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Archive for the ‘Trey Anastasio’ Category

[CANCELLED: May 24, 2020] Trey Anastasio Band

indexI have seen Trey Anastasio once solo at Newport Folk Festival (amazing) and with  the Trey Anastasio Band (super fun).  I didn’t expect him to tour so soon because Phish is playing in Atlantic City this summer.  So it was great to see that he was going to do two shows this summer.

It’s a bummer that this show was cancelled, not to be rescheduled, but this show also wound up conflicting with my friend Armando’s wedding party so technically I wasn’t going to be able to go.  I was trying to trade for a ticket to the Saturday show, but that’s moot now.

TAB cancelled their show pretty early (Mar 24) for a show that was all the way at the end of May, but it was better not to have to wait.  So far, Phish hasn’t cancelled their shows on August 14-16, but we’ll see.

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[ATTENDED: December 29, 2019] Phish

I blew off two of the three Phish shows I had tickets to this summer.  (I really should have gone to that Sunday show).  Camden is such a hassle.

Somehow, I find getting to Madison Square Garden much less of a hassle–which makes literally no sense.  These were my fourth and fifth times seeing them at MSG (compared to two in Camden).  But this MSG trip involved driving into the city ($15 tunnel toll?) and then getting a garage.  And, because I planned to go to an after party at Le Poisson Rouge with Marco Benevento, I decided to park in the village and subway it up.  That’s actually a lot of hassle.

But it was worth it.

This was my eighth Phish show (I could be in double digits by now if I didn’t sell those Camden tickets).

The theory is that the Sunday night of the New Year’s Eve run is always great.  And boy howdy was it. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 20, 2019] Vida Blue

I had seen two of the Phish guys’ side (or solo) projects, which meant I actually got to see them, and not just see them from a mile away.  Mike Gordon did a solo tour which I caught, and I’ve seen Trey Anastasio with his band and solo.  I assumed that would be it for small projects.  Fish has a band, Pork Tornado, but it’s been on hiatus since 2002 and Page McConnell has released a couple of solo albums, but his band Vida Blue stopped touring in 2004.

Until now.

Page announced that Vida Blue was going to reunite for THREE shows (although possibly more now).  And one of those three shows was in Philadelphia.  So of course I bought a ticket to see Page up close.

Driving into Philly has become something of a nightmare now that Girard Avenue is closed.  Especially if you want to get to the Fillmore.  Traffic and detours add at least ten minutes.  I had left early but still managed to get to the parking lot after 8 for an 8PM show with no opening band.  I was furious.  So I ran into the place and found out that they hadn’t started yet, phew.  Also, everyone seemed to be milling about, so I wended my way up near the front and got an amazing spot.  My only regret is that I didn’t keep going into that one last free spot in front of that one because it turned out the people around me were the worst people in Philadelphia. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 27 & 28, 2019] Newport Folk Festival

Back in 1998, I won a radio contest (not through luck, I knew the name of a song and couldn’t believe no one else did!) and scored a ticket to the Newport Folk Festival.  It was in a lull back then and also, I believe there was only one stage (it’s hard to remember).  Now it is at full power, selling out before artists are even announced.

S. and I have talked about going and finally this year I saw when tickets were announced and I bought 4 tickets for us.  I knew that our son wouldn’t want to go, but I decided to make a long vacation out of it–a couple days in Rhode Island and then about a week in Maine.  He couldn’t say no to going to that.

I didn’t get Friday tickets because three days seemed excessive.  Plus, you never know who is going to appear until long after you buy the tickets. and that actually worked out pretty well.   Turned out, there wasn’t anyone I really wanted to see.

So we rolled in for Saturday.  I was told that if you wanted to get the poster you had to get their very early.  We arrived at 12:30 and they were long sold out.  Oh well. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 28, 2019] Trey Anastasio @ Newport Folk Festival

I have seen many variations of the Phish band.  I’ve seen Phish a number of times, I’ve seen Mike Gordon solo, I have also seen the Trey Anastasio Band and soon I’ll be seeing Vida Blue.  So here was my opportunity to see Trey solo.  I’d heard that his solo shows were terrific.  And this was terrific.

His show was the one I was most excited for on this day, even if there were a few other bands I wanted to check out.  I was happy to have gotten pretty close to the stage (again, if I ever go back, stand on the other side, with the sun at my back).

Unlike at a Phish show where Trey barely says anything (usually not even hello), Trey is very chatty solo.

This shows feel very intimate (even in an outdoor venue with thousands of people).  I know he has a lot of solo music out so I was pretty thrilled at how much Phish he played. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 29, 2018] Phish

I was very excited to see Phish again this summer.  I bought tickets for all three shows at the BB&T Pavillion.

But then my week had turned very busy with shows and other commitments.  When I heard Cate Le Bon was playing at Boot & Saddle on the Friday night, I decided to sell Friday’s ticket.  I mean, let’s be honest, BB&T is a pain in the ass to get to (and parking is insane and expensive).   (I wound up not even going to Cate Le Bon either, boo).   I also decided to sell Sunday’s ticket because Saturday was a long night and I had had enough of the late nights for a time.

But for the Saturday show I had originally bought two tickets so that S. could go to her first Phish show.  I was bummed that they were lawn seats, although I think she felt this added to the experience because she got to see all of the people dancing and milling about.  We were supposed to meet my friend Armando, which would have made the whole night really fun, but he had car trouble and wound up not making it.  (boo).

So it was just S. and I.  Traffic sucked, parking sucked and the weather was questionable.   We arrived literally as “Mike’s Song” started.  So we found a somewhat unused spot on the lawn and settled in.  Phish fans are very friendly but for some reason the group around us wasn’t very inclusive.  In what has to be a first, no one offered either of us a joint the whole night!  They must have thought we were narcs. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: TREY ANASTASIO & TOM MARSHALL-Trampled By Lambs and Pecked By the Dove (2000).

This album is a collection of songs that Trey Anastasio and Tom Marshall recorded in a bunch of barns in Vermont back in 1997.  Most of the songs later appeared on the Phish albums The Story of the Ghost [GHOST] and Farmhouse [FARM]. A couple were recorded by Trey on his solo albums [TAB] and some were never properly recorded but have been played live many times [Live].

This collection was released in 2000 after the two proper albums came out and they give context for the songs and show just how fully formed most of the ideas were when the band recorded them.

“Brian and Robert” [GHOST] This version has a keyboard melody and backing washes.  “Limb by Limb” [GHOST]sounds a lot like the final product (same guitar sound) although Tom’s backing vocals aren’t anywhere near as good.  “Blue and Shiny” is a jazzy guitar song with the two singing in harmony.  It has apparently never shown up anywhere else.

“Twist” [FARM] is slower than the original but with all of the parts including the “Whoo!”  “Wading in the Velvet Sea” is a bit slower and of course less full than the final version. There’s sirens in the background which I can’t decide if they are intentional.  Although the liner notes say they were hundreds of miles from anyone else, so it’s unlikely they were police driving by.

“Farmhouse” [FARM] sounds just like the record except that Tom sings and the notes are a bit high for him.  “Saw It Again” [Live] is one of my favorite raw Phish songs.  I love hearing it every time they play it.  Although they’ve never recorded it for an album. This original version has the raw guitar sound and chanted vocals–a kernel of the final product.

“Piper” [FARM] is a 48 second nugget.  But it showcases the vocals in the round that are so awesome in the song.  “Flat Tornados” is another 48 second track.   But this one is just drums and a synth melody–nothing substantial.  “I Don’t Care” is a minute long  guitar piece.  Apparently it was played live twice and then never again.

“Windora Bug” [TAB] is an a capella piece of looped vocals (“Is that the wind.  Or a bug?  It’s a windora bug.”  The TAB version stretches out for ages and has a reggae feel.  “No Regrets” is a goof–lots of laughing and silliness over a heavy two note riff for all of 90 seconds.

“Water in the Sky” [GHOST] sounds the same except that they music here is more circusy than the final product.  But the melody and vocals are the same.  “Heavy Things” [FARM] sound pretty much the same, although with an acoustic guitar and no repeated high notes on the guitar (it’s nice to see that some things are still added afterward).

“Never” {TAB] is a pretty song with a quiet melody on synths.  “Vultures” [Live] is a quietly sing song with piano and guitar in a jazzy melody.

“Ghost”[GHOST] sounds very very different from the final version.  The vocal melody is the same but the guitar style is way different (the final product is much better).  “Dirt” [FARM] feels like the full song.  It’s quiet with whistling and a nice guitar solo.  “Driver” [FARM bonus] also sounds complete played on a quiet acoustic guitar.

“Sleep” [FARM] has the lovely guitar melody and gentle vocals.  “Olivia’s Pool” was later recorded on [GHOST as “Shafty”].  This is a bouncy jaunty jazzy version which is sung as “oblivious fool.”  “Somantin” is a full song (over three minutes long) but was never recorded anywhere else and has not been played live.  It’s mostly vocals in a round so I guess there’s not much to it.

“Bug” [FARM] is fully realized with guitar licks and piano riff all in place.  “Name” is a 2 minute quiet, simple country-sounding song.  I’m surprised he hasn’t recorded it on a solo album.  “Dogs Stole Things” [live] has never been recorded but it gets a lot of live workouts.  This version is slow and sloppy (although not that different from the live version).

This collection is really for die hards or people who like to see songs evolve.

[READ: May 9, 2020] “Deep Wells, USA”

This is the third time I’ve read this story.  The previous two times it didn’t really click with me, but this time I really liked it.

Word is out: A baby has been lost in a well!  The story has XXI sections (and an epilogue) in which we get to hear input from dozens of people involved directly or not with this crisis.

It is set up like a play, sort of, with “characters” speaking dialogue.  It begins with a Celebrity saying there is an unconfirmed report of a baby in a well.  Consumer: “Hot damn. I love well babies.”  And off we go.

The first eyewitness describes the baby as drunk with tattered clothing who fell in a box with sand in it.  That’s not a baby in a well.  That’s a wino in a sandbox. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: TREY ANASTASIO-One Man’s Trash (1998).

This is Trey Anastasio’s first solo album. It is a 30 minute collection of odds and ends (hence the title) and experimental pieces.  There are some kernels of real songs and some simple noise experiments (most of which are shorter).

The first three songs are kernels of songs.  “Happy Coffee Song” is a simple blues riff with a guitar solo and scatting lyrics.  “Quantegy” is three minutes long.  It’s got a bass line like Led Zeppelin’s The Lemon Song but with Trey just narrating about quantegy and materials with synths behind him.  “Mister Completely” sounds like a Phish song with intertwining lines and a catchy riff.

“A Good Stalk” is the first of the experimental noise tracks.  Feedback and backwards drum sounds make a 50 second soundscape that does indeed sound like a “A Good Stalk.”

“That Dream Machine” is a fast looping guitar pattern that sounds like it could be a King Crimson melody from the 80s.  “The Way I Feel” introduces a funky bass line (with cowbell).   “Rofa Beton” is almost three minutes of soft but fast echoing drum patterns.

“For Lew (My Bodyguard)” brings lyrics into the songs again.  This song is about two minutes long, primarily keyboard washes and synths that follow the vocal line for

‘Cause Satan is real on the fainting couch,
I can feel my curved back sink into the hot orange light;
Feels good against my arms.

Mustard walls surround me like soldiers face to face
At the Battle of Trenton.
I can feel my curved back sink into the chapel pew.
While Maurice stands guard outside, no one can defy me.
No one can get by me with Maurice standing guard outside.

‘Cause Satan is real on the fainting couch.
Satan is real inside me,
From my head down to my kidney bean.

Yup.

It’s followed by three way experimental pieces.  “At The Barbecue” is a kind of free jazz saxophone/trumpet experimental piece.  “Tree Spine” is similar to “Stalk” with pulsing deep sounds and what could be the sound of insects eating a tree.  “Here’s Mud In Your Eye” is a minute of splashing sounds–made by mouth?

“The Real Taste of Licorice” returns to proper songs with a lively three minute acoustic guitar piece.

“And Your Little Dog Too” is the longest piece at 4 minutes.  It’s echoing drums and sound effects with Trey yelling in the background.  It sounds like it is meant to be almost a savage dance.

“Jump Rope (fast version)” is thirty five seconds of meandering keyboards and what sounds like fast whipping loops (yes, like a jump rope).  “Jump Rope (slow version)” is not a slowed down version of the above.  In this one the looping sound is like a slow moving UFO.

“Kidney Bean” closes the album.  The phrase kidney bean appeared earlier (in “For Lew”).  The return is an elliptical 30 second song with the loud monotone recitation of “Now we’re talking kidney bean.”

There’s not a lot here for the casual listener.  Or even for big fans.  It’s the kind of thing that would be released for free if that was something that could have happened in 1998. I suspect people were kind of pissed to have paid money for this.

But it is kind of fun, if you like weird Phish nonsense.

[READ: May 1, 2019] “Child’s Play”

Alice Munro is a master of the short story.  This story is utterly fantastic.  They way it is written and the stunning ending are mind-blowing.

The story more or less begins with an introduction to Marlene and Charlene.  They were not twins as people might have guessed (from their names).  They were not even related.  But they were at camp together and they bonded over their similar names.  They bonded over their physical similarities and differences.  They bonded over the camp counselor they didn’t like (Arva, “she even had an unpleasant name”).

Camp was religious, but it was United Church of Canada, so there wasn’t much talk of religion, exactly.  Mostly it was talk of being nice.  But Marlene had a story of being not nice.

There was a girl in Marlene’s neighborhood named Verna.  She was described as her neighbor’s granddaughter, but there was no evidence of Verna’s mother.  Marlene had an aversion to her right from the start.  She told her mother that she hated Verna.

Her mother’s standard reaction was “The poor thing.”  Marlene’s didn’t think her mother liked Verna either rather it was  “a decision she had made to spite me, she pretended to be sorry for her”  She said “How can you blame a person for the was she was born?” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 1, 2019] The Murlocs

I was aware of The Murlocs as being the spin-off band from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Ambrose Kenny-Smith.  I’d listened to them a few times but hadn’t really listened intently.

Then I saw that they were playing at Underground Arts (in the Black Box, one of my favorite venues no less).  I thought it would be a great opportunity to see 2/7 of KGATLW (Craig Cook plays in both bands) before seeing KGATLW again later this year (probably from much further away).

I had also seen just the day before the show that two other members of KGATLW (Stu Mackenzie and Eric Moore) were on the East Coast (a picture of them hanging out with Trey Anastasio(!) has surfaced), so I thought there was chance that they might come down and join Ambrose on stage (they didn’t).  Although I learned that Stu and Eric joined the band for the encore cover of Hot Chocolate’s “Every 1’s a Winner” the night before in NYC (always at the wrong show).

I assumed that this show wouldn’t be all that well attended.  The King Gizzard shows are always popular, but I figured it was a side project by the “second singer” so how crowded would it be?  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 21, 2017] Phish

I have wanted to see a Phish New Year’s Eve show for years.  But one should welcome in the New Year with people you love, so I will never go to a show on New Year’s Eve.  But this year I decided to try for a ticket for the night before New Year’s Eve.  Once I got my ticket I learned that many people feel like the 12/30 show is ultimately better than the 12/31 show–in terms of music, not theatricality naturally.

I was also pretty happy to find out that my friend Armando and his girlfriend were going.  So we wound up making an evening out of it.  They live near the train station, so I drove to their house and we walked to the train.  It was nice meeting his girlfriend (she is famous from his blog) and we all got along very well.  When we got into the City, he told me we were going to a great Peruvian restaurant really close to the arena.   And what a great find it was.  Rather than pizza or a hot dog we were able to eat a yummy (and filling meal) and it was quite fast as well.

Although, perhaps it could have been faster.  When we walked across the street to MSG, the line to get in was massive.  We never found out exactly what was going on, but they were holding everyone back at a barrier while the line thinned out.  We were running very tight to show time.  But the arena must have known that because the band did not go on as early as they usually do. (more…)

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