a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

New and Improved Phish Jam Charts

Posted 3 years ago by Icculus - 52 comments Link:

We are pleased to launch a dynamic and robust new search feature for the Jamming Charts. You can check it out here (or via the main home page nav bar, Music>Charts>Jamming Charts). In the past, the ability to search the Jam Charts was limited to scrolling through the chart, a Google Doc, for a particular song. Now, you will be able to search the charts by 18 different methods, including by song, by year, by city, by venue, and by tour. You will even be able to search by shows that you have attended in person.

You will also still be able to access the legacy Google Doc for a particular Jam Chart, and the "Introduction" that describes the background for and history of the Chart, by clicking on the “Show original document” or “Show Introduction” buttons on the top right side of the new Jam Chart page for a particular song. See, e.g., the new chart for "Split Open and Melt."

To accomplish this significant upgrade, all of the data contained in more than 65 Google Doc spreadsheets has been loaded into the Phish.Net database. The songs covered by these Charts will now complement the setlists of Phish.Net in an unprecedented way. For example, in the legacy Charts in Google Docs, the "Split Open and Melt -> Kung -> Jam" from 7/15/99 was captured as one row on the SOAM Jam Chart, with a time for the duration of the entire piece. Now, the Charts will break out the pieces, with timing and other information provided for each song or piece. See, e.g., the new "Kung" chart here.

Versions on the legacy Jam Charts that were previously highlighted by the use of bold typeface will now appear in rows highlighted in gold when you search the Charts by any method and view the Chart. These gold-highlighted versions are "recommended" versions. But please do not confuse our use of the word "recommended" with such adjectives as "best" or "favorite." These "recommended" versions that are in gold-highlighted rows when you view the Charts appear in the setlists (and also in the “Every Time Played” charts) in green-bold typeface. This feature makes the setlists more vibrant, and also enables the user to easily discern which songs from a given show are recommended in light of the entire history of those songs. See, e.g., the 7/17/98 "2001" in green-bold, here.

We are also introducing a new feature, the "key" designation. Versions of songs selected as "key" are ones that we urge Phish fans to listen to and become familiar with, whether they are brand new to the band, or seasoned listeners. The "key" designation is deliberately skewed more to the newcomer than the vet, because someone new to Phish’s music would likely prefer to quickly understand which versions are essential listening, in order to get a flavor for what the jamming song has accomplished improvisationally over the course of its career in Phish history.

Again, please do not confuse the term "key" with terms like "best," "favorite," and "top." Selecting "recommended" and "key" versions is of course a subjective process to a certain extent, but we have endeavored to select noteworthy versions based on their (objectively verifiable) reputations in the Phish fan community and their structural musical characteristics (e.g., their length as compared with a typical version, or whether their improvisation strays from the ordinary and customary course for the song based on the song’s entire history). We launch the new Jamming Charts with a small, but we think important, number of “key” versions, and these versions are highlighted in red-bold in setlists and also highlighted in pink rows when you conduct a search and view the Chart for a particular song. See, e.g., the 11/14/95 setlist, noting the must-hear "Stash" in red-bold, but the "Stash" Chart with its pink-colored row for 11/14/95. We will increase the number of “key” versions modestly, and over a reasonable time, and we encourage your constructive input.

We would also like your help, as a user of the Charts, with respect to two issues. First, a tremendous amount of raw data has just been entered into the Phish.Net database by a very small group of volunteers. If you notice obvious errors in data entry (e.g., versions of songs that you know run 20+ minutes, but which appear with a duration of one (1) minute), let us know by “Submit[ting] A Correction” beneath the setlist that involves that version, and describe the error (ideally by telling us how to fix it) so that we can correct it.

Second, given the significant effort to load data, combined with the newness of the "key" designation, please, we beg you, cut us some slack for a few weeks, and enjoy the holidays, before complaining in the Forum or elsewhere about why such-and-such version was designated "key" but not version [X], or similar types of comments. Arguably, every noteworthy version is a “key” version, of course, as are the versions that you hold close to your own heart and ears. But keep in mind that the use of “key” in this context is principally to provide new fans with a place to start when examining the history of a particular jamming song for which a Chart exists. This new designation does not exist to identify all or most or even many “key” versions, because the “recommended” designation already strives to achieve this goal.

This migration of the Charts from Google Docs to the Phish.Net database would not have occurred without substantial efforts by a small team. The following individuals in particular have devoted countless hours to the Jamming Charts over the years:

Adam Scheinberg - The technical and systems genius who was able to make all of this functionality actually work, Adam has assisted the Jam Chart team in innumerable ways. When the team would propose new features, new functions, etc., not only did Adam incorporate every one possible, but also he often anticipated our next request. Like any systems project, this one had its bugs here and there, but Adam resolved them swiftly and expertly. Adam’s programming skills and volunteerism continue to be Phish.Net’s greatest asset.

Phil Harrison – After volunteer help with the Jamming Charts was requested in the forum in 2010, Phil graciously accepted the challenge and, more than any other individual, is responsible for the current Jamming Chart content on Phish.Net. He is either the editor or an assistant editor of every Chart on the site, and he manages all of the Charts along with Tim and Charlie.

Tim Wade – Many years after analyzing "Reba" and creating the original Jam Chart for it that was published in The Phish Companion, Tim joined our team and has been a hard-working volunteer ever since, having loaded data for more than 1,400 song versions. Believe it or not, our team occasionally finds its way into heated exchanges on a variety of matters. Tim is often the voice of reason and good humor, and the smooth tonic who helps to cool some of us (usually Charlie) down in a good-natured way.

Charlie Dirksen – Beginning with Charts for "Tweezer," "You Enjoy Myself," and "Mike’s Groove" in the mid-1990’s on Rec.Music.Phish, Charlie has worked to create Jam Charts for numerous other Phish songs ever since. He also managed the production of many Charts by numerous volunteers for publication in The Phish Companion editions. With the assistance of volunteers, particularly Phil Harrison, the Charts from the Companion were moved onto Phish.Net in the form of Google Docs, and then revised and appended over the course of the last three years.

Finally, the charts for "Tweezer," "Mike's Groove," and "You Enjoy Myself" are comprehensive "works-in-progress" that are currently very incomplete. These songs have all been performed more than 400 times, or 562 in the case of "YEM," and Charlie is analyzing his old notes and reviews with an ear toward creating new charts that focus on only the noteworthy versions of these magnificent songs.

Thank you for your support of Phish.Net, and your use of the Charts.


Phil Harrison, Tim Wade, Adam Scheinberg, and Charlie Dirksen

If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.


HarborSeal Reply
This is magnificent and spectacular, and will give me hours of enjoyment. What a treat these Charts have been! I don't know how many wonderful versions of songs they've helped me discover. Thank you all so much for your incredible efforts.

(Even if it is inexplicable that the 7/2/97 Stash is not marked as "key." ;)

I will now donate $20 to Mockingbird in your honor and urge others to follow suit.
Score: 16
ColForbin Staff Reply
ColForbin This is amazing work you guys! I'm going to be playing with this for days.
Score: 1
johnnyd Staff Reply
johnnyd Amazing work, gentlemen.
Score: 0
schvice Reply
schvice Bravo! I can't wait to dig into this new functionality!

Score: 0
TwiceBitten Reply
TwiceBitten This is problem the most significant contribution to the site since this newest version went live. Way to go team!!!
Score: 1
TwiceBitten Reply
TwiceBitten Though one comment I do have is that the pink "key version" rows are kind of hard to notice...
Score: 0
mfhgreyboy Reply
mfhgreyboy This is pretty great. Even considering the high standards we're used to. Thanks to everyone for all the time and effort put into this.

I'm constantly amazed at how well you all are able to integrate the feedback (read: completely unrealistic demands) of an oftentimes entitled hard-to-please fan base.

Score: 6
TwiceBitten Reply
TwiceBitten oh wait I take my las comment back...I thought I was looking at a pink version, but I wasn't. everything is just exactly perfect!!!
Score: 2
relax_ Reply
relax_ WOW, thank you so much!
Score: 0
ucpete Staff Reply
ucpete This is so god damn bad ass. I've already listened to WAY too much Phish, and now I have even slicker guidance in how to listen to WAY too much more. Aw yeah! Thanks .net Jam Charts team, you're the best! I can't think of any other band that has as rad of a website and community of volunteers than I'll take @HarborSeal's advice and make a donation, but I'll wait till after NYE so it'll stay in my Achievements longer than a week ;)
Score: 2
PeteM Reply
So bad ass! I spend so much time in the Jamming Chart / Notable version sections that to have it all integrated with the rest of the database is a blessing. HUGE

Muchas gracias to the .net team. I <3 you guys
Score: 0
KingofPhrance Reply
KingofPhrance You guys are the best. Best. Best. Best.
Score: 0
julesmac Reply
julesmac o...mi...god...

i think i love y'all -- can't thank you enough :)
Score: 1
5errr Reply
5errr this is very impressive. well done gentlemen!
Score: 0
killdevilfalls Reply
Awesome. On toast. Squared! Thank you, guys!!!
Score: 0
kipmat Reply
kipmat Thank you to all who contributed to this feature.
Score: 0
phunkytime Reply
phunkytime This new feature is "key" to enhancing my phish addiction. Thank you .Net!
Score: 0
gratefulterp Reply
gratefulterp I don't have anything important to add. Just wanted to pile my thanks onto the lovefest. You guys do amazing things for the rest of us and take a lot of heat for it. Thank you.
Score: 0
moonfacebrb Reply
moonfacebrb Gooooooooo TEAM!
Score: 1
curtiss Reply
curtiss Amazing new feature. Thanks for all you do for us!
Score: 1
pikepredator Reply
pikepredator Sweet, this is exciting. I am fired up! My employer, on the other hand . . . probably not so much :-)
Score: 1
forbin1 Reply
forbin1 Amazing work..thank you for putting the time and effort into these projects...
Score: 1
whrdina Reply
whrdina Awesome job- many thanks! Love the new filters!
Score: 1
conormac Reply
Score: 1
Feel_The_Bern Reply
This is amazing. Will "hook" me to the ".net" more than ever before. Thanks!
Score: 1
Fishis Reply
Fishis this + = tits. thanks!
Score: 3
FreeGhost82 Reply
THANK YOU SO MUCH! The charts are absolutely beautiful, and your work is very much appreciated. I'm passing this along to my friends and some new listeners, who will no doubt, appreciate the organization. Thanks again!
Score: 2
bostonron Reply
bostonron Great job all around. Thank you
Score: 1
jkosoff Reply
jkosoff As a "3.0 baby" (born in 1990), these charts have already been helpful in navigating the bands' work that came before my time - thank you to all who contributed to the new system! Now I know what to do with all the extra holiday free time...
Score: 1
rudy79 Reply
Awesome concept. I'm seeing some significant omissions, but I'll be patient.
Score: 1
AmbassadorsSoup Reply
AmbassadorsSoup Well played, folks...well played, indeed.
Score: 1
very cool. You guys rock. You finally have surpassed, I think.
Score: 2
bertoletdown Staff Reply
bertoletdown The funniest part about this sort of stuff is that I talk to the responsible parties every day, or damn near every day, and often have no idea these things are happening until they are on the doorstep of go-live. Just volunteers with full time jobs overlapped by a full time hobby who quietly get shit done. Awesome work, gents.
Score: 3
TheButcher_in_theStore Reply
I'm trying to search for the song Rift but can't seem to find it on the list.
Score: 0
@TheButcher_in_theStore said:
I'm trying to search for the song Rift but can't seem to find it on the list.
LOL.....Yeah, Sleeping Monkey is painfully absent as well. wtf?
Score: 0
Frizz Reply
Frizz Okay.
In the "Performances" part of songs would it be possible to put the time length of the song on there. I don't know why it bothers me, but it does.
Score: 0
jdawg Reply
Thanks for the great upgrade to the site. I'm already using and enjoying the new charts.
Score: 0
FiddleHead Reply
FiddleHead Nice work!

So in the setlists:
green-bold = recommended
red-bold = key
blue-bold = ?

It would be great if all the bold selections were visible while scrolling setlists from an entire year.

Score: 0
lovethisband Reply
This is really really awesome. I created a spotify playlist of the Key Jams here:

I may have missed key versions that have been included as filler on other releases (but I did get the 7/29/98 Bathtub Gin from the filler of 7/15/98). Any help identifying other missing key jams that are available on spotify is appreciated.

Happy YEMSG #28 tonight folks!
Score: 0
DudeMG Reply
Also wondering what regular-bolded means (not green or red) in the setlists.
Score: 0
Dog_Faced_Boy Staff Reply
Dog_Faced_Boy regular bold = jam chart version
green bold = noteworthy version (similar to the bold versions in the old jam charts)
red bold = key version as described by Charlie above
Score: 2
buffalo_voice Reply
buffalo_voice Top shelf work, everyone who worked on this! Just stupendous. Thank you!!
Score: 0
Josephiah Reply
Excellent stuff!
So how many of the rest of you have started listening through all the key versions in order…?
Score: 0
dyn0mite Reply
dyn0mite 11/6/98 melt should be highlighted!
Score: 0
jmartello Reply
Is there a way to list ALL without narrowing the selection by category?
Score: 0
jmartello Reply
I don't have time to go into each setlist now to submit corrections, but I would make the following corrections/additions to the jam charts. Some of them are there, but unlike the SOAM example you mention above, the times are split up and don't include the jam. Some of them, the YEMs and 12/31/99 Roses, don't appear at all.

11/28/94 Tweezer 44:01 (include delay loop jam)
10/31/95 YEM 40:32
12/31/99 Roses Are Free 35:02
06/14/00 Twist 34:00 (include > jam)
07/24/99 Fluffhead 32:57 (include > jam)
07/09/97 YEM 32:00
05/05/93 YEM 31:50
09/14/00 Drowned 31:21 (include > jam)
06/28/95 Tweezer 30:48 (include DEG)
11/18/95 YEM 30:39
11/22/94 Funky Bitch 29:27 (include > jam)
Score: 0

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