Periscope Depth

my sight was poor but I was sure the siren sang her song for me

I looked at some of the posts I had on the spike and realized I was in a sour, pedantic mood. So here’s something light to break up the monotony: yesterday, I listened to a Phish song for the first time in fifteen years.

People who’ve only met me recently might not believe that I once owned every Phish studio album between Junta and Billy Breathes. But something about Phish’s particular blend of folk, rock and laid back weirdness appeals to the Midatlantic / Southern demographic of Baltimore County, MD. It’s exotic without being challenging. I never got into the weirder elements of Phish culture – mixtapes, jam sessions, mythology, cannabis – that make it an identifiable stereotype. But Trey Anastasio’s noodling riffs were a core of the soundtrack to my adolescence. Afternoons spent tooling around Cockeysville in a Volvo 240 DL. Evenings spent playing Wolfenstein or discovering skeptical philosophy in AOL chat rooms.

Something put “Bouncing Round the Room” in my head on Wednesday. So I listened to it all the way through. And it’s a fun little song!

I used the Internet to unearth some more memories. Unfortunately, the experiment didn’t last that long. I quickly discovered just how long the 30-year-old Professor Coldheart can listen to Rift before shutting it off in impatience (answer: seventy seconds into “Maze,” or not quite 4 tracks). But there’s still plenty of gold there, albeit buried pretty deep.

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