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Columns > Randy Ray - Peaches En Randalia

Published: 2008/06/25
by Randy Ray

WILLOUGHBY, the script stated. A town where one can slow down.

Peaches En Randalia #28
A loose series of thoughts entangled on the What if Phish returns? vine of reason
1)Linus Speaks (or the Good Doctor is STILL in for Five Cents or So)
They entered the house as if they had been there before. Thingsobjects, artifacts, and otherwiseappeared familiar. Time had no meaning here (neither did space, for that matter), but there was something vastly critical and important about the linear calendar on the wall. It was almost like a reunion of sorts, another form of a hello or a goodbye, that one didnt want to define, lest that sense of communal failure take hold. Indeed, we were talking about a hello here, almost as if our lives rested in a bubble of interrupted antiquity, shadowing the precise Jarnowesque nostalgic nature of our aging souls.
The Liberal Testiwait for itmony
Much has been written about the wonton need, the frenzied quest to see PHISH, again. I capitalize their name, as I have since August 2004, because it always seemed odd to speak of Phish in terms of post-Coventry, or post-lifespan. Music HAS no time or place, and to think that the bandcertainly if all members are still alive, functioning, and willingis either too old or too rusty to return is short-sighted. Music requires a sense of dedication to a subconscious bond between audience and artistand, in Phishs case, the former is very much still a factor, and the latter depends upon confidence, desire, and materialold, new, hidden, yet to be discovered, or, YEM five times a day for a left nut.
As they reached the apex of the hill, he saw it and he knew it had always been there, and felt foolish for overlooking the door for so long. At first, he tried to ignore it, but he soon found that it was impossible, and slowly his newly acquired knowledge transformed his dreary life into a prison from which there was only one escape. And on this morning, Colonel Forbin stepped through the door…
2)Mowing and Pruning
Yet another round of new/old/WOW, theyre fantastic! at the Roo. Wellthat was ironic, or a self-fulfilling prophecy as I headed to Tennessee. The act that I enjoyed the most at this years Bonnaroo was Abigal Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck. Long name but they play short, sweet music that unites East and West sensibilitiesunique bluegrass without a note of false musty pretense. Perhaps, it is a sign of approaching mellowness in my lifeI think notbut I found the Quartets music to be sincere, exquisite, and rehearsed to the point that they were allowing moments of free expression that are not always found in so-called mature and formal neo-classical music within an Americana framework. Their graceful songs progressed forward with a whiff of wise experience; albeit, without the dispirited tinge of bitter regret that creates a rift between an audience and artist. Musty mature mellowness? No. No, not at all.
A Stop at Willoughby
Gart Williams is an advertising executive who has grown exasperated with the stress of the business life and whilst being unable to sleep properly at home, constantly drifts off for short naps on the train during his daily commuting and dreams of a peaceful place called ‘Willoughby.’ After he finally snaps at his workplace, he exits the train while in his dream so he can live in Willoughby. In reality, he jumped off the train to his death. His body is eventually loaded into a hearse owned by Willoughby & Son Funeral Home.
3) Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine
I waited for the banging and thumping to stop, but it wouldnt. Kanye was going to have his way, and I would sit inside this train, this way station between the past and present until I had figured out that sometimes, as an artist or a scribe or a painter or a poet or a photographer or a scenemaker or a documentarian, one just needs a bubble of peaceor is it clarity that one seeks and not that moment of artistic silence? Alices rabbit hole, or that room at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Gamehendge, or Bonnaroo, or is it mythical Willoughby, a fantastical realm that only resides in ones imagination? Is imagination enough to wrest triumph from defeats grasp? I ponder these issues, sifting for gold in the deep, dark mine of my mind while continuing to enjoy timeless music, whether it is the soothing soul music of Solomon Burke, the wall-shattering sounds of Dumpstaphunk, the angelic voice of Alison Krauss wedded to the arch masculine wit and charm of Robert Plants pipes, or is it found in the new and beautiful tunes on the recent Licorice EP, shuffled into play after another listen to that glorious thunder of Phish as they skull-fuck through another fine set at the Hampton in November 1997? Questions, they say, are more important than answers, and as my nearly five-year-old son reels off another series of Why? questions, I smile, because, for him, at least, he still sees the world with the eyes of a child, and we all must return to that feeling from time to time.
I used to jump on message boardsand there werent that many back in the mid-1990sand lurk, laugh, curse, and glean, before wading back into my own Phish-loving solitude. It is comical that I cant go on a board for more than five minutes these days without someone asking me about the future of Phish. What I know is limited and locked away, but what I can say is that my questions outweigh the answers, and, I too, was proud of the Phab Phour as they, once again, stood as a united work of art at the Jammys. And yet, I linger long, and tread the boards, as well, hoping for that inevitable announcement which turns a second hiatus into a moment of profound clarity: We were done. Now, we are just a band, looking for some fans to help celebrate some new and old tunes. Interested?
_- Randy Ray stores his questions at He promises to stop writing his fiction for an hour and update his site this month. _

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