Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Band Destroyer

How the Internet Destroys Jambands is an article written by David "Zzyzx" Steinberg. Here's a bit:
While this is most obvious with political discussions, it also comes up in musical discussion boards. If the majority of the vocal participants of a board don't like a song or a band or a jam it becomes received wisdom. The booing of the "Secret Smile" encore in Camden last year probably would never have happened without the weeks of people mocking the song on the Phantasy Phish message boards. It's not just songs that get bashed of course. One of the most unfortunate trends of the jambands world these days is how people use homophobia to mock String Cheese Incident. There are many things that I don't like about that band these days but a perceived lack of straightness isn't one of them.
Some of the better stuff he wrote was about the relationship with Phish and the internet. Check this out:
One of the lucky breaks that Phish got is that the Internet came along at the perfect time for them. With the exception of that one disastrous Colorado trip, they didn't even leave the northeast for the first six years of their career. It took them nine to get as far as the west coast. Yes, tapes circulated if you happened to know the right people and you could occasionally hear someone playing Phish in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show, but it really wasn't until their eleventh or twelfth year until Phish really became known outside of a small cult crowd, just in time for the net to be at a point to help their growth. Those dozen years were put to good use. They had time to discover what songs worked and which ones didn't. "Lushington Miles," "Anarchy," and "Dear Mrs. Reagan" were dropped. The silly lyrics of the Junta period were replaced with the more intriguing songs of the Rift era. Chris Kuroda had time to become an amazing lightman and Paul Languadoc developed the ability to make any room sound amazing. It's not enough to have talent. You also need the time to hone your skills. There's reasons why so few Phish tapes from the early 80s circulate.
I got to meet Zzyzx a few times at various shows. Nice guy

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