Phish Song Rankings As Of Nashville Fall 2016

A bit of a quick take this time around, what with the Thanksgiving holiday and all. But I got the counting done on the Nashville shows and wanted to post the update sooner rather than later. I’m trying to be a busier writer these days. I know, I know I’ve said such things before, but well, my existential crisis over writing and such things seems to be lifting a bit. The realization being, I really like writing. The medium doesn’t mean a great deal, though online seems to be the medium of the moment. As I’ve milled around a bit though, thinking about career and such things, it’s pretty apparent, writing, teaching and learning are my sweet spots. We’ll see where this goes.

As far as where Phish went while visiting the country music capital of the world, not a lot of surprises or landmarks reached, except for one really big surprise on the first night in Nashville. That surprise being Bob Weir sitting in during much of the second set. For me and my Bobby tastes, they couldn’t have picked better songs, Samson and Delilah and Playin in the Band are two of my favorite Bob Weir tunes. Throw in an Estimated Prophet and I would have probably fainted. It was very cool that Bobby played on some of the Phish songs as well and I can’t wait to hear his version of Miss You. Age has given Bobby a certain depth to his voice that I always thought was lacking when he was younger. (written like a stereotypical Jerry fan, I know.)

A couple of things of note occurred from Jacksonville through Nashville. Lawn Boy was played for the 200th time. The Wedge reached the Top 100 and Breath and Burning broke into the Top 300. Though it doesn’t take much, two songs, Petrichor and Waking Up Dead rose to the Top 400. Sure it only takes 3 plays at this point to make it to that number, but considering how many songs haven’t even made it that far it’s still an interesting note. Running Out of Time made its debut. Your Top 20 remains unchanged:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 512
3    Mike’s Song – 490
4   Weekapaug Groove – 459
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 457
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 449
8    David Bowie – 439
8    Cavern – 439
10   Run Like an Antelope – 438
11   Suzy Greenberg – 416
12   Divided Sky – 408
13   Stash – 407
14   Reba – 374
15   Runaway Jim – 373
16   Harry Hood – 365
17   Tweezer – 354
18   The Squirming Coil – 347
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings As Of North Charleston Fall 2016

Fall tour! There was a time when those words meant so much more. More shows and more travel, at least for me. Fall tours weren’t just continuations/opportunities to hit areas of the country that the band hadn’t hit in any given year. For instance, I saw my first show in the summer of 1994. I saw my next three shows that same fall, all in Michigan, all within an hour or so from my home base in East Lansing, one even in East Lansing.

After the first hiatus, fall tours were a little less of a full blown tour, but more like the iteration we have now. Also, the fall tours of the 1990s had more of a college presence. As the 2000s dawned, especially 3.0 and beyond, Phish just isn’t a college band any more. When I was introduced to Phish, I was in grad school, so I was lucky to still be on a campus. Now the market is more or less the general population and really devoted fans. The urgency to get into younger markets just isn’t there. I need to take some stats courses and run some surveys at Phish shows to see a better demographic look at the audience, but I digress.

Back on point, Fall tour got started in October in North Charleston, SC and the biggest news was the debut of new material from Big Boat. I still haven’t heard the new material. To be honest, I usually get a new album right away, listen to it for a spell and then pretty much forget I have it. The only reason I know I bought Fuego is because I have a bitchin framed print of the album cover in my office. Anyway in the opening run, four songs from the album made their first appearance. As I continue to through the fall, I’ll keep an eye on who takes the lead from the new stable.

Other interesting tidbits: No Man In No Man’s Land pushed into the Top 250 and Funky Bitch fell out of the Top 50. With four debuts and when you think about it, a lot of output over the past few years, only two songs from the Top 20 were played in North Charleston. If this shows nothing else, despite the audience skewing older, Phish is a long way from being a nostalgia act. Your Top 20:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 512
3    Mike’s Song – 489
4   Weekapaug Groove – 458
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 456
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 448
8    David Bowie – 439
9    Cavern – 438
10   Run Like an Antelope – 437

11   Suzy Greenberg – 415
12   Divided Sky – 408
13   Stash – 406
14   Reba – 374
15   Runaway Jim – 373
16   Harry Hood – 364
17   Tweezer – 353
18   The Squirming Coil – 347
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Sexual Harassment At Shows

We interrupt the regular Phishiness found at this blog to talk about something that really got my attention this past week, sexual harassment at Phish Shows. The wonderful podcast, The Helping Friendly Podcast turned my attention towards this topic.  I think, and if those involved want to correct me, please do, but the podcast was in reaction to Brian Colligan’s amazing bit of work investigating the problem and getting some kind of window into it. I’ll be honest, as a man, I feel like I still need education on this situation, especially being confronted with the reality and frequency that it happens.

Another community I’m a part of, well sort of anyway*, is the running community. This piece from Runner’s World was quite jarring to me. After listening to the podcast and reading Brian’s piece, I now feel doubly chastised. Not for sexually harassing someone, but for my complete obliviousness to how pervasive sexual harassment is in the lives of women, hell,  how unbelievably frequent.

*Truth is in all my interests, I never quite feel a part of said community, like Phish or running or many others. I mean I like things, but when I try and hang out with people with similar interests it always feels like they are REALLY into said interest and I feel like a poser.

What gets me, in both cases, running and Phish, is that for me, both are places of refuge, of quiet, of safety. I do both activities predominately alone, in fact I pretty much prefer it that way. When I run, I process. When I’m at Phish, I let go. Both are cathartic in their own way. One feels like atonement, the other freedom.

Hearing and reading about the amount of abuse that women take, and that’s what it is, in both venues angers me. Half of the population, some dear friends of mine don’t have the same access that I do to these events. It’s not to say that women don’t enjoy running or Phish or have a personal connection or whatever you want to plug in here. It’s that there is this other presence, this spectre that can and often does invade.

Colligan and the folks on the HFP offered some ideas to combat sexual harassment at shows and they are good suggestions, if a bit tricky in the moment. Most notably is the suggestion that if we see something, do something, especially if it is our friends doing the action. First, maybe you need better friends. Though I go to shows alone, I can’t imagine any of my friends groping a woman during a show. Second, and more to my situation at shows, is that when I tell the friend to stop something, nine times out of ten the other friends defend the perpetrator, that whole loyalty to a fault garbage.

The other thing that makes see something say something hard is that I don’t see anything much of the time. I either am focused on the band and the music or my eyes are closed. Admittedly, and now a bit sheepishly, I am not very aware of my surroundings.

One thing that Colligan suggests, if a bit weakly and the HFP panel pretty much eschewed was reporting the guy to security. I know that the relationship between security and fans isn’t always the greatest, but I’m going to betray a bit of bias here. I was a security guard at Wrigley Field for three years. Cubs fans, especially the bros and party folks in the bleachers, annoyed the crap out of me. However, when an issue was serious, like a guy harassing a woman, it was taken seriously, other feelings put aside. I would strongly urge women at shows that are harassed, especially physically, to bring in the venue’s security. They may still be jerks about other things, but I think most security personnel would take appropriate action.

One last bit of advice: If you are a woman at a show, especially alone and you feel threatened or unsafe I would highly recommend going to the Phellowship table. If you aren’t aware of the Phellowship, they are a group of Phish heads that choose to attend shows drug and alcohol free. I won’t say it’s perfect, but the table is removed from the seating area and if a woman isn’t among the staffers, there is almost always female members nearby. I would venture to guess that even as shows are relatively safe places which still need to improve, the folks at and around the Phellowship are even safer.

If I’ve taken anything out of all if this it’s that this problem falls on the men who go to Phish shows and interact online as fans. It isn’t the band’s problem, the venue’s problem and especially not the women’s problem. If the situation is going to change, we are the ones that need to make the change, no one else. Phish shows are such awesome events. It takes away from everyone if this kind of behavior persists. Let’s make sure everyone gets to share in the groove.

I finally got my podcast working the way I’d like, so if you’d like to hear some US History presented in a lively, fun way, check it out! (warning! the first two episodes audio is not good, but by episode three, I got it!) Episode 38 is up! Get Your History On! Oh and you can get it on iTunes too!

 Get Your History On

Phish Song Rankings As Of Dick’s Summer 2016

Who would have thought it, but a more or less mundane Dick’s weekend. Granted, I’m going by the setlists and lack of gag or prank. Listening to the Helping Friendly Podcast and the guys mention that Dick’s is quite good. I’ll take their word for it. I gave up a long time ago at being a completist when it comes to Phish so I won’t be ferreting out every show.

As far as milestones go, Bathtub Gin hit 250 times played. This is some pretty rare air, but only good for a tie of 35th place at present. Which does make me think about the top of the rankings. There are quite a few songs that have fallen out of favor, yet for years (literally!) they were in heavy rotation. I mean they played Golgi Apparatus A LOT throughout the nineties, now it is a pretty irregular visitor. It definitely has given me another idea for a deep dive during the off-season. What is the age of the songs at the top? What is the youngest? What is rising the fastest? What is going to fall?

I mentioned last time I thought 46 Days would displace Love You in the Top 100, but considering The Wedge only needs one more to tie and it has been getting (relatively speaking) a lot of play, it will probably be The Wedge.

As far as the averages from the shows at Dick’s, here’s what we got:

Show one featured only 1 song from the Top ten; 7 from the Top 50; 8 from the Top 100 and 12 from over 100. The average rank was 142.

Show two featured 0 songs from the Top Ten; 7 from the Top 50 and 10 from the Top 100. Eight were ranked over 100. The average rank was 93.

The finale of the weekend featured 3 songs from the Top Ten; 6 from the Top 50 and 10 from the Top 100. Seven songs had ranks above 100. The average rank was again 93.  All things considered, the last two shows were about as close to a “greatest hits” style show we are probably ever going to see.

Your Top Twenty as of Dick’s:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 510
3    Mike’s Song – 489
4   Weekapaug Groove – 458
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 456
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 448
8    David Bowie – 439
9    Cavern – 438
10   Run Like an Antelope – 437

11   Suzy Greenberg – 415
12   Divided Sky – 408
13   Stash – 406
14   Reba – 374
15   Runaway Jim – 373
16   Harry Hood – 363
17   Tweezer – 353
18   The Squirming Coil – 347
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings: As Of Lockn Summer 2016

Was going to try and catch up all at once and then thought, “Why?” Instead, going to do a few hits and catch up to the fall and go from there. This is partly inspired by my confession last time, but also because nuggets are to be found through all of the shows. Also, wanted to add a new wrinkle towards the end of these posts, that being what the average rank of the songs played is for a particular run. I have nothing to base it on at the moment (and might very well need my math and/or formula corrected) It occurred to me that some shows are top-heavy while others have bust-outs galore or newer music. So off to the Old Dominion!

Ghost hit a major milestone at Lockn, reaching 150 times played. Axilla hit 100 times played. There was a time that I thought Axilla Part II was overplayed. Not so much anymore. The Line moved into the Top 200, displacing I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome. I’m interested to see what shakes up the Top 100 in the next couple of tours. Though it’s a bit on the outside right now, my guess is that 46 Days will move up, pushing Love You out.

Still a shock is the fast movement of Martian Monster. It has reached the Top 250. I would have never guessed a song from that particular Halloween would be moving up the chart so fast. Sure, it won’t reach the Top 100 any time soon. But such a specific song from a specific night has really made its way into the play lists.

Night one at Lockn featured one song from the Top Ten; 5 from the Top 50; 13 from the Top 100 and 5 ranked over 100. The average rank at Lockn night one was 101.

Night two at Lockn featured two songs from the Top Ten; 8 from the Top 50; 14 from the Top 100 and 8 above 100. The average rank at Lockn night two was 94.

Your Top Twenty as of Lockn

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 510
3    Mike’s Song – 488
4   Weekapaug Groove – 457
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 456
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 447
8    David Bowie – 439
9    Cavern – 438
10   Run Like an Antelope – 436

11   Suzy Greenberg – 414
12   Divided Sky – 407
13   Stash – 405
14   Reba – 374
15   Runaway Jim – 372
16   Harry Hood – 362
17   Tweezer – 352
18   The Squirming Coil – 346
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings: A Bit Of A Confession

Yes, I know, Fall Tour is well underway, but I’ve been experiencing a writing existential crisis of late. It isn’t particularly writer’s block, but more like writer’s paralysis or writer’s indecision. I haven’t expressed this much on my various outlets, other blog, podcast, and another blog, but here goes.

So, I saw a call for a sabermetric focused blog through the SI affiliated group, Fan Sided. Why not? A bigger audience, a bit more national and for the first time really working in a group. Well, the site was (or technically still is) called Statliners and it lasted about a week. In that time, I was blown away at the pace, dedication and sheer ability of those writing. I finally pitched an idea, got it approved and went to work, albeit feeling very intimidated and a bit overwhelmed.

Then it all went to shit. I’m not exactly what all went down, but it went down and the managing editor for the site (not his proper title) resigned. Then there was a mass resignation by at least 80% of the contributors. The site is technically still in limbo. As much as I want to passively resign, I think the better thing to do is resign and not leave the site hanging, but also to give myself a sense of relief and not feeling guilty about not writing more.

Which leads to the other blogs, including this one. The White Sox blog is lurching along, much like the White Sox themselves. I know some of it is that the team, the entire organization is just…boring. Nothing they do is inspiring, entertaining or even remotely surprising. They have been following the same playbook for years from top to bottom and at some point it just isn’t fun to cover.

Then there is this blog, the first blog, the ur-blog. I can’t seem to let it go. I like doing the Phish Song Rankings and other stuff, but it’s a matter of finding time and also considering, is this just a Phish blog (seems to be anymore) or something more? (always was the intention.)

Have I mentioned the podcast? Yeah. Looking at time spent on various blogs, writing projects and other non-work work, the podcast takes up A LOT of time. It has somehow become the top priority and I’m not sure why exactly. I do think it has to do with the, you know, Ph. D. and what not. There is a sense of, “ahh, history, I know this. This is my stuff.” Also, it is just plain labor intensive. Reading, note taking, script writing, recording and editing all need to happen before I hit publish. The rate of one cast every three weeks is bumming me out too. I just feel, with no outside pressure whatsoever, all internal, I need to be better, more consistent.

Where does that leave me? Here. I’m resigning at Statliners. I’m still interested in being a contributor somewhere, part of a team, but this just didn’t work out. I want to keep my Chicago and the White Sox blog, and might try and work that into more of a consortium. We’ll see. I will definitely keep with it, but at my pace.

The podcast still retains its privileged status, because it gives me the most back. It does, however, need to give me some time back. I have a screenplay to edit and send out and I want to get some Phish stuff back on line.  I wouldn’t mind being part of a Phish team either. Also, Phish, always a key player in so much of what I do, does need to give up some space on this blog too. I just banged out this blog in 22 minutes. It may not be the most interesting thing ever, but obviously I needed to get it out.

Oh, let’s not forget in all of this: two jobs, family, attempts at social life and sober life. Yeah, I’m a little busy. Feel free to offer advice🙂

Phish Song Rankings: As Of Chula Vista

The summer is coming to a close with the finish line at Dick’s within sight. There is still a stop at  Lockin’ too.  We are getting a Fall tour this year as well, so a busy Phish year for us all.  Personally, I’m sitting at 59 shows and would love to do something special for number 60, but unless I hit the lottery that won’t be happening.

Looking at the California swing of 2016, a pretty standard stretch of shows, with a bust out fest for the last night at the Bill Graham shows.  Bust outs are always fun, but looking at the number of times played, a rare song barely moves the needle in these parts.  I mean if you were there for Demand, I know how cool that can be, it’s one of only 16 times it has been played, good enough for a tie for 251st place.  Alumni Blues? 105 times played, 92nd place.

As far as milestones on the California swing,  Fluffhead was played for the 250th time and Yarmouth Road is at 25.  As far as Mike songs go, Yarmouth Road is quite new to the mix and obviously a favorite with the band it also seems popular with the fans.

Two other new songs that I’m seeing get quite a bit of fan love are No Men in No Man’s Land and Blaze On.  I’ve seen some fan accessories with both of those songs highlighted  which is always a pretty good indicator of popularity.  It goes to show, which is pretty rare for bands going on their fourth decade, that their fans embrace the new material as well as the old.

The Top Twenty remains unchanged, but in the next string of shows I’m betting there will be some major shakeups through the Top 200.  Oh, NB: I’ve pretty much decided to focus mostly quarterly milestones for songs, so 25, 50, 75 etc.  It just keeps things a little more orderly in my head.  Which needs all the order it can get.  Your Top 20 as of Chula Vista:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 576
2    Possum – 508
3    Mike’s Song – 488
4   Weekapaug Groove – 457
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 456
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 445
8    David Bowie – 439
9    Cavern – 438
10   Run Like an Antelope – 436

 

11   Suzy Greenberg – 414
12   Divided Sky – 407
13   Stash – 405
14   Reba – 374
15   Runaway Jim – 372
16   Harry Hood – 360
17   Tweezer – 350
18   The Squirming Coil – 346
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

I finally got my podcast working the way I’d like, so if you’d like to hear some US History presented in a lively, fun way, check it out! (warning! the first two episodes audio is not good, but by episode three, I got it!) Episode 34 is up! Get Your History On! Oh and you can get it on iTunes too!

 Get Your History On