Fuck You Fashion Industry, Fuck You ALL to HELL

Let me tell you a few things about Punk. Because what happened last night is perhaps the most egregious and offensive appropriation of a crucial cultural movement that has ever to occur. The fashion industry, though incapable of this, should be ashamed of itself. There is not a single #punk within the industry itself, because if they were truly #punk, and truly believed in those values: egalitarianism, freedom, purity, well, they simply wouldn’t be in the fashion industry. 

I came late to punk, wasn’t until my late 20’s, and my entry point was Lester Bangs essay on “The Clash” at which Lester marveled at the beauty, truth, purity,unabashed freedom and raw energy of music that was being made, that needed to be made, in reaction to the decadence of the 1970’s: namely, over the top Arena Rock and Disco.

You see Bangs was a child of the 60’s, he loved the Velvet Underground, MC5, the Beatles, Miles Davis and many others. But he hated most musicians and thought they were poseurs in it for the drugs, or money, or fame, but not the real power, the liberating power of ROCK AND ROLL. 

“Don’t ask me why I obsessively look to rock ’n’ roll bands for some kind of model for a better society. I guess it’s just that I glimpsed something beautiful in a flashbulb moment once, and perhaps mistaking it for prophecy have been seeking its fulfillment ever since.” 

Rock and Roll was youth, rock and roll was freedom, rock and roll was a rejection of the status quo that wasn’t built for us and was our primal scream against authority, against a failed leadership, against politicians, ad men, lawyers and war mongers.

But Rock and Roll lost its way you see. By the end of the 60’s the dream was over, drugs, violence, corruption, Altamont, the Mansons; The Beatles had broken up, Jimi, Janice, Jim, and many others were dead. It was over. And in its place, came the second wave of rock and roll. And the 70’s ugh. Man did they suck for music. And sure there was Led Zeppelin and a few others, and yes Miles made some great music in the 70’s, but for the most part Rock and Roll became decadent and spoiled and the stars and musicians grew further and further apart. Tour buses, brutal security guards, destroyed hotel rooms, this was decadence and it was the exact opposite of Rock and Roll’s existence. 

And then years go by and the world becomes shittier and shittier, Nixon > Ford > Carter, for instance, and music and art just continue to go straight the fuck down the cultural shitter.

And at the very end of the 70’s, CBS Records sends Bangs to listen to this powerful little English band gaining traction across the pond. And Bangs expects to hate it, but no, he doesn’t. In fact he loves it, and everything he’s heard about PUNK, that the crowds were violent, that they were disgusting, that they stabbed you and vomitted all over you, and POGO’d up and down mindlessly and that Punk bands like The Clash and the Sex Pistols (and stateside, The Ramones et al) were corrupting the youth turning them into tiny little nazi faggots who were going to destroy EVERYTHING.

Bangs has a revelation, and he can’t believe it. He had given up, he had given up on rock because it had given up on him. All the drugs and death and corruption and image behind rock and roll had been gone and wasted for so long. But THE CLASH saved Lester Bangs and SAVED rock and roll. Reconnected it to its earliest mission, to be a force for pure unadulterated Freedom, a rejection of the culture “out there” that doesn’t understand youth, can’t understand you and simply wants to to turn it into a consumer that will passively be controlled, told what to do and how to think and eventually what to buy. 

"I was amazed when I was on tour with The Clash to do a story on them, the thing that they would actually do at the end of each show, go out into the audience and meet the kids in these towns and say “Hi, what’s this town like?”. And then they would take some of the kids they really enjoyed talking to back to the hotel with them and sit up through the night talking to them. It wasn’t a groupie scene, you know, they were really actually interested in these kids and what they were up to , and what they were like. And that kind of openness and accessibly I think is much more exciting and everything then all this elitism."

So fuck you Fashion, fuck you fashion industry, for finally having the balls and social control to do something so outrageous, so disgusting, so felonious that I never, ever have to take you seriously ever again. I used to believe fashion was art, that there were people responding to moods and trends and the world out there and making something out of it. And I am sure those people are still out there, but unfortunately the rest of your shitty disgusting industry has ruined it for you.

The Jams of New Year’s: Part 1

No one expected Wolfman’s Brother to get the first set jam treatment on the first night of the run. Which makes it all the more exciting that we have a top-shelf “Wolfman’s” to enjoy all off-season. When the fuck is Summer Tour?

This “Wolfman’s Brother” is totally dynamic, crisply played and vocalized well right out of the box. As the 4th minute approaches we have near-instant jamming. Trey gets involved early with his rhythmic comping, chopping away, waiting for Page and Mike to compliment him, which they quickly do. Mike drops some punchy lines around the 4:50 mark and then again at 5:00. Fishman could be playing “Limb by Limb.”

The real fun starts around 5:30 as Mike engages a thick and drone-y synth effect taking the lead as Trey sticks to some repetitive noodling. As some space opens up you can feel the band willing themselves into a full-band conversation. But they have to wait a bit, they can’t force it. A moment of some indecision quickly gives way to a well-coagulated though sparse funk jam.

Around 8:00, the funk jams give way to the first discernible peak and Trey jumps all over an opportunity to take things to shredtown, even if its only the beginning, as he lines up his peak, hits it and then immediately backs down, modulating around 9:15.

Mike starts to flush out a poppy little bass line. Around 9:40 momentum and excitement starts to build. You can hear the first intimations of “Little Drummer Boy” begin to emerge, first from Trey, then almost immediately from Page. Mike jumps in around 10:20. Fishman’s having an orgasm. He loves this song. Fuck Bieber. Fishman is all we need.

Trey’s doing his rock anthem thing at the 10:47 mark, leaving the melody out there for all to behold, perfect tone, perfect space, letting each note ring out. Welcome to the holidays fans!

Don’t miss Page’s funkAY clavinet entrance at 10:49, which he keeps up for awhile. Mike’s got this weird droning bass line happening, simple and weird but strangely right.

11:29 the band decides to drop, on a dime, into a “Little Drummer Boy” inflected funk jam which is perfect. Except the boys are so tightly locked in that they keep developing ideas. Page pushes Trey a bit out of the box just before the 12:00 minute mark and within 10 seconds they are dropping out. Except NO!

Here comes the beast. 12:18. 




Trey wants to climb the ladder. Fishman is RIGHT there with him, goading him on. Where the FUCK did this come from? He’s back in Wolfman’s Brother. He’s gonna take this brother down, he’s answering phones, he’s taking messages, he’s taking names, he’s scribbling furiously, throwing stick it notes into the air. At 13:23, Trey is pushing the button on dynamite he was apparently laying all over the tracks throughout the song. KABOOM BITCHES!

End set. 


A very strong and tight opening, the mix already sounds great with that particular independence to each instrument coming boldly through. This Tweezer sounds great already. All I was thinking about during this Tweezer was how @MrMiner had specifically requested a monster Tweezer during New Year’s. I was happy he was getting it so early on and knew we were in for a ride. Riding the rail in the back GA section didn’t hurt. We had a perfect view to Trey and plenty of dancing space.

Around the 6:00 minute mark, Trey and Mike link up on some complimentary melodic phrases, but they are each putting their own stamp on it. Trey soon takes the lead and seems to know exactly where he wants to go. He’s got his theme. He’s got his fuel. Cliff bars have been digested. Green tea, supped. Already opening up. This motherfucker has legs.

At 7:24 Trey turns his melody around, starts exploring it from a different angle. Factory line jamming. Jamming in 3D. Phish has entered their “Cubist” phase. Looking at the same idea from different angles, perspectives, rolling it around, testing this way, then that way. His paint is thin and flat, he’s a proto-impressionist tonight. 

He’s looking for his entry point. He’s a satellite calculating his re-entry. The math is important. Establish the wrong coordinates and you’ll bounce right off, spiraling uncontrollably like Vader in A New Hope.

What’s that at 8:30? Locking in. Trying to get that X-Wing in his sights, can’t seem to hold it steady. Trey backs off. Mike instantly drops in with a major chord pattern played high up on the neck. He’s in the upper registers. Mike loves his pattern. He plays nothing else for minutes. It provides the perfect underpinning  for Trey to re-engage. 

10:10 sees Trey latching onto his anthemic idea again. His tone is bitter, slightly hollowed. Mournful, long sustains provide drama, interspersed with rapid fire runs. And then 10:50, a sustained whale call. We’re in the Sea of Cortez. It’s migration season and a pod of Humpbacks is surfacing. Trey’s tied to the mast of some salty frigate, the wood is warped, the sailors are tired, but Captain Jack is turning us all toward the open sea anyway. Trey’s guitar calls out to the sea mammals, signalling them home, showing them the way through the channel. A few minutes of smooth sailing follows. They reached the first buoy and have turned with the wind. The chop is gone. 

14:00 we have chapter two. The second buoy approaches. The boat is lifting out of the water. The rudder turns into a rotor and we begin lifting off. The Pacific Coast of Mexico comes into view as the ship rises higher. Displaced water trails off the hull. Droplets remain. A final turn towards the heavens and who is that in the distance? A cloud is forming. It’s Ghost-like. He’s taking shape. Who is this cloud image?

Oh, we know now. It’s GUY FORGET. 14:48. Bidding us adieu. A little “Slave to the Traffic Light” reference follows. Where we’re going there are no traffic lights. Just clouds and open skies.This is Phish mainlining manna from heaven, tapping veins. Strap in. 

Don’t forget Trey was a drummer until he was 18. Those rhythmic resting points he uses, that’s his getting his weapon, cocked, locked and ready to mother fucking ROCK. 16:00. 

Weaving in and out of the cloud formations, something begins to show in the distance. What is that? Is that a mountain peak? Snow-capped? Where are we? How long have we been floating?  Take a look at these hands! 

16:20 Mike is at the helm. Full Gordeaux ahead. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun. Mike takes his turn at the wheel, it’s his honor. He’s spinning it like a fucking batshit crazy dosed up self-immolating space monk. New coordinates are being punched in. It’s all gravy. It’s all groovy. They know what’s coming. But do we?

Here we are, the clouds dissipate, the airship is cruising now, the final fantasy, the distance closes. This is it. It’s coming, 

16:56 THE DROP!

Boom, locked in, this is the holidays everyone. This is Phish, This is MSG. This is December. And don’t think we forgot Dick’s. We haven’t forgot. We will never forget. You think a few months phases us? Pfft! We’ll show you little lizards what we got in store for you. How about a 20 minute Freezer? Yeah and why do you keep doubting us? WHY!

Trey’s got pitch perfect tone. He’s hitting every note. His intonation does not offend. A long sustain at 17:50 makes this perfectly clear. 18:15 its time to take this home. We are at cruising altitude. And up ahead?

19:00 The gleaming immaculate white-haired peaks of the Himalayas. They’ve ascended. Slaloming through the mountains that could be planets. They are enormous. They make you feel small and large at the same time. We are lucky to share the same space with these paleo constructions. The music makes clear we are one in the same. There is no distance between the atoms. We are the air, the snow, the sun, the clouds, the rock. 

19:50 the full band treatment. Everyone locked in, hitting the changes perfectly, Trey is on top RAWKING. More and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more.

And just like that…a new wind channel opens up, the Himalayas are behind us and we are cruising at a new altitude. The Good Ship LollyPop turns again, a final salute to the sun and the sky. And we descend. Into hotter climes. Bowie…no Maze. We’ll never get out. 


In celebration of T.S. Eliot’s birthday, his typescript of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which appeared in the June 1915 issue of Poetry.



In celebration of T.S. Eliot’s birthday, his typescript of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which appeared in the June 1915 issue of Poetry.



I recently started a new Phish blog with my best friend and touring partner. It’s called Please Me Have No Regrets, a reference to The Curtain (With) a song that this friend, who shall remain anonymous, and I used to geek out over many years ago.

Here is an excerpt from a recent piece on Sunday Nights’ Sand in Denver:

The main frame, Sunday night. All hands on deck. The engines are primed. We are go for launch.

After an above average opening lasting nearly 12 minutes, the music started to quiet. Trey dropped in a loop. Fish responded with some light splashy high-hat knocks. The music opened up enough for Trey to start dropping in some tell-tale “whale-calls,” a signal to both himself and his bandmates that they were now truly “floating through the hourglass.” But in this Sand, the hourglass is space itself, endless black, endless opportunities, each silicon crystal representing the light and stars of the universe, the flickering poem of the ultimate divine creation.

And after a minute of free-form space Mike and Fish synch-up in some chording, progressively getting louder. This is what transportation sounds like. One minute we’re in Denver. And the next, we’re on the Dark Side of the Moon. Perfect page comps volumize the music. Trey back on his whale calls. Big, bigger, getting round. Filling out.

And then in the 13th minute, Trey finds the melody that will be his reference point, the star blinking in a far off galaxy, rhythmically lapping it on to the base of his loops. He’s found it. He’s found the wormhole, the THING that existed in the music they were creating before they played it. They’ve found it and they know it. There is no rush. There is no tension. They’ve escaped Earth’s gravity with engines intact. Set the controls for the heart of the sun. 


Artists Are My Only Enemies

Artists are my only enemies

Colluding with woven histories

To sequester my impatience.

Affairs like these never end so well for me.

The chromogenic print gets gouged at,

Fiendishly worked over as the painter awakens

The fragments of bone

He’s crushed into it.

Our New Nature

We’ve built a new nature for ourself.

Having hypothesized on the taste

Of incomprehensible negative spaces

We proved it before we could.

How old do I have to feel until

That unusual feeling of entitlement

Welcomes itself back into the gap

Where it was once cast off from?

We all got the same advice from the same source

Instructions as bitter fantasies

These instructions are the fantasies

Of a hungry demographic

Craving the simple and continual loss of love

The progressive-dynamic sports shoe generation of today adorns itself with super-electronics and galactic hair styles, but in their hearts they still dream the same fairytale dreams of our grannies. The cars and the changes in fashion have become faster, but serious reflection on matters of love has not. If today we want to create a transition from a period of violence to a new era of structural non-violence then we have to totally change our priorities. The same love and attention, the same conscientiousness and reliability, the same force of will and intelligence with which humans have thus far used to destroy each other must now be used to promote sexual love.