Here are in the home stretch of the Phish off-season and, like many of you, I find myself listening to much more of the band’s music. So to go along with the recently released Live Bait vol. 4, I’ve assembled a special 2-hour long Phish playlist for your listening pleasure. You can stream the playlist or download it and take it with you on the road this summer.
For those of you headed to Bethel this weekend, I’ve also posted a message from the venue’s promoters along with some details worth noting. I think you’ll find them to be quite fan-friendly.
“The Home Stretch“
David Bowie > Lifeboy (6.24.95)
Bathtub Gin (9.22.99)
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (7.30.03)
Gumbo > Sanity (8.15.98)
Wolfman’s Brother (11.18.98)
Bethel Woods Details:
Fans are welcome to Bring:
Blankets, backpacks, small soft cooler (cloth/bag style), hand-held umbrellas
Cameras that do not have the capability of multiple lenses are permitted, except when prohibited by the artist
Water – two 20 oz. factory sealed plastic bottles of water per person — water is the only beverage permitted into Bethel Woods Center for the Arts concerts
Food — one 1 gallon clear zip lock bag per person
Strollers or carriages for small children
[via Bethel Woods Center]
To all phans attending Phish @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. My name is Andrew Jacobson and I’m a member of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts for the past 2 years. Bethel Woods is one of the most beautiful venues in the country. Alan Gerry, who created Bethel Woods, created an atmosphere that is very friendly, bucolic settings, and maximum fans concert’s experience. Take advantage and check out the Woodstock Museum, it’s one of a kind experience. For all of you music lovers, the museum is a must see! The staff of Bethel Woods are some of the most down to earth people you’ll ever meet. Therefore, I would like to request to all phans to respect the staff of Bethel Woods. Please follow their instructions, as they are trying to create the best concert experience for all fans. If all phans behave and respect the venue, the more likely Phish will be able to come back in the future. Personally, for me, this is a dream come true. Enjoy the weekend and have a safe, pleasant weekend!
Today’s Ambient Alarm Clock takes a turn in a new direction. While staying true to the jam format, in this edition we sidestep the regularly featured bands and move over to avant-rock trio The Slip. It’s amazing how many people are still unfamiliar with The Slip’s greatness, and even less familiar with their music. So here’s a few tracks to get you started, and for us Slip-geeks to gawk over. These selections all come from various shows throughout 2004. Have a great week. This one goes out to Lucas from Artist Mixtapes.
Click here to stream today’s playlist.
1. Get Me With Fuji (Valentine’s Compilation ’04)
2. Proud (10.2.04)
3. Lots of Socks > (10.2.04)
4. Chasing Rabbits (10.2.04)
5. Soft Machine (8.7.04)
Also be sure to check out my interview with Brad and Andrew Barr of The Slip over at Jambands.com.
Welcome back to another edition of Ambient Alarm Clock. Today we return to the Phish format, with three great jams to start off your week. All three selections come from the summer tours past, displaying the “outdoor element” at work. Without the kick-back of the indoor arenas, Phish’s music takes on an entirely different form amid the vast, open surroundings. Oh, and we’re now only 18 days away from the kick of to Summer Tour 2011! Here’s some summer jams to help pass the time.
“Runaway Jim” (7.31.97 Shoreline Amphitheater)
It was the eve of Jerry’s birthday when Phish rolled into the Dead’s former home in the summer of ’97. This version of “Runaway” payed tribute, with a 20+ minute adventure into all of the various facets of Phish’s jamming style. Later in the show, the band actually sang “Happy Birthday” during “Weekapaug.”
“Bathtub Gin” (6.23.00 Lakewood Amphitheatre)
On the first of two nights at Lakewood in 2000, Phish dropped this monstrous “Gin” early in the first set. This is a great example of Phish’s wide-open summer jamming style with the “outdoor element” heavily at work—almost went-like. Just sit back and picture the sun going down with the music soaring through the air around you…only 18 days away now.
“Theme From the Bottom” (7.26.99 Deer Creek)
Finally, we close out the day with one of my favorite versions of “Theme” from the second night at Deer Creek in ’99. Another soaring “summer jam,” that takes a turn when Mike starts laying arpeggios under Trey’s howling feedback. I find “Theme” lends itself perfectly to the outdoor setting, this being one of the best examples.
This week’s edition of Ambient Alarm Clock focuses on what some might call jazz. The line between jam music and jazz is a line that has little meaning. Improvisation is improvisation. That is why Jerry Garcia played Miles Davis’ music, and Miles Davis played Cindy Lauper’s music.
The selection begins with the same song Count Basie would begin his sets back in the 50s, “April in Paris.” This song features one of the best endings in music, or rather, three of the best endings in music. Next, we move to “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” sung by Billie Holiday. Her backup band at the time was the Benny Goodman group and on this recording you will hear Benny deliver one of his hottest solos. Then, on “Listen to the People,” we have the late Don Pullen playing another best-ever solo on piano.
In 1998, Marc Johnson—a very highly regarded bassist—released an album called The Sound of Summer Running with Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny on guitar. The album’s title track was the first time the pair had recorded together, and features the two of them playing in harmony. We then move to Miles’ cover of Cindy Lauper’s “Time After Time.”
John Coltrane may have been the greatest musician of the 20th century. And, surprisingly for a jazz saxophonist, he actually made the charts with his jammed out version of “My Favorite Things”— one of the greatest musical recordings of all time.
Recently, I had the great pleasure of seeing Jim Hall at the Iridium in NYC. The legendary guitarist—still performing in his 80s—is known for his uncanny use of theory in crafting complex, yet wonderfully melodic solos. One of his best is on the classical Spanish number “Concierto de Aranjuez”. While Miles’ version is great, this one edges slightly ahead.
You may recognize the name Bill Bruford as the drummer who has played in Yes, King Crimson and even a short stint with Genesis. But outside of those projects, Bruford is actually a jazz drummer. Several years back, I made a trip across the pond and caught him playing with Earthworks at Ronnie Scott’s in London. That performance had a massive effect on me, and he has remained my favorite drummer till this day. The selection on today’s playlist is from the band’s 1987 self titled debut, with a drum line very similar to the one he played on King Crimson’s “Discipline.”
Next, Gary Burton and Stephane Grapelli playing the classic Django theme—”Daphne.” This version, from the late 60’s has Django’s long time partner, violinist Stephane Grapelli teamed up with Pat Metheny’s mentor, Gary Burton. And finally, Eric Dolphy’s take on the essential jazz standard “On Green Dolphin Street.”
Today’s playlist was curated by my father who is responsible for all of my musical knowledge. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
1. Count Basie – April in Paris
2. Billie Holiday – What a Little Moonlight Can Do
3. Don Pullen – Listen to the People
4. Marc Johnson – Summer Running
5. Jim Hall – Concierto de Aranjuez
6. Miles Davis – Time After Time
7. John Coltrane – My Favorite Things
8. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks – My Heart Declares a Holiday
9. Gary Burton & Stephane Grapelli – Daphne
10. Eric Dolphy – On Green Dolphin Street
This week, Ambient Alarm Clock returns to the radio show format with a short playlist to get your week started. In this edition, the focus is ‘Acoustic Music.’ I hope you enjoy and have a great week.
1. Doc Watson – Matty Groves
2. Bert Jansch – Black Waterside (written by Anne Briggs)
3. The Barr Brothers – Old Mythologies
4. The Allman Brothers – Little Martha
5. Tony Rice – Freeborn Man
6. Neil Young – Goin’ Back
7. Oysterhead – Birthday Boys
8. Django Reinhardt – Crazy Rhythm
9. Andres Segovia – Rondo
10. Big Bill Broonzy – Somebody’s Got to Go
11. Jerry Garcia (solo) – Gomorrah
Welcome back to an afternoon edition of Ambient Alarm Clock. After a week off we return with a great selection of jams to go with this nice weather we’ve been having. With Phish now set to headline the Outside Lands Festival in August, and a dream-like West Coast run, this summer is looking to be one of the best in years . Enjoy these jams to start off this already stellar week!
The first selection today comes from the first night at the Meadows Music Theatre in Hartford, CT on Phish’s 2000 Summer Tour. This show from June 30, took on a unique feel from the start, with “Ha Ha Ha” opening the first set and liquid segues laced throughout. The highlight we’ll be revisiting from this standout performance is the second set opening combination of “Halley’s” > “Mango Song” > “Twist”—an interesting trio to get things started.
“Halley’s” > “Mango Song” > “Twist” (2000.6.30)
Next, we’ll go back in time to the show from Holmdel, NJ that took place one night prior, on June 29. Again, we’ll be checking out the second set opener, but this time in the form of “Birds of a Feather” -> Catapult.” In “Birds” the band can be heard teasing John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” one of my all-time favorite tunes.
“Birds of a Feather” -> “Catapult.” (2000.6.29)
For the final selection today, we turn to something from the Dead’s live catalog. The very first show from 1973 was held at Roscoe Maples Pavilion at Stanford University on February 9. This show, while not even close to one of the best from this historical year, is special as it boats the debut of several Wake of the Flood tunes that would go on to become staples in later years. The first show of the year sees the band debut “Here Comes Sunshine,” “Row Jimmy,” “They Love Each Other,” and perhaps most notably “Eyes of the World.” One of my favorite songs of all-time, and the first Dead song I ever heard, I felt it would be appropriate to revisit this gem. The song’s first journey clocks in at 18 minutes and is somewhat atypical as it lacks the expected Dm section. The sound setup at this show was also the first incarnation of the Wall of Sound. Lotsa firsts.
“Eyes of the World.” (1973.2.9)
We start this week off with several highlights from Mike Gordon’s extensive March tour, which closed out on Saturday at Higher Ground. In case you haven’t heard, this group has been making waves lately. With a few tours under their belt, the band seems to be discovering its own unique sound and approach to improv. Our hats go off to Mr. Gordon for a great tour.
The first selection this week comes from the only show I attended on the tour. The March 22 performance from Brooklyn, NY began with an extended jam on “Idea.” Many shows on this tour—and previous ones—have featured these early trips into the psychedelic realm. This was a particularly engaging opener that launched into the stratosphere on the tails of Scott Murawski’s mile-long guitar phrases.
Next we turn to “The Spiritual Jam” from March 25 at the State Theatre in Falls Church, VA. This composition, penned by Rubblebucket percussionist Craig Myers, made its debut on 3.18 in Nashville and has quickly grown into a promising jam vehicle for the band. It is an instrumental number that features Myers on an upright stringed instrument and has most often emerged from the percussive jam “Heavy Metal.”
“The Spiritual Jam” (3.25.11)
On March 11 in Flagstaff, AZ the band dropped a particularly heavy version of “Dig Further Down.” In this version, you’ll hear keyboardist Tom Cleary unleashing an impressive Wakeman-esque solo that shows the brimming level of talent in the group. The whole time Mike is simply riding the groove, allowing his bandmates to shine. It’s what makes this a band, rather than just a supporting act.
“Dig Further Down” (3.11.11)
Finally, we turn to the version of “Suskind Hotel” from March 20 at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. The song, originally debuted on the much-loved GRAB tour, has continued to be a highlight in the MGB catalog, with some of the most consistently far-reaching improv. Murawski shows a greater patience throughout this one, using his wah to sculpt sustained caterwauling notes. A charging energy takes over, sending this one way out into the cosmos.
“Suskind Hotel” (3.20.11)
“Spiritual Jam” (3.22.11)
This week Ambient Alarm Clock takes a look back on Phish’s trip out west in March of ’93. Amid a massive tour that stretched through all corners of the country, the band was reaching one of the first major high points in their career. With the addition of Page’s baby grand, and a wealth of new material, the band left a blazing trail that stands up as one of the finest to this day.
Also, stay tuned as we await the imminent announcement of Phish’s festival at Watkins Glen. Over the past few days the shady track president hinted through his twitter account at an announcement taking place today (the expected date). However, yesterday he posted a tweet implying a delay had taken place. Our friends at Hidden Track have the full scoop which you can check out here.
For today’s musical selections, first we’ll visit a rarely mentioned yet smoking version of “Reba.” This one came midway through the second set on March 9, 1993 at Pike’s Peak Center, Colorado Springs, CO. Check out the segment at 10:24 when Trey locks onto a single note for a nearly three minutes (it has to be up there with the 11.16.96 “Hood” for single longest note). Click the dates for full setlists courtesy of Phish.net.
Next up we’ll visit the well-known version of “YEM” from 3.14.93 at the Paul Wright Gym located in Gunnison, CO. This was a landmark performance that quickly became a commonly circulated SBD recording. The jam features various teases including Yes’s “Owner of a Lonely Heart” along with a full-on “Spooky” segment. A classic, must-hear version.
“You Enjoy Myself” (3.14.93)
I’m a fan of anything with “DEG” teases in it, so for the next selection we’ll turn to the “Bowie” from The Palace in Hollywood, CA on 3.18.93. Featuring secrete language signals during the intro and an extended “DEG” segment during the jam, this one is among my favorites from this period.
“David Bowie” (3.18.93)
Finally, we turn to another top-notch performance from Santa Cruz, CA on 3.25.93. The entire second set from this show is worth your attention, but we’ll feature the “Mike’s Groove” from late in the second set. A typically wailing combination with a jam on the Anastasio/Popper original “Don’t Get Me Wrong” during Weekapaug.
“Mike’s Song” > “Hydrogen” > “Weekapaug Groove” (3.25.93)
Welcome back to Ambient Alarm Clock. This week I’ve prepared another playlist for you comprised of live recordings from around the globe. We start things off today with a great jam from The Slip’s recent trip to Japan, and then turn toward the Mike Gordon Band’s “Mound,” a heavy “Plasma” from Oakland and more. Enjoy and have a great day!
“Jams of Late” Pt. II
1. The Slip – Eube (2.27.11)
2. Tennis – Bimini Bay (3.2.11)
3. Mike Gordon Band – Mound (3.5.11)
4. TAB – Plasma (3.5.11)
5. Furthur – Row Jimmy (3.5.11)
6. Mike Gordon band – Dig Further Down (3.5.11)
7. Akron/Family – Another Sky (2.17.11)
Welcome back to Ambient Alarm Clock where this week I have a special playlist prepared for you. Those who know me well, will know that playlisting is a constant habit of mine. Each month I assemble numerous playlists of new and old music of all sorts, and today I felt like sharing my most recent one with you all. I often start my playlists the same way (with one of my favorite songs) to set the tone, and from there they branch out into all sorts of different directions. I think this is something that I will try to do more frequently, so let me know if you dig it and want to hear more.
1. Intro (Ace of Cups – Music)
2. Woodsman – Inside/Outside
3. Women – Bullfight
4. Frame – Frame of Mind
5. Pyschedelic Aliens – Gbe Keke Wo Taoc
6. Black Beats – The Mod Trade
7. Sun Ra – Drop Me Off in Harlem
8. Roy Orbisson – Mean Woman Blues
9. Alex Bleeker & the Freaks – Dead On
10. Jerry Garcia Band – I’m Troubled
11. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Fright Night (Nevermore)
12. Genesis – Dance on a Volcano
13. Woodsman – Serfer
This week we turn our attention to a few classic moments from 1989, an instrumental year in the band’s history that saw the debuts of numerous Phish staples, Chris Kuroda’s first full show as lighting director (4.13.89), the band’s final show at Nectar’s, and the first performance at the coveted Wetlands Preserve in NYC. We continue with the theme from last week exploring a couple of shows that were once highly circulated among tape traders.
Over the weekend, Phish guru Charles Dirksen circulated a new source of the legendary show from 5.28.89 at Ian’s McLean’s Party in Hebron, NY (click here to download). The sound quality has been quite significantly improved, and provides a more accurate recording of this classic, must-hear performance.
From this show, we visit the new source version of the unique and thrilling “YEM” from the first set featuring a zany vocal jam centered around the topic of poop. We will also visit the soaring second set “Hood.” According to Charles’ notes, the pitch has been corrected; and to my ears the sound is much fuller and has less tape hiss than the copy that was previously in circulation. Mr. Dirksen adds the following to the tape’s notes:
“I hope this is an upgrade for you…If you haven’t heard this early show, it’s one of a handful of must-hear 1980s shows in my opinion—not only for the banter between songs, almost all of which is entertaining, but also for the playing. (e.g., Trey gets paid by the note in YEM in particular, and its vocal jam is ridiculous.) You can hear every band member contribute to the banter between songs here and there, too.”
“You Enjoy Myself” (5.28.89)
“Harry Hood” (5.28.89)
Next, we jump ahead several months to the well-circulated show from The Wetlands on 10.26.89. If you aren’t familiar with this one already, the setlist alone will grab your attention right away. And make no mistake, the playing is right there to match it. From this show we visit the second set opening “Who Knows Jam,” along with the “Bowie” that (fittingly) features an extended “Space Oddity” jam during the intro and a wailing, outside jam section that is most definitely worth your attention.
“Who Knows Jam” > “Dinner and a Movie” (10.26.89)
“David Bowie” (10.26.89)
Also, be sure to check out the new J-Card view on Phish.net for a trip back to your glorious tape trading days.
Welcome back to Ambient Alarm Clock, I hope your year is off to a good start. Today, we take a short break from analyzing the stellar NYE run to look back on some great jams from years past. Today’s selections span a wide range of years dating all the way back to 1987 at The Ranch. We follow the number line making stops at some particularly memorable jams along the way. Have a great start to your week.
Our first stop today is from 7.31.99 at the Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata Japan, where band was performing their second day on the Field of Heaven stage. This “2001” opens the second set and casts off with an eerie ambiance that paves the way for one of the spaciest versions of “Bowie” to date.
“2001” > ” Bowie” (7.31.99)
The next selection comes from Spartanburg, SC on 10.29.94, the show prior to Phish’s first-ever musical costume. From this show we visit the incredible combination of “Split Open and Melt” > “Buffalo Bill” > “Makisupa Policeman.” After a menacing journey in “Split” the band busts out “Buffalo Bill” for the first time in 225 shows. “Makisupa” contains a segment type-II jamming, typical of the style for ’94.
“Split Open and Melt ” > “Buffalo Bill” > “Makisupa Policeman” (10.29.94)
We now go further down the number line back to October 19, 1991 from The Catalyst Santa Cruz, CA. This was the final night of Phish’s west coast run, and saw them hitting the note from all angles. The recording from this show became a popular tape in trading circles and contains an excellent version of “Harry Hood” that closes the second set.
“Harry Hood” (10.19.91)
Lastly this week, we have “The Curtain (With)” from 8.29.87 in The Living Room at The Ranch in Shelbourne, VT. In this early version, the band can still be heard wearing their influences on their cuff as they break into a heavily Dead-inspired jam section. Notice as Trey locks into some signature cascading Jerry licks, yet to fully develop his own style.
“The Curtain (With)” (8.29.87)
If you hadn’t already noticed, we’re deep in the heart of primal Phish season. Whether it’s @shapsio’s increasingly frequent (!)’s or the various #musthear daily jams, it should be clear to all that December was once a very special time for Phish. It was during this month that the band would close out these monstrous fall tours, and after having played so many shows together, the band members would be clicking like Fred & Adele (Astaire). For the remainder of the month, I’ll be joining along in celebrating these spectacular moments in the band’s history. And what better day to start than December 6th? This will be nice way for newcomers to discover these classic gems and also a way for oldcomers to relisten and discuss.
“Mike’s Song” > “Simple” > “Harry Hood” > “Weekapaug Groove” (12.6.96)
A spectacular “groove” with must-hear jamming in all four parts.
“Tweezer” > “Izabella” (12.6.97)
One of the all-time great jams. This one goes out to Drew, who will no doubt be celebrating this “Tweezer” like the birth of his own child.
I hope all my American readers had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend. As you slip back into the swing of things, start off your week with this playlist. I’ve included lots of great music from some recent live performances that you may or may not have heard. Either way, this playlist will keep updated with whats been happening in the community as of late. Music as of Late. I hope you enjoy.
“Music of Late“
Ambient Alarm Clock “Music of Late” 11.29.10 (right click, choose save-as to download)
1. Barr Brothers – “Beggar in the Morning” (4.22.10)
2. Mike Gordon Band w/Jon Fishman – “Easy to Slip” > “Walls of Time” (11.26.10)
3. Gov’t Mule – “Banks of the Deep End” (11.22.10)
4. Railroad Earth – “Lone Croft Farewell” (11.26.10)
5. Furthur – “Eyes of the World” (11.21.10)
6. Mike Gordon Band w/ Jon Fishman – “Traveled Too Far” (11.26.10)
7. Mike Gordon Band – “Kryermaten” (11.18.10)
8. Surprise Me Mr. Davis – “When a Woman” (6.26.10)
9. Railroad Earth – “Long Walk Home” (11.19.10)
10. Phish – “Roses are Free” > “Simple” (11.28.98)
(Alright the last one isn’t “of late” but its certainly worth revisiting)
Today’s playlist is a mix of various Phish jams (which it won’t always be). There is no specific focus, just some great jams for you to start off your shortened week with. Enjoy!
Bathtub Gin (6.28.00) > Tweezer (11.14.98)> You Ain’t Going Nowhere (7.30.03) > Mike’s Song (11.15.95) > Harry Hood (12.31.98) > Funky Bitch > Jam (11.22.94)
So here we are again at the end of another tour with a fairly long list of highlights to show for it. Few can deny (who can deny?) that Phish took a major step forward on the Fall 2010 tour. With the band making regular trips into the psychedelic unknown, the spontaneity and the sense of adventure returned to the shows. This time around, there are highlights abound, and this time they aren’t confined to the regular cast of songs. This time, the band followed a path to rediscovery that brought new and old songs into new improvisational waters. Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at this ‘Path to Rediscovery’ (and exactly what they were rediscovering). But for today, let’s ease back and enjoy some of the highlights from the recent tour in a nice long 2-hour playlist.
Note: this tour had many more highlights than other recent tours, and so you will notice that not everything made the cut. Every Monday, from now on, you will find a new playlist here at DGB. Over the course of the week I’ll be rolling out new weekly posts to try and add some structure to the site. So every Monday, count on a nice long playlist to make your day at work/school easier and more enjoyable. As always, if you have suggestions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned this week, I’ve got lots to share…
“2010 Fall Tour Highlights”
DOWNLOAD: 2010 Fall Highlights (Right click, choose ‘Save As’ to download)
Playlist: Wilson (10.31.10) > Stash (10.31.10) > Reba (10.19.10) > Ghost (10.26.10) > Night Nurse (10.26.10) > Have Mercy (10.20.10) > Piper (10.20.10) > Carini (10.22.10) > Tweezer > Heartbreaker > Ramble On > Thank you > Tweezer > Stairway to Heaven (10.30.10) > Spanish Moon (10.31.10) > Wolfman’s Brother (10.30.10) > Crosseyed and Painless (10.16.10)