I also think Trey Anastasio is a leagues better songwriter than anyone in the Dead. The Dead are a top five group for me along with Phish. I get what you're going for here, but this is a bit of a stretch. The Dead have a number of songs that are part of the American musical canon at this point.
This isn't a knock against Trey as a songwriter but if someone is going to jump into both the Dead and Phish I imagine the Dead's songwriting will stick out above Phish's for the vast majority. As others have jumped on, saying trey is a better songwriter is a pretty dubious claim. At best, you could suggest trey has more impressive guitar compositions, but songwriting means the whole thing and GD is simply better when it comes to writing songs.
Lyrics and vocals in GD along with some of their catchier tunes are classic good stuff and phish has never been able to come close to that legacy. GD live also had a more spiritual vibe to it.
Phish is more of a fun and heady vibe. Phish tho, is wayyyy more explosive and exploratory in their jamming. Phish will traverse the outer realms of the universe and then come back to earth like a meteor and nosedive into a volcano. Hot fire my friend. Plus they have a Mike! I think you definitely need to make a clearer distinction between songwriting and composition. Trey is a virtuoso composer but the general perception is that Phish's songs are largely silly and meaningless.
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For example, Reba is an amazing composition but pretty nonsensical from a songwriting perspective which normally takes lyrics into account. I don't think they were particularly legendary at their individual instruments, definitely lagging behind compared to Phish.
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But I think their songs are much more meaningful and timeless. I love studio Dead and would continue to listen to the studio stuff if the live stuff disappeared. Phish is the exact opposite for me. Rarely listen to the studio stuff, don't think the songwriting is as timeless but they blow everyone out of the water in the live improv setting. I fell in love with Phish because of the live jams and if all the live recordings disappeared I probably wouldn't listen to them very much.
Everyone has a different perspective, just thought I'd share mine. I should note that I think Trey has written plenty of deep, meaningful, clever, powerful songs. But he has also written a bunch of goofy nonsense and the band is more defined by their groundbreaking improvisational journeys than by their meaningful songwriting or even their intricate composition.
To reference Reba again, the composed section is incredibly impressive but I've heard it so many times I usually skip to the jam now because that's the part I'm excited to hear. It kind of just depends how you define songwriting vs. Phans Currently Viewing.
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Hard to Hold is a love story centering around a Mike, a Phish fan with over shows under his belt, and his wife Anne Miller. They met by way of coincidences — first at a Jeff Tweedy show at The Egg in Albany, NY the town where much of the book is set , then Mike moving into her building and finding Anne able to walk his dog Sirus while he transferred his life from Oregon to New York.
Living in the same building leads to their relationship, as well as putting the past behind them and moving forward towards their respective futures. The complexities of their relationship is detailed in Hard to Hold , an easy to read, weekend on the road book that keeps the reader focused on the next chapter. Having known Mike since he moved back to Albany, even I was turning the pages looking for the next part of their story, filling in gaps of what I had observed in the past couple years.
There are of course, the sexy sex scenes, per all romance novels, and while not as tawdry as a Fabio-front-covered book, they do add a bit of reality to the book. A boring one. This book and true story are nothing short of the opposite. Coupled with that is the impact of Phish at Red Rocks last summer on their pending marriage and wedding plans.
I was honored to be invited to attend the wedding, forgoing Red Rocks. Mike and a few others did not skip making a trip out to Morrison. Fans will enjoy this book for the coming of age story many of us faced between August of and the return announcement in October of We grew up, jobs turned into careers , dating gave way to relationships , and we still had to reconcile our changed lives with the return of Phish four years later.
Some went ahead with life and made phish a small part, some returned phish to prominence in their lives, and others are still sorting it all out.
PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish, Volume 1, Part 3 (English Edition)
Pick up a copy of the book on Amazon. In nearly thirty years Phish has become one of the most popular modern bands in America selling millions of tickets each year. Yet you would barely know it if you only followed mainstream media. That is about to change. To be precise, they released a new romance novel featuring a Phishhead.. The novel is a fictionalized account of the real relationship between my wife Anne and I and our beloved Weimariner Sirus. Hard to Hold , by Julie Leto, went on sale in bookstores nationwide and online in September. I was in Albany for a job interview and decided to catch the show while in town.
Anne and I chatted briefly before going our separate ways. It was a quick but memorable meeting. I would be moving to Albany in a few months and I hoped that at some point I would run into her again. In February I was loading boxes into my new apartment building when I heard a voice say my name. It was Anne.
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To my surprise I was moving into her apartment building. This is just one of the many remarkable coincidences in the early days of our relationship and are told in detail in the pages of Hard to Hold. Hard to Hold covers how we met, first dated, fell in love and eventually married. The novel captures the challenge of a Phishhead marrying a non-Phan from the announcement of the Phish reunion in Hampton to planning a wedding while the summer Phish tour rolled across the country.
Before sharing with Anne the extent of my love of Phish, I shared with her a very private but important thing about myself that she needed to know.
I have Tourette Syndrome—a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable muscle tics. Would this be the end of our relationship? The novel tells the story. When Anne and I got engaged in July Phish was still broken up with no signs of reuniting. The novel captures how soon after the announcement of the Hampton Phish shows Anne quickly began to realize what life would be like if she married me.
Shortly before our wedding a writer for the New York Times decided to write a story about our relationship for the Sunday paper. The story, which ran on the last day of the summer tour, featured the potential conflict that arises when a Phishhead marries a non-phan. After the story appeared HCI Publishing reached out to us and asked if we would allow them to publish our story.
Last spring while I was busy planning my summer tour, I also spent hours emailing Leto all the details she needed to accurately tell our story. The hardest question to answer was one that I imagine many of you have faced yourself. Why do we follow Phish? For Leto, understanding why I fell in love with my wife was easy but understanding why I love Phish so much was much more challenging. Nearly a year later the book is for sale. Beginning this fall Phish and Phishheads will enter a place in American culture that very few musicians and their fans, if any, ever have.
From now on, people will never look at Phishheads the same way. After all, if one of us appears as a main character in a romance novel, how strange could we be? While I thought that being included in the New York Times wedding section was the ultimate example of mainstream acceptance, I never imagined a Phishhead being featured in a romance novel.
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Hard to Hold is part of a new series of reality based romance novels being published this fall by HCI Books and it is sure to leave you smiling. Anne and I are excited to share our story with the Phish community and the world. Ask for it wherever you buy books. With each purchase, get a free pin!
Phish is a band that has generated a great deal of press over the years, with reviews in papers in the towns the band and their fans travel to, as well as articles in magazines and dozens of websites and blogs dedicated to The Phish from Vermont. Not a Book Club where we all sit down and have tea or something and discuss books, but an online Book Club where fans can find out about Phish books, read them and share their thoughts online with other fans.
An interactive web-based Book Club with nothing but suggestions of books to read given and opinions shared when the books are read.
As a teacher, I felt this would also help to promote literacy, always a good thing at any age or level of education. There is no cost to join.