Tuesday 01/04/2011 by sethadam1

INTRODUCING "COLLECTIONS", A NEW PHISH.NET FEATURE

We've just activated a much discussed new feature on Phish.net. With the recent introduction of official streaming of Phish concerts, the request to track shows you've "couch toured" began to bubble up, prompting us to finish a feature discussed but never fully implemented.

Awhile back, we added the ability for you to track shows you've heard alongside the concerts you've attended.  Almost immediately thereafter, we expanded it to allow you to track shows in your tape/MP3/FLAC collection.  But then people wanted to track other shows.  That's when I started thinking that maybe there are other reasons for people to want discrete lists of shows. Maybe people want to track: 

  • Shows you've got in MP3 vs shows you've got in FLAC?
  • Shows you've been with a specific friend?
  • Your top 10?
  • Shows you want to listen to again?
  • Your favorite setlists? 

The fact is, we can't always predict how people will use features on our site.  We don't know exactly what people will want to track. So today we're officially unveiling "Collections." With Collections, you can do exactly what you'd expect: you can define your own collection of shows. Then, once done, you can share the collection with other people or even run stats on it.  And you can keep as many collections as you'd like.  

I've already removed the ability to track shows you've heard and shows you own. If you used those features, I've already imported your lists into your first collections. Just check your collections and you'll have one or two already waiting for you. 

We plan to expose "collections" via the Phish.net API in early 2011 and allow application developers to get creative with it.  

So, without further ado: Collections.*  

Here's a demo of a collection: http://phish.net/collection/1294152220

Please note you must be logged in to your phish.net account to use Collections.

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Monday 01/03/2011 by jackl

LEFSETZ: PHISH ROCKS!

They say rock & roll is dead. But that’s only if you’re listening to the radio, the critics, the prognosticators crunching data. But music isn’t data. Music is alive, it breathes, it’s something that gets inside and possesses you.

I won’t forget the first time I heard “Rock & Roll”. On “Loaded”.

But have you ever heard the take on “Rock N Roll Animal”? WHEW!

And we may be missing Dick Wagner and Steven Hunter’s interplay, that seventies magic, but last time I checked it was 2010, 2011! And these young ‘uns in Phish are taking that nugget and making it their own. Paying tribute and bringing it forward all at the same time. It’s about the ENERGY!

Come on, you know what it’s like to go to the show. You don’t sit there passively, you’re energized, you’re alive, every other show and moment in your life is just a synapse away. This is the essence of the experience, not nitwits dancing to click tracks.

Stop swinging for the fences. Contrary to what the old wavers tell you, technology is your friend. It allows you to get ever closer to your fans, to know who each and every one is. It allows them to interconnect and bond with each other and create a family even when you’re asleep…because music never sleeps, it’s playable always, now everywhere!

The old model has been destroyed. But don’t cry, we’re rebuilding right this very second! And we don’t know how or where it’s gonna go. There’s no formula. It’s 1968 all over again. There’s no kingpin, no programmer at MTV, no one telling you what you can or cannot do, unless you’re tied up with the old fogies.

So don’t watch Phish live at Madison Square Garden tonight.

But know that many are paying $19.99 for the privilege. And lovin’ it.

And unlike Justin Timberlake, Phish didn’t have to sell its soul to Mickey D’s, whore itself out to a corporation to be lovin’ it. They just followed the yellow brick road of music all the way to Madison Square Garden, three nights in a row, with no hit singles, no ubiquitous television coverage, none of the things the rulemakers tell you you need in order to make it.

There are no rules. Except for the ones you make yourself.

Live for the music. Each and every day. It will absolve you of your sins, it will save you, it will elate you, if you just respect it, if you don’t sully it, if you don’t bring it down to the gutter but exalt it.

And where there’s music there’s money. Always. Maybe not in the old ways, but in brand new ways, which are being invented right this very second.

Bob Lefsetz, from his music industry newsletter/blog, The Lefsetz Letter (12/31/10)
Sunday 01/02/2011 by jackl

MAKING OF THE MEATSTICK DANCE

Phish - "Meatstick" 12/31/10 New Year's Eve from Phish on Vimeo.

The "Making of the NYE Meatstick dance" documentary video from Phish.com

As a New Year's Day gift, Phish has released a nine minute Vimeo "documentary" about the preparation and performance of Friday's New Year's Eve extravaganza at Madison Square Garden, featuring the singers and dancers preparing for the show, the giant hot dog's "flight" and the countdown to the new year.

Excellent stuff! Thanks Phish; we were sitting below the hot dog in Section 87 and I was wondering how many dancers were on stage, and how this very complicated stunt was pulled off.

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Thursday 12/30/2010 by jackl

MSG COMMEMORATIVE TOKENS

Nice! Commemorative MSG "tokens" on sale outside the venue with posters at 5 pm, with remaining tokens sold at the merch booths inside, according to Phish's Facebook page here.

(Hat tip: Roses (Mike), Phish.net forum)

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Thursday 12/30/2010 by jackl

SPEVAK BASHED BACK

The year’s biggest hit might be the Internet video of Miley Cyrus huffing away on a bong. But the most worrisome hit for me was the one ordered up by fans of the band Phish, lashing out via the Internet: “Your Grateful Dead comparisons and hippie stereotypes were not so much beating a dead horse as crashing your car into a Walmart and attacking the Elmer’s Glue and Jell-O displays,” one typed with his cloven hooves.

Music writer Jeff Spevak's column in the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, "This Year in Reviews", reacting to negative reader comments to his Phish at CMAC review (e.g., Phish at CMAC, June 29: "Jam bands are getting so common that you can't swing a
Tuesday 12/28/2010 by jackl

.NET GATHERING, 12/31

.net gathering 12/31 at Hudson Yards Cafe, 3:30 - ~6:00

The site team has been looking around for a good gathering place for 12/31 to host a phish.net gathering.

We were looking for a place close to MSG, but not as close as some of the overly crowded places like Mustang Sally’s of the late ’90s phish.net gatherings which tend to be very busy with both midtown and MSG customers. We were also looking for a place with a large bar area for meeting and could still take reservations for those who wanted dinner.

We’re therefore recommending a meeting at the Hudson Yards Cafe, 350 10th Avenue @ 35th St. which will be opening its bar around 3:30 and its kitchen around 4:00 for dinner.

If you think you are going to be stopping by, please shoot me a Phish.net PM or email me at jack (at) Phish.net so we can keep rough track of the projected headcount. If you are thinking about dinner there, I would suggest that you make dinner reservations for late afternoon with the restaurant directly for your group

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Thursday 12/23/2010 by jackl

THE END OF PHISH'S INNOCENCE

Beginning in 1996 things would change, starting with a tour in Europe the sound and the demeanor of the band would quickly transform. By the late ’90s the band pushed forward to reach their career pinnacle on the eve of the millennium only to spiral out of control over the next eight years. By 2000, the band was in enough turmoil that the needed to stop. At the same time, the majority of the fan base from earlier that decade were struggling to find a path in adulthood. Things had gotten real. Jobs, relationships, priorities, all weighed in a manner they didn’t previously, when you could hop in a car and say fuck the blizzard I’m going to Albany. Before The Clifford Ball. Before Remain In Light. Before cow funk. Before Cypress. Before designer shirts and jeans. Before addiction. There was December of 1995. It is THE moment. They may have evolved from that point and beyond what they were, but it was at this moment they were perfectly Phish. It was the end of their innocence and probably, for a majority of us as well.

Eric Wyman, from an article, “Op-Eric: Wyman on Phish - December ‘95” on the Hidden Track blog, (c) Glide Magazine 2010
Sunday 12/19/2010 by jackl

COUCH TOUR GUIDE

Shut out? Can't go? Watch Phish's NYE pay-per-view streams on your big screen TV

If you don’t know your HDMI cables from your S-Video port, but want to watch the Phish live stream on your high def large screen TV rather than your laptop, you’re in luck.

Phish.netter Alex Knoll (@Alexknoll) has written a “couch tour guide” to connecting your computer or other internet connected device (Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii etc.) to your large screen TV.

It’s a Phish.net forum thread here. Feel free to ask questions to Alex and other helpful phriendly geeks.

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Friday 12/10/2010 by zzyzx

PHISH TO PPV WEBCAST MSG!

Wow, this is something that people talked about but now the band is actually doing. I hope there's enough interest in this that we can have webcasts for summer tour. Perhaps time to invest in a better TV so I can hook my computer up to it.

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Friday 12/10/2010 by jackl

PHISH WILL ALWAYS DO BUSINESS

Phish, in its second year of touring after a five-year hiatus, remains a powerful box-office draw, with $33.2 million in gross and 658,000 in attendance to 43 shows.

"They will always do business," says Paradigm's [Chip] Hooper, who is Phish's agent. Of the 2010 tour, he says, "They were having fun, the fans were having fun, they were great shows, they were very thoughtfully booked, and it did really well."

From Billboard.biz article "Year-End: Bon Jovi Leads As Top Touring Act of 2010", by Ray Waddell (12/10/10) - http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i3a15dfaab86484fbde46ce43eb863d8c
Saturday 11/27/2010 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET MOVED TO NEW DEDICATED SERVERS

Logo Phish.net now has a its own dedicated servers in a data center, hosted by End Point Corporation.

After the Hampton reunion last year, the Mockingbird Foundation, with IT director Adam Scheinberg (@sethadam1) at the helm, decided to build a new database-driven website to update the static "billboard" of text setlists of the Phish.net archival site, which had operated pretty much unchanged from 1994.

The site architecture of Phish "setlists" hosted at Phish.net is now a huge relational (MySQL) database that connects the showdates, songs, venues and individual site users to provide not only instant information on all 1,504 Phish shows by date and the 814 songs Phish has played at those shows, but users' own personal "stats" and "gaps charts". Phish.net was also built with an open API architecture so it could "feed" information from its setlist databases to many other phan sites, and its "smartphone" mobile site, m.phish.net.

After months in beta, and through 2010, Phish.net has grown to over 10,000 registered users, many of whom participate in a lively relaunched community discussion forum and have added "their" shows to their profiles and stats "seedfiles".

During the recent late Fall tour and Halloween run, Phish.net on its former "virtual" (shared) server began to fail under the load of more than 20,000 fans trying to get setlist information at the same time, and the server was repeatedly "crashing" under the loads. With our new dedicated servers, this will not happen, and Phish.net can now accommodate almost unlimited traffic and growth for years to come.

If you haven't checked out the new Phish.net site, especially the information you can get about any song by clicking on the link (history, lyrics stats) or the smartphone optimized site at m.phish.net or the discussion forum or blog, check them out and you will be pleasantly surprised by all the new, cool stuff there.

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