1. Album Essay: Phish Sinks ‘Big Boat’ In The Safe Waters of Dad Rock

    September 22, 2016 by RobertPalmerPlore

    (Editors Note: This review was originally published in a Phish Facebook group after a few sips of whiskey on a weeknight. The review has been altered to better fit the classy publication that is The Phunion)

    The new Phish album Big Boat is an embarrassment. Many Phish fans will disagree with this because to criticize Phish is to criticize their entire existence. While the Phish community is capable of so many amazing things, being critical of Jon, Page, Mike, and Sue’s husband is something most fans are simply incapable of doing. So with that said, Big Boat is a massive fucking embarrassment. Before we sink into what’s wrong with it, here is what works.


    Big Boat has some tolerable moments. Tide Turns is shockingly catchy and the way the horns interlock with the guitar licks of Anastasio reminds us of that amazing Halloween night on the sacred polo fields of Indio. Blaze On should have been the first single based off both fan popularity and its FM radio sleekness but for some reason that didn’t seem to happen. Perhaps the band fears it would end up as their Touch of Grey, because three wrong turns can help you indeed get by. I Always Wanted It This Way is a breath of fresh air that finds Phish exploring new sounds and channeling the electro-pop masterpiece Give Up by The Postal Service 10+ years after it sunk into our collective consciousness. While it is exciting to hear the band go new places musically, even that song struggles at times because Trey will never have the pure song writing talent of Ben Gibbard.

    The band also hits it out of the park with Miss You. Be it about Anastasio’s oldest daughter going off to college or some deeper meaning, it’s one of the better lyrical compositions the band has blessed us with over 30+ years. Yet the problem with this song and Big Boat in general is that it is an album that features 13 first set songs. Miss You will kill second sets from now until the final Fishman offspring gets their degree from a fancy four year institution that Bernie failed to make free.

    Speaking of Fishman, Friends is arguably one of the worst opening tracks in the history of studio records. While there is some exciting instrumental play, Fishman is no Neil Diamond and simply isn’t strong enough to carry humiliating lyrics with his weak vocal performance. The unfortunate first single Breath and Burning sounds like a Blues Traveler song that wasn’t good enough to make the cut on a compact disc when H.O.R.D.E even with RAGE WITH PAGE using his keys to mimic the harmonica sounds of that fat guy who almost died masturbating long after he broke a trampoline.


    Phish has been charting the dad rock waters for years now. If you look up Dad Rock on Wikipedia, it now simply redirects you to a YouTube video for the song Home. How can we rage with a guy who is singing about being Home? This song screams I am excited to get new linens from Bed Bath & Beyond as soon as I get off tour. Yes the song has a few decent sonic moments, but not even the key strokes around the 3:45 minute mark or outro jam can save this train wreck from killing all on board.

    Not to be outdone by Home, McConnell also manages to rhyme ‘Interest’ with ‘Pinterest’ on Things People Do. Why producer Bob Ezrin tried to make this shit sound like Jack White’s Third Man Records recording booth is lost on us. This song should have been a 7 inch B-side actually recorded at Third Man for a Record Store Day release with Ass Handed being the A side as it fails to fit with the overall Adult Contemporary flow of Big Boat. This song also makes us wonder why Mike Gordon was incapable of writing his own bluegrass number instead of using the lyrics of the guy from Vida Blue.

    Waking Up Dead is a metaphor for the vocal performance. Gordon singing this one makes Fishman sound like Eddie Vedder. Meanwhile, No Men In No Man’s Land has overstayed its welcome and the horns make it feel like an undersold TAB show. The song is so lazy it needs a stool to support itself at this point.

    If you can make it past the first twelve songs on the album one would think the reward would be the closing 13 minute number Petrichor. Having not learned their lesson from Time Turns Elastic, this song stinks of an out of touch ‘holy fuck I am old here is my classical piece and me trying to pretend I am not a 50 something sober rocker wearing Banana Republic millionaire bubble’ that Phish now finds themselves entrapped in. Singing ‘rain washed it all away’ is not beautiful, it’s simplistic, but what do you expect from a guy who visits the McDonald’s near Haight Ashbury for Iced Fucking Tea? It’s as if Trey heard Umphrey’s McGee and wanted a participation trophy, and with how those guys are playing in the year 2016 can you fucking blame him? But hey, the flute sounds pretty sweet in headphones; way to go Ezrin.


    Many fans will disagree and be hurt by this review of Big Boat. They will scream “stay home, more dance room for me!,” or “Go find a new band like Twiddle.” That’s fine, we can handle the blowback and in fact we encourage it. Much like “Joy” and “Fuego” before it, the shit on the lyrically water logged “Big Boat” will quickly sink to the bottom of the ocean faster than the coffee that leaks out of your cup. Thousands will fluff it, and while yes, there are a few nice moments, we have yet another album filled with piss breaks and opportunities to chat with your friends on par with other modern day Phish classics such as Halfway To The Moon, Yarmouth Road, and Kill Devil Falls.

  2. Twiddle Tackles The Left Coast with October Tour Dates

    August 15, 2016 by TreyAntipasta

    We are thrilled to announce Twiddle’s West Coast Fall Tour with Kitchen Dwellers.

    As far as tours go, this is the touriest. A lot of venues, room for a lot of notes, in places that even Twiddle had to look up on a map.


    Technically St. Louis isn’t ‘west’, it’s more Midwest, but we will let that slide this time. Two nights for the wooks in Denver, then I guess Durango, where the band embarks on SIX nights in a row of shows, meaning at the show in Missoula on October 9th may resurrect the rarely played ‘Ryan takes a nap.’ Then its Spokompton where if they know what’s best for them, they’ll sleep anywhere else followed by Seattle, Portland and Eugene, aka, the ‘new Portland’ since everyone from the East Coast has already ruined Portland.

    Of course, Twiddle is playing Los Angeles. Home to many great bands such as Ozomatli, Hole, Maroon 5, L7 and Dokken, instead of playing somewhere conveinent, they’re playing in downtown L.A. At least it’s not K-town for Umphrey’s, but then again, Mihali can’t play as many notes as Jake. The tour wraps up in Hangtown, completely ignoring San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, Bakersfield, San Rafael, Eureka and the other hotbed music scenes found across the Golden State.

    More info at Lemonparty.com Twiddle.com

  3. In Defense Of Phish Wives

    June 27, 2016 by RobertPalmerPlore

    Here are a few things about my wife: She works her ass off in both commercial and private real estate. You won’t catch her in a church choir but she has allowed several gay men/drag queens to fondle her breasts at gay pride parades. She purchased the Farmhouse compact disc at a Warehouse Music in Menlo Park, California after a meal at Chili’s back when it was a new release. She saw the band Phish more in the 1.0 era than The Baby’s Mouth.

    My wife has allowed me to dress our older daughter in numerous Phish attire. The Muppets/Phish band member size 4T shirt is currently a big hit at our preschool. While our 5 week old has yet to fit into any of her hand me down band attire, my wife was fully supportive of me singing her Billy Breathes, Farmhouse, and even Slave to The Traffic Light as we looked out a UCLA NICU window last month, at a spot where Phish performed once in Los Angeles. While we have yet to catch a Bathtub Gin during bath time on a webcast, it will happen one day. My four year old splashed through the recent Space Oddity cover, and much like a Trey flub, I just smiled and shook it off.


    Of the 35 (soon to be 37) Phish shows I have seen, my Phish Wife has been dragged along to 7 of those events. While not as low as the dentist who was made famous thanks to his blogging wife, not a bad chunk of shows for a life long left coast fan. Before we had kids, I went to Festival 8 and she went to Vegas for a girls weekend. Where I may never see a Halloween show again, it is not because my Phish Wife says I can’t go, as much as the fact that it is more important for me to watch my daughters collect candy as they walk through our neighborhood. I learned that lesson when, right in the middle of walking into the MGM Grand Arena on 10/31/14, I got a video from my daughter asking why I wasn’t there to watch her get this candy. Sometimes as a father and a husband, you need to be around. It’s a shocker, but there are more important things than Phish. Hell, that’s probably the reason the Vegas 10/28-10/30 rumor is so rampant. Perhaps Mike, Page, and Fish want to see their children fill orange plastic pumpkin buckets with candy bars?

    Yet, there are those magical times my wife does come with me. I think back to 2003 when she refused to flinch and didn’t want to be anywhere else but Inglewood for Valentine’s Day. Mike rocked a Fedora, the band played The Cover Of The Rolling Stone for the first and last time, and the Bathtub Gin on that particular evening was so fucking incredible it has finally found its way onto a Live Bait compilation. Then there was the time she said yes, we can drive our one year old up I5 for 6+ hours so I could catch the 2013 Bill Graham Civic run. On the night she agreed to go to the show with me for a rare night out without the kid, we each saw Weigh, Alumni Blues>Jimmy Page>Alumni Blues, and Lengthwise for the first time. While this was about as useful to her as the Spock’s Brain we saw at Shoreline back in 2000, she still smiled seeing how much fun I was having in the moment. If she was to log into her Phish.net stats, she would embarrass a lot of the #RealFans out there with 75+ shows under their belt with what she has seen in 7 shows.

    Phish will never be my wife’s favorite band. In fact, she would probably give her left toe to never hear Tweezer again. But she remembers that moment she saw The Inlaw Josie Wales at Shoreline and her smile was as bright as Kuroda lights. She remembers missing The Shins to hang with me at Outside Lands because she got to hear a David Bowie cover and they shot off Steam. She also remembers holding a crying 5 week old for hours and hours alone so I could see an average show in Long Beach. Sure she said no to Chula Vista 2014 since we had already RSVP’d for a wedding, but she supported my adventures to Santa Barbara, Inglewood, and Las Vegas and sucked it up and covered a very expensive UBER ride home from Inglewood in 2015. She embraces Phish because she embraces me and that is what is important.

    So where it is easy to bash Jenny Dunn Pray for her blog post, Jenny and all Phish wives deserves a lot of respect. She is helping to raise three kids. I know my home will be chaos on the nights of July 22nd and 23rd of this year as I take off to catch the final two West Coast shows of 2016. I assume her home of Vogue Phish Wife’s home has been the same when the husband leaves the pack in search of Phish. Jenny has found life lessons in her various Phish shows, even if she can’t grasp the glory of a man in a mumu playing a vacuum cleaner solo. It is not as if we are fans of Korn who perhaps comes around once every 1-3 years. We travel, we stream, we hyper-focus and obsess over this band. So where The Phunion poked a lot of fun at the latest essay from #PhishWives as only The Phunion can, we also understand that it is important to love and embrace them for the support they give to us 30 something white guys who just know that deep down inside this is the year we finally get to witness Ha Ha Ha live.

  4. The Phunion Announces Endorsement in the Democratic Primary

    February 1, 2016 by TreyAntipasta

    Back in 2012, The Phunion endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States, for, among other reasons, Phish plays better under Democratic Presidents. Given the current direction of America, our need to keep focused on a future that provides for all, and one that regulates those industries in need of regulation, The Phunion is proud to endorse Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) for President of the United States of America.

    Bernie at the first Phish show at Nectar's, 12/1/84

    Bernie at the first Phish show at Nectar’s, 12/1/84

    Senator Sanders brings a flagon of experience with him to the presidency with a resume that shows the ability to bring people together and truly be a fan of the people.

      • Sanders was Mayor of Burlington when Phish started at UVM.
      • He hosted an open mic night at Nectar’s for a brief period in the 1980’s.
      • He will fly in the middle seat on airplanes and will ride bitch if needed
      • He is always good to drive after a show.
      • He has his own Ben and Jerry’s flavor.


    • He marched with Dr. King.
    • He waited in traffic for Coventry, refusing the special access afforded the lone Congressman from the state. He remained in the Northeast Kingdom for days after the final notes were played, towing cars out of the mud with a tractor and surveying the damage with Howard Dean, who Sanders introduced to Phish in the late 80s but never really got IT and only went to a couple shows a year.
    • He has talked brahs down from bad trips since Amy’s Farm.
    • Shakedown Street will not face regulation and continue to be looked upon as the fertile ground for small businesses that Senator Sanders has seen since he was on Dead tour in the mid-1970s.
    • Riviera Maya will be open to more fans and made more affordable by breaking up CID.
    • An Inaugural Ball performance of Phish would be guaranteed.

    Sander’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, has shown no desire to #embracetheface and demonstrates no inclination to end the cancer that is Ticketmaster/StubHub, nor can she name a single song debuted in the summer of 2015. She is out of touch with the common fan and her ascension to The White House would signal a dismal turn for America and certainly rule out the possibility that Phish performs at the Inaugural Ball in January 2017. A President Sanders would make sure that Phish not only performed two sets, but that the show was open to supporters and #realfans alike.

    Consider the success of Phish under Barack Obama’s second term: The Tahoe Tweezer. Fall 2013. Wingsuit Halloween. JEMP Truck Set. Summer 2014. Vegas 2014. Miami 2014. Magnaball. The Drive-in Jam. The Hourglass Set. Riviera Maya. Wrigley Field. The gains of the past few years have great potential to continue under a Sanders Presidency. We wholeheartedly endorse the Senator from Vermont.

    – The Phunion Editorial Board (Trey Antipasta, Robert Palmer Plore, Page’s Mistress)sticker,375x360.u1

  5. Watch An Emotional and Heartfelt Jam Cruise Performance From L4LM Founder Kunj Shah

    January 13, 2016 by RobertPalmerPlore

    With what appears to be a Lemmy (formerly known as jack and coke) in his hand, Live For Live Music founder Kunj Shah gave an emotional performance of his own theme song during the most recent incarnation of Jam Cruise.

    Wearing an afro wig in what appears to be an effort to look a little bit taller; the highly successful blogger who has been featured on such websites as Huff Post teamed up with the ivory tickle from Twiddle for the heartfelt performance. While some of the lyrics are slurred together sounding like late 1990’s Pantera, we do get a spelling lesson along with a vocal jam similar to one any librarian would make if you were being too loud in the library.

    While we wait for the pro-shot footage to emerge, enjoy the fan shot footage of the performance down below. While rumors of a late night Bonnaroo performance have been running rampant, as of press time there are no confirmed future performances from the team of Dempsey-Shah.

  6. Top 10 Rejected Phish NYE Gags

    December 27, 2015 by RobertPalmerPlore

    Phish New Years is a tough time for the band. How do they top last year’s New Year’s gag? Simple – they come up with a list and figure out which one sucks the least. Below is the 2015 list of rejected Phish New Years gags. Phish.news_

    10. Theme: “Mike Gordon’s Punch Out” – Mike faces off against each band member and knocks them out, ending the show with Mike singing “Mock Song” into 2016. Mike Gordon Band then plays a 40 minute “Ether” for the remainder of the set.

    9. The band spells out “Blaze On” using only Great White songs.

    8. #realfans are selected to hear Gamehendge performed in the Theater at Madison Square Garden, second set features notable Phish cover band “Phix.”

    7. Theme: Taylor Swift “Welcome to New York” with Page on vocals; Fishman is dressed up like the Statue of Liberty.

    6. Gordo films “Magic Mike 3” wearing just his bass and a scarf.

    5. Phish plays Twiddle’s “Plump” in its entirety.

    4. Theme: “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” with Clif Bars dropped from the ceiling and the audience sprayed with Cold Green Tea.

    3. Phish stuffs Antelope Greg into the cannon from Miami 2014 NYE and shoots him onto Twiddle tour.

    2. Reenactment of Eagles of Death Metal, Live at Bataclan.

    1. Something with Fluffhead.

  7. The Phunion’s Year in Lists

    December 24, 2015 by TreyAntipasta

    End of Year lists are stupid and played out. So here’s our list of the best of 2015 and what to look forward to in 2016!

    Top 25 Ways That Twiddle Will Use the Force in 2016

    The Top 13 crowdsourced interviews from L4LM

    Top 5 supergroups featuring Todd Stoops

    7 ways in which Bonnaroo will disappoint once again

    Four times Page ordered one sandwich for here and one to go

    Top 10 Songs That A Jedi Would Like

    Three times Joel Cummins made us laugh out loud rolling on the floor

    28 times “Tweezer” was ripcorded for “Backwards Down the Number Line”

    6 forgettable versions of “Brent Black”

    Three ways that Kunj Shah is the Ken Jeong of the jamband scene (you won’t believe #2!)

    4 times Barber forgot the lyrics to “House Dog Party Favor”

    Ten times we confused Mihali for Dave Matthews and Dave Matthews for Adam Durwitz

    8 ways to attend Gathering of the Vibes this summer

    Top 5 Tips for Safe Anal Lightsaber Play

    6 ways to de-wookify yourself after NYE with Papadosio

    Eight times that Trey’s guitar sounded like Alderaan exploding

    12 times we wondered if it was still Twist

    5 times we mistook Gordon for Chewbacca

    Top 10 Star Wars References in this list

  8. Fare Thee Well: The Top 12 Songs The Grateful Dead Should Have Let Trey Sing

    December 16, 2015 by RobertPalmerPlore

    Packing two separate NFL stadiums over five nights’s this summer; it is safe to say that Fare Thee Well was a raging success. From John Mayer and Katy Perry seeing their first Grateful Dead shows, to Phish keyboardist Page McConnell rocking a flat brim Mets cap, the celebration of 50 years of the Bay Area’s most successful band not named Metallica featured celebrities and #RealFans dancing to the biggest hits Jerry Garcia is no longer around to make cash off of.

    ©Jay Blakesberg

    ©Jay Blakesberg

    While we would never mock something as sacred and special as a jam band, one of the jokes that came out of these concerts was the Let Trey Sing movement. In honor of this highly popular t-shirt, we here at The Phunion have spent hours ignoring new releases from Deafheaven and Slayer to re-listen to every note performed at Fare Thee Well. We did this to bring you a year end list because that’s what blogs do this time of year. We give to you, the top 12 songs Trey Anastasio should have been allowed to sing at Fare Thee Well.

    12) Eyes of the World 6/28/15
    11) Friends of the Devil 7/4/15
    10) New Potato Caboose 7/3/15
    9) Shakedown Street 7/4/15
    8) Alligator 6/27/15
    7) Terrapin Station 7/5/15
    6) Unbroken Chain 7/5/15
    5) Franklin’s Tower 7/3/15
    4) Days Between 7/5/15
    3) Mountains On The Moon 7/5/15
    2) Bird Song 7/4/15
    1) Box of Rain 7/3/15

  9. Twiddle Releases PLUMP, The Best Twiddle Album of 2015

    December 11, 2015 by admin1

    We here at The Phunion™ have listened to a lot of music, seen a lot of shows, been to all the cool festivals and sniffed the best drugs a trust fund can afford. Occasionally, we find some music we detest (most of it) and let the world know it, but then we find some really great music and insist on fluffing that music ad infinitum.

    What a surprise it would seem when we came across a copy of Twiddle’s ‘PLUMP’, cranked the Bose, took a dab of some Bread Loaf and we were off and running. The boys and my girl and I listened to ‘PLUMP’ all the way through three times before we could put words together. When we were finally able to piece our lives together, the inspired music and lyrics flowed through us – we spoke Twiddle, the language of Mihali, the Great One.


    One thing about the album – so what if it rhymes with ‘Trump’, big deal! We don’t think that’s a drawback. It’s just funny, but nothing about this album is funny. It’s an emotional powerhouse, song after song of pure talent refined like maple syrup drawn from the sap of a mighty Vermont pine.

    “Complacent Race” and “Amydst the Mist” jump out and demonstrating Mihali’s rhyming skills so well you wonder when he’ll put out his first rap album. That’s soon right? One can only hope.

    An early contender for best pe/\k is when Mihali goes up the scale with his vocals, builds it up and hits that top note and you just #melt. “Lost in the Cold” is one of those tracks that just sticks in your head and you cannot get it out no matter what don’t even both trying its there for good. Thankfully, he takes all your pain.

    Realistically, “Five” should be “One”, as in the first track on the album – clearly this is the best track. Todd Stoops certainly adds something to this and man its good! “We are lost when we are found” – if that’s not the most profound lyric from a jamband, then boy man god shit we don’t know what is.

    “Syncopated Healing” is clearly the catchiest song on the album, and it cures any problems your life may have presented you with lately. Mihali shreds while spitting hot fire for 4:36.

    One must admit, the amount of pe/\king on this album is really incredible. All throughout, you can feel the pe/\ks coming and when the pe/\ks hit, you are truly pe/\ked. Without this album, one may never have known how to truly pe/\k in the presence of such talent. Truly, this album is a preparatory excursion into the world of pe/\k.

    Whoa, oh oh OH “Polluted Beauty” is awesome. We saw a really sick version this summer at Bonnaroo. Or maybe it was High Sierra? Or Red Rocks? IDK…. Twiddle has been everywhere and anywhere and they are truly ready to bust out and put Vermont on the musical map!

    Props to the final track, “White Light”, a truly uplifting end to the album. ‘PLUMP’ took off full blast from the ground up on the first notes of “Complacent Race”, and landed here, basking in the light. So fitting.

    It would have been nice to hear “Box” or “Apples” or even “Jamflowman” make this album. We’re new #realfans of Twiddle, so who knows if they’re on the old albums – this is the PLUMP Era. Nothing else before this should be considered for the supreme creation that it is. PLUMP is PERFECT.

  10. Local Philadelphia Star Wars Geek Purchases moe. Halloween Ticket By Mistake

    October 28, 2015 by RobertPalmerPlore

    Thinking he was buying a ticket for an advance Halloween screening of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakening; local Philadelphia man Rick Sajec was in for a very rude disturbance in the force when he discovered he actually bought tickets to see upstate New York jam band moe.


    “I figured it was the city of brotherly love, and well a brother does love his sister so why wouldn’t Star Wars have a sneak peak here in Philly?” Sajec told The Phunion. The man who works as a power plant employee by day went on to share that he is making the most of the screw up.

    “Well, if it is some hippie thing, there are probably a ton of hot women looking to get all slutty in their medal bikinis like Princess Leia. I look a lot like Jabba the Hutt and love Cosplay so anything is possible.”

    When asked about how much he paid for a ticket to the sold out show, Sajec seemed rather upset.

    “Fuck man, I paid like $80 bucks off Stubhub. Totally bummed about that, but according to my buddy at the plant, these hippie kids love noz. I figure I head down early to the Fillmore and sell some balloons from my new R2D2 Nitrous tank. Sure, it may not exactly be legal, but as long as you sell to the Bobba Fett’s and Stormtroopers and avoid the Jedi’s shit should be easier than using Ewoks to trip up AT-AT’s on Endor.”

    moe. is set to perform at the Fillmore in Philadelphia on October 30th and 31st. Tickets are still available for the 30th, because it’s moe. and they rarely sell anything out. As of press time we can’t confirm if moe. guitarist As Schiner will dress as C-3PO, but he sure does have the perfect head for it.