Monday, January 30, 2012

Untrained HeadCount Volunteer Counts Heads, Registers Zero to Vote

At this past weekend's Umphrey's McGee shows at Best Buy Theater in Times Square, the ever present HeadCount table was staffed by live music fans who register voters and provide information on the issues to fans. However, one volunteer who was volunteering at his first show took the mission of HeadCount to be something different.

Greg Coleman from Mount Vernon, NY was excited to be taking in both an Umphrey's show as well as volunteer with HeadCount, but right from the start, something was off. "He was just kinda standing there, looking at everyone and counting to himself," reported Meghan Neely, a HeadCount volunteer for 4 years. "We thought he was just breaking the ice at first but he kept doing it and writing down numbers every so often. After about an hour he stopped doing anything altogether and went to watch the show." Coleman seemed to be sober, according to multiple eye witnesses, who noted that Coleman did not drink and was usually sober at shows. 

During setbreak Coleman returned to the HeadCount table, struck up a conversation with volunteers while they were talking to fans, some of whom were being registered to vote at the time. "Come on, I got this all done earlier. No sense doing it all over again" as Coleman attempted to end the effort to register voters from the Umphrey's McGee fanbase. Neely shared that she was confused, "He really seemed to think he had done the groups job all on his own. All he did was stand there and stare at the crowd counting. Thats when it hit me. He was actually COUNTING HEADS. What a dumbass."

When reached for comment, Coleman proudly reported that he counted 1,927 heads over the course of the night, close to the sell out crowd on Saturday night."Yup, I figured I would just get it done early, so I started counting all the people out near the bar, the coat check lines (those were easy) and around the bathrooms where those well placed seats are. Once I counted them, I headed inside and started counting in earnest before and during the show."

Remarked Coleman, "I feel like I really made a difference that night."

According to HeadCount Executive Director Andy Bernstein, Coleman was brought in for training, a first for all show volunteers of HeadCount. "I was surprised that he didn't know to get a clipboard, walk around, talk to fans and if they aren't registered to vote, you try and get them to register. Pretty cut and dry ya know?" Bernstein cannot recall an instance when a volunteer or staff member didn't know the primary mission of HeadCount was to register voters and promote issues awareness. "Seriously, I started HeadCount years ago and the thought has never crossed my mind to actually count people, let alone their heads. This is a first for me. Incredible"

Coleman went through a set of new training procedures that are now in place for all volunteers. A three-hour comprehensive Civics course followed by practicing registering voters. Bernstein reported that Greg passed with flying colors and seeing the error of his ways, will be counting heads at festivals this summer. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Phish fans kick off new year in usual fashion: Bitching about the band they love

As routine as the swallows returning to San Capistrano, Phish fans began 2012 in expected fashion - complaining about New Years and bitching about what they didn't like. Already well known for loving the band to great lenghts, Phish fans sometimes cannot shut the fuck up when expectations aren't met, are exceeded, or even when they get everything they want. Such is the conundrum of Phish fans.

"The shows were fun and I loved seeing my friends, but the music was, well, lacking," was one of many comments from fans following the four-night stand at Madison Square Garden that culminated in a New Years Eve show with a gag that centered around the song 'Steam'. However, this did not satisfy fans in different ways, leading to complaints from all sides. A sampling of comments from message boards and Twitter:

"Why Steam? Fuck that song!"
"I can't believe they played Alaska and Velvet Sea AFTER midnight. WTF?"
"Who the fuck was that chick in the air?"
"Where the hell was Reba?"
"Did they forget to jam?"
"Why didn't they play something for 20 minutes?!"
"This song selection sucks!"
"Why aren't they playing what I want them to play?"
"Another Possum. FML."

A well thought out remark or two was found, but rare. Nearly all discussions about New Years were ended with "But I still love this band", showing that love was not lost and Phish fans have plenty of opinions about every single thing Phish does.

A spokesman for Phish responds to fan reaction with the following statement from the band:

Statement from Phish on New Years Run to the Fans: "What? What? WHAT?"

Individual band statements were issued as well :

Trey: "What?"
Page: "WhAt?"
Fish: "wHAT?"
and Mike: "(Cowbell noise)"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood remarks on his grounding of Holy Ship! in Bahamas

The infamous Captain of one of the worst environmental disasters, Joseph Hazelwood, remarked on his running of the MSC Poesia aground in shallow water in Grand Bahama. The boat was on a three day cruise under the festival name Holy Ship! featuring a mostly electronica-based lineup.

"Look, I apologize for mistaking 14 feet of water for 26 feet but Skrillex told me he had it under control. We agreed on a mutual swap - I would take over playing his dubstep, partially to prove anyone could make that shit work, and he would pilot the ship. Granted, three hours later I ran the ship aground but who knew that I would fall into a K-hole?"
Sloshing water on the podium at the press conference, Captain Hazelwood did appear remorseful in words but did not so in actions, refusing to "clean the oil off those fucking birds!"

Reports indicate that the ship was stuck for much of Saturday, January 7th and a few ravers were tossed to the side, partially from the lilting of the ship and partially because they were already dancing at an angle that would lead them to fall over anyways.

Hazelwood continued his defense of the situation, "This isn't oil you know. So Skrillex lost his glasses and he looks less like Corey Feldman. It's a fucking improvement I tell you. The boat made it back and I'm on vacation. You can find me at the bar."

No word yet if Jamcruise will swap Captain Stubing out for someone who can actually command a boat.

Jimmy receives some bad news from his father via text

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Phish Summer 2012 Mock Draft

Every April the four members of Phish gather in a small coffee shop down the street from Radio City Music Hall and draft what songs they want to perform on their summer tour. Much like the National Football League, draft order is based off individual performance from the past year (thus Fishman always getting the first pick). While Phish 1.0 performance was based off of comments on boards, the band has used #MVP Tweets to pick the draft order since reforming in the year of our lord, 2009. With the Phish draft, Round 1 is typically reserved for songs you will become sick of, Round 2 is for rare gems/covers that will only be played once and Round 3 is a free for all no holds bar balls to the wall wild card round where anything and everything goes.

We here at The Phunion are pleased to present to you with our Mock Draft for Summer Tour 2012.

Round 1

1) Trey Anastasio – Time Turns Elastic: (Pick acquired from Jon Fishman in exchange for Anastasio’s third round pick and three cows for ElderflowerFarm).

Fresh off his spring tour performing with various symphonies across America, Anastasio does not care if you decided to drain your lizard during this modern day classic. Trey is all about the long compositions in 2012 and plans to play TTE at least twelve times before the summer comes to an end.

2) Page McConnell – Wading In the Velvet Sea:

Let’s be real here, the boys are no longer spring chickens. Needing a breather (especially when they play at high altitude in locations like Colorado and Lake Tahoe) Phish needs to bring it down a few notches in the second set these days. Wading in the Velvet Sea is the natural choice for Summer Tour 2012 because much like novels by Nicholas Sparks, it creates tears from the sensitive types.

3) Trey Anastasio – Kill Devil Falls:

Anastasio’s New Year’s Resolution is to only flub this songs opening riff at every 5th show this summer.  What better way than to play it over and over and over again.

4) Mike Gordon – Access Me:

Having traded Fishman for the first round pick last year (for legal reasons, we can’t say what was traded) Gordon was loved on Shakedown Streets from Bethel to George for using the pick on Possum. This year, Gordon has decided to pick the somewhat rare Access Me as the jam to make fans sick of. Not that it’s a bad song, he just enjoys watching Anastasio struggle with the composition in retaliation that he is not allowed to take a piss break during Time Turns Elastic.

Round 2:

1) Jon Fishman – Faht:

Just to be a prick, Fishman plans to bust this out at the one show that the incredible YouTube God MKDevo is unable to attend. Yes, he will flub three notes, but the goal is to get enough #MVP votes to not land with the #1 pick in 2013. He of course fails as rage side does not rhyme with Fishman side.

2) Page McConnell – Runaway Bride:

By April, the talk of the world will be Kim Kardashian’s love affair with Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. With a July wedding planned, McConnell (a rabid fan of TMZ as well as any and all programming on the E! network) knows Kim will have cold feet and leave her new man waiting at the altar. It will be a rainy night in St. Louis when Phish performs this cut from McConnell’s 2007 solo record causing much confusion as to why Kardashian picked Iginla and not Blues right winger Chris Stewart.

3) Trey Anastasio – For The Actor (Mates of State cover):

It’s no secret that Anastasio is sick of hippies and craves to be an indie darling. While his Fox pilot New Guy was not picked up for the Fall Television season, that does not stop Anastasio from wearing plenty of plaid and enjoying new music from the likes of Girls, M83 and Blitzen TrapperWith it being reported that Anastasio is working with both The National and Mates of State, this one time cover is not only a natural choice, it will also get him 10% off his iPhone bill as the song was made famous by an AT&T Wireless commercial in 2008.

4) Mike Gordon – Weigh:
With only two appearances since the band reunited in 2009, Gordon decides to bring Weigh out for a lone appearance at the bands Friday headline set at the 2012 Lollapalooza festival. While the phans who make it out to Grant Park are ecstatic for the songs return, most are unable to hear it as Phish gets drowned out due to the noise pollution of Skrillex performing simultaneously on the Google + stage.

Round 3:

1) Jon Fishman – 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover:

Fishman likes the view from the front of his stage, and decides he wants a different look at such beloved corporate venues as 1-800-ASK-Gary Amphitheatre, U.S Cellular Pavilion and PNC Bank Arts Center.

2) Page McConnell – The Squirming Coil:

Feeling bad Mike Gordon can’t take a piss break during Time Turns Elastic, McConnell throws Gordo a bone.

3) Jon Fishman – Character Zero

A fun song to play, but really Fish just enjoys watching Wooks headbang in the front row.

4) Mike Gordon – Jagged Little Pill (Complete Alanis Morissette album):

With a lack of fans filling the USANA Amphitheatre in beautiful West Valley Utah, Gordon decides that once again it is time to bust out an entire album in the middle of Harpua for phans who make the trek to the “Life Elevated” state. What Gordon failed to realize that while people still love the 70’s juggernaut Dark Side of the Moon, no one but Gordon and Full House Dave Coulier star gives two shits about one of the best selling albums of the 1990’s. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mayan Holidaze Calendar ends on January 30th 2012. Is this the end of the world?

By Cactus Jack

With 2012 finally here we have a few dates that Mayan historians claim could be the end of the world. One new prophecy includes the date of January 30th, 2012. This marks the end of the Mayan Holidaze calendar. Archeologists are now pointing to this date as a possible change to life as we know it. Possible outcomes include human extinction, to a reversal in the Magnetic north and south poles, or even a shift in the Jamband hierarchy with The Disco Biscuits moving from 3rd tier Jamband to 1st. I’m not sure which one of these is more unbelievable.
It is expected that a mass cult group of people will converge on this date down in Mexico to celebrate the coming of the end of days. It is theorized that many will eat pills together claiming that on this date there will be a dramatic change to life as we know and only true believers will be living in ecstasy. While the former may not happen the latter certainly seems like a given.
While nothing about this theory is for certain, some strong evidence points to a cataclysmic end. First, we have no dates for future Phish concerts at this point. Without the holiest of holy to save us from the end of the Mayan Holidaze, the world will be in need of its saviors. At this point the world’s saviors have left us in 2011 and there is only speculation of when they will return. Second, the Disco Biscuit are headlining on January 30th, 2012. This alone could have the world spinning out of control. How is the world going to deal with a Disco Biscuits headliner? Politicians fear this alone could cause rioting in the streets.

The not too distant future looks grim if what is coming in the next month holds true. Let us pray that we survive the Mayan Holidaze and the world moves on to become stronger from the events on this date.