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 ?

 

From Berlin to Chicago : 3 wet nights of Phish

by Holger 31. July 2013

Amsterdam : Jam in the Dam 3 - Mike Gordon

by Yome NetSan 11. April 2012

Friday 16th march 2012 @ 20:00

3 Mike Gordon shows in three days with 2 in a row in less than 24 hours.

The final Jam in the Dam night started with the final Mike Gordon show in Amsterdam. As usual, I arrived early and found Stephen right in front of the stage. He finally got his bass signed the night before ! I was so jealous ! During the afternoon, he listened to the soundcheck and heard two noticeable songs. One of it was The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again that they finally didn't play in the show. He also told me he met Scott Murawsky during the day and also crossed Mike's path with his family. The band didn't show up for the signing session the night before because they have been caught in a tour boat for longer than they planned ! Too bad...

Arriving on stage, Mike started toying with a Korg Kaossilator, asking for a number to choose the sound. Another Door was the first song, followed by Crumblin' Bones, a Tom Cleary original. I didn't know the next one neither so I already had hard time tweeting the setlist !

Each song seemed shorter than the ones from previous nights with less jamming. But the playing was great with nice solos from Scott.

Mike came back several times to his Kaossilator, asking for number (I asked "7" and he heard "17"). He even passed it to a man on my right for him to play ! Later in the show, that's Scott who came on the edge of the stage to hand the pad to several people, including Stephen and myself.

The highlight of the night came with a perfectly played Mound. That was the second song Stephen heard during soundcheck. I really love the way they play those Phish songs with extended parts and new arrangements like the vocal "Time Time" break. Scott was killing in the intro !

Again this night, they gifted us with a new cover : Toys R Us by the Greyboy Allstars. It's good to see that they really wanted to do something special for this festival and we all appreciated.

As the end of the set was approaching, I clearly saw someone backstage give Mike a sign that there was 8 minutes left. But they were already waving and the left early. This was the shorter set of the three nights, the recording is 84 minutes long.

Unfortunately, I didn't catch the setlist to complete my collection but Stephen got Mike's pick.

And that was it. Mike Gordon stepped off stage and I don't know when I'll be able to attend another concert.

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Audience recordings of this show are available here :

And his following show in London have been tapped and is available here :

 

 

 

 

Setlist :
Another Door,
Crumblin' Bones,
Black Tambourine,
Morphing Again,
Jones,
Mound,
Toys R Us* >
Hand in My Pocket,
Barika,
Susskind Hotel

* First time played (Greyboy Allstars)

Amsterdam : Day 4

by Yome NetSan 10. April 2012

Friday 16th march 2012 @ 8:00

Early wake again and a nice breakfast.

On our way to Centraal Station, we bought tulip bulbs at the floating flower market. We also walked several street with a lot of mushroom shops. But no psychedelic stuff for me : I bought myself batteries and a 4Go SD Card for my photo camera because I was already short of space after 3 days !

10:00

This time we had taken the tickets with us for the City Tour Bus. The first part of the tour was real hell because we're upstairs without air conditioned nor open window. It was like 8000°C in here ! The bus was packed without a lot of room between the seats. My wife had my son on her knees because I had most of the bags and we weren't feeling good. My son felt asleep because of the heat and we were trying to cool ourselves the best we could.

A stop was planned at a Diamond Factory and we all stepped out of the bus like if our life depended on it ! But new passagers started walking in before we could go out so it turned into a hurry to move out with our bags, the stroller and our sleeping son.

We realized later this day that, in the haste, we forgot the flower bulbs bellow our seats. It didn't costed a lot of money but it was a little too much for my wife after the Groupon fiasco.

We barely had the time to catch your breath before following the group inside the Diamond Factory. The visit was shiny as you can expect it and quite interresting.

Thankfully, the next bus wasn't the same as the first one. We stayed downstairs anyway and the second half of the tour was much more pleasant.

13:00

On our way back, we walked along the tilting houses, wondering how we didn't saw them before...

We almost visited the Game Museum Amsterdam but my credit card decided otherwise. The setting looked cheap and we weren't sure what to find inside (How big is it ? Are there more items than in my own collection ?). The price was 12.50€ per person and, at first, they wanted my 2 years old son to pay full rate ! But we didn't have enough change and my credit card mysteriously didn't worked. I don't know why, but I think it's a good thing we didn't go...

14:30

We finally ate at Burger King again before going back to the hotel to take a nap.

Amsterdam : Jam in the Dam 2 - Mike Gordon

by Yome NetSan 30. March 2012

Thursday 15th march 2012 @ 24:00

I have waited 15 years to see Mike Gordon and now I'm about to witness my second show in two days !

Playing the last concert of this second day at Jam in the Dam, Mike had the headlining spot tonight with a late night set starting at midnight. I hoped that, without any band after them, they would stretch their set a little but it lasted exactly 90 minutes.

Starting with Sugar Shack and Can't Stand Still, I felt confident to live-tweet the setlist, thanks to the free Wifi access inside the Melkweg. But I found myself lost as soon as they went through the first cover. No, I don't know every Beatles song... So I did my best and wouldn't even care if I didn't spell the titles right.

But my first goal was to enjoy the music anyway. Since the beginning of the festival, I felt rather lucky with the songs selection (Zelda by Lotus, Meat by Mike and Birds by Keller) and Mike made me another present with Funky Bitch ! I love that tune and Scott Murawsky's guitar was ripping and jamming !

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There's another funny story about this show. Like in the first night, they played a brand new cover : Kissing the Lipless by The Shins.On the stage setlist, the song title was just "Kissing", one word only like most of the songs ("Shack", "Can't", "Babylon"). Soon after the show, Phish.net released the setlist with the song "Kissing" noted as "a Scott Murawsky original" because he sang the song. As it happened nobody in the audience seemed to know the original song, except for Stephen. Back at home, he has posted a comment with the correct title and artist. But as he was the only one who said so, Phish.net wanted to wait for an official confirmation before correcting setlist (which I can understand). But on the other hand, nobody waited for an official confirmation to write that it was a Scott original...

So the mistake remained and spread all over the Internet on every single reviews of the show like here and there (although it has been corrected since). Apparently, people who wrote them weren't in Amsterdam or didn't take the time to listen to the original version because they would have recognized the intro with the band clapping hands and yelling "Whoo!".
A week later, Mike's official website put the setlist online and all doubts have been wiped out.

And after all, it turns out that I've already listened to this song. It was covered by Marco Benevento and appeared in the pre-order bonus EP Spell 579 years ago !

This story made me think of the "tape years", back in the 80's and 90's. Such a mistake in a setlist could stay for months or even never be corrected ! Nowadays, a wrong setlist spreads on the Internet like crazy, but in the same way, the correct information or the confirmation from officials can be addressed instantly. Actually, it's about who talk first. If the guy who first report the setlist from Amsterdam to Phish.net knew the Shins (I've never heard of them), it would have been right from the start, obviously, and nobody would have waited for a confirmation.

 

 

Setlist :
Sugar Shack,
Can't Stand Still >
She Said She Said >
The Way It Goes,
Andelmans' Yard,
Kissing the Lipless* >
Babylon Baby,
Funky Bitch,
I Miss My Mind,
Hap-Nappy

* First Time Played (The Shins cover)

 

Audience recordings of this show are available here :

 

Amsterdam : Jam in the Dam 2 - moe.

by Yome NetSan 30. March 2012

Thursday 15th march 2012 @ 22:00

moe. was the only band at Jam in the Dam that I knew only the name. I've never heard anything from them before this show, so I wasn't expecting anything.

They played a kind of south rock with pleinty of jams all over the place. In the middle of the stage, there was Rob Derhak, the great bassist who played with ease, like if it was his every day job... well.

I really liked the different styles of the two guitarists Al Schnier (on the right) and Chuck Garvey (on the left). Chuck was more on long, sliding and ringing notes whereas Al played a lot of fast notes. They really completed each other and they both took great solos.

On the back of the stage, there were a solid rythm duo with Vinnie Amico on drums and Jim Loughlin on percussion.

During their set, Keller Williams came on stage to sing and play the guitar. I'm rather fond of those sit in, even if I don't know the song at all !

I was very impressed by the whole show and once back in France I listened to the other Jam in the Dam concert they did (see below) and they are both great too !

Make it fly !

 

[more]

 

Setlist :
St. Augustine
Happy Hour Hero ->
Akimbo ->
Puebla
She
Up On Cripple Creek *
Downward Facing Dog
Spine Of A Dog ->
Buster
Wind it Up

* with Keller Williams on guitar and vocals

 

Audience recordings of the three moe.'s concerts at Jam in the Dam :

Amsterdam : Jam in the Dam 2 - Keller Williams

by Yome NetSan 29. March 2012

Tursday 15th march 2012 @ 20:00

Keller Williams opend the second night at Jam in the Dam in the Max Hall. I didn't really know him as I've only heard some songs and the cover of Phish's Birds of a Feather video with moe.'s guitarist Al Schnier. So I knew that he was a one-man band but I haven't realized he was that good !

He mostly played an acoustic guitar and sing funny half-improvised lyrics. But he had a bass and an electric guitars on stands and he recorded loops on a sampler to play along. He also added drums with an electronic drum machine. With all those layers of sounds, he was able to jam with himself ! It was very impressive to see and to listen because that's not just a gimmick. He can actually play very well all these instruments !

And to my surprise, he did cover Birds at the end of his set ! Nice start !

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Setlist :
1. 2BU ->
2. Cold Roses
3. Tube Dub +
4. Novelty Song
5. Dragon Attack
6. I Am Elvis ->
7. Vacate
8. Doobie
9. Positive Reggae
10. Portapotty
11. Fat Man In The Bathtub
12. Sleep To Dream
13. Right Here *
14. People Watchin'
15. Birds Of A Feather

First recording available here : http://archive.org/details/kellerwilliams2012-03-15.tlm170.flac16

 

Amsterdam : Third day and signing session

by Yome NetSan 29. March 2012

Thursday 15th march 2012 @ 8:00

My son had no will to let me sleep. He woke me up at 8 and we went straight to breakfast.

As it would be the most sunny day of our stay, our today's goal was to walk to the Dam and then to take the bus tour to see the city. But arriving at Amsterdam Centraal Station, I realized that the tickets had been forgotten at the hotel !

11:00

So we took the tram back to Leidseplein and staid in a park between the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. As we finally had less money than expected, we wanted to eat cheap. After looking for different snack, we ended up eating at Burger King quite often !

There were lots of cinemas with french movies, even some we didn't actually know !

 

18:00

As tonight was the night of the signing session at Jam in the Dam, I arrived first at the Melkweg. Stephen arrived soon after me with his bass and a friend. His goal was to get Mike Gordon to sign his bass. But he had to deal with another worry because, the previous day, he got a pass which had two holes. That means he got a one-day-only pass although he had bought a full-festival ticket months ago ! After asking several peoples who couldn't help him, he finally got a guest wristband so he could enter freely for the 2 remaining evenings.

19:00

The doors opened and we went inside the building to find a lot of tables and chairs with Keller Williams and the members of Dark Star Orchestra and moe. waiting for us. They were very nice and welcoming (maybe because I was one of the first in line).

Lotus was still soundchecking in the Oude Zaal hall so they arrived a little later, one by one, except for keyboardist Luke Miller.

But wait, where is Mike ? So sign of him nor his bandmates. Stephen and I were waiting in the middle of the line, looking in every direction. 

We eventually met Junipa Contento, the artist who drew the poster and she nicely signed it too. I actually met her the day before as I was waiting in the hall. Strangely, she had gone right to me to talk about her broken nails !

But Mike still wasn't there... We talked to one of the Jam in the Dam man (can't remember his name, maybe Tim) who told us Mike was invited to come but he didn't know why he wasn't there. Stephen gave him his bass to get it sign by Mike backstage.

We were very disappointed not to meet Mike's band but anyway, we were here for the music. I hope next time will be the good one !

I went out to my hotel to store the poster and get some food and went back for second night of jamming !

Amsterdam : Jam in the Dam 1 - Dark Star Orchestra

by Yome NetSan 23. March 2012

Wednesday 14th march 2012 @ 23:45

After the first show with Mike Gordon in Europe since 1998, I decided to skip moe. to see Dark Star Orchestra playing the Grateful Dead in the other room. The last show of this first night in Jam in the Dam was a two sets affair and I arrived during the last song of the first one.

During set break I went front row and bumped into Stephen again. We stayed until the end of the second set and it was an amazing show once again. I don't know a lot of Grateful Dead songs but I can appreciate the good jams they played, even if I got a little distracted by the camera-stealing chick !

After these tiring day and evening, I was very pleased to be back at my hotel in less than 3 minutes. Everyone was asleep of course and I managed to slip in my bed without a sound.

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Setlist :
3/15/69 Hilton Hotel San Francisco CA

Set One GD show:
Hard To Handle
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Dark Star >
St. Stephen >
The Eleven >
Turn On Your Love Light

Set Two Elective:
Doin' That Rag
Alligator >
Drums >
Alligator >
Death Don't Have No Mercy >
Viola Lee Blues

Encore:
It Hurts Me Too
Dancing In The Streets
And We Bid You Goodnight

Amsterdam : Jam in the Dam 1 - Mike Gordon

by Yome NetSan 23. March 2012

Wednesday 14th march 2012 @ 22:00

If you follow this blog, you should know that I've never been to a Phish concert although I've maybe listened to all of them. Of course, I've never been to a side-project show neither. That's why I decided a year ago to come at Jam in the Dam to see Mike Gordon. And at last, after so many years, the time had come !

While the crew was setting up the stage, we got plenty of time to look at Mike's bass and pedals. It was so strange to be less than 2 meters from his instrument after watching so much video for 15 years. And then, the man came.

In pure Phish/Mike tradition, he didn't say a word and started playing Horizon Line. I was right in front of the stage but wasn't realizing I had a Phish member in front of me, again less than 2 meters away. The stage was high (like up to my shoulders) and there wasn't any space between it and the crowd. So we could actually put our stuff, like my photo camera, on the stage !

The drawback was that even if the band was very close, it was so high that it seemed distant. It was a strange feeling, almost like watching yet another DVD. Actually, we were so close that we could hear the music coming right from each amp, but the vocals were unclear.

Anyway, we could greatly appreciate the show which was mind blowing. There were covers that I knew from past Mike recording and some I didn't. It later came to my knowledge that one of the songs, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, was a first time for Mike's band. I also got to hear my first Phish song played live : Meat. Guitarist Scott Murawski was on fire all night and the two drumer/percussionist Todd Isler and Craig Myers completed each other perfectly. Don't Do It , sung by keybordist Tom Cleary, was also a great song and Dig Furthur Down is one of my favorite. But the jam that occurred during the Idea closer really set the bar high.

 

 

But it was too short. The show seemed to end as soon as it started. It took me several minutes to gather my mind again and this day will stick in my head for years.

 

Setlist :
Horizon Line >
Voices,
Sailin’ Shoes,
Emotional Railroad,
Meat,
You Don’t Mess Around With Jim*,
Dig Further Down,
Don’t Do It,
River Niger >
Idea

* First Time Played (Jim Croce cover)

 

 

Right on time, 2 recording of this show are available here :

 

 

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