If you missed the debut episode of Analyze Phish, let me get you up to speed: Harris Wittels and Scott Aukerman are friends, Harris likes Phish, and Scott does not. This show is a chance for Harris to defend his musical taste and maybe even gain a new concert buddy. In episode two, Harris addresses some of the criticisms he received for the first episode and tries a new approach to introducing Scott to Phish. Will it work? You'll have to listen to find out!
Episode 2 — Analyze Phish Episode 2
Posted 03 October 2011 - 12:13 AM
This episode started off great! I'm glad Harris took the route that most phans take and played Scott some more "mainstream" Phish such as Sample. I wouldn't be the phan I am today had I not heard Farmhouse or Bouncing. That Bouncing from ALO (or anything outside of the YEM vocal jam) is perfect. Then Chalkdust Torture which is a classic opener arena rock song that is very accessible to non-phans. Trey's voice definitely grows on you as when I first heard it I hated it and now I wouldn't have it any other way.
A lot of people like Character Zero, but I don't think I would have played it for Scott. I would have thrown him a Page ballad as I think Scott appreciates vocals and Page is far and away the best vocalist, just in a small range. Also, I would have thrown him some songs with less lyrics. Don't give him something to hate. Notice how he really enjoyed YEM in the first episode. Maybe a Divided Sky or Tweezer (which you did). 90% of Phish's music is instrumental.
Pretty funny that he mentioned Brian Eno after Harris was oblivious earlier that Brian and Robert were written about [Eno and Fripp].
I think you did a good job Harris, but I think he needs more instrumentals/jams and I'm glad you acknowledge that you'll do it next episode. I'd also maybe show him some segues and how Phish melts songs together including teases and song-influenced jams (i.e. Manteca). Either way I can't wait until Episode 3.
Posted 03 October 2011 - 06:05 AM
Poor Harris seemed so defeated by the end, but the good thing is that means there will hopefully be more of these episodes! I think I may be in the same boat as Scott this time; I was more open to the Phish music in Ep. 1. I wasn't really into any of the songs this time around.
I do think it would be hilarious if Harris ended the last episode admitting that he now hates Phish, but I'm not sure if Scott is enough of an evil mastermind to pull that off.
Posted 03 October 2011 - 06:07 AM
Continuing with the Phish theme might become a bit of a dead end, at least in this format it seems like Harris has done all he can. but I do want more podcasts where Scott makes fun of Harris. That's what works so well about these for me. There's just something about the two of them together that's so enjoyable to listen to.
Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:29 AM
What I don't get about Phish is, if the lyrics don't matter, why do they even have lyrics? The answer to that question is probably that the lyrics are there to hang music off of, or to establish the "song" part of the song so that they can then deviate into a "jam" part. But if that is indeed the answer, and the lyrics are just placeholders, why don't they write lyrics that are innocuous, instead of these gallingly dumb lyrics that call attention to themselves? I think you have to conclude that the lyrics in fact serve an important purpose and are used to deliberately construct a persona for the band and a mood for the song, and you can't just ignore them.
Therefore, Phish are bad forever the end.
JUST KIDDING. Like Scott, I kinda liked that folky song, and I liked the hook of that Bouncing song, even if I didn't like any other part of it. And I never thought I'd say that I liked any part of anything at all to do with Phish.
Anyways, still really enjoying this concept and its execution. As someone who doesn't like Phish and is a big fan of this podcast, I'll say that I'm okay with Harris playing through a whole 15 minute or whatever song. If Scott's worried about that experiment alienating listeners, he shouldn't be.
Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:48 AM
It's interesting that Harris says that only girls liking Bouncing Around the Room, as it is the only Phish song that I can stomach. And I am a girl. And honestly, I only like about 4 measures of it, but that's about all I could possibly stomach of Phish. I wonder what it is about that song and girls.
Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:33 AM
I'm afraid the challenge is over here. I think Scott has heard enough of the Phish catalogue that he will never, ever, like them as a band. I think the new challenge should just be to find a SONG that Scott really likes. I highly doubt one song is going to turn Scott onto the band and their entire catalogue.