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Episode 1 — Analyze Phish

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Very engaging show guys. I do like Phish but never became obsessed like some I know . Regardless...Harris ,you made the mistake of presenting Scott a playlist of tracks that only a seasoned fanatic could appreciate with all the subtle nuances one hears in a live recording most likely done by a guy who hasn't showered since his Bar Mitzvah...

In order to capture Scott, you will only need 2 albums:

1st Junta:

2nd A Live One

Then you can play all the live shows you want to him.

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"Wash your feets and drive me to Valencis."

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Hello all, glad you all enjoyed and hated the podcast. I understand why a lot of you took issue with how I chose to introduce Scott to the band, but there is also a reason behind every song I chose. I wanted a studio track from Billy Breathes to start with, but the lyrics to Free would have been made fun of to no end. "Freeeeeeeee" is the chorus. That is so incredibly lame if you dont like Phish, so to those suggesting that -- no.

A lot of people are suggesting I opened with Chalkdust -- a song, which has good rock elements to it, but whose lyrics Trey wrote when he was 15. Once again, I assumed the lyrics of 15 year old Trey being stuck in a science classroom would have been lame as fuck.

Reba composed section? Really? You want me to start with one of their most complex and "bop boop beep" sections of music in their reportoire for a guy who constantly makes fun of "bop boop beep" type music, that sounds like a terrible idea.

I chose Wilson because at my first Phish show, when the audience was yelling "wilson" that was the moment I was like "ooo I wanna know why everyone is chanting wilson." I thought it may pique his interest AND its a straight forward rock song.

Tweezer? He explicitly stated he hates slap bass.

You also have to realize I cant just play him a full song from A LIVE ONE or SLIP STICH or HOIST, so he cant listen to a great Hood in its entirety. Otherwise itd be a different ballgame entirely.

I thought about all this, you guys. I have a new game plan for the next recording.

OH BUT ALSO, this is all in just for fun and Scott will never ever like Phish. It's just fun to defend them and fun to hear him shit on them. So those trying to really make him like Phish, thats a tall order. Just enjoy it and be secure in knowing that you like Phish and get "it" and oh well.

Also, very happy you guys care enough to comment. You made very compelling arguments, each of you.

Thanks,
Harris

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I was thinking that I would probably switch this thing off midway but it is a testament to the two that the whole thing was very entertaining...Mr. Wittels: you really have your work cut out for you...I am probably not as broad listening as Mr. Aukerman but if I want prog, I listen to the Mahavishnu Orchestra - no lyrics and the playing far excels Phish...If I want funk, then I go to the source, Funkadelic or even DC Go-GO; that hipster ironic nonsense funk songstering was borderline racist...esp. over shitty overwrought whiteboy bass lines...If I want hippy jam band psychedelia...well, there's Hawkwind....Seriously though, it was a great listen. The second part should devote some time to Scott trying to get Harris to see how Roxy Music is infinitely better than Phish!

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I'd like to also add that, although I cannot comment on Harris' song choices as I am not familiar enough with the work of Phish, he did seem to do a great job preparing for this episode. He had a tracklist ready to go with notes on which parts of the songs should be listened to, a lot of background information and Phish trivia, and was aware of Scott's musical taste enough to tailor choices to him. Either Harris was truly devoted to putting in a lot of preparation time for this one episode, diligently payed attention in his public speaking class in college, or he's already had it down because he's been a door-to-door Phish missionary for the past few years.

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"...or he's already had it down because he's been a door-to-door Phish missionary for the past few years." Julia, I believe you mean phissionary. NAILED IT!

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Love This Podcast. Not only is it just a hilarious concept, but as a phish fan this is directly for me.

Harris, you're picking some odder stuff to get him started, start with the more easily accessible. Kill Devil Falls and Julius are good starter songs. Give him some funky, fun stuff like NICU or Back on the Train, and then finish it up by playing a little bit of Tweezer and then explaing it's a 25 minute song that get's condensed into 2 minutes and play reprise.

EVERYONE likes Tweezer Reprise

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Absolutley love it. I am a huge Phish fan, and listening to someone try to explain it is actually pretty cringe-worthy. Some moments had me thinking "wow my favorite band is pretty god damn absurd". Anyway, thanks Scott. Thanks Harris. I hope there really is another episode.

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Scott's comment about Schoolhouse Rock is probably my favorite Scott quote ever.

Harris, have you tried introducing Scott to Phish through their Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor first? That's where I would start. Maybe that's what the next episode could be. Scott eating a pint of ice cream and then complaining about the texture and how awesome it tastes.

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Phish Food is the only thing I like about Phish.
That being said, this was a fun show. Completely on Scott's side, even going with an open ear and just seeing how the music took me. I have had others try to convert me to Phish and Keller Williams and all that stuff before. 100% not for me. I am not saying it's bad (except it is pretty grating to my ears - am I the only person that gets weirdly nauseous listening them?), I like some terrible music with pretentiously long guitar solos and cheesy lyrics, just not the sound I like. I guess not being a drug user/not being super-white will forever keep me from learning the secrets of jam band magic.

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Thanks so much Harris for responding to us. Very cool of you.

Before I explain the thinking behind my first post, I would like to ask you a couple of questions, Phishhead to Phishhead: what did you think of that NYE run? More importantly, what's the best show you've attended? My personal favorite has always been the absolutely fucking EPIC 7/29/03 show in Burgettstown, PA. Daniel Saw the Stone (first in 285 shows, though they played it at IT immediately after, which pissed me off); Cool it Down (42 shows, so not a huge bust out, but played only twice before that); Mcgrupp (48 shows and one of my favorites). Then an INSANE second set, opening with a ridiculous Crosseyed opener (49 shows taboot); Harpua (171 shows); Bittersweet (48 shows); and then...a Farmhouse encore, which at least allowed me to beat the traffic and is better than a Bug ending.

Anyway, the reason I proposed the composed section of Reba is because I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that when Scott mentioned his aversion to the "beep boop beep" musical style, he meant the kind of jamming wherein themes are continuously repeated with slight variations, especially with "slap bass." I honestly think that it would have been best because it would have introduced him to a piece with no lyrics (assuming you skipped the opening and went straight to the headiness) and immediately convinced him that, regardless of whether or not he liked the sound of said song, he would not be able to deny their compositional accomplishment and musical adeptness. After that, you could give him some songs more in line with his tastes. That's really the only reason I proposed that. Immediately force him (and the audience, for that matter. Remember, you're trying to convince them to) to experience that "holy shit, these motherfuckers can play" moment so he is then prepared to take them seriously. When you opened with the studio version of Theme and then went into Wilson, I think he immediately felt that his preconceived notions about Phish were, in fact, correct. I really feel that when you're introducing a skeptic to Phish who already thinks they're all about forty minute jams and no real songs, something like the composed section of Reba immediately shoots down that notion.

Also, I think you should explain just how silly a Phish show can be sometimes. Don't shy away from describing the silliness and explain just a few things that they have done, thus illustrating that while they can be "silly," that silliness is not necessarily a negative element of their identity and does not permeate their entire shows or repertoire; rather, it enhances the experience and atmosphere of a show and only takes place on those special nights. It's important to convey that people don't just go to the shows to experience the music, but to see if anything crazy will happen that night. When the craziness/silliness comes out, it immediately becomes, at the least, a little more special of a show. A great example would be jumping in the bathtub during earlier versions of Brother, or anything along those lines. Maybe the Naked Fishman Incident? And a quick secret language signal like the Simpsons theme?

Finally -- and I think this is very important -- you should refute this idea that almost every Phishhead is a stoner who lives in his mom's basement and/or sells heady veggie barritos (brah!) in the lots while on tour. I was pretty pissed when he basically started with this unfortunate misconception of Phish fans, expressing surprise that you, an educated man, are actually into Phish. All of my friends who go to shows are now doctors, lawyers, and highly successful businessmen. As you know, this has become increasingly true as the first and second generation of Phishheads have grown older. I myself am now at Fordham Law School, entering my second year.

So, what's your personal favorite? Were you at Burgettstown too?

EDIT: Oh, and if you don't think Reba would work for the purposes I set forth above, maybe consider All Things Reconsidered? When I play the seriously complex stuff for people I always play a live version, just to prove that they can actually nail such ridiculously complex songs live. For a perfect rendition of All Things with good sound Quality, I suggest the one on the At the Roxy release.

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Very enjoyable show. It leaves me wondering what else will come of Earwolf Presents...

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This podcast reminds of every conversation about phish that I have had with all my friends, it is very hard to persuade people to love phish or even like them. Anyway, I myself have been listening to Phish since i was about 14(2006), it was after they had already split up and i live in texas so i have never seen them live(i did have tickets to ACL of 2010 but couldn't make it)... also i have never used drugs. However, I have listened to Everything they have published and alot of audience recordings. The way i started listening to phish was through the Madison Square garden new years eve 95' cd i think it was the combination of Gamehenge story telling and Who covers that hooked me. i felt it important to state that before what i type this.

I do have some suggestions for what you should play for someone who is just beginning to listen to phish because like you said people do scare easily

-- I would show them--- Bouncing Around the Room, lawn boy, Rift, limb by limb, NiCu, Brian and Robert, the connection, Army of one, Farmhouse, joy-- The studio recordings of these songs are not threatening to people and they adapt quickly to these i have learned

then you slip in some heavier, live songs like --Character Zero, wilson, foam, axila, cavern, wolfmans brother

you can transition to other live songs like--- Weekapaug groove, Maze, Tweezer, Golgi Apparatus, Slave to the Traffic light

if you haven't already lost them by now you can do the deep cuts like--- YEM, guyute, Stash, David Bowie, Run Like an Antelope, Harry hood

And then you can show them Harpua!!

covers in my opinion don't really count they're like an inside joke for phish fans but all i can do is suggest the ones i think are the best..... you played the talking heads i would have gone with the Great Curve vol. 15, My personal favorite Don't pass me by from Vol. 13, audio not so great but Cover of the Rolling Stone 02/14/03

i hope this helps, i really enjoyed the podcast and look forward to the next one.

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First of all, this show is such a great idea on a few levels. Obviously Scott and Harris have great chemistry together and it's always fun to hear them banter. Also, great SEO putting up a show with Phish in the title. That should put some butts in seats.

My first show was on 7/23/97 in Atlanta (still the best Ghost of all time) and I've seen 20 shows since then. My last show was in 2003. I've really grown apart from Phish but I'll always consider some of those shows to be among the best experiences of my life. Sometimes I think I may still be at Lemonwheel actually.

Anyway, I think Harris' picks were kind of spotty. I know he was picking out some of his personal favorite songs, the songs that mean the most to him, but I don't think that's the way to go here. The song that got my friends into Phish back in 1996 was Bouncing Around the Room. I wouldn't recommend that as an entry point for Scott but my point is that the song that gets somebody into Phish is not usually a "heavy-hitter." (Of course the song that got me was the Harry Hood from A Live One.) The problem is the lyrics and the singing. I've always said, even when I was a fanatic, that Phish should just stop singing. Or hire a lead singer.

Here's what I suggest: I know Harris said they couldn't just play one of the deep live cuts all the way through. But why not? If it's for legal reasons, that's one thing. But I think it would be interesting if you let YEM or Harry Hood or whatever play in its entirety and kept the commentary going on top of it. Kind of a crunchy MST3K.

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Dude. Epic fail!! The guy likes They Might be Giants, so that is the path you should take. Start with studio versions of Sparkle, Fee, Train Song, then hit studio versions of Sample in a Jar and Free to show thet can rock. Live stuff is way later! You need to hook him with the song writing to start with.

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Oh and in addition to the above, Contact and Heavy Things. I came to Phish via the They Might Be Giants route, so this is a proven method!!

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Oh man Harris, I totally forgot to mention the pinnacle of awesome silliness in my comments just a few posts above: ICCULUS!

Put down your iPhones! We're going to have an illiterate generation! READ THE FUCKING BOOK!

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The show was great, I could listen to Harris and Scott argue about anything. The only thing that surprised me was that it took so long for Scott to comment about how awful of a singer Trey is. His voice makes me want to murder children.

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What i take from this podcast and the comments is that people who like Phish really like Phish. I'm no Phish head but from what i hear they are pretty talented musicians. However, I still can't stand their music. Theres something about it that just makes no freakin sense to me. Maybe i need lots and lots of drugs.

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I think this year's auction for the LA Foodbank needs a trip to a Phish concert, with Harris, and lots of drugs.

Also, that No Shoes, No Shirt, No Cell Phone Service shirt needs to be in the store as soon as possible.

Pretty much the only Phish song I like is Farmhouse.

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Love the podcast. Not a fan of Phish. I longed the whole episode for a "Plane Break!"

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Holy shit someone else likes Spacehog! The Chinese Album is one of the most underrated albums ever!

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