Thursday, August 7, 2014

Episode 40: Tour Conversations Part 3 (Charlotte - Atlanta)

Hello, friends. We're back this week with more tour conversations, wrapping up the first leg of the Summer Tour. We bring you some clips and chats from Charlotte, Merriweather, Portsmouth, Orange Beach, Oak Mountain, and Atlanta. Some great guests, and good music. Hope you enjoy. Chapter markers below.

As usual, please review us on iTunes and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

We're happy to announce that the Helping Friendly Podcast is now available on Stitcher! If you're a Stitcher user, please give us a review.

Chapter 1    0:00        Intro & Chat w/Vic & Rusty (Charlotte)
Chapter 2    26:54      Chat w/Pat & Brian (MPP)
Chapter 3    1:06:08   Chat w/Eric (Porstmouth)
Chapter 4    1:30:05   Chat w/Eliot (Southern Run)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Episode 39: Tour Conversations Part 2!

This week we're keeping it short and sweet with some more Tour Conversations, a few select conversations with friends sharing their show experiences with us. Great guests and great chats. Chapter markers below.

As usual, please review us on iTunes and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 


Chapter 1    0:00        Intro & Chat w/Brian (Randall's 3)
Chapter 2    18:03     Chat w/Jake (CMAC)
Chapter 3    29:35     Chat w/Matt (DTE)
Chapter 4    36:47     Chat w/Rob & Kevin (Chicago)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Episode 38: Tour Conversations!

This week we we're mixing things up, because were in the middle of Summer Tour. We have some quick conversations with some of our friends, who share their first-hand experiences from the road. And then we play one set from Summer Tour so far. Chapter markers and setlist below.

We start with a conversation with Pete Mason of PhanArt, who has put together the Phan Art Poster & Pin Exhibition this coming weekend around the shows in Chicago. We're happy to be a sponsor of this show as well. 

A few links we mention in the interviews: here's Felicia's review of Mann night 1, and Craig's review of The Mann night 2.  

As usual, please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00           Intro w/Brad & RJ
Chapter 2    4:24           Chat w/Pete Mason of PhanArt
Chapter 3    17:48         Chat w/Josh (Mansfield)
Chapter 4    30:48         Chat w/Brian (SPAC)
Chapter 5    39:43         Chat w/Felicia (Mann)
Chapter 6    49:24         Chat w/Craig (Mann)
Chapter 7    1:03:44      Chat w/Stu (Randall's)
Chapter 8    1:15:46      Chat w/George (Randall's)
Chapter 9    1:23:56      Set 2 Phish 7.8.14

--

Phish, 7.8.14, The Mann Center, Philadelphia, PA

Set 2: 46 Days > Fuego > The Line, Backwards Down the Number Line > Tweezer -> Ghost > 2001 > Harry Hood > Tweezer Reprise

Encore: Possum

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Episode 37: Guest Pick - Phish 8.15.11

This week we we're thrilled to be joined by Justin Bolognino, to play and discuss a fantastic "mystery box" of a show, Set 2 of 8.15.11 in Chicago. Chapter markers and setlist below.

Justin is a great member of the Phish community and one thing worth noting is that he and his team created a video mashup of the 99 potential albums leading up to Halloween '09. Fantastic stuff! 

While listening to lots of shows and recording this podcast every couple of weeks, sometimes we don't get the chance to acknowledge how every Phish show really is a "mystery box." Do they have intentions with what they're playing? Are they trying to tell us something? Is there any meaning beyond the songs themselves? This "elemental" set from 2011 is one of the most mysterious and intriguing of those types of shows. Check it out and decide for yourself. 

As usual, please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00           Chat w/Justin
Chapter 2    34:42         Set 2 Phish 8.15.11
Chapter 3    2:19:59      Set 2 Breakdown

--

Phish, 8.15.11, UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL

Set 2: Set 2: Sand > Light > Dirt > Waves -> Undermind -> Steam > Fire

Encore: Camel Walk, Guyute, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Harry Hood

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Episode 36: Guest Pick - Phish 11.28.09

This week we were happy to be joined by two guests, Matt Burnham & Mr. Jahpone, to play and discuss one of our favorite shows from Phish 3.0, 11.28.09, from Albany, NY. Chapter markers and setlist below.

For me (RJ), this was the 3.0 show that showed me that Phish was back for real. The second set's opening duo of songs was just unbelievable, jam depths and lengths that were almost unprecedented in any era. So much fun to listen back to today. And as Brad pointed out, we haven't given 2009 its due, so it's fun to listen back to. 

One thing we mentioned during this episode was Matt's post for @LawnMemo's 26 for 26 series. Good stuff. 

During this episode we also mentioned the SPAC '09 "Backwards Down the Number Line", which may change attitudes for any "Number Line" haters. 

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00           Chat w/Matt & Jahphone
Chapter 2    15:03        Set 1 Phish 11.28.09
Chapter 3    1:37:45      Set 1 Breakdown
Chapter 4    1:55:43     Set 2 Phish 11.28.09
Chapter 5    3:38:07      Set 2 Breakdown

--

Phish, 11.28.09, Times Union Center, Albany, NY

Set 1: Party Time, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Uncle Pen, Sanity, Foam, Walk Away > NICU, Alaska, Split Open and Melt, Joy, Vultures, Backwards Down the Number Line

Set 2: Seven Below > Ghost, Cool It Down > Gotta Jibboo, Let Me Lie, Wolfman's Brother > Julius

E: You Enjoy Myself

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Episode 35: Guest Picks - Revisiting Phish 2.0

This week, we were joined by the great ladies from @2chix1fightbell and by Wade, aka @originalwyllys to discuss and explore some music from Phish 2.0. 

2003-2004 are the most debated years in Phish history, and we have never been huge fans of the music from this era, despite (or because of) living through these years. There were some real challenges: the band was falling apart personally, the scene was getting overrun with bad people and drugs, and it culminated with the disastrous scene that was Coventry. To this day, just saying "Coventry" sends chills down the spine of any Phish fan. 

BUT there was great music during that period. In this episode, we're aiming to give this era the attention it deserves. All 3 of our guests, Wade, Kristen and Kate, chose one track to play from the 2.0 era, and then we all chose one full set to play from 2004 as well. The chapters and tracks are below. 

A huge takeaway for us in revisiting these years is that part of the reason that we haven't listened to these years too much is that we may not have been prepared emotionally to go back to these times. They were tough to deal with: our favorite band was breaking up, the music and the scene were suffering, we weren't really sure where our lives were headed and we weren't sure what the future held for the band. 

But, as Wade says toward the end of our chat, relationships can survive heartbreak and get a second chance. And now we know that the story ends up okay, so we can start to go back and appreciate the music itself. 

And of course, without these years, we wouldn't be where we are today. So we hope you enjoy revisiting some of this intense, patient and exploratory music. 

Also, check out why Walls of the Cave is so special to Kristen

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00           Chat w/Kate, Kristen & Wade
Chapter 2    43:30         Seven Below (Gorge 7.13.03) & Discussion
Chapter 3    1:12:30      Scents & Subtle Sounds (Camden 7.30.03) & Discussion
Chapter 4    1:50:00      Walls of the Cave (Cincy 2.22.03) & Discussion
Chapter 5    2:15:56      Set 2 Phish 6.20.04
Chapter 6    3:38:56      Set 2 Phish 6.20.04 Breakdown

--

Phish, 6.20.04, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Set 2: Seven Below > Ghost -> Twist, You Enjoy Myself

E: Good Times Bad Times

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Episode 34: Guest Pick from ZZYZX - Phish 5.16.94 II, Los Angeles, CA

We were privileged this week to be joined by David Steinberg, aka @zzyzx. He has an incredible history with the band, and he just wrote a book, "This Has All Been Wonderful," about his time on tour with Phish in 1994. It's a great read, and we talk with him about this book, his history with Phish, and a show that he writes about in the book, 5.16.94 from Los Angeles. We're playing Set 2 of that one. The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below.

We encourage everyone to read David's book, but just a quick note about this tour. The subtitle to his book is "The Year Phish Became Phish." He says this because it was the year that Phish started to transition from small venues to bigger venues, and the year that they really "made it." Even within 1994, they started the year playing small venues like this one in L.A., and by the end of the year they were playing their first show at Madison Square Garden. 

One of the great things about David's book is his ability to recreate the feel of the venues, of being at small shows, the crowds, and even getting yelled at by the band. The set we play here exemplifies Phish in small venues: they're having fun and experimenting—it's a weird, fun set, and fun to revisit. Also it's worth noting that this show has 0 reviews on phish.net, so we thought it would be worth playing for everyone as a potentially lesser-known show.

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00          Chat w/David Steinberg 
Chapter 2    54:39        Set 2 Phish 5.16.94
Chapter 3    2:14:26     Set 2 Breakdown

-- 

Phish, 5.16.94, The Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Set 2: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope -> Big Black Furry Creature from Mars -> Run Like an Antelope, Sparkle > It's Ice > Julius > You Enjoy Myself, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Amazing Grace, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars

E: Fee > Rocky Top

Monday, April 28, 2014

Episode 33: Guest Pick - Phish 12.29.94, Providence, RI

This week we're happy to be joined by two of our good friends from the Twitter universe, Josh & Jonathan. We discuss and play a show that has one of our favorite jams of all time, 12.29.94 from Providence, RI. Josh & Jonathan were both there, so there's a lof of fun reflection from them. The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below.

This show from Providence not only has what should be considered one of the best versions of "David Bowie" ever, but it also marks a pretty great and exciting turn in the career of the band. This show was the night before the boys played their first show at Madison Square Garden, a place most would say the band 'owns' now.  The excitement of that seemed to come through both sets.  We think the opening "Runaway Jim" into "Foam" set the stage for a well played, loose, and memorable first set.

The second set really seems to be a culmination of the year of music the band just played, and a great glimpse into where the band was headed. 1994 contained a lot of shows and allowed the band to hone their music and take it into what is probably our favorite year front to back, 1995. And although this night's "Bowie" can never be matched, we talk about how it allowed them to learn to take jams to amazing places (see some 1995 "Tweezers" from Mud Island, Jones Beach and Finger Lakes).  

We've been excited to play this show and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00          Chat w/Josh & Jonathan
Chapter 2    36:35        Set 1 Phish 12.29.94
Chapter 3    1:41:28     Set 1 Breakdown
Chapter 4    1:51:45     Set 2 Phish 12.29.94
Chapter 5    3:17:12     Set 2 Breakdown

-- 
Phish 12.29.94, Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI

Set 1: Runaway Jim -> Foam, If I Could, Split Open and Melt, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Uncle Pen, I Didn't Know, Possum

Set 2: Guyute, Digital Delay Loop Jam -> David Bowie, Halley's Comet > The Lizards, Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin' Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, Good Times Bad Times

E: My Long Journey Home, Sleeping Monkey

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Episode 32: Guest Pick - Phish 4.3.98 Uniondale, NY

This week we're happy to be joined by Steve Judd, a great guy and a big fan who picked an absolutely epic show, the second night of the Island Tour, 4.3.98, from Uniondale, NY. The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below.

In our discussion with Steve, we talked about how historic this run was. Every year, tons of fans celebrate the anniversary by listening to all 4 shows. Steve's opinion is that this is probably the best 4-show run from Phish, ever. Brad and I couldn't disagree. Also, all 3 of us were there, which made revisiting it all the more special. 

In April 1998, Brad and I were college freshmen, and we decided that driving to Long Island and Rhode Island to see Phish for 4 days was far more interesting and important than going to 4 days of college classes. The decision still seems like the right one. It was a formative experience for us as friends and as fans, and a seminal moment in the band's history. It was another peak for them, as Steve said in this episode. 

The interesting thing about this run, musically, is that we're really right between the serious funk of 1997 and the ambience and exploration of 1998—which lead to the "millennial sound" of 1999-2000. The "Roses Are Free" is probably one of the most referenced, listened to and revered jams in Phish history, not to mention the "Piper" it melts into. We all agree that it still stacks up, 15+ years later. The first set "Reba" was especially blissful, reflecting the joy we were all feeling that night. 

And the band was having fun. Trey said that they decided to do the shows because they were "bored." It was a time of celebration, and this show was not without Phish hijinks. At the beginning of "Antelope," someone jumped on stage. He was pretty quickly taken down by Pete Carini, but then, in typical Phish fashion, instead of them berating the guy, throwing a rock star-esque fit, or anything else, they made it part of the show and part of the experience.

"Don't let Carini get you" became part of the banter at the beginning of "Antelope," with Fishman interjecting "don't attack the drummer." An incredibly intense "Antelope" closed the set, and they appropriately encored with "Carini" in a great 3-song combo with "Halley's" and a "Tweezer"-less "Tweezer Reprise." Fun. Nonsense. Intensity. 


Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And please check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00          Chat w/Steve Judd
Chapter 2    22:38        Set 1 Phish 4.3.98
Chapter 3    1:40:56     Set 1 Breakdown
Chapter 4    1:57:11     Set 2 Phish 4.3.98
Chapter 5    3:20:14     Set 2 Breakdown

-- 

Phish 4.3.98, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

Set 1: Mike's Song -> The Old Home Place > Weekapaug Groove, Train Song > Billy Breathes, Beauty of My Dreams, Dogs Stole Things > Reba, My Soul

Set 2: Roses Are Free > Piper > Loving Cup > Run Like an Antelope

E: Carini > Halley's Comet > Tweezer Reprise

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Episode 31: Guest Pick - Phish 3.6.92 Portsmouth, NH

This week we're happy to be joined by Steve Olker, a great fan and one of the architects of the online Phish community. We talk about all things Phish, and play and discuss 3.6.92, from Portsmouth, NH. The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below.

In our discussion with Steve, we talked about the fact that the 1st set was the real highlight of this show, which is something you wouldn't hear too often these days. Not just the debut of the "new" version of "Rift," but also the debuts of "Maze," "My Friend My Friend," "Mound," "NICU," and "Sleeping Monkey." 

One of the highlights of this show, for me, was the "NICU." Not at all similar to the versions we're used to today, it was more of a free-form, slow, jazzy jam. The show also has a "Bowie" chock full of secret language (which is ALL explained in the 2nd set), along with a nice early "Stash" with good tension and release from the band. And the 2nd set closer was a nice energetic "Possum." 

Steve and I discussed what people would have thought seeing Phish in a 900-person venue in 1992, and the fact that there were so many good songs that debuted this night. The sound of this show is great, and you can hear the crowd loving every minute of it. We hope you do too.

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And please check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

Chapter 1    0:00          Chat w/Steve Olker
Chapter 2    22:05        Set 1 Phish 3.6.92
Chapter 3    1:46:55     Set 1 Breakdown
Chapter 4    1:51:11     Set 2 Phish 3.6.92
Chapter 5    2:57:34     Set 2 Breakdown

-- 

Phish 3.6.92, The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH

Set 1: Rift, Cavern, Sparkle > It's Ice > The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, Maze, Reba, All Things Reconsidered, David Bowie

Set 2: My Friend, My Friend, Poor Heart, Secret Language Instructions, Stash, Mound, Llama, Bouncing Around the Room, NICU, Possum

E: Sleeping Monkey

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Episode 30: Phish 8.10.97 Noblesville, IN

For Episode 30, we wanted to celebrate the announcement of Summer Tour dates by playing and discussing one of our first Summer Phish shows—8.10.97, from Noblesville, IN, at the venue we'll always know as Deer Creek. 

We went on a little run from Tinley Park to Alpine Valley to Deer Creek, 4 shows that gave us our first taste of the band outdoors, and convinced us to go ahead and follow this band around for the next 17 years (and hopefully beyond), whenever possible. 

Musically, Summer '97 was yet another transition period. The band was searching for the next sound, and in this show you can hear them right on the verge of fully embracing the FUNK that we know from Fall '97. There are a few really must-hear song versions from this show, including "Harry Hood" and "Cities." It was hot and muggy that night, and the music was thick and intense. We hope you enjoy. 

The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below.

Chapter 1    0:00-8:56                 Intro Chat
Chapter 2    8:57-1:34:20           Set 1 Phish 8.10.97
Chapter 3    1:34:20-1:42:03     Set 1 Breakdown
Chapter 4    1:42:04-2:58:39     Set 2 Phish 8.10.97
Chapter 5    2:58:40-End           Set 2 Breakdown

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. And please check out CashorTrade.org for face value tickets to shows across the country. 

-- 

Phish 8.10.97, Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN

Set 1: Bathtub Gin -> Sparkle > Down with Disease > Dirt, Cars Trucks Buses, Billy Breathes, Split Open and Melt, Bye Bye Foot > Ginseng Sullivan, Harry Hood

Set 2: Cities -> Good Times Bad Times -> Rotation Jam -> Rock A William -> David Bowie

E: Cavern

Monday, March 3, 2014

Episode 29: HF Pod From The Tapers' Section

Episode 29 is up! We were very fortunate to be joined by 3 great tapers and members of the Phish community: Craig Hillwig, Lenny Stubbe and Scott Bernstein. Tapers have a unique perspective on the band, the music, and they've been the way we've heard most of this band's music for the majority of the last 30 years. We're grateful for all of the work they do. 

The format of this episode is slightly different. We asked each of our guests to pick a few tracks that represent quality audience recordings from across Phish's history. For each pick, we play the track and then discuss the recording and the music. Before the tracks, we have a great conversation with our 3 guests. Really fun episode. Chapter markers are below.


Here's a recent article that talks about Scott Bernstein's taping career and his views on a lot of where the taper community is today.

As always, please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod.

Finally, we're happy to officially be partnering with CashorTrade.org. Check out their site for face value tickets for shows all over the country. 

Note: Shows links below are from the source we played on the podcast. 

Chapter 1     0:00         Chat with Craig, Lenny & Scott
Chapter 2     55:19       7.2.11 McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters (Craig)
Chapter 3     1:10:00    8.11.93 Mike’s Song (Lenny)
Chapter 4     1:26:57    8.6.96 Purple Rain (Scott)
Chapter 5     1:39:32    7.2.98 Ghost (Craig)
Chapter 6     2:11:57    8.17.96 Fluffhead > Run Like An Antelope (Lenny)
Chapter 7     2:35:35    2.5.94 Crimes Of The Mind (Scott)
Chapter 8     2:48:29    12.31.97 Emotional Rescue (Craig)
Chapter 9     3:09:05    7.12.13 A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing (Scott)
Chapter 10   3:19:49    7.3.11 Down With Disease>No Quarter (Lenny)
Chapter 11   3:40:02    4.13.94 David Bowie (Scott)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Episode 28: Phish 2.3.93 Portland, ME

Episode 28 is up! This week Brad and I are back solo, back to our roots, and we're playing a show we've been looking forward to sharing for a long time: 2.3.93, from Portland, ME. The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below.

Chapter 1    0:00-8:00              Intro Chat
Chapter 2    8:00-1:22:54         Set 1 Phish 2.3.93
Chapter 3    1:22:54-1:35:37    Set 1 Breakdown
Chapter 4    1:35:37-3:15:06    Set 2 Phish 2.3.93
Chapter 5    3:15:06-End          Set 2 Breakdown

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. Also, Brad is on Twitter @brad_hfpod and RJ is at @rj_hfp.

Listener Notes—Episode 28: Phish 2.3.93, Portland, ME

So, why have we been looking forward to playing this show for so long? Once they bust into the first song, "Loving Cup" (a debut), you can hear that something's different from previous years. Of course, the answer is that it's the first show with Page's baby grand piano. The debut of this new critical instrument, along with the fact that it's the first show of what will end up being a monumental year, makes it incredibly fun to revisit. 

Most of the songs in the first set feature the piano heavily, ending with a "David Bowie" that is definitely worth listening to again. Page and Trey's patient little exchange in the jam is very nice, and is a great precursor of things to come. 

The 2nd set starts out with a really fun "Runaway Jim," and we get our 3rd "Tweezer" in as many podcasts. This one is definitely Trey-led, but Page's baby grand offered a little more space for them to improvise with, compared to earlier years. This was definitely a breakout year for this song, and it's nice to listen to the first one of the year. 

They also tackle "You Enjoy Myself" in this 2nd set, with alternate lyrics that originated from a posting from "Mike's Corner" in the Doniac Schvice. This show was an energetic, ambitious tour opener, front to back, and the energy remains high throughout.

1993 was really the first year that Phish played big, national tours, covering almost the entire country at least once, sometimes more for certain regions. 

They were on an upward trajectory, and it's clear that the introduction of the baby grand piano played a big part in how they played and listened to each other. From this February opener show to the 1993 New Year's Eve show in Worcester, it's almost a different band, and it's always a treat to relisten to the evolution.

-- 

Phish 2.3.93, Portland Expo, Portland, ME 

Set 1: Loving Cup, Rift, Fee > Llama, The Wedge, Divided Sky, I Didn't Know, My Friend, My Friend, Poor Heart > Guelah Papyrus, David Bowie

Set 2: Runaway Jim, It's Ice > Tweezer, The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Sparkle, You Enjoy Myself > Lifeboy, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Big Ball Jam > Hold Your Head Up, Possum

E: Amazing Grace, Tweezer Reprise

Friday, February 7, 2014

Episode 27: Chat w/Nathan Rabin - Phish 5.27.11 Set 1 Bethel Woods

Episode 27 is up! This week we were joined by writer, critic and all around hilarious guy Nathan Rabin—the author of "You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me," a fantastic book about Nathan's wild adventure of self discovery on tour with Phish, and during various adventures with the fans and music of the Insane Clown Posse, particularly at the Gathering of the Juggalos. 

A big part of Nathan's adventure is a life-changing experience he had at a Phish show at Bethel Woods on 5.27.11. After we talk with Nathan, we play and discuss the first set of that show. The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below. Enjoy the episode!

Nathan is also one of the minds behind TheDissolve.com, so you should also check that out.

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod.

Chapter 1    0:00-1:00:35          Conversation with Nathan Rabin
Chapter 2    1:00:35-2:22:25     Set 1 Phish 5.27.11
Chapter 3    2:22:25-End           Set 1 Breakdown

--

Phish 5.27.11, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY  

Set 1: Tweezer > My Friend, My Friend, Poor Heart, Roses Are Free > Funky Bitch, Wolfman's Brother -> Walk Away, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Kill Devil Falls, Bold As Love

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Episode 26: Guest Pick - Phish 12.28.11 MSG

Episode 26 is up! This week we were joined by guest Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman), and he chose a really fun show, 12.28.11, from the New Year’s Run of 2011, from the hallowed ground of Madison Square Garden. The setlist is at the bottom of the page, and the chapter markers are below.

Chapter 1    0:00-17:13           Conversation with Jake Sherman
Chapter 2    17:13-1:39:18      Set 1 Phish 12.28.11
Chapter 3    1:39:18-1:55:31   Set 1 Breakdown
Chapter 4    1:55:31-3:26:28   Set 2 Phish 12.28.11
Chapter 5    3:26:28-End         Set 2 Breakdown

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod. Also, Brad is on Twitter @brad_hfpod and RJ is at @rj_hfp.

Listener Notes—Episode 26: Guest Pick - Phish 12.28.11 MSG

To set the context for these notes, we’ve been reflecting back on the first 25 episodes of the podcast. Since we started, the most prominent theme, really, is how damn fantastic Phish is playing right now. 2013 IS another peak. As fans, we hope everyone understands and appreciates that. And, for better AND worse, the way we analyze the shows from 2009 to 2013 are all viewed within the context of 2013. So this 2011 show really offers a lot of glimpses of what’s to come, and that was really fun to revisit.

Now, this 12.28.11 show is very very good (and interesting) in its own right. As Jake points out, the collection of the first four songs is one of the highlights, which is unique. Part of that is a wonderfully groovy, rhythmic “Cities” jam that happens early in the first set. We heard a little bit of the Dick’s “Undermind” from 2012 in that jam. Everything builds on the past.

The second set’s “Carini” is really a fantastic preview of what we’ve come to know and love about that song this year (I think it’s our “MVP” of 2013). This version starts with Fishman yelling, the hard, psychedelic rock carrying us into a really nice, spacious, contemplative place. The jam segues into “Tweezer,” which is a fun but straightforward version with some nice unified jamming from the entire band. Trey is noodling, quietly, Page and Mike pick it up, then they all meld together. Funk lives.

And, as usual, “Harry Hood” is a show highlight for us. This song. Every time. Wally (@waxbanks) mentioned a few weeks ago that telling us “you can feel good about Hood” is almost too corny to be emotionally resonant (this was in contrast to “Slave”). But we feel good about it, always. This version has some incredibly emotive soloing from Trey toward the end, with Page providing a beautiful organ backdrop. This slides into an equally emotional “Bug.” Overrated? No.

Let’s all take a minute to appreciate how great this band is playing right now, and let’s also acknowledge everything that built up to it—and what’s yet to come. Hell yes.

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Phish 12.28.11, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Set 1: Free, Glide > Possum, Cities, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Stash, Contact > Sample in a Jar, Kill Devil Falls > Bathtub Gin

Set 2: Birds of a Feather, Carini > Tweezer > My Friend My Friend, Rock and Roll > NICU, Bouncing Around the Room, Harry Hood > Bug 


E: Tube > Rocky Top > Tweezer Reprise

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Episode 25: Guest Pick - Phish 4.24.94 Charlotte, NC

Episode 25 is up! This week we have another guest pick—this one is from Rob Mitchum (@robmitchum & @phishcrit). He's working on a great project where he's reviewing every Phish show from 1993 onward on Twitter. We're discussing and playing a show he reviewed recently, 4.24.94 from Charlotte, NC. Really fun show with a couple fantastic jams that foreshadow great things to come. As Rob pointed out during our discussion, this year may have been the biggest "crossroads" for the band. The setlist is below. 

One of the most interesting things Rob said about this show is that in 1993, Phish was relying heavily on teases and covers during their improv. But 1994—exemplified by this show's "Bathtub Gin" and "David Bowie"—they figured out that they didn't need to tease someone else's music, they could actually just go into a different theme on their own. The birth of "Type II" jamming. These two songs make the whole show worth listening to.

Also, here's a link to the article that we discussed, detailing how Rob helped turn Grantland writer Steven Hyden onto Phish. Really good read. Lastly, here's Rob's review of the 12.6.97 Palace show, from when the show was officially released.

We've started creating chapters! Below are the chapter markers for this episode, for your reference (you should be able to skip chapters on most podcast apps/devices, please let us know if it doesn't work for you):

Chapter 1   0:00-40:39           Conversation with Rob Mitchum
Chapter 2   40:39-1:43:31      Set 1 Phish 4.24.94
Chapter 3   1:43:31-2:04:05   Set 1 Breakdown 
Chapter 4   2:04:05-3:22:30   Set 2 Phish 4.24.94
Chapter 5   3:22:30-End        Set 2 Breakdown

Please review us on iTunes, and send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod.

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Phish 4.24.94, Grady Cole Center, Charlotte, NC

Set 1: My Friend, My Friend, Ya Mar, Axilla (Part II) > Maze, Bathtub Gin -> Jump Monk -> Bathtub Gin > Dog Faced Boy, Paul and Silas > It's Ice > Slave to the Traffic Light

Set 2: Demand > David Bowie, The Mango Song > Julius, Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Chalk Dust Torture, Contact, Good Times Bad Times

E: Sweet Adeline

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Episode 24: MSG 2013

Photo by Andrea Nusinov
We are grateful to have Kevin (@okdeadhead) join us for our first episode of 2014—breaking down and playing some great selections from the New Year's Run, from Madison Square Garden 2013. We're playing and discussing the Chalk Dust Torture & Ghost from 12.30, all of Set 2 from 12.31 (which they played from the top of an old bus), and the Light from 12.31.

We really appreciate Kevin joining us, and our conversation was fun and expansive. In lieu of Listener Notes, we just want to say that we all agree that MSG capped off one of Phish's best years since the late 90s (1997, to be exact). Listen to this stuff from the New Year's Run and judge for yourself. 

And a quick favor: please review us on iTunes! Lastly, send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod.

Friday, January 3, 2014

MSG Spells PHISH!

This is a guest post from our friend @blissphish

It wasn't about what they played, but rather what they didn't play…covers. Perhaps the most important “message” they offered all year…or all era, even. We are here to play OUR songs for YOU. No gimmicks, no hidden setlist messages. Most shows spell something? Bullshit. These shows spell nothing, but PHISH.

To me, there were very few of the “holy shit, time might stop” moments that we had throughout Fall Tour. Maybe during “DWD” on 12/29. And that is OK. It wasn't about 20-minute cathartic jams. It wasn't about new jam styles. It wasn't about 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 Phish. It was a celebration of their songs. Their rich 30 year history. Bar gigs. Roots. 

Not to say this run didn't have its musical moments, because it certainly did. Wingsuit songs made their way effortlessly into the rotation. Other than “Devotion to a Dream,” they were all placed excellently. “Wolfman's Brother” was once again the catalyst on the 28th, and "Carini" proudly owned the “song of the year” title. “Chalkdust Torture” was the clear centerpiece. 

The most important “moment” from the run came when Trey cut “Tweezer” short and dropped into “Number Line.” He bailed on their biggest jam vehicle, and dove right into what many consider their least favorite Phish song. Was it intentional? I don’t think so. Was it punishment for not getting the “message”? Doubtful. It was Trey doing what he wanted…what makes him happy happy. It was yet another page taken out of the "Garden Party" playbook. Pay attention to these moments, they are the ones that matter, not the Tahoe Tweezers. There’s magic in the valleys, once you get over the peaks.

THE MESSAGE? Contrary to popular belief and speculation, the “message” some of us aren't getting, is the mere fact that there is NO MESSAGE. While we are searching low and high for deeper meaning, I truly believe there isn't any. That’s what Trey was getting at. It was Trey telling us, keep looking, because there is nothing there but the music. So learn it. Embrace it while we still have it. Stop wasting your time chasing songs or jams and fuckin listen to the music. 

One of my personal highlights of the MSG run was “Ocelot." The playing. No wasted notes. Oozing with emotion. Sway and swager. These moments. Not the Reading “DWD” peak. Not the dark horse “20 Years Later.” Not a jammed out “Tube.” But those moments where their intent is shining through. Trey put everything he has into that “Ocelot” solo. Didn't take 10 minutes of meandering to reach a glorious peak. There wasn't any wasted time. It was pure emotion. 

In short, DON’T READ THE FUCKIN BOOK, because there isn’t one. It’s still being written.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Episode 23: Guest Pick - Phish 12.31.93 Worcester, MA


Happy Holidays everyone! For our last episode of 2013, we were approached by our friends Tom and Matt to play 12.31.93 from Worcester, Mass. It's funny because Brad and I actually discussed playing this show, and then we heard from these guys. Serendipity! It's a great 3 set show, of course, and we hope you enjoy. The setlist and Listener Notes are below. 

And one quick appeal from us: please review us on iTunes! Lastly, send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod.

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Listener Notes—Episode 23: Phish 12.31.93 Worcester, MA


New Year's Eve shows are celebrations. Phish shows are celebrations. The combination of the two can be explosive. So we're closing out our first year of the podcast on this celebratory note, 20 years ago this week. This may be the most "popular" show we've played, but all 3 sets are worth revisiting.

As many of you probably know, this show was broadcast on radio in the Boston area, so the sound is pristine. The first set of this show has a great moment during the break in "Guelah Papyrus" where Trey asks "Is everybody in yet?" Our guest Matt mentioned that there were storms in the Northeast that night, so people were slow to fill up the arena.

The first set is highlighted are "Stash" and "Run Like an Antelope," both featuring huge energy and their classic jamming approach of tension and release—and the evolution of this jam style has led to everything that we've seen since.

The second set kicks off with a hot "Tweezer." I think we'd argue that 1994 really represents the birth of the modern "Tweezer" jam, but this one is pushing the envelope in that direction. Fishman drives the jam for a while, and Trey begins building it with some groovy rock patterns, and Mike weighs in pretty heavily as well, bringing a little bit of funk to the jam. The peak of the jam has some classic Trey raging from the early 90s. I love this song.

The third set contains one of the truly classic moments in Phish history, when "Auld Lang Syne" rings in the new year and transitions into the jam of "Down with Disease"—a song that had to this point never been heard. Our guest Matt said: "There's no way anyone there would not say it was the greatest thing they'd ever heard." Makes sense given the beauty of that jam—and remarkable that this show introduced us to one of the band's most enduring and adventurous songs.

The band closed out this night with an a capella version of "Amazing Grace," which was a perfect end to a marathon, classic show. We really hope you enjoy revisiting this as much as we did. And Happy New Year!

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Phish 12.31.93, 
Worcester Centrum Centre, Worcester, MA

Set 1: Llama, Guelah Papyrus, Stash, Ginseng Sullivan, Reba, Peaches en Regalia, I Didn't Know, Run Like an Antelope

Set 2: Tweezer > Halley's Comet > Poor Heart > It's Ice > Fee > Possum, Lawn Boy, You Enjoy Myself

Set 3: Auld Lang Syne > Down with Disease Jam > Split Open and Melt, The Lizards, Sparkle > Suzy Greenberg > Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin' Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise

E: Golgi Apparatus, Amazing Grace

Monday, December 16, 2013

Episode 22: Guest Pick - Phish 11.14.97 Set 2 West Valley City, UT

Hello friends! This week we're doing another guest pick, this time from our friend Wally (aka @waxbanks). We had a great conversation about his Phish journey (and his writing, which can be found here), and we discussed and played Set 2 of 11.14.97, from West Valley City, UT. The setlist and Listener Notes are below. 

BTW, Wally wrote THE book on Phish's Fall 1997 tour, A Tiny Space to Move and Breathe, which everyone should check out. 

And one quick appeal from us: please review us on iTunes! As the MSG run approaches, check out cashortrade.org for your face value ticket needs. Lastly, send comments and feedback to helpingfriendlypodcast at gmail dot com, and follow us on Twitter @hfpod.

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Listener Notes—Episode 22: Phish 11.14.97 West Valley City, UT


This week's Listener Notes are drawn directly from Wally's review of this set on Phish.net
 

The second set really is what it looks like: Wolfman's > Piper > Twist > Slave, blending together the ethereal delicacy and enveloping darkness of late 1997 before a tiny, attentive crowd. Wolfman's Brother clonks back and for for a while before developing a spacey echt-'97 groove, all hazy atmospherics and feathery drumbeats; as the jam opens up a welcoming major-chord pattern evolves, and Piper bubbles up in its own time. It's a lovely Piper, building slowly to a midtempo climax - the song hadn't yet turned into a musical greyhound race in those days. After the late lamented Piper coda, Trey starts up the haunting original Twist arrangement...

...and (surprise surprise) Fall '97 was a good time for Twist too. Trey keeps things mellow with his guitar comping, Mike lets some weird dissonant chords loose from his bass, Page plays some tricks on the piano, Fishman is his usual larking-gnome self behind the drumkit, and the groove involutes and complicates into a gorgeous full-band statement - a futuristic precursor to 11/22's 'space jam' out of Halley's Comet. Trey hangs out in the ionosphere, soloing for several minutes, as the other players drop out. This is the template: between this Twist jam and the ambient Stash from the previous night in Vegas you can discern the outline of the whole tour's weeks-long subterranean melody. It's a powerfully emotional moment wholly distinct from, say, Trey's digital delay loop jams from Back in the Day (e.g. 12/31/95, 5/7/94).

The opening chords of Slave coalesce out of the mist, and the next 15 minutes are sublime. It's a short set (less than an hour!), but the music flows so effortlessly that it seems like one long song. This is dream-music - musical psychedelia in the truest sense of the word.

Phish just didn't play bad music in Fall '97; this show doesn't get the same attention as Denver or Hampton or Dayton, but it's every bit as good as the rest of the tour - a single cohesive musical statement to reward a tiny out-of-the-way audience. Other shows can claim to be Greater in some sense, but this is the deep stuff right here. The purest essence. 


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Phish 11.14.97, The "E" Center, West Valley City, UT


Set 2: Wolfman's Brother -> Piper > Twist > Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Bold As Love