Let's spin !

by Yome NetSan 4. December 2015

After a great Fare The Well and a spectacular Summer tour, the end of the year sounded a little too quite. But that was before I received lots of good LPs to spin...

 

New Year's Eve 1995:
Live At Madison Square Garden

 

Originaly released on 3 CD in 2005, Phish's New Year's Eve 1995 show made its way again to independent record stores on 6 LPs during the Record Store Day on 18th april 2015. This huge boxset is limited to 4500 copies and costs an arm. Of course, no store in France had it and it popped pretty quickly on eBay. Due to its already hish-sky price, scalpers can't charge much more but I've been reluctant to buy one of them over here. I waited several month to see if it would appear on Dry Goods but in september, I've been told by my contact at Phish Inc. that it won't be sold there. Thanksfully, this person managed to got me one of the remaning copies and sold it to me ! I finally received it on the 20th november, around the same time as the other vinyls bellow. But surprisingly, it ended on the Phish merchandise site on 3th december ! Grab it while you can !

The boxset is rather simple but quite nice. With six 12" discs, it's huge and, of course, heavy. It's also my first and only 6 LPs boxset. My second biggest one is David Gilmour's Live in Gdansk with 5 LPs.
All pictures and texts are taken from the original CD boxset but re-arranged on six sleeves and a leaflet. A download card is also included and, if you're lucky (if you're the first one actually), you can use mine : just find it on the pictures. One strange thing : the image used by Phish in february to hint at this release (a green square with the words "Side K : you Enjoy Myself"), isn't part of the boxset at all. Actually, the only green things on it are the tittle's letters and side numbers on the outside of the box.

I haven't got the chance to isolate myself for more than three and a half hours yet to proper listen to the music. I haven't listened to the show for many year actually as I haven't been impressed the first time I heard it. Maybe my expectations were too high knowing that Rolling Stone Magazine named it one of the "Greatest Concerts of the '90s", or maybe I wasn't in a good mood...

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Rift (Blue & Black Editions)

 

Announced shorty before the summer, the second Phish vinyl of the year was Rift, their fourth studio album from 1993.

Two versions of this one have been made : the "Festival edition" and the "regular" one. The original release was at the Magnaball Festival on 21st august 2015. This edition comes with two translucide-blue discs and a new print from David Welker, the original cover's artist. A second version with black LPs and without the print was to be available on Dry Goods later in September, but the announcement text wasn't clear if the blue one will also be buyable online.

On site at the festival was the JEMP Record store, featuring listening booths to enjoy vinyls from Phish and solo projects, even NYE 95. My friend Stephen from Amsterdam got us in touch with Eric, an american fan who would attend the festival, and he aggreed to buy us vinyls there and send them to us. After many adventures with post offices, shipping fees, Paypal and customs, the package finally arrived in Europe last week. Meanwhile, the album has been sold on Dry Goods, even a few blue ones, and I grabbed the black version over there.

The sound on this one is phenomenal ! I heard bits here and there that I've never noticed on the CD I have for years (it was the third one I had, in 1998). The packaging is rather standard but it's always a pleasure to have a bigger version of a cover, especialy such a beauty ! The translucent blue discs are beautiful. I also really like the new David Welker illustration. It's a follow-up to the original cover art that can be watch from every angle, with a lot of details. I framed it like I did for the Pollock's Junta poster and it'll go well beside the jigsaw puzzle of the original art !

 

Trey Anastasio : Paper Wheels

 

Trey Anastasio's new album, Paper Wheels, took its time to come : I remember downloading the first song (Bounce) back in October 2014 and I got the 7" single for Record Store Day in April.

It finally hit shelves at the end of October 2015 with a gorgeous limited vinyl edition. This never-before-seen package is totally awesome. The gatefold cover is full of 25 holes on each side that let see through, down to the actual discs. Indeed, each "sleeve" is made of several smaller sleeves with a rounded hole in the center and they are imbricated one into the other. The result is a kaleidoscopic visual that move when you get the disc out. Moreover, there are writings around the little holes of the gatefold, but on the inside ! That's very original but not that easy to read.

That's the only main drawback of this breath-taking packaging : it's beautiful but fragile and not that practical. One must grab and open it delicately to prevent any damage.

Another surprise comes with the discs themselves.

They are color splatted and look really nice too. But unlike most 12" discs, they play at 45 RPM like 7" so, technically, the sound is better than on a 33 RPM LP.

And it does a great job with this album. The compositions are typically Trey-ish instead of Phish-ish. They have been recorded mostly live and it sounds, like with the tempo-change of Bounce.

On the title track, Natalie "Chainsaw" Cressman made a funny monologue in french ! Her accent is adorable and the text is complete non-sense. I was with my child when I first listened to it and he chuckled when he heard french for the first time after 9 songs in english.

Here is my translation of the speech and a translation :

Salut mes collègues américaines. 
Moi, je suis la tronçonneuse. 
Quand j'étais petit, j'avais un ami imaginaire :
le cochon vert. 
Il était très grand et... et il vous ressemble un peu. 
Avant que je suis parti pour le tour, 
un ivrogne a cambriolé ma maison
et a fait pipi dans mes bottes de neige. 
C'est vrai, j'ai promis ! 
J'ai dû les jeter.
C'était si dégueulasse. 
Quel dommage. 
C'est complètement nul !
Quel dommage ! 
C'est un vrai con qui m'a fait ça. 
C'est complètement nul ! 
Putain de merde !
C'est des conneries ! 
Je souffre ! 
C'est un vrai con qui m'a fait ça. 
Casse toi ! Ivrogne !
Hi my fellow Americans.
I am the chainsaw.
When I was little, I had an imaginary friend :
the green pig.
He was very tall and... and he looks a little like you.
Before I left for the tour,
A drunkard has burgled my house
And peed in my snow boots.
It's true, I promise !
I had to throw them away.
It was so swinish.
What a pity.
It totally sucks !
What a pity.
It's a real jerk who did this to me.
It totally sucks !
fuckin shit ! (Holy Shit !)
It's bullshit !
I am suffering !
It's a real jerk who did this to me.
Get out ! Drunkard !

Some sentence aren't proper french or has gramatical errors (like "Avant que je suis parti pour le tour" which would translate to "Before I am left for the tour") but it's actually part of the charm.

By the way, Natalie has a kickstarter underway for her new EP : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/299666408/natalie-cressman-releases-the-traces-ep
You should check it out, she makes good music and cookies too !

 

Medeski, Martin & Wood :
Radiolarians - The Evolutionary Set

 

Another not-so-related-to-Phish-but-still arrival happened in november : Radiolans - The Evolutionary Set.

Radiolans is a project by Medeski, Martin and Wood from 2008/2009. It was a series of three tours, each one centered around new music that would be recorded after beeing played on stage : "The plan: Write > Tour > Record > Repeat."

The three CDs released in 2008 have been compiled on this Evolutionary Set with bonus materials, a remix CD, a live CD, a documentary DVD and a double LP.

I've been looking for this for a good price since its release in 2009 so I was psyched to finally put my hands on it this year. I really like the design of this set and the improvised-feeling of the music.

MMW have been the first band discovered thanks to Phish that I've seen in a concert at the Jazz à Vienne Festival in 2005.

 

Holly Bowling's Tahoe Tweezer

 

Last but not least, I received on monday the vinyl version of Holly Bownling's Tahoe Tweezer.

The monstruous jam have been famous in the community since 2013 and althought it didn't impressed me at first (maybe I've over-heard of it before actually listened to it, and I've prefered other jams in 2012/2013 and even more in 2014/2015), I have to admit it's a great piece of music and band/crowd communion.

Classically-trained pianist Holly did a fantastic work as transcribing it to solo piano and, since its debut in 2014, her interpretation has become almost as famous as the original. She hasn't stick with this 35 minutes work and has expand her repertoire with many other Phish songs or jams arranged for solo piano (even my first-show-ever Down with Disease Reading Jam). She started a campaign on Pledge Music in april to gather funds for her first album including songs on the first disc and three jams on the second one. Now she's doing concerts all around the United States and is incorporating Grateful Dead jams to her sets.

I instantly jumped on the "Pleadge" button with a "Shut up and take my money" kind of reaction and received the CDs in late august. Now, the Tahoe Tweezer sits near my turntable on a nice blue 12" disc and I can't wait to make it spin.

You can buy her album and the remaining vinyls (limited to 500 copies) at Royal Potato Family and find her shows on Archive.org.

  

 

Siket Disc

 

The year 2015 will end (or most likely, the year 2016 will begin) with another fine Phish release on vinyl : The Siket Disc.

I didn't expect this one, or at least not that early, but it's a very good surprise ! Those studoi outakes are some of my favorite musics by any artist.

I can't wait to blast What's the Use out loud on my new sound system !

 

 

 

 

 




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