Harris Wittels and Scott Aukerman are comedians, music lovers, and most importantly friends. Where do they differ? Harris loves Phish, and Scott couldn't care less. On Analyze Phish, Harris carefully navigates the vast landscape of Phish's catalogue to find possible entry points for Scott while trying to explain the live Phish experience without the use of illegal substances. Will he succeed? You'll have to listen to find out!
Episode 1 — Analyze Phish
Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:30 AM
I really enjoyed this! As someone who wasn't very familiar with Phish beforehand, I tended to agree with Scott's view: instrumentally they are a pretty strong band, and the covers were very listenable, but their originals aren't really up to snuff. I can understand going to a show and just getting into the experience, but the songwriting and vocals kind of hold me back from enjoying the music on its own merits. That said, I legitimately liked what I heard of "You Enjoy Myself." As for the show itself, I think the very premise of spending an hour trying to convince one person to like a band is funny enough to get laughs out of even the moments of serious analysis. Scott and Harris have a great dynamic, am looking forward to the next installment.
Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:46 AM
I'm a huge Earwolf fan and was an even bigger Phish fan (66 shows since '96). But the presentation Harris made actually made me denounce the band. As I write this I'm sittIng quietly in a dark room sadly regretting all the time and money I've wasted on these horrible dirtbags over the years. On a brighter note, this podcast did turn me on to Spacehog. I can't wait to delve deeper into their catalog. Scott and Harris are hilarious as always and this is a super funny show. Well done.
Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:53 AM
dearest earwolf and earwolf fans,
i would like to start a petition for the harris wittels takeover. a week of harris on every show... lets start working on the ideas here.
-apple sisters - carl, father of jack, from carls lumber
-cbb - always gold in them hills
-eardrop - this seems to already be a phone corner
-challenge - a guest judge, right?
-who charted - he needs to unseat brody as the return guest champion
what could be done with the other shows? come on wolfers, let us herald the takeover of our champion harris!
Posted 08 August 2011 - 05:14 AM
As a Phish fan and Harris fan, I loved this episode. Phish is incredibly polarizing. You either like it or you don't. I don't think there are very many casual Phish fans. I think it should be noted that Phish is pretty easily mockable, and Harris does a good job of not taking it too seriously. But really Harris, no Antelope?!? Earwolf Presents is another solid idea!
Posted 08 August 2011 - 05:29 AM
I'm a pretty big Phish fan -- I've seen them around 50 times since '03 -- and have just started to get into Earwolf/CBB, so I was quite eager to give this episode a shot. Listened this AM and was pleasantly surprised - needless to say, I've had similar experiences trying to convince my own friends to get into Phish. Fortunately, when I tried this task, I didn't have to shoehorn sprawling songs and jams into 60-90 second chunks.
My suggestions for round two: more of the "heavy hitters" with good jams. Stick to good sound quality/SBD recordings - live stuff that was officially released. Try Mike's Groove from Slip Stich and Pass; LivePhish 1 (Binghamton 95) Suzy, Llama, Tweezer>Timber>Tweezer; Camden 99 Chalkdust; anything from the Island Tour; Japan '00; Nassau Feb '03.
Also, for what it's worth, Carrie Brownstein (formerly of Sleater Kinney and NPR; now of Portlandia fame) tried a similar experiment a few years ago on her NPR blog. As a Phish-hater, she listened to nothing but the band for a week to see if she could change her mind. There's about ten posts in this series, and it starts here: http://www.npr.org/b...ng_and_lea.html
Posted 08 August 2011 - 05:42 AM
That was Awesome! I could have easily listened to another hour of this show. I am not a Phish fan and Scott pretty much nailed everything that I was thinking when listening to their songs. I don't get it either, its basically 70's hippy funk music. I don't even see how you could compare Phish to P funk?
Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:54 AM
It has been my experience that you either really love Phish or you really hate Phish. I really love them, so I think that this is awesome and I can't wait for the next installment. Farmhouse is my favorite studio album, but I will agree that I typically only listen to live shows. For an awesome mix of traditional Phish plus a cover, can I suggest the Harpua/Killing in the Name of/Harpua from Alpharetta, GA July 4, 2010? It might just be special to me since I was there and the place went BANANAS during it.
Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:44 AM
I really enjoyed this show and hope there are more episodes in the future. I too saw Phish for the first time in 1999 and I've been a fan ever since. However, Harris has me wondering if I've been wrong this whole time. Even though I truly enjoy Harris, he is awful at the art of persuasion. If he did a show about his love of breathing, the listeners would be convinced to hate oxygen and end up suffocating themselves before the end of the show. If he worked as a hostage negotiator, every situation he worked would end up with the terrorist(s) being convinced to take more hostages and kill them as quick as possible. That said, I loved the show and hope there is more.
Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:55 AM
So I was not really familiar with Phish before listening to this episode. I think I'm in the same boat as Scott for the moment. The jury's still out on this band (for me.)
P.S. Artsy fans need to attempt to make something that says: "No shirt. No shoes. No cell phone service."
Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:58 AM
It's been awhile since I listened to Phish and it seemed like every jam Harris played sounded like the generic jam band music from the hippie episode of South Park. One more episode and Scott will triumph, and all that Harris will be able to do is succumb to that slow procession into Jazz that all adults must face.