BLOG POSTS WHERE USERNAME IS SETHADAM1

Saturday 08/05/2017 by sethadam1

MOCKINGBIRD'S BAKER'S DOZEN #12

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 Adam Scheinberg picked the 7/8/99 show in Virginia Beach, VA -- an underrated show which included a legendary "Fee" and an amazing "BOAF" -- and we've sent a $1,500 grant check to nearby Landstown Middle School. to support the LMS Orchestra.

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Monday 10/17/2016 by sethadam1

JACKSONVILLE RECAP: "PATRI"-CHOR

Photo © Rene Huemer
Photo © Rene Huemer
By all accounts, last night's show should have been the sleeper of tour. It was a Sunday show (Friday is for the fans, Saturday is for the bros, Sunday is for the band), it is early in the tour, Phish is touring new material, and it was Phish's first time playing Jacksonville. Not counting Miami, the last time Phish played in Florida was 1999 for Big Cypress. And the last "normal show" in Florida that wasn't in American Airlines Arena was in Fall 1996, in Gainesville. Twenty years later, Floridians were palpably excited: several of us trekked north and many east, joining untold hordes journeying down from Charleston, awaiting the magic of the one, two punch we were all sure would happen. We certainly had the feeling that you had a good chance of catching "It" or that "It" could happen at any moment.

Alas, Phish turned in a performance that, setting aside a few moments of brilliance, fell mostly between adequate and competent. There were, thankfully, several high points and between them, mostly tightropes, in that they were still highs, but they gained their stability from the peaks to which they were tied. For many, Jacksonville felt like it was just not the show they were hoping to see. Almost 20 years to the day after my first Phish show, filled to the brim with my jaded-vetted-ness, I walked into a crowd whose average age was probably 10 years below mine. But this show was very different for me, personally, in that it was another first: the first show for my daughter Jillian, on her 9th birthday no less. I could step you through the setlist with a few creative adjectives, but on the long drive home last night, I realized the real story was the juxtaposition of the show abutting my twenty year Phishiversary with her first show. Experiencing the show through her eyes was maybe the best thing that could’ve happened to me last night.

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Sunday 06/26/2016 by sethadam1

WRIGLEY 2 RECAP: LET'S PLAY TWO

Here at Phish.net, we try to tee up recaps from people who were at the show, but sometimes it just doesn't work out and we have to weigh in from the couch. This opens a writer up to the critique that negative opinions expressed are the result of jealousy and sour grapes. In this case, I have no defense to that charge. I’m jealous as all hell that I wasn’t at Wrigley Field this weekend to see the band I love perform in the cathedral that my beloved Cubs call home. Does this mean that any criticism I may be about to level is tainted and biased?

Yes, yes it does.

The first three shows of the tour have felt, to me, like...well, like the early part of a tour usually does. Warming up, stretching things out, not getting too crazy too fast. Saturday’s first set, to my ears, was that process in action. For example, let’s take a couple of standard first set tunes that have been paired seven times, but for the first time, let “Moma Dance” precede “AC/DC Bag.” Let’s mix in some newerFuego material. Let’s sing "Happy Birthday" to the legendary Dickie Scotland, and let’s take a moment to bask in the sunshine of the Friendly Confines on a gorgeous June evening and tell embarrassing stories that you may not have known about Fishman and his dedication to art. Let’s raise our hands to “The Divided Sky” and imagine we’re not on the North Side of Chicago, but in a green field, surrounding a black rhombus, and we’re about to summon something magical. And if Fish flubs the end of “Cavern,” let’s rip through “Good Times Bad Times” and end on that note instead.

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Saturday 03/01/2014 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET OVERSTEP CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the Phish.net Mike Gordon Overstep contest! We had several entries arrive via our blog, our forum, and Instagram. The admins narrowed the field down to about 10 worthy of serious conversation and are pleased to share the winners with you:

Grand Prize Winner: @bouncingaroundtheroom

@bouncingaroundtheroom wins two tickets to any show on Mike's Overstep tour. Great job incorporating the album cover into your photo! This was our nearly unanimous vote for contest winner.

Runner Up: @HilmBill

There were several that got us to smile or laugh, but this one was a fantastic visual. @HilmBill wins a signed copy of Overstep.

Runner Up: @gratephul_67

Even though Mike tours under the name "Mike Gordon", @gratephul_67 incorporated "MGB" for "Mike Gordon Band" into snow, something the Northeast has seen plenty of lately. He'll also win a signed copy of Overstep.

Thank you all for participating, we had a lot of fun judging the entries. Stay tuned for more news about Phish and Mike Gordon's solo efforts.

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Wednesday 02/19/2014 by sethadam1

UPDATED: THE PHISH.NET OVERSTEP CONTEST

Phish bassist Mike Gordon's new solo album is entitled "Overstep." But what exactly does "Overstep" mean? Is it pushing, as in overstepping ones bounds? Or crossing those scary sewers by taking an extended stride, refusing to touch your foot to the grates? We think one of you can put your genius to work explaining overstep - by photo. That's right, fire up your smart phone, dig up your trusty DSLR, or load up or your 35mm film (you hipsters) and show us "Overstep" in one photo.

A photo posted by Adam Scheinberg (@sethadam1) on Feb 12, 2014 at 11:20am PST

How to Enter

We'll be accepting entries in two ways:
1. Post a comment on this item with a link to your image. If you need a place to upload your photo, we recommend imgur.com.
2. Post your photo to Instagram using the hashtag #PhishNetOverstep.
3. Embed an image in the forum.

The Rules

1. It must be an original work of art.
2. You must post it as a comment on this blog entry or on Instagram. No other entries will be considered.
3. Your picture must be family-friendly. No drugs or boobies, you nincompoops.
4. The funnier and more original, the better!
5. Your photo should be taken for this contest. Don't be lazy. We're looking for something original and inspired!

The Prizes

So what can you win? The Grand Prize winner will receive two tickets to any show on Mike's Spring 2014 tour. You can also have a bite of my pizza sometime, if we're ever hanging out and I have pizza and you're hungry. Also: internet karma and fame in a sub-community for a day!

Two runners up will received a signed copy of Overstep on compact disc. To be clear, it's signed by Mike Gordon. He plays the bass guitar on the album!

The Phish.net site team will review the entries and decide on a grand-prize winners. All entries must be submitted by Wednesday, February 19th. We'll announce the winners shortly thereafter.

Good luck, Oversteppers!

Updated: the contest has been extended! We will now be accepting entries until next Wednesday, the 26th. Also, you can now enter by posting to this thread in the Phish.net forum. Fire away!

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Friday 09/13/2013 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET INTERVIEWS KEVIN THE BLOBFISH

A Young Kevin P. Blobfish
A Young Kevin P. Blobfish

Our resident quality assurance director, Kevin the blobfish was recently crowned the world's ugliest animal. Kevin has been hard at work optimizing Phish.net for some time, and rarely emerges from the tank and into the public eye. We caught up with Kevin to discuss this unflattering acknowledgement. Read on for the entire interview.

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Monday 06/17/2013 by sethadam1

REVISITING MERRIWEATHER

Merriweather Post Pavilion. As any Northern Virginian, current or former, would tell you: I love it and I hate it. I went to several shows there, so I loved the proximity, but hated the traffic and the parking. Now, if you narrowed it down to just Phish shows, I'd immediately think of one moment: the 8/8/98 Sabotage encore. There's a great story there, but it's not the one I'm going to tell today.

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Monday 12/17/2012 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET STEPS UP SECURITY

They say 80% of passwords on the internet are "weak" passwords. When sites use annoying guidelines like "you must have an uppercase character, a lowercase character, a number and a special character," it's not because the webmaster was feeling cruel and abusive and all powerful, but rather because he or she was trying to protect his users. Gaining access to a website with weak security is trivial. You want to protect your users' data, including their password, which may be their key for other websites too.

So here's your security 101: when you store data in a database, step 1 would be storing a password. Storing a password as plain text is not very secure and would certainly be problematic if someone unauthorized gained access. So to combat this, developers encrypted passwords. But passwords that can be decrypted are equally problematic, anyone who could get them could certainly decrypt them. So developers changed to one-way encryption: encrypt it, and then when you give me your password, I'll encrypt it again and see if it matches! Brilliant!

But computers got faster, and thus were born "rainbow tables." Essentially, hackers would start generating encrypted versions of dictionary words, common passwords, and other phrases, and these encrypted strings are known as hashes; when you got a list of encrypted passwords, you could compare them to your list of known hashes. Brilliant!

So developers struck back with "salts." Add some random stuff to the beginning or end of the password and encrypt it, thus rendering rainbow tables null and void. Unless, of course, someone gets your salt. Then what? You can't even decrypt the passwords yourself to re-encrypt them with a new salt. You have to force everyone to change their password.

With the not-too-long-ago release of some compromised passwords from a fellow Phish site, we decided to bump up our security efforts. Phish.net used to utilize a mix of SHA1 and MD5 encryption, fairly common cryptographic hashing functions. The challenge with these is that they are very fast - a computer processor can compute these hashes in microseconds, enough that one could hit a login form 10,000 times per second and just run through the dictionary. Knowing that weak passwords make up 80% of the accounts out there, just knowing usernames - something one could easily pull from, say, our forum - you'd probably be able to gain access to at least a few thousand accounts.

As a result, today, we switched to bcrypt for encryption. bcrypt is very slow (in computer terms). In fact, we actually slow our implementation down further. In other words, it still only takes a fraction of a second, far too little for a human to notice, but enough that a computerized attempt to gain access would be hindered by how long the response would take. The automation of such an action is severely handicapped by this slow encryption. Converting a list of the passwords from our database into something usable elsewhere would still be a mammoth task.

On the flip side of this, what if someone just keeps hitting your site trying to login? To combat this, on Phish.net, we implemented "rate limiting" some time ago. Too many failed attempts and the login process won't continue.

How can you take advantage of this? Simply login to Phish.net. The next time you login successfully, your password will be automatically converted to the new encryption.

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Wednesday 02/22/2012 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET API UPDATE, FEBRUARY 2012

The Phish.net API is a system for using Phish.net data across the internet on other websites or in mobile apps. There are several dozen websites that use the Phish.net API, sites like Phishvids, where the data is all served up by the Phish.net setlists database. Today, I'm excited to announce some changes to the Phish.net API. Read on for the details.

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Thursday 01/05/2012 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET TECHNOLOGY REPORT

sethadam1From time to time, people ask me to post something about the technology behind Phish.net. I'd started writing this piece several times, but ultimately, never completed it. Given the problems that Phish.net experienced in the last few days, it seemed the right time to share not only a little bit about how we can host a site that sustains an onslaught of traffic during shows, but also powers our Phish.net API and, in turn, sites around the internet.

As Phish.net has grown in breadth and size, the codebase has ballooned into a major project. There are thousands of users - often tens of thousands of concurrent users - during shows. Maintaining a site of this size can be unwieldy. There are currently over a quarter of a million lines of PHP and CSS, over 700,000 lines of code altogether that make up Phish.net and its services (including the API, the administrative backend, the mobile site, etc). Read on for the painfully technical details.

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Tuesday 01/03/2012 by sethadam1

INTRODUCING PHISH.NET ACHIEVEMENTS

To celebrate the start of 2012, today, we are introducing a new feature: Phish.net Achievements. In the same vein as the hundreds of iOS and Android apps, you can now collect achievement badges from Phish.net. With increased participation and utilization of features on the site, you can earn additional achievements.

Phish.net is one of the largest online Phish communities in the world. By participating, you know you're helping to build a strong community of the most passionate Phish fans out there.

Over time, we expect to significantly expand these features, adding new achievements, individual badges, and hopefully, some rewards for those reaching certain milestones.

You can view your own achievements - or others' - on the user profile page.

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Thursday 08/11/2011 by sethadam1

TAHOE 2 RECAP

Night two of the Lake Tahoe webcast had a whole slice of the internet abuzz. Coming off of an exciting night 1 that showed some potential in Bowie, 46 Days, Slave, and arguably, Walls of the Cave, there was a near-palpable excitement about night 2. The show started a touch later - almost 7 PST, 10 EST.

Phish took the stage and dropped their first "Dogs Stole Things" of "3.0," the first since 2003, a 167 show gap. While "Dogs Stole Things" has always been a song I've enjoyed, it's recreated relatively similarly each time, so it was more a "Wow!" factor for stats than music. Dogs led to an uncharacteristically short "Stealing Time", which handed off to "Poor Heart." Hard not to notice the three song "Steal" theme - "Stole," "Stealing," and "You won't steal my poor heart."

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Monday 03/07/2011 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET INTERVIEWS MIKE GORDON

Mike Gordon is an artist. Anyone who has studied his body of work knows that his creativity knows no bounds, mostly to the joy of others, though often also to their cheerful confusion and bemusement. His approach to art in general and music specifically is seen through a singularly distinctive lens that begs additional exploration. So when we had the chance to chat last week, I wanted to talk about his approach to his art.

Gordon is a pleasant kind of guy, and within seconds he had done his part to cast away the awkwardness of a typical interview. I asked if we could talk about the song writing process and he dove right in. Was there a typical process involved in him bringing a finished song to his band or if he brought just skeletons to them, allowing the group to apply the final touches? "I would like to do more of the latter," Gordon said. While Moss was largely written before the band was assembled, he aspires to welcome his band more into the writing process.

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Monday 02/28/2011 by sethadam1

MIKE'S INSPIRATIONAL KONTEST EXPLAINED

We're very excited to announce the next in a long line of Phish.net giveaways!  We're giving away 2 tickets to any show on the upcoming Mike Gordon tour!!  The rules are simple: just write an acrostic poem using any song title from Mike's newest album "Moss."  Choose a song and write a poem using the first letter from each word in the song title.  It can be humorous, dramatic, adventurous, melancholy... even a short morality play.   Whatever your chosen genre, your peers will get to vote on your comments.  We'll close the thread on the evening of March 4, then we'll take the 3 highest rated poems at that time and a small circle of old, beaded, crusty phish.net admins will convene in a dark room and subjectively select a winner.  The grand prize winner will get two tickets to any show on the upcoming tour, the two runners up will each get a signed copy of Moss on vinyl.  

We took a little liberty with the title of this blog post, as you no doubt noticed, but we hope you'll take the challenge seriously.  Contests anytime need to satisfy typical appeal: never devalued, sometimes thoughtlessly invented, lovingly lauded.

Please note that in order to qualify, you must have a Phish.net account, you must post between now and March 4, 2011 at midnight, and you must have a valid email address attached to your phish.net account.  

You may enter as many times as you like.  Also, don't forget to check out our Phan Food contest going on in the Phish.net Forum.  Good luck!

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Friday 02/04/2011 by sethadam1

INTRODUCING J-CARD VIEW

Last week, we unveiled J-Card Mode on Phish.net.  The response was overwhelmingly positive, especially given that it was a "throwaway" feature - meant more for entertainment than utility.  It didn't add anything new to the experience, it was solely intended for fun.  We didn't expect to receive the amount of feedback we did, and we certainly didn't anticipate the number of requests for a true "J-Card" view of setlists.  

In retrospect, it only made sense for us to follow through on the concept.  We should have anticipated the demand for the throwback tape inserts.  Alas, a few days later, we're delivering it.  Today I'm releasing "J-Card Setlists."  Yes, the name is similar to J-Card Mode and perhaps even a bit confusing.  The challenge here is that some will want shorter song titles but not the altered setlist view, so we're making them optional.  Starting right now, you'll see a new option on the setlist page called "Show J-Card Setlists."   When you click this link, individual setlists will now display as follows: 

J-Card View
J-Card View

This feature is new and still in unofficial testing.  It does some weird things when you're viewing incomplete sets and only approximates an actual j-card so much.  But we hope you find it as entertaining as we do, if only for the novelty.  

Note: This feature currently is disabled in Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and below.  The styling requires features that do not work.  

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Monday 01/31/2011 by sethadam1

INTRODUCING SONG NICKNAMES

Not very long ago, Phish shows were traded almost exclusively by tape.  While tapers circulated shows in DAT, those of us who weren't  all digital traded in low-generation tapes.  Who amongst us doesn't remember the Maxell XL IIs?  

Tapes typically circulated with a hand-written liner known commonly as a "J-card", since when removed from the case, it was shaped like a J.  These J-cards left only about an inch and a half to write out the contents of each side of a tape.  More often that not, people would strain to write all the titles in the pre-printed lines, leaving what would today look like a 9 point font. Those who hadn't the time for such penmanship would often ignore the line on the J-card altogether and just slather the titles across the paper.  Either way, you would have to be creative in your text-spacing to get longer song titles to fit.  

So it's not unexpected that those who traded tapes began using abbreviations for songs, and it's even less strange that many of those abberviations still exist today.  Perhaps we're not trading tapes anymore, but it's still pretty common to see people jotting down setlists while at the show, even if smart phones pointed to sites like m.phish.net are becoming more common.  Abbreviations are used throughout the Phish world, and even in our own reviews and forum you'll find people refer to songs using a lingo known only to those who immerse themselves in our world.  Could MMGAMOIO mean anything to anyone but a Phish head? 

The Phish.net Setlist archive aims to be the gold standard for Phish setlists, but like any true reference material, it's formal and complete.   Some might argue, then, that it's dry, given the way we actually speak conversationally about the material.  That's why we developed "shorthand setlists J-Card Mode song nicknames"   You can think of shorthand setlists as a "J-card mode" for Phish.net.  Once enabled, it will display song titles in their abbreviated form: YEM for You Enjoy Myself, BEK for Black-Eyed Katy, and many more.  We've enjoyed playing with this feature and think those familiar with Phish, especially those whose past is littered with J-cards, will appreciate the nostalgic fun too.   

You can toggle "shorthand setlists J-Card Mode song nicknames" at the top of the setlists page.   

Update: This feature has been officially renamed "J-Card Mode" at the request of our users.    

Update 2: With the release of "J-Card View", we decided to simplify the system and tag this "song nicknames,"  which is more appropriate given what J-Card View actually does.  We apologize for the contiuned waffling. 

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Thursday 01/27/2011 by sethadam1

PHISH.NET BLOG NOW NATIVE!

Today, we're very excited to announce another great enhancement on the Phish.net site.  Recently, as some of you net-savvy folks may be aware, we've had several outages with our blog.  Our blog is was hosted over at Tumblr, a startup microblogging service.  We've enjoyed partnering with Tumblr, they have an awesome and simple interface and a lot of great ideas, but a combination of factors including flaky reliability and lack of integration ultimately led to the decision to bring our blog in house.  So, today, we're unveiling our new blog.  

You will now be able to comment on our blog entries using your Phish.net account.  Your profile will track your blog comments just like your other comments on the site.  And, perhaps most importantly, the experience will be consistent throughout phish.net.

For a limited time, the blog archive will be available at phishnet.tumblr.com.  Our goal is to import those entries into our blog here and eventually, phase out the old archive.  

Don't worry, none of your favorite features are going away! We'll still post images, videos, and our weekly Mystery Jam, as well as feature articles by the Phish.net staff.   

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Thursday 01/13/2011 by sethadam1

THE PHISH.NET MEME GAME

A "meme" is defined as "a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation)".  On the internet, a meme is often a recurring theme, typically originating from a specific joke in a specific genre (such as a video game, see "All your base are belong to us") or pop culture (see Kanye West's "Imma let you finish").  

The Phish.net site is constantly adding new features.  This week, we're excited to unveil a new game in our "Just for Fun" section: The Meme Game.  

The Meme Game features 50 images based on the Joseph Ducreux meme. Ducreaux was a French painter who painted the amusing self-portrait located below in 1793. Recently, it has become the backdrop for modern phrases or lyrics translated, sarcastically, into more formal English.

Meme Game
Meme Game

Above is an example game.  The lyrics "It is my supposition that I have not yet accurately relayed the tale of the apparation" is, of course, a parody of the Phish song "Ghost," whose lyrics are "I feel I've never told you the story of the ghost."

Can you guess the other 49 songs?  You can play The Meme Game now, answers will be posted within the next few days.

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Thursday 01/13/2011 by sethadam1

THE PHISH.NET MEME GAME

A “meme” is defined as “a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation)”. On the internet, a meme is often a recurring theme, typically originating from a specific joke in a specific genre (such as a video game, see “All your base are belong to us”) or pop culture (see Kanye West’s “Imma let you finish”).

The Phish.net site is constantly adding new features. This week, we’re excited to unveil a new game in our “Just for Fun” section: The Meme Game.

The Meme Game features 50 images based on the Joseph Ducreux meme. Ducreaux was a French painter who painted the amusing self-portrait located below in 1793. Recently, it has become the backdrop for modern phrases or lyrics translated, sarcastically, into more formal English.

Above is an example game. The lyrics “It is my supposition that I have not yet accurately relayed the tale of the apparation” is, of course, a parody of the Phish song “Ghost,” whose lyrics are “I feel I’ve never told you the story of the ghost.

Can you guess the other 49 songs? You can play The Meme Game now, answers will be posted within the next few days.

Read more...

Friday 01/07/2011 by sethadam1

FORBIN IN LIBERTY MUTUAL AD

Looks like someone at Liberty Mutual is a Phish fan!

Update: This was just sent to me by Twitter user rowj : Keep Your Eye Out...

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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:

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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.

Read more...

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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Sunday 10/31/2010 by sethadam1

PHAMILY CLASSIC POKER TOURNAMENT

Phamily Classic, benefitting the Mockingbird Foundation

Wednesday 10/27/2010 by sethadam1

NEW MOBILE SITE!

Last night, we rolled out a brand new, baked-from-scratch Phish.net mobile site. You can access the Phish.net mobile at m.phish.net.

Why did we upgrade our mobile site?

  1. It's built for any modern mobile device, not just iPhones.
  2. It supports deep linking and permalinking.
  3. We hope to implement better integration with LivePhish.
  4. It supports deployment of additional content and is compatible with our new API.
  5. The mobile forum has been updated to use our API, so it will replace our mobile forum site effectively pretty much immediately.
  6. The code is simpler and more lightweight.

Mini Technology Update

I want to take a moment to address something as well. As many of our regular visitors know, we've had some problems over the last week with server stability. Rest assured, we are working very hard on fixing those issues. The reality is, our traffic has grown significantly with this tour, so much so that it caught us by surprise. We're working with our host to allocate the appropriate resources and better optimize our equipment to scale for peak demand. We take our job as the core Phish data warehouse seriously, and we want you to know that your data is safe and we hope to continue to grow and cement ourselves as the most officialunofficial place for Phish information.

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Thursday 10/14/2010 by sethadam1

MAKING THE CASE: SUMMER OF '89

"Smegma, dogmatigram, fish market stew."
"Walking across the lawn, stepped upon a log."
"Tipsy, fuddled, boozy, groggy, elevated prime did edit her."

These are the lyrics of Phish. These are the fun, linguistic acrobatics that entertain us. But, from time to time, things get serious we have to acknowledge that we are human, and we have lives, and we have families. Those, too, shape us and our experiences. I think it's common for fans to forget that their favorite entertainers have lives off the stage, and from time to time, those fans can be both rabid and unforgiving.

When I began to read online comments deriding Trey's new ballad, Summer of '89, I was a bothered. When I heard the song debut in Hartford, I thought of it as a light little set-interlude, punctuated by the "and we danced all night" refrain. I wasn’t especially excited about it, but I certainly wasn’t offended by it. On repeat listening, though, I’m feeling differently.

I hope we're mature enough as a community to recognize Summer of '89 for what it is: a nice, gentle love song from Trey to his wife. Phish is on the road a lot - less these days, with Shakespeare camp and school vacation commitments - but it seems only fair that once in a while, they can use the stage to remind their family how much they mean to them, especially give the fact that most songwriters write lyrics that touch on their personal lives, while our rock stars tend to sing about imaginary friends, getting raped in the forest on an owl hunt, syrup thieves, aggressive reflections, and, oh yeah... good ol, classic masturbation.

The other day, I was driving along and Summer of '89 came on, and I listened to the lyrics seriously for the first time. What is it other than an intimate glance into Trey's love life? Weaving a grass ring, a particular, frequently-worn dress, a shared phase of Brazillian music. And then? "On the road when our first was born in the summer of '95." I actually felt a tear well up in my crusty old ducts, one that betrayingly fought its way up, but ultimately, I was just able to hold back. But it connected with me, because the idea of being away from my kids for more than a few days makes me sad, let alone a tour, or missing something as monumental as their birth.

I consider this light little tune, and I realize that behind the simple rhymes are not just memories that make one smile, but a little bit of regret. Regret about how it was simpler then. Regret about missing time with children. Regret in the moment: we used to dance all night, but now... well, now we don't.

Singing about kids often chokes me up, and this is coming from someone who almost never cries. I’m not ashamed to admit that there was a day a few years ago when, upon hearing the “smiles awake you when you rise” verse of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers, I suddenly and uncontrollably wept like a baby thinking of my daughter. As a parent, I don’t see any problem with reflecting on the life you’ve built with your family and being wise enough to see your successes and man enough to admit your regrets and mistakes. To me, this was Trey reflecting on his life with his family. A little bit of happy memory, a little bit of bittersweet. But honest. Like Joy, it's hard not to see something raw underneath the veneer of playfulness that usually coats Phish and Phish-derivative offerings.  

Say what you will about Summer of ‘89 - it’s weak compositionally, it’s mushy and out of place at a Phish concert, its chordiness makes it musically unchallenging, it’s not manly enough, it’s unnecessarily sappy, it’s a too-intimate glance into private emotions... to me, those are all excuses. You don’t have to love the song, but to suggest that it’s bad because it’s different just seems disingenuous and uncharacteristic of Phish phans.

But then... what do I know? I likeTime Turns Elastic.

Read more...

Thursday 10/14/2010 by sethadam1

MAKING THE CASE: SUMMER OF '89

"Smegma, dogmatigram, fish market stew."
"Walking across the lawn, stepped upon a log."
"Tipsy, fuddled, boozy, groggy, elevated prime did edit her."

These are the lyrics of Phish. These are the fun, linguistic acrobatics that entertain us. But, from time to time, things get serious we have to acknowledge that we are human, and we have lives, and we have families. Those, too, shape us and our experiences. I think it's common for fans to forget that their favorite entertainers have lives off the stage, and from time to time, those fans can be both rabid and unforgiving.

When I began to read online comments deriding Trey's new ballad, Summer of '89, I was a bothered. When I heard the song debut in Hartford, I thought of it as a light little set-interlude, punctuated by the "and we danced all night" refrain. I wasn’t especially excited about it, but I certainly wasn’t offended by it. On repeat listening, though, I’m feeling differently.

I hope we're mature enough as a community to recognize Summer of '89 for what it is: a nice, gentle love song from Trey to his wife. Phish is on the road a lot - less these days, with Shakespeare camp and school vacation commitments - but it seems only fair that once in a while, they can use the stage to remind their family how much they mean to them, especially give the fact that most songwriters write lyrics that touch on their personal lives, while our rock stars tend to sing aboutimaginary friends, getting raped in the forest on an owl hunt, syrup thieves,aggressive reflections, and, oh yeah... good ol, classic masturbation.

The other day, I was driving along and Summer of '89 came on, and I listened to the lyrics seriously for the first time. What is it other than an intimate glance into Trey's love life? Weaving a grass ring, a particular, frequently-worn dress, a shared phase of Brazillian music. And then? "On the road when our first was born in the summer of '95." I actually felt a tear well up in my crusty old ducts, one that betrayingly fought its way up, but ultimately, I was just able to hold back. But it connected with me, because the idea of being away from my kids for more than a few days makes me sad, let alone a tour, or missing something as monumental as their birth.

I consider this light little tune, and I realize that behind the simple rhymes are not just memories that make one smile, but a little bit of regret. Regret about how it was simpler then. Regret about missing time with children. Regret in the moment: we used to dance all night, but now... well, now we don't.

Singing about kids often chokes me up, and this is coming from someone who almost never cries. I’m not ashamed to admit that there was a day a few years ago when, upon hearing the “smiles awake you when you rise” verse of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers, I suddenly and uncontrollably wept like a baby thinking of my daughter. As a parent, I don’t see any problem with reflecting on the life you’ve built with your family and being wise enough to see your successes and man enough to admit your regrets and mistakes. To me, this was Trey reflecting on his life with his family. A little bit of happy memory, a little bit of bittersweet. But honest. Like Joy, it's hard not to see something raw underneath the veneer of playfulness that usually coats Phish and Phish-derivative offerings.

Say what you will about Summer of ‘89 - it’s weak compositionally, it’s mushy and out of place at a Phish concert, its chordiness makes it musically unchallenging, it’s not manly enough, it’s unnecessarily sappy, it’s a too-intimate glance into private emotions... to me, those are all excuses. You don’t have to love the song, but to suggest that it’s bad because it’s different just seems disingenuous and uncharacteristic of Phish phans.

But then... what do I know? I likeTime Turns Elastic.

Read more...

Tuesday 09/21/2010 by sethadam1

14 LESSER KNOWN FEATURES OF PHISH.NET

  1. Our website is almost entirely written in cutting-edge HTML5.  When using it in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you'll get the most complete visual experience. 
  2. current.phish.net always displays the most current setlist, regardless of date or time, even while a show is in progress, in the simplest, fastest interface possible.
  3. We are always adding fun activities on our Just for Fun page. Have you tried our random setlist generator? Have you solved the "101 Phish Songs" poster? Have you created your own dream setlist
  4. We have a powerful API that allows you to embed Phish.net data into your website.  Check out our setlists demo, our forum demo, and our other other demos if you get a chance.  We'll be releasing a new, improved API in the next few days. 
  5. The domain phi.sh, our Twitter-friendly URL shortner, is a great short-cut for setlists.  By typing phi.sh/YYMMDD, you can jump to any setlist. 
  6. You can exchange private messages with other users of Phish.net.
  7. At the bottom of many pages through the site, you can run stats, most of which feature integration with ZZYZX's Phish Stats.  You can view stats by song, by tour, by venue, by day of the month, by month, or even shows that feature a debut
  8. You can embed all sorts of data - including live setlists - into comments throughout the site.
  9. We have RSS throughout the site: our news feed, our blog, our setlists, and even each thread has its own feed!
  10. You can import your seedfile from any website, or directly from PhantasyTour, to track your shows on phish.net, which can be accessed via our API for use in Phish-related applications.
  11. forum.phish.net, our discussion board, is always active, has a slew of regulars who keep the place interesting.
  12. You can still subscribe to our decades-old Phish-News mailing list to be kept in the loop via email.
  13. We have a "chat room" style discussion board, for mid-show chit-chat. 
  14. Phish.net is an all-volunteer project of The Mockingbird Foundation, and it takes a team of people to manage.  We are constantly updating setlists, FAQ items, and song histories.  The Phish.net team is made up of a site team, a setlist team, and an advisory working group

Read more...

Tuesday 09/21/2010 by sethadam1

14 LESSER KNOWN FEATURES OF PHISH.NET

  1. Our website is almost entirely written in cutting-edge HTML5. When using it in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you’ll get the most complete visual experience.
  2. current.phish.net always displays the most current setlist, regardless of date or time, even while a show is in progress, in the simplest, fastest interface possible.
  3. We are always adding fun activities on our Just for Fun page. Have you tried our random setlist generator? Have you solved the “101 Phish Songs” poster? Have you created your own dream setlist?
  4. We have a powerful API that allows you to embed Phish.net data into your website. Check out our setlists demo, our forum demo, and our other other demos if you get a chance. We’ll be releasing a new, improved API in the next few days.
  5. The domain phi.sh, our Twitter-friendly URL shortner, is a great short-cut for setlists. By typing phi.sh/YYMMDD, you can jump to any setlist.
  6. You can exchange private messages with other users of Phish.net.
  7. At the bottom of many pages through the site, you can run stats, most of which feature integration with ZZYZX’s Phish Stats. You can view statsby song, by tour, by venue, by day of the month, by month, or even shows that feature a debut.
  8. You can embed all sorts of data - including live setlists - into comments throughout the site.
  9. We have RSS throughout the site: our news feed, our blog, our setlists, and even each thread has its own feed!
  10. You can import your seedfile from any website, or directly fromPhantasyTour, to track your shows on phish.net, which can be accessed via our API for use in Phish-related applications.
  11. forum.phish.net, our discussion board, is always active, has a slew of regulars who keep the place interesting.
  12. You can still subscribe to our decades-old Phish-News mailing list to be kept in the loop via email.
  13. We have a “chat room” style discussion board, for mid-show chit-chat.
  14. Phish.net is an all-volunteer project of The Mockingbird Foundation, and it takes a team of people to manage. We are constantly updating setlists, FAQ items, and song histories. The Phish.net team is made up of a site team, a setlist team, and an advisory working group.

Read more...

Tuesday 09/14/2010 by sethadam1

PHOTO

Photo by Jay Blakesberg © 2010. Used with permission.
Saturday 09/11/2010 by sethadam1

PHOTO

Photo by Jay Blakesberg © 2010. Used with permission.
Wednesday 09/01/2010 by sethadam1

SPLIT OPEN AND MELT?!

My wife Jennifer, who, by comparison, is not a very big Phish fan, gave me the green light to go to Atlantic City for Halloween this year. She asked me recently, "What do you want to hear them play?" Now, I've been chasing Camel Walk for some time, but before I even could process it, I reflexively responded "I could really go for a nice, meaty Split Open and Melt." What?! Split Open and Melt!? Where did that come from?

Sidebar: I'm an admitted setlist snob. I pay special attention to song selection, because I always find the psychology behind it to be fascinating. I love to imagine how the band arrived at a given setlist. I often picture Mike bringing some oddball song to the band who plays it spur-of-the-moment, or Trey just launching into a song on stage because the segue was leading there unrehearsed (e.g. DwD -> Sand from Hartford 2010, which was clearly organic). I wonder if Fishman requested the recent Lengthwise performance, or whether Trey prompted him to do it. Does Page speak up and insist on doing Drowned and Loving Cup so often? Yes, it's true, the setlist can make a show interesting!, but something happened recently, and I realized that interesting like that isn't always what I'm craving.

I started thinking that if I could pick the songs I most enjoy from my collection, they should be the songs I'd most want to hear in concert, logically. So I ran down the songs I like most: Ghost from Copenhagen, 7/2/98. Reba from 5/16/95. Birds of a Feather, 7/8/99. Llama 11/19/92, with Gordon Stone. Halley's Comet, Tweezer -> Black Eyed Katy, Piper from 11/22/97. Split Open and Melt->Catapult, 12/31/99. Down with Disease > Dog Faced Boy > Piper, 7/1/98. Tweezer, 6/30/2000. Mike's Song and Drowned from 12/31/95. Ghost -> AC/DC Bag, Slave to the Traffic Light, Loving Cup from 11/21/97. More recently, Tweezer -> Slave from 7/3/10.

Notice anything? No real rarities, just jams.

So despite all my carrying on about rarities, bustouts, and crazy setlist choices, the most enjoyable music - for me, at least - typically comes from standards. That leads me to assume that the stage is best set for great jams when the band is less concerned with the song choice and more connected with the song musically, perhaps just from familiarity. There's little doubt that Fuck Your Face was a wild spectacle witnessed live, but I didn't hear anyone suggesting it was legendary musicianship. Conversely, some versions of Slave to the Traffic Light and Harry Hood have brought me close to tears of joy. I'm chasing bustouts, but it's not really bustouts that make a show great.

I'm coming to realize that bustouts are the nitrous oxide of Phish show, they're a cheap and easy high. In the absence of great jamming, bustouts can make a show enjoyable. And since truly legendary jams are exceedingly rare, bustouts can make something special when the improv is, dare I say, "average-great." Most people won't agree that my above list of my favorite jams are the "best" jams, but certainly, no one will argue that a bustout is a bustout when a song returns from dormancy. So it's a common ground, easy for fans and the band to agree makes an event unique and therefore, special. Harpua will always be the sign of a show we'll remember, but that doesn't mean we'll all be listening to it on repeat.

The best spot is probably somewhere in the middle: a continually evolving setlist keeps variety and freshness to an instant-gratification kind of world, keeps the nights interesting and from blending into one another, and keeps the mystery and fun of that "what will they play next?" moment. But attempts at quality jams - not just lengthy ones, but quality ones - are what keep many of us coming back for more.

Oh, I'm still chasing Camel Walk, you can count on that. And when Lushington shows up again, one day, I know I'll still go bananas and run - not walk - to LivePhish for the recording. But I guess, on any given day, what would really make me happy is a big, fat, juicy, Split Open and Melt.

Read more...

Monday 08/23/2010 by sethadam1

TELLURIDE, AUGUST 9, 2010

Photo by Bryan Welker copyright 2010 Phish
Thursday 08/19/2010 by sethadam1

PHOTO

Photo by Bryan Welker © 2010 Phish
Thursday 08/05/2010 by sethadam1

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE KINGDOM OF CASPIAN

To: The Mockingbird Foundation
Attn: Charles A. Dirksen

Dear Mr Dirksen et al:

We don’t know one another, however, it has come to my attention that you have bestowed upon me an unfortunate nickname. I’m not entirely certain what’s been done to incite such anger, however, if you’ll allow me to pontificate for a moment, I think you’ll find it most unjustified.

Read more...

Thursday 07/01/2010 by sethadam1

INTERESTING!

I admit it: I’m a setlist snob.

I started formulating this realization on the field in Indio, when ZZYZX turned to me and said, without the condescension implied, “I remember when I was chasing bust-outs.” And my response was succinctly “If we’re going to hear a 10 minute jam, I suppose I’d rather have the jam be off of a song I haven’t heard before rather than one I’ve seen a dozen times.”

But as true as that is, it’s not the real story. The real story is that I am chasing bust-outs. Not just bust-outs, but “interesting-ness”. And “interesting-ness” changes with the seasons. I’m actually chasing anything at a show that makes me think “Interesting!

Read more...

Sunday 01/24/2010 by sethadam1

OFFLINE FOR MAINTENANCE FRIDAY

Phish.net will be offline for a planned maintenance window on Friday, November 26. We are moving to a new, more powerful web host who has the resources, knowledge, and capacity to handle our increasing needs. We expect the site to be offline for approximately 2-3 hours as we migrate our data.

During this time period, all links to the site will redirect to a placeholder message and the Phish.net API will return a general error message.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and if you're in the USA - Happy Thanksgiving!

Read more...

Wednesday 01/06/2010 by sethadam1

ANATOMY OF A SETLIST: NOTHING IS PERMANENTLY RETIRED

At about one minute fifty-five seconds and without any jam, a fairly faithful replication of an album version of a song shouldn't be a setlist standout. But, by many accounts, the 12/31/09 offering of "Demand" is a notable and curious point in a long setlist. It's notable not because it was flawlessly performed (although it was inarguably done justice), not because it contained inspired playing (but fun, sure), but rather, because it hasn't been performed since November 1996, over 13 years ago. Having been shelved for so long - and very likely to be stashed away again for some time - makes the performance special. But why? Why does it matter, why do we enjoy ourselves so much if Phish plays one of their rarer songs rather a well-jammed version of than one of their more common songs?

At heart, I'm a stats geek. Maybe not like Zzyzx, but certainly I'm interested in the stats. I'm incredibly interested in Phish setlist construction, and hope that one day I find myself in a situation where I can interview Trey about it. "Why," I would ask, "does a song like, say, Camel Walk, only appear every 50-some-odd shows? Is that intentional? Why premiere Glide II only to drop it seemingly forever? Are there ever permanently retired songs, like, perhaps, No Dogs Allowed, Dear Mrs Reagan, and Jennifer Dances? Can we ever expect to see Eliza again?" I would assume that, like most musicians, Phish collectively enjoys playing some songs more than others, but is that reflected in the setlist? If they don't like a song, why would they play it at all... or write or perform it at all? Maybe it's purposeful that they "create" rarities? I wonder, do they maybe love playing Harpua, but intentionally not overuse it so that its appearance heralds a special show? Why not just unleash a hose of rarities during a tour knowing it would make fans very happy[1]? Unless these some songs are purposely rarities? Will Alumni Blues ever rejoin the setlist as anything other than a super-rarity?

What about common songs? Is Trey aware that AC/DC Bag has opened no fewer than SIX shows since November 1? Did Phish decide to showcase Kill Devil Falls more times than any other song off of Joy because they feel it's the best song, or was that just coincidence? Are they purposely playing songs like Llama less frequently, or are they simply not remembering it during on-stage setlist construction? Will Time Turns Elastic get its due, in time, when it is a rarity?

In the end, the whole debate is, at the same time, pointless and essential; it is, one on hand, irrelvent, and on the other, the heart of what makes Phish so interesting. If they played rarities all the time, they wouldn't be rarities and a large part of the fun of Phish shows might be lost. But we all go to see them play, and even songs of which I've personally grown a bit tired, such as Stash, still manage to steal the set from time to time, most notably night one of Festival 8. It's not so much what they play as much as how they play it. I've learned that even Character Zero, once you get past the lyrics, can be just as interesting a jam vehicle as Mike's, YEM, Jim, or Bowie. And yet, I'm still kind of hoping for a bust-out. Despite that, certain songs - for me, Moma, for example - are a bit of a letdown, because I'd rather hear something else I like better. I suppose if I have to hear a jam, I'd rather that jam stem from a song I've yet to hear live than a song I've heard 10+ times before.

When I look at the NYE setlist, I think the highlights, musically, were Ghost, Rock and Roll, and Piper, three fairly common songs. I also think Demand was awesome (mostly given the infrequency of its appearance?), and Swept Away into the most uncommonly jammed Steep I've ever heard is a high point, largely because it was an especially unique performance. So it's a mix of both quality jams, song frequency, and performance uniqueness that made this fun. A prior night of the run included Gotta Jibboo > Wilson -> Gotta Jibboo, again, two fairly common songs that provided a notable highlight as well. It's not just about rarities, that much is certain.

But why should we care about stats, right? What good are stats anyway? All they do, one might argue, is allow you to measure your own satisfaction comparatively, an expressly non-Phishy attitude. What good is seeing Buffalo Bill or Brother if you don't like those songs as much as, say, Divided Sky or Possum except that one can say they've seen a rare song?

I think the conclusion is that it's a mix of all of that: great jams, cool people, uniqueness of an individual performance, and the fact that the setlist remains an unknown all provide a different dimension of interest, and it's all of that that can make a Phish concert so fun. It's not about comparison to others' shows, but rather, a comparison to my own show history: a re-affirmation of the fact that I can keep seeing the same band without ever tiring of the process. As much as I love the great jam, there's still a moment in between songs when I'm jumping out of my seat with excitement that the next song could be something crazy.

[1] I realize that there were scores of rarities this tour, but I'm talking a total blow-out, something like "Set 1: Brother, Alumni Blues, Dog Log, Glide, Anarchy, In a Hole, She Caught the Katy, Sparkle[2], Have Mercy, Harpua > Buffalo Bill".

[2] ...Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Read more...

Thursday 12/17/2009 by sethadam1

SPOTTED ON NICK JR.

Spotted on Nick Jr today.  Someone has a Phish head working in the animation department...

Saturday 12/05/2009 by sethadam1

FIRST ENTRY

By way of compiling content remnants from the previous version of this site and related projects, we've backdated a number of stories here as blog posts.

But the blog launched with this photo, posted 12/5/09 at noon by Adam.

Saturday 12/05/2009 by sethadam1

RUN, NAKED GUY!

You gotta run like a naked guy, out of control!

Trey Anastasio, December 5, 2009
Wednesday 01/28/2009 by sethadam1

SPLIT OPEN AND MELT 4/16/92

"Split Open and Melt", 4/16/92



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