September 4, 2009 Phish: “Backwards Down The Number Line”
Before I actually start the post, let me just say that I am a phishhead. Okay. Cool.
I’ve been hesitant to write this post, because, as people who know me will attest, I’m known to preach the virtues of this band. I used to have 15 gigabytes of their music before my external hard drive crashed. Yeah, it was a bit much. However, I’ve come down a bit in terms of the intensity of my preaching! For example, instead of screaming “LISTEN TO PHISHSHSHS” at people, now I write about them on a blog. Baby steps.
Anyhow, I listened to this song once in the beginning of the summer and, as many of my ilk are prone to do, promptly wrote it off as Phish attempting to be poppy and accessible. However, I’ve been listening to it nonstop in the past few days. Maybe other phans will get down on me for liking this song, but I just can’t help it!
I mean, yeah, I love Phish’s crazy compositions like You Enjoy Myself and Guelah Papyrus which are full of intricately written, music theory-filled passages. They’re one of the few rock bands that can make a fugue sound awesome. But I like this song because they just completely forget about trying to make it complex, and they do it without sounding like they’re selling out. It’s a catchy, bouncy, fun pop song. The chorus has officially kicked Magic Magic out of my head, and is now stuck in my cranium. It also wouldn’t be a Phish song without a searing guitar solo from Mr. Anastasio. The solo is incredibly melodic and full of joy (lol lol lololol lol).
The song is just so HAPPY. It originally started as a poem written by Phish’s lyricist Tom Marshall as a birthday present to Trey Anastasio. As with many of the other songs on Phish’s new album Joy, BDTNL is full of appreciation of close friends who stick with you through rough times (in this case, perchance Anastasio is referencing the band sticking with him through his struggle with drugs? Mm?).
This song makes me want to hug all my friends. I get chills every time I hear Trey sing “Do you know why we’re still friends?” Even if you don’t like Phish, you may like this song. Their new album Joy comes out on the 8th. The entire album is on their myspace page, available for streaming. BDTNL is available for download via iTunes, and can be streamed for free (in high quality–not shitty myspace quality) here.
You decide what it contains
How long it goes
But this remains
The only rule is it begins
Happy happy, oh my friend