Thursday, July 26, 2007

Phish to Reunite in my Daydreams (Page Plays my Reality)

So, the boards and blogs are both abuzz with news of a potential Phish reunion sometime in the next eighteen months. I usually take such rumors with a grain of kosher salt, but this one seemed a bit more legit than the usual PT ramble if only because the author name checks more industry insiders than a drunk intern at the Relix Christmas Party. In case you were in Europe (what’s up Jen and Eric), on wedding tour (Sarah and Hirsch), studying for the barr (Juan, Evan, Shane and Pete) or, ya know, at work here is what the thread said:

"Forbin and I were at Artscape in Baltimore on Saturday when we bumped into Jason Colton's cousin Richard Layton (I think that is his name). We both have known for some time that Richard is cousins with Jason Colton because a friend of ours who is around Richard's age is also a head. I've spoken with Richard a few times before and he knows nothing about Phish's music, but still hears things regularly about the Phish camp/Trey from Jason.

FYI - Jason Colton was Phish's co-manager for a while with Paluska I believe. He is currently President of Red Light Management or something like that. Red Light is the management company for Trey, Mike, DMB, etc. They are all tied to the people ( i.e., Coran Capshaw) who run Bonnaroo and own the festival site.

Anyway, Richard sort of approached us and told us that he had heard that Jason was up at Trey's place in Saratoga over July 4th weekend to discuss Phish's future. At first, he was reluctant to tell us anymore, but he eventually said what the fuck.

Of course, he told us to take this info. with a "grain of salt" but what he he heard was that the boys had all decided to start the road to comeback sometime after this summer. And that it was initiated by Trey. They way he put it, the band and all those involved are very concerned about the first couple of shows back because they don't want a similar fiasco ala Coventry to be the jumping off point for their 3rd stab at this.

The Bonnaroo site was recommended for early September of 2008 for a number of reasons. First, all the traffic logistics have been pretty much perfected over the past 5 years due to Bonnaroo. Second, TN in September is fairly dry, and though still hot at times, not overbearing. I'm not sure where Forbin got the September 7th and 8th thing, but I'm guessing it is because Richard said first weekend in September. But, I think it's more likely labor day weekend.

I know this sounds like a lot of information, but trust me when I tell you that the conversation lasted no more than 5 minutes.

Take it for what it's worth. What we heard, and how we heard it, is definitely not nanners.”

Now, I don’t know any more than anyone about a Phish reunion (except the fact that I am going to cash in on all those stored up vacation days), but I do know this: if Phish were to come back we’d have to be certain of a few things to ensure this isn’t a Police-style embarrassment. Several of which we can prepare for right now.

1) Joe Russo would have to sit-in at least once a tour-----can someone please track down Trey’s mini-kit circa tour 1996?

2) We can’t call the backstage area “The Clinic” anymore…perhaps a Saratoga reference, maybe even “The Spa”

3) I don’t want anyone looking like an oldies act….is Botox covered through Phish LLC’s insurance policy?

4) We will accept the inevitable “Shine>Tuesday>Back in the Basement” segue if you grant us the oft-requested “First Tube>Tube>Inner Tube>Fresh Tube>Last Tube” (as first reported on Hidden Track’s Pullin’ Tubes)

5) Phish were never a jamband, instead they were a “progressive independent rock band”

6) Unless, of course, it will be cool to be a jamband again at which point Lake Trout and the Slip would be among my favorite “neo-jamband revivalists!”

7) “Page Side” and “Mike Side” will officially be renamed “Jack Side” and “Meg Side”

8) Obviously they’d need to cover Arcade Fire’s Funeral on Halloween. Trey can sing Win’s part and Mike can sing Win’s wife parts….Kendricks get the vibes ready, you are sitting in on “Haiti

7) We'd need a 12 night stand at the United Palace Theater where Phish would chronologically reinterpret each of its studio album’s in its entirety

8) .....with DigiFront and the Drip competing for late night post-parties each night

9) HeadCount will table too and Marc Brownstein and Andy Bernstein have personally volunteered to work the booth themselves. Such nice guys!

10) When Tom Marshall takes the stage on 12/30/08 for his traditional silly song he has to be introduced as “Relix Recording artist Tom Marshall”

Now that we are all in agreement about all that I am going to starting working on my press application to podcast from the lot (yes Brownstein I will remove bullet point 9 after lunch). In the mean time, please download this lengthy podcast Benjy and I did with Page McConnell. Now that, my friends, is what I call a shameless plug.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

High Sierra Thoughts

A quick game: match the Bisco Kid with his thought bubble

1) Dam it feels good to be a gangster (and the Drip’s drummer)

2) Who needs drugs to act fucked up?

3) I’m really going to regret wearing this hat in 5 months

4) My body’s at High Sierra, but my brains still on fall tour ‘99

5) I actually puff the bangs beneath my eyes to make myself look deeper

A) Mike

B) Adam

C) Benjy

D) Ari

E) Jared

Look for the answers below tomorrow!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nappy Rides (plus Bonus High Sierra Pics)

Camp Harry Warmly Welcomes ALO
Bouncing at Bisco
Page's new shirt (and old songs)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I was born at precisely 1:09 AM and haven’t really been able to adhere to a normal sleep schedule ever since. Maybe I drink too much caffeine too late at night, maybe I have too many unused ideas floating around my overstuffed, underused, skull or maybe I just have a secret crush on the early AM hours, but, whatever the reason may be, I’ve never been able to sink into bed until shortly before sunrise.

According to legend, the July night I returned home from the hospital in 1981, I fell asleep with eerie ease and, then, managed to keep my parents up for the next 26 straight years. Since, at the time, I was blissfully unaware of what the words “girls,” “jamband” or “Jew” meant (let alone strung together into a complete, neurotic sentence), I’m not sure what I was worrying about at the ripe old age of 48 hours, but, apparently, my superpowers revealed themselves early on. As the story goes, my dad blamed my mom, my mom consulted my doctor and my doctor diagnosed me as a “colic child” (a name some Brooklyn indie-rock folkie should nab before my fake hipster group the Well-Dressed Groomsman are ready for a side-project).

Apparently, the only way my parents could sooth me to sleep is by taking me on what they still affectionately describe as “nappy rides” around my suburban town. The memories are now lost in a web of Wonder Years narration, semi-useless Phish knowledge and childhood concussions, but, at times, I can still recall sleeping in the back of my mom’s station wagon, feeling her tires bounce back and forth against the street’s elastic cement. The perpetual, err, uh, groove, um, motion (!) rocked me to bed then and certainly does now, almost three decades since taking my first detour through the often narrow street of Armonk, NY.

I sat in the backseat on the way home from my cousin Sarah’s wedding this evening and, somewhere along Interstate 87, fell into the deepest, most peaceful sleep I’ve experienced since I watched Optimums Prime die on my sixth birthday. It’s a strange sensation, but a familiar one, feeling yourself fall silent while the world turns around you. The car stereo (the Grateful Dead’s “Feel Like a Stranger”), my parents’ conversation, the citadel lights and opening credits to tonight’s R.E.M. swirl together into a single dream, while my pink eyes try their hardest to block reality from peering too far in.

My body goes numb, my right hand wraps its fist around my left fingers and my legs curl into the pretzel-like fetal position I perfected in the womb. Like all my trips down Interstate 87, a trip I’ll always associate with visits to my grandparents, my mind jumps to a particular family dinner that holds some subliminal importance, before pushing forward nineteen years to explore the recent moments left on the Greenhaus Effect cutting room floor since Bonnaroo: seeing Ralph Stanley in Prospect Park, “Airplane/Primitive,” a trip to central Jersey, the dorky conversations which guided that long trip home, a friend’s BBQ in Connecticut, McCarran Park Pool, San Francisco, Height-Asbury, Spam nightmares, the Great American Music Hall’s wall, Moon’s garlic bread, High Sierra, Page, The National, Camp Harry, red eyes, early flights, Relix Kidz, Skidmore phamily, Femi Kuti, one small embarrassing String Cheese tear, festival freedom, overdue assignments….. As usual, my mind drifts to my Grandfather’s bedroom window, a view I’ll likely never seen again, but always remember, when I see the unpolluted, purple hues of upstate New York’s trademark sunset. It’s a crime that I can never sleep, because I love wading through my dreams, revisiting my memories and trying to make sense of my thoughts during the three-second silence that occurs after my eyes open, but before my ears are polluted by the day’s first sounds.

I like to joke that I haven’t slept since 1997 (the year I truly discovered the jam), but, in all reality, I haven’t slept since 1981. At least, that is, when I’m supposed to.

All photos by Jay Blakesberg