It was only a few months ago when I was waxing poetic about palm trees swaying placidly over Sleep Train Amphitheater on July 23rd. Phish delivered a complete show that night, a show at which one can throw a proverbial dart with your eyes closed and confidently exclaim "BULLSEYE" before the dart finds its mark – a show that the palm trees seemed to acknowledge with gentle acceptance personified by waving fronds, as they have more important issues to deal with than silly bar games. Far removed from the warm, soft, summer breeze and tropical flora – well, for some at least – mired across the country in a deep freeze, we looked onward at our television and computer screens, margaritas and cervezas firmly, and ironically, coldly, in hand, hoping to be warmed by what Phish might deliver on Sunday. I found myself in the same situation as most of you, looking for warmth via the glow of the screen. The closest thing we have to a palm tree here in Portland, OR is the fluorescent pink and lime green hues of the The Palms Motel sign buried somewhere in the snow in north Portland. ::shudders:: A far cry from Chula Vista, and an even further cry from those running their toes in the sandy beaches in Mexico – beaches adorned with real palm trees. Real sunshine. Real warmth. Suddenly I have the urge to purchase The Palms Motel sign – maybe it'll give me a tan if I stand close enough.
Seeing Phish live in concert is a pinnacle life experience, no matter the show, quite honestly. Nothing beats the in-the-moment energy, enthusiasm, and raw electricity the band and fan symbiotically produce. In fact, as I write this the hairs on my body stand at attention as a wave of electricity flows through them, enough to power that neon The Palms Motel sign for at least six and a half seconds. Enough to get me that much closer to Mexico. But alas, a fool's errand. Because here I am stuck in Portland, OR, where, I kid you not, a state of emergency has been declared because of the snow and ice. No amount of inert gases could've transported me to where I really wanted to be. So, fellow lamenter, I offer you this review with as much diligence, integrity, and warmth that one can offer from their couch with sub-zero temperatures lurking outside; but reader beware: no matter how tall we make our margarita, nor how spicy the enchilada, nothing compares to being there, in that corner of time and space, at a Phish show. But I will do my best to take you there. Better crank up the heater and start mixing that second batch now.
Welcome to the 257th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the middle of five in time and difficulty in January. 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 three mystery clips – these clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer. 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, and Happy MLK Day!
Hint: This should get you most of the way there:
Answer: My sincerest apologies for all the issues with this week's MJM – we're still dealing with some technical issues at .net HQ, which include folks being unable to comment on any posts more than a day old. Kind of crucial for an MJM that makes it to the hint! In any event, @justino and @runlikecarini PM'd me yesterday that they had figured out the first two tracks, the 12/1/03 Wolfman's Brother and the 2/15/03 Wolfman's Brother, but were still chasing down the third. Unfortunately for them, the hint wasn't partcularly helpful – the telephone that was handed to Liz would only get them most of the way there: two-thirds of the way, to be exact. But after checking pretty much every "Wolfman's Brother" ever, @runlikecarini entertained other themes and realized that it could be as straightforward as "Jams played in 2003" – which proved correct. It wasn't too long into his search of 2003 jams that he found the third clip, from the first show of 2003 (not counting 12/31/02 III of course): the 1/2/03 Chalk Dust Torture. In doing so, @runlikecarini wins back-to-back MJMs, his third of the past four, and his sixth overall – all in the past 4 months! – continuing one of the most impressive streaks in MJM history*. One more win for @runlikecarini and we'll be chaining him to that iceberg and pushing him out into the sunset, to eventually arrive on the shores of Gamehendge where the rest the MJM Emeritus Crew awaits him with collars popped, topsiders polished, cocktails in hand, and keys to the The Vault jingling on their pleated khaki shorts. A shout-out to a few fellow 2.0Phishionados who recommended some of this week's clips, and next week: may your hints be punctual, your comments posted, and your hints crystal clear. MJM258 drops at the same time and place as always.
*To be fair, @runlikecarini never had to battle with the likes of @RabeldyNugs, @pauly, @bl002e, @ghostboogie, @PersnicketyJim, @mcgrupp81, @yunkfunk, @me, @WayIFeel, or @schvice – who all entered the MJM HoF before his first win.
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