.

Also, there's a contest! The Mockingbird Foundation donated one copy of the book as well as a really cool poster. All you have to do is share this post with your friends on Facebook and/or Twitter using #MbirdHFPod, and we'll pick two random winners (one for the book and one for the poster) on Monday, December 5.

Thanks to Ellis and Charlie as well for helping us get this together. HF Pod is made up of me, Brad and Jonathan.

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Tuesday 11/29/2016 by phishnet

GIVE THE GIFT OF MUSIC WITH THE PHISH COMPANION

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. We can't think of a better group to embody this sentiment than the Phish community. Today only, every donation made to The Mockingbird Foundation through our Give the Gift of Music fundraising page will receive a thank you gift based on the giving level. There are 10 thank you gifts at varying levels! All donations over $40 receive a copy of The Phish Companion. Here are a few ways you can give the gift of music (see below for the rest!):

  • Donate $10, receive an I Read The Book Bumper Sticker
  • Donate $45, receive a copy of The Phish Companion
  • Donate $70, receive a copy of The Phish Companion and one Phish Companion Limited Edition Print
  • Donate $110, receive a copy The Phish Companion and a BoyerArt Jersey

>> Visit the fundraising page

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Monday 11/28/2016 by ucpete

MYSTERY JAM MONDAY PART 250

Welcome to the 250th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday! In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, and to cap off a yearlong celebration of the release of the third edition of The Phish Companion, we have put together the greatest prize in MJM history. The winner will not only receive the usual MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net, but as a thank you for enduring the pop-up ads this year, the winner of MJM250 will also receive a copy of The Phish Companion and the complete set of eight (!) TPC3 limited edition prints from The Mockingbird Foundation!

And just because we're feeling the holiday spirit, starting Wednesday, November 30th, anyone can get $5 off the book using the code MYSTERY at phishcompanion.com. This offer is good through Sunday, December 4th, at 11:59 PM PT / Monday, December 5th, at 2:59 AM ET, as long as there are still books in stock – the already limited supply is dwindling rapidly during the holiday season, so don't hold off any longer!

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Monday 11/21/2016 by ucpete

MYSTERY JAM MONDAY PART 249

Welcome to the 249th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the penultimate MJM of November. The winner will receive an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the songs and dates of the FIVE mystery jam clips. Each person gets one guess – if no one guesses correctly, I will post a hint on Tuesday, after which each person gets one more guess before I reveal the correct answer on Wednesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!

Note: Today we're tweaking the format – today's MJM is a race. At 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET, I will post a SoundCloud link here on the blog. The FIVE clips (each 30 seconds long) are extremely well-known jams from Phish's vast live canon. Hit refresh when the time comes, and we'll see who can name them all first. You ready?

Answer: Congrats to @justino who swooped in just in the nick of time to correct the 5th clip from @illbuyyouaewe's nearly correct scorecard, winning his third MJM overall. The five well-known jams were of course the Woostah Hood, the Tahoe Tweezer, the Albany YEM, the SPAC Piper, and the Hampton Bag (on its anniversary taboot).

Attention: I know every week I say something like "stay tuned for next week's MJM," but this week I mean it more than ever. Next week we hit MJM #250, and we will be giving away the greatest prize package in MJM history. You'll have most of the week to solve the puzzle. Open up your setlist notebooks, fire up your LivePhish and PhishOD apps, wipe your keyboards clean, get a few dozen browser tabs ready, and lock yourself in the basement – you're going to need all the help you can get to solve MJM250. But I guarantee you it'll be worth your time given the 10-part gift we've put together for next week! MJM250 drops at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET sharp here at phish.net.

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Monday 11/14/2016 by ucpete

MYSTERY JAM MONDAY PART 248

Welcome to the 248th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the second of November. The winner will receive an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of the mystery jam clip. Each person gets one guess – if no one guesses correctly, I will post a hint on Tuesday, after which each person gets one more guess before I reveal the correct answer on Wednesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!

Hint:

Answer: Congrats to @runlikecarini who won his third MJM by identifying the 4/10/94 Antelope. Do we have another savant on our hands? Apparently the hint – an image of the buildling on the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals gave him a push in the right direction towards Antelope. But he didn't recognize (nor did he need to) that the hint had another layer to it: this week's clip was the Buffalo Antelope. Get it now? The MJM would be remiss if it didn't mention @Dog_Faced_Boy, who texted me a couple hours after MJM248 was posted with the correct answer – though his solving this week's MJM was completely unaided by his admin status, I asked him to withhold the answer unless no one else had solved it by this morning. See you next week for MJM249, when I'll throw yet another different style of MJM at you, and be sure to mark you calendars: On November 28th, 2016, the MJM will celebrate making it a quarter of the way to a thousand MJMs with a special MJM250 extravaganza, which may or may not have the most ridiculously awesome set of prizes ever given out for an MJM winner.

Thursday 11/10/2016 by johnnyd

MSG PRE-SHOW CELEBRATION WITH WATERWHEEL AND MOCKINGBIRD - DEC. 30

We're delighted to be partnering with The WaterWheel Foundation during Phish's New Years run in a Pre-Show Celebration benefiting children's music education!

Tickets go on sale Friday, November 11th @ Noon EST.

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Monday 11/07/2016 by ucpete

MYSTERY JAM MONDAY PART 247

Welcome to the 247th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the first and easiest of November. The winner will receive an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of the mystery jam clip. Each person gets one guess – if no one guesses correctly, I will post a hint on Tuesday, after which each person gets one more guess before I reveal the correct answer on Wednesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!

Answer: Congrats to @HarborSeal who solved this week's MJM in a mere 15 minutes, earning his second win. He didn't have time to notice that MJM247 took place on the 18 year anniversary of the 11/7/98 Mike's Song, which took place in the same town celebrating their first World Series championship in 108 years – but he did notice that the jam featured this week was from the UIC run he had loaded onto his iPod a few weeks earlier. If you're feeling down today, perhaps hearing the entire 11/7/98 Mike's will cheer you up with its mix of funk, ambiance, and uplifting hose. The rest of that run ain't no slouch either. Stay tuned for MJM248, which will hopefully last at least 20 minutes before being solved!

Note: Just as a reminder, hints for the MJM are released, if needed, on Tuesday ~24 hours after MJM starts, and the answer is always revealed on Wednesday. If no one has answered correctly by ~48 hours after the MJM starts, the competition will be called and the answer will be revealed then. If it has been solved correctly before then, I tend to take my time on Wednesday posting the answer. If you're ever unsure if the MJM has been solved, and you don't see a particular answer with more thumbs up than the rest – a good (but not perfect!) indication it's been solved correctly – you can always check the MJM Results Spreadsheet (linked below the MJM every week). Even if I haven't updated the Blog post with the winner, I (almost) always update the spreadsheet with the winner as soon as I see the correct answer.

Tuesday 11/01/2016 by J_D_G

VEGAS 4: LET ALL THE CHILDREN BOOGIE

Phish’s New Year’s Eve show is often seen as a reflection of the year it concludes. But with the benefit of hindsight, Halloween performances sometimes turn out to be the emblematically significant occasions. And keeping with that trend, the performance of David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars” last night was in many ways a portrait of Phish in 2016.

Photo © Rene Huemer

Photo © Rene Huemer

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Monday 10/31/2016 by phishnet

VEGAS3 RECAP: MISCHIEF NIGHT

[Editor's Note: Please welcome guest recapper Jonathan Hart, @RowJ on Twitter and a member of the HF Pod team. -CD]

The third night of the run, and the penultimate show of Fall tour. It's the night before Halloween and Phish is on a hot streak. Following a pair of well received shows here in Las Vegas, the crowd turned out in high spirits, many dressed in costume, and when Phish came out to spin again, the entire table got paid.

Continuing the trend of previous nights, they opened with another song from 2014's Chilling, Thrilling Halloween set, "The Dogs." The heavy rock sound got the audience moving, and set the stage nicely for an early performance of "Ghost." Trey's newer, thicker, guitar tone met Page's funky keys for a hard, bluesy intro. The jam is patient and compact, peaking and fading out before eleven minutes pass. Play that in the second set, and folks complain about length, but in the first, it's a hot warmup.

Photo © Patrick Jordan

Photo © Patrick Jordan

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Monday 10/31/2016 by Dog_Faced_Boy

MYSTERY JAM MONDAY PART 246

Welcome to the debut of the Halloween MJM (MJM #246). @ucpete is far away (at a wedding, not Vegas - boo hoo), so @Dog_Faced_Boy has come to play. As far as we know, this edition marks the first time ever that MJM has occurred on Halloween proper. Furthermore, since this is the fifth Monday this October, and because the MJM series now gets progressively more difficult each week throughout the month, @ucpete and I thought today's holiday version should add a little trick or treat to the competition. We hope you enjoy this little musical puzzle.

To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of each of the four mystery jam clips, and answer what they share in common. Each person gets one attempt per day, with the second “day” starting after the Blog posts the hint -- each answer should contain four songs / dates, along with the commonality between them. No sharing or trading of answers is allowed. A hint will be posted on Tuesday if necessary, with the answer to follow on Wednesday. The winner will receive one MP3 code good for a free download of any show, courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net.

Note: Because this proverbial beginning to the holiday season puts me in a particularly magnimous mood, I will offer you all one helpful hint from the outset: initially, focus on the first of the four clips. If you can identify the first track, it may provide you with some clues to help determine the remaining three. Happy Halloween and have fun.

Hint: The song of which the first clip is a part was not selected by happenstance. It was chosen for a specific reason. The lyrics to this Beatles song provide information about how to find the other songs in this week's Halloween MJM, as well as clearly point to the unifying theme. This ain't rocket science, but the correct answer must state the theme as well as the song and date of the four clips.

Answer: Congratulations to @runlikecarini, who notches his second MJM victory by correctly identifying the tracks: "Birthday" from 10/31/94, "Drowned" from 12/31/95, "David Bowie" from 4/13/94, and "Wait" from 10/31/91, and the theme: songs that debuted on, Halloween, or 10/31. This holiday version sought to provide a mix of trick and treat: the clipped section of this "Bowie" sounds an awful lot to me like "Phantom of the Opera," but a Google or tease search won't help. Likewise, the guitar riff in this third version of "Wait" (the debut and second version also occurred on 10/31/91) sounds an awful lot like "It's Ice," a red herring intended to lead searchers astray to scan versions of the Rift classic. However, there were also some treats thrown in: the "Fire On The Mountain" tease from this section of the 12/31/95 "Drowned" is well-known, and a simple search of the Tease Chart would lead one to this version. Likewise, not only was an initial pre-game hint provided, but subsequently, the words debut and Halloween were italicized and placed in bold, and in combination with the selection of "Birthday," it was hoped that the power of suggestion would make the theme more obvious. We hope you enjoyed this week's contest. Congrats again to @runlikecarini, and thanks @ucpete for letting me sit in this week. Good luck next week, when the first MJM for November begins with the bar lowered a few pegs.

All-Time MJM Results

All-Time MJM Results

Sunday 10/30/2016 by phishnet

VEGAS2 RECAP: WE WANTED PHISH THIS WAY

[Editor's Note: Please welcome guest recapper Sven Jorgensen, whose brain --running on fumes after days deprived of sleep and oxygen-- is in a time zone that does not exist. -CD.]

IT is impossible to please everyone all the time. But Phish, as an ensemble of elder jambandsmen, seems to please their fans most of the time. And last night's gig at the weirdly intimate, yet 17k capacity, MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas was no exception.

The second night of the four-night Cirque du Phish, that culminates Monday evening in a Halloween extravaganza, could have been a subdued, through-the-motions, crucible of patience, a comparatively vapid night of rest for the band and fans. It was not. It flowned balls.

Photo © Noah Cole

Photo © Noah Cole

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Saturday 10/29/2016 by phishnet

VEGAS1 RECAP: TRULY THE AGE OF MIRACLES

[Editor's Note: We'd like to welcome back guest contributor David Goldstein for this recap. - lbc]

When individuals recap Phish concerts, or any live music experience for that matter, sometimes there’s a tendency to focus on intangibles that don’t necessarily come across on a soundboard recording. Some of these include the weather, size and make of the venue, or even “the energy in the room,” commonly invoked to somehow justify lackluster song selection or poor playing, as in “yeah, I know they played “The Line,” “Number Line,” and “Friday” all in the second set, but you had to experience the energy in the room, maaaan.”

All of which is to say that I happen to be reviewing Phish’s Friday night Las Vegas show from the cozy confines of my living room couch, so intangibles are essentially limited to the quality of the IPAs and salinity of the bottomless bowl of Chex mix I (and two friends) consumed while watching it. The sightlines are courtesy of my 42 inch Samsung in conjunction with Apple TV, I can actually hear the show from the (short!) bathroom line, and the role of Chris Kuroda is relegated to a handheld strobe light / mirror ball hybrid that my two-year old accurately refers to as her “disco party.” This recap will focus entirely on the musical performance itself, which given Las Vegas’s several distractions and detrimental effect on one’s memory, may not be such a bad thing.

Photo © Rene Huemer

Photo © Rene Huemer

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Friday 10/28/2016 by Lemuria

HOW MOCKINGBIRD WAS BORN

Phish.net is but one project of the entirely volunteer nonprofit Mockingbird Foundation. We frequently credit the volunteers involved, and accept critiques of our own roles among them. But we’re also proud that Mockingbird – which today turns 20 years old – has grown beyond the individuals behind it, and is now a structured, vibrant, productive entity that will outlive the participation of any us.

As we continue to envision the Foundation’s future, we take a moment today to look back – on the history of the band, its fans, and our attempts to contribute. We knew at the start that our vision was plausible and our intentions honorable. But the path following them to today was winding and confusing, testing both conventions and friendships. And it all started, of course, with that new sound coming out of Burlington.

THE BAND

Phish is a curious specimen. Because they share certain traits with apparent ancestors, the band and its concerts are often described with blunt classifications. Yet their musical diversity, performance ingenuity, and fan connections helped spawn a new lineage, of which Phish, even on their least ambitious nights, remain the exemplar – jambandus maximus.

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