"We the non-violent we like to dance
  and if we get lucky, get into each other's PANTS!"

SURPRISE, A D-SBD1 THIS PAST WEEK!! Straight from his DAT and it 
sounds sweet. Thanks Jim!! (I do have a trade offer immediately following 
this post.  You must read on, *in this one*, if you intend to grovel)

featuring: Mike Gordon, Trey Anastasio, James Harvey, Pistol Pant and 
 Tom(?) Pant.  

CLUB TOAST, 5/21/97, Song-by-song review:
NEVER TOO LATE TO SPEND (Pants)- This starts off sounding raw, full of 
alot of great energy and intent, but I'm not sure how to digest it. 
This is NOT PHISH, folks...from this first song, you could have played me
the entire "tune" and I never would have identified Trey and Mike as 
members.  Until you told me -- it's definately them, but it is 
anything but obvious.  Later on, there are some moments when it's 
classic Trey or classic Mike...but this is classic cacaphony.  It's 
unbelievably great....*IF* you like open-mike caliber punk rock.
  Okay, so there are some guitar parts that far surpass open-mike nights,
but overall it's garage-rock on the same level of some high-school bands 
I've seen during open-mic nights; you know...the Nice Guys In Leather
Jackets type.

HEADACHE - "Got me so down I got me a headache." and I'm beginning to 
get one myself.  Yet, for all my punk-ass anti-punk sentiment, there 
is some strange attraction here for me.  Regardless of who the guitar 
and bass players are.  One simply WILL NOT LIKE NEW YORK JUST BECAUSE 
THEY LIKE TREY AND MIKE.  You can think that "Trey is god" for all I 
care and you still may find yourself HATING this.  On the other hand, 
on my way to see the Hershey Bears game the other night, I played this 
tape for a friend of mine.  He runs a small alternative label and really 
doesn't care all too much for Phish.  I only said that the band he was 
listening to was called "New York."  He thought they kicked ass.  He 
also thinks Bad Brains kick ass.  He compared it to Washington, DC Punk 
(Discord stuff) and I'm inclined to agree, for the opening three songs 
especially; all of which sound vaguely derivative of Fugazi.
Some of the other songs (and highlights) are anything but DC Punk though.

PETER'S DAD (Pistol Pant) - Probably my least favorite song on this tape, 
most likely due to the SCREAMING mess that the vocals are, this one 
is the one that should be called "Headache."  It sounds extremely akin 
to Bad Brains...lyrics *screamed* into the mike, abnoxious pounding 
power-chords.  This is HARDCORE PUNK and not the marketable wanna-be 
Punk Rock that bands like Green Day (and, on a more likable level, Social
Distortion) play.  This is part Megadeth, part Sick of It All, part 
Fugazi and a huge part Bad Brains.  The main riff here sounds *very* 
akin to Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing"
  "I understand you're a friend of Peter's. I'm Peter's dad and I'm 
very pleased to meet you."  (yelled).  Comprende?
  The merit here? At the end of the song, they really do jam.  Not 
like a Phish jam but yet exactly like *how* Phish jams.  By that I mean 
this is raw hardcore punk, but imagine if any of these punk bands jammed 
out, taking what Phish does with their music and applying it to their 
own music.  The spirit is there.  The attitude is similar.  The sound 
is decidedly not.

DIRT (Trey song)- A pleasant, almost Tom Petty rhythm starts up.  "Last 
Dance With Mary Jane," Yes? Yes, yes! That's it!  Same chords I think 
and a *very* similar rhythm.  Then Mike sings...well, a few people sing. 
But none of them are all too, uh, familiar with this brand new song.
Including Trey, who wrote it.  Sloppy and unrehearsed, these vocals 
leave a lot to be desired, but the raw material definately has some 
"great" potential.  
  Ahh, a Trey solo...while the other guitar player does some decent 
background texture (I just don't like his thin distorted, tinny 
tone, but I like what he's playing).  This sounds like the first 
run-through of what, with time, could be a decent tune.  Now if only there
was B-3 organ to phatten it up...:)  Trey's playing in here is pleasant 
though, for sure.  Like I said, this tune could be really really pretty
given some refinement.  This could potentially be grouped 
with the Prince Caspian style of songwriting by Trey - that is, the 
music is very dream-like and seems to ride on some nice, mellow waves.
We're gonna ride some waves now, everybody...c'mon, let's all ride 
some waves!

BIG BIRD (A "Tom Pant"(?)song) - Again, I'm not a fan of these 
vocals...raw and not all on-tune.  But here too we have a song that has
something to it.  I *know* that New York practiced a bit before this gig,
(the gig was on a Wed.  A friend of mine knew of a practice that they had on 
the previous Thursday.) So it sounds like a week of practices, 
interrupted by a stop in Philly to sing the National Anthem for the 
Flyers. (Go Flyers, go!).  With maybe a little over a week of 
practices (?) this line-up obviously isn't nearly as tight as the 
Flyer's Legion of Doom, but every bit as forceful and powerful.
  A huge false stop and then a very pretty Neil Young section proceeds.  
Ooh, I like this part.  But then, brace yourself, the BIG GUITARS come 
in with their POWER CHORDS and their GAIN and their DISTORTION.  


But...wait...could it be....a GlOrIouS solo by Trey! Ahh, sweet 
redemption! Yes! I am saved, after all!  We *are* blessed!  We can 
breathe now!  (Overheard at Big Birch '94: "That Trey sure can play!")
Nice!  A stomp that sounds EXACTLY like the only 30 seconds I've ever 
heard from Tool.  But with a fire-fueled, flame-emitting, scintillent 
machine gun Trey soloing on the top!
ONLY SHALLOW (My Bloody Valentine) - Well, what can I say?  It sounds 
like My Bloody Valentine.  ("One of my favorite bands" proclaims Trey).
The vocals aren't as smooth as My Bloody Valentine, but other than 
that, it's a fairly textbook rendition.  Those of you that like My 
Bloody Valentine will like this, those that don't, won't.  It's as 
simple as that.  Me, I'm not familiar enough with them, but this song 
definately sounds like what I have heard from them and this song 
has also definately grown on me.  Trey especially pulls some very 
pleasing fills off in here, but more-so than that, the guitar texture is 
satisfying.  I've only heard a marginal amount of Lush, but this 
reminds me alarmingly of them, and I've heard them compared to Echo 
and the Bunnymen, so in following that loose chain, if you've heard 
any of these bands, you should have some idea of what this sounds 
like, generally.  
  It should also be stated that while this sounds nothing like 
Pavement really, it has the same appeal that Pavement has imo, and 
therefore I would be willing to say, on the record, that if you like 
Pavement there's a good chance you'll like "Only Shallow".  
Damn, Trey really does have some great moments, once you get used to 
the environment he's in. So far, Mike is pretty much just part of the 
rhythm section.

...a nice transition (>)into...

NOISE OF CARPET (by Stereo Lab) - unfortunately.  I don't really like 
this melody at all.  And so far it's only the same drilling power stomp 
music behind it. 
  Wait! Damn, why do they have to have something to redeem them in every 
song?  There's some really cool background vocalizations here, sort of 
akin to the "ooh's" of Taste.  Still overall this song doesn't do much 
for me.  I wouldn't be surprised if Green Day were to attempt a cover 
ot this, it sounds close enough to their whole thing.

SHE'S NOT THE ONE (James Harvey) - Wow!  The opening to this is 
alarmingly different from everything we've heard so far!  When the 
guitar comes in, you can tell it needs a lot of refinement, but so far 
this has ALOT of potential. Okay, I have to admit something here - if 
this is James Harvey singing, I do not like his voice.  It's not the 
one, I guess...But I like this song.
  This is not Green Day, Fugazi, Bad Brains, My Bloody 
Valentine or Phish.  This is POP.  Good GOOD alternative college rock.  
It's actually a cross between some of what Pavement has done (Shady 
Lane) and perhaps some early REM.  The melody is extremely 
close to the melody for a song I used to like by a local alternative 
band from the late 80's (Blue Yonder...they've since broken up). At 
its heart, this song is a base but catchy pop melody resting comftorably
on a college/indie rock landscape.  
  Just today I listened again to 12/29/96 with the Champagne Supernova 
(Oasis) cover, sung by the UBER-DEMON himself, and I hate to admit it, 
but this really isn't that much different.  

I SAW IT AGAIN (Trey) - Hmm...Trey claims that he wrote this song "a 
couple of days ago" but this could've EASILY come from the "Carini Had 
A Lumpy Head" sessions.  Yes, why not just call this, "I Saw Carini 
again, and Lucy STILL has that same damned Lumpy Face?"  Seriously 
though, this is a fun song.  While, in being consistent with all of these 
songs in that it is highly unpolished, I liked this song the most maybe, 
after my first listen to the New York tape (this is my fourth).  
Well...this and New York Groove(!)...and Stand...Dirt's pretty good too.
  A fun song, I'd someday really like to see what Phish could do with 
this song...then again, I like the way it sounds by the New York 
assemblage of musicians. But if Phish were to do just one song from 
this bunch, I just might have to nominate this one.  Put best, it's a 
good thriller.
  It follows a similar formula to Character Zero in that it starts off 
with just a repeating guitar riff and the first verse, and then BOOM! 
And, like Character Zero, it isn't exactly a masterpiece of 
composition - it's not. Nor is it anything special, other than the 
fact that it's enjoyable.
  It's Trey trying to pretend he's a punk-rocker :) 
  Simple prediction here: If you like "Carini Had a Lumpy Head" 
you'll like this.  If not, you won't.  I bet I'm 90% accurate in this 
MELODY (The La's) - Well this song is called "Melody" but I might even 
go so far as to label my j-card "Beatles' Melody" since, essentially, 
what I'm getting here is a Beatles' Melody laced on top of some Fender 
Telecaster Garage Rock power-chords and a driving beat.  
  Can you guess what I like and what I don't like from this song?  
Hmm...I'm singing along to it, but I've grown out of this Nice Guys In 
Leather Jackets rock.  If any of you have ever heard a band called The
High-Back Chairs, this sounds extremely like them.
  This Melody will be stuck in my head in days to come 
probably...catchy! Fun! Simple! Indie! Not everyone is gonna be a 
Zonticuddy, but this sure beats the hell out of College Rimshot!

STAND (Sly and the Family Stone) - Now this....*THIS* is one of those 
tunes that I don't need to find any redeeming value for!  I've 
always loved this song, and so needless to say, I'm psyched to hear 
Trey sing it, and New York play it!  And I'm willing to bet that New 
York does a hell of a lot better job covering it than Phish ever 
would...just the timbres, tones and alchemy present in New York makes 
for a rockin' rendition of this, that is enjoyable through and through.
  Now watch out everybody, because here comes James Harvey and he's no 
longer behind the drums (somebody is though).  Not James...he's 
STANDing because he's free, damn it, and he's got a trombone with him!
Real nice horn solo.  If it reminds you of some of the trombone at 
Phish shows, that's because it is.  Instantly recognizable as such. :)

  "Stand" gives rise to a nice jam...which turns into a GREAT jam...which 
turns into a rockin' funk jam.  Some guitar scratches and "whaa's."  Mike
is now seriously funking things up - Go Spike go!  And don't stop till you
get there!
  The other guitar player has been soloing so far, but now here comes 
Trey, I think.  Yes it is him because he plays something that I 
distinctly recall him playing in a particular Phish song, but 
I can't...YES I CAN!  It's from Llama!  Definately.  
  Now some licking in the Wipeout/Batman reign, but I think this is the 
other guitarist again.  I wish I knew his name.  Tom or Pistol, maybe? 
Anybody know what instruments these two play?  One on guitar, one on 
keys, right?  But which is which?  Anyone? Going once, going 
twice...and BAM:
  Suddenly we're in a "Batman" theme jam...with "Batman" being chanted a 
few times into the mic. over some Batman jamming...rockin', but not 
rockin' Robin, per-se. :)
 What a rockin' jam this has turned out to be! :)
 This gets steadily quieter until finally it's 
just percussive scratches accross the strings and some cymbal.  This 
then segues decently into...

ISABELLA (Hendrix) - Not bad, not bad! The music here is very 
pleasing, if you like Hendrix and particularly this song :)  Mike does 
some really nice things in here, and well, heck, they all do.  I'm not 
terribly fond of the vocals, but then again, I was never a huge 
proponent for Hendrix's voice either.  Regardless, this song starts to 
do some serious ass kickin'!  For those of you who haven't heard 
"Isabella" it's easily comparable to "Fire."  

(  The past two songs are NOTHING like what that beginning 3 songs of the 
set sounded like, and this is most likely a good thing.  So, if you want 
to take advantage of my tape offer on this, you MUST read and follow 
the instructions in the 
impending offer I post to rmp after this, but in the TEXT include the 
sentence, "It's a good thing!")

2000 (Pants) - A "Pants Favorite" sung by Mike Gordon.  Starts off not 
too much different from "Iron Man" in the guitar dept.  Now that the 
vocals come in too, okay, those too.  It's hard for me to believe that 
Mike is singing this, but upon close examination, he definately is.  
After all the heavy stuff gets put out on the table, there's a pretty 
li'l dropout with a pretty section of music, melody, and lyrics.  The 
vocals here become obviously Mike.
  Some "Walfredo" like refraining in here, very similar, some jamming 
including a nice solo on the new Languedoc, some more messing around 
like this and we have closure.
"HELLO VIOENCE" (Pants??) - I'm not sure about this first encore, I'm 
not positive of the title and know nothing 
about it, except that I don't much care for it.
  I'm sure of that.  Colt 45 Punk. Hot Punk.  Good Punk.  
But the first lyric is "Punched in the head".  That pretty much sums it up.
If you like hardcore punk, well, here's some great hardcore for you. 
   This segues into (or rather the song continues into!?!?!) one of the 
more memorable sections of music on this tape.  On top of Prince Caspianish
chordal waves and bass line,

  "We the nonviolent all we ever have is fun,
   We the nonviolent we like to get together and dance
   And if we get lucky get into each other's PANTS!"

 Pretty funny considering the VIOLENT outburst that occurs immediately 
after such a nice, dreamy section.  The difference between this part, 
and the opening section which I disliked so much, is that rather than 
screaming abnoxious vocals, there's rather inspired soloing and it's 
actually kind of pleasant, as fast and furious as it is, with the lead 
guitar and the absence of vocals, it stays melodic. 
 Captain's Log: 1st section - shitty; 2nd section - great; 3rd section 
- great.

NEW YORK GROOVE (Kiss) - By far the absolute best chunk of music on this 
tape. Mike funks it up, there's some poppy ska-meets-Talking Heads 
vocals...DAMN this is GREAT!!  Comparisons? The Cars, David Bryne, Peter 
Gabriel, Talking Heads, anything from that period.  If you like that 
post-punk/New Wave speak-singing and texturizations, you should enjoy 
this.  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S KISS!!  (Fwiw, I have NEVER heard Kiss's 
version of this, although I am familiar enough with Kiss to know their 
style...and the song itself I suppose is characteristic's the 
interpretation that is so different!) 
...this, *this!*, this is so ass kickingly different from what I know 
of Kiss! So kiss this, eh?
  At one point it seems to fall apart, but then Trey starts playing a 
typical, but typically georgous Chicago-blues solo.  And the band 
goes into a Chicago-Blues shuffle, nice stuff all around, Mike adding 
some funk now, and then some jazzy high-hat and cymbal trap-kit 
musings.  The other guitarist now takes a stab at it, and well...
Okay here's Trey again, and it's beginning to sound alot like a Funky
Bitch jam, except for...Wait! There *IS* A CHAIRMAN!!!!  Page has just 
joined them!  Starts immediately, without even a warm-up, with a 
rockin' boogie-woogie stomping blues review that razzles and dazzles 
and then hands the lead to Trey who continues this FUNKY jam, bitch.
Mike doesn't get underscored either as he adds some of 'da funk. Quick 
blues turnaround and then "Thanks alot everybody..." and you know the 
deal as far as that goes.  
  This last song was easily, *easily*, the highlight of the show for 
me.  (With runners-up being Stand('s jam), Hello Violence, I Saw It 
Again and maybe Dirt.  Isabella wasn't bad either)

Final wrap-up:
  Both guitar players can play.  But Pistol(?)  Tom(?) (Damn I wish I 
knew his name) shines better on the composed sections than he does in the 
soloing. Particularly when he and Trey are soloing at the same time.  
Nothing against him, and all previous Phish-bias aside, Trey really is the 
better guitarist; especially when it comes to lead.  His solos are a 
lot more creative and flowing than the other guitarist's, and so 
likewise the Pant could do well by sticking to more to rhythm when he's 
playing with Trey, but this isn't to say that he's not talented...I'm 
sure, with his band, he's a star baby.  He definately know what he's 
doing, and it's an interesting mix between the two guitarists, with 
their vastly different fingerprints (even when playing in the same style).
  Overall, SOME of the music on this tape sounds like SHIT, but if you 
look closely into the shit, smell the shit, examine the shit, you can 
find some good shit going on :)  Other moments on this tape sound 
GREAT straight from the start.  It's an eclectic mix of songs, and I 
guess if someone where to describe a set of Phish, song-by-song, for 
someone who has never heard them, I suppose the same thing would 
arise: One song would be bluegrass, one song a jazz standard, one song 
an arena rock anthem, followed by "authentic jamaican roots rock 
raggae," but always sounding uniquely like Phish.
  Here it's more like DC hardcore, followed by indie-pop, followed by 
post-punk/New Wave, followed by college rock, a funk tune, a Hendrix 
tune, a punk tune, a Kiss uber-groove, but always sounding like New 
York. You get the idea.  The first three 
songs are easily my least favorite and anybody who hears this tape 
should bare in mind that they should try to restrain any judgement to 
a song-by-song clean-slate point of view.

New York, my friends!

Walk with light,


Subject: Re: In a New York Uber-Groove!
Date:   3 Jun 1997 01:49:15 GMT
From: (PGershon)

Hey there;

Some info on this New York thing, in case anyone cares.

The lineup:

Tom Lawson (aka Tommy Law): guitar, vocals, drums, keyboards
Pistol Stamen: guitar, vocals
Trey Anastasio: guitar, vocals
Mike Gordon: bass, vocals
James Harvey: drums, trombone, keyboard, vocals

The Pants are a Burlington based "hardcore pop" band. I'm a (reformed,
sort-of) big-time jazz snob, so the first couple of times I caught these
guys, I wasn't all that impressed. I shared a pod with their former
drummer, Neil Cleary, at work, so I went mostly to watch him. At one
point, he dropped off their Trey-produced, 3-song demo at my house. It
kind of sat on the shelf with all my other tapes for a while, but once I
listened to it, I started getting hooked. The demo tape includes three
tunes: Overboard, High Water Mark, and All the Wiser. The latter tune is
the heavily distorted sound that Benjy couldn't get into, but the first
two are extremely catchy, well-written songs. I started going to (and
taping) all of their gigs; their CD "Fred Sex" rarely left my disc player
last summer! 

Between New Year's and late March, the Pants took a little hiatus. Neil
and their bassist, Eric Hutchins, left the band to do other stuff, and a
new version was unveiled, featuring Tom and Pistol, plus Tom's brother
Jeff Lawson on bass, Paul Currier on drums, and Dave Glavin alternating
between keyboards and guitar. In fact, the new version of the band relies
heavily (maybe too heavily) on the "instrument switch." I think I've seen
just about every member of the Pants play every instrument on stage at
some point other! There's a really funny Pants tune, in fact, called "We
All Play The Drums" which deals with the trials and tribulations of the
songwriter trying to get the band to play the tune his way!

Glavin left the band in April, and recently multi-instrumentalist James
Harvey (H-Mob, Surrender To The Air, Peter Apfelbaum's Heiroglyphics
Ensemble) has been filling in on keys and trombone, although for the New
York gig, he mostly played drums. He did sing that tune he wrote, "She's
Not The One". I asked him if he'd ever sung in a band before, and he said
that, basically, it was a "rule" that everybody had to sing "at least
one." James also mentioned that this is something that may happen again
live, and that they were also going to be doing a studio recording. FWIW,
James leads an amazing jazz quintet (also featuring Dave "The Truth"
Grippo, Jeff Salisbury, Paul Asbell, and Aaron Hersey) that plays every
Tuesday at Burlington's coolest music venue, Rio's Cantina. Anyone
remotely closeby should check them out.

Anyhow, I'm glad I gave the Pants a chance to grow on really does
"cleanse the palate" after too many consecutive jazz discs!  If anyone
wants to check out an excellent live Pants show, I'll be glad to do it for
the first couple folks who respond for blanks and postage. I have no idea
if they have any CDs left, but you might check with the Good Citizen
Supply Store at 802.865.2122.

Pete Gershon