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Introducing Song Nicknames

Posted 4 years ago by sethadam1 - 19 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/4d46eef7

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.

Comments

BBFCFNJ Reply
This is a great feature. One suggestion: "The Horse" should just be "Horse." "Horse > Silent" looks a lot more fluid than "The Horse > Silent."
Score: 0
RunawayJim Reply
RunawayJim One issue with your abbreviations. I have never seen BDTNL as #Line.
Score: 1
roybelly Reply
roybelly My friend Sean was the first taper/trader that allowed me to access a large collection to help get me started....can't get too far into most people's big collections when you only have like 5 shows, and high gen to boot. He was a J-card nazi, and part of the deal was adopting HIS universal format, and HIS system of abbreviation. And no artwork or doodling on the J-cards....break the rules, and NO SOUP FOR YOU. I wonder what he would think of the standardized version of abbreviations. He is mostly into GD but I know he listens to a lot of phish too. He isn't too blog-ish, but I will see if I can get him to take a look.
Score: 1
chrisp67 Reply
I agree with almost all of those abbreviations, but like any tape collector from the 90's, I have my own preferences. Most are a single word rather than an acronym.

AC/DC Bag - AC/DC (rather than Bag)
Birds of a Feather - Birds (rather than BOAF)
Chalkdust Torture - Chalkdust (rather than CDT)
Fire on the Mountain - Fire. Always Fire.
Jesus Just Left Chicago - Jesus (rather than JJLC)
Mr Friend, My Friend- MFMF (rather than My Friend)
Scent of a Mule and Split Open and Melt - I always preferred Scent and Split, much to the chagrin of a friend who was an ardent supporter of SOAMule and SOAMelt.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Guitar (WMGGW)

Those are my preferences.
Score: 0
biver Reply
I think this feature would be even cooler if each of us could assign the shorthand that we prefer under our own account. Code-wide it's not difficult and would end any and future discussions about what they should be. Why you say Sysop?
Score: 0
jamfreek Reply
And even better would be that once you toggle to shorthand, you get to see what the setlist would like like on an ACTUAL J card...
Score: 0
swimtofirenze Reply
Can we access this through the API?
Score: 0
pzerbo Phish.net Staff Reply
pzerbo * We recognize that there are variations and that folks might prefer different approaches on any number of songs. This is one of those where not everyone will see every variation they prefer, but hopefully the file reflects the most-used scenario for most users.

* We contemplated "custom" setlists where users could set their own values but it wasn't practical at this time. The notion is still "on deck" for potential later development, so stay tuned.

* If a song has only been performed just a very few times we generally left that alone, the idea was to plug in short names primarily for common songs.

HTH
Score: 2
sethadam1 Phish.net Staff Reply
sethadam1 @swimtofirenze said:
Can we access this through the API?
There are no plans to expose this to the API at this point, but certainly, if there are requests for it, we'd consider it.
Score: 0
deBebbler Reply
deBebbler This J-Card format gives this site the ring of authenticity I didn't realize it needed. Things just look right now. Oh, how I missed seeing "BBFCFM" in my setlists.

BRILLIANT!!!!

Plus, anything to further confuse casual visitors is OK in my book. :)
Score: 0
jspen17 Reply
jspen17 Trivia question: What two Phish songs have the same J Card Accronym?
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heyitsmejenni Reply
heyitsmejenni It's when I read posts like this that I've overwhelmed by how delightfully nerdy we are. One day a student of linguistic anthropology will write a groundbreaking dissertation on all of this. Lulz.
Score: 0
heyitsmejenni Reply
heyitsmejenni @jspen17 said:
Trivia question: What two Phish songs have the same J Card Accronym?
SOAM and SOAM.
Score: 0
pzerbo Phish.net Staff Reply
pzerbo @jspen17 said:
Trivia question: What two Phish songs have the same J Card Accronym?
Thanks, because we had never considered that. :-)
Score: 1
tmwsiy Phish.net Staff Reply
tmwsiy @heyitsmejenni said:
@jspen17 said:
Trivia question: What two Phish songs have the same J Card Accronym?
SOAM and SOAM.
Yup, that's why I always labelled my tapes "Mule" and "Melt". Was never a fan of SOAM. Looks too much like FOAM too.
Score: 0
smoothatonalsnd Reply
smoothatonalsnd @heyitsmejenni said:
One day a student of linguistic anthropology will write a groundbreaking dissertation on all of this. Lulz.
it's already happened. Natalie Dollar at OSU-Cascades writes about Deadhead communication.
Score: 0
TippyBonanza Reply
TippyBonanza I'm right there with you, chrisp67, except I always did "Mule" and "Melt" for those two. This is really making me miss tapes...

@chrisp67 said:
I agree with almost all of those abbreviations, but like any tape collector from the 90's, I have my own preferences. Most are a single word rather than an acronym.

Scent of a Mule and Split Open and Melt - I always preferred Scent and Split, much to the chagrin of a friend who was an ardent supporter of SOAMule and SOAMelt.

Those are my preferences.
Score: 0
pauly Reply
pauly Melt
Punch
Mule
Melt
My Minds
ACDC
Number Line
Stealin'Time
Limb

here are a few of te way i write'em
Score: 0
Lemuria Phish.net Staff Reply
Lemuria Still love this thread, and feature.

Everyone ordered their B&P-style Phish.net shirt?? :)
Score: 0

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