A Picture Of Nectar

Life two months before our baby is born. Life on the road with our new baby.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Can you still have fun?

So, the second night of Hartford. Where to begin? We had Section 1 Row S, which was a big help. Our seats were right next to the box seats, so we had plenty of room to move. Eli slept all day and slept all through the show and slept all night. It is so true that babies sleep, eat, and poop. Our baby is no different, except that he is experiencing Phish fourteen times this summer.

Before I delve into the beautiful show, I want to throw out an experience that my wife had during set break. She was sitting on the benches talking with Stephanie when a woman walked up to my wife and explained that she was a neo-natal nurse and that it was too soon for a baby his age to be out this early. Eliz told her that he is doing fine and the nurse gave her a very judgmental look and walked away. I am all for people voicing their opinions, but think about this. Man has been having babies for a long time and we used to not have central air and babies survived. We used to not have Baby Einstein videos and babies still grew up to get perfect SAT scores. We used to not have organic baby food and babies still grew up to be big and strong. Before we decided to take the baby on tour, we spoke with our doctor, our midwife, our doula, and our family and friends. Most of my family and several of my friends disagreed with our decision. But, all medical people thought that it was just fine to take the baby to the shows. OUR DOCTOR SAID THAT THE BABY WOULD BE FINE! Would it be better if Eli was not exposed to smoke and loud music? Yes, probably. He has special earplugs to block out the sound. And, it was only in the last 15 years that all infants weren’t exposed to smoke on a regular basis and they turned out okay. It is an open air forum for several hours. So, we are aware of the risks, weighed them, and made the right decision. Does this mean that strangers need to come up and share their opinions with us? I am a person who feels strongly about things, too. But, I have no idea what is best for you and would not try to tell you how you should live your life. It is your life and your family’s life. Am I going to come over and see what you are feeding your family for dinner? If you go to a Phish show and act like a complete fool by trying to drink as much as you can or better yet, come to see the band because you want to get high on drugs. You are out of your mind and bothering other people, acting like a fool, but no one says anything because you are doing your own thing. I personally find people who do that to be completely annoying and they ruin the music and the scene. My son, Eliz, and I come to the show to enjoy the music and meet great people. So, if you think that I am doing something wrong, that is your rightful opinion, but I am not asking you to give me your parenting advice and I am not bothering you. If you are concerned that my son is being exposed to things that he shouldn’t, then don’t do those things.

This being said, I will tell you that 95% of the comments we receive are all positive and congratulatory. Most of you welcome our son and send loving vibes. I choose not to focus on the negativity.

Onto the review. I wish that my son knew what a great show he slept through. The “Fee > Rift” opener really peaked my interest, despite some technical difficulties in “Rift.” I was surprised to find out that those songs together have not opened a show since ’95. The first set was filled with stellar funky jams, including “Wolfman’s,” “Foam,” “Possum > Moma Dance > Julius,” a near perfect “Reba” and “Cavern.” This set really rocked, although not as exploratory as many would like, it was still played very tight and CK5 had the lights almost synchronized to the music. Trey and Mike were obviously having a great time. Eliz and I were definitely having a blast. The fact that I was holding my son during the first set did not detract from my dancing, although I made sure not to let his head move too much. It was amazing holding my son during this string of excellent songs. If only I could talk to him and know that he was witnessing some greatness. I guess that will come in due time. We play Phish around him a lot.

Twenty diapers later...

This entry is long because it was my son Eli’s first show and I wanted to explain our setup and how crazy and hectic it is getting ready for a show with a two-week old and all of his necessities. We spared him nothing, although he asked for little.

So, we set out on the road on Tuesday June 15 and pulled into Hartford, CT on June 16 at 1230am. The drive with my son, Eli, was not uneventful. He slept a lot of the time, but also was on a regular routine of dirtying his diaper and then needing to eat. My wife was so great about feeding him. Our little family was chugging along like an Antelope jam. We knew generally how it was going to go, but still had our share of excitement. Taking care of a baby in a Jeep Liberty is not really all that easy. There is not a lot of room to do much. Our car is loaded with baby stuff. There are so many outfits and diapers, along with an array of other baby necessities. He is not even aware of what is going on!

We got to our hotel in Hartford late, but had to get settled in. It took us about an hour to wrestle all of the luggage and the pack n play into our room. We were 10 miles from The Comcast Theater, which is a good distance, not too far. By the time we got the room together, it was time to sleep. In tours past, I have slept in a variety of different ways, such as on the floor, sharing a bed with others, or sleeping in a chair. I have never shared a bed on the road with a baby. It was really just like being at home, but anticipation filled our room. It was not a great night of sleep.

So much preparation is involved in getting a baby ready for an outing. We have to change his diapers, my wife has to feed him, we have to pack the diaper bag, making sure that he has extra changes of clothes and plenty of diapers. We have to get his binkies ready, etc. It takes a solid hour to get ready to leave after one makes the decision to leave. So, we got started at about 400 and arrived at the venue by 500. The venue charged $8 for parking, but we opted for the VIP parking, which cost $20. We parked about 100 yards from the entrance. It was a great decision. I met some great people and had some great food. The vending was in full swing. Eliz carried the baby through the crowd and we got some bad vibes from people. Mostly, people were amazed and sent lots of love to baby Eli. I do understand if someone is surprised or judgmental of us for bringing our two week old son on tour, but I am also surprised at the behavior of many people at concerts. People do some pretty stupid stuff. They are usually the ones making comments. Hartford accepted Eli with open arms. It was mostly men who doted over the baby.

We had upper level pavilion for the first night. I had already called the opener “Punch” after nVelos. It was kind of cool because Eli was born during the end of “Cities” into “Punch.” So, that was a great start for my son’s first show outside of the womb. While Trey and Cactus did the cha cha, my son was sound asleep. He slept during the entire show. We put these orange silicone ear plugs designed especially for infants in his ears and they apparently worked really well. I can understand why he slept for some of it. Phish did not really bust a move during the first night at Comcast. I was definitely moved by some of the songs in the first set, such as “Divided Sky,” but was disappointed that Trey missed the “Golgi” vocals and guitar. I was psyched by “Walk Away,” as CK5 was really melting the stage with red, blue, and yellow lights that painted the entire stage in blissful color. No one could forget “Stash,” clearly the canvas for the first set improvisation.

Second set came quickly, although I had time to get to the bathroom, which felt like it was heated. The bathroom had to have been 95 degrees and was climbing with dudes trying to get relief and then get back to their seats. My wife had to change and feed the baby during set break. Everyone around us was cool about that, although maybe it bothered their party. “Party Time” was a soon forgotten memory when they busted into “Disease.” I could tell that things were about to get good when Trey and Mike were at the helm of this monster jam. It felt like Trey sort of pushed things along when he began playing “Sand” and I am not sure that everyone else was on the same page. Nonetheless, “Sand” was just bombastic. Although TAB does a great job with the song, all cylinders are firing when Phish hits it right. And they did. There were all sorts of twists and turns as they made their way through it, but things came crashing down when Trey began “The Horse” before he let anyone else know. He was forcing the tune down our throats for about a minute until we all got on the same page. “Farmhouse” was well played and had an open-ended jam that is unusual for this song. It was a great time. The “Mike’s” was rather standard, short, and lacked any of the deep, dark passion that so often is lacking from this song. “Weekapaug” had a different feel to it, but was really enjoyable. It was obvious the crowd was really into it too. Keeping note of YEMBlog as they updated twitter was really great. They do a fantastic job of updating the songs and expressing the vibe of the show. Before we knew it, Eli had experienced his first show. To top it off, Phish certainly shined a light on him, making for a fun summer evening. More tomorrow night.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I had a dog his name was Jim, he took all the money that I saved for rent…

Well, here we are writing from Stamford, CT. We left town on Tuesday and have taken it nice and leisurely. We drove maybe 5 hours yesterday and got to Wheeling, WV. We woke up this morning about 700, thanks to Eli, and then we made the decision to drive all the way to Hartford tonight. I am writing about 30 miles from Hartford. We are actually going to stay in Rocky Hill, CT, which is about 10 miles from the Comcast Center. Many of you might be staying here too. Who knows? I am amazed at how well my son is handling the road trip. I thought that he would be bouncing off of the walls, but he is more calm and relaxed than either me or my wife.

We got a chance to listen to Chicago, Blossom, and Hershey on our drive. I think that Chicago has a great setlist and I do not want to take anything away from the setlist. It was purely awesome, but I am not that impressed with the playing. Maybe I have to listen to it again. I got a lot out of the Blossom show, namely, the Mike’s > Hydrogen > Weekapaug and the Rock n Roll, Harry Hood, Number Line. I thought the boys sounded really tight and much more in the driver’s seat. I am listening to Hershey and it has all of the makngs of an excellent show. We are up to the Jim now and it is pure bliss. As good as anything I have heard from Jim. Trey is really stretching and moving the improve in new directions. The whole band is completely relaxed and into the jam at hand.

As I start attending shows, I will add my commentary about the show, but much of my blog will be about life on tour with my son, so I will be talking about how different things are now that I have to protect my son from all that is bad. I know that it will be hard to do on tour, but I can do it. He will be okay. The postings will take their own shape tomorrow night or Friday morning, depending on when I post. Hang in there and let me know if you have suggestions for my posts or the direction of this blog. Thanks, as always, for reading. Say a prayer for Eli tomorrow. I really hope that his little ears can handle the music. I have ear protectors for him and the doctors say that he will be okay. We just want you to be happy.

His eyes were clear and pure,

Well, we have been home with our son now for a few days. The house is still insane. We are living out of boxes and kind of fighting with each other, just out of frustration and boredom. My mom came over on Tuesday to help me unpack the kitchen and she ended up arranging our closet, too. My mom helped out on Wednesday, too. Elizabeth is just not able to do her normal things and that is understandable. Having a baby takes so much work and takes so much out of her. She has been really trying to get back into the routine, but she can only do so much. I try to tell her to take it easy.

We listened to music in our house most of the day on Wednesday. It was so nice to have music that we could share, rather than being confined to my computer’s stereo system. I had my full ADCOM amp and NAD pre-amp running my iPod through Polk speakers. It just sounded great to have music. We were still listening to Eli’s playlist. Incidentally, he was born to Cities into Punch You In The Eye. Go figure. Make what you will of that. I was just psyched to have music at his birth. But, he seems calmer when we are playing Phish in the background. He is great in the car with Phish playing and hardly ever cries.

So, his bris was last Friday, the 7th of June. All of my important people were there, except for Greg. My parents participated in the ceremony and that was really cool. The Rabbi who conducted the ceremony was really great and she was very inviting of my non-Jewish family members. All in all, it was a perfect little brit milah for a perfect little boy. His pee pee is still healing, though. We have to make sure that it heals properly. I leave that up to my wife, though.

We are packing for tour. It is amazing how much stuff one must pack for an infant. We have his pack and play, 150 diapers (and will probably run out), 20 outfits (assuming that he changes 4 times a day), ointments, creams, soaps, the Maya wrap, my wife’s baby feeding pillow, you name it, we have it. We have amassed so much stuff for the baby that I honestly hope I packed my underwear. It will be cool on the road with Eli because he is such a calm baby. He hardly ever cries and when he does, it is because he needs to be changed or wants to be held.

We have everything packed in the car, including Lizzie and Lexi. All five of us are in my Jeep, along with clothes for the girls for the next two weeks, plus all of our stuff. The next time I write will be from the road.

Congratulations, it’s a boy!

I haven’t posted this yet. It is a shame that the purpose of my blog has taken a backseat to actually spending time with my son. Yes, he was born on Thursday June 3 at 631pm. He is really healthy and weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. He is 21 inches long. My wife and I want to share our birth experience with you. We went into the hospital on Thursday morning and my wife was put on a regular dose of pitocin. She was taking pitocin until 440 in the afternoon when the midwife came in to break my wife’s water. At this point, my wife started to have serious contractions that looked like they hurt. She was grabbing my hand and squeezing really tight. I had made a Phish mix tape entitled “Eli’s Birth Phish Playlist.” It had about 80 songs on it ranging from 1993 to 2009 and had all kinds of tracks “From The Archives” and many other solid songs. My mother in law and our doula at first wondered about the music, but after several songs, they both seemed like the music was really helping Elizabeth relax and was definitely helping me stay relaxed, so that I could focus on my wife.

Here was the deal. After she had her water broken, she was in labor for 1 hour and 50 minutes. She pushed 3 times and baby Eli came out. I caught him with my bare hands. It was the most amazing thing that I have ever done in my life. When I put my son on Elizabeth’s chest, it was the proudest moment of my life, far surpassing graduating from Northwestern or from law school. I had birthed a son! Tears came to my eyes as I called my dad to let him know that Eli was born. It is so indescribable, this feeling that I had, but it made me more focused than I could possibly explain. I saw how simple life was in this moment that my son was born. His cries were my cries of joy. We were so happy. Aside from 20 minutes that Eli spent in the nursery with us, he never left our side. We were given an early leave from the hospital because my wife delivered Eli completely naturally—no epidurals or Stadol, nothing. She did it and I was there to help her, along with several other people. She was back on her feet in no time.

So, we spent the next 48 hours preparing to move. We got home from the hospital at 300pm on Friday. We did little on Friday, but we packed up the kitchen on Saturday and did a few things on Sunday. The movers showed up at the house on Monday at 1045am. They did not stop unpacking things at our new house until 1100pm Monday night. Our house was a wreck. We had a few days to get it together. Would it get done? Stay tuned for the rest of the story in my next post.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Slave To The Traffic Light

See the city, see the zoo, traffic light won't let me through...

In my last post, I talked about how in limbo we were. Now, we seem to have gotten the green light on everything. We closed on our house. We are going into the hospital tomorrow, as my wife is getting induced at 7am. We hope that things go smoothly. She is really nervous and is still planning the family move to our new house. She wants to move on Saturday. Yeah, get out of the hospital Friday and move on Saturday, Saturday. It is a little hectic. She is trying to label everything for the movers and enough is enough. She needs to get some sleep and get ready for tomorrow.

I have my playlist ready. I can't wait to see what the nurses and midwife have to say about our music selection. It should be a lot of fun. I have got some great jams planned. I hope that Eliz is up for it. I have arrangements from 93 to 09. I am going to keep this short because I want to cater to my wife as much as I can. So, wish us luck as we endeavor to bring a new child, Elijah Hendricks, into the world. He is our bundle of joy. Much peace.

Monday, May 24, 2010


As you can probably tell, it has been a little while since I have written. Here is why. Well, you know what? My life is in limbo now. We were supposed to close on our house last week and it got held up. We still don't know when we are going to close. So, I have that going on. My wife has felt like she is going to have our baby every day and nothing so far. Her due date is May 29, but who knows when the baby is going to come. I hope that Eli comes out soon. We are in limbo and have not done a lot of packing because we don't know when we are going to move. Every day is like a big adventure and a waiting game. We both are just waiting for things to happen. We are having the baby, closing on our new house, moving to our new house, painting the house, setting up the house, and trying to plan our Phish tour. It is nuts around here.

I have been watching our kids for the last year and a half and now that my wife is home on maternity leave, she is doing most of everything for the kids. This gives me a lot of free time. I haven't had much time to look for a job until now. I want to go back to work, but things are so hectic right now that it just isn't the time to do it. I would like to find a job where I can work at home, like legal writing or something.

Now, onto our Phish tour. I am still looking for both nights of Saratoga and Saturday night of Merriweather. Both stubhub.com and seatgeek.com are showing very expensive pavilion seats. I am not really into paying $125 for a decent seat. On the other hand, it doesn't look like prices are coming down. Seatgeek.com has a forecaster that predicts that prices for seats are going to decrease. I would be willing to pay $75 per ticket, but not $125. Maybe we can wing it and find tickets at the show. I don't like doing that. The only time, though, that I have ever been shut out of is the Dead at Red Rocks in 1985. I had to sit on the hill and listen to the music from outside the venue. That really blew. But, it looks like there are a lot of tickets to be had. One way to find tickets is to get on Ticketmaster a few days before the show. They always release tickets. This will be my last resort. I am hoping that we can get tickets resolved.

I have our routes mapped out and our two days of travel time from here to Hartford are going to be rough. I am not looking all that forward to driving that far and only hope that my wife and Eli are going to be okay and comfortable during the trip. I am going to be fine, just because I have my tunes. I have a 160 gig iPod and am loading it with a bunch of new stuff, especially those remasters that I got from Phishauds.com. I am really into the late 90's lately, so I have a bunch of stuff to check out while I am on the road. I am also hoping that Mr. Miner at PhishThoughts.com puts out an on the road song list for the Summer Tour. Once we get to Hartford, the driving is not bad at all. The only trip that we are unsure of is the drive from Columbia to Canandaigua, NY. We are not sure if we are going to that show yet and will probably decide while we are at the shows. If the band is playing as well as I plan them to, then I will try to entice my wife to go. But, she is probably going to want to go anyway. We will just see.

Now that the weather is getting warm, it reminds me of those hot, sultry days that I have spent going to concerts in amphitheatres all over the country. I wish that Phish had some shows inside, like Knoxville last year. It is so nasty when the temperature is in the 90's and the sun is beaming down on you. I am not sure about you, but I just don't like being that hot. You drink to try to cool yourself down and then end up having to go to the bathroom during the show. Miserable. Many of you probably love the heat and being outdoors. I can understand that, but for me, I like indoor shows better. The acoustics are better and it feels more intimate. But, I can hope that things are relatively cool in mid-June in the Northeast. It has been a while since I have traveled that far.

I hope that all of you are getting your plans ready and not waiting til the last minute to make your hotel reservations. I know how glad I am to have everything done, except for finding a few tickets.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I just can't wait to get back on the road again

Lots of things are happening in my house right now. My wife, who was due May 29, thinks that the baby is coming any day now. She has been having hot flashes, contractions, and her body is telling her that the baby will not make it until the end of the month.

Here's the thing: if the baby is born earlier, then it will make moving even harder. We are closing on our house next week, but won't take possession until the 30th. So, we have some time to pack our things. It is really hectic because the girls are finishing up school and we have Lexi's graduation, Lizzie's moving up from a girl scout to a brownie, two birthday parties, the house to paint and exterminate, moving, and getting ready for baby Eli. It is a daunting list, I won't lie. I hope that we can get through it without a lot of dissent or anger, but it is hard to be that controlled by all of these things and not get upset.

What is most pressing is that I have yet to complete an Eli Birthing play list. I am going to try to get it done today, but I don't know how many songs to include, so I have to rely on my wife because she does not want to hear certain songs, like the Tweezer>California Love>Tweezer from 07.15.98. She wants less high energy jams, but can handle certain jams, especially if she knows that I like them.

Also, we have to get ready for our trip to the East Coast. We are leaving a couple of days before Hartford, because it is a 14 hour trip with an infant on board. We have to pack once we get our things unpacked at the new house. I have made a partial list and have started buying baby things that are road trip sized. I have a bunch. I bought 4 emergency ponchos in case we encounter rain like Deer Creek last year. Well, I hope that I don't encounter rain anywhere close to Deer Creek. That was insane! We have to get a big cooler for our essentials because we plan to make food on the road, rather than going out to eat every meal. I hope that the vendors have some better food this year, as last year was a big "okay."

But, we will be out of town from the 15th until either the 28th or the 30th. It depends on if I can convince my wife to go to Canandaigua. We both want to go, but it might be too much to be gone for that long with our son. Actually, I wonder if the Hartford trip is not too much for him. But, as I have made my decision, I will stick with it and trust that things will work out well. Everyone said it would be easier to get tickets this year, but that hasn't been my experience for SPAC or for MPP N1. I don't have tickets yet and don't want to pay scalpers $100 for a pavilion seat. But, with Hartford before SPAC and a whole week before Merriweather, I should be able to find tickets. I hope that i can find them. It is unfortunate that many of the shows aren't full because scalpers bought up the tickets and the supply is higher than the demand. In my case, that is not true, but I am just not willing to pay the piper (haha, sorry).

Well, thanks for reading. I will be discussing our logistics as we continue to paln things and I will definitely post pictures of Eli from his stay in the hospital and his first few days at home. I am getting ready for Summer, hope you are too!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day + Countdown to Tour

I am wishing all of you mothers out there a very happy Mother's Day. I hope that you had a great day spending time with your family, children, parents. I made breakfast in bed for my wife and then made the kids breakfast, too. We had a really chill day, not doing much of anything. My best friend, Anthony, came over and I gave him his belated birthday present. It was the red Phish shirt with a huge yellowjacket on the back in an explosion of flowers, grass, weeds. The Phish icon is orange and blue. I think that he really liked it.

Today, my wife took our oldest daughter, Lizzie, to buy a new bike. It is a 20" Mongoose in a dirty rose color. Anthony and I put the training wheels on it. Even with the training wheels, the bike looks sweet. I am going to have to teach her how to ride without training wheels and she has a fear of getting hurt. It will not be easy and will require a lot of patience. I hope that I can find it within me to be able to teach her. I still remember my dad teaching me how to ride and I know that if I can teach Lizzie it will be an important memory for her.

For dinner, I went to my brother and sister-in-law's house. We met my parents over there. I was asked to bring a salad. It had baby greens, baby cucumbers, etc. and Maytag blue cheese. That is the funk. If you have never had it but like blue cheese, then you need to rush out and get some. Maytag is the Phish of cheeses. I have had Cabrales from Spain, but it is too rich and not as palatable. I know a little about food, as I am a trained chef and went to the Culinary Institute of America. I do not cook much at all anymore; suffering from burnout. The restaurant business is one of the toughest industries and it took a lot out of me. I even developed carpal tunnel in both hands. But cooking was years ago. Anyway, we had a great dinner and it was awesome being able to celebrate with three of the most important women in my life. We had red velvet cake for dessert. I didn't eat it. I just don't get down with a red cake. It just looks terrible and I am not a fan of cream cheese or cream cheese icing either. Now that the kids are all tucked in, it is really nice spending time with my wife, even though we are both focused on our computers. We have always been comfortable doing anything together, even in complete silence. I am lucky we have a relationship like that. There is nothing worse than uncomfortable silence.

Okay, so I am feeling a lot like I did before Hampton last year. When I found out that I had actually gotten Hampton tickets, it did not really sink it at first. I was very excited and somewhat anxious about the shows. I was still into DMB and not really sure whether I would enjoy the shows. After all, I had seen Phish 25 times in 1992 and 1993, but had not really listened to them much since then, but I had seen Trey a number of times. In order to prepare for the shows, I downloaded a bunch of Phish shows and started listening. I liked almost all that I heard. There are some tunes that just didn't do it for me and they still don't. But, it was so hard trying to familiarize myself with their songs in time to be able to recognize most of the songs. Sure, I knew hundreds of them, but Phish is so hard to predict. That is one of the greatest things about the band. The Grateful Dead and DMB had both become very predictable and did not really take a lot of risks. This is especially true of the Dead.

This year, I don't feel nearly as anxious about the shows. I am very excited, but it really hasn't sunk in that we are going to 10 shows in a row with our newborn son. He is not due until May 29 and we are also moving into our new house the first week of June. That is nuts. Then, we are supposed to drive to Hartford and start the festivities.

I hope that we are doing an okay thing taking Eli with us to the shows. I posted about my idea on Phantasy Tour and people blasted me so bad that the post got taken down. I am an educated person, having both a BA in Economics and a law degree. I am a fairly accomplished person and do not think that I made the decision lightly or selfishly. It was not an easy thing to discuss with my wife because we both want our baby to be safe, but we also don't want to miss tour. I think that Eliz was very determined that we could see the band and that Eli would be just fine. Maybe you think this is a bad idea and that nothing good comes out of it. I understand that opinion. Maybe you think that I am being selfish and that there is no place for a newborn at a Phish show. I understand that too. I also know that once the child is about 6 months or a year old, it is much harder to take a child than when he is a newborn.

However you feel, that is your right. I am writing this blog for the purpose of talking about our experiences of life on the road with Eli, both good and bad. The days that loom before Hartford (and maybe even the first night of the tour, Chicago, if we are lucky) are so full of energy and the unknown feeling that comes with having your first child. At the same time, I must manage my feelings about seeing Phish. I am getting so psyched. Unlike Hampton, I sort of know what to expect and I am totally pumped to see Phish burn up the stage like they did in Hampton, all summer, all fall.

I will devote my next post to talking about my excitement and about the details of our trip up East. I really just wanted to wish all of the wonderful women in the world Happy Mother's Day and to thank them for all that they contribute to my world.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

American Idol and Phish 3D reviews

Well, I hate to admit this. I am an American Idol junkie. I had never seen the show at all before this season and if it was not for the insane amount of insults and critiques at the beginning (along with some amazing responses), I probably wouldn't have gotten so addicted to the show. When I first turned it on, I could not really deal with how much Randy interrupts someone and says "Wait, wait, no, no, no, Yo." "Yo." I am a big fan of Ellen and think that she fits in pretty well. She gives very insightful critiques and is very positive about the entire process. Now, to the final two. Well, as for Kara, she and Simon seems awfully close this year. There is a lot of touching looking, but I have nothing to compare it to. It seems like he is into her a lot. Kara has her moments where she seems right on and moments when she acts like she just woke up and she is a freshman in college. Her open advances toward Casey are sickening. Grow up and don't make it any more of a popularity contest than it already is.

It is clear that most people respect Simon's comments to the nth degree. On the one hand, he is very insightful, which gives constructive criticism, and he is also very straight-forward and up front about his feelings. On the other hand, people love to hate him and send up loud boos to express their disdain for his opinions. I think that Simon tells it like it is. Most of the time, he is right on track. I am not sure how he would rate some music that is already being released, such as new bands like Lady Antebellum or The Killers. He may love music, but he spends most of the time dogging out whoever is in front of him.

That is it about Idol. I am hooked on the show. I am 45 and was actually texting my brother on our iPhones about who was going to go home and who was staying. That is a far cry from our usual texts about family or killer Phish songs. I mean, that is sinking low, texting about Idol. I am ashamed. Oh well, flog me if you will.

Now, to the real review of Phish 3D. I took my wife, Eliz, my kids, Lizzie and Lexi. We went to the 650 showing, rather than the 1000pm showing, which would keep the girls up past midnight. They even took a 3 hour nap in the afternoon, just to prepare for the evening. We went to dinner before and were catching a movie. Let's go out to dinner and see a Phish movie! There were no other people in the theater as "AC/DC Bag" broke out as the first song of 3D. During "AC/DC Bag," about 6 people stumbled into the theater. They seemed to be big fans, too.

Overall, 3D was not really that much 3D. I took my glasses off a couple times and didn't notice any difference than when the glasses were on. I would think that the glowsticks would come flying off the screen. The balloons were something of a spectacle. They looked like they were flying in front of the camera. That was really cool. The filming of 3D seemed more like an afterthought than what I expected. I expected to be blown away, something bigger than "The Clifford Ball." Clifford Ball was an intimate, incredible look into the band. It displayed Phish at their finest. I expected to see Festival 8 in all of its glory. I do not really understand their song selection. They played "Stealing Time" and "Undermind," which are not really great songs, imho. I did think that things got going during "Tweezer > Maze" and "Mike's Song." The band did not cut the songs short and let the band show its colors in jamming out "Tweezer." The "Maze" did not disappoint either. The thing is that one could not really see Chris Kuroda's work with the lights and the producer only briefly showed the bubble or burple. When they focused on the bubble, it was floating out into the crowd and one could tell that it was one wicked spectacle.

The "Mike's" was great, deep jamming and exploratory guitar playing. Cactus was kicking it on the bass, but again, it was not really in 3D. It was a great version, and maybe it was that we were with our kids and the theater was empty, but things just seemed sort of reserved and it felt very produced and not real, like being at a show. I wished that we had gotten to see what proceeded the "Mike's," but the band then switched to its acoustic segment of 3D. The band played many songs acoustic, but nothing topped "The Curtain" acoustic. It was great to see the band unplugged because I have not had a chance to see them play acoustic at all in 2009. It was certainly a treat. It did not even seem crowded at Indio for the acoustic show, as there appeared to be lots of open space up front. Again, I really didn't understand why I was wearing 3D glasses at all. Especially during the acoustic set, there was not much difference between wearing the glasses and not. Neither of my daughters seemed all that interested in the acoustic set except for maybe "Wilson." I could tell that they were starting to fade and both of them slept through most of the rest of the show, except for Lexi. She woke up for "Suzy Greenberg."

The band, after getting through several acoustic numbers, switched to the Halloween part of the show where the band cloaks itself in a musicial costume. Last year, the band covered the Rolling Stones' "Exile On Main Street." For the movie, the band chose well-known covers to show. I would hope that one day, Phish releases all three nights of Festival 8 in 3D and in 2D. That would be great. It would be amazing to have that much Phish 3.0. The band looked great during the 10 minute "Loving Cup." One could tell that Trey was having a great time with Sharon Jones and the horns section. As the band made its final 3D debut with "Suzy Greenberg," it really blew the doors off of this version. It was obvious that all members of the band were having a blast--a sure sign of a good show. Closing out the movie was "Tweezer Reprise." It was a long intro and had a great energy.

All in all, I would have to say that watching Phish 3D in an empty theater had a big effect of the way I viewed the movie, but the movie still left me wanting more. I am sure that my kids have no place at a Phish show for a number of years. They can't hang that long, aside from the seediness of the environment. They just can't stay up that late. I am so glad that I got to share this time with them by showing my favorite band in 3D. For anyone who has not seen it, "Phish 3D" is worth seeing. It does not measure up to some of the other Phish video that I have seen, but I still would have liked to see more of Festival 8 and maybe a different song selection.

Sorry my posting took so long to materialize...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Phish Companion

Today, I got my copy of "The Phish Companion." It is a very extensive book and is perfect for my searches for new shows. I have maybe 500 or 600, but there is always room for more. The book is laid out a lot like "Deadbase," which is a Grateful Dead compendium. The Phish book has lots more in it that looks very reader friendly. It is huge!

I have to make a playlist for the labor and birth of our son. Eliz does not want "Limb by Limb" or any songs that jam too hard. That is almost impossible to do. I mean, I can add "Waste" and "Strange Design" and maybe "Joy." But, I mean, come on, don't you think that a wicked jam could speed things up and make one feel joyous and open, like when you listen to it or when you are at a show. I have a lot of good ideas, but if you have some, let me know. I am open to suggestions. I think I am going to make it about 50 songs or so, only Phish. I mean, I could go outside the band and add a bunch of mellow stuff, but if it gets too much, we can always turn it off. We are using a mid-wife, so I am hoping that the birth goes very smoothly. Eli is kicking Eliz like crazy lately and he is moving around a lot. Last night, she was reading a magazine and you could see Eli kicking the magazine off of her stomach. That is awesome. Every time I try to take a video, nothing happens. She is big and it must be so uncomfortable. I cannot wait until he is born--it is so exciting.

One final thing, I ordered a "Lizards" shirt and a "Maze" hat off of a dude on Ebay. They look awesome. He has a ton of hats, including "Slave" and "Fluffhead." I am not sure if he has other shirts but he is giving away a free poster with every purchase. I have three Phish hats and love them all. I am psyched to get the new one. It looks awesome and it is a flex-fit, which is great. If you are interested and can't find the site, let me know. I think it is pompeiiprints. He is easy to deal with. Hope you are doing great. As always, thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


This is my brother, John. Today, I am writing about running because I want to give props to my brother, John, and my sister-in-law, Trish. They ran and completed the Kentucky Derby mini-marathon this morning. They are very active and truly enjoy working out together. Trish teaches aerobics classes a few times a week and they have a nice gym in their house. After the mini, John called me to tell me that he could not have gotten through without his iPod. At about the 6 mile mark, "Down With Disease" gave him an extra boost of energy. He kind of hit the wall at about the 10 mile mark, but then "Bouncing Around The Room" came on and it woke him up and gave him another jolt of energy. The last fifteen minutes of the race were filled with "Split Open And Melt," and he said that it melted him. I am really proud of both of them for running the race today. Running with music is so crucial. I never understood how people run without it. "Gotta Jibboo" is another awesome to run to. The beats and jams just fit running. Try it sometime. My friend Anthony told me about running to "Jibboo" and I tried it. It's great.

I have never been a consistent runner. Really, I have not been that consistent when it comes to working out or exercising. When I get the idea that I am going to start working out, I will get new shoes, some new clothes and prime my iPod with some of my favorite shows. I start out strong and work out every day. I like running and walking. I don't care much for weights or other kinds of aerobic exercises. I have to have music to run to. Before I started law school back in 2004, I had been running regularly for over a year. I was up to about 35-45 miles a week. I had a Precor treadmill in my living room and would get some ice water in a Nalgene bottle and my iPod and get to it. I usually watched TV, such as replays of Florida football games, Big Ten games, or other shows. Anything to keep me from thinking about the fact that I was running. Sometimes, I would get a big rush from it, but usually running did not really do much for me. I know that I had better energy during the day, but it always felt like a chore to run.

When I started law school, I became completely overwhelmed. One would think that rescheduling my life around the grueling work that is required would mean that I should keep up my running. At first, I tried hard. I would run 2 or 3 times a week, but I felt guilty because I was not studying. The rigors of law school were just too much for my running and cycling. I quit running within two months of school and have probably run about 25 miles total since 2004. I want to start again, but it just doesn't seem to work out. Maybe when I move, I can start running again.

Music is so essential to running. One of the best times I can remember running was when I was Chef/General Manager at a restaurant in town. At the end of our lunch shift, I would often take a lunch break and go running. One time, I began listening to the Dead at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 07-01-85. The SBD is totally crispy and the second set before drums is "Scarlet>Fire, Playin>Uncle John's" It is awesome. I started running and got so into the music that I completely forgot that I was even running. I ended up running over 13 miles. Music takes me to another place and when I run, it is no different. I become one with the song and just really feel the emotion in the song, whether it is Phish, the Dead, or even hip-hop.

Today, I can imagine that running would give me real stress release. I could feel free and forget about the issues of the day/week/month. I just can't get started for some reason. It never seems like I can do it. We even belong to one of the best gyms in the city and yet I do not exercise. Encouragement from others doesn't seem to help. One day, I know that I will get back to it.