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Mystery Jam Monday Part 47

Posted Apr 25, 2011 12:05 pm by lumpblockclod - 16 comments Link:, posted in the Audio category (603 listens)

Looks like it's time for Mystery Jam Monday Part the 47th. As we do every week, we will be playing for an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at / Nugs.Net. The rules haven't changed: you need to correctly identify the song and the date to win. Post your guess in the comments. One guess per person per day (with the second “day” starting after I post the hint). The hint will come on Tuesday and the answer will be posted on Wednesday. Good luck...

Tuesday Hint: Another week, another unnecessary hint...

Wednesday Answer: Ladies and Gentlemen, we officially have our first three-time winner. Congrats to RebeldyNugs for nailing the 9/11/00 "Piper." The Blog will return next week with yet another Mystery Jam...

MP3 Downloads Courtesy of

6/30/99 Bonner Springs, KS, in Review

Posted Apr 24, 2011 8:48 pm by Icculus - 9 comments Link:

Every so often, something Phish-related surprises me -- even though it shouldn’t. The other day on Twitter, the 6/30/99 tour opening show at Sandstone Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kansas, came up. I couldn’t recall a single note of the show. But two veteran Phish fans, one with an enormously popular Phish blog and the other a member of Phish.Net’s working group, both of whom I often agree with about things Phish, uttered dramatically opposed opinions about the show’s music. The esteemed blogger called the show “awesome,” and the other said it “sucked.” This intrigued me, and inspired me to listen to the show again.

Now, “sucked” is a strong word. I think the fan in question likely meant something more akin to “below average-great.” Because, frankly, even on their worst night, Phish just doesn’t suck. In fact, even when they suck here and there during a show, they can pull-out some transcendent, spectacular jams (e.g., Coventry’s Drowned). I can’t name a single Phish show that I believe “sucked,” and I say that even though I’ve come close to walking out of a few during the second set. (The only show I recall ever actually leaving I left due to reasons unrelated to the music.)

To put 6/30/99 in context, it was Phish’s first public show since the ‘98 NYE run, and those four shows were Phish’s only shows in December 1998. Trey had toured earlier in 1999, but as fun as it was, it wasn’t the same, and even before June 1999, fans were chompin’ at the bit for Phish’s return. (They may have been especially eager to hear Phish again, of course, if they’d already heard the spectacular mid-April 1999 Phil Lesh & Friends shows, featuring Trey and Page and Steve Kimock.) This June 30 show would start a serious 20+ show tour, concluding with four gigs in JAPAN, one of which has just been released by the band to benefit the Japan relief effort.

My $0.02 on this show will probably come as no surprise, given that I must have liquidated my 6/30/99 tapes (CDs?) 10+ years ago. But I actually feel pretty strongly that this is, at best, an average-great Phish show from the late 1990s, and that’s giving it some credit. It’s a mixed-bag, and a show I would never have recommended anyone check out at that time, when acquiring tapes/discs would cost time and effort. Nowadays, of course, since it’s easy to download a show off Kevin Hoy’s Spreadsheet and listen for oneself, I encourage you to do the same, if you’re so inclined, if only in light of the staggeringly different perspectives (apparently) of some vets about it. To go out a bit on a limb just to make things more interesting: musically, I think this show -- as a complete show -- offers little even when compared with Phish’s best shows in 3.0. I’d recommend that a fan check out 10/20/10 Utica, for example, and hundreds of other Phish shows, before I’d recommend 6/30/99.

The first set opens with a 19 minute Gin, with “Type 2” improvisation a-plenty. A Gin opener is always welcome and I love Gin. Love it. It’s up there with my favorite Phish songs and I just never get tired of it. This version, albeit lengthy and exploratory, is often aimless and even flounders at times with no clear direction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the jam floats like a turd for awhile. It’s not that bad at all. It’s just when Trey does solo/noodle melodically, at times it seems to lack much of a purpose. I’m thus not surprised that folks have very different opinions about it. I’d sooner recommend that, for 1999 versions that are more or less equally as long, but much more glorious (as I hear them), one check out 7/18/99, 9/12/99, 9/22/99, 12/2/99, and 12/7/99. Also, I’d sooner recommend the 2/22/03, 2/28/03, 7/9/03, and 8/9/04 Gins (to name four from 2.0) and even the 8/7/09 Gorge Gin. (Comparing this 6/30/99 version to the 7/29/98 Riverport and other “best ever” versions perhaps isn’t very fair.) In any event, hats off to Phish for opening with this 6/30/99 Gin, since it took some nads to open a tour with so much “Type 2.” That is certainly not common! And I love Gin, and I enjoy this version, too, even if, among versions over 15 minutes, this wouldn’t come to mind as one to recommend highly.

The rest of the first set, which isn’t all that long, is solid, i.e., “typically great Phish.” The Maze is pretty good, but Maze is usually pretty good. Maze is one of those amazing Phish tunes that, like Julius, can be difficult to call “above average” unless it’s obviously over the top, like say 12/31/94, or 2/26/03 Worcester. And this set features the first Back on the Train (another tune I love), and a fairly good LxL (love it). A Golgi set closer, even if perfectly performed, isn’t going to get a jaded vet too excited, but whatever, this is still a fun set of course. The Gin was a cool opener, with some beautiful improv, but not “must hear.” As compared with all other first sets in Phish history, this is a “typically great,” or “par” set, IMO. (i.e., no rush to send B+P)

The second set opens with Squirming Coil. Let me say that again. The second set opens with Squirming Coil. And it’s not too bad, as far as Coils go. But I can completely understand and forgive the jaded vets in attendance in Bonner Springs that day who, after a Golgi first set closer, upon hearing Coil, thought, “Are you f’ing kidding me!?” It’s just not that strong a set opener. It’s too darn pretty and mellow. I love Page, and I especially love his recent offerings, “Halfway to the Moon” and “Beauty of a Broken Heart,” but a song whose coda is a piano solo isn’t a strong set opener for a rock show.

The set then goes weird with a slow, somewhat plodding, eerie version of “Free,” one of the most unusual versions in Phish history. It doesn’t really go what I’d call “Type 2.” It rather just has an extended jam segment that gets dark and twisted at times. An atypical version for damn sure and one of the longest versions, even though, frankly, I can see how some might not appreciate it. I’d recommend it highly, though, to any fan of “Free” looking to hear a remarkable version of the song.

The “Birds” > “Simple” that follow “Free” aren’t shabby. Late 1990s versions of “Birds” are pretty much all worth hearing (assuming you like the tune), and frankly, versions of “Simple” that don’t appear in a Mike’s Groove sandwich are often worth a listen as well. That said, I wouldn’t call either of these versions well above-average. But these are enjoyable tunes, and the “Swept Away” and “Steep” and “Piper” that follow, while perfunctory, are entertaining.

The “Bug > My Left Toe” is, well... I like these tunes, don’t get me wrong. But I can see how they may have bored some in attendance big time. (“My Left Toe” was also a debut, and I’m sure some at the show probably thought it was just part of an extended “Bug” jam.) The improv in these songs is very textural and chord-heavy, of course. There’s no melodic noodling or “rock star Trey jamming” or “glorious mellifluous transcendent hose” etc. Lots of big, phat, sustained chords. I enjoyed listening to this quite a bit, but likely still would have sat down for it at the show. The set then concludes with a “Stash” that, frankly, has a jam that I find directionless, obnoxiously dissonant, and largely meh. It doesn’t climax at all well, and Trey seems to lose his way during it. Not a version I’d recommend. I’d have been disappointed to hear this close a set, even though I typically love this song. This “Stash” is disappointing compared with versions from any era, in my view (e.g., the 10/31/10 Stash blows it away, though to be fair, it’s jam segment is much different).

The 6/30/99 show encores with “Bouncin” and “Sample in a Jar.” Now, these tunes are quite popular, of course, and encores are always “icing” on the delicious cake that is a typically great Phish show. But after an unquestionably below-average Stash second set closer, I can see this encore disappointing some jaded vets in attendance. In any event, you’ve heard these versions/songs before many times.

All this said, I can empathize with why some fans aren’t too keen on this show, or even its second set, particularly when you compare it with the most recent second sets from the two-set shows on the ‘98 NYE run, which were great: 12/28/98-2, 12/29/98-2 and 12/30/98-2. While mileage certainly varies, vets tend more often than not to agree about what versions and shows qualify as “top versions” and “must hear” shows, if not “above-average-great shows” etc. This 6/30/99 show is thus a testament to how opinions even among vets can differ immensely. As I hear it, it’s very much a mixed-bag. I’d recommend the “Free” for sure, but as far as the show as a whole goes, I’d call it less awesome than a typically awesome 1999 Phish show... an opinion that may annoy just about everyone, but it’s just my $0.02. -charlie

Record Store Day: Reports from the Field

Posted Apr 19, 2011 1:05 pm by jackl - 5 comments Link:, posted in the Quote category

8:30 a.m.: It appears the Phish 7-inch and Foo Fighters cover album went as quickly as tickets to the last LCD Soundsystem show, but everyone’s got armfuls of wax. It’s somewhat disheartening to watch some vultures grabbing up four or five copies of certain records, but such is life in the post-eBay world.

From the AV Club website article about the first annual Record Store Day in Milwaukee by Matt Wild & Cal Roach (4/18/11)

Also, Phish.netters shared some of their experiences Saturday in the forum here.,54712/

Mystery Jam Monday Part 46

Posted Apr 18, 2011 11:46 am by lumpblockclod - 33 comments Link:, posted in the Audio category (577 listens)

The Blog returns for its weekly self-flagellation... a/k/a Mystery Jam Monday. Just like every week, we will be playing for an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at / Nugs.Net. The rules haven't changed: you need to correctly identify the song and the date to win. Post your guess in the comments. One guess per person per day (with the second “day” starting after I post the hint). The hint will come on Tuesday and the answer will be posted on Wednesday. Good luck...

Tuesday Hint: What number Mystery Jam is it?

Wednesday Answer: Congrats to Flansolo for being the first to get the 8/15/09 "46 Days." See you all Monday...

MP3 Downloads Courtesy of

Sat. 4/16 is Record Store Day...

Posted Apr 15, 2011 1:04 pm by jackl - 8 comments Link:

...and Phish (JEMP Records) is releasing "Two Soundchecks", the band's first-ever live vinyl release - a limited edition (2000 hand numbered) 7-inch, vinyl record.

The A-Side is an instrumental jam from the last night of Phish's three day stand at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA during last year's summer tour, and the B-Side is an especially exotic soundcheck from Hartford, CT in 2009.

Also, Mike is releasing his 2002 solo album "Inside In" on vinyl as well.

For a list of independent record stores participating in tomorrow's special events hopefully near you, go to the Record Store Day homepage.

The Phish legacy at Coachella

Posted Apr 14, 2011 1:10 pm by jackl - 0 comments Link:, posted in the Quote category

When we did Phish we learned a lot from them,” [concert promoter Goldenvoice President Paul] Tollett said. “And when we told them what we do for camping, they said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s nice, we got a way better way.’ They showed us the car camping concept, and how they’re able to keep that safe and fun.”

From an article about Coachella's vibrant car camping scene by Daniel Siegal on the Brand X website. Photo from article by Jay L. Clendenin.

Photos: Coachella campers from previous years. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin for the Times;

Mystery Jam Monday Part 45

Posted Apr 11, 2011 12:07 pm by lumpblockclod - 10 comments Link:, posted in the Audio category (508 listens)

Time for the 45th installment of the Mystery Jam MondayTM series. Hopefully this week will go better than the last eight Mondays, which have seen the Blog get its ass kicked all over Gamehendge. Just like every week, we will be playing for an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at / Nugs.Net. The rules haven't changed: you need to correctly identify the song and the date to win. Post your guess in the comments. One guess per person per day (with the second “day” starting after I post the hint). The hint will come on Tuesday and the answer will be posted on Wednesday. Good luck....

(Very Late) Tuesday Hint: Once again, no hint needed this week.

Wednesday Answer: Congrats to thesloth23 with the quick pick of 7/25/99 "My Left Toe." Though bruised and battered, the Blog will be back on Monday with another Mystery Jam. Until then...

MP3 Downloads Courtesy of

Mike Printup talks up Superball IX

Posted Apr 07, 2011 12:48 pm by jackl - 6 comments Link:, posted in the Quote category

This is going to be the festy of the east, and we all know that. Come prepared, get here early. Get here as early as you can. I think we will have the campground open Thursday morning, so it gives you a day and a half before they even start performing. Hit the town- we've got a nice huge Wal Mart in town, so you can stock up on all the good stuff you need for the weekend. Bring your party shoes and let's go!"

From an interview with Watkins Glen International President Micheal Printup in the Binghamton Examiner (4/6/11) Nominated For "Best Fan Forum"

Posted Apr 06, 2011 12:44 pm by ScottyB - 1 comment Link:

Music may have disappeared from MTV but that hasn't stopped the cable network from launching a new awards show to honor "the art, creativity, personality and technology of music into the digital space." Categories include "Innovative Artist," "Best iTunes LP" and "Funniest Music Short." We're pleased to announce that has been nominated in the "Best Fan Forum" category and voting is open to anyone with a Facebook account, Twitter feed and/or a mobile phone.

To vote, head over to the "Best Fan Forum" voting page and press the "Connect Now" button towards the right hand side to connect your phone, Twitter feed or Facebook page with the site. Then, press the "Vote" button next to's name and logo. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 20. You can vote up to ten times each day by Twitter and "web" as well as once per day via Facebook "like." The winners will be announced on the award show's website at 8 p.m. EDT on April 28.

Mystery Jam Monday Part 44

Posted Apr 04, 2011 11:56 am by lumpblockclod - 11 comments Link:, posted in the Audio category (473 listens)

Monday? Mystery Jam! Just like every week, we will be playing for an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at / Nugs.Net. The rules haven't changed: you need to correctly identify the song and the date to win. Post your guess in the comments. One guess per person per day (with the second “day” starting after I post the hint). The hint will come on Tuesday and the answer will be posted on Wednesday. Good luck....

Tuesday Hint: Guess we don't really need a hint for this utterly fantastic jam. (See what I did there?)

Wednesday Answer: Congrats to stevemott for nailing the 12/31/97 "Emotional Rescue." We'll be back on Monday...

MP3 Downloads Courtesy of

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