Trey Anastasio‘s new album, Seis de Mayo, has really got me thinking. See, i’m a die hard Phish fan, but since the hiatus, I’ve lost some of the zeal (evidenced by the staling of firsttube.com). I’m not alone, most major Phish sites on the web have been neglected or, in the case of Andy Gadiel, who ran one of the most visited phish sites on the internet, folded completely.
Even the phish.net has slowed down. once the center of all things Phish, phans now turn to the much more timely phantasytour for their setlist information and current news. Why are so many phans losing the passion?
See, i think the problem is that most fans, during the hiatus, found new exciting music that didn’t mean wading through a velvet sea of 30,000 fans and a ticket scramble just to see them play. That’s attractive. and as much as we all love Phish, they aren’t the only band in the world to do what they do.
Trey, however, has gotten pretty far out there. His work with the Trey Anastasio Band in 1999 was far from Phishy – the band was sloppy and loose, very different from the tight and synced sound of phish. but in a very very good way. Combine that with the radical lineup tweak that was tour 2001 – a very different animal. then slap onto that Seis de Mayo, Trey’s new, short, mostly orchestral album. This guy takes chances.
Seis de Mayo includes some bits phish fans will recognize – a reworked version of All Things Reconsidered, The Inlaw Josie Wales, the first few minutes of Pebbles and Marbles, and the masterpiece My Friend My Friend/Guyute. I’m telling you – Trey is where it’s at these days.
Look at the difference between “Acting the Devil,” a particularly non-phish number, “Drifting,” a typically Phishy song, “Burlap Sack and Pumps,” with unique jamband-esque tones, and Mr. Completely – a totally rocked out number. The TAB is definitely intriguing to me.
So, upon hearing Seis de Mayo, I’d say this: Phish is fantastic, and still my favorite band – but it’s the Trey band that’s really got me thinking.
added 5/6 22:18: Just wanted to add that Fish with JMP, Page with Vida Blue, and Mike with his pursuits have all been doing great things too. I personally think that Trey is most my style right now, but all four of them are probably really expanding in great ways with their various subprojects. I can truly envision Phish being around for many many years.