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Episode 2 — Analyze Phish Episode 2

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I just had to come by and say, the part where the xylophone comes in and Scott refers to it as banging bones on skeleton heads made me lose my shit, haven't laughed that hard in awhile. I don't know why, maybe because I envision the scene in Kings Quest 6 where Prince Alexander has to play the skeleton xylophone to make the gatekeeper start dancing so he drops the skeleton key, and other skeletons start doing the cancan, and its all just very cute and comical. Search 'Kings Quest IV Dance of the Dead' to see what I'm referencing.

Oh, and Phish sucks :(

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Btw, "Dirk" = Jerk + Dick..... hehe

Also, recall my prev. comment, "I like everything, except the Phish bits"

In other words, I would def. like to hear debates on other bands, doesn't even have to be the same band for the whole show

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Phish fan here and I thought Harris started off strong, but as it went on it's pretty clear this format has pretty much run it's course. Small 2-3 minute snippets of 20 minute songs is useless and skipping around randomly is even worse. i would suggest Harris has specific times to skip to in each song so we can hear one verse, one chorus and then the jam part of the song so we have a more complete understanding of what the song is before/while Scott shits on it.

I am excited to hear the all Jam episode (and of course the at-a-show ep!) it might actually do the band justice!. I mean Harris, you had him with chalk dust torture, and then you cut it off right before the actual solo! You can't judge a jam band solely on the music leading up to a jam, it takes away from the whole experience. Looking forward to the next installment! May I suggest starting off with a particularly good Chalk Dust to start the jam episode.

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It's amazing how bad Harris is at lobbying for his favorite band! I gotta admit, that was simultaneously hilarious and maddening at the same time.

I'm not a fanatic phish lover, but I definitely "get it" and love certain things about the band. Far and away, the best part is the musical interplay and improvisation. And the cornerstone of that is Trey's guitar playing.

HARRIS! YOU DIDN'T PLAY A SINGLE NOTE Of TREY'S GUITAR WORK!

Instead, you chose to showcase the absolute worst part of phish, which is the inane lyrics, the dodgy vocals and the "boring" first half minute of some otherwise decent phish tunes.

Please, do me a favor. Although Scott still may not like phish, you have to select better things for him to hear. Try this:

Play the last verse/chorus before the jam starts in whatever phish "classic" you like. Then let us hear how the band really takes off from that point. (Somebody above referred to the lyrics as placeholders, and honestly thats what they kind of are).

Also, for the epic, 15-minute songs that you want to play, listen ahead and make a note on when the good parts are. You completely lose Scott when you say, "jump ahead to minute 20", and whatever they are doing sounds terrible out of context. Phish are masters at tension/release in their long jams. Either play a longer clip, or bookmark some of those moments, in context, where they really peak.

Anyway, nice try. More than anything really, I hope you guys just keep making new episodes. You're both hysterical!

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I've tried numerous times to get into Phish. I've bought studio and live albums, friends have given me bootlegs, and I often work in Vermont playing music (and once, Trey's music). I'm even trying again by listening to the podcast. In my life, no other band has had more chances to sound good (and subsequently failed) than Phish.

However, Scott accurately summed up the conversation around the 55th minute of the first episode, "What the fuck am I listening to?"

Drugs can make any shitty band sound good. Why not take drugs and listen to music that sounds good sober?

And as a professional classical musician, please do not say that Trey is classically trained and a classical composer and therefore deserves admiration. Respect, maybe, but not admiration. Vanessa Carlton is "classically trained" as well, so fuck her too.

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This podcast is super fun and hilarious. And I have to put my two cents in. Here are the album cuts to play: Cavern, Guelah Papyrus, Stash, Horn, Rift, and for funk you can't go wrong with Split Open and Melt, maybe Bathtub Gin even. And keep emphasizing the technnical prowess and breadth of styles. Lyrics and "I don't like his voice" are the easiest criticisms to make and the hardest to defend.

And then find a power jam that's on the short side. It only needs to demonstrate the kind of drift--where in the the rythmic and melodic landscape collapses in on itself, alll the while under perfect control--that's unique to Phish, and can actually hook you emotionally. There's a Good Times Bad Times cover where the drift happens, and the whole thing's less that 4 minutes long. The jam goes fucking haywire and then lands perfectly back on that classic riff.

If that doesn't work then just keep being hilarious for like 5 more episodes. I love this show!!

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Harris is getting better at lobbying for phish, Scott is completely insufferable though. Im not saying he should totally like everything, but he listens to a song and says "oh i like this" until he hears one tiny part and goes "OH FUCK THIS SONG FOR THAT". I also understand that its a comedy show and things needs to be poked at for there to be humor.

The problem with the main idea is that some people just dont like phish. If someone is going to get hung up on the 'shitty lyrics' then they probably aren't going to like phish(and you might as well end the show now if getting scott to like phish is actually even the premise.)

Scott likes dance music for crying out loud(and yes i know he likes other stuff too, stuff that is lyrically poignant). But look, Phish is dance music, they don't make amazingly profound music. They aren't Bob Dylan, or Neil Young, or any singer/songwriters that make songs that point out the ills of the world. As much as i hate to say it because i like a lot of the lyrics, its just dance music, its shit to boogie down too. There are some songs that are a little more introspective than the most but that's not what it's about. For the most part Scott has said he liked a lot of the music, and that the thing he doesn't like is the singing and the lyrics. You don't criticize Lady Gaga about her ham-fisted sexual metaphors. When someone does, most of her fans just go "well she just makes fun dance music", like that is some mystical shroud that protects her from criticism. I'm invoking that shroud for phish.

One thing i dont agree with is people telling harris to 'just play the jams' you cant just throw Scott headlong into the middle of a tweezer, yem, or any balls out blazing jam, because he needs the framework of the rest of the song to place it in. But the idea of just playing one 15 minute song does sound good.

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I'm not a Phish fan, and I don't find myself any closer to being one after this episode.
Hilarious episode! I really enjoy the chemistry between Harris and Scott.
My taste in music is similar to Scotts' (minus the DANCE music ;)). I like songs with a good hook. In my opinion, find a Phish song that is under 6 minutes and has a catchy hook and Scott may be convinced.
That being said, I hope Scott is never converted and this wonderful conceit continues.

Andrew

PS - Thanks to member Ken Smith for setting me straight on "Gin N Juice" on the previous episode board. I think I've had that mp3 mislabeled since LImeWire. Since it Isn't a Phish cover, I'm back to square one; I haven't heard anything I've liked.

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This is pretty much a perfect podcast. I had never heard a Phish song - that I know of *Hi 5* - before the first episode, so it has been really fun getting to both laugh and be judgmental. I typed it before elsewhere, but I am just so amazingly impressed by Harris' ability to "Yes and..." every single thing that Scott says. It is pretty cool that Phish fans are getting into it too, and Harris should definitely read some critiques from people on the hardcore Phish messageboards. More please!

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It's weird to me that people think the podcast should end if Scott liking Phish isn't a realistic outcome. The less likelihood there is of Scott liking Phish, the longer the podcast will go on for, and the more discussions about what music is and what people like about certain kinds of music there will be.

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This is becoming one of my favorite new Earwolf podcasts. It taps into something I believe all of us have experienced at one time or another: the difficulties in trying to convince a friend that a band/film/book/etc is worth their time. When Harris's attempts to get Scott to like Phish have concluded, I would love to see this continued as a recurring show where various comedians try to get their friends to become fans of one of their guilty pleasures.

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I think you should try one more cover this time of purple rain Scott likes fishmans voice and trey usually does a really great solo during it maybe cut it off before the vacuum solo though, or maybe not it would be funny to hear you try and explain that. keep up the good fight I think he is coming around though he'll probably never admit it.

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Well, I don't know about Scott, but I'm 22 minutes in and I'm starting to like Phish:) Thanks Harris! This podcast is awesome. I'm actually kinda surprised at Scott's claim that he finds the lyrics in the songs stupid - can't he just listen to it and hear ...music? Y'know - I don't think I pay attention to the lyrics in, like, half the songs I listen to. That kinda seems like too much work, especially if you're just putting music on at work or while driving. Phish does good music to listen to if you're just chilling.

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ColonelForbin actually makes a pretty good point. Scott seems to get hung up on tiny details too often, which, while admittedly stupid at times, aren't really that big. Maybe Harris isn't paying the right music, and maybe Scott is doing bits, but I generally don't care for Phish and am enjoying some of the grooves and jives (yeah, man!) they are laying down.

I appreciate that Scott is approaching this with an open mind, but sometimes he seems to close it too quickly.

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Very funny show, guys. You both missed the opportunity to call out "The Story of the Ghost" as a humblebrag instead of railing on how horrible the lyrics are. I don't think Scott is truly bringing an open mind to the discussion, but I guess he is doing his best. Scott has a pretty fixed idea about what good music is and what it sounds like - it is going to take a long time for something as oblique as Phish to get through. Harris - god bless you for doing this, but you have to stand taller and stop apologizing. Try some newer songs like Kill Devil Falls, i.e. songs that don't take much time to develop as Scott only gives about 30 seconds before his "this is shit" filter zeroes in.

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Definitely a good podcast to listen to. The funk stuff was ok. No song should need to be defended by an actual listener of Phish. All Phish listeners go into a defense mode for the band. & songs over 4 minutes is sometimes too long. Harris, I love you, but if you have to fast forward through a song to get to "the good part" it's just not a good sign of confidence in any Phish listener . Also do Phish listeners go to all the; Moe. & Widespread shows? It all seem the same. Anyway, I think you two should lose the Phish music and enjoy the band WEEN, those guys rip. Ween has all the elements needed to enjoy jazz/jam/folk/country/rock/blues
P.s I love you guys always. It's fun listening
Joey

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This is great. It is one of the hardest things to do in life. But I have found a way to love Phish. I have since my first show- 11/6/96. But, I was able to 'like' them before this, and I think Harris can make Scott do the same. I apologize now if I go on too long. But that is sort of what Phish does, too.
1. Since Scott doesn't like the lyrics, which is understandable, because a song can be going great and then they throw a word or phrase in that is inane, he's going to have to take some mushrooms at the show he goes to so he can begin to laugh with the band at the lyrics. I've heard Mike say the lyrics don't mean anything and that they are primarily written because of the way the sounds of the letters bounce off each other. Of course, some of the songs do mean something (Fast Enough For You, Contact). But just remember that when getting acquainted with the lyrics.
2. Play an instrumental like Scott was wanting- your job is to get him to like them, not love them. Try The Landlady or maybe Billy Breathes, the song. It really builds beautifully and is regarded by many to be their best recorded song. But trick his ass, play the last minute and a half only.
Play Tweezer Reprise. The lyrics in that are towards the end so maybe the jam will have him rocking enough that he won't care that they're asking him kindly to step into the freezer. Like I said before, when I first began listening I would be rocking out and then they would begin singing this ridiculous shit and I'd just have to laugh at it. Like the words were a punchline or something. Play David Bowie. Only 5 words in that one. And the song (David Bowie) that gave me my catharsis that first night in Knoxville. I wasn't sober. It was the only show out the 21 I've seen where I was on LSD. That's why Scott should take mushrooms. I don't play music, but I suppose the drugs allowed me to appreciate the skill and talent in a way I'd never been able to do before. And when they encored with Rocky Top, it was more than them just playing to the local crowd. After all that jamming and then covering a three minute bluegrass/country tune to SAY GOODNIGHT, I somehow felt at home and otherworldly at the same time, which was pretty damn cool.
3. Ok, a few more things- play him Axilla II. If you have the one from New Years Eve '95 that would be perfect. Of course, they only play Axilla I anymore and it's got all the moronic lyrics but Scott doesn't have to know that until he hears it at the show he goes to and by that time he'll be cerebral cortex deep in boomered fun. Boomers are mushrooms. Try and play Strange Design. He'll probably hate it because of the lyrics but he may like Page's voice. Or even Wading. It's sappy but it might have more of an impact.
4. Play a cover of a song that Scott doesn't know. Like Funky Bitch. Or When The Circus Comes To Town. Or one of the bluegrass numbers like The Old Home Place or Ginseng Sullivan. Or Golden Age if hasn't heard the original yet. Then when he likes it just don't tell him Phish didn't write it. Until he's high on mushrooms.
5. I heard you mention that bands suck once they sober up. Usually true, but I really like a few of the new songs. Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan (tell Scott the title is just Stealing Time) and well the end jam of Joy is great but just don't play the beginning because Scott will not like it. Party Time is fun as well.
6. I've been listening to Phish this whole time trying to figure out which full song I'd recommend. If you do indeed play an entire song as was mentioned. I think it's necessary but I really don't think Scott will have the patience until he's at the show. Hopefully he proves me wrong. There is obviously the Bathtub Gin from The Great Went that is sacred or something. It's awesome but I really think a Run Like An Antelope (lyrics aren't until the end) would be better. Or the Down With Disease (lyrics seem to mean something) from the '97 Denver show that was released on a LivePhish 11. Or Taste (he liked Fishman's voice) from Slip Stitch and Pass.
7. I do wonder if this is bs because you played the least accesible parts of songs. But it is a comedy show.
The jam of Character Zero is what's rockin about it. Although the beginning of The Moma Dance was a good choice. When Tweezer wasn't going as planned and you sadly mumbled to go to the twenty minute mark I laughed out loud. I just thought Scott had to be wondering," we have to go twenty minutes in to find some quality music!" And then when that didn't work you said three more minutes and that was a complete failure as well. I believe that was the Tweezer from A Live One and it's like 45 minutes so I don't know what you were thinking. I guess just trying to get a laugh, which it did. It was fucking hilarious. Priceless, really.
8. Thanks a lot. Can't wait to hear the field report from a show. Scott laughing like the 12 year old's who wrote, "I saw you, with a ticket stub in your hand" should be priceless as well.

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"Hey Scott, I think you should take mushrooms."

If you strip away any and all context from this statement, it becomes my favorite comment on any message board ever.

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Have you guys thought about taking on the whole oeuvre jazz? It is similar to Phish in that non-fans just think everything is a 20 minute jerk-off noodling session. Even if both of you don't like it, I'm sure you can find someone in the LA comedy scene who does, and then have them try to convert you.

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