After the abysmal reaction from fans, media, locals, Chicagoans and most people with functioning hearing, prog-rockers Umphrey’s McGee were encouraged by Chicago organizers to write another song about any town they choose, then to move there. The offending song can be heard beloooooooooow.
“We asked Umphrey’s McGee to write a song to promote the summer in Chicago and it was less than well received. In fact, it was the worst reaction to anything produced in Chicago since Bartman,” said Jennifer Starks of the Chicago Office of Tourism. “But since we do know the band is talented, we do encourage them to continue writing, focus on another city and move there.”
Added Starks, “We’ll even help them pack!”
While the roots of Umphrey’s are in Chicago, the reaction has proved to be so viral and so negative, even the ardent fans have turned their heads in shame. “I’ve seen 85 Umphrey’s shows and this song pretty much negates every single show I’ve seen,” was the blunt assessment given by longtime fan Jack Mirowski. He added “Fuck Chicago” and stormed off.
It is not known yet where Umphrey’s will move but indications point to Oooooooooomaha, Nebraska, Tooooooooooopeka, Kansas and anywhere in the state of OooooooooHIoooooooo.
An unexpected outcome of Record Store Day 2012, the children who were featured in the background vocals of the song ‘Contact’ on Phish’s debut album Juntahave filed a class action lawsuit against Phish for royalties. Fresh off the release of the album on vinyl and costing between $50-80 a piece, the kids are looking for their percent of the sales, commensurate with their portion on Contact.
“We were recruited by Phish to sing ‘the tires are the things on the car that make contact with the road’ and we did so many takes and got nothing. Not even free tickets to a future show, no ice cream, none of those balloons they had blowing up off that tank,” complained former child-singer Melody Blaine, now 29. “We got gypped so we are looking for our cut of the sales, and when you are charging $50 fucking bucks for an album, you know damn well they have a few extra bucks to cover our share.” “Seriously, FIFTY FUCKING DOLLARS! How many new shirts does Page need?” According to the children’s lawyer, Harvey Granderson, the total amount sought works out to $2,680,000, or $134,000 for each of the 20 children who sang backup vocals. “Phish made a big error in not getting these kids to sign in crayon on the dotted line when they were 5 or 6 years old. And now they will pay.” The children, now grown up and some with kids of their own, sang outside the Phish offices in Burlington the chorus to ‘Contact’, but to no avail. Calls placed to Phish’s management were not returned. Worse still, a number of the singers went back to their car and were bummed when they found out it had been towed.
With Phish playing close to their home base in the Northeast and Midwest for the first leg of summer tour, the second leg proves to be more daunting for fans who attempt to see every show. Starting in California, the tour quickly moves to the midwest, south, back to the midwest and finally ending in Denver on Labor Day. With gas at $4 a gallon, the logistics are nightmarish for even the most fervent fans. However, Phish has a little something up their sleeve for their next tour, slated for Spring 2013.
“We’ve seen Phish fans traveling around to see us since they rented a bus to see us in Boston that one time back in the day. But how loyal are our fans? What lengths can we push them to?,” started Trey Anastasio, salivating as the idea was finally mentioned, “we will randomly play shows all around the country. We’ll start at Great Woods then two days later be playing in Alpine Valley, followed by a trip to Orlando, then a day later play Amarillo, Texas. From there, we’ll shoot up to Minneapolis, out to Seattle, down to El Paso and finally up to Bangor, Maine. That oughta be a good random run for those fans.” Anastasio was later heard cackling like a madman in the hallway, pleased with himself, no doubt due in part to his Just for Men line of ‘Big Red’ hair coloring.
“Its not like we can’t afford it right now. $60 tickets add up, but when you are selling things on Dry Goods like like a hoodie for $65, the money is clearly there. We will fly from show to show, waving to the fans as they travel from town to town. Think of it as “The Hunger Games” meets “Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”, but the fans wont be killing each other, just their cars and wallets in the process of following us.”
After a few shows of driving all over the country for Phish
A stop over at rarely played spots, such as Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome and Vince Genna Stadium in Bend, Oregon will certainly allow fans frequent flyer miles to add up but the cost for a full tour, including hotel, food and drinks will push past the $10,000 mark for sure. “We envision three or four trustifarians to do the whole thing, but if they have a trust fund, they are disqualified. Only fans with normal means of income will be in the running to survive Spring Tour 2013!” said Trey with a cackle.
Phish will likely continue to play smaller rooms so as to return to that intimate feel we all missed from the early 90s. No more than 1000 tickets will be sold to most shows. Expect some last minute gigs to be announced, literally, following the supposed ‘tour closer’ with later gigs rumored to be held in Saranac Lake, NY, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, NC and will be capped off with a storage shed jam on the island of Guam.
Reticent drummer Allen Aucoin, the normally quiet drummer for The Disco Biscuits and Dr. Fameus has announced that he will join the famed Three Tenors, uniting José Carreras with Plácido Domingo once again. With few Disco Biscuits dates on the horizon, Allen felt that it was time to let his pipes take center stage.
Allen said in a spoken statement (upon his insistence): “There comes a time in every man’s life when he must showcase his true abilities, allow himself to put forth his best effort and show what he is truly capable of. Although I am a drummer at heart, the mechanics are at times, too trivial and repetitive. If you have heard Bombs or House Dog Party Favor, you can agree that the songs and beat get a little stale, more so for the drummer who has to play those songs over and over. My true talent lies not in my hands but in my larynx. I am a gifted singer, having performed with the Vienna Boys Choir from an early age, then traveling America with the cast of Newsies! before settling down and playing drums to the point of exhaustion.” “I will however, still remain a member of The Disco Biscuits and perform solo as Dr. Fameus from time to time. I get a thrill out of showing off my B-talent while keeping the A-talent to myself.
Thus, I embark on a journey that will take me around the globe to dozens of countries as my tenor voice is augmented by the likes of my colleagues and friends, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras. I know that I am not Luciano Pavarotti, but I will certainly do my best to fill the void of what has been missing for the past five years. It is an utmost honor to perform with these gentlemen.”
Aucoin’s vocal skills have long been dormant but daily exercises should keep him fresh for the tour. Despite a chance in pace – a break here and there during a set, rather than a 90 minute set with nary a break, Allen is looking forward to the potential ‘side project’ he has found himself part of. Biscuits fans need not worry though, there is an expectation that Allen will take to vocals at Camp Bisco XI and perform ‘O Sole Mio’ inside an inverted Strobelight & Martinis.
With attendance dwindling in recent years, moe. has made the bold move to include in their initial artist announcement that they will feature a full three hours of Phish via DVD. “Live in Utica is the natural selection since it is so close to where we started and where I call home,” said guitarist Al Schneir, “We have some great live acts and we are psyched to have Phish performing at moe.down 13, even if it’s just a DVD.”
Fans will be treated to the famed ‘Guyutica’ show, as well as Umphrey’s McGee and local musicians Timbre Coup and Aqueous. There are also rumors that every moe. side project possible will be there, including Al & the Transamericans, Floodwood, Ha Ha the Moose and yolK, making for a thin lineup, but the ‘presence’ of Phish is expected to fill the gaps. Manager John Topper declined comment on adding current acts, as past moe.downs have done for over a decade.
Saranac will also be returning to moe.down, selling their fine beer. This year they plan to use Dixie cups to serve their Adirondack Amber and try not to break out laughing when they charge $5 per beer.