University Technology Director Waren Karren was born in the back seat of a Greyhound Bus as it crossed the Mason-Dixon line. Her mother was on her way to a Grateful Dead show.
Karren spent her young life following the Dead. Since Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995, she has divided her time between two bands: Phish and Password Update Email.
Often described as “heirs to the throne of the Dead,” Phish got together in 1983 at the University of Vermont. They spent the subsequent three decades building a devoted following based on a cultish, free-spirited community ethic, psychedelic culture, and a playful, improvisatory, and multi-sensory concert experience. The band’s fans, called “phisheads,” have been known to follow the band for years rather than lead productive lives. Phish is one of the top-grossing touring acts in the world.
Music critics agree that Password Update Email defies description.
“We’ll do a J-pop cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’” said lead singer Moni Jitchell. “But that’s just to get people ready for our grunge cover of Dvořák’s New World Symphony.”
Phish is currently rehearsing for its marathon summer tour. Password Update Email is preparing for a year-long electroclash/post-Linus “outdoor experiment.”
Karren spends most of her time trying to decide which band is better. On February 21, she became so desperate that she sent out a campus-wide email with her dilemma in the subject line: “password update email vs. phish.”
The rest is history.