Posts tagged YouTube baboons

Dear POUND: Please GFY


Looks like I need to collect another meaningless certification! This unites my three great loves: wannabe musicians, self-made fitness experts, and dumbass jerkheads.

Double Bass Triggers Are Cheating!


I mean, if this guy didn’t have triggers (and Axis pedals), he’d only be able to play, like, 1430bpm. <Scoff>

Lombardo-Benante-Portnoy Train Wreck…


This is disappointing. Mike Portnoy, Charlie Benante, and Dave Lombardo are all early influences of mine. I love so much of what they’ve done. This “drum battle” during Metal Masters 3 at the Key Club in Hollywood on April 12 is pretty rough stuff, though. Fun to see nonetheless…

Here’s a slightly better Charlie Benante duet with John Tempesta:

Portnoy + Dimmu Borgir = WTF?


I just read this and audibly guffawed: “Mike Portnoy Bashes For Dimmu Borgir”.

Something tells me Mike’s born-again, 12-step preaching will not go over too well with the boys in Dimmu…

Mike Portnoy Dimmu Borgir

I wish I could be more excited by this, but I have reservations. I suppose it’s no more bizarre than Marco Minnemann playing with Necrophagist (2), but it seems like a cosmic dissonance to me. I have no doubt in Mike’s ability to do this gig, though I hope he’s prepared for the YouTube baboons to begin the cackling battle cries. Oh, I can foresee it so clearly: “dude portnoy sux he can on;y ply blast beet @ 210bpm”. Et cetera

Review » Tales from the Cymbal Bag


Tales from the Cymbal Bag
Book: Tales from the Cymbal Bag
Author: Lennie Dimuzio with Jim Coffin
Publisher: Jump Back Baby
DD Rating: dd_ratingdd_ratingdd_ratingdd_ratingdd_rating-gray

Need to drop a hint for a holiday gift? Here ya go! This is a very entertaining chronicle of drumming’s most revolutionary periods. It’s a terrific book if for the pictures alone.

Tales from the Cymbal Bag is the biography of Lennie Dimuzio, Zildjian’s Artist Relations director for decades. A quote from Zildjian says it best: “There’s a little bit of Lennie DiMuzio in almost every great drummer’s sound.” The book begins at the beginning, with trailblazers like Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, and Papa Jo Jones. (Great stories on all, but the ones of Papa visiting the Zildjian factory are priceless.) It progresses through the rise of rock drummers and the necessary invention of Zildjian A cymbals, on to the rise of the phenom fusion guys and the invention of Steve Gadd’s signature sound—the Zildjian K line. (The development of the modern recreation of the K Constantinople sound for Bill Stewart is another great anecdote.) I particularly love the period of the ’80s and ’90s, which was when the explosion of super drummers and big-time endorsements really had its heyday. There are many pictures and stories involving the giants of that period like Weckl, Gadd, Vinnie, and other monsters on the Zildjian endorser roster.

I think the book is especially interesting for those who grew up drumming pre-2000, before the age of every jackass thinking he’s a drum god on YouTube. It seems to me that either because of or in conjunction with Web 2.0 we’ve lost much of that legitimate hero worship that made the Gadds, Vinnies, and Weckls exalted superstars. There doesn’t seem to be as strong a sense of history anymore. Few up-and-comers see further back than Travis Barker and Joey Jordison—and I don’t say this as a slight to those two. I’m sure many big band drummers said the same of the mid-20th century modern jazz drummers, who said the same of rock and fusion drummers, and so on. Certainly a topic for another post… It’s not just nostalgia that makes Tales from the Cymbal Bag enjoyable, but the sense of honoring what came before.

In addition to the who’s-who stories and photos, there are also many great tales that have nothing to do with drumming but with business and tomfoolery. I have on good authority that some of the recollections aren’t entirely accurate, Lennie’s defection to Sabian is pretty well glossed over, and much of the real shenanigans have been toned down, but this could only be known by true insiders and won’t affect in the least the entertainment of the general drumming public. Regardless, Tales from the Cymbal Bag is a fascinating personal account of drumming’s most important eras, periods with fundamental importance that we are unlikely to ever see again.

"Wash Riding"? Really?

I've got your wash riding right here!

I've got your wash riding right here!

What the hell is this new “wash riding” craze? It seems to be the new buzzword in the drum mags and on the interwebs. Sabian even has a whole website dedicated to it. Whether they’re behind this marketing marvel or just perpetuating it I haven’t a clue. Either way, they define it as “A style of drumming where the driving beat traditionally played on a hi-hat or ride cymbal is now played in an open crashing style, creating a penetrating ‘wash’ or roar of cymbal sound.”

Oh, you mean loud?

Why are we treating this like it’s something new and non-traditional? I have nothing against the act of “wash riding”; I just think it’s stupid to make a fad of it and make it seem like an all-or-nothing stylistic decision. Yo, I only wash ride! Only old dudes play ride cymbals with the tip of their stick! Unless I don’t know crap about playing drums, I was under the apparently mistaken impression that technique and nuance—a couple concepts of minor importance—would dictate how to hit a cymbal. No, not in a jazz nazi “I’m going to devote the next twelve months to practicing only how to make my K Constantinople speak in forty-seven distinct sounds, man” kind of way. I mean, hit the cymbal appropriately for the context. You know, play for the song?

In the November 2010 issue of DRUM!, in the “P.O.V.” feature, a question is posed: “Is Wash Riding or Ping Riding more effective for the kind of music you play?” [Holy hell, don’t make me write another post if “ping riding” is the next forced entry into the drumming lexicon!] This at least frames it as a stylistic decision, and a perfectly appropriate answer is offered by Tommy Clufetos:

As always the music dictates which drums I hit and when. So one is not more effective than the other in the animalistic outrage rock and roll bands I play in—it’s when one is called for more than the other. So use your ears and let the dynamics of the music be your guide.

No shit? But… I ask again: Why give credence to this?!

Ever since the first percussionist to accidentally smack a cymbal with the shoulder of his stick or spank a half-open hi-hat, the collective drumming hive-mind has known how to increase volume and sustain. So why is this only now something “the kids” are doing? It’s not! Some dingbat YouTube baboon just came up with a name for it.

I don’t get it.

In the spirit of this nonsense, I pose the following questions:

  • Are sticks or brushes more effective for the kind of music you play?
  • Do you prefer buzz rolls or double stroke rolls?
  • Do you prefer rim shots or hitting the snare with the tip of the stick?

See? Stupid.

[I feel better now.]

Drum Battle: Buddy Rich vs. Animal


The all-time classic. Let’s hope this version doesn’t get yanked off YouTube.

P.S. Don’t read the comments unless you want to further despair the future of critical thought and coherent diction…

Mike Portnoy Revisited


My first exposure to Mike Portnoy was, I think, seeing him in Mapex ads in Modern Drummer in the early 1990s. Pretty soon, he was everywhere in MD: ads, articles, features, interviews, blurbs… Then, I saw a transcription of the opening to “6:00” in a Sabian brochure. I had to hear it.

I went to Blockbuster Music (remember those?), where they would open any CD and let you listen to it. That’s when I heard “6:00” for the first time. Holy crap… My fifteen-year-old head nearly exploded. Yeah, I’d heard and seen a lot of great drumming to that point, but Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater differed so greatly from what I was into at the time. And that was the start of long (mild) obsession with the band and their drummer.

This goes double for drum videos…

xkcd - YouTube
xkcd - Listen to Yourself

Mike Mangini Clinic 04.09.10


Axiom Mangini flyerI haven’t seen Mike Mangini since I graduated Berklee in 2005, so I was very excited to see what he’s developed in the last five years. I was sure he, unlike me, had added a truckload of new tricks and concepts to his arsenal.

A big reason why Mike is often derided by YouTube baboons for not being “musical” is that his abilities are impressive on both a very technical and cerebral level. What often sounds like drums falling down stairs is actually something that is conceptually nothing short of astounding. So, I thought it was unfortunate that Mike had to issue a disclaimer before sitting down at the kit, stating that not everything he would be playing would be “musical”, comparing clinic drumming to a slam dunk contest, etc. The internet nonsense had already begun back when I was studying with him, but it was evident in Mike’s demeanor that it’s a worsening distraction that gnaws at him at least enough to now warrant a verbal disclaimer before taking the stage.

I’m of the opinion that if people can’t understand or appreciate what he’s doing, then, well… so what? The disclaimer should be “I’m about to blow your freaking mind. If you can’t understand what’s going on up here, I will explain. If you’re just going to right nanny-nanny-boo-boo things about me in 3rd-grade English on the Internet anyway, eat a turd and leave—in either order.” But then again, I’m not an internationally-known drum superstar with endorsements and fans that are legion…

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