Monday, November 18, 2013

Guest Post by Fink -- Song of the Year: Carini vs. Tweezer, Part 2

Fink Magazines Phight of the Year: The battle being staged for Song of the Year between Carini and Tweezer

By Fink

A few days ago, I provided the CompuJam Stats for Carini making her case for Song of the Year (link to Part 1). This week, I will deliver the CompuJam Stats for Tweezer arguing his case for song of the year. Prior to doing so, let me just give some quick rational on why I believe these are the top two songs of 2013. Carini and Tweezer epitomize why Phish is far and away the best band in the world, and why I believe they are at the absolute top of their game right now.
1. Quantity. Counting MSG 2012, there have been 42 shows to date. Carini has appeared eight times, Tweezer ten times. Five of the eight Carinis were over 12 minutes. Every version of Tweezer clocked in at over 9:56, three were over 20 minutes. They are in heavy rotation and extended just about every time played.

2. Quality. There are some great jams in nearly every one these tunes. Phish knows how good these songs are as they relied heavily upon them all year long: They were only in the same show once, every version was featured in a prominent position and all were played in the second set.

3. Consistency. Carini and Tweezer have been tremendous in at least 14 of the 18 versions since MSG 2012. That’s a ridiculously high percentage. Put almost any of them on randomly for a listen and you will not be disappointed.

4. Versatility. Phish showed a tremendous ability to take both deep into Type II. They also can veer in any direction – blissful, dark, happy, dirty, funky, groovy, psychedelic, uplifting.

5. Historical. Each offered up multiple versions that will be listened to forever. My Phish All-Time Crushers playlist includes six versions from this battle.

6. Variety. One of the things that blows me away about Phish right now is that most of these 18 jams are so unique…never going back to the same old jam. Nobody else can do what Phish does. Nobody.

Tweezer CompuJam Stats

12/28/12 MSG. The first 20-minute Tweezer in over nine years…this bad man struts out of the locker room at MSG with a limited entourage, calmly steps into the ring and after taking off his boxing robe delivers a master class of jabs, feints and slips. This Tweezer is intelligent, not trying to win the fight in the first round with wild haymakers instead impressing the judges with his incredible and intricate sounds that get better and better as the song goes on. A Money Mayweather style clinic, if you will, on how to jam. A beautiful four man build-up to the middle and then suddenly this Tweezer is gliding along, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a Yarmouth Road. This Tweezer is a seasoned veteran; he’s confident and knows he’s got IT. Slow and steady for most of the jam and then starts to build towards the end to some great rock n' roll guitar licks and a few stretched notes from Big Red. This Tweezer then takes an authoritative step into the Maze.

7/06/13 SPAC. This is only time all year that Tweezer and Carini are played in the same show this year, separated only by Sand. Unfortunately for Tweezer, Carini dominated this round and his cornerman was trying to use the Sand to heal the wounds with gauze. Tweezer goes nowhere so Trey correctly pulls the ripcord. This was a tiny Tweezer, no future at all. He doesn’t have much to offer, SPAC Carini didn’t give SPAC Tweezer the time of day and just dominated him on this night.

7/12/13 Jones Beach. After a lackluster showing in his previous round, this Tweezer was obviously coached up by his trainer, immediately announcing his presence with authority. One bad round does not a phight make. The relentless rain finally subsided and immediately you can hear the confidence in this Tweezer. Hardly a wasted minute, this Tweezer is played with power and like all great athletes makes everyone around him better as he sets up one of the best segues of the year in Tweezer -> Cities -> Wedge (The Right, the left, the right!). This is a professional Tweezer.

7/16/13 Alpharetta. This Tweezer shows up in the middle of the Heartbreaker set. Phish being Phish, you can hear how much fun this Tweezer is having. This Tweezer is having a good time, roaring with laughter, cracking jokes and buying drinks for everyone at the bar. He probably spotted Carini drinking in the corner booth flirting with some guys, thus the Heartbreaker teases. This Tweezer isn’t perfect or beautiful but hot damn this Tweezer is a good time and great fun to be around. He really starts to boogie down and probably left the bar a bit too early with Silent in the Morning. This Tweezer knows how to Party Time.

7/22/13 Toronto. Due to some questionable choices after leaving the bar in Alpharetta, Tweezer needed to get out of the country. This is a fairly standard Tweezer, nothing memorable here. It holds a nice groove for a minute but not much to report. The boys took the DWD jam huge to open the set and then cruised home. After a big night out in Alpharetta and what was in store the next time Tweezer hits the town, it’s not entirely unexpected that this Tweezer took a slight breather from the freezer and went home early. He was saving his Energy (speaking of, gone for good or just took the fall semester off?) for Tahoe, but went home with Silent for the second show in a row.

7/31/13 Tahoe. The Tahoe Tweezer. I think Mike sums it up best: "That Tahoe thing that everyone likes — the Tahoe 'Tweezer.' Was it 'Tweezer?' Whatever the hell it was. I really liked that night, too." We phans have debated thousands and thousands of hours about the significance of this jam. I have read countless essays about it. My crew has had a huge debate on the Tahoe Tweezer causing a schism in the group (aka the "Tahoe Reformation"). This was one of, if not the, greatest songs I have ever witnessed. At the time I remember thinking it was equivalent to watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. This was the highlight of one of the greatest summers of my life. Shit, this was one of the greatest moments of my life. WTF Mike? "Was it Tweezer?!?!?" Was he being cool or was he serious or was he just being Mike? Its actually OK, artists obviously have different viewpoints and whatever works for Phish to get them to the zone they are in right now I am all for. Anyway, this Tweezer is the biggest and baddest dude on the block. This Tweezer definitely carries around the bad motherfucker wallet. This Tweezer isn’t comparable to 2013 Tweezers, this Tweezer is comparable to the greatest Tweezers and really the greatest Phish jams of all time. This Tweezer has it all – versatility, beauty, size, length, depth, strength, tension and release, patience, style, substance, a journey out and back with a perfect landing and of course much debated crowd involvement. While I am anti-woo and encourage everyone that woos to buy the woo-x [/wo͝oks/] patch (of course Trey probably needs the patch more than anyone), patient zero woof fit perfectly for that time and place. The only band in the world that can involve their crowd and have that kind of spontaneous interaction in one of the greatest jams of all time is Phish. This Tweezer flows through different themes and movements with precision and accuracy, moving from beauty to darkness to light to joy to bliss to release to the congregation participation. I was so blown away I barely remember the Tela (or anything else for that matter) that followed.

8/31/13 Dicks. It took exactly one month for Phish to follow-up the Tahoe Tweezer. This Tweezer is actually quite good looking in certain lights, at times nearly moving me to tears, but also has some flaws. There are moments where this Tweezer is quite a handsome chap and makes the ladies swoon. However there are other moments where he is just not good looking at all. I think the biggest issue with this Tweezer is that he is mostly a one-man show, all Trey. Granted that playing is beautiful, but I prefer it when the four are moving as one. And getting number-lined after a great jam…well that pretty much always sucks (excluding the previously mentioned 12/30 Carini).

10/20/13 Hampton. This Tweezer emerged from Paul and Silas, finally out of jail and ready to hit the town. He got into some trouble with that super slutty Carini on Friday night in Hampton, posted bail and emerged from the can as cool as the other side of the pillow on Sunday. This Tweezer is so smooth, yet he has a certain edge. After posting bail, he picked up his gear from the police station: no phone – this dude is old school cool, vintage leather jacket, Persol sunglasses, money clip with $2,517, one Tahoe Millward Phish coin, 3 magnum condoms, a handkerchief with the initials T.T. on it, a torch lighter and a personalized pocket knife. This Tweezer immediately heads from the cooler to the bar, grabs a seat and orders a single malt scotch with a splash of distilled water. The waitress can’t take her eyes off this Tweezer, nobody in the bar can. This is the type of Tweezer that everybody notices but is so complex and deep that they don’t really get up the nerve to talk or dance with. People are just in awe of this Tweezer sitting at the bar, sipping his scotch, reading the paper – just as cool as they come. This Tweezer then segued into What’s the Use, I don’t care what Live Phish or Trey say.

10/27/13 Hartford. Meet Preezer the preaching Tweezer, giving sermons on my favorite organized religion, the Rhombus of Phish. Preezer is happy, uplifting, makes you feel good about hood. Preezer makes you want to move. Even if sitting, you instinctively bob your head up and down and side-to-side. You can’t help but move your body to Preezer’s lecture. Preezer is a feel good Tweezer. I really like Preezer – he is kind and caring and loving. The rhythm section (aka the entire band for this jam) lays down some really beautiful music. Four band members working as one to create music that is so damn phresh. I love the beat of this jam, I love Mikes work on the bass, I love Trey’s rhythmic playing and well placed licks, I love Page injecting the keys at just the perfect moments, I love Fishman holding it all together. Preezer leads into (in somewhat of a jarring move after such an incredible sermon) Birds of a Feather. But I digress; this is quality, top-shelf, beautiful Phish and was in the concluding set of the best 3 show run this year. Bravo.

11/2/13 Atlantic City. This is Shaftweezer. Shaftweezer is the cold private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks, would risk his neck for Brother man, this cat Shaftweezer has a bad motherfucker wallet, can ya dig it? He is the continuation of the phunky “theme” of the weekend, starting with Wombat, all of the Shaft references, the greatest and funkiest Theme of all time and concluding with Shaftweezer. After the show, Shaftweezer took AC Carini back to his permanent resident penthouse at Caesars where he has a circular waterbed and mirrored ceilings, and made the funk with her. I really dig the way the phunk builds in this song two separate times and then boom, a perfect funky return back into Tweezer. However it actually pains me to talk about what comes after Shaftweezer (what horrific 4th quarter calls by Trey), so lets instead focus on what eventually follows every Tweezer – Tweeprise, aka the greatest four minutes in rock ‘n’ roll. How amazing is it that we get to throw it down one last time with Tweeprise before Phish sends us on our way? The Best. Band. In. The. World. And they are at the height of their powers. We are so lucky to be a part of it.

The Scorecard

We will throw out 2 Tweezers in order to make it 8 rounds for each fighter. Seven runs included both a Tweezer and a Carini therefore those will go head-to-head. The only run with a Carini and no Tweezer was BGA. I have selected the Jones Beach Tweezer for that round. The Toronto Tweezer was easy to eliminate. Selecting Jones Beach over Alpharetta was more difficult however I think it is better than Alpharetta.

Lets see how our judges have scored the fight through 8 rounds:
Special thanks to Pauly and Grant, two of my favorite Phisherman and more importantly two of my very dear friends, for their input on this post on Judges Notes.

This heroic battle between the two warriors will (presumably) come down to the final round at Madison Square Garden in December 2013. Which Carini will show up - happy, dark and dirty or in a slutty mood? Is she clean and off drugs or chasing the dragon down the rabbit hole? Will Tweezer be preaching his sermons to us, will he be kicking back like the cool man in the bar or will he be getting phunky? I am so excited to return to the garden and witness the final round.
Song of the year!
The #1 Contender vs. the Champion!
The Youngster vs. the Seasoned Veteran!
Lumpy Heads vs. Cold Freezers!
Man vs Woman!
Carini vs. Tweezer!
Lets Get It On!!!

ICYMI... read Song of the Year, Part 1 here.

Guest post by Fink... our good pal from San Diego. Check out other guest posts by Fink. He wrote reviews of this summer's run at SPAC and his thoughts on the new Phish songs from Wingsuit.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Judging Notes (Tweezer vs. Carini) by Grant and Pauly

Grant and I helped Fink out with his Song of the Year posts by acting as guest judges in the fictitious boxing match between Tweezer and Carini. Which song will win the title and become the champion? We'll have to see which song dominates at MSG to end the year.

Here's the match that Fink provided...

Round 1: Carini 12/30/12 MSG vs. Tweezer 12/28/12 MSG        
Round 2: Carini 7/6/13 SPAC vs. Tweezer 7/6/13 SPAC
Round 3: Carini 7/30/13 Tahoe vs. Tweezer 7/31/13 Tahoe        
Round 4: Carini 8/4/13 BGA vs. Tweezer 7/12/13 Jones Beach    
Round 5: Carini 9/1/13 Dicks vs. Tweezer 8/31/13 Dicks        
Round 6: Carini 10/18/13 Hampton vs. Tweezer 10/20/13 Hampton
Round 7: Carini 10/25/13 Woostah vs. Tweezer 10/27/13 Hartford
Round 8: Carini 10/31/13 AC vs. Tweezer 11/2/13 AC

Here are some notes about Tweezer by myself and Grant....

Grant's Scoring Notes

Round 1-Listened to 12/28/12 Tweezer first cuz I had recently listened to the Carini 12/30/12 a few days ago.  Tweezer jam has potential, but never takes me anywhere.  I didn't consider the Maze to follow, nor will I consider the number line follow up to the Carini.  Carini much stronger jam to begin...seems they had more of a purpose in this one, possibly reflecting on the purposeless Tweezer the night before.  Carini wins round one  (tbconsidered:  I wasn't at either of these shows).

Round 2-Listened to Carini first even though it falls after the Tweezer on that night in the shed.  Happy happy happy (Carini) to be on the road again.  Love this Tweezer right out of the gates.  That little ditty Trey toys with at the beginning of the jam section.  Start stop (woo forshadowing) this one is groovy...ripchorded for Sand, which is not the worst decision, but I didn't like the switch.  I have to say these two tie....was not in attendance.

Round 3-I'm not a Tweezer Protestant.  I was there, man.  I have listened to this version of Tweezer more than I've listened to any other song's particular version (to be compared with 12/31/10 Ghost or first set of 11/17/97). I  probably haven't listened to the Carini 7/30/13 more than 5 times.  No contest here.  37 mins vs 8 mins (take away 3 mins for song structure at the beginning of each song)  no brainer.  Tweezer fucking rules this round.  Note:  attended both of these shows with both judges to my left as I boogied.  And I'm a woo'er (but only for two shows....7/31 and 8/2...well, maybe 8/4 too).

Round 4-Wow the lead up to Tweezer at Jones Beach was crazy cool, but I'm going to try to rate it solely.  But damn that lead in to Cities was money.  This Tweezer tugs at my heartstrings.  It has that emotional chord progression at the end.  Lumphead!!  What a run.  Hard not to consider the entire run (or the Jim which precedes this Carini)....This Carini stays on the ground and never takes off imo.  Winner winner tweezer attendance for the BGCA Carini.

Round 5-Dark tone to Carini speaks to me well.  Trey's reaching, though not in vain (it's a good reach).  Fish is keeping the tempo and not letting it end.  I like this jam a lot....Saw It Again in the same set :)  Tweezer- whoa.  Trey's lick right out of the gate is the same as 7/6/13 Tweezer, but the lick fizzles quickly.  Trance jam.  These were both heady...tie.  In attendance for both of these.

Round 6-Very partial to this Carini, because it foreshadows the entire 13 fall tour.  Though the Tweezer on night 3 is very special because of a conversation I had with WK about the whats the use-ness of it.  Turns out the song Wingsuit was the slow Tweezer jam of 10/20, I think....this was gonna be a tie, but Carini outlasted the Tweezer, but not to discount.  They both fucking rawked.

Round 7-Whoosta Carini is dark and driving (lead by Page to begin), Trey tries to lighten it up, but it doesn't stick...he sinks darker....plinko Page and Trey.  I like this, though they (I mean, Trey) interupt it for you know who....our favorite prince.  I like this Tweezer.  Day of Lou Reed's death...kinda sad tone.  Its another tugger of heartstrings 13 mins in.  Tweezer wins again in my opinion.  Not in attendance for either of these.

Round 8-Tweezer was so damn funky, it'll be hard to top it.  Not necessarily any instrument standing out over the other.  This type of jam was what made the TahoeTweezer so good.  A very good team effort.  This carini wins round 8.  At this point, I've been jamming all morning->early afternoon...I can't pinpoint it.  Not in attendance.

Without playing with any numbers (I promise I didn't), I went thru each and every opponent, each and every round.  the 10/31/13 Carini was the last listened to and the savior.  I had prematurely given the round to Tweezer 11/2/13 because of its funkiness.


Pauly's Scoring Notes:

Round 1: Sinister Carini shoulda won, but the split Tweezer/Tweeprise over the duration of the MSG run won bonus points.

Round 2: Boooooo to the Tweeze ripchord, devilish Carini owned SPAC.

Round 3: Carini got crushed by Tahoe Tweezer.

Round 4: Hipsterfied Carini (San Francisco) no match for Hurricane Tweezer (Jones Beach).

Round 5: Compact, serene Carini versus Trey's Tweeze-a-wank-a-thon at Dick's.

Round 6: Nuclear Carini versus a meandering Tweezer at the Mothership.

Round 7: Wicked Carini, but a sizzling Tweeze.

Round 8: Over-confident Tweezer got ambushed by a feisty Carini, welcome to Jersey biatch!

FWIW... I was at all shows mentioned with exception of SPAC and Jones Beach.

Check out Fink's posts on Song of the Year, Part 1 and Part 2 (Coming Soon!)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Post by Fink -- Song of the Year: Carini vs. Tweezer, Part 1

Fink Magazines Phight of the Year: The battle being staged for Song of the Year between Carini and Tweezer

By Fink

The battle for Song of the Year is coming down to the last round, staged at one of the most historic fighting venues in history – Madison Square Garden. The list of boxers and classic fights that have been waged in the Garden is staggering, including "The Fight Of the Century" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. We will be able to conclude one of the greatest phights ever witnessed this December when Carini and Tweezer presumably step into the (freezer) ring one more time for one final round, each we hope delivering yet another Mike Tyson-esque uppercut that will absolutely melt our faces.

This epic battle started at the Garden in December 2012 when Carini and Tweezer stepped into the ring for one last time in 2012. Carini and Tweezer threw enormous punches delivering easily the best two songs played during the 2012 MSG run. Each of those particular versions is in contention for 2012 Song of the Year. That ended up being a precursor of what was to come, so for our Phight of the Year we will consider that the first round. It was a bloody battle with two championship songs delivering dominant versions. And it was only the beginning.

In one corner, you have Carini. Sometimes she is an evil bitch, sometimes she is happy and in love, sometimes she is a slutty whore. Carini has become a go-to jam vehicle this year. Carini is pretty young having debuted in Amsterdam (of course – she has a drug problem) in 1997. In recent 3.0 she has become an important and critical jam vehicle for Phish. It took her awhile to get here, but she has arrived and is a serious contender for the belt.

In the other corner, you have Tweezer. Tweezer is the most consistent, go-to jam vehicle in all of Phishtory. Every single year of Phish (even the dark Oxy ones – see 2/28/03) has at least one amazing Tweezer. Anytime you hear Trey play those guitar licks, the crowd goes nuts. A show is typically made or broken depending upon how the Tweezer goes. Tweezer is relatively an old man, having made is debut in the ring in 1990. Tweezer is a beast. He is a champion. He is Ali. He is the greatest of all time. He holds the belt. He is in the hall of fame. He will be tough to be beat.

Carini CompuJam Stats for 2013

12/30/12 MSG. Such a dark and dirty Carini. Carini hasn’t been played this nasty and evil since MSG. In some ways, I think Phish is almost too happy and in too good a place to play dark and dirty versions of songs anymore. This is an exception. Practicing Black Sabbath really seemed to help them make her an evil bitch again. One of my favorite Phish jams ever. She is in a bad place, her pimp/sugar daddy just dumped her. This Carini starts chasing the dragon. Not only does she do heroin, this Carini is heroin. If you listen just even once, you will be hooked for life. She is so dark and evil we got number-lined afterwards, and it might be the only time it was OK to be number-lined. The abrupt happy song about all of our friends was necessary because we were down the fucking wormhole with Carini, and she was hard-core addicted to smack.

7/6/13 SPAC. Other than the 46 days -> Steam segue, this is probably the best piece of music of the entire SPAC run. This version is almost the exact polar opposite of the 12/30/12 Carini. Such a beautiful piece of improvised yet composed music. A happy Carini, she is outdoors, playful, smiling and running around with a shit-eating grin. She quit the goods, lost her winter weight, sobered up and has been exercising. This Carini is looking good, feeling good, (meatstick) teasing all the boys. This Carini escaped her 12/30 pimp and is ready for summer loving. She is so happy, she enjoys contemplating the Architect and what it all means immediately after finishing up this version.

7/30/13 Tahoe. Carini was so blissed-out after SPAC we didnt see her again for 2 weeks. Lord knows she was having a good time. But when she decided to come out and play, she was still really happy, not as newly happy as at SPAC but very content. She comes out of a great Ghost, she is in a more transitional phase. I believe this Carini was in the midst a relationship. I see her skipping around the playground when I listen to this version. Slow drop and she grabs Pipers hand and they go off to play. Ghost -> Carini -> Piper. This show often gets overlooked and as a complete show is better than the next night, but that was the night of Tahoe Tweezer. More on that later.

8/04/13 Bill Graham. A playful version, totally Phishy. She starts jumping up and down a bit, mixing in Fluffhead-ish lyrics. This Carini is still really happy. She is having a great summer, still hasn't touched the heroin again but is probably partaking in the incredible weed in San Francisco. She enjoyed being outside in her sundress all summer but really enjoyed escaping the heat and coming inside to play for a bit. Shortest version of year but still solid. You can hear a bit of the darkness coming back. Slows down at the end and she starts to get in her car on the highway to the great divide.

9/01/13 Dicks. Closing out her summer of love in style, this Carini was given the vaunted second set opener slot for the final run of the summer. She deserved it. She earned it. And the boys rewarded her with the most important spot in the line-up for the tour closer. Carini still managed to deliver despite this being an overall off night of Phish (to me anyway). This Carini was taking a bow. She had a great, happy and joyful summer and was going to show herself off. She strutted around the stage shaking her ass getting us all off. Just another great version, this one flew into Birds.

10/18/13 Hampton. One of the best Carini’s of the year. Carini broke up with her boyfriend and is now slutting around town sleeping with everyone in site. She is no longer making love, this Carini is downright fucking. She is a dirty whore again. She has a couple of threesomes with the Allman Brothers, fools around with a girl named Piper, makes Quinn fall in love with her and leaves him cold. This Carini is loving her freedom after the summer of (89) love. Trey starts that scratching on the guitar and its Carini, the slut, strutting her camel walk, getting ready to go out on the town, moving her body with rhythmic procession. This is my kind of Carini. But then her dad walked in on Carini and Quinn going at it with the funk and we got number-lined. Worst blue balls ever.

10/25/13 Woostah. This Carini comes out of the best Waves in 3.0. What an incredible pairing. Wine and cheese. PB and jelly. Phish and sex. Coming out of this beautiful, psychedelic, incredible, majestic, rocking Waves maybe Carini found love and happiness again? Not a chance. She is still a whore. This is another slutty fall version. Carini gets dirty indoors. You can move your body to this Carini. You can get down with this Carini. This Carini is seductive. She has us wound around her finger. This Carini is a seductress. Watch-out for this one, if you aren’t careful Carini’s gonna get you. You can run onto the stage, but don’t let Carini get you. No segue on this one, just an after sex smoke with Prince Caspian.

10/31/13 Atlantic City. Similar to Tahoe, she makes an appearance out of Ghost. Similar to Woostah, another great pairing. This is quite possibly the best jam Phish played in 2013 and nobody is really talking about it. I don’t understand why. Possibly because everyone is so focused on Wingsuit from the set before? But seriously this jam is sofa king good. 20 minutes of pure phish greatness. I really love this version. Phish just finished the historic Wingsuit set and a huge weight was lifted off of their shoulders. If we are talking about getting loose and Phish in the fall, then Carini is your girl. This Carini is stunning, even if she is an AC crack whore. I am in love with this Carini. I am chasing her around Boardwalk Hall trying to grab her but she continues to allude me. This Carini has it all. I hear so much Slave in this song. This Carini builds and builds and builds to such a beautiful climax and then brings us down with such gentle precision. This Carini is finishing up her fall tour having whored all around town, leaving a trail of broken hearts behind. However in the end she is still so special and beautiful and amazing and incredible. This Carini is dirty and beautiful. This Carini is a vixen. I truly love this Carini, even after all of the nonsense she still has such a big and beautiful heart. This is my favorite jam from the fall. The boys take a well-deserved break after this Carini, she doesn’t go anywhere. She should take a bow before they start Birds. Thank you Phish. The Best. Band. In. The. World.

Coming soon.... Part 2: Tweezer, his wallet is the one that says bad mother fucker on it.

Guest post by Fink... our good pal from San Diego. Check out other guest posts by Fink. He wrote reviews of this summer's run at SPAC and his thoughts on the new Phish songs from Wingsuit.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Guest Post: Fink on Wingsuit

Editor's Note: Hello all... it's been a week since Phish threw us a curveball and performed 12 new songs for their Halloween album. Our pal, Fink, shared his thoughts on each song. Enjoy, Pauly

Wingsuit Review
By Fink

After multiple spins off Wingsuit, my initial thoughts are below. Note that I loved they played a new album for Halloween, I had such a fascinating and interesting experience listening with everyone to songs we have never heard, love the idea they are forming new music with the audience. It was a very special evening. I also want to note that these obviously aren't complete songs yet. Like all albums, some songs are good and some songs aren't. Not all of these tracks are good. ("That's just like your opinion, man.") I really find it interesting that most of the songs have a poppy repeating-like line. Also all the harmonization I noticed on fall tour was obviously them working on all of the vocals for these songs. There are a lot - like a lot a lot - of vocals.

1. Wingsuit. Will be sticking around for sure. Title track. Needs a lite bit of work. But really a beautiful song/idea for a song. Note that you can win a us open shooting par. Repeating line: Put your wingsuit on / It feels good. This song is sticking around. Excited to see its growth.

2. Fuego. Easily top 3 song on album for me. Jam potential for sure. This will be in the Phish rotation forever. Lots of interesting thematic changes. Repeating line: Inside your Fuego / we keep it rollin. Note that I will be yelling "San" during this song before the Diego part for hometown love. Apologize in advance. Can't figure out where the jams are from. Need to listen closer but any leads would be appreciated.

3. The Line. I like this song. Think it will be sticking around and easily make the new album. Might even have best opportunity for mainstream success based on lyrics, sports analogy. Repeater: Oh oh oh / Circle getting smaller, step to the line.

4. Monica. Another great song. Will be interesting to hear electrically. Like the back and forth lyrics between page and Trey early. Should be more of this. Repeater: Sing sing Monica, sing Monica. Think "Sing sing Monica" will become crowd sing along. Another really solid tune.

5. Waiting All Night. To me, crappy song. Really annoys me. Don't like lyrics, don't like vibe of song. In an album of repeating lyrics how many times do we need to hear waiting all night? What's the point of the mike bass drop? Again my opinion. Repeater: Waiting all night. Meh.

6. Wombat. Phunk yeah. My favorite song on the album upon first listen and only getting better. Love the rap aspect of it. This song kicks ass. Can't wait to hear it phunked out deep. Dance your ass off song. Love it. Love the changes, Phishy lyrics, pages work on this song is awesome. So excited for the MSG wombat. Wished they had dropped it again right after the funky theme on Sunday. Repeaters: Wombat, cuddly but muscular (or very similar variant). The new Tube. And it's stupendous.

7. Snow. This song sucks. I really have nothing good at all to say about it. Just look how it destroyed room vibe post wombat. Already know this is a piss song if somehow it makes the album. But doubt it does. Bee gees like harmonizations are not Phish's strength. Give me sun DIEGO to melt this snow.

8. Devotion to a Dream. Like the beat at the start. Then kind of boring. Not a huge fan of the lyrics. Don't like the it's today (insert phrase here ____) parts. This is a song that I like the music to but not a big fan of the lyrics. Again one man's opinion. However once the lyrics are over the jam part of the song is really good. Where is this from? Totally recognizable. Kind of a back on the train sound. Anyone? Love the jam, meh on the lyrics and singing.

9. 555. Really dig this bluesy number. Been liking the mike songs somewhat lately. Never thought I would say that. Kind of has an old classic rock sounds. Big fan of 555, especially since they bring back 8/19/12 San Francisco jam at the end. Not sure it exactly fits but really love that jam so much. Should the bluesy number end with the 8/19 explosion? Seems a bit tempered here. Side note: apparently 555 was Gordo's voicemail code and that's the inside joke on the title.

10. Winterqueen. I like this song. But it's so TAB. I really enjoy some of the Trey guitar licks later in the song -- again recognizable. Well be hearing this one again. But a bit too mellow for my taste. And so TAB.

11. Amidst the Peals of Laughter. I dont like this song. Sorry. Maybe because it's all lyrics and Trey in the beginning? Maybe it's the lack of music? I love Phish jamming the fuxk out. Trey strumming acoustically? Meh. Good song for the next Festival 8 acoustic set. Or again, maybe TAB? Not a fan.

12. You Never Know. I like this song. Weird knowing what it's about. Catchy/poppy song. Repeater: Maybe that bird needed a cage. Probably right in the middle of the songs for me on this album. Like it, don't love it. Again using the different singers' techniques, doing this quite a bit on this album. Think they will like singing about a dude that stole all of their money? Will it stick?

Thanks for reading. I have nothing but love for Phish, they have given us so much. And some of these songs are already incredible. I for one can't wait to see what the new album eventually becomes and even more so what these songs become live. Long live the Phish from Vermont. Thank you. You are the Best. Band. Ever.

Guest post by Fink... our good pal from San Diego. Check out other guest posts by Fink. He wrote reviews of this summer's run at SPAC.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

New Phish CD: Niagara Falls 1995

Get your red-hot new Phish release!

Let's flash back to 1995 when the boys blew up Niagara Falls. The latest Phish live release will ship on Friday. You can pre-order here. This 3-CD set also comes with a heady download link to get exclusive video footage of that epic night.

Here's the setlist:
Phish 12/7/1995 Niagara Falls, NY

Set 1: The Old Home Place > The Curtain > AC/DC Bag, Demand > Rift, Slave to the Traffic Light, Guyute, Bouncing Around the Room, Possum, Hello My Baby

Set 2: Split Open and Melt, Strange Design > Taste, Reba, Julius, Sleeping Monkey > Sparkle > Mike's Song -> Weekapaug Groove -> Digital Delay Loop Jam, Amazing Grace

Encore: Uncle Pen

And here's a sample video of The Curtain > AC/DC Bag > Demand that Phish leaked:

Don't forget, buy Niagara Falls 95 here.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Phish Setlist: 11/2/2013, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Fall Tour 2013 comes to a close tonight in Atlantic City. Don't forget, the show is being webcast on Live Phish!

Phish - 11/2/2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set 1: Wilson, Rift, Ocelot, Water in the Sky, Sample in a Jar, Funky Bitch, 46 Days, Theme from the Bottom, Yarmouth Road, Limb By Limb, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

Set 2: Down with Disease > Piper > Roggae > Waves > Tweezer > Julius, Backwards, Zero

E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweeprise

Photo courtesy of

Friday, November 01, 2013

Phish Setlist and Recap: 11/1/2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

It's Night 2 of the Atlantic City run... don't forget to tune in to tonight's webcast on Live Phish!
Phish - 11/1/2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set 1: Cavern, JIM, Sand, Halfway to the Moon, Halley's Comet, Tube, Possum, When the Circus Comes to Town, Sugar Shack, Jesus Just Left Chicago, David Bowie

Set 2: Twist > Gotta Jibboo >  Makisupa Policeman > Light >  Chalkdust, Meatstick > Boogie On > Wedge, Slave

E: Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley
Photo courtesy of @Phish_FTR

Quickie AC Friday Recap by Pauly

No matter what you thought of Halloween, lofty expectations were thrust on the shoulders of the band. if you were dejected by the Halloween selfie by the Phish, then you were anticipating a rager to make up for the controversial Halloween stunt. And if you were thrilled with Halloween, then you figured the band was relaxed and going into the next show with a massive burden lifted from their shoulders. One thing was for certain, when the band is loose and having fun, that infectious vibe spills over into the crowd. That's exactly what went down on Friday night in Atlantic City.

I had a rough first set. A schwilly chick dumped an entire drink on me. Then a bitchy, self-absorbed twat mouthed off to Javier when she stole his seat and he politely called her out. Yeah, location is everything at a Phish show. We had first row (AA) off the floor near the back of the soundboard, but a couple of security guards were posted right in front of us, including one hulking bouncer (who looked like Hank from Breaking Bad) who was getting off busting wooks trying to sneak onto the floor. Despite the added layer of security, both Igor and Josh hopped the wall. One kid paid off a lax guard to sneak onto the floor, only to be tackled by Hank the Hulk. Poor schmuck. The Draconian security detailed finally eased up. I kicked down some dank nugs to this one homie for looking the other way while Javier and I ripped blunts the rest of the show.

Before he jumped the rail, Igor pulled a $5 bill out of his pocket, rolled it up, and offered me a bump. I declined. He buried the Lincoln into a small baggie of Bolivian marching powder and hoover'd half of it in one aggro-snort. "Take another," I egged him on before I told him the coast was clear to jump the wall.

First-set featured an ass-shaking Sand which surprisingly popped up in the three-hole. Too early for a dance party? Never. We got a brief funk orgy with Halley's > Tube yet both were ripcorded. Just when the show was hitting the skids with Circus (Pauly Takes A Piss Song) and Sugar Shack (my least favorite Gordo tune), Jesus saved the set. "Jesus Left Chicago is a much needed catalyst," explained Javier. "Jesus saves!" I proclaimed. My Jewish friends were puzzled with a sudden outburst of the Lord, because I keep my McCatholic upbringing to myself. What can I say... after a weird and uncomfortable set, Jesus and Phish saved me. Finally back on track. Bowie was an exclamation point to the set.

Second set was anchored by a monstrous Twist clocking in at 20+ minutes that included minimal wooing and a corny "Under Pressure" tease with Fishman mumbling Bowie's lyrics. The Twist jam out had a couple of aborted mini-jams, but they kept plugging away until they found a groove they could all agree on. Gotta Jibboo is all about the last two minutes. The enraptured crowd went apeshit. One of those live moments that won't translate to tape. Makisupa Policeman was pure Phish shtick. The keyword was "OG Kush" and Fish/Trey joked around with Kush/Bush inside jokes. Kangfirmed... Trey is a stoner. He's off the Oxy train, but he's sticking to the herb life.

Light is a jam vehicle that has been downgraded in 2013. It's no longer the go-to song for deep space exploration. Sure, there were a couple of juicy versions of Light this summer and fall, but for the most part you never know what you'll get with Light... short and sweet quickie, or some serious sweaty, sultry long-dicking. Chalkdust was all smoke. En fuego. Some shitfaced brah behind us was calling out for "Fuego!" all night. It was funny the first six times and after that I wanted to kick him in the vagina. Meatstick is overplayed but I was so schwilly at that point that it didn't matter. Dug every second of it. I slurped down the Phish Kool-Aid. I'm ready to shave my head, wear flowing robes, and try to convert heathens at the airport to the Church of Phish. The Wedge always reminds me of Colorado and my friends from Denver, especially the Joker (who could not make it this tour, but he was with me in spirit). Last night I heard rapid-fire Slave teases in Ghost, but they saved it for Friday. Ever get that feeling when you think Phish plays a song just for you? I'm sure it was the molly-shroom cocktail, but I got that feeling. A sultry Slave ended the set. A rowdy Sneaking Sally finished off the show. I wandered out to the Boardwalk itching to play cards, but so fucking pumped that we get one more show.

Two down in AC. One more to go.

Don't forget, I recorded two quickie Wook Patrol podcasts with Fink yesterday. We discussed the Halloween shows.

New Wook Patrol Podcast - Halloween Episodes

Wook Patrol returns! I recorded a couple of podcasts with the legendary Fink.
Episode 19 - AC Halloween Wingsuit - Pauly and Fink discuss Phish's Halloween show in Atlantic City, NJ. Phish covered themselves by playing 12 new songs.

Episode 20 - Fink's Favorite 3.0 Halloween Run - Pauly asks Fink about his favorite Phishy Halloween run in 3.0. Fink also suggests we have a 10% chance of Phish covering an album on November 1st.
Check out all of the Wook Patrol archives from summer tour 2013 including Dick's.

Phish Halloween Video (Full Show)

Here's the entire show. All three sets, including Wingsuit.