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Phish?

Old 02-26-03, 04:36 PM
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Phish?

OK so I admit I have never heard a phish song before. I have a feeling that I would like them though, based on the stuff I have been reading about in my Rolling Stone.

How do you classify them? I hear them compared to Grateful dead and the like, but also bands like Dave Matthews and stuff.

I hear they play lots of long instrumentals, which is what attracts me the most.

How are the lyrics? I love Dream Theater, music wise, but I can't stand the inane lyrics. They dull in comparison to the music. Am I going to be dissapointed in the lyrics of Phish?

Anyway, can anyone shed some like on this? I'm starving for some new music (to me I mean) and they sound pretty cool, but I don't wanna go out and buy gobs of cds I won't ever listen to again.
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Old 02-26-03, 04:37 PM
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I wanna know too. And while we are at it, how is Dreamtheater.
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Old 02-26-03, 04:53 PM
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Musically I think they kick ass. I think they have extreme talent, but the lyrics are just terrible in my opinion. I mean, he has a great voice, but the content is pure sap. It's too lovey dovey so to speak, for me at least. It doesn't quite fit the mood of the music I guess. They have some awesome long, progressive tracks though, which is what I really like about them.
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Old 02-26-03, 05:01 PM
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Does dt have any long instrametal songs, and is the live stuff better than the studio stuff?
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Old 02-26-03, 05:05 PM
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Ya, check out Six Degrees of Inner Turbulance. Quite a few long instrumental stuffs on there. I have all the cds, but to be honest, haven't gotten around to really getting into them all. I've never seen them live, but the Scenes from NY live set is great. I can't think of song titles off the top of my head right now though. Sorry.
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Old 02-26-03, 06:08 PM
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Phish is really a difficult band to classify to someone who knows nothing about them. The best way to discover them is really to seek out some music. They incorporate bits of rock, pop, prog rock, funk, bluegrass, jazz, country, electronica and other musical styles in their sound. They are a jamband and that results in lengthy, improvised instrumentals. However, most of their songs have at least some vocals.

Comparisons to the Dead are more apt than Dave Matthews comparisons. However, you don't have to like the Dead to like Phish. In fact, I'm not a big Dead fan, and Phish is my favorite band. The Dead certainly is an influence, but (to paraphrase the band) no more so than King Crimson, Charles Mingus or Frank Zappa.

Their lyrics are definitely not sappy (with the exception of a few songs) nor are they particularly "hippie-ish". At first, a lot of the words appear to be nonsensical, but there usually is some meaning if you read them closely. I happen to really like most of their lyrics, but many do say that the words are nonsensical and inane. I'm pretty sure that Phish.net has a lyrics database if you're interested in checking a few out. You can also find a complete list of setlists and covers on that page.

Since you want the long songs and not the short, pop, easily digestible Phish, I'd recommend starting with some live stuff, which are pretty easily found on the Net. Furthur is a good place to start for some shows. 12/31/95 and 2/20/93 are two fan favorite shows and good places to start. Rolling Stone called the 12/31/95 show one of the best concerts of the 90s. Of course, there's also the 12/31/99 marathon set in Florida that lasted for over 7 hours, which should also be very easily found on Furthur. A few good officially released albums: Live Phish 7 and Live Phish 15 (which includes a full cover of Talking Heads' Remain in Light). Of course, you really can't go wrong with A Live One either.

If you do want the short, poppy, accessible Phish, Rift and Round Room are my two favorite studio works. Many also really enjoy Billy Breathes.

Hope that helped, and hope you enjoy.

Last edited by Gdrlv; 02-26-03 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 02-26-03, 06:15 PM
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your link to further is dead. Also, would you be able to buy them or just download them.
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Old 02-26-03, 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
your link to further is dead. Also, would you be able to buy them or just download them.
My bad. The link is fixed.

Also, Phish does have shows for sale... They have officially released 16 Live Phish volumes in the past year and a half. These releases are 2-4 discs and sell for $20-$30. They've also got a live album released in 1995 called A Live One that was taken from several different shows. You've also got Hampton Comes Alive, a 6 disc box set from two Virginia shows in 1998, and Slip Stitch and Pass, a one disc live set taken from Europe in 1997. These are available at any record store or Phish's website.

Phish also recently started Live Phish Downloads. They've got a few archive shows available, including their first post-hiatus shows in December and January. You're also able to download the February tour currently occurring no later than 48 hours after each show. The downloads cost $10 for MP3 files and $13 for SHN files.
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Old 02-26-03, 06:59 PM
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Hey, thanks for the info. I shall have to check out the Live stuff. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-03, 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by Gdrlv
They've also got a live album released in 1995 called A Live One that was taken from several different shows.
Interesting, the inside of the back cover of the book in this CD says "Recorded Live, Clifford Ball, 1994", yet I can find no mention of a Clifford Ball show in 1994. What's up with that?
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Old 02-27-03, 09:37 AM
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Phish Lyrics

As far as the lyrics go, it's not an all or nothing matter. Some of them are ridiculous. Some of them are very meaningful. Every song has it's own theme and feeling and the lyrics usually abide.

Sometimes they're romantic.
Sometimes they're mean.
Sometimes they're deep.
Sometimes they're spiritual.
Sometimes they're meaningless.
Sometimes they're an inside joke.
Sometimes they're brilliant.
Sometimes they're juvenile.

I can't tell you my favorite Phish lyrics because it changes often. One of the lines that is consistantly one of my favorites is from "Down With Disease"...

"I'm waiting for the time when I can finally say, that this has all been wonderful but now I'm on my way!"

There's a fairly good lyrics page here.

There is a better one called The Runaway Golfcart Marathon that I was checking out yesterday but now it doesn't seem to exist. If this one comes back, it is the one to use.

All that being said, Phish is about the music!
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Old 02-27-03, 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by Bust
Interesting, the inside of the back cover of the book in this CD says "Recorded Live, Clifford Ball, 1994", yet I can find no mention of a Clifford Ball show in 1994. What's up with that?
it was a joke... from an interview with kevin shapiro (phish archivist):

I believe you are correct that the source of Wilson from A Live One is 12/30/94 Madison Square Garden. A Live One is a fully-produced live album, designed to flow like a real show (hence the joke in the insert booklet "Recorded live, Clifford Ball, 1994"). Unlike some of the newer live releases, ALO was entirely remixed from digital multi-track and then pieced back together. Though I would have to look up studio logs and track sheets for details of any specific song, the album definitely contains some overdubs and edits. I would guess that explains the difference you are hearing in the guitar solo.
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Old 02-27-03, 10:21 AM
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also, for a complete rundown of the sources for A Live One:

http://www.phish.net/faq/aliveone.html
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Old 02-27-03, 10:31 AM
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Phish is very interesting. I'm not a huge fan, but I can definitely see the appeal.

They have the talent and musicianship to do pretty much any type of music from punk to funk to folk to rock. Jon Fishman, their drummer, is absolutely amazing and gives the band a sort-of off-kilter "wobble" (to steal Trey's word). The band is just a little loose, a little loopy and it really suits them. They can play anything, and I do mean anything. It's tempting to lump them in with folksy white-boy jam bands, but just when you think you've pigeon-holed them, they surprise you. They have twice the artistic integrity of sell-outs like DM.

Phish live is a blast. They're usually in a terrific mood, the crowd is supportive and energetic. The vibe is incredible, everyone just having a good time, participating with the band. It's a combination rock concert, party, Rocky Horror revival and carnival. Phish will play pretty much anything from their entire catalogue and some truly surprising covers.

The shows can have a sort of patchoulli-scented hippy-dippyness to them that was slightly annoying. Also, there are many Phish fans that refuse to listen to anything else, refuse to believe that any other band is talented and live in a bizarre little Phish-bubble. They're like LOTR geeks: endlessly obsessing over minutia and squabling about different versions of "Wilson" or "Bouncing 'Round the Room". Ick. avoid that scene and you'll hav a great time, though.

It's worth hearing their Halloween shows: they assume a "musical costume" and play an entire album's worth of covers. I've got their live version of Talking Head's "Remain in Light" (one of the best albums ever, IMO) and you really should hear it. Their New Year's Eve shows are usually their best: four hour epics that never let you down.

Livephish.com is truly wonderful. Name another band that embraced the internet like Phish has: you can't. They truly "get" the power of the internet. Also, you'll note that it's tough to find pirated Phish stuff on Kazaa. Because Phish has helped their intenet following to develop, they've encouraged legit purchasing at reasonable prices, rather than shunning their best fans. Take note, Metallica and co.
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Old 02-27-03, 10:35 AM
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While I like "A Live One", if you've got the bucks, I think "Hampton Comes Alive" is a better introduction to the band. Check out the versions of "Divided Sky" and "Bathtub Gin". Great stuff. I saw a show at the "Mothership" once. Tons o fun.
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Old 03-06-03, 05:43 PM
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Hiro...great description of Phish, their shows and their music. You're right...the hippy-dippy atmosphere can be annoying, but it's not as bad with Phish as other jambands. Actually, maybe I'm just biased, but Phish's crowd always looks more clean cut than String Cheese Incident or Widespread Panic attract.

Ergyu and Rypro - Have you tracked down any music. What'd you think?
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Old 03-06-03, 08:14 PM
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I love their cover of Gin and Juice
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Old 03-06-03, 08:20 PM
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Originally posted by costanza187
I love their cover of Gin and Juice
The bluegrass Gin & Juice cover was done by the Gourds (another favorite band of mine), not by Phish. I don't know how the rumor got started that Phish did it, but it's really prevalent. It's not true though.

Gin & Juice is the only studio cover that the Gourds have recorded, but I've seen 'em do "No Diggity" and "Ziggy Stardust" live...they put on an awesome show by the way.
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Old 03-06-03, 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by Gdrlv
I don't know how the rumor got started that Phish did it, but it's really prevalent. It's not true though.

It was just a mislabeled .mp3 that started making rounds on Napster and Scour.
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Old 03-07-03, 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by Gdrlv
The bluegrass Gin & Juice cover was done by the Gourds (another favorite band of mine), not by Phish. I don't know how the rumor got started that Phish did it, but it's really prevalent. It's not true though.

Gin & Juice is the only studio cover that the Gourds have recorded, but I've seen 'em do "No Diggity" and "Ziggy Stardust" live...they put on an awesome show by the way.
\


Can't trust NAPSTER file naming eh
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