Jan 25, 2010

Phish Notes - Nov. 27th, 2009, Albany NY

...but then we’re thrown deep into the darkness of the Jam! and surrounded by Glittering terrible things brought out of the world to be displayed and negate illusion forever.

I don’t think the same now and cannot. I don’t see the same now and cannot. And I thought I knew everything that was just exposed to me. I understood that the “true” world was a fable! But Nietzsche didn’t get me all the way there. More correctly, I didn’t get all the way there with Nietzsche. Phish, in the darkness, glittering shadows, between what started in Split Open and Melt and what came to be conjured in the Seven Below followed by Ghost jam, brought me all the way. Me with everyone else there to witness, and even the less attentive NOTICED. Crowd frantic and then hushed, breathless and speechless, then mad and dancing. Every peak of the music crashed into dissonance and terrifying disorder of “it won’t come back together!”, but the jam always DID, they always brought us, themselves, the Jam, back from the brink.

These were not leaps of faith, but mastery of the forms and the spirit. Phish conjured Milton’s Satan as artificer of those jams, he played on the lights and exposed to us the “true” world which is false. All of our daily falseness became reality and couldn’t stand the light of day ever again. It’s not chaos that wins out, but our ability to navigate the chaos, to bring forms out of the darkness and truth out of darkness NO MATTER HOW TERRIBLE. The heart of those jams a brother to the heart of Bolano’s 6666: a black hole, merciless and impossible to reason away. No one could be counted on to find the way through it, and there were moments when I couldn’t possibly believe Phish WOULD make it through. Tangled up in black and blue, bruised. I don’t and won’t know how they did. The moment seized them. Trey resolutely stabbing at beauty again and again, BWAAOOOYYY again and again. Dylan, “You made it there somehow...”.

This experience is difficult for language. Why even talk about it? Why describe another concert experience and try to take a language-less moment and force it into what seems like banality? It would be easier to say “impossible” to reconcile in language other than music, or a language which doesn’t exist yet. We need the language which doesn't exist yet and this is how to make it. Everything is possible, no matter how difficult, and Phish isn’t beyond the possible just at it’s farthest extent, an endlessly moving horizon with no line, as U2 have found.

Where are you or I if not there? At the farthest extent and exhausted! Deleuze says the exhausted. Bolano’s detectives, Rimbaud walking himself to death, Nietzsche through blinding pain and blind, all of us at Burning Man who want to follow the Last Star all the way past the Orange Fence that is the border of Possible. Phish is there EXHAUSTING themselves in the truly great, high, moments of a jam. They go so far that one cannot go any further...and THEN they go further, past what anyone who is part of it can imagine (including themselves).

It’s very important! You can’t breeze through if you want to break on through. Again, Phish goes past what it is possible to imagine beforehand, they create, through exhaustive effort and searching, what doesn’t exist yet, rather than merely reminding us of what does exist. All reference points vanish, because no one has been here before except other great artists, by which I mean those who created the SPACE in which Phish is now playing. Blake has been here, Nietzsche has, Milton...but Phish does so with the audience, for the audience, because of and influenced by the audience, and the space becomes exactly that all entanglement Nietzsche talks about. They are not the lonely poets of our mystique going alone into the darkness to find truth, because there is a community roaring that it MATTERS how far they go, can go, gives them company, even compassion, in the searching. We’ve invested ourselves. We might go mad if they can’t pull us through. Right at the edge of madness, darkness forever, right at the edge of light and the heart. Loving the world enough to give into the laws of gravity and chance, balancing monsters of love.

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