Phish Song Power Listing

Summer’s here and the time is right… for blogs about Phish! If I had the inclination I would look through the history of this blog and see how many posts are devoted to Phish. My guess is quite a few. I want to say in the past I’ve also flirted/promised/proposed writing about Phish on a more outgoing basis and never quite followed through. That sort of thing is always fun to think about and making up serial types of posts is really helpful in getting consistent content up on the old blog.  Unfortunately, interest wanes, life intrudes and then it’s 4 weeks on and nothing new has been posted on a given topic.

I think I’ve found a couple of mid-level commitments to Phish-related blogging that I can pull off. One is definitely long form and the other more of a commitment to sometimes daily updates, but not extraordinary length posts.

The first is inspired by my friend Jason who wrote a great blog entitled Dead For A Year.  Basically, Jason sat down and wrote a blog post every day of the year dedicated to a single version of a song throughout the Grateful Dead’s entire catalog. Now as everyone who ever wrote a blog knows, writing every day is a daunting task and things often come up. So Jason’s basic contract if you will, was to have 365 posts in a calendar year. Sometimes he’d miss a day, or have to double up here and there, but in the end, there are 365 posts up on the DFAY website. Quite an impressive accomplishment.

I am not nearly as ambitious.  I was looking over my Phish Stats (yes, they are a thing) and I saw that as of now I stand at 52 shows seen, a lot compared to some, a drop in the bucket compared to others.  As I thought about it, not too hard mind, that is a show a week which would be awesome if possible.  Now memory doesn’t serve to write a review of each show, but over the years (21 and counting) of Phish fandom there are certain songs, jams if I may, that have been stuck on my personal playlists. Some are pretty old, some are fairly new. So in the spirit of the laziness of this blog, and resurrecting in a sense the Friday Phish Fry, I will write about a version of a song once a week. Some I witnessed, some will be famous, others not so much.  Not sure what to call it, maybe My Phish 52, kind of pulling in the recently ended DC Comics imprint.

The second project will be a little more hands on, a little more day to day.  Again going back to Phish Stats, not so much my own but some of the overall numbers especially the every time played list. As sure as sunrise, YEM sits atop that list at 568 times played. A distant second is Possum at 496 times played and on down the list.  As the into to that section of the site says, “what will be first, 123rd?” I find the movement of the lower places quite interesting. What old songs are fading fast? What new songs are rising quickly? What songs have lost steam? What songs reflect a different era and touring schedule? After every tour I love to see what has moved where. So for this summer at the very least, I’ll be updating the rankings of the songs through the Top 100. While there are still a lot of songs after 100, that seems like the best place to cut off. If anything interesting happens further down, I’ll be sure to let you know.

A couple of things: First as much as I want to do this and I hope you enjoy the numbers as much as me, I will be starting in earnest a bit late I’m afraid. When tour starts this year I will be on vacation. More specifically, a vacation that doesn’t include Phish. That is coming later in the month.  So when I get back I’ll get on this.  I’ll probably do a July Top 100 recap and then a day to day thing where I can pick up.

The second thing I want to be sure to mention is my gratitude for the ZZYZX Phish Stats page. I’m not sure when the page was first started but pretty much since I’ve been a Phish fan, there have been Phish stats. The hours of enjoyment I get from David Steinberg’s genius is probably unhealthy.  I’ve written in praise of Phish Stats so I won’t go on at length, but suffice it to say that my gratitude for your work is immense. Once again David, thank you.

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