Saturday, February 01, 2014

Two Minutes Hate: Phish

So, my spouse has become obsessed with a show called Comedy Bang Bang, which, I admit, has its moments, but not really enough of those moments to warrant the 24/7 attention he pays it: we watch and rewatch episodes (or did, until they were mercifully but temporarily pulled from Netflix streaming), listen to podcasts in the car, and explore all of the side projects and spin-offs the show is related to, including Mr. Show and Upright Citizens Brigade.  Again, I'm not hating on them, but I'm not necessarily interested in living in an all-Comedy-Bang-Bang-and-related-programs world.  (Though Paul F. Tompkin's Andrew Lloyd Weber is piss-fucking-funny.)

Last weekend, as we were caught in a snow- and puke-fueled nine-hour nightmare of a drive, we listened to the entirety of one of these, a CBB spin-off podcast called Analyze Phish, in which writer and comedian Harris Wittels (Sarah Silverman [steve's secret girlfriend!  --ed.] Program, Parks and Recreation) tries to convince CBB host Scott Aukerman that Phish is the greatest band in the world.

This blog usually a pretty hate-free zone: we love what we love, and if you don't that's okay. But the whole premise of this show was that is Wittels could only discover what bothers Aukerman about Phish, what music he does like that could possibly relate to Phish, he could make Aukerman love the band. I long ago gave up trying to convert people to my music; I'm content to find like-minded souls and let everyone else be. But Wittels is on a mission, and he good-humoredly soldiers on through hours and hours of this stuff.

SPOILER: He fails spectacularly.

For several episodes (or maybe one really long one?), he plays samples of their music, and the only Phish Aukerman really likes is when they're cover other people's songs. (Ouch!) In another episode, other Phish-heads (is that their moniker?) call in and harangue Aukerman for his lack of vision (because if he'd only listen to this jam from the Cleveland Civic Center on July 13, 1997, and skip to 13 minutes and 40 seconds into the song, he'd feel it, man!): you can tell even Wittels hates these guys a little bit, and he agrees with them! (There are, of course, no girls.) Eventually, Wittels and Aukerman get spectacularly wasted and go to a show.  It's fun, because, you know, it's a show, but the music is not what makes it fun.

I have always been agnostic about jam bands: nine hours of Analyze Phish made me hate them.

And that is the end of my Two-Minute Hate.  Have a nice weekend!


steve simels said...

But Mary -- music is supposed to bring us together!!!

salhepatica said...

I used to hate bands. I discovered over time that what I hated was that it was a combination of not loving the music and being exposed to it unnecessarily. The whole "corporate rock" meme that we had in the late 70s and early 80s, leading practitioners Journey and Boston, plus the Lee Abrams regime of album rock radio stations that played this stuff incessantly, along with folks like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd -- in those days I was just spewing hate at popular rock bands. Because radio was ubiquitous and people were just becoming used to putting cassette decks in their cars, I heard stuff I didn't like as much as stuff I did -- and I was an alt-rock public station DJ as well as a playing musician in those days.

Nowadays, thanks to the ubiquitous earbud, people are able to keep their bad taste in music to themselves for the most part. As bad as it gets anymore is going to the hair salon or the waiting room at the car repair shop, where you might be exposed to the horrors of modern country radio for half an hour or an hour. But if you plan ahead, you can take your own earbuds. As a result, I no longer hate Led Zeppelin, and those that I used to actively hate I hear so infrequently now that it's almost grin-inducing when I do.

Anonymous said...

I knew those boys loong before they broke, and, in fact, wrote the 1st profile of them in the long-gone BTV alt press. A TEXTBOOK example of something that is not my thing, but I've never hated 'em. - Bill Buckner

NYMary said...

Give yourself nine hours in a car with them, watching cars flip and having kids puke on you, and I guarantee you'll hate them too.

buzzbabyjesus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buzzbabyjesus said...

I'm not sure I've ever heard Phish. There might be hit I couldn't avoid, but that's it.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I listened to five painful minutes of "Analyze Phish". Ouch.