70 episodes

Attendance Bias is a podcast for fans to tell a story about an especially meaningful Phish show.

Attendance Bias Brian Weinstein

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 47 Ratings

Attendance Bias is a podcast for fans to tell a story about an especially meaningful Phish show.

    11/28/09 Seven Below>Ghost @ Albany, NY

    11/28/09 Seven Below>Ghost @ Albany, NY

    • 26 min
    Radiohead at Bonnaroo 2006 w/Matt Campbell

    Radiohead at Bonnaroo 2006 w/Matt Campbell

    • 1 hr 29 min
    "Cavern" from 4/5/98 @ The Providence Civic Center with Scott Mikita

    "Cavern" from 4/5/98 @ The Providence Civic Center with Scott Mikita

    Hi everybody, and welcome to Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. My guest on today’s episode of Attendance Bias is Scott Mikita of Wook Plus. We’ve had Tim of WookPlus on the podcast previously, and those guys do such a good job that it was exciting to dip back into the well and have another member of the team to talk about a favorite jam.
    Scott chose to talk about “Cavern” from April 5, 1998 at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island. There’s something about the Island Tour that is indefinable. Something both concrete and abstract that makes it so meaningful to so many fans. It’s come up at least twice before on this podcast, but almost no one has brought up April 5th, the last night of the four shows. When Scott suggested the song that closed the second set of night 4, it was an obvious yet meaningful choice. You can hear in his voice how joyful Scott was at this show while witnessing a version of this fan favorite song that sounded unlike any other version played before or since.
    So let’s join Scott Mikita to hear about why he loves Deer Creek so much, why fall tour is the best, and what the Island Tour meant for the Cow Funk era.

    • 40 min
    "Drowned" from 12/12/99 @ The Hartford Civic Center

    "Drowned" from 12/12/99 @ The Hartford Civic Center

    In 1999, we were all high school juniors, 17 years old and getting our licenses. My friend Mike was given permission to borrow his parents’ car for the show and we got our tickets. However, roughly 48 hours before we were due to leave, Mike’s parents had a sudden change of heart and told him that he was too new, too young and inexperienced, to drive three of his friends to Hartford from Long Island. Now, at 39 years old, I totally agree with them;  But at the time, I flipped out. This was putting a death knell in our long-awaited plans. From all of the tapes I listened to, all of the books I read, and all of the discussion I had, it seemed to be intrinsic to the Phish experience to travel for shows. There is joy to be had for a hometown show, but traveling far with your buddies to a new destination is an adventure. All of that excitement that had been building for over a month was just kiboshed with one phone call. I’m sure my self-righteous, entitled 17-year old mouth said some pretty awful things about two loving people who were making the best decision for their kid and his friends.
    Regardless, after some shameless begging and angry back-and-forth, we procured Amtrak tickets from Penn Station to Hartford. 
    We got to Hartford right at the razor’s edge of the show’s start time.  I remember that the scene outside was loud and raucous, but not pushy. Apparently, Dave Matthews Band played the venue earlier in the year, and there was a massive riot and fighting between drunken fans and cops during that show.This armed presence caused tension, instead of preventing or abating it. To my memory, there were no issues or violent episodes outside the venue but fans were definitely on edge.
    The extra security caused a longer-than-usual wait to enter. We sat down just as the lights went down, thrilled to have finally made it after such trials and tribulations.
    All of our difficulties and obstacles overcome, lights go down, and the band opens with…Heavy Things? Even today, that would be seen as a lame move. Back in 1999, when the fans were still getting used to the Farmhouse songs, “Heavy Things” was seen as the persona non grata; it was the album’s single, played five months later on David Letterman’s show and it barely varied from performance to performance. During set break, my friends and I kind of made polite chatter, none of us wanting to admit that maybe that first set didn’t deliver what we wanted. We were too proud.
    Soon the lights went down for the second set, and it opened with a 31-minute version of “Drowned.” My Who-loving self went crazy for the novelty of hearing it for the first time, and I was drawn in by the mesmerizing jam that, at the time, may have been the longest continual song I’d ever heard live. 
    I walked out knowing I witnessed a less-than-stellar show. Aside from “Drowned” there was nothing compelling about this show. The fact that we had gone through what we considered a major emergency just to make it to the venue only rubbed salt in the wound. This was where I learned: no matter what, Phish does what they do. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s average, sometimes it’s life-changing, and rarely-but-sometimes, it’s a disappointment. In the 16 years since this show, I’ve learned this lesson over and over again and am much more mellow about the whole thing (Coventry helped a lot in that regard). But back in 1999, I wasn’t ready for that. I was such an enthusiastic new fan that I was entitled and expected every show to shoot me into the reaches of the universe with unbridled joy. This show brought me back down to earth.

    • 24 min
    8/16/96: The Clifford Ball, Day 1 @ Plattsburgh Air Force Base w/Scott Barsamian

    8/16/96: The Clifford Ball, Day 1 @ Plattsburgh Air Force Base w/Scott Barsamian

    Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. This week’s guest is fan and teacher, Scott Barsamian. Scott contacted me a while ago about discussing Phish’s first large-scale festival, The Clifford Ball. Now, when an Attendance Bias guest chooses a festival, I always get hesitant. Phish festivals are so big, they loom so large in the imagination, and in reality, I am intimidated to take them on for an hour-long discussion. But once the guest and I talk for a bit, we narrow down the highlights and figure out the best way to approach the show. For today’s episode, Scott chose to talk about the first day of the festival, August 16, 1996, and he picked one song from each of the three sets.
    Nowadays, we know exactly what to expect when Phish throws a festival. But in 1996, everything was brand new. My favorite part of this conversation was hearing about Scott’s expectations as he traveled to the festival. Phish hadn’t done anything on this scale before. What would they pull off? In 2021, we have the benefit of hindsight but in 1996, it was a surprise to all, probably including the band. 
    Also, throughout today’s conversation, you may hear from two special guests. That would be my dog, Duncan, and Scott’s dog, Roscoe, who couldn’t help but contribute.
    So let’s join Scott Barsamian to hear about the drive to Plattsburgh, Trey’s tone from 1996, and a confounding “Harpua” encore as we discuss Phish’s performance on 8/16/96, day 1 of the Clifford Ball at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Prime Cuts, with Don Kantor and Cara Polizzi

    Prime Cuts, with Don Kantor and Cara Polizzi

    Hi everybody, and welcome to Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. And boy, do I have a heck of a show for you today. A few things to note before we get started:
    First, I was so excited to talk to today’s guests that I literally forgot to plug in my microphone before I hit record. Yes, really. As a result, the computer mic picked up my voice, and it doesn’t sound as clear as usual. I couldn’t believe it once I noticed, but after about two minutes of listening back to the recording, I barely noticed. I hope that you have the same experience. Sorry about that.
    Second, today’s episode features a lot--and I mean a lot--of references and name-checks of locations around Long Island. There are two guests today, and all three of us are from the area. Plus, the focus of today’s episode is a store that was on Long Island, along with a show from the Nassau Coliseum. So if you grew up on or near Long Island--especially in the 80s or 90s, today’s conversation will stir up tons of memories, and put a smile on your face. If you’re not from Long Island, you can either break out a map or you can just nod along as the references come out fast and hard.
    All that said, today’s episode completes a full circle for me, and answered questions that I’ve been wondering about for decades. This podcast is a passion project of mine, and speaking to today’s guests is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. As personal as it is, I suspect that it will be meaningful to fans who had a similar upbringing to mine, and especially fans from the northeast, or at least the tri-state area.
    Today’s guests are Don Kantor and Cara Polizzi, the owner and manager, respectively, of Prime Cuts, a no-longer-operational head shop that was primarily located in Rockville Center and then Bellmore, Long Island.
    You’ll hear me say this in just a few minutes, but soon after I discovered Phish, I discovered Phish tapes. For a young teenager who didn’t have full time access to the internet and not knowing other fans made it pretty difficult to access any unofficial Phish recordings. Through a friend’s sister, I discovered Prime Cuts. And Prime Cuts is where I discovered the world of Phish tapes, as well as tapes from many many other bands.
    Prime Cuts was more than a store. It was a discovery, it was a connection to a wider world, it was a community center, and it was an oasis for those who were into the scene and didn’t know how to find like minded fans. 
    In today’s conversation with Don and Cara, we all go deep into the origins of the store, the nuts and bolts of how the taping process worked and answer the long-debated question of whether or not Prime Cuts’ taping allowance was sanctioned by Phish.
    For the Attendance Bias segment of the episode, Don chose to discuss the 2nd set of April 3, 1998 at the Nassau Coliseum, and Cara chose to talk about Fluffhead and You Enjoy Myself from Phish’s 3.0 comeback show on March 6, 2009 at the Hampton Colisum. Both picks are epic highlights of the band’s career and I was also thrilled at how much crossover there was with other Attendance Bias stories from past guests. 
    Well, enough from me. I hope you can feel the love and joy in this conversation with Don and Cara of Prime Cuts.

    • 1 hr 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

127392393 ,

Long Island native

Loved this!!!! What a grate trip down memory lane - Prime Cuts was a haven for LI heads ‘86-‘92 +/- A deadhead by nature - first show MSG 9/5/79 - saw 119 GD shows ‘79-‘95 predominantly east coast. Add JGB shows and tack on another 31 shows with Jerry my first JGB show being 2/14/81 at the Calderone Concert Hall in Hempstead - I grew up in Massapequa (Home of All American) - First time seeing Phish was the H.O.R.D.E festival 1992 @ Jones Beach & less than two weeks later opening for Santana also at JB - been a fan ever since - I was the District Manager for Sam Goody Music Stores (LI, Staten Island, Queens & Bklyn) for 10 years but still gravitated towards small indie shops - this episode brought back SO many wonderful memories- THANKS!!!!!

thestrangedesign ,

Great Phishy Listen.

LOVE Attendance Bias. Try to listen every week. Really captures the energy/ vibe of the Phish experience.

SJF420 ,

A treasure

Constantly surprised and informed by this well crafted podcast. I look forward to listening to each new podcast every week.

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