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.
This recap is coming to you from the land of champagne powder, Steamboat Springs, CO. I enjoyed a day of hiking in the snow with my golden, Tela, and cross-country skiing. I am transformed to another time and another space as I sit down to watch the webcast of Phish taking on their second Saturday night appearance in the amazing setting of Mexico. Sometimes we long for the old days, but you have to be grateful for technology :) A few questions going in: Will Fishman continue to sport the Lucha libre wrestler mask the entire run? Saturday night shows are somewhat of a mixed bag, we have all heard the saying about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows.. so will Phish deliver something special or standard great this show?
IT appears that many of our site's users were angered by Trey's golden, flowing hair, no... Fish's fierce Lucha libre wrestling mask, no... by @SausageMahoney's recap of the December 29th MSG show. A comment from user @CoryRoc reads: "nothing annoys me more than these reviews, yet i keep reading them to remind myself to never become as jaded as the clowns who write them."
An excerpt of The Phish Companion, 3rd Edition by Noah Cole
On the first night, Friday, the band soundchecked as a few hundred people waded in the ocean in front of the resort. The gates opened and we were greeted by waiters in tuxedos with trays of margaritas and beer and surprisingly decent food – the “all-inclusive” experience might not have included WiFi or room service at many places, but it did include food and drinks in the venue.
It was hot and humid as Phish took the stage, amidst elaborately decorated palm trees (Fish yarn bombs), sand sculptures, and “Page Side Rage Side” temporarily renamed “Page Side Wave Side” due to the proximity to the Caribbean. A predictable – but perfect choice given the setting – “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” opened this first Mexico Phish show, and gave CK5 his first chance to show the extra lights that lit the ocean. Standard versions of “My Soul,” “Martian Monster,” and “Ya Mar” were followed by a sing-along “Halley’s Comet” and “Fuego.”
Early attempts were made at keeping fans out of the water, but eventually there were dozens of fans wading in the waters, so “The Wedge” was an appropriate choice as the band returned to the water motif established at the beginning of the set. “The Wedge” lyrics had been in my head all day, as many of us lazed away the afternoon bobbing on the surface of the warm and wonderful sea.
Known by myriad names to ancient cultures across the globe for thousands of years, the Mars we know today takes its name from the Roman god of war. Astronomy and astrology notwithstanding, our long-held fascination with the red planet and the little green men who allegedly populate it can be traced back to the late nineteenth century....
The final track of Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars anti-popera details the end of Ziggy’s frazzled demise, but ends itself in optimism. Ziggy is “too old to lose it, too young to choose it”, worn down as much by crowd-pleasing pressures as by the delinquencies of rock stardom, and now both trapped by his creation and abandoned by his fans. He “stumble[s] across the road” post-show, bares the weight of the rising sun, and simply passes by a cafe, unfulfilled by his success; “you don’t eat when you’ve lived too long.” Following the sirens of fame and expression, Ziggy’s big boat has run aground, personally and professionally, and he knows it. But the singer (Bowie now singing back to Ziggy?) knows it, too, and reaches out with hope and enthusiasm: “If only I could make you care … I’ll help you with the pain. ...You’re not alone.”...
Welcome to the 256th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the second easiest of 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 both 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!
Answer: Congrats to @runlikecarini who keeps up his hot streak and snags his second MJM win in the past three weeks, and his fifth overall. On a night crew mission, he quickly identified the 7/7/99 Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley and (perhaps with some help from @metawhy's comment and Desert Sky '03 being the most recent show he's seen according to phish.net?) the 7/7/03 Wolfman's Brother. As a vague allusion to the perfect square reference I made last week, both clips were from 7/7. There are five Mondays in January, so MJM258 is supposed to be of 'medium' difficulty – but difficulty is all relative, right? *evil grin*
"Star" is track 8 from "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars," the seminal David Bowie 1972 semi-concept album. Phish's sole performace was on October 31, 2016 as part of their Halloween run in Las Vegas, NV. The song seems to be from the mind of the album's proto-protagonist Ziggy Stardust, who is musing over what his friends are doing while his own ambitions are to be a rock and roll star. One of the more active drum-led tracks, it was a natural fit for Jon Fishman to take the lead vocal.
Ass Handed made its debut July 15, 2016 at the Gorge Ampitheater, where it was soundchecked and later played during the first set. The song consists of a simple lyric repeated a capella multiple times with differing emphasis on specific words of each line, followed by a very short but rocking jam....
Welcome to the 255th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the first of 2017 and easiest of January. I hope everyone had a great holiday, especially those who made the annual trek to MSG to see Phish play. 2016 was a down year in many ways, but I had a blast with all of you in my first full year as your host. I can't wait to see what you come up with as you try to crawl into my head 50+ times this year to figure out what I'm thinking / listening to – thankfully, Phish keeps delivering the goods, so I don't think there'll be any problem finding another 52 MJMs in an effort to stump you (emphasis on "effort": the Blog only won three times last year, though the MJM did make it to the hint more than a third of the time). 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 song and date of the mystery jam clip. 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!
Answer: Congrats to @PhreePhish who made quick work of the first puzzle of 2017, marking his sixth win overall and first in three-and-a-half years – one more and he's moving to Florida with the rest of the retirees! Yes, this week's MJM was simple, especially on the heels of NYE at MSG and last week's MSG-themed MJM: 12/31/98 Simple. Two of the last three MJMs have been won by multiple-MJM winners who hadn't won in years. Is the competition getting even stiffer with the new batch of savants duking it out with the resurgent MJM veterans? Check back in on Monday to find out, when they battle in the first perfect square MJM since MJM225.
[Editor's Note: We'd like to welcome back guest contributor Matt Burnham for this recap. - lbc]
New Year’s Eve is a strange holiday. It’s an event that holds special significance for many and can indicate a time for rebirth. But mostly it seems like a large to-do which, for the most part, can be a let down. The novelty of staying up until midnight really only holds until you're twelve. And unless you’re married or in a long term relationship, as time ticks closer to midnight, searching the room for that guy or girl you’re looking to meet up with at midnight doesn’t always work out in your favor either. Resolutions on a whole are made that everyone knows aren’t going to make it to Valentine’s Day. The event on a whole can outweigh the meaning behind it. A good way to avoid this, as most of you all probably know, is to go to see live music on New Year’s Eve. Less stress, less mess. For this reviewer, I didn’t get the chance to do this but I was able to couch tour New Year’s Eve, so although there is really no substitute for being there, this is about as close you can get. Plus, as LivePhish loves to indicate, I get to watch it back on demand after the show which seems like a strange selling point but helps in the writing of these reviews.
12/30. Just four humble digits with a slash in the middle--but with so much history infused in them, and such a high standard implied.
You all know the sluggers. Big Cypress “Mike’s” makes your knees wobble. The Miami “L.A. Woman” stirs your loins. You know exactly when to punch out of the MSG “Hood” before it segues into “My Soul” and you never skip the encore. Some of these performances are legendary and by now part of most fans’ genetic makeup. The ability to give something extra the night before the big gig and still handle your biz for three sets on NYE is sort of one of Phish’s proven superpowers. Big fans expect big things on this big day.
It's amazing to think that at the end of 2016, more than 27 years since I first saw Phish live, I have so much closer a connection with the band members than ever before. For instance, when Trey Anastasio took the stage with his bandmates ("the boys") Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, I saw instantly that I own the same hoodie Trey was wearing.
Phish's most recent concerts were a four-night run in Las Vegas, and they'd opened the first three of those shows with originals written for and debuted at their 2014 Haunted House performance. Tonight, another pattern emerged. For the second straight show of the current four-night run, they opened with an a cappella number: "Sweet Adeline," which Phish hadn't dusted off since needing it to make up the numbers at the S show at Dick's in 2011. If this trend continues ... aaayyyyyy. Here's hoping for a "Free Bird" tomorrow night.
When David Bowie included his cover version of Louisiana born and Pacific Northwest raised songwriter Ron Davies’ gritty blues standard “It Ain’t Easy” on his acclaimed 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, he was the fourth artist in two years to pay tribute to the Davies original. This near simultaneous celebration of the tune was initiated by Three Dog Night (It Ain’t Easy - 1970), sustained by Long John Baldry (It Ain’t Easy - 1971), prolonged by Dave Edmunds (Rockpile - 1972) and concluded by Bowie shortly after Davies own release of the track on his 1970 debut album Silent Song Through the Land. ...
The all-volunteer phan-run Mockingbird Foundation has sent unsolicited $1,000 checks to three Native American groups in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. The groups are in ND, NH, and DE, the last three states in which the Foundation had not previously provided grants. Mockingbird has now given money in all 50 states, plus D.C. Read more...
Mike Gordon: January 22, 2016
1 year ago
 Mike Gordon debut.
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.
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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.