Sunday, January 17, 2010

Phishtistics Puts the Geeky into Listening to Phish

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For years David "ZZYZX" Steinberg has been putting the Geeky into listening to Phish by taking all of the songs that they have played and compiling them on his Web site - ZZYZX has taken every track and has put together several different tools for the Phishhead checking on the newest downloaded show.

The first tool that is prevalent on the site, 'the complete totals'. Just for starters, this shows what venues were played the most, what songs played the most, first set and second set openers, encores, and countless other totals.

He also breaks down each year in chart form, a list of every time a song was played, tools to generate your own personal stats, and that is just to start.

Now anyone not into Phish may say, "what is the point" and even Mike Gordon, bass player for Phish, said, "it's kind of silly when [fans are] are making pie graphs about set list openers but then, I always liked a good graph" but as a long-time Phish fan I can say that this information does have its purposes.

Since pretty much every Phish show is independent of each other. The setlist is always different plus the jams and how the band plays the songs differ from other shows both on that current tour and previous tours. This gives an opportunity of comparison for different versions of a particular song during that tour versus different versions spanning several tours. The jams in the songs vary and the statistics can be used to find longer or different versions of the jam. Since eTree ( has a huge library of downloadable shows via BitTorrent, you can use the stats to find other shows to listen to the different versions.

Also, if you are an avid Phantasy Phish player, ( ) this information will be useful to make your picks for an upcoming tour.

I realize most of my Phishhead readers probably already know about this site but there may be some newbies who still haven't gotten to experience ZZYZX's work. And, if you haven't listened to any Phish at this point, may I suggest taking a listen to a personal favorite (and my first Phish show), 8/1/98 at Alpine Valley - Enjoy!

Also see: Giving Gadiel’s Phish Page its Overdue Props here.

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