Blackberry Jams Presented by Ben & Jerry's

By Ben & Jerry's | PRX

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Join hosts and longtime Phish fans Lenny Duncan and Leslie Mac for conversations about how jam band culture and Black liberation work intersect, the experience of Black Phans, and envisioning a community filled with liberation, love, and Phish tickets by mail for all. Blackberry Jams is presented by Ben & Jerry’s and produced by PRX Productions.

Episode Date
Destiny Unbound

Calling all Blackberry Phans Stans! Lenny and Leslie are at the end of the first of many legs of the Blackberry Jams journey. They take some time to reflect on the entire experience and on the reception of the show by the scene, Black phans and non-phans alike. They also share some of what they found most surprising, funny, and challenging about the first season of their groundbreaking podcast and leave us with a tantalizing hint of what may come in a possible second season.

Nov 02, 2021
The Perfect Show

Leslie and Lenny dream about what a perfect show would look like. They don’t know if you want cocoa and shea dispensers in the bathroom or if you want to to see Pete Shapiro as a bathroom attendant during all Black History Month, but they sure love dreaming together. They discuss their favorite Phish shows pre-2016 and what performances have kept them going throughout the last 5 years of intense organizing. Finally, they tease a Blackberry Jams festival! *Show note* We mention Dave Chapelle's ‘Block Party’ for reference once. Transphobia repackaged as the battle for free speech is an old trick of white supremacy and Lenny and Leslie ain't falling for that shit.

Oct 26, 2021
Stop Asking Me For Cocaine at Madison Square Garden

Lenny and Leslie talk about the effects of stereotypes on the Black community and its deleterious repercussions on the psyche, heart, and real lives of Black peoples. They start with a scene at Phish's New Year’s run which launches organizer Leslie Mac on a deep dive about the dangerous power of stereotypes. One piece of the puzzle is how systematized white supremacy is sold as "American culture” and its long shadow narrated as an American tradition with a power structure that runs from education, music, vocation, compounded trauma of children, media, shakedown street, to Madison Square Garden. Plus Lenny and Leslie guess Phish’s Halloween Costume!

Oct 19, 2021
Black Phans on Parade

When the circus does come to town, no one knows what to expect, particularly Black Phan’s. Lenny and Leslie take time to interview two members of the Black phish Phan community, and share some of the stories shared with them by Black Phan’s on the 888-Phan-Jam call line. 

Oct 12, 2021
Everything I learned about revolution I learned on 1994 Grateful Dead Tour

In 1994 Spring Grateful Dead tour Lenny was fascinated by the “Disco Bus”. This band of intrepid travelers would pull up to a lot, spin a set, throw a giant dance party, feed the kids, maybe puff you out, hook you up with some new clothes, and do it all over again 150 miles later. This is the same concept Lenny uses at protest and in liberation work today. It's a theory called Mutual Aid and Lenny and Leslie are convinced this is what the Jam Band community can be at its best.

Oct 05, 2021
Counter Culture Without Connection to Black Liberation

This episode is all about the counter culture that created the jam band scene, and the political, economic, cultural, and historical factors that are the muse for the art, the jams, even the clothing we wear. There is tension between anti-racism work and lifestyle, and to move the needle forward in the community we love, Leslie and Lenny believe it must be reminded of its revolutionary roots.

Sep 28, 2021
State of the Phish Nation 2021

Lenny reports from Summer Tour 2021 while Leslie Couch Tours Deer Creek and they discuss the current state of Phish-nation in the midst of a never-end global pandemic.

Sep 21, 2021
The Politics of Shakedown Street

This time, Lenny and Leslie focus on Shakedown Street with an anti racist lens and power analysis. At jam band shows all across the country, how do the normal mores around drugs otherwise get suspended, how is that an illusion, and what is the impact of this highly complex phenomenon on the people on the ground, regardless of race?

Sep 14, 2021
Where Invisibility Equals Freedom

Lenny and Leslie introduce the community to the concepts of white privilege and whiteness by approaching it from the perspective of two people who get to try it on for a few hours at a time. FInd out what it's like in this temporal autonomous zone and why they keep showing up. If you have a Black Phan show story to share, dial 888-PHAN-JAM (888-742-6526) to leave Lenny and Leslie a message!

Sep 07, 2021
How Did We Get Here?

How do two people who are in the struggle to live into authentic Blackness end up feeling empowered by this white space we call the Jam Band Community? Leslie and Lenny tell how they went from a tweet to a podcast, and how they will show even the Phish faithful a new side of their community - with some hard moments and but also spots of joy. If you have a Black Phan show story to share, dial 888-PHAN-JAM (888-742-6526) to leave Lenny and Leslie a message!

Aug 31, 2021
Welcome to Blackberry Jams!

Welcome to “Blackberry Jams Presented by Ben & Jerry’s,” a new podcast that dives into Phish fandom and explores the experience of Black Phans. The series pulls back the curtain on how jam band culture and Black liberation work intersect, envisioning a community filled with liberation, love, and Phish tickets by mail for all. Co-created and co-hosted by Lenny Duncan and Leslie Mac, “Blackberry Jams” will launch on Tuesday, August 31. And if you have a Black Phan show story to share, dial 888-PHAN-JAM (888-742-6526) to leave Lenny and Leslie a message!

Aug 10, 2021