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Saturday 07/29/2017 by johnnyd

MSG 6 RECAP: DOUBLE CHOCOLATE - THESE TITLES WRITE THEMSELVES

Welcome to Show 6 and Week 2 of The Baker’s Dozen! No need for a prosaic introduction today. We know the score. Phish is 10-0 this summer, with victories coming ever more decisively as the season grinds on. We are excited. In a time when the world may be going just a little crazy around us, we’ve got a rock of creativity, joy, and fun in the here and now.

While New York has long been known first and foremost for its donut culture, and fans have especially embraced the wide and wonderful world of this fried confectionary, let’s keep in mind that there are some other things that one might rightfully associate with The City, and it would be doing a disservice to allow tBD to pass without coloring and flavoring our reviews with some of these (admittedly slightly less quintessentially New York) items. So if you like your metaphors mixed and your jam descriptions jumbled, Dear Readers, do continue.

Photo © Phish
Photo © Phish

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Wednesday 07/26/2017 by johnnyd

MOCKINGBIRD'S BAKER'S DOZEN #5

In celebration of Phish's 13-show run at Madison Square Garden, the Mockingbird Foundation is announcing 13 unsolicited "miracle grants" supporting music programs across the country. Each board member identified their favorite Phish show, and we found a worthy music education program nearby, part of the Foundation's long-standing Tour Grants program. We're presenting these 13 special grants chronologically, based on the dates of those favorited shows.

Board member John Demeter, @johnnyd, picked the 7/16/94 show held at Sugarbush's Mt. Ellen in Fayston, VT, and we're sending a $1,500 grant check to nearby Harwood Unified Union School District (which was known until very recently as the Washington West Supervisory Union. Don't ask. Seriously.)

The one that got away.

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Thursday 03/23/2017 by johnnyd

WATERWHEEL TO HOST LISTENING PARTY IN BURLINGTON - SUNDAY 3.26.2017

JEMP Records and The WaterWheel Foundation will host a Preview Listening event on Sunday, March 26th (4pm-7pm) at Three Needs Tap Room in Burlington celebrating the release of Phish’s new archival boxed set, ST LOUIS ’93. The 6-CD Boxed Set pairs two standout shows (April 14th & August 16th) recorded during consecutive tours at St. Louis’ historic 1,750-seat American Theatre. ST LOUIS ‘93 will be released to stores and online via the band’s own JEMP Records on Friday, March 31st. A $5 suggested donation at the door will enter you to win a copy of ST LOUIS ’93. All attendees will receive a commemorative Three Needs pint glass as a thank you.

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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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Wednesday 10/05/2016 by johnnyd

READ, SPIN, PLAY! - WATERWHEEL AND MOCKINGBIRD TEAM UP FOR AN EVENT AT NECTAR'S

READ THE BOOK, SPIN THE VINYL, PLAY THE GAME!
THE PHISH COMPANION / BIG BOAT / SUBTLE SOUNDS

Are you a Phish fan? Do you know your Phish facts? Do you know the band’s music so well that you can call a song on the first note? Come join us on October 15th at Nectar's in Burlington from 2p-5p. Lots of great prizes will be awarded to the winners including a chance to win a pair of tickets to the future Phish concert of your choice.

The WaterWheel Foundation and The Mockingbird Foundation are teaming up with Nectar’s for an afternoon of Phish trivia, Phish vinyl, and a Phish gameshow - “Subtle Sounds” - in the style of “Name That Tune”.

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Monday 09/26/2016 by johnnyd

THE PHISH COMPANION TO BE FEATURED ON VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO

The Mockingbird Foundation and The Phish Companion, 3rd Edition, will get some news coverage over the radio waves (and through the interconnected series of tubes) on Tuesday morning, courtesy of Vermont Public Radio.

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Monday 08/22/2016 by johnnyd

REFLECTING ON MAGNABALL

We are a year removed from the heart of Magnaball, and just over 20 years from the Clifford Ball. Similar to many of you, I'm sure, both of these events were transcendent weekends and times for me - so much more than just the incredible music and environment and people. Eye-opening, reaffiriming, and freeing. Intentionally or not, Phish created a model in Plattsburgh. And somehow they, and we, manage to keep improving on it.

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Saturday 07/02/2016 by johnnyd

SPAC1: NOT JUST WARM UP ANYMORE

I love SPAC.

The lawn, the lot. The park, the palace. The people. It’s a homecoming, almost as regular on the 3.0 schedule as Dick’s. It’s a thing. The only time we don’t get SPAC is when there’s a festival, and that is wholly forgivable.


It wasn’t always that way. This is a 3.0 tour development. Prior to this run, Phish had played here 17 times -- 16 headliners and an opener for Santana -- but only thrice in 1.0. Our more-or-less annual independence jaunt to ‘Toga is a new staple on the calendar, relatively speaking. The toney town might not have worked for us in the mid-to-late ‘90s. Or, more likely, the stop did not make sense if we were annually festivaling in the region. But for now, this is a town with not only a pool and a pond, but also springs, and a spa. And in recent years, our traveling contingent has been warmly welcomed to whichever of the above we can afford.

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Monday 06/23/2014 by johnnyd

FUEGO RELEASE PARTY AT NECTAR'S

In what's becoming a nice little tradition, Waterwheel hosted an album release party for "Fuego" at Nectar's last night (Sunday, June 22).

(Fairly anti-climactic given the NPR track releases, then the album stream, and then pre-orders arriving. But I guess that's where we're at with that kind of stuff...)

Band archivist Kevin Shapiro presented a nice little introduction of the album. I don't know that he said anything specific that's not out there in the body of knowledge for those of us that stay tuned in to all the details on this kind of stuff, but here are a couple of the points that stuck out:

  • Thanking Nectar's as the "home of phish since 1984."
  • He really emphasized the album as a home-grown, Vermont project. That a huge amount of work and creativity and development took place in the Barn.
  • The full-band collaborative nature of the project. His comparison point was "not since Story of the Ghost" has the band worked together so fully on an album.
  • The fact that 5 different recording locations were incorporated into the album - The Barn, Boardwalk Hall (at the "dress rehearsal" on 10.30), 2 studios in Nashville, and Fame in Muscle Shoals.
  • There was particular note of the band covering themselves on Halloween, and so at the dress rehearsal, were dressed as themselves. In line with what was noted in the "Wingsuit" Phishbill, everyone seemed very happy and satisfied that they were able to incorporate a substantive chunk played live by the 4 of them at Boardwalk Hall into the title track.
  • He characterized the trip to Muscle Shoals as a "road trip" in a way that I thought connotated an element of spontanaity. After the album was done playing I asked about that a bit - the genesis of the idea to head down that way and add some horns and backup vocals. Like, were they in Nashville and just hopped in the Voyager, or to what degree was that all scheduled and planned in advance? He didn't have any specific knowledge of how that came to be.
  • Then, it was kind of funny, as an afterthought, or perhaps more accurately, a forgotten main point - he did his introduction of the album, thanked a bunch of people and organizations, and I think had actually dropped the needle and stepped away from the turntable. Ran back real quick before the music started, and was like, "How can I forget...?" and thanked the band for continuing to make music. Of course.

Sound was fantastic. Nectar's, as one would expect, has a real-deal sound system (2 of them actually) and an exceptional sound engineer.

The couple main things on the album that stood out (over repeated listens to the NPR stream) were:

  • Some electronic sounds behind Waiting all Night which I had not noticed at all. I have no idea what instrument or effect they are.
  • The massive bass and tympani (I think) behind Winterqueen, which are a great juxtaposition to the delicate guitar and vocals.
  • The power of Wingsuit - there's a stretch at the end where it sounds like it could merge into Tweeprise
  • And the huge pickslide (again, I think) right at the end of Sing Monica. I knew that was coming because I got a kick out of it on the stream, but that to me is just an extremely fun and rockin addition there coming out of the bounceback vocals.

The main room was relatively empty. There were only about 20 people there, most around the bar. I soaked up most of the album from the sweet spot in the middle of the floor, and was alone there for most of it. Continually surprised how few people turn out for these things. I find them quite enjoyable. Kevin said something like, "Even if I wasn't 'supposed to' be here, this is where I'd be."

Nice raffle prizes from Waterwheel, including a pair of "VIP" tix to SPAC, 3 signed posters (Rochester, Glens Falls, SPAC), one of the flags from Superball, some CDs, and a year's supply of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. After the raffle, Kevin once again thanked Nectar's and Waterwheel for making the event happen, and the band for their "Devotion to their Dream" of making music, and in turn, our dreams. Warm fuzzies on a beautiful Burlington evening.

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