Welcome to newest addition to Oh Kee Pah: the Weekly Wrap-Up with me, Tela! I’m a live music journalist from New York City and, obviously, a huge Phish phan. Phish’s music and fans have inspired me to stick to my passions and do what I love, so here I am, writing about Phish. Since the boys couldn't possibly tour year round (though I give them serious props for trying), I’ve been lucky enough to find other bands and musicians that I want to see and support. As a fan of the Grateful Dead, I love hearing Phil and Bobby and Furthur give it their all and pull out some wild reinventions of my favorite Dead songs. And, lucky for us all, we have Umphrey’s McGee to give a little taste of something different, while still maintaining the jammy, rock ‘n’ roll feel of the music we love.
So this weekly column is going to be a summary of news from those guys, while sometimes including peripheral but relevant updates and announcements. I hope that we cover everything you think is important, or may have missed, from the past week and as we settle into our new home on OKP, feel free to tell me how this column’s doing, or what I could be doing better for you, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, the news!
Last week, some folks were overjoyed at that major hold on our credit cards from Ticketmaster, but others got the dreaded “We regret to inform you...” notification from Phish Tickets that had us pulling together ISO posts for different message boards. Hopefully the devastation was met by success during the online sale, but according to Hidden Track's open poll, the large majority of us were sorely let down and will be scouring PT, cashortade.org and craigslist through Christmas.
Not only did some fans get a nice treat last week, but Phish manager Coran Capshaw was honored with the Humanitarian Award from Billboard. The benefit for Vermont being just one example, the Red Light Management founder has organized several events with all of his artists to raise awareness and money for victims, usually of weather, but also for social programs and education. With his artist roster ranging from Phish and DMB to Tim McGraw, Alicia Keys, and Switchfoot, everyone has participated in Capshaw’s humanitarian efforts and, as humble a man as he seems to be, he will be honored at the awards ceremony November 10th.
Speaking of treats, Phish is releasing three shows from the middle of their legendary Fall 1997 tour in December as a seven CD box set. The killer renditions of our favorite classics will be immortalized on the recordings from November 21 & 22, Hampton Collesium and the 23rd in Winston-Salem, VA. Featuring debuts of the time like “Ghost,” “Dog Stole Things,” and “Piper,” this box set recalls the peak performances at historic venues that fans have been begging archivists for.
Still want more? Why not pick up Mr. Miner's Phish Thoughts Anthology as a gift? If you’re feeling for some Phish philosophy, Miner offers his personal insight into sets, songs, runs, tours, types of jamming, and more. He does not hesitate to delve into every aspect of Phishdom and for the hardcore fan, his wisdom is fascinating, whether or not his opinion aligns with yours. Buy it online or in person, at Mr. Miner’s Book Signing and After-Party on 10.29.2011. He’ll be set up very close to MSG at The Irish Times (31st btwn 7th and 8th Aves) before the show, between 4 and 6, to hang and sign the book, then again for the after party that starts when the band ends and goes until 3am. Both of these events are free.
The Grateful Dead are also pumping out some new recordings. Archivist Dave Lemiuex will be releasing a follow-up series to his successor’s Dick’s Pick’s in February 2012. The quarterly release Dave’s Pick’s will be reflective of the original in his quest to find high quality and renowned shows and sets from fan-loved tours, but will continue to push the sound above and beyond by using the best 2-track recordings available. Like the intermediary series Road Trips, which came to a close at the end of October, each Dave’s Pick’s limited edition release (only 12,000 copies of each) will be numbered and come with informative booklets detailing the high-quality recording. The first installment will be from a most coveted part of the Spring ‘77 tour- May 25th, 1977 at the Mosque in Richmond, VA.
And bringing it back to the New Year, UM will be celebrating its 14th birthday with special shows in New York City January 20th and 21st at Best Buy Theater. Tickets for the show go on sale Novemeber 4th at noon.
Moving into 2012, the West Coast has a special Trey treat to look forward to: the debut of his first musical. We really shouldn’t say his first, considering the “musicals” he wrote with his mom as a kid, and the “Gamehendge” saga, which is only missing actors and a stage. But it is his first time composing for theater, his first time being part of a large-scale stage production, and his first time working with the talented duo of Amanda Green and Doug Wright. The trio have been testing their new songs and Ernie’s been learning more about song writing every day. What impact might this have on his future songwriting? Read the Rolling Stone interview for an in depth conversation about the coming debut of Hands on a Hardbody in La Jolla, Calif., April 27th, 2012.
That’s it for this week, more to come next week on the Weekly Wrap-Up!