Friday, February 27, 2009

Still Here

So Im almost done reading a book entitled "Still Here" by Ram dass and I think it is great. It's his latest book that he's writin and the only one since he had his stroke. The book is geared more toward older people but it still has some good lessons in it. I mean we're all gunna be old one day anyway and are gunna have to face the same things. He mostly talks about the ultimate fear that everyone has in life and that is of course dying. He talks about how here in the west dying is a sort of thing to be scared of and shunned, to be "out of site, out of mind" in a way. Were as in more eastern culture death is something that is embraced and cherrished. I highly recommend reading this book or any book he has writin for that matter. I think the next one Im going to read is either "Be Here Now" or "The Psychedelic Experience". But anyway, reading this book has really brought the reality home to me, reality being that I'm going to die. We all are going to die, it's going to happen. No matter how much we try and not think about it or push it off, it's going to happen. I don't believe that death is something to be feared, something that we have to run away from. I think being mindful of our impending death day to day can make us feel more alive and in the moment and enjoy everyday we are givin. It really puts your ego drama into perspective.

The body dies, the ego structure dies, but we don't. It's the ego that is the one that is holding on and is afriad of dying. As Ram Dass says if you only think of yourself as this body and as your ego self then you are gunna be afraid to die. But that is not all that you are, those are only relatively real. We exist much deeper then what we percev as "real". We exist in those higher planes of conciousness, we exist as the one. Life is a round trip, we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. I want to think of death and not be depressed about it. I want to think of death as something that should be celebrated, as they do in other parts of the world. Not that it's not sad that someone or you just died, but in reality they're not gone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Phish 12.29.94: Providence Civic Center, RI

So in my blog I will be talking alot about music and I figured what better place to start then my first livephish cd I ever bought. More specifically livephish 20 12.29.94: Providence Civic Center, RI. The setlist that night was like a long beautiful composition and is nothing but epic. Here is the setlist

Set 1: Runaway Jim> Foam, If I Could, Split Open and Melt, The Horse> Silent in the Morning, Uncle Pen, I Didn't Know, Possum

Set 2: David Bowie, Halley's Comet, The Lizards, Cracklin' Rose, Good Times Bad Times, My Long Journey Home

Encore: Sleeping Monkey

So the night starts off with a kick ass runaway jim into foam and I think the transition from these two songs is really genius. Foam is a really complex song, the band has said that it's probably the hardest song they play, and to go from a pretty standard rock song into something as complicated as foam is really tough to do. But I guess not that tough when your on Anyway the first set continues with a standard If I Could to calm things down a bit and then goes into a monster Split Open and Melt. Pretty short for a Split Open and Melt at only ab out 11 mins long. Then they bring things down again with a nice Horse into Silent in the Morning. Uncle Pen is always a fun song. If I could only hear one bluegrass song for the rest of my life I think it would be uncle pen. And then comes the ever favorite I Didn't Know when fish comes out with his electrolux vacuum and plays a nice little solo for everbody. Then the first set finished with a nice little possum.

Now for the second set, where the night really takes off into all kinds of places. The definate highlight of the second set and of the entire show is the David Bowie that clocks in at 35 mins long. This bowie is one of my favorites, it doesn't start off as usual with high hat from fish, but instead it starts off with a nice little loop jam from trey and mike and page join in on the structure that trey put out. It is definatly mind bending. After about 5 mins of loop jam they finally break out the main structure of the song and then after that are back to taking the song into a whole new direction. Im not going to describe all 35 mins of the jam but it reminds me of a peice by mahler called "Der Abscheid" from his 9th symphony "Das Leid Von Der Erde" If you've ever listened to that you would know what IM talking about. It takes you up and down and all around. And thats what this jam reminds me off. My favorite part of the song is when they totally break the song apart and are just whistling and trey is talking about lassie coming home and then is doing some banter. It will melt your face away, listen to this song in the complete dark straight threw and you'll know what im talking about. But I will continue with the rest of the set. After that amazing David Bowie they go into halley's comet and then into a nice Lizards with that beautiful guitar solo at the end of it. Next fish comes out again and they break out a cover of Neil Diamond's "Cracklin' Rose". Then after that another cover! This time of Good Times , Bad Times which they've covered alot and trey always does a nice job of. Then to end the night off after such a great show they wip out and acoustic version of My Long Journey Home with trey on acoustic guitar, mike on banjo, page on upright base, and fish on mandolin. Then finally with a soulfull and fun sleeping monkey.

So on a scale of 1 to 10 I would have to rate this one a 10 only because it was my first and because of the awsome setlist and the david bowie. Oh yeah and because it was phish in 94 and phish in 94 rocks.

Monday, February 23, 2009

People who are over productive annoy me

And I don't know why. Maybe it's because Im jealous because Im not that way? Or maybe it's because I see people who are so caught up in whats going to happen next that they lose themselves in abunch of nothing. We live in such a high pressure society and I think thats why I have trouble finding where I fit in and in constant conflict with it. Our society, especially in the west, is all about being productive. The message is Succeed! Achieve! Produce! Acheive! Acheive! Which there is nothing wrong with being successfull and accomplishing your dreams but when thats what your life is all about thats where the problem is. We're constantly looking for more and bigger and better things. No one is ever satisfied with what they have and if they just slowed down and lived in the present moment they would see a totally diffrent world for themselves. People always think that if they just get to this point in their lives or get to that thing that they've always wanted that then their lives will feel happy and fullfilled, and most people who do achieve whatever that is don't feel that way. They get to that point finally and they realize that it didn't fix their problems like they thought it would. They base their entire worth as a human being on what they've accomplished or how much they've produced or whatever it is, and all it causes is suffering. Yeah the ego is getting fed and is on this great trip and riding high when you do come through. But alot of these things can easily be taken away and when it does at some point or another your ego will take a huge dive into the world of depression. You'll feel worthless and depressed because you feel like you are nothing, when it's not true. You've just spent all this time feeding the ego and depriving the soul.

I don't know about you but I don't want to base my happyness or my sense of worth in the world to things out side of the body. On things that society says that you should base it on. It's to rocky of ground because it can fall out from under you at any moment. Your life will fluxuate with the way things are going around you, up and down, up and down, up and down. Look at whats going on today with the economy. Nobody's job is safe, nobody's. I don't want to live in a world like that. I want to find peace and thats why Im starting my spiritual practice again. To find true inner peace. To know that what I do or what ive done doesn't make me who I am, It's just part of my ego dress. Im working on living in every moment. Enjoying the birth and the death of each moment as it goes by and finding the perfection in it all, even the bad ones. I trully believe that the bad times we have are just as beautiful and perfect as the great times, because the bad times bring us closer to the one, or the seat of conciousness, or god, or whatever you want to call it. It's helps us not to forget who we really are. And I will finish with a quote from Ramana Maharshi that I believe fits with this.

"Nearly all mankind is more or less unhappy
because nearly all do not know the true self
Real happiness abides in self-knowledge alone.
to know one's self
is to be blissful always"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why I love Phish

Ok so here's my first blog. Whatever that means anyway. I don't much care for writing. But here is why I love the phish so much. Where do I begin? Ive been listening to phish for a little over 3 years now. And I know thats not much as compared to some vetrans who have been following the band around for ages, but hey I don't care, I love the band. I remember getting my first cd of theirs at best buy in september of 05. It was LivePhish 20: 12.29.94 - providence civic center, and for some reason, while wandering around the cd aisle like I normally do, that cd just caught my eye. And I was like hey why not get it. Ive heard of them once before I think and if I don't like them then oh well. Little did I know that it would change everything for me. And the funny thing is that I can remember shortly before that saying that I wish I could find a band that was even better then Dave Matthews Band, because DMB was my favorite band at the time, but I can remember wishing to find some new music and a band that I would love even more then dmb. But anyway I listened to that cd and at first I had no idea what the hell was going on. I had no idea what kind of band they were or what category to place them in. They would be playing music that was so diffrent to what Ive heard before one minute then be playing a bluegrass tune the next and I even heard a vacuum cleaner in there and I was like....what?lol They had long 35 minutes songs and then short little songs and I was all over the So I listened to that cd for about a month just trying to absorb it and it wasn't until I got 12.31.95 a month later, out of curiosity, that I finally "Got It" and my life just blossomed into this whole other dimension.

I wish I could describe what listening to phish is like if you haven't listened to them before. It's every feeling you could imagine in one show. It's a total break from reality, it's goofy fun, it's spiritual, it's psychedelic, it's dark and heavy. I thought I listened to heavy music when I was into metallica and pantera. I was wrong. Yeah metallica is loud and heavy metal. But phish has some real heavy ass music. And I don't mean heavy in the metal sense. I mean heavy in like the classical sense, using chords and progressions and all that. With some of the darkest jams you've ever heard in your life. And they just come up with this stuff on the spot. It's amazing. People have alot of misconceptions about the band. they think it's just all happy hippy pot-head music and it's not. I don't do drugs and I can't get enough of listening to them. I love listening to all the diffrent shows they've done and hearing how each one is so diffrent. You see I was brought up in a house with two music teachers who listened to jazz and classical and a bunch of other stuff, they weren't rock lovers but I was when I got older and started getting my own cds. So with all that backround growing up, when I found phish it was like a dream come true. I had my rock, I had my improv, i had my classical, my funk, my jazz, bluegrass, you name it. Phish has it.

You see I have been moved by this band. Trey (the guitar player) doesn't play a guitar. He plays an emotion controller machine. Trey says hey Im gunna take you all on a trip and whoever wants to come, follow me. And of course what would trey be without the other guys in the band too, mike (bass) page (paino) and fish (drums). As trey stated in a interview once, the music is already out there all he does is channel it and execute it for all to hear.