Current Issue Details

Buy Current Issue

Features

Published: 2007/12/16
by Mike Greenhaus

Auld Lang Syne Set 2: Les Claypool, Marc Brownstein, Umphreys McGee, Reed Mathis, Railroad Earth and Other Friends

As another year comes to a close, another “best of” season begins. And once again we’ve asked a number of musicians, managers, writers and other scene staples to look back on 2007. Below we asked Les Claypool, Marc Brownstein, Umphrey’s McGee, Reed Mathis, Railroad Earth and a number of other friends a series of four questions and, this time, their responses touched on such diverse topics as child birth, playing poker and, of course, The Police. Look for new installments regularly throughout the month as you catch the last sounds of 2007 (Click here to take a look at Set 1).

LES CLAYPOOL (Primus, Oysterhead, Electric Apricot)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

It is going to be a very good year for grapes. I live in the wine country, so…I found over 60 big bolete mushrooms this year. (laughs) It was a lousy salmon year.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

I would say that Miley Cyrus is probably going to take it to the next level, at least for my kids, which is unfortunate.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Probably the new Gogol Bordello record Super Taranta!.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

I was at the Police show in Cleveland and I thought that was amazing. I had heard so many mixed reviews and they were just on fire that night. It was incredible and really good to see that. The Gogol Bordello show at the Fillmore was fantastic. I caught half of Tool’s set the other night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and I thought that was amazing, mainly because I had eaten some mushrooms and the light show was melting my face. There are definitely not a lot of happy places where you can go in your mind when you’re watching Tool but the visuals are unbelievable (laughs).

For more on Les Claypool, please stay tuned for our December site feature.

MARC BROWNSTEIN (The Disco Biscuits, Conspirator)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

That is an easy one. Delivering my daughter into a hot-tub in front of a blazing fire in my living room. Greatest moment of my life (only greater than the home-birth of my son in that the second time around I was more experienced and had no fear).

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Radiohead.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Hallucinogen in Dub at Camp Bisco. It is simply divine…

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD player)?

Either Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky or Kanye’s Graduation for new albums.

For more on Marc Brownstein, check out this recent site feature.

TIM CARBONE (Railroad Earth)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Railroad Earth’s first tour of Japan. The music fans in Japan are rabid and the people are amazingly friendly and very respectful.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Boris Garcia. They’re a band from Philadelphia that, like Railroad Earth, are bringing great songwriting to the Jamband scene.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

The Avett Bros. at the Wakarusa Music Festival. They rocked the place with amazing songs and brilliant vocals.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Hey, call me old school, but it was the Beatles’ Love that I just couldn’t seem to get out of the CD player.

ACE COWBOY (Hidden Track)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

I believe the Chinese will mark 2007 as the Year of the Cash-Grab Reunion (and that it will say so right there on my placemat at the Nostalgia Szechuan Palace). This year I enjoyed more new artists and new albums than ever before, and somehow I’ll always look back at 2007 as the year we saw the reformation of Genesis, Van Halen, The Police, Crowded House, and the not-dead members of Led Freakin’ Zeppelin, not to mention the Jackson 5 signaling its intentions and Spandau Ballet’s one-night Vegas reunion. About the only broken-up band that stayed off the road is Jesse & The Rippers Aunt Becky was always very Yoko. Are Full House references still ‘hip’? Never?

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

My friend Jeff pointed me toward The Felice Brothers recently, and my jaw dropped straight to the floor. That sounds unsanitary, and it is. But this talented family of musicians is reminiscent of The Band, early Dylan, early Springsteen and whoever else you want to project on them. I think people will love ‘em when they hear ‘em. Honorable mention goes to a young British blues trio called Back Door Slam. Name aside, they rip.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

I’ll bash nostalgia in one breath and praise it in the next: My two favorite shows were probably Stevie Wonder and his Bar Mitzvah Back-up Band at MSG and Levon Helm & Friends at the Beacon. That, of course, doesn’t include the My Morning Jacket > Wilco bloc down at Austin City Limits, nor does it include the super-secret Phish show for 27 people at The Barn last month. Trust me, folks, go book every hotel in N. American and malnourish your dogs.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

If you see a professionally dressed white boy spastically twitching and performing Elaine Benes-style dance moves along the NYC subway system, chances are that’s me, and chances are I’m listening to LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver. Not only did James Murphy & Co. put on one of the best shows this year (at Randall’s Island opening for Arcade Fire), but they produced one of the tighter albums as well. Honorable mentions go to Radiohead’s In Rainbows, Arctic Monkeys’ Favourite Worst Nightmare and Andrew Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha.

DENNIS MCNALLY (_A Long Strange Trip_)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Watching the members of RatDog – all of them, crew as well as musicians, and Steve Kimock, super-sub, respond to Mark Karan’s throat cancer with class and style (and phone calls like, "Listen, you lazy bum…"). Seriously, a good bunch. And now that Mark’s finding his stride once more…good things to think about.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008? Sorry for the prejudice, but – Donna Jean and the Tricksters, far and away.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Zakir Hussain in Indore, India, solo. 10,000-seat sports arena, every seat filled, no cough, no sound for 90 minutes – absolutely transcendental.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Because I only got around to working with iTunes and an iPod this year, I’ve been entranced by the flexibility and accessibility it offers, and so I’ve sampled around artists rather than one or a few CDs – this includes, in no order, Anthony Braxton, Don Byron, the Golden Gate Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, Branford Marsalis, Zakir Hussain…and a couple of CDs – Bruce Hornsby’s Camp Meeting, David Grisman and Doc Watson’s, Doc and Dawg.

For more on Dennis McNally, check out this recent site feature.

AARON REDNER (Hot Buttered Rum)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

I will remember that 2007 was a year of making friends with people all over the country. I feel like we have a dozen different "families" in every region of the U.S. They’re the ones who make this life a reality.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Reverend Peyton and the Big Damn Band. We’ve played a bunch of shows with them and they BRING the energy every night!

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

I enjoyed Tea Leaf Green’s performance at High Sierra on the Big Meadow stage. There were amazing sit-ins with Reed Mathis and Dan Lebowitz. Solid Rock-n-roll!

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

The Hot Club of France with Django Reinhardt and Stane Grappelli in many different recordings. I never get sick of hearing this vibrant music.

MIKE DILLON

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Moving to New Orleans and getting to play with a slew of my musical heroes!!!!

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

The Dead Kenny G’s!!!

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

The Melvins with Big Business. Double drummers connected at the hip sack.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

It is a dead heat between Bad Brains’s Build a Nation, Cannonball Adderly with Milt Jackson’s Things Are Getting Better and all Deerhoof!!!

Fore more on Mike Dillon, check out this recent site feature.

JONATHAN FORDIN (Meatcamp Productions)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Bringing Camp Bisco to ILCC and having it be a huge success and it running smoother than any festival I have ever imagined. We had so much negative comments going in from the people that went to GOTV there, that we thought it was going to be a nightmare. Now we are going back for our second year and we have grown to love the people of ILCC and their staff. It is just an amazing place and the Potters feel like my own family.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

I would have to say that Telepath is one of my favorite new bands on the scene and I really think they will step it up to another level in 2008. They had a great break out year in 2007, hit some major festivals and did well on their first full tour. They are in the studio now working on a follow up to “Fire One.” I am very excited to see what comes out of that, since Fire One is so good. Also, just Telepath got announced on the first 15 nights of tour for Lotus 2008. There is another band out there that I also think is going to really take it to the next level. That is Afromotive, they sold out the Orange Peel on their first NYE performance last year and have had an amazing year since. They just released a brand new album and are currently on tour promoting that album. It is getting amazing reviews everywhere and I really think they will be someone to watch in 2008.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

I would have to say that being on stage at AMJAM for The Avett Brothers. I have never experienced anything like it. They had the people in front of them going absolutely nuts. I never could have imagined that three boys playing string instruments would have so much talent, raw energy and showmanship. They really know how to put on a show. Since then I have tried to book as many of their shows as possible and I listen to them all the time. I like to call it Indie/Hipster/Bluegrass.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

This is a tough call. There were three bands for me in 2007 that I really fell in love with and all three have been in my iTunes very often: Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, The Avett Brothers’ Emotionalism and all Muse’s albums.

For more on Meatcamp’s Echo Project, check out this recent site feature.

JOEL CUMMINS (Umphrey’s McGee)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

This was the year that I decided to get healthy again. And I bought a house where I can practice, record, read and generally just have a place that is really mine to hang out.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Even though they are already at the absolute top of their game, Radiohead will take it to the next level in 2008 once they are on tour. Their new album, In Rainbows, flows like a classic Beatles album in its concise, melodic structure, yet it is entrenched in the sounds and technology of 2007. It’s amazing and reaffirms their place in music as the most important band out there.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Stevie Wonder at Northerly Isle in Chicago. The night the show was scheduled to happen was a 50 degree, rainy, raw night. Stevie came out and said the show would be rescheduled for the following night. I had to teach the first night and couldn’t go. The rescheduling opened up a ticket for me, and interestingly, the night of the rescheduled concert fell on September 11th. Stevie came out and made some poignant remarks regarding the significance of the day for both himself and others, then launched into an inspired and positively captivating performance. He was amazing….on key, charismatic, and technically perfect both vocally and on the keys. The band nailed hit after hit and left the entire audience in a state of euphoria. I should add that the performance started around 8:30 and he finally walked of the stage shortly after 11:15. What a night.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Los Lobos’s The Town and the City. A great collection of stories about being a working immigrant in California. The music is so compelling, often beautiful, always spirited, and the production just rocks. I can’t stop listening.

For more on Umphrey’s McGee, check out this recent site feature.

ANDY BERNSTEIN (HeadCount, Pharmer’s Almanac)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

A four day span that started with the HeadCount RatDog benefit and ending with the most incredible day of my life at Bonnaroo

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

The Spare Parts (Chicago-based funk-fusion)

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Air at the TLA. Because great music makes for great concerts

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD player)?

Pete Townshend’s Who Came First (it hasn’t left my CD player in years).

For more on HeadCount, check out the organization’s monthly Jambands.com column.

REED MATHIS (JFJO, Tea Leaf Green)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Making records! Spending all 12 months on the upcoming JFJO studio album…due out in April and making Invisible Baby with Benevento, Chamberlain and Barr.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Only one way to find out….

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

My favorite live performance from the last year was Benevento, Mathis, Chamberlain at Seattle’s Triple Door in August.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Charlie Parker, the Four Carnegie Hall Shows (remastered by me).

For more on Jacob Fred, please check out this recent feature on our sister site Relix.com.

MARK MULLINS (Bonerama)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

I’ll remember 2007 as our (Bonerama) busiest year to date and playing the Monterey Jazz Festival. Plus, I will remember 2007 as a pivotal year for New Orleans in post-Katrina times.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

All my bets are on Bonerama. I’d like to see Drive-By Truckers have a slamming 2008 too.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Out of what little I got to see this year I’d say Rage Against The Machine at Voodoo Festival New Orleans was awesome. My favorite 2007 live performance from the stage, though was the second night at Cervantes in Denver CO on 11/24/07 when Bonerama and PBS (Porter Batiste Stoltz) played together. Night’s like that are why we play music.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Jeff Buckley Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, but from only 2007 Releases its Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild.

For more on Bonerama, check out this recent site feature .

EVAN WINIKER (Steel Train)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Playing online poker for over a thousand hours.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Dr. Dog and the 1900s.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

The Dears at SXSW. They were just so good.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Hmmm…probably The Slip’s Eisenhower.

For more on Steel Train, please stay tuned for our December site feature.

JESS “JFS” BESACK (Sirius Jam On)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Finally moving to Brooklyn.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

The Budos Band. They’re an Afrobeat horn ensemble comprised of about thirteen good-looking guys, and they kick ass. Jay-Z might be wrong, I’m pretty sure this is the real black superhero music

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

I saw Amy Winehouse in March before she totally went off the deep end, which was great. Then it was LCD Soundsystem three times in their spring tour James Murphy’s live presence has a way of making you feel like you’re in the most important place on earth. Battles and M.I.A. at Studio B were two of the hottest shows I’ve seen this year, in both senses of the word. And PJ Harvey at the Beacon a few months ago! Goosebumps.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your ITunes?

Looks like the National’s “Boxer” and Kanye West “Graduation” are tied for #1. Also my good friend Patrick Lee’s amazing electronic records, Twelve Tusk Piano and Owl and A Suit Tree with Lemons. The list could go on2007 was a great year for music!

BOB STIRMER (Boris Garcia)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

The incredible response that Boris Garcia received as we performed throughout the 2007 summer festival circuit

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Donna Jean and the Tricksters

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Boris Garcia had a most excellent adventure opening the Rex Foundation/ State Theater performance with NRPS and Donna Jean, including an all acoustic version of “Candyman” with Buddy Cage on pedal steel and Donna Jean on vocals.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Delta Momma Blues by Townes Van Zandt

For more on Boris Garcia, check out this recent feature on our sister site Relix.com.

TAD HENDRICKSON (Global Rhythm Magazine)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

I traveled way too much in the summer. It seemed like I was gone every other weekend either for work or visiting family or something. New York in the summer is often glorious as long as it stays under 90.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

Led Zeppelin? Actually two bands. Dengue Fever is becoming very good with their mix of Psychedelic Rock and Cambodian vocals. Really! Saw Seun Kuti twice in 2007, once in a club in NYC and once in Spain at a festival, and both times he killed even though the sets were quite different. The band (18 members strong) is almost overwhelming if you’re not careful.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Points to the Police for reforming. Points to Gogol Bordello for continuing to bring it live. But seeing Sharon Jones live at the Apollo is going to be etched in my memory for some time to come.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

English Beat’s I Just Can’t Stop It. It’s an all-time top 10 favorite and I just checked and it’s been played the most, second was The Specials first album. Guess I’ve been on a Second Wave ska kick, but really that isn’t surprising. I don’t put new music on my iPod, it’s almost all stuff I’ve had for years and love but can’t find time to listen to if it’s not on my iPod.

DAVID LEVY (Out to Lunch)

1) What will you remember most about 2007?

Spending 20 hours mixing my album with engineer Kris Smith at Q Division Studio, sleeping on a couch for about an hour and half at the studio, going out for breakfast, and then doing it all over again.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

The Chameleon Project (based in Toronto)

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? Cecil Taylor at the Lincoln Center. The Lincoln Center tried to cut him off half way through his set by turning on the house lights, but he played right through it. 4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace, particularly the tracks “Mary Don’t You Weep” and “Amazing Grace.”

Special thanks to Randy Ray

_Mike Greenhaus stores his best typos from 2007 at www.greenhauseffect.com

Show 0 Comments

Relix.com