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Published: 2011/12/30

Auld Lang Syne Set 5: Mike Gordon, Mocean Worker, Wicked Knee, Eliot Lipp, Brock Butler…


What were some special moments from 2011?

Steve Bernstein: I can barely remember last night!

Billy Martin: Well, this band got started. We recorded and got together, and literally learned the tunes in the studio in one day, and we made a record in January or February. It was amazing how we pulled it together ‘cause we had some original things, and some complicated things – the birth of Wicked Knee. And I just did the Bear Creek Music Festival – that was great. Played with Scofield, got to hang out with the Meters…

What were some great shows that either you played or witnessed?

SB: We played at La Villett in Paris with my slide project. It was a double bill with MMW. Medeski played with us. Some great singers we had with us. My new record came out this year. A couple nights ago I slept for like ten hours. That was really good.

Who have you been listening to recently?

SB: Most people I listen to are dead.

BM: Gabriel Kahane is an incredible songwriter, a really great composer. He’s doing some really great with like Orpheus Chamber and some singer songwriter stuff. I think he has a new record out. And the new Tom Waits record is great.

SB: Superhuman Happiness!

BM: I think one of my students is in that band.

Any musicians you’d like to collaborate with in 2012?

BM: This band would be a great section for anybody. Trombone Shorty would be cool.

SB: We’d like to get this band down to New Orleans this year.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

BM: Practice more, write more music, paint more, more artwork, exercise every day, play more music with my friends. Lighten up a little!

SB: I gotta darken up a little!



What will you remember most about 2011?

Such a broad question…. Let’s tie it back to music so I don’t feel bad for not saying “Occupy Wall St.” or something. Bonnaroo was awesome. The magnitude of that festival and the array of music was insane. It was great seeing Arcade Fire and My Morning Jacket from the front row as their “colleague”. He he. That sounds funny. Recently we had an AMAZING show at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland too. Don’t think I’ll ever forget that one.

What albums appear most in your iTunes or iPod?

The year is long but in 2011 I became a very big fan of Death Cab for Cutie. Bought their whole catalog in the first two weeks of listening to them. (I’m currently spinning Codes and Keys). So probably them.

What was the best musical discovery you made in 2011?

I guess see above…. Death Cab for Cutie. I love the lyrics, arrangements, and the pop sentiment. Indie rock has been a nice outlet for me. The albums are so central to the songs themselves. Not about flashy guitar solos or diva vocals. Not to say that neither are there…

What was your favorite show or tour of 2011?

In July we did a Mega-Tour. I say mega because we drove to upstate NY for Grey Fox and then to All Good and the to the NWSS in Oregon. Then we toured down the Cali coast and stopped thru CO on the way home for Yarmony Grass. It was a tour of epic proportions with stops at the most amazing parties.

What musicians should readers look out for in 2012?

Oh. An up and coming prediction? This is kinda tough for me. I’m guilty of going thru this pop music phase. I’m listening to what everybody else already knows about. Like Foster the People. I love that album. And the music video for Helena Beat is insanely cool. What’s next? The Deadly Gentleman are a great Bluegrass outfit on the rise. We’re hoping to do some shows with them. Watch out!

Are there any musicians you would like to collaborate with in 2012?

We’ve had a lot of fun doing co-bill tours with our peer bands. We’d love to do it again with the Infamous Stringdusters or Trampled by Turtles. We’re also getting close to bringing our own opening band on tour which is exciting. It’s not to have a different local band in every market but there’s an awesome camaraderie in having the same group each night.

How do you plan to ring in the New Year?

We are playing two nights in Detroit and excited for it. We’ll have some time off to relax and get new stuff brewing before. And we are happy to be bringing the holiday show back to our Michigan fans. Plus Detroit is like… a major airport hub so… ANYONE CAN COME!

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Make less mistakes. Be better. Ha. I don’t know. Does anyone?

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