Spice company Adams Extract is thought to have spread the red velvet cake throughout the US during the Great Depression by including it on recipe cards as a means to sell red food coloring; the cake was appropriated by the Waldorf-Astoria as the Waldorf-Astoria Cake; additionally, the cake may have seen a resurgence in the late 80s after being featured as an armadillo in the movie Steel Magnolias. (Thanks, Wiki.)
No matter its history as a food, fans began the guessing process following the announcement of Red Velvet as the flavor of the third evening of the Baker’s Dozen. Guesses of Velvet Underground bust-outs to a cover of Velvet Revolver to the obligatory "Wading In the Velvet Sea" glazed over screens throughout the day. But I tried to keep an expectation-free head as I made my way into the Garden (alas, too late for doughnuts but not too late to settle-in a few people back, Mike-side). Having followed the first two evenings — or, shall we say, Coconut and Strawberry — via Twitter, stream, and shitty chat rooms, I was quite ready to get my sweet on in person.
Welcome to the 284th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the penultimate of July. The winner will receive an MP3 download code courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of each of the three mystery clips. The three clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer – though it should help you get there. Each person gets one guess to start – if no one guesses correctly, I will post a hint on Tuesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET, after which each person gets one more guess before the correct answer is revealed on Wednesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Answer: Congrats to @mickeyjoe86 for quickly figuring out this week's MJM with a little help from his friends, and taking home his fourth win in the process – he's now more than halfway to MJM Emeritus! This week there was one red herring theme (My Sweet One could refer to donuts, and this jam is easily found by Googling "phish snoring jam"), one handwavy theme (all jams in the last week of November), and one true theme (all my jams go // backwards down the number line). The clips were 11/30/94 "My Sweet One," 11/26/97 "Character Zero," and 11/28/09 "Seven Below." Stay tuned on Monday for the hardest of July: MJM285.
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. Following #1 and #2, here's #3...
A little over 23 years ago (May 7, 1994 to be exact), Phish played a concert at the Bomb Factory in Dallas, TX. This show has become famous for its second set, an extended jam weaving in and out of "Tweezer" and songs such as "Sparks", "Makisupa Policeman", "Walk Away", "Cannonball", and "Purple Rain". This hour-long segment, which later became known as the Tweezerfest, stands largely unique in Phish’s history.
Phish have played many extended jams since this date, but taking the entirety of a set (sans an introductory "Loving Cup" > "Sparkle") to devote to the jam, to use it to tie together every song played at the end, even taking the normally short goofy "Hold Your Head Up" as a launchpad to explore a little more... this is something that marks this night as a special occasion.
For those of us lucky enough to be in attendance, the 2/3-filled Bomb Factory in the Deep Elum region of Dallas is the location of a euphoric event, a defining night in the lives of many of us. In honor of that electric evening, the Mockingbird Foundation is giving a $1,500 grant to support music education at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Dallas, TX. Located 9 miles north of the Factory, one can only hope that their band has been inspired by the energy present that night. As Jon sang, “Yeah, it’s time we all reach out to the new. And that means you too [the Benjamin Franklin Middle School of] Dallas, TX!”
Checking in from sunny, hot Los Angeles, at the corner of Peak and Fomo. Let’s see what Phish has up their sleeves tonight, besides the strawberry donut surprise. [But first: three cheers to this concept that the band cooked up with their pals at the estimable Federal Donuts. It’s been the catalyst for a lot of top notch Phish nerdery, conjecture, and fun. Well done!]
The a capella “Strawberry Fields Forever” that kicks off this unusual show is a lovely opening flourish, with each band member taking a verse, and gamely punching through the Saturday crowd’s semi-drunken appreciation. There’s a dramatic beat before the final “... forever” that baits the crowd much like the pause in “Divided Sky,” and then the strawberry theme carries forward into “Halley’s Comet” as the band takes their places.
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. We did #1; here's #2...
While every New Year's Eve show is special, 12/31/93 at the Worcester Centrum was one for the ages. The stage was decorated like a giant aquarium and the midnight gag saw the band in scuba gear being lowered from the rafters and climbing into a giant clam. The night also featured the first ever "Down With Disease" jam (with footage later used for their one and only made-for-MTV music video) and what many consider to be the best "Harry Hood" ever played. We're celebrating that night with a $1,500 grant to the nearby South High Community School, where instruction in the band program emphasizes not only musical execucation but also literacy ("in order to be informed, well-rounded listeners of many genres") and passion.
Tonight's recap is coming to you from couch tour; if that makes you angry I suggest you look for other, more important things to be angry about. Follow me on Twitter if you want to yell at me: @mielcarz
I started this summer in a weird place with Phish – even though the Baker’s Dozen residency was a new and novel concept for the band, for some reason I had low expectations that they would do anything truly groundbreaking. Of course, Phish exists to defy expectations. The first five shows of tour featured no repeats, and four of the five had jams of longer than 20 minutes, one of them a long wished-for bustout of an epic “Mr. Completely.” Only the most jaded fan could listen to the tour so far and not be salivating about what was to come in the next 13 shows. Building on the Baker’s Dozen theme and highlighting the uniqueness of the run, the band announced that there would be a different donut for each show served to early arrivers. Prior to lights, speculation was running rampant in the Phish universe - would there be no repeats all tour? None in the 13 MSG shows? One repeat? One song they play every night? Special guests? Trolling Billy Joel? Like they say in the song (that will only be played once during the run, Icculus willing), the only rule is it begins!
In celebration of Phish's 13-show run at Madison Square Garden (which begins tonight), 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.
I've reviewed the 2/20/93 Roxy show many times, many places. There have been many great Phish shows, great for all sorts of reasons. But none has been, or is likely ever to be, as turn-twisting and constantly unexpected as that one. The setlist conveys some of the turns, and the show notes and song notes help understand some of the returns. I could say the obvious: You had to be there. But the telling moment involved fellow .Net friend Matt Laurence (who designed that beanie'd fish logo you see all over Phish.net).
In case you missed it, Kelly Morris of THE MORE VIDEO fame was recently interviewed by Tom Marshall on his Under the Scales podcast. I enjoyed the podcast and wanted to learn a bit more from Kelly about what she was up to this summer.
Located at the peak of the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus, the Petersen Events Center is beautiful. Built upon a 90-foot sloped site (which once deterred pedestrian traffic through the heart of campus), this one-time geographical impediment is now utilized to both great aesthetic and practical effect. An impressive five-story, all-glass lobby fronts the building and opens upon the school, functioning both as a great meeting space and central link, bridging the lower and upper portions of the university, while casting an extended, enchanted sort of effect about the school’s incredibly cramped and ultra urban grounds.
[Recap of last night's show is courtesy of Matt Burnham, user @therealburnham.]
It's not a stretch to say that the expectations coming into the Summer of 2017 were a bit mixed. Once the Baker's Dozen shows and the tour were announced, the ruminations immediately began that playing 13 shows in one venue would throw everything off. That the shows leading up to the MSG run would be warm-ups. Tours in 3.0 have had a bit of a lag in getting on track. And although the band can usually find that high gear eventually, sometimes it can take some time to get there. Thankfully, the Northerly Run showed that that they were ready for the challenge. And although those shows were not perfect (and what shows really are?), the highlights seen in the "Everything's Right," "No Men in No Man's Land," "Simple," "Scents and Subtle Sounds," and "Carini" at the very least showed that the band was up for the challenge, and ready to try to hit the ground running.
Welcome to the 283rd edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the third of five in July. Happy tour! The winner will receive an MP3 download code courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of each of the three mystery clips. The three clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer – but it should help you get there. Each person gets one guess to start – if no one guesses correctly, I will post a hint on Tuesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET, after which each person gets one more guess before the correct answer is revealed on Wednesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Answer: For the second time in three weeks, newcomer @ThirdSound has taken down the MJM post-hint, taking three codes home in the process. Once again, he quickly deciphered the (admittedly straightforward) hint, which contained a photo of a traffic light with an illuminated yellow right turn arrow (as mentioned in the comments, I actually reflected a left turn arrow photo... because I'm ridiculous). The idea was that a yellow light is the last thing you see before you have to stop (which is when one becomes a "Slave to the Traffic Light"), and the arrow represents a 'segue' (->): all three clips segue fully into -> "Slave": 8/21/15 NMINML (-> Slave), 7/4/99 Ghost (-> Slave), and 8/9/11 CDT (-> Slave). Unless there is too much other blog activity, we'll be back Monday for MJM284.
Regular readers of this site may have noticed that the admins did not post a “Best of 2016” this year, as we did the last three years. Delicate flowers that we are, 2016 took a lot out of us. For starters, it wasn’t 2015. That may be an unfair comparison, with 2015 being the consensus best year of 3.0, but it’s also the nature of the space-time continuum. So, fine, point conceded: it may be unfair to be critical of any series of shows for not standing up to the band’s most recent high water mark. But Summer 2016 paled in comparison to 2012-14, too. In fact, many of us viewed it as the most lackluster tour since the band’s first post-breakup tour in June 2009.
Fortunately, as lackluster as the summer was, the Dick’s run proved to be a turning point (if you squint a little, you could see the seeds for the turning point start with the west coast run). In fact, a group of us began ranking the 2016 shows and two things jumped out. First, summer really was that underwhelming. There were 45 shows in 2016. Only one show from among the first 25 so much as threatened to make it into the top 10 (7/15/16). The other top 10 contenders came exclusively from the last 20 shows of the year. But -- there’s always a but -- here’s the thing: those 20 shows produce a damn respectable top 10 shows. As good as 2015? Um, no. But when you consider they came from a 20 show stretch, you realize that Phish actually ended the year in quite strong fashion.
[This recap of last night's tour-opener is courtesy of Chris Cagle, user @OrangeSox. Thank you Chris!]
Many have remarked that Phish has begun to tilt their “tours” toward “destinations” built around holidays, major cities, and tourist enclaves, but when The Baker’s Dozen was announced, the tilt became a topple. Three night stands in Mexico, Chicago, and Denver, along with the thirteen in New York, account for 22 of the year’s currently announced 24 shows. Just two stops on the route from Chicago--in Dayton and Pittsburgh--to New York give the Summer any real appearance of an actual tour, as many fans envision one.
For a few “jaded vets,” the bravado novelty of a 13 show residency in the nation’s most established performance space could not overcome the failure to more fully reach the band’s broad audience coast to coast. The announcement of five shows across the Midwest leading to New York did little to quell the rancor; the shows were even dubbed by some to be “warm-up” shows.
Many more marveled that the band would be so bold as to take over Madison Square Garden for three weeks, and the additional shows beforehand gave a lot of people the chance to catch a show this Summer when there were no shows before. That the four need a little warm-up should come as no surprise, and it's undeniable that The Baker’s Dozen deserves the extra effort. Their first show of the Summer proved again that even while the band adjusts to being back onstage together in front of thousands, moments of glory abound, giving solid reason to believe the next week will warm up indeed.
A number of versions of songs performed on 5/11/87 at Nectar's, likely in the second set, including the earliest known versions of "Divided Sky," "Harpua," and "Bundle of Joy," were recently unearthed, and are available here and now for free download.
Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $1,000,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.