The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

October 3, 2008

Phish Reunites. Paul Squeels With Joy

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 6:52 pm
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Harry Hood

Those who know me know that without a doubt the band is Phish is my favorite band of all time.

Yes, we know. Trust us, we know. Still listening to them, huh?

Well, for most of the 2000’s i actually didn’t. But then at the beginning of this year, when i was working in that coffee shop in NY i met a good friend named Jamie who was a Phellow Pheak and she got me all back into them. Especially their late period which i had more or less ignored.

Sure. Okay. You know, after skipping a day of posting yesterday, we were thinking that maybe today you would have something, let’s say, entertaining?

I’ll make this quick. For those of you who have no idea who this band is or why i go so crazy over them, here’s the low down.

Why don’t you go around recommending them to everyone?

Well, they’re not for everybody. People who love them, REALLLLLY love them. But there’s a few hurdles.

1. Their vocal are terrible. Back in their earlier days they wrote songs in a way that got around this, but in general, if music with good vocals are your thing, this is tough to get around.

2. It is all about the live shows. When Phish Phans get together, they NEVER mention albums. It’s not that we don’t like the albums, it’s just that they’re not the point. Phans discuss shows. If you say Hampton 97 everybody knows what you’re talking about.

3. The songs, the live jams which people like me go nuts over, are long. Long rock/funk/psychedelic improvisations. 17 minutes is a completely acceptable song length, and if it segues into another long jammy song, even better. Many of the greatest shows have second sets with only 5 or 6 songs.

This is why i can’t recommend them to everyone. But the payoff…. they build to emotional heights no other band can match. From near silence to screaming heaven, they funk out, they rock out, they twist, they soar, they’re pretty, they’re silly with a great sense of humor… their level of musicianship is jaw dropping, and of course it is ALL about the live improvisation.

Also, they have a policy of letting their fans record shows and give them away. This practice is actually how they rose to fame. Tapes of their shows circulated like crack, and their reputation was able to spread far and wide.

Okay, okay. We get it. You’re a geeked out fanboy.

Well, maybe a little.

So can we just mention something?

I don’t see why not.

You yourself have made mention on numerous occasions that when bands reunite, they tend to suck.

This is a clearly proven phenomenon.

You see where we’re going with this?

Well, i have to hope. Besides, this isn’t like when bands break up and get back together 15 years later. It’s only been 5 years, they’ve been individually active, and they’re not doing it for the money. I just hope they can find a new evolution for their sound.

In any case, for those who are curious what i’m talking about i’m including an awesome track for your listening pleasure. If you are already familiar with Phish, this Hood is nothing new, but then again, this post wasn’t really for you.

If you’re a Phan and stumbled across this post by accident, here are 2 awesome online sites. My favorite Phish blog/site is hands down Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts. lots of downloads, some vids, and his enthusiasm is infectious.

For the largest online collection of full shows, all downloadable, is the place to go. Personal recommendation from there: 6/18/94. Pure gold, plus actual sound board quality. (note to others, all those fan recorded shows can vary in quality.  I am such a dork, however, that in celebration i am taking fan recordings and professionally mastering them. Most notably 11/22/97, which is hands down one of the greatest shows EVER. I’ll send along to Mr. Miner and if he thinks it’s something, maybe he share it so that fans can have better quality recordings when there aren’t sound boards around)

And once again, for those who just want a quick sample (you know, quick meaning like 16 minute track) to see what i get all nuts over, here’s

Harry Hood


  1. “…if music with good vocals are your thing, this is tough to get around.”

    Damned near impossible, in my experience.

    “Dude, seriously, just LISTEN to this record!”

    “Man, I’ve heard Blood On The Tracks a gazillion times.”

    “No, man, just LISTEN! Wait, okay, now…”

    “It sounds like an injured wildebeest.”

    “Dude, you’re not LISTENING.”

    “I’ve HEARD it. You’ve been playing it for me once a year since 1994.”

    “Just this track, I mean, listen to that organ!”

    “Okay, that’s a good organ.”

    “Yeah, man, see?”

    “I just wish they’d put the injured wildebeest a little lower in the mix.”

    Comment by matthew — October 3, 2008 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  2. Took me awhile to like Dylan myself, although now he sends me into rapturous nirvana also. Hey, what can you do? I’ve had similar experiences with musicians playing me metal stuff. Yes, the level of technical expertise was through the roof, but i’m just not angry or hyper testosterone pumped, and at the end of the day a piece of music’s aesthetic has to find root in us above all us.

    I never prosthletized Phish to you ’cause i KNEW you are never going to be the kind of guy who is going to spell fan with a “ph”.

    Shame about the Dylan though. Have you heard Route 66?

    Comment by bunitingi — October 4, 2008 @ 12:32 am | Reply

  3. Hey Paul, thanks for the props – if you are remastering some of the poorer quality shows and making them sound better, I’d love to replace what I have on my site with your remastered versions. Please email me back if that is something you’d be interested in doing (or just check out the upload page on my site).


    Comment by the guy — October 4, 2008 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

  4. Yeah, the metal proselytizers are hard to get around, too. Good LORD, the number of times I’ve had Steve Vai solos rewound for my inpection. weedly-weedly-weedly-whowwwwmp-weedly-weedly… I even got myself dragged to one of his shows. 5 minutes, and that’s all I needed to know. I think that’s the night I discovered the numbing powers of whiskey sours.

    The REALLY hardcore people around here, though, are Pantera fans. Christ, If I have to hear about what a badass Dimebag Fucking Darrell was one more goddamned time I’m going to present my hairy buttocks in response.

    And actually, I prefer Depeche Mode’s Route 66…


    The Philistine

    Comment by matthew — October 5, 2008 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  5. I actually like Steve Vai more or less. (to a small degree, at least) I can pull out an album (well, more like stomach when someone sits me down and plays one) on a rare occasion and listen to about half. It’s not Pantera and Pantera is a perfect example of what i was referring to. Great musicianship, but SO not my thing.

    If you play me Satriani, however, i will have to hit you. Vai at least has a competent band, Satriani has nothing but masturbation. I have long passed the point where i can listen to young guitarists play guitar masturbation over and over, and assume since i play keys i must therefore love Jordan Rudess, since that would be keyboard masturbation. (in the old days it would have been Wakeman, although i do go nuts over old Yes)

    I cannot picture you at a Vai show. You’re more of an Yngwie Malmsteen kind of guy.

    Comment by bunitingi — October 6, 2008 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

  6. Picture me watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua. That’s my facial expression at a Vai show.

    Comment by matthew — October 6, 2008 @ 10:39 pm | Reply

  7. you are remastering shows? cool…send me an email at

    Comment by Mr.Miner — October 7, 2008 @ 8:01 am | Reply

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