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Is Phish the greatest band ever?? I certainly think so.


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#1 of 51 Van Patton

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Posted April 26 2003 - 04:45 PM

Phish...just saying their name makes me think of musical genius. What can these guys not do? To check out these guys versitility DL "Magilla" a song that resembles an early Miles Davis song, "you enjoy myself", a song that shifts time signature and contains SO SO SO many hard to play passages and while you're at it download a 30 minute jam to see how these guys can play so well all the time. These guys honestly are the greatest muscians alive today...I can say that without a doubt. Their prime was from 94-96 but they still rock today. Any opinions? BTW SCI and WP suck:-)

#2 of 51 Colin Jacobson

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Posted April 26 2003 - 05:58 PM

Opinions? They're much closer to being one of the worst bands ever than being the greatest. Being able to play technically complex music does not make a band great. Phish do little more than ramble and indulge in musical ideas that go nowhere. The idea of listening to a 30-minute jam is pretty close to my idea of hell. They're self-consciously quirky and self-indulgent, and their music actively bores me. Can't stand 'em!
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#3 of 51 Karl_Luph

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Posted April 26 2003 - 06:37 PM

Ugh! Add me to the list of those who can't get into Phish. Isn't this the band that's a Grateful Dead wannabee? It seems they jumped the shark somewhere around the mid 90's and were somehow popular with the prep scene at college.

#4 of 51 Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

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Posted April 27 2003 - 01:48 AM

Wow, that was some major-league thread crapping, guys. I don't care for Phish either, but show a little class...
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#5 of 51 Javier_Huerta

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Posted April 27 2003 - 01:52 AM

I have never even heard one song from Phish that I can think of. Neither have my friends, and we are all in our late 20's - early 30's. I do know (from my 15 year old cousin) they are liked by the under-18 crowd.

I'd think the "greatest band ever" would be universally liked, like The Beatles were in their prime.

Andrew, I can't understand why two people expressing their opinions on the thread's subject is considered "thread crapping".

Just my 2 cents.

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#6 of 51 Camp

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Posted April 27 2003 - 02:07 AM

Quote:
Wow, that was some major-league thread crapping, guys. I don't care for Phish either, but show a little class...

Class? Your definition of which must be "if you can't add something nice, skip the thread." It wouldn't be much of a forum if we followed your lead.
I'd rather see people show some backbone and put their opinions on the line. Just as the original poster and follow up posts did.

#7 of 51 Jason Wilcox

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Posted April 27 2003 - 02:49 AM

i really enjoy listening to phish. i can't imagine junta, lawn boy, and billy breathes being mistaken for anything other than wonderful albums. i also like trey anastasio's little side projects like his solo album and oysterhead.

basically...they seem to have a lot of fun performing and recording their music and that fun just seems to rub off on me when i listen to it.

#8 of 51 Colin Jacobson

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Posted April 27 2003 - 02:50 AM

Quote:
Wow, that was some major-league thread crapping, guys. I don't care for Phish either, but show a little class...


This is far from thread-crapping. The original post said:

Quote:
Any opinions?


That's an invitation to state what we think - good, bad or indifferent. An example of thread-crapping occurred in another forum where someone started a thread about Madonna's recent attempts to foil illegal Internet downloads. After a few posts on-topic, the inevitable "Madonna sucks" comments appeared. Totally off-topic, totally irrelevant to the subject - total thread-craps.

If someone starts a thread that ASKS for opinions, then it's not a thread-crap to say something that disagrees with that person's feelings. He didn't say "let's hear from only people who agree with me".

Has this forum become so effing PC that we can't disagree with someone without being called classless for it? No one attacked the original poster and said anything negative about HIM - we simply related our utter disdain for Phish. Totally appropriate for this thread...
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#9 of 51 Justin Lane

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Posted April 27 2003 - 03:01 AM

Well said Colin, too much PC, too much over sensitivity.

As for the original subject, Phish is by far not the greatest band ever. Much of their music leaves me scratching my head. It seems like they try to do new things (which is a good thing), but most of the time it falls flat.

They have a nice size following, but it is more about the scene that goes with their music (drug use, wannabe deadheads) then the music itself.

J

#10 of 51 Colin Jacobson

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Posted April 27 2003 - 04:30 AM

Quote:
They have a nice size following, but it is more about the scene that goes with their music (drug use, wannabe deadheads) then the music itself.


I don't think it's a coincidence that Phish's rise to huge popularity came after the Dead disbanded (until now, at least). A lot of people loved that whole lifestyle, so they needed a new place to go. All of the younger folks who would have gravitated toward the Dead then latched onto Phish as the Great Dope Hope.

Quote:
they seem to have a lot of fun performing and recording their music and that fun just seems to rub off on me when i listen to it.


And good for you. I don't begrudge anyone their affection for material or - in the case of the Deadhead-like followers - their lifestyle choices as long as they selections don't hurt anyone else. If someone wants to get stoned and listen to Phish, go for it. If someone digs their music sober as well, great. I don't want to be there with you, but I respect the affection some folks have for the band. Can't say I really respect the music itself, though the bandmembers seem like nice guys...
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#11 of 51 Van Patton

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Posted April 27 2003 - 04:36 AM

I've never done a drug in my life and am certainly not a "hippie" but as a guitar player I can really appreaciate (?) their ability and think they kick ass but, o well, to each their own.

#12 of 51 Colin Jacobson

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Posted April 27 2003 - 04:57 AM

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I've never done a drug in my life and am certainly not a "hippie" but as a guitar player I can really appreaciate (?) their ability and think they kick ass but, o well, to each their own.


Hope my post didn't imply that only stoners dig Phish - I'm sure there are four or five non-smokers who like them.Posted Image

There are some bands that appeal to musicians on a technical level. Personally, I can't see any reason someone would like an act such as Steve Vai other than due to his sheer physical skill - his music seems inane and pointless to me. I can see how someone might appreciate Phish for the same reasons - obviously they mesh well and can do lots of intricate things musically.

It comes down to defining what's important to someone in regard to the music. I don't like musicianship for its own sake - I want the playing to serve the song, not vice versa. That's why I can't stand most "jams" or free-form music. Raw instrumental talent doesn't interest me. Yeah, Steve Vai can play 8000 notes a second - so what? It's the musical equivalent of running the 100-meter dash in a record time - it's an impressive physical feat but not anything that serves any other purpose.

But like I said earlier, if you dig it, that's cool. I don't get the band's appeal, but that's not important. As a great man once said, it takes diff'rent strokes to move the world!Posted Image
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#13 of 51 Jason Wilcox

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Posted April 27 2003 - 05:17 AM

drug free here as well...Posted Image

i feel like i should get a medal...

#14 of 51 Mike Broadman

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Posted April 27 2003 - 06:56 AM

Quote:
Raw instrumental talent doesn't instrument me.


Hee. Posted Image

The relationship of skill to musicality is constantly debated, which is silly to me. Either you like the music or you don't, what do you care how much the guy practiced? And people's opinions vary as to when it serves the song and when it doesn't. Using your example of Steve Vai, songs like For the Love of God and The Crying Machine are every bit as accessible and melodic as a good Beatles tune, yet they require the type of technical skill that only a dude like Vai can provide. But then again there are those who believe that any rock song without vocals isn't a real song, so to each their own.

As for me, I'm not a musician at all but I enjoy stuff like Vai, Dixie Dregs, and other bands and artists that are considered "for musicians only," another description that never made any sense to me.


I remember hearing Phish a long time ago and not really liking it, but I can't really judge them on that. Meanwhile, I've lately been listening to a lot of stuff that I used to not like, like Prince, Primus, and Tori Amos, so I would like to get a chance to dig some Phish.

Jam bands in general are for me a mixed bag. I absolutely adore the Allman Brothers, but never dug the Dead. IMO, just playing extended jams and solos doesn't make a band "good" or "bad," it's what they do with that time. If they just play scales and arpeggios, that's boring. But if they produce some interesting sounds or structure it around melody in a sophisticated way, that's great. I just wonder which one Phish does.

My only problem with some music fans is that attitude of "I don't like bands that do X, therefore this band that does a lot of it SUCKS!" I'm sorry, but that's immature and misses the point of music completely. Not everyone has to be the Beatles, where everyone in the world loves them.

Even if I listen to Phish and don't like them, I wouldn't begrudge them or their audience. At least their fans have a passion for music, which is deserving of respect in the dismal musical environment of apathy we find ourselves in currently.


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#15 of 51 Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 27 2003 - 07:05 AM

They've admitted being influced by acts like Zappa and Crimson. Let's just say that they don't live up to their precursors.

I've had some fun at some Phish concerts, but they aren't even the greatest 'jam' band ever, let alone the greatest band ever.

#16 of 51 Colin Jacobson

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Posted April 27 2003 - 07:22 AM

Quote:
quote:

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Raw instrumental talent doesn't instrument me.
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Hee.



Whoops - looks like I need to cut back on the doobage myself!Posted Image

For the record, I don't maintain that every band has to be the Beatles and the only good songs last two to three minutes. I can get into extended versions of tunes easily - heck, I think the very long "Purple Rain" Prince did during the 1984/85 tour remains maybe his finest moment.

And maybe Vai has some great songs. I've seen him live twice (a friend digs him so I went along for the hell of it) and didn't hear anything that impressed me, but that doesn't mean the material doesn't exist. I just hated the fact that every live tune inevitably included one of Vai's patented 8000 notes a second solos - there was no restraint... whatsoever.
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#17 of 51 Benjamin_L

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Posted April 27 2003 - 07:37 AM

Hey guys - interesting thoughts so far.

Just to throw out my own long-winded opinion:

Having disliked the band when I was younger, and through a twist of fate winding up living with a pair of very respectable phisheads, (Hey Liz and Chris- Love ya!:P)) I've experienced a great deal of their music and had ample time to challenge all my assumptions/opinions about them.

Are they indulgent? definitely. Uneven? sure.

Rambling? I wouldn’t go that far.

My biggest turn-off to their music, initially, was their lyrics. As a writer and a generally critical person, good lyrics are very important to me “getting into” music; favorites include elliot smith, the roots, and patty griffin, among others. With that mindset that was only concerned about lyrics, Phish would be mediocre, at best (their song “Cars, trucks, buses” is a brutal example of this).

That would also hardly be the whole picture. Stevie Ray Vaughn’s lyrics are nothing special, either. But I defy anyone to listen to his version of “little wing” and not recognize his genius.

I’ve heard a good bit of music in my day. I can say with absolute honesty, sincerity, and sobriety that the funkiest, most ass-shaking passages of music I have ever heard in my life was from one particularly excellent Phish show. Both their studio albums and shows have uneven spots but are usually good or excellent, and their music is dynamic in ways that most modern music does not even aspire to; even their more somber or meditative songs can develop into a quickly-paced, danceable tune and still resolve beautifully. To me, their sound is complex, unique and awesome.

Thus I think their music is great, despite being at times self-affected and difficult to get into.

I would not call them the greatest musicians of all time. However, I would call them excellent, and with confidence would say they are prone to moments of genius, if not being geniuses themselves.

Keep it real. Posted Image

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#18 of 51 Louis C

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Posted April 27 2003 - 08:48 AM

Quote:
These guys honestly are the greatest musicians alive today


You apparently never heard Spock's Beard, Transatlantic, (early)Yes, or (early) Genesis. Posted Image

#19 of 51 Patrick Larkin

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Posted April 27 2003 - 03:22 PM

Mark me down as someome that loves Phish. A child of the 70's, I grew up listening to extended jams (Yes, Genesis, Crimson, etc) and discovered the Grateful Dead late in life. Trust me, I am not a deadhead and I'm not a big fan now of the pretentious rock of the 70's any longer. Phish took the genres and played them but never took themselves seriously. Their lyrics are silly but not all of them. I really like the latest stuff they are producing.

I wouldn't call them the greatest band for sure. I wouldn't call them the greatest band right now either (that belongs to Wilco Posted Image). I do recognize their quality offerings and some awfully good songwriting...

To talk of technical prowess, I never looked at Phish as being technicians. When you talk of technically perfect musicianship, Frank Zappa bands immediately spring to mind. (Throw Robert Fripp in there too if you can consider him human. Posted Image)


Quote:
That would also hardly be the whole picture. Stevie Ray Vaughn?s lyrics are nothing special, either. But I defy anyone to listen to his version of ?little wing? and not recognize his genius.

Wasn't the genius of Little Wing Jimi Hendrix?

#20 of 51 Thomas_Berg

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Posted April 27 2003 - 04:34 PM

phish is one of my favorite alltime bands. those guys can really jam!

favorite studio album? mine is Billy Breathes. it's total bliss from start to finish Posted Image


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