Forecast: Phish phriends, Dames and Paleface

by Ryan Snyder

Forecast: Phish phriends, Dames and Paleface

One step up from that noisy audience recording

So you didn’t manage to score those highly sought-after tickets to see Phish’s three-night reunion run Hampton, Vir. this coming March. Don’t feel too bad, because you were probably just one of well over 100,000 heads with the same gripe. But let’s face it: You still have to get that live phix in one way or another. The Blind Tiger is going to help you scratch that Phish itch this Friday as they present Strange Design (, a band dedicated to the loving recreation of some of their heroes’ finest performances. Similar to how the Dark Star Orchestra treats the Grateful Dead, Strange Design announces the show to be recreated only as they are taking the stage. The band is able to select from virtually the entire Phish catalog of live performances, which is easy because just about every show that the band ever played is available to hear in some form. I know the concept sounds a bit incongruous: playing note-for-note the previous performances of a band known for their improvisation and spontaneity. But for most true Phish fans, the irony of it all is completely moot. What’s more important is finding the best way to fill the space between now and the weekend of March 6, 2009. The show starts at 10 p.m. and ticket prices were unavailable at press time, though admission should be pretty reasonable.

Holiday benefit concert at the Greensboro Coliseum

Is a Phish re-enactment band not your bag, baby? Then grab some canned goods and do something to feel good about yourself this Friday. Lisa Dames ( will perform with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra ( at the Greensboro Coliseum for the annual Sealy Fox 8 Holiday Concert to benefit the Salvation Army. This year’s program has been selected by resident conductor Bruce Kiesling and will feature compositions such as “Amazing Grace,” “Hallelujah Chorus,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “O Holy Night.” The 62-person orchestra will perform with the Choral Society of Greensboro, and Fox 8 News anchors Neil McNeil and Julie Luck will host the event.

The evening will also feature two guest soloists, tenor Anthony Griffey ( and country singer Dames. Griffey, who has performed in opera houses worldwide, recently performed in the Grammy-nominated opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany. At the pops concert, Griffey will perform traditional songs such “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Dames is a wife and mother who records in Nashville and whose fans call themselves the “Minivan Mafia.” At the Pops concert she will perform “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Other guests include Bill Flynn of Greensboro radio station 99.5 WMAG, who will conduct the “Armed Forces Medley,” and Scottish bagpiper Sir Robert Bell, who always ends the orchestra’s holiday program with “Amazing Grace.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free with one canned good donation, but feel free to bring as many as you’d like.

Post-hype sleeper plays the Garage

Next up the in the Garage’s “Catch a Rising Star” series is an artist who seems to have been a rising star since he was first discovered at a New York City open mic night nearly 20 years ago while rooming with Beck on the Lower East Side. Antifolk singer Paleface ( has shown enormous promise as an artist, yet has also dealt with both self-inflicted and externally-induced turmoil for the large part of his early career. After the master tracks of his second album were erased by the producer soon after recording, Paleface worked his way toward self destruction through massive alcohol consumption during a tour with the Breeders in 1997 and nearly died as a result. He emerged healthy a year later and began his most prolific songwriting period, during which he steadily rebuilt his promising career. Flash forward to 2008 and he has relocated to Concord, NC where he tours regionally, including his Saturday date at the Garage. He’ll be joined by the local favorite indie-roots band Holy Ghost Tent Revival (www., a band that could pack a house all by themselves. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and tickets are dirt cheap at $7.