Bob Lefsetz, from his music industry newsletter/blog, The Lefsetz Letter (12/31/10)
They say rock & roll is dead. But that’s only if you’re listening to the radio, the critics, the prognosticators crunching data. But music isn’t data. Music is alive, it breathes, it’s something that gets inside and possesses you.
I won’t forget the first time I heard “Rock & Roll”. On “Loaded”.
But have you ever heard the take on “Rock N Roll Animal”? WHEW!
And we may be missing Dick Wagner and Steven Hunter’s interplay, that seventies magic, but last time I checked it was 2010, 2011! And these young ‘uns in Phish are taking that nugget and making it their own. Paying tribute and bringing it forward all at the same time. It’s about the ENERGY!
Come on, you know what it’s like to go to the show. You don’t sit there passively, you’re energized, you’re alive, every other show and moment in your life is just a synapse away. This is the essence of the experience, not nitwits dancing to click tracks.
Stop swinging for the fences. Contrary to what the old wavers tell you, technology is your friend. It allows you to get ever closer to your fans, to know who each and every one is. It allows them to interconnect and bond with each other and create a family even when you’re asleep…because music never sleeps, it’s playable always, now everywhere!
The old model has been destroyed. But don’t cry, we’re rebuilding right this very second! And we don’t know how or where it’s gonna go. There’s no formula. It’s 1968 all over again. There’s no kingpin, no programmer at MTV, no one telling you what you can or cannot do, unless you’re tied up with the old fogies.
So don’t watch Phish live at Madison Square Garden tonight.
But know that many are paying $19.99 for the privilege. And lovin’ it.
And unlike Justin Timberlake, Phish didn’t have to sell its soul to Mickey D’s, whore itself out to a corporation to be lovin’ it. They just followed the yellow brick road of music all the way to Madison Square Garden, three nights in a row, with no hit singles, no ubiquitous television coverage, none of the things the rulemakers tell you you need in order to make it.
There are no rules. Except for the ones you make yourself.
Live for the music. Each and every day. It will absolve you of your sins, it will save you, it will elate you, if you just respect it, if you don’t sully it, if you don’t bring it down to the gutter but exalt it.
And where there’s music there’s money. Always. Maybe not in the old ways, but in brand new ways, which are being invented right this very second.
For a limited time, you can access our blog archive at phishnet.tumblr.com.
The "Making of the NYE Meatstick dance" documentary video from Phish.com
As a New Year's Day gift, Phish has released a nine minute Vimeo "documentary" about the preparation and performance of Friday's New Year's Eve extravaganza at Madison Square Garden, featuring the singers and dancers preparing for the show, the giant hot dog's "flight" and the countdown to the new year.
Excellent stuff! Thanks Phish; we were sitting below the hot dog in Section 87 and I was wondering how many dancers were on stage, and how this very complicated stunt was pulled off.
12/31/10 New Year's Eve
Nice! Commemorative MSG "tokens" on sale outside the venue with posters at 5 pm, with remaining tokens sold at the merch booths inside, according to Phish's Facebook page here.
(Hat tip: Roses (Mike), Phish.net forum)
Music writer Jeff Spevak's column in the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, "This Year in Reviews", reacting to negative reader comments to his Phish at CMAC review (e.g., Phish at CMAC, June 29: "Jam bands are getting so common that you can't swing a seashell necklace without hitting in the face some kid who looks like one of the stars from Jersey Shore. Not a bad idea, actually. We're coming up on the 15th anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death, and scenes like this are his legacy. Phish has been around since 1983, but the Grateful Dead blazed this doobie, with the fans in wacky headgear and taping the shows, trippy lights, head-trip guitar and massive clouds of pot, if you can believe any is left in western New York after last week's Further show at Highland Park.". I guess this guy hasn't gotten out much since, what 1999? 1989?
The year’s biggest hit might be the Internet video of Miley Cyrus huffing away on a bong. But the most worrisome hit for me was the one ordered up by fans of the band Phish, lashing out via the Internet: “Your Grateful Dead comparisons and hippie stereotypes were not so much beating a dead horse as crashing your car into a Walmart and attacking the Elmer’s Glue and Jell-O displays,” one typed with his cloven hooves.
.net gathering 12/31 at Hudson Yards Cafe, 3:30 - ~6:00
The site team has been looking around for a good gathering place for 12/31 to host a phish.net gathering.
We were looking for a place close to MSG, but not as close as some of the overly crowded places like Mustang Sally’s of the late ’90s phish.net gatherings which tend to be very busy with both midtown and MSG customers. We were also looking for a place with a large bar area for meeting and could still take reservations for those who wanted dinner.
We’re therefore recommending a meeting at the Hudson Yards Cafe, 350 10th Avenue @ 35th St. which will be opening its bar around 3:30 and its kitchen around 4:00 for dinner.
If you think you are going to be stopping by, please shoot me a Phish.net PM or email me at jack (at) Phish.net so we can keep rough track of the projected headcount. If you are thinking about dinner there, I would suggest that you make dinner reservations for late afternoon with the restaurant directly for your group
Eric Wyman, from an article, Op-Eric: Wyman on Phish - December 95 on the Hidden Track blog, (c) Glide Magazine 2010
Beginning in 1996 things would change, starting with a tour in Europe the sound and the demeanor of the band would quickly transform. By the late ’90s the band pushed forward to reach their career pinnacle on the eve of the millennium only to spiral out of control over the next eight years. By 2000, the band was in enough turmoil that the needed to stop. At the same time, the majority of the fan base from earlier that decade were struggling to find a path in adulthood. Things had gotten real. Jobs, relationships, priorities, all weighed in a manner they didn’t previously, when you could hop in a car and say fuck the blizzard I’m going to Albany. Before The Clifford Ball. Before Remain In Light. Before cow funk. Before Cypress. Before designer shirts and jeans. Before addiction. There was December of 1995. It is THE moment. They may have evolved from that point and beyond what they were, but it was at this moment they were perfectly Phish. It was the end of their innocence and probably, for a majority of us as well.
Shut out? Can't go? Watch Phish's NYE pay-per-view streams on your big screen TV
If you don’t know your HDMI cables from your S-Video port, but want to watch the Phish live stream on your high def large screen TV rather than your laptop, you’re in luck.
Phish.netter Alex Knoll (@Alexknoll) has written a “couch tour guide” to connecting your computer or other internet connected device (Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii etc.) to your large screen TV.
It’s a Phish.net forum thread here. Feel free to ask questions to Alex and other helpful phriendly geeks.
Wow, this is something that people talked about but now the band is actually doing. I hope there's enough interest in this that we can have webcasts for summer tour. Perhaps time to invest in a better TV so I can hook my computer up to it.