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Published: 2006/12/08
by Mike Greenhaus

Auld Lang Syne Set 1: A Look Back at 2006 Featuring Jon Fishman, Jon Gutwillig, Buddy Cage, ALO, Perpetual Groove and More

Once again a year has come and gone too quickly and, once again, we are left with twelve months of music to sort through. For the second year in a row, we asked a number of our favorite musicians, managers and industry gurus to talk about their favorite albums, bands and performances. Look for a new set each week in December.

JON FISHMAN

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
The changing of the guard and thank god for that! Its a relief that the Bush Administration has finally been exposed for what it is and that we are finally becoming free from its reign. *_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007? _ *
Trey is the kind of guy who always keeps his ear to the ground, like Miles Davis, while I have been pretty out of touch with popular culture over the past year. But I do have this one friend who has an uncanny ability to pick the next big thing, so I will have to ask him. I met him when we were freshmen at UVM and then he moved to Seattle. He totally called the whole grunge thing before Pearl Jam and Nirvana and has been on top of every trend since then. I am also working with Touchpants but we are actually lowering the bar [laughs] . I called Chris [Friday from Touchpants] and said to him, You got to see the naked scene in Borat. I said, He has gone to a length that no other heterosexual man ever has before.
_What album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
The thing that has gotten to me the most this year is a song by Mason Jennings, Moon Sailing on the Water. I didnt know him as an artist, but I heard that one song on local radio at like 6 AM when I got up a few months ago. I couldnt get it out of my head and spent days hunting for it. Finally, I bought the album and keep it on repeat when Im in the van with my family.
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months? _
Actually, Lez Zeppelin. I saw them for the first time this year and I cant believe how much they sound like Led Zeppelin. Especially their drummer—-no one sounds more like John Bonham than her. She has the feel. Its shocking how good they are—-like the Fab Faux are to the Beatles.
JON THE BARBER GUTWILLIG (THE DISCO BISCUITS)

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Driving around the streets of Chicago in a golf cart, trying to convince the driver to cannonball down these giant stairs during Lollapalooza. It was only ten stairs or so and I think we would’ve made it. Also, all the great people I met this year out on the road and possibly the skiing that we did in February, which was the first time in too long I went skiing and, ironically, I went back to the first place on the west coast I had ever skied (the Windows). Also, the movie An Inconvenient Truth, which once again cemented the marriage between good science and boredom. Oh, and a great year for gambling, but not as good as ’05.
_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007? _
The Disco Biscuits have great plans for 2007, including the release of our first studio album in a few years. I think the way we are playing right now we can entertain anyone. I’d like to see a lot of other bands do well in ’07 as well, but as for one band’s progression I really am the wrong person to ask. Being that you are the media, its probably up to you.
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
The fall tour we just did was packed with great shows, I’ve never seen the band play this exciting every night. To pick a favorite would be impossible for me, although I’m sure they are discussing it somewhere, not sure where, but somewhere. I’m going to go with a dark horse and say comedian Nick Di Paolo live at a comedy club in Philly was my favorite live performance, just cause I had no idea the guy was so funny.
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
I am a shuffle freak, I can’t listen to this iPod not on shuffle, so I usually pick the genre and shuffle that. I have so much music that my whole computer is stuffed with it. That being said, I also broke out the vinyl this year for fun. On vinyl I have The Rolling Stones, Broken Social Circle Scene, my girlfriends Bright Eyes albums, some old bare bones techno, Tchaikovsky and a couple other classical albums. This was a good year for music I thought, whenever I heard something new I liked it, but I was in the studio making my own stuff so much this year that I stopped listening to music in any kind of inspirational way. I just put it on when I chop broccoli and cook dinner, otherwise I prefer to open the windows and listen to the city. *BUDDY CAGE (NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE) *

_What do you remember most about 2006? _
RatDog at Radio City Music Hall, ‘co-headlining’ (that’s a fucking howl!) with the String Cheese Incident. If I were in SCI and had to ‘share the stage’ (yet another bullshit, self-serving euphemism) with a band so clearly more talented, I would throw up in utter humiliation after hearing Weir’s performance and try to reshape my future plans in the music business. RatDog simply blew them out of the fucking state of New York that evening. The skills that Weir has hammered out in all the years with the Dead are manifest in that. If there’s a Phoenix that can rise out of the Grateful Dead experience it would be RatDog. Even the SCI fans were cavorting around the theater in facsimile fashion, as in Emperor’s New Clothes, pretending SCI was the real thing when the whole sorry scene came off as some usurpers to the Grateful Dead working on the fantasy that if you ‘do the moves’ the talent will follow. Wretched. Just because you’ve missed a couple decades of insanely fine music; maybe you felt you were born too late; could be you feel cheated and intend to embrace your own version of ‘groove’ regardless of the vacuousness of said groove; chances are you need to create your own scene (cause ya wanna). None of the above excuses you from putting up with less get it together, do the work, the research. And boogie on! Go for the quality.
_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007? _
I’ll name two. Maybe Ryan Montbleau and New Riders of the Purple Sage. I played with Ryan’s band a couple months ago in Wilmington, NC —- Halloween, actually. And was greatly impressed by the songs. It’s all gotta start with the tone poems, as y’ know. I play them on Jam On 17 @ Sirius.
NRPS knock me out cause of several reasons. One, as I play in the band, I live inside the note with these guys. This ain’t no reunion band. That label is completely unacceptable. It’s more of a renaissancea soulful trade-off between the band and the audience. Good energy passed back and forth in the enjoyment of playing great songs. Two, the old songs never croak the good stuff sticks with you through many generations of listeners. I honor my old buddies who can’t play in New Riders anymore John Dawson, Jerry Garcia, Spencer Dryden, Skip Battin, David Torbert. All who worked their tits off for 12 years in recording studios, agonizing over the right songs to put on an album, the hippest instrumental accompaniment to these gems. But Nelson and I are still here beatin’ down your door. New, younger fans drop in all the time and I ove it! Heard a NRPS song from home, from their parents or aunts & uncles and so on.
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Tuvan Throat Singers, Taj Mahal, Richard Thompson
JOSH BARON (RELIX MAGAZINE) *_What will you remember most about 2006? _ *
Breaking up with a significant other. The Democratic win in November. Tom Waits playing ‘Tom Traubert’s Blue (Waltzing Matilda).’ Sunrise on Jam Cruise. Interviewing McCoy Tyner and Bela Fleck together. Finding out that close friends will soon be parents.
_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007? _
Dr. Dog
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
Just one? I’m going to cheat: Radiohead, Theater at Madison Square Garden, 6/13/06; My Morning Jacket, Bonnaroo, 6/16/06; Phil Lesh & Friends, Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon and The Duo, 7/9/06.
However, if push came to shove: Tom Waits, Ryman Auditorium, 8/7/06. A full show has always been on my ‘life list’ and Tom did not disappoint. He’s one of the most captivating performers I’ve ever seen- truly magnetic. What’s shocking is that he rarely tours. I think these handful of shows were his first real U.S. performance in years. While everyone hopes for those classic tunes, they don’t necessarily make an appearance. The setlists had been slightly shifting for each show. When Tom launched into ‘Tom Traubert’s Blues’ on piano with just his bass player- and this also being my first time at the Ryman- the goose bumps were in full effect.

_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD player)? _
Built to Spill, You in Reverse; Portastatic, Be Still Please; Ben Kweller, Ben Kweller; The Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed; Keith Jarrett, Radiance; Band of Horses, Everything All the Time; Coleman Hawkins, At Ease with Coleman Hawkins.
JASON COLLETT (BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, JASON COLLETT BAND)
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
All the 4 AM calls as my sleepless wife held the phone to the wailing mouth of our teething child.
_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007? _
Feist.
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
Our last show of the year back home in Toronto. The steady flow of guests joining us onstage ‘til there was no room left to move. A lot of love filled the building that night.
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Al Tuck, My Blues Away. Quite simply the best songwriter to ever come out of Canada. The only problem is he’s still in Canada.
DAVE BROGAN (ALO)
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Having to go on after The Brazilian Girls at a festival of 30,000 people in Portugal without our lead singer / keyboardist.
Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007
ALO
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months? _
Sneakin’ Out with Joe Craven at the High Sierra Music Festival.
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Supertramp – Breakfast In America
EVAN WINIKER (STEEL TRAIN)

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Britney and K-Fed breaking up. It rocked my world and I had to rethink everything.
_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007( and why)? _
No question, the band is Dr. Dog. The record they are about to put out set my house on fire when I first played it. It is literally one of the best records of the past few years.
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months? _
A few weeks ago a friend of mine took me to see Hot Chip at Webster Hall. They were amazing—-the best band I had never heard of.
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Hmm, Im gonna go with Dr. Dogs We All Belong, although Ive only had it for a couple of weeks. Ive probably listened to it more then any CD Ive ever owned (or all of them combined).
ANDY BLACKMAN HURWITZ (ROPEADOPE)
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
What I can’t remember.
_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007 and why? _
Man, I don’t think there is a next level anymore. In 2007 everyone will feel like they’re at the next level, but the truth is, it’s going to be the same level as last year, except for some bands which will no longer exist on any level.
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months? _
Sigur Ros at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Hot damn, that shit took me there and back.
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Keith Jarrett: The Koln Concert. I listen to it every morning single morning.

*MATT MCDONALD (PERPETUAL GROOVE) *

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Making our new album. We went back into Tree Sound Studios and worked with our producer Robert Hannon again. This time, however, we co-produced with Robert and the interaction with all five of us was really amazing. Robert brought these fresh ideas to new songs that we were writing during pre-production that really added a new element to our sound. He was instrumental in helping us find our own sound that we are just now growing into. Everything at Tree is just a dream come true for a musician. I used all vintage gear and Brock, Adam, and Albert had access to all of the gear in tree as well. Guitars, amps, different drums and percussion—-we got to use it all. It’s our third album and hands down our best album yet. I can’t wait to hear what people think of it.
_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007 _
It’s hard to say right now, there are so many great bands out there right now. I think TV on the Radio is going to win over even more fans this next year. But it’s so wide open right now, it’s just hard to say…...oh wait I do know…..Perpetual Groove!
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
Secret Machines at Langerado. The songs, the setlist, the sound, the lights, those songs—- hands down the best thing in Rock n Roll right now and it has been for the past couple years. Every time I see them they continuously get better and better. We had a night off in Seattle recently and all of us got to go to the ‘in the round’ show. Fantastic and unique.

_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Beck- The Information. As usual, Beck’s albums are consistently a rinse and repeat for me. So much to listen to, so many styles, yet still so uniquely Beck. *CHARLIE HITCHCOCK *

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Definitely my weirdest year to date personally. A bittersweet rollercoaster ride that I saw as a test to see if I can focus on the right things. The year of angels and demons around me. I know I want to hang with the angels, only problem is I cant figure out who the hell is who. Sorry, could my answer be more cryptic?
Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007
Rose Hill Drive and Umphreys have a ton of momentum going into 2007. Both bands have been kicking ass have really accomplished a lot in the past year or so. All of it well deserved through hard work.
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones at High Sierra. These guys are musicians musicians. Some bands the drunk blonde in the second row go crazy for, but the musicians mind and ear are bored with it. Some bands with heavyweight players have musicians drooling and flocking while it goes over the average lay persons head, hey Bubba…. these dudes sound weird, lets go somewhere else, dude. But Bela Fleck is one of the minority of bands with the highest caliber of players that can communicate and be understood by all ears. On top of that they are all having fun!
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Prince, Musicology *JASON BAU (HARDHEAD MANAGEMENT) * *_What will you remember most about 2006? _ *
It really wasn’t the most memorable of a year.
Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007
Tea Leaf Green. Nothing beats good songwriting. Excellent musicians to bring those songs to life doesn’t hurt, either.
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
My Morning Jacket at Bonnaroo. For the fourth year in a row they knew exactly who their audience was and what they needed to do in order to take it to the next level and leave a permanent impression on everyone in attendance. This year, in lieu of a lightening storm or giant head-banging puppets, they were able to convey the ‘this is really something special’ vibe through an extended run through of their songs and some perfectly chosen covers.
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Tie: Ray LaMontagne- Til The Sun Turns Black and the What It Is Box Set. *ROB SALZER (U-MELT) *

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Releasing The I’s Mind, and playing moe.down. Hopefully the Democrats taking the House and Senate back too, if things start to get better. *_Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007? _ *
U-Melt
_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
moe. at the Starland Ballroom, 10/21/06. At one point during the second set, Al picked up a guitar – remember he was suffering from tendonitis at the time and couldn’t play – and starts using an E-bow on it. The crowd starts going nuts – then Chuck comes over and starts picking for him and Al starts wailing away. The crowd exploded – It was some of the most incredible energy I’ve ever seen at a show for sure .
_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD Player)? _
Garaj Majal-_Blueberry Cave _
ALECIA COHEN (GLOBAL RHYTHM MAGAZINE)
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Hearing traditional musicians perform in the Merzouga desert of Morocco in front of the Erg Chebbi Dunes.
Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2007?
Amadou & Miriam

_What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? _
Sufi musicians at the Fes Festival of Sacred Music. Why? It was spiritual
and entrancing. *_In the last year what album has appeared most often in your itunes (or CD
Player)? _ *
Baja. She is a Berber Musician from Morocco and one of the leading upcoming
pop stars there.
Senior Editor Mike Greenhaus stores his typos at www.greenhauseffect.com. Special thanks to Randy Ray for the extra eyes

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