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I like this. I don’t like that. We’re all so quick to judge and criticize. A friend of mine said, “You’re not a Phish fan unless you’re critical.” He has a point, but eff it! It was an amazing night. I’ve never seen a band be so vulnerable. Truly incredible to play an UNPROVEN raft of songs to, what, the most critical fanbase out there. BALLS on these guys. Yes, of course, it would have been sick-twisted-nasty to hear them rage a cover, but, you know: "Never trust a prankster."
I’d gone to PHI8H, so I saw Exile on Main Street. I’d gone to 10/31/10, so I fell in love with Waiting for Columbus. Was I let down when twitter told me I was walking into Wingsuit? Was 100% WTF. Did I let that go and keep an open mind? We are talking about Phish here after all, right? My goodness, they must have been so nervous.
Lyrics-wise, it’s something you’ve really gotta be prepared to listen to, and on a night like 10/31 when I’d high Halloween hopes for my brain to disintegrate, I wasn’t prepared. The melody, however, is fantastic. Dreamy, dramatic, almost ominous. That “and it feels good” bit (really gotta sing that twice, fellas?) was super corny hearing it live for the first time, but I think I understand why they’re doing it. It’s just a bit too much. Once they get past that, though, the song takes off and turns into a burner. Cleverly, I LOVE how they let Trey’s guitar complete lines 3 and 4 of the “steal away/paint the sky” (3:32) couplet. And then as Page fades out with “Put your wing. suit. on.” (3:57), that business right there is simply smart Phish magic. The Gordo drill at the end is nuts. Cool to finally see him use it.
Best new song. INCREDIBLE. I was raging so hard hearing it for the first time. Full band insanity. Notice that silent moment (0:25) in the beginning. Such a great tension/release. It’s like it announces – in silence – that this song is about to destroy the world. Huge, dope lyrics. Again with the fade away of “Vlad the Impaler” into the big OOOHHHHH. These guys are brilliant. “Inside you’re fuego/We keep it rolling.” I mean, there isn’t a better couplet like that anywhere out there right now. And then to follow it up with “I asked Diego if it was stolen,” man, that cracks me up. Ballsy lyric right there. Wonder what the answer is. Great song. Rollin’... Rollin’... These guys.
Lifty, lighty Phish. A fun time. Always interesting when they try to be meaningful, but thankfully, this one isn’t a ballad. Trey can lose us to the bathroom line on “meaningful” ballads, but this time the music is more dance-oriented. Huge thanks to Page and Fishman at the top of this song. Really dig the “And you step to the line” refrain. Nice song. “A hero’s what I’m not.” Could become a solid jam vehicle. Has an uplifting, pop-song feel, but wouldn’t mind if the jam went dark. We’ll see... A nice piece of topical discourse here, too. I’m certain EPSN will be hearing about this one. We’ll see...
Jim and I were sitting up off of Mike’s side, so we could see activity behind the stage. Dudes and drums and gear. Was great to see them set up a small, intimate vibe of instruments. Gordo on upright, Trey acoustic, Fish standing up to drum, Page on whatever that keyboard’s called. Fun shake of an intro. Slightly corny yet still kinda funny wordplay lyrics at the top, but as they get past the first verses of easily make-funable lines, the Fishman “Sing Monica” work is bright and fun. I love his voice. So underrated. He decays quickly, but it has so much texture to it. Melodically a great song. No idea how they’ll perform this in the future. The setup and vibe would/might break any built-up rage momentum. Great echoic, round ending. Smiles all around.
WAITING ALL NIGHT
Again, the music is so good. Hearing it for the first time live, I was like, uuuuhhhhh. But after a few listens, it’s not the worst song in the world. Tryna ride us through a meaningful love-type song. It’s somewhat a challenge for them, but they can and do pull it off. I dunno. I like it better when they just bend sanity and get weird, loose and absurd and astronomical. Hahahaha. Love Page’s keys on this song.
I meannnnnnnnnn, THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!! FISHMAN RAPPING!!! YYYYYYYYYYYYYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! “Cuddly, but muscular.” This song is the shit. And all that centrifuge work they do to the lyrics. This song is amazing. AMAZING. The dancers were fun, and 92-year-old Abe Vigoda. HUGE!!! Super funky. Effin brilliant.
CK5 set the scene, and Mike sang falsetto. Interesting song. Hard to hear what Mike was actually saying. Made me miss the days of “Talk.”
DEVOTION TO A DREAM
For me, the set started losing some of its power. Lyrics were what they were. The jam was nothing new, nothing funky. Do Something Different!!!! What’s next?
GREAT, GREAT SONG. THANK GOODNESS. MIIIIIKEEEEEE!!! Strong, driving lyrics. AND THE JAM out of it is what “Devotion to a Dream” is SERIOUSLY lacking. 555 is power. Will go for 20 minutes in the futures. Can’t wait.
I’m sorry, I just can’t deal. Melody/music/vibe is sweet/great. Lyrics are Hahahahaha--NO. Trey’s getting too influenced by Game of Thrones or something. I just can’t. Best, best part of the whole song is the lyric: “The music trapped inside his head / resounds and fills the space instead” and then they jam. Great work right there.
AMIDST THE PEALS OF LAUGHTER
Nice Page and Trey moment. Has a "You'll Know My Name" feel at the top. But when they started singing the nursery rhyme, Jim and I looked at each other like, Really? I understand it's use in the song, but... Really? And then, “Your brain is in pain and your fate has been sealed. The liquid inside of your eyes has congealed.” YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME. Sorry, Tom. Hahaha. I do love how they end it with the cut-off. That’s the kinda quirk I love when they do it, but the song, well, it’s a good thing it’s short. Needs some work. I dunno. Everyone’s a critic.
YOU NEVER KNOW
Funny song. “Maybe that bird needed a cage after all.” I love Phish.
And, well, SET THREE THAT NIGHT was worth the price of admission alone. GREATNESS.
Remind me to tell you about how I completely freaked out when I realized there was a woman doing Sign Language at the corner of the stage--all night. Dancing the lyrics with her hands for someone who couldn't hear a note, let alone a lyric. Whhhhaaaatttt? Phish rules.
So, during the launch of my ~18-minute set in front of ~800 people, this happened...
I haven't experienced a weekend as special as Denver, Colorado's Lakeside Stride Bluegrass Festival in a long time.
On Friday, October 18 (Lakeside Stride Eve), I read to a super rowdy crowd at the West End Tap House. K-Law & The Bandito Burrito Bros. headlined, & during setbreak I ran my mouth off with: "05.05.07 - Jonathan Freilich, Skerik, Stanton Moore, Todd Sickafoose & Mike Dillon - Chickie Wah Wah, NOLA," "06.25.00 - PHiSH - Alltel Pavilion, NC," & "The Lakeside Stride Song." Catch the insanity here.
Then, on October 19, I'd the ridiculous opportunity to not only watch the Highland Ramblers, Old Town Pickers & Dead Winter Carpenters TEAR UP the stage--I got to TAKE the stage. Short a few hot minutes in the beginning, here is my glowstick-flinging performance. After I also flung copies of wild life rifle fire into the crowd & finally shut the hell up, Hot Buttered Rum ft. Allie Kral destroyed Tennyson Street.
I'm sayin' DEE-STROY'd.
Unimaginable amounts of THANKS to Ariel Rosemberg, the Chateau de Rage, & the entire Lakeside Stride audience & family!
The Lakeside Stride Bluegrass Festival, 5K Run and Chili Cook-off in Denver on Saturday, October 19th: Hot Buttered Rum ft. Allie Kral, Dead Winter Carpenters, Old Town Pickers, Highland Ramblers, and Paul Siegell. Add your madness to the facebook invite here. Shake it!
Two new poems! Many thanks to Cleaver Magazine, poetry editor Lauren Rile Smith, and the rest of the Cleaver staff: "WE’VE COME FOR YOUR YUENGLING YAMMERING" & "WE’VE COME FOR YOUR BLOOD TEST RESULTS" -- Thwack!
Two new poems in Issue #17 of Press 1. Alive! Many thanks to editor Elizabeth Thorpe, Monica & Matt Bookbinder for the hang at the show, and Bisco's Marc Brownstein for the bwaaawwwn ba-dawn ba-dawn ba-daw (blurb for jambandbootleg) bommmm.
Sat, July 13: 17 poets read on the porch of Ryerss Museum & Library:
Frank Sherlock + g emil reutter + Diane Guarnieri + Ryan Eckes + Jack Veasey + Paul Siegell + Kimmika Williams Witherspoon + Christine O’Leary Rockey + Tamara Oakman + Dave Worrell + Lisa Sewell + Noah Cutler + Marty Esworthy + Alice Wootson + Steve Delia + Suzán Jiván + Mel Brake + (Hosts Bruce Kramer + Rodger Lowenthal) facebo
Many thanks to Lorrie Ross, Lawrence (Larry) Barkley, Ted Blake and the rest of the "Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade" staff!
From Monday, May 13 through Sunday, June 16, I, along with tens of thousands of others worldwide, devoured the knowledge of Coursera's five-week long CRAFTING AN EFFECTIVE WRITER: TOOLS OF THE TRADE course that was taught online out of Mt. San Jacinto College, California (#MOOC).
Dove deep into parts of speech
and sentence structure, plus wrote assignments for peer review and took quizzes. Final grade: 100.2%!
Over on E-Verse Radio, Ernest Hilbert writes: “I stopped by the Penn Book Center this past Saturday to check out Paul Siegell and Laura Spagnoli read poems old and new. Kristy Pucci took this video of the local poet Paul Siegell reading. He's a highly amusing entertainer and an intelligent, sensitive poet as well. Check it out.” Many thx, E-man!
Along with full musical accompaniment, introducing the spoken-word album, Elegies & Laments. Sixteen poems from the book, 13 read by Ernest, the other three read by guests. And one of them is your old pal Paul! WHAT? PRE- ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!
excerpt from *SET I* “In music the passions enjoy themselves.”
stoked split-sec/onds of sensitive, extrAbstract
bandana-delicate aficionados patchwork’d in flux>
how the plan is to play jazz:
the happiness of having tickets—have you examined much:
the forensics of a parking lot?
eYeLeVeL w/ the spontaneous relationships & bizarre
bazaars of Jamband Tailgate Showcase Multitudes—
Come along, my friend my friends:
Shall we off to the estate?
after flirting in a minor key, the great “YEAH!” of rockNroll
cries out from inside—
of a peak’s release, a chills-guaranteeing song, of a peak’s
more ridiculous liftoff:
thru suburbs> thru cities> thru college towns> in cargo-
pocketed/patchwork gear past picturesque
geometrics of agriculture— “If you have it, a truck driver brought it” an 18-wheeler
for MILES! tough/tired/hyper miles on roads of perspective
like summer-long light & airy dresses:
10s of 1000s of InfoAgers_show themselves: revived, elated,
exhausted, partaking, & partaking while studying
old-but-still-relevant live performances—
of bootlegs teaching Music, teaching scene: boot as
souvenir/collection; as in, “I was at this show—
That cheering is me!”
ah, yer damn right they show themselves; we show
ourselves b/c the music helps us feel like
thru suburbs> thru cities> thru college towns>
is it the Crowd’s Energy, or the Energy’s Crowd?
focus the feisty restless ambitious—the self~medicating
over-stimulated university major-changers jousting
with “I think I know what I wanna do; I just don’t know
how to get there—”
how more roads dance to live music than make it:
w/ badtrips buzzkills partyfouls & burns—a revelry, of a road,
of puffpuff dulcet “circles” & their sensitive, whose
hit is it?-rules of sharing, pass & etiquette:
~you cannot cut fire w/ a pair of scissors,
wisely agreed the chorus of the wizards~
but you can, but of course, get h i g h—
attentive of the insights/the illnesses, of our era’s blood-
tested/body-pierced Search Engines full-on filing
into parking lots of jester-fest life:
altered. nappy. siiick—
how we give our bodies to the band:
and you know we just keep kickin’ it, for it’s hard to feel
when you & yer fellow friends a-the Unpredictable Jam
have out there’d into the Out There, ON
TOUR-uproar’d for the setlist score—for a favorite thing
TO: Jamband RE: What do you tour for? [SEND]
INBOX (1): Jamband—Out of Office AutoReply
of festival—high harmonies:
in pursuit to boost & bond, of experience shared:
All Hail! the dearest partners, the Band-Together Band— All Hail! the Serotonin Seraphim:
all just tryna head deeper (whatever there IS to dEEper
into), & no matter how overgrown, not surprised
for while our human eyes seem open, don’t your senses feel
you know I’m not the only i to crave them seldom scenes—
of Pan—of setting Pan free:
heck yeah! concert sugar—like a kid in a kaleidoscope: can
you spin w/i? molecular music: at om w/ the atom—
piperPiperPIPER reviving the elusive luminosities we
lack w/i the modern American weather
w/i the modern American-ache Itch Blues:
of Ill-U.S.-Ions!—of l’dor v’dor!
(((Whooo’s got my extraaa?)))
ev’ry dancer has a band; ev’ry band, dancer—
nice, love the Bacchus traffic: of arrival:
done set apart our nation’s roads by rockin’ on out to the
many venues in which we catch our most beloved,
but o, brothers & sisters, the party starts—
the Party starts in the Parking Lot!
in light, schwill’d, of crisis after crisis—for song, for scene:
of celebrating the age in which we live:
THANKS FOR READING!
Wanna see the rest? PLEASE VISIT HERE: jambandbootleg.
Readers include Lizzy Acker, David Atkinson, Albert Balasch, Joseph Bates, Caren Beilin, David Blair, Amaranth Borsuk, J. Bradley, Emily Brandt, Marc Capdevila, Heather Christle, Ryan Collins, Lucy Corin, Paul Dickinson, T.M. De Vos, Adam Fell, Elisa Gabbert, Amelia Gray, J.C. Hallman, Matt Hart, Geoff Herbach, Nathan Hoks, Steven Karl, Becca Klaver, Miles Klee, Gregory Lawless, D.W. Lichtenberg, Brad Liening, Michael Martone, Matt Mauch, Boona Daroom, Dustin Luke Nelson, David Moscovich, Nathan Oates, Joseph Michael Owens, John Reed, Bradley Paul, Kathleen Rooney, Christopher Salerno, Bianca Stone, Paul Siegell, AE Stueve, Mathias Svalina, Maureen Thorson, Leah Umansky, Ellen Welcker, and Rachel Zucker.
Many thanks to Al Filreis, Julia Block, & the remarkable ModPo staff.
Along with 36,000+ others worldwide, began Mon, Sept 10, & went for 10 wks until Sun, Nov 18, took University of Pennsylvania's MODERN & CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY course (aka #ModPo), taught by Al Filreis.
Unpacked poems, wrote essays, took quizzes. Learned, ya heard. Word.
Paper Darts is a phenomenal journal. The time and care they put
into each piece is pretty much unparalleled. Stunning accompanying designs. It’s very much appreciated, and I’m thrilled to contribute: ++++ TWO POEMS, plusA FUN LITTLE Q&Ato boot ++++
+ Apiary Magazine: 06.02.07 – Roger Waters – Wachovia Center, PA
+ E·ratio Poetry Journal: MIRRORED MOSAIC
+ Paper Darts: Wanna Be Startin' Something, Kaleido' for Coca-Cola
+ Sundog Lit: VETERANS AFFAIRS, LATE NIGHT LIT
+ Surrender To The Flow: Poem to Page McConnell’s “Squirming Coil” Piano Solo
Paul Siegell is the author
of three books of poetry: wild life rifle fire(Otoliths Books, 2010), jambandbootleg (A-Head Publishing, 2009) and Poemergency Room (Otoliths Books, 2008). He is a staff editor at Painted Bride Quarterly, and has
contributed to The American Poetry Review, Coconut, Dusie, NOÖ, Rattle, and many other fine journals. Kindly find more of Paul's
work (poems, poemics, videos) at his ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL.