Posts Tagged ‘Drums’

Give the Drummer(s) Some!

January 12, 2015
Brian Chippendale's drum kit.

Brian Chippendale’s drum kit.

Take two drummers from bands that don’t follow conventional rock standards, put them in a room together with two drum sets, say GO!, and you get this. Brian Chippendale from Lightning Bolt and Greg Saunier from Deerhoof put out a two track LP of the two playing as a drum duo. There is an accompanying documentary that gives some background on the two. I’ve seen Chippendale live and he’s a manically fast and attacking drummer. Saunier, from clips I’ve seen is equally as forceful but gets there in a more roundabout way with legs and arms moving like an octopuses tentacles.

Drum solos usually aren’t a means to an end, they are sandwiched between the bread of a rock song. That’s why this an interesting listen to me. They mess around with tempo, the individual drums in their kits that they either play in tandem, opposition or somewhere in between. They lock into grooves that then crumble around them and they start building again. I don’t know if the two tracks were recorded sequentially but the second seems a little more complete as a composition and maybe an easier intro for a listener.

I don’t think it’s something for everyone, but if you enjoy percussion or improvisational jazz, I think you should check it out.  You can stream both tracks at the link above.

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Drum Sandwich

March 24, 2010

Happy Jack – The Who from A Quick One (Happy Jack in its US release)

I played the drums through high school so I’ve always been a sucker for good drumming.  The Who had it in spades with Keith Moon, and I fell in love with this song from the first time I heard it.  This song certainly doesn’t start out like a drummer’s dream.  In fact, the drumming is sparse, a single tom strike, then a double, then a couple more doubles.    The first 30 seconds is mostly bass and vocals, and backing vocals of ohs and las more suited to a Beach Boys tune than the the band known for destroying its instruments on stage.

That soft beginning is the first piece of bread in the “drum sandwich.”  Then the next 18 seconds are the first piece of “meat.”  A quickly crescendoing combination of tom and cymbals takes over and then fades back as the next piece of bread is laid down.  But Moon is quickly back in the spotlight again.  This time no vocals and he’s got centerstage.  One more slice of bread, and then Moon is back at it again.  The tom and cymbal still dominate, but this time there’s some additional percussion I can’t quite identify (a clava maybe? handclaps?).  I think the fact there’s almost no snare in the soloing, that it’s almost all tom-toms made this a unique solo to me.   A quick aside, when I was doing a mix of songs I listened to in high school, I was trying to find a song to transition to from Fugazi’s Repeater.  The funky tom breakdown in that song just cried out Happy Jack and I was pleasantly suprised at the how well the transition worked out.

Anyways, completing the sandwich metaphor, the Who slap one more piece of bread down after Moon’s last outburst to complete this triple decker sandwich.  Yum.  And I always want to come back for seconds.