Read the book(s)

by Yome NetSan 28. August 2016

This summer has been a quiet one. I haven't got the chance to start listening to Phish's tour before it ended neither the several vinyl records I bought since April. But I've read quite a lot and some of the books I dove into have been related to our band.

 

Fare Thee Well

After finally buying the huge Fare Thee Well 12 CD / 7 BluRay "Complete" box (still missing the Santa Clara shows, where the lyrics "Fare Thee Well" have been sung), I added to my shelves the accompagning book.

It's a beautiful coffee-table kind of book with a lot of beautiful pictures. Seriously, the production of the concerts and the talent of the photographers have done wonders. I received it in the morning of the day I flew to my vacation in Morocco, so I have left to dive deeper in those lights.

 

This has all been wonderful

 

I also bought a book I've been willing to read for a long time : David ''Zzyzx'' Steinberg's "This has all been wonderful". Everybody know for sure Zzyzx's website for Phish statistics but not as many know that the guy wrote a book about his summer 1994 tour, "the year Phish became Phish".

The book isn't very long but I haven't begun it yet. I hope it will immerge me in the 94 scene with description of the lot and the fans more than the actual music. We'll see...

 

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A Live One (33 1/3)

I've been intrigued by this book since it came out last september. It's part of the 33 1/3 series of Bloomsbury Publishing where each book focuses on a particular record. The series counts more than a hundred books and I already ordered several more like Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, Michael Jackson's Dangerous and, more surprising, Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack.

A Live One is written by Walter Holland, a long time Phish fan. It explores each track of the double album with some thoughts about the history of the band and the evolution of their sound. It's sometimes quite complicated to read because of the technical and musical notions involved, especially for a non native english speaking person like me. But it's very well written and interresting. It can open up a new way to listen to a jam and it certainly pushed me to listen to this great live album once again.

 

The Phish Companion (Third Edition)

But if there must be only ONE book to read (except for the Helping Friendly one of course) it's The Phish Companion.

I have the first and second editions for years and I've been waiting for this one for a long time. It has been actually announced and available to pre-order more than three years ago. But the book have been completly re-worked and it's been released independently by the Mockingbird Foundation in June 2016. 

The biggest modification is the organization of the book. Where the first two had several sections (setlists, songs, interviews...), this new version compiles everything chronologicaly from 1983 to 2016. Histories of each song are sprinkled after the show it appeared first. It can be puzzling at first but it's finally the best way to read the book very naturally, from start to finish. There is still an index at the end of the book to find directly the history of the song you want.

It's sold at 39$ on the official website (phishcompanion.com) but the international shipping are way too expensive. The only thing that I miss from getting the book directly from the Mockingbird Foundation is the rad package with written in big letters "READ THE BOOK" (as seen on Holger's pictures). It has then been available on Dry Goods and then Amazon some time later at 49$ (the retail price) with varied shipping fees. That's why I received it in the same parcel as Fare Thee Well right before leaving to Morocco. But unlike the other book, I find a blank space for it in my luggage !

I read it avidly during my holidays and it's a hell of a good read. Pictures are in full colors and the printing is beautiful. In the end, the two past edition avidly s look very amateur-ish in comparaison. Each fan should really get their hands on a copy.

A few days before I left, phish.net announced a contest where you had to take a picture of the book in a remote place or with a nice setting and post it on the Internet with the hashtag #ReadTheBook. That's the kind of challenge that I like, without thinking of winning, just to have fun.

I started taking pictures of the companion on the beach. Ok, they aren't very creative, even if you see the "Sand" history on the page... So I've posted only the first one.

I wanted a picture of me reading it in the ocean, on my bodyboard. With the help of my wife, we took several photos and I had a hard time choosing the one I would send

The funny thing is that I opened the book at random to pose for the picture and find myself on the page of "Wading in the Velvet Sea"...

Then my wife took the rein with some good ideas.

The first one was having my shadow reading the book in the sand. A clever idea but not really fulfilled in the end.
The second one was more elaborated and needed some settings. The idea was to dry the book like a T-shirt and a wetsuit with a surf board in the background. I like that one a lot but after posting it on Twitter, I realized the book wasn't clearly visible after all.

While up on the roof of the house for the previous photo, I took some more with the landscape of roofs in the background. I posted the one with the tree but not the other one because I didn't like the light, even if you can see the ocean in the distance.

And then there's a last one I took very quickly without really thinking of it, one day before leaving the beach. We were sun bathing and reading right next to this life buoy but I only thought of using it in a photo at the last moment.

I was about to publish this article yesterday when I've received a message from Phillip Zerbo, editor of the Phish Companion. And guess what ? I won third place in the contest with this one !! I later saw in the phish.net post the other winners' great photos. Happy ending !

 

Anyway, I hope your summer has been full of fun, music and good reading too ! We'll see us on a webcast one of this day ?

 

15 years ago, my life changed forever

by Yome NetSan 12. July 2012

I was in Bellport on the 12th July 1997 when someone played a song that changed my life.

Phish instantly became one of the three bands I listened to the most at the time with k's Choice and Smashing Pumpkins. By the way, it's funny how those three bands are still there in my life and how they all split up and came back together at one point (although "coming back together" can be discussed in regards of the Pumpkins).

It's only very recently that I found the words to express why I love Phish jams.
While many bands can play inventive improvisations, they sound like if someone pressed the Pause button to let the guy play his solo and the music starts again where it left off.
With Phish, the jam moves on, travels, goes forward. At the end of a jam we're not where we were some minutes ago. We've been in a natural voyage and we arrived far further.

Anyway, a lot of things happened in 15 years.
The band evolved, went on hiatus, came back, broke up, came back again...
Meanwhile, I grew up, built my life, met my wife, learnt a lot, worked as much, bought a house, changed a lot but stayed the same in a way.
I often feel like I'm still 17... and then I look at my little boy...

 

In 15 years, I gathered a lot of Phish-related memories...

I remember trying to figure out what they were saying in You Enjoy Myself.
I remember writing to Eric about how I love Junta and the french talk in the background of Dinner and a Movie.

I remember spending nights reading setlists in the Helping Phriendly Book, a RTF file compiled by Phish.net. This was before the Phish Compagnion books (coincidentally, a Third Edition has just been announced today).
I remember translating the lyrics of Esther and Kissed by Mist into french poems.

I remember playing Sample in a Jar in a concert with my band, although I'd rather forget about it.
I remember trying to write down Trey's spoken diatribe in Icculus before realizing I could find all lyrics on the Internet.

I remember bouncing around the room when I recognized the beginning of Weekend at Burnsie's, the Simpson episode in which Phish play Run Like an Antelope.
I remember being amazed by my first mp3 CD player which cost 990 francs at the time (about 150€/$), very expensive for my student girlfriend's wallet).

I remember receiving my first ever Internet order : the Live in Vegas dvd.
I remember buying so much promo CDs on eBay for my collection that I couldn't even tell which one I had or not.

 

As I recently wrote, Internet is my only link to the band. With Phish, it's the thing that has actually changed my life the most in the last 15 years. I could not live without Internet today, just like I could not imagine living without Phish and all that ensued.
And for the first time, the Virtual Band became a little more real this year thanks to Mike Gordon visiting Amsterdam for Jam in the Dam. A disturbing experience.

 

Speaking of "all that ensued", the amount of new music I discovered thanks to Phish is quite astonishing. No other artist got me into so many other artists. My musical horizon is much wider now thanks to them.
Obviously, the first band that I think of is the Grateful Dead, which introduced me to Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, Bob Weir & Ratdog...
While I was looking for Phish mp3, I quickly came upon Nugs.net with its great NugsCast and Free Stash. Bands like Widespead Panic, String Cheese Incident, Gov't Mule, Lotus, moe. were new to my ears and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know them by now if I haven't heard Fee on that saturday night in Long Island.
I also heard for the first time about Talking Heads, Little Feat, Deodato or Frank Zappa with Phish covers.
The many side projects are an endless source of discoveries... Vida Blue, Pork Tornado, Oysterhead (which introduced me to Les Claypool), Trey's solo bands (who got me into the great Jennifer Hartswick) and Mike's collaborations like the Benevento/Russo Duo which leaded me to Marco Benevento, Garage a Trois, Everyone Orchestra...
And finally there's the musicians the band played with like Dave Matthews and Medesky, Martin and Wood, whom I had the pleasure to see in concert at Jazz à Vienne in 2005.

All of these artists are now regulary featured in my playlist, my turntable or my Playstation 3.

[vimeo:28246136]

Everything started with Junta so I would have loved to celebrate this 15th anniversary with a listening session of the Pollock Edition vinyl but, well, you know...
Instead, I think I'll play a big Phishy concert full of covers with Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

Set 1 : Sample in a jar > Chalkdust Torture > Down with Disease, Wilson > Scarlet Begonias > Llama, On the Road AgainStash > Bold as Love, Psycho Killer > Fire
Set 2 : Crosseyed and Painless > Tweezer > Space Oddity > Cold Rain and Snow
Encore : Frankenstein, Tubthumping

 

See you in 15 years phans !

Pix'n Love Publishing : The Archaeologists of Video Games History

by Yome NetSan 26. July 2010

I know it's nothing about Phish or music at all but as I've already spoke about them several times, I thought I could add some more as french editor Pix'n Love goes international and open Pix'n Love Publishing !

Pix'n Love Publishing was founded in 2007 by three young Frenchmen, each very passionate about the history of video games. Their goal is to offer gamers, as well as anybody curious about the subject, a selection of reliable books about their passion: video gaming and its history. During their three years on the market, they've published, re-released, translated and written over 25 books in French. Some even became real best sellers in France and French speaking territories.
Today, Pix'n Love Publishing goes international and is proud to bring you some of their most successful releases, fully translated into English.
Three books are already planned to be released. The first one, the History of Nintendo (1889-1980) will be available around the end of August.

I read their books since the beginning and they are awesome. Florent Gorges, main redactor and creator of the company, is maybe one of the person who knows the best Nintendo and starts to have a very good reputation around the world. His books about Nintendo history are sold in several stores in Tokyo, even if they're in french ! No other books in the world have been published about Nitnendo this this kind of researshs and details. There are actually the Helping Friendly Book of video games !
They also organize annual trip to Japan and it's with them that I went there in april 2009. A defining moment for me.

The 3 first books published in english will be :

  • The History of Nintendo Vol.1 : 1889-1980 From Playing-Cards to Game & Watch (you can pre-order now, released end of August)
  • The History of Nintendo Vol.2 : The Game & Watch games, an incredible invention
  • The Great Personalities in the Gaming Industry Vol.1 : Takahashi Meijin

So you can guess that if you're into video games like me, or just curious, I advice you to get thoses books.
Proove that we gamers can actually read !

pixnlovepublishing.com

 

 




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