Tuesday 04/09/2013 by unolker

THE ULTIMATE PHISH NERDGASM PART 3: CROWNING A CHAMPION

(Note: Mockingbird Foundation volunteers often participate in Type II Cast Phish podcasts. For this series of episodes, we thought we would cross-post it to the Phish.net audience to allow them to chime in and play along. As always, if you enjoy the content here, please donate to The Mockingbird Foundation. Plus, don't forget to preorder The Phish Companion, 3rd Edition.)

If this is the first you are hearing of the Ultimate Phish NerdgasmTM series, then you should go listen to the first two episodes, or at least the first. But definitely not just the second, because that wouldn’t make any sense. However, I understand if you want to get down to money shot and only listen to this episode. If you have been following along this whole time and keep coming back for more, we applaud you! This is easily the longest running series of recorded spoken word geek talk about Phish.

All that said, we find ourselves at the final installment of what started as a March Madness style bracket, containing 64 of the best jams, as dictated by Chris Glusko and Steve Paolini. Of course, this list is not absolute and takes into account five rules that shaped the list, much to some listeners’ dismay. These jams were then voted down between Chris, Steve, and I, and we ended up with the Sweet Sixteen, which is where we begin this episode. Before you listen, we suggest that you print this bracket in order to follow along at home. Also, should you want the full version of each song, you can check out this google doc which links to the corresponding phishtracks.com track.

The format for this episode is slightly different than that of the last two. Having only fifteen matches to vote on allowed us to play a clip for each matchup. So we decided to send off each loser of the Sweet Sixteen / Elite Eight with a clip in its honor. Then, each jam in the Final Four had its clip played before we voted. We stuck to a strict three minute rule for each, with the winning jam being played in its entirety for the outro. What does this mean for you? Less talking from us and 120% more hose in the ears for you. It’s really a win-win when you think about it. And with the caliber of Phish jams being matched up here, there really are no losers.

We hope that you have enjoyed following along with this Ultimate Nerdgasm. All the credit goes to Chris and Steve for developing the rules and the pool of 64 jams to choose from. Their collective nerdiness is probably unparalleled. Thanks to Phish.net for making the research and prep for all Type II episodes possible. And if you want to keep following along with future episodes, you can subscribe in iTunes, on Stitcher, or from Archive.org.

Thanks for listening,

Steve

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Print the Bracket to Follow Along at Home

Get Links to Stream each Jam in its Entirety

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Comments

, comment by i_yam_highdrogin
i_yam_highdrogin where is the final bracket?
, comment by jaylimmo
jaylimmo i don't have time to listen along today. please just print the final bracket.
, comment by CrateDigger34
CrateDigger34 Thanks for all the great work, guys! I called the championship before we began, which only reinforces that the Riverport Gin and the Albany YEM are the two most "complete" jams (out of the hundreds of amazing choices) the band has ever delivered. Riverport Gin was crowned the winner, and I must say, that has always been my go-to track for the uninitiated. Not a single dull moment. Roses vs. Gin in the Final Four was a tough choice, although in sports terms, YEM slaughtered Viper in the other semi. Not sure how Piper advanced that far, although I personally thought it was the weakest bracket of the four. Thanks again for the fun.
, comment by unolker
unolker Here is the final bracket for those who want the spoilers.

Final Bracket
, comment by jaredprox
jaredprox Funny, the champ emerged out of what many consider to be one of Phish's weakest years. Just goes to show why this band is incomparable: The next show they play has a chance of being the "best ever."

Here's looking forward to Maine in 86 days!!!!!!!!
, comment by j_led
j_led ^Who considers 98 to be one of the weakest years?
That is sacriligous. Whoever they are they deserve the strap.
, comment by jaredprox
jaredprox @j_led said:
^Who considers 98 to be one of the weakest years?
That is sacriligous. Whoever they are they deserve the strap.
Lol... I mostly agree. But after the Destruction of America in '97, many feel that '98 was a drop off from the unsustainable trajectory the band had been on. Reference this post from a few days ago for reference:
http://blog.phish.net/1364999364/reconsidering-the-horizons-the-island-tour-remembered
, comment by ucpete
ucpete @jaredprox said:
@j_led said:
^Who considers 98 to be one of the weakest years?
That is sacriligous. Whoever they are they deserve the strap.
Lol... I mostly agree. But after the Destruction of America in '97, many feel that '98 was a drop off from the unsustainable trajectory the band had been on. Reference this post from a few days ago for reference:
http://blog.phish.net/1364999364/reconsidering-the-horizons-the-island-tour-remembered
I consider '98 to be one of Phish's best years, and I don't know many who would disagree with me. If I had to throw together a list of years where Phish was especially fucking awesome (my opinion only of course) in no particular order, I'd go '93, '95, '97, '98, '03, '12. Those are my most-listened to years at least.
, comment by ucpete
ucpete Also I love the fact that within a month phishtracks.com has already so deeply permeated our Phish discussions :)
, comment by PunkDwarf
PunkDwarf @ucpete said:
@jaredprox said:
@j_led said:
^Who considers 98 to be one of the weakest years?
That is sacriligous. Whoever they are they deserve the strap.
Lol... I mostly agree. But after the Destruction of America in '97, many feel that '98 was a drop off from the unsustainable trajectory the band had been on. Reference this post from a few days ago for reference:
http://blog.phish.net/1364999364/reconsidering-the-horizons-the-island-tour-remembered
I consider '98 to be one of Phish's best years, and I don't know many who would disagree with me. If I had to throw together a list of years where Phish was especially fucking awesome (my opinion only of course) in no particular order, I'd go '93, '95, '97, '98, '03, '12. Those are my most-listened to years at least.
How sir do you not list the crux year (94') of the tightness era and the jam era as particularily awesome?
, comment by PunkDwarf
PunkDwarf Sorry. Weird comment. But Phish '94 is so consistently hot. Including and especially first sets. Most shows don't have a super long jam. But the solo sections of each song throughout the shows are very passionate. In my estimation 94' was the peak as far as passion goes.
, comment by jaredprox
jaredprox
I consider '98 to be one of Phish's best years, and I don't know many who would disagree with me. If I had to throw together a list of years where Phish was especially fucking awesome (my opinion only of course) in no particular order, I'd go '93, '95, '97, '98, '03, '12. Those are my most-listened to years at least.[/quote]

Of all the years you just listed, '98 would fall towards the back of the pack. And yes, how do you not include '94? Which swings back to my original point. Not that '98 is "bad"-- it jsut lacked any noticeable growth/evolution which had marked the previous 4-5 years.
, comment by ucpete
ucpete "my opinion of course"
"my most-listened to at least"

'94 is awesome too, but I prefer the jamming and show style of '98 to that of '94. That's all. And if I add one more year to the list I rattled off earlier, '94 would be the next year, sure. I agree that '98 doesn't have the evolution of say '97, but I really enjoy the combination of some of the spaciness and funk of '97 that lingered into '98 along with the introduction of more ambient jamming styles, and the expansion of the repertoire including the Story of the Ghost material and the slew of new covers. Just one man's preferences.
, comment by ucpete
ucpete I also find it really interesting that the winner of the best jam of all time bracket is a jam that is rumored to have been practiced beforehand!
, comment by Poster_Nutbag
Poster_Nutbag i prefer the 7/20/98 gin to the riverport gin.
, comment by fluffhead108
fluffhead108 This was fun. Thanks to all involved.

And can I just say that this discussion in the comment section about the best years has been equally entertaining. I like being a nerd, and I'm glad you all agree.
, comment by hiddenhillbilly
hiddenhillbilly Albany YEM must've gotten drunk the night before to lose to the Riverport Gin.
, comment by funkbeard
funkbeard 7/20/98 gin is gonna see release.

7/29/98 Gin is a bit stronger, with the 7/20/98 version remaining a bit more linear, but definitely of the same mold as the latter. 7/29/98 has more continous build start to fin.

, comment by skr213
skr213 Should do more of these. Do one for a top 16 bracket for each year, top 16 bracket for versions of songs, etc. Release the nerdiness!!
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM Travesty
 
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