Thursday, May 31, 2012

Phish Summer Tour Openers

Here's a nugget of geekdom I uncovered.... Phish has never opened up a U.S.-based summer tour with the same song. I sifted through setlists via and compiled a list of every tour opener since 1991. In 15 different domestic Phish summer tours, they have zero repeats for the openers. I was fortunate to be present for five of those moments -- including both summer tours in 2.0, and three openers in the late 1990s when I actually had lots of hair.

If Phish is purposely picking different song openers every summer, then you won't have to worry about hearing Possum to kick off Worcester one week from today.

Here's the list...
Phish Summer Tour Song Openers:
2012: ????
2011: Tweezer (Bethel Woods, NY 5/27/11)
2010: Down with Disease (Toyota Park, IL 6/11/10)
2009: Sample in a Jar * (Fenway Park, MA 5/31/09)
* Phish technically opened Fenway with Star Spangled Banner.

2004: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing (Keyspan Park, Brooklyn 6/17/04)
2003: Stash (Phoenix, AZ 7/7/03)

2000: First Tube (Antioch, TN 6/22/00)
1999: Bathtub Gin (Bonner Springs, KS 6/30/99)
1998: Wolfman's Brother (Portland, OR 7/15/98)
1997: Ghost (Virginia Beach, VA 7/21/98)
1996: Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Park City, UT 8/2/96)
1995: Possum (Boise, ID 6/7/95)
1994: Llama (Salt Lake City, UT 6/9/94)
1993: Rift (Weedsport, NY 7/13/93)
1992: Glide (Portland, ME 7/9/92)
1991: The Oh Kee Pah Ceremony (Burlington, VT 7/11/91)

Here's Tweezer from Bethel Woods last year...

So, what will this year's summer tour opener be?

The perennial chalk favorites for almost every show are Runaway Jim and AC/DC Bag. I wonder if they'll bust out a Levon Helm-inspired cover? Or perhaps pull a Mound out of their arses?

We'll find out in one week.

Today in Phistory: 5/31/11 PNC and Maze

More teasers for the start of tour. Here's one year ago today at PNC...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

RIP Doc Watson

The legendary Doc Watson passed away. Here's Doc and David Grisman performing Shady Grove...

H/T to Otis for the video.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Morning Key Bumps: Blister in the Sun and a Hot French Chick

Bon jour! We know it's Tuesday, but it friggin' feels like a Monday after a holiday weekend. If there was ever a better time for a Monday Morning key bump... it's right now!

If I was strung out and walking down the street on gloomy Monday morning and saw a sultry, dark, mysterious chain-smoking French women singing a Violent Femmes song, I would definitely stop to check her out...

Today in Phistory: 5/29/11 Bethel Woods and 46 Days

One year ago. Today. The last night of a 3-night run at Bethel Woods.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Today in Phistory: 5/27/11 Bethel Woods and Waves

One year ago today. Bethel Woods. The Phish.

Gearing up for tour. It couldn't start sooner.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Robert Zimmerman

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born today in 1941. Happy Birthday Bob.

Here's Bob's interview in San Francisco circa 1965...

And here's the Phish covering Quinn the Eskimo...

What Is Ya Ka May?

What Is Ya Ka May? is an inspiring and soul-grooving video about the multi-cultural influences on the contemporary New Orleans music scene. You'll see some familiar faces in this mini-doc by Galactic...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Live Bait, Volume 7

Thanks to the gang at, all of us jaded vets and Phishkids can feast on some free Phish with a little Gumbo thrown into the mix too. Tracks were hand-picked by Kevin Shapiro. Shaps didn't mess around and selected a variety of sources dating as far back as 1992. Live Bait 7 even features the freaky Stash from Halloween 10 and a bong-rattling 34 minute version of Jim.
Live Bait 7 - Track Listing:

1. Wilson > Buried Alive > Tweezer (12/28/95 Worcester, MA)

2. Stash (10/31/10 AC)

3. Split Open And Melt (12/4/99 Cincinnati, OH)

4. You Enjoy Myself (7/31/92 Cuyahoga Falls, OH)

5. Runaway Jim (8/11/98 Burgettstown, PA)

6. Reba (8/10/96 Alpine Valley, WI)

7. Gumbo (8/3/98 Deer Creek, IN)

8. All Things Reconsidered > David Bowie (7/27/92 SPAC)


Salami Fever

Pepe Deluxé - Salami Fever

Bacon skirts on scantily clad men with kick ass beats and a hilarious fight scene. Need I say more?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Unsung: Bootsy Collins (Documentary)

Bootsy Collins is the funkiest soul brother in the universe.

Check out this documentary about the story of William "Bootsy" Collins aka the "Pied Piper of Funk", the man who single-highhandedly changed funk into the liquid weirdness we love to groove to...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Lin Yu Chun and William Shatner

In honor of yesterday's solar eclipse, we offer you up this cover of a classic Bonnie Tyler song Total Eclipse of the Heart.

By the way, we love Lin Yu Chun. We wanna kidnap him, feed him an acid-molly cocktail, and take him on summer tour to rage in the lot with us.

Bill Shatner? He's a has-been hack. But, the legendary Capt. Kirk lends his cosmic comedic talents to this outstanding duet...

Happy Monday. Get bent. Tour starts soon. Can you smell it?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

First Tube Poster Show - June 16 Atlantic City

Some of our friends will be showcasing their artistic endeavors at the First Tube Poster Show on June 16th in Atlantic City at Trump Plaza from 10am to 3pm.

Here's some of the press release:
Initial announcement of artists for FIRST TUBE Poster show includes AJ Masthay, Mike DuBois, TRiPP, Ryan Kerrigan, John Warner, Erin Cadigan, Bruce Horan, Jiggs, Noah Phence, Dave Calarco (Mr. Miner), Branden Otto and Lauren Domsky with more to be announced.

The poster show will held Saturday June 16th from 10am-3pm at Trump Plaza Hotel features the best Phish inspired art, including limited edition art made specifically for the show. Admission is FREE.

‘First Tube’, a poster show featuring Phish artists from around the country will be held on Saturday June 16th from 10am-3pm at the Trump Plaza Hotel, Westminster Room, on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Developed and produced by a group of artists and fans known as the Mothership Art Collective, this poster show will be held in the middle of a weekend of Phish, who play nearby Bader Field June 15-17th.

Non-profits include The Mockingbird Foundation which has given grants for music education totaling more than $600,000 over the past 14 years; HeadCount, a non-profit, non-partisan voter registration organization that promotes civic participation and knowledge of the issues; PhanArt, a book and website created as a way to showcase the art made by Phish fans and raises money for Mockingbird Foundation, and Screen ‘n’ Suds combines craft beers and posters to benefit the National MS Society and charities in Richmond, VA.

Phish poster shows have been held over the years with great success, as unique posters made for the Phish shows that weekend and stop on the tour feature some of the best concert art being produced today. ‘First Tube’ is the first event for 2012 produced by the Mothership Art Collective, a group within the Phish community, comprised of artists and organizations who promote the art inspired by the band Phish. The eclectic artists featured at this event show the broad scope of Phish related art and capture the inspiration of the band in their art. The creative fan base that Phish has makes for amazing art inspired by the band, the locales and the music. The collective will work hard to bring a show to the Phish touring public each year.

In keeping with the great tradition and success of past poster shows, First Tube will offer free entry to all patrons, tubes available for purchase, charitable donations from the event made to the Mockingbird Foundation and a wide array of artists with posters to fit any budget. Artists will be announced the first week of May and special edition works, only available at the show, will be available for viewing shortly thereafter at
Hope to see everyone there!

Friday, May 18, 2012

R.I.P. Donna Summer

Farewell, golden voice of the disco era. And what, say you is more rage-'til-dawn danceable than an extended version Donna Summer track? Uhhh, a duet with Donna Summer and BARBRA STREISAND! Check out the amazement that is No More Tears/Enough is Enough.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

John Lennon's First Acid Trip

In 1970, Rolling Stone interviewed John Lennon and you can listen to excerpts to this candid recording in the video below. The interview was controversial at the time because Lennon admitted he ingested LSD over a thousand times, which made him the most "cracked" out of everyone else in the band (with the exception of George Harrison, who Lennon claimed dosed as much as he did).

Lennon told a funny story about his first acid trip (getting dosed by a dentist who was a renown "swinger" in East London) and how he and everyone else freaked out. At the end of the evening, while still tripping, George drove them all home, driving 10 mph.

Lennon discussed his second LSD trip he took during a visit to California. While he was tripping balls when he ran into Peter Fonda.

"I know what it's like to be dead," repeatedly said Fonda in a very devilish tone.

"For Christ's sake shut up!" said Lennon. "We don't care, and we don't want to know."

Lennon explained that Fonda was the inspiration behind writing She Said She Said.

Lennon was also a speed freak, a nasty habit he and the other Beatles acquired in the earliest days of the band in Hamburg while playing all night in clubs. Lennon said never took LSD when he was in the recording studio, but one day he accidentally took some, mistaking it for an "upper." He was so spun, George Martin took him up on the roof to chill out and Lennon sat out of that day's recording session.

The most interesting bit from the interview was when Lennon divulged... "I got a message on acid which said: 'Destroy your ego.'"

"And I destroyed me-self [sic]," explained Lennon. "I destroyed me [sic] ego. And I didn't believe I could do anything. I was nothing I was shit."

Of course, that stint of introspective self-loathing subsided shortly after when Lennon ate another dose and got back on track.

Listen to bits of the 1970 Rolling Stone interview here:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

London Monk (1965)

Here's that hip cat Thelonious Monk performing in London circa 1965...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Lin Yu Chun

My girlfriend is fascinated with the angelic voice of Lin Yu Chun. The first time she heard the chunky kid from Taiwan, she was convinced it was a random 20-something black woman. She was floored by the kid's amazing vocal range.

Me? Whenever I'm having a bad day, I listen to Lin Yu Chun's cover of Whitney Houston because 1) it's outright inspiring, and 2) reminds me that aliens exist.

Yes, I have a theory that Lin Yu Chun is an alien hybrid with an uncanny ability (or special power)

So, is Lin Yu Chun an alien? Or is he proof that inside every Asian boy there lives a black woman with a sultry voice? Decide for yourself...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tomorrow Never Knows, Mad Men, and $250,000

I'm an avid fan of Mad Men. My girlfriend turned me onto the AMC show because she works in the entertainment industry and knows one of the actors (way before the show took off). Anyway, if you don't know anything about Mad Men -- it's about the hard-boozing, uber-competitve advertising world, but set in the 1960s. This season has had a couple of interesting twists including one of the characters smoking weed backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, another character taking LSD for the first time (check out my take on that... Roger in the Sky with Diamonds), and then there's the most recent episode which featured the Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows, a psychedelic-anchored song with lots of sitars, which was the last track off of Revolver (released in the summer of 1966).

Many of the showbiz rags were going apeshit this week about the historic significance of using a Beatles song in a TV show -- 1) it had never been done before, and 2) the price tag was somewhere around $250,000. Yep, somewhere Yoko Ono just got a fat check from AMC.

Anyway, thanks to OpenCulture, I stumbled across this short video about the recording of Tomorrow Never Knows featuring producer George Martin and Sir Paul McCartney (aka Billy Shears)...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

NEW! Hal Masa Mix: Dark Star - Night Fall of Diamonds

Our friend from Japan, Hal Masa, sent us his latest mix that focuses on the Grateful Dead. Hal Masa included gems from the early 1970s, including segments from the famous Europe 72 tour and a deep deep cut from the Avalon Ballroom in 1968. Damn, I'd give my left nut to see the Dead in San Francisco on a head full of Owsley's finest.

Dark Star - Nightfall of Diamonds -- Tracklist:
8/27/72 Old Renaissance Faire Groundsm Veneta, OR >
2/26/73 Pershing Municipal Auditorium, Lincoln, NE >
2/18/71 Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY >
4/8/72 Wembley Empire Pool, London, ENG >
5/11/72 Rotterdam Civic Hall, Rotterdam, NED >
10/12/68 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA >
9/19/70 Fillmore East, New York, NY >
10/25/73 Dane Country Coliseum, Madison, WI

Download here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

All Hail the Beat

Great mini-doc about the Roland TR-808 rhythm machine -- a clunky piece of technology that revolutionized the recording industry and influenced techno, hip hop, and even pop music.

H/T to Open Culture's post... How the 1980 Roland TR-808 Drum Machine Changed Pop Music.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Beastie Boys and RIP MCA Reprise

We're still in mourning over the passing of MCA. Here's a little something that used to get us fired up to play hockey when I was in college...

Oh, and if that didn't wake you up or piss off your fellow cube dwellers, then crank up this funky junkie of a monkey (or something that is right out of "Stuff White People Like"...)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Dead Flowers: Making Bets on Kentucky Derby Day

Keith Richards and Willie Nelson perform Dead Flowers circa 2002. If you know the lyrics very well and bet on the ponies then you know why I posted this video...

Friday, May 04, 2012


MCA (born Adam Yauch with a beard like a billy goat) from the Beastie Boys passed away after losing a bout with cancer.

I was in high school when I picked up a copy of my first-ever Beastie Boys album Licensed to Ill. Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that it was a cassette and included a fold out version of the "album cover" of a plane crushing its nose into a cliff. That cassette was worn out within weeks and Licensed to Ill quickly became valuable tool of my youth. I was a precocious and mischievous teenager, but open to whatever the Beastie Boys taught me -- ranging from a variety of compelling subjects including Paul Revere to girls to whiffle ball bats to something called a funky brass monkey.

Before I left the Bronx and migrated southbound to Atlanta for college, I acquired the CD version of Licensed to Ill, which I played ad nauseum, much to the delight of my dope smoking, beer chugging friends and much to the dismay of my redneck neighbors whom I tortured the next four years by blasting Paul's Boutique at 3am. Yes, at one point in my life, I was that fucking guy. As luck would have it, the CD cover for Paul's Boutique spent an entire semester on my coffee table as a multipurpose tool to remove seeds and de-stem bricks of Mexican ditch weed.

MCA was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and passed away after a three-year long battle. He influenced countless numbers of fans and fellow artists through the genre-blending music (funk + punk + rap) he created with his cohorts in the Beastie Boys.

MCA will be missed, but not forgotten. RIP MCA. Blunts and 40oz. will be passed around tonight in your honor.

* * *

UPDATE (4:20pm ET)...

Check out a few classic entries about the Beasties that a few writer friends of mine penned a couple of years ago:
And on the cool check in... by Shane Nickerson

Fuck REM. Long Live MCA...


1959: The Year that Changed Jazz, Part 4

Here's the final installment of the documentary film 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz. This segment focuses on the cultural influences and experiments with time signatures that affected Dave Brubeck's recording of Time Out. The second part discusses the controversial performance of Ornette Coleman's newly honed style in New York City's jazz clubs.

Check out: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Thursday, May 03, 2012

1959: The Year that Changed Jazz, Part 3

Here's Part 3 of 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz. This segment focuses on the creation of the Ornette Coleman quartet and Charlie Mingus mixing politics and music.

"There's only twelve notes satisfying the whole world," is the best line in this segment, which explains Ornette Coleman bending the limits of playing music.

Check out: Part 1 - Part 2

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The History of Whistling

Disappointed. Cool concept, but these fucking hipsters snubbed Reba!

1959: The Year that Changed Jazz, Part 2

We're continuing our celebration of Jazzfest with Part 2 of 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz. Part 2 focuses on the controversial popularity of Dave Brubeck.

Check out: Part 1.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

1959: The Year that Changed Jazz, Part 1

We're in the middle of Jazzfest. So what's a better way to celebrate it than to post a documentary about 1959? The year of 1959 is a high-water mark in which many jazz historians agree was the one of the most influential years in the history of all music. 1959 was anchored by the recording of classic albums by Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus, Dave Brubeck, and Ornette Coleman.

Here's Part 1 of 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz...

* * * *

Update: Here are links to Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4