Amoeblog

From Ages 1 to 5: When Very Young Drummers Get Wicked

Posted by Billyjam, September 1, 2010 05:03am | Post a Comment
If I had to pick only one instrument to listen to it would have to be the drum. I love the drums and could listen to drumming all day long, so long as it's played by someone with a bit of rhythm in them, of course. And I've noticed with the drums, as with other instruments, that younger players (as in ages five and under) are often quite adept at playing the instrument.

So I recently went online to find a slew of young drummers aged one (yes, a one year old!) to five and I was surprised at the number of talented young kids out there with some serious raw rhythm & funky drumming talent. Of the five videos below many were shot two or three years ago, so obviously the players have grown up considerably since.

The first drumming clip below is 5 year old Kendall. The 4 year old is Igor Falecki from Poland and you can read more about him here. Three year old Levi Eschelman's video below has already gotten nearly nine million hits on YouTube and was originally featured on the Be a Drumhead  DVD featuring Will Kennedy & Bob Gatzen. The amazing two year old drummer is Zaiven (well, he is actually 2 years, 3 months old). He was captured in the video below playing his first public performance in Denver, Colorado in 2007. And from that same year is the (then) one year old  Baby Charli. Wicked!

5 year old drummer Kendall getting wicked on the drums

4 year old Igor Falecki, Poland

3 year old Levi Eschelman

2 year old drummer Zaiven

1 year old female drummer Baby Charli

FEMALE DRUMMERS: AMOEBITE KAITLIN INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, September 17, 2009 05:30pm | Post a Comment
Kaitlin

One of the many highlights of the recent Amoebapalooza North 2009 at the Mezzanine club in San Francisco (August 2nd) was the power-duo-- the $helbyville $helbyvilllains' all too short set in which talented San Francisco Amoebites Josh Pollock (guitar/vocals) and Kaitlin Layher (drums, above) effortlessly channeled the White Stripes. Even more impressive was the fact I later learned: that Kaitlin had only been playing the drums for a relatively short time and that this was the first time that she had ever played drums out in public. I recently caught up with Kaitlin to ask her about her personal Moe Tuckerexperiences as a drummer, as well as about female drummers in general as part of the long running In Celebration of the Drum Amoeblog series.

Amoeblog: Who are among your favorite female drummers and why?

Kaitlin: My favorite female drummer currently drumming is Adrienne Davies of Earth. I love watching her controlled, deliberate movements.  She's hypnotizing. Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground was amazing as well as Karen Carpenter. And, of course, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Meg White of The White Stripes. But you can't forget the all-girl groups, too! The Bangles and The Runaways were simply solid bands with solid drummers.

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IN CELEBRATION OF THE DRUM: PART SIX, TWO DRUMMER BANDS

Posted by Billyjam, January 23, 2008 09:00am | Post a Comment

Q: In a rock band what could be better than hearing the drummer banging out a killer rhythm?
A: How about two drummers?

Most popular with groups formed in the seventies, the phenomenon of bands with two drummers -- each with their own full drum kits set up live and/or in recording sessions -- have included the Allman Brothers with drummers Jai Johany Johansen & Butch Trucks, the Doobie Brothers, the Grateful Dead with Mickey Hart & Bill Kruetzman, .38 Special, the Outlaws, Genesis (post Peter Gabriel as in the above clip from 1976 with dual percussionists Bill Buford and a bearded/pre vocal pop sensation Phil Collins), (for part of their career) space rockers Hawkwind, King Crimson (in the nineties), Foreigner, Yes, Adam & the Ants, and the more contemporary rock group Modest Mouse. Note that some of these only occasionally/sporadically utilize the two drummer set up.
               













The advantage of having two drummers varies depending on who you ask. In fact, many believe that it is just plain unnecessary -- that if one drummer is good enough, that he/she can do an adequate job alone. There are many reasons to utilize two drummers, including that together two drummers can create a more full big beat sound and groove, that they can switch up types of drums each play, and that together they can really speed up the tempo.

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IN CELEBRATION OF THE DRUM: PART FIVE, THE ROOT OF ALL MUSIC:

Posted by Billyjam, January 22, 2008 07:52am | Post a Comment

To me, the drum or percussion is the basis of all music. I believe that the drum has to have been the original instrument played by our earliest forefathers on this earth. All they needed was a stick and some (preferably hollow) object to bang out a rhythm on. In fact, they didn't even need that when they had their mouths to make percussive sounds with, a la Biz Markie.

In fact, I would bet money that at the beginning of human life on this earth -- long, long, long before hip-hop was born in the Boogie Down Bronx there were some cavemen in a circle (who couldn't even articulate words to communicate with one another) making music with their mouths, primitive beat-boxing.

And to this day there is some distinctive quality about the drum that is automatically universally communicative, not to mention healing. Everyone  understands and feels the drum, even if they don't speak each others' language. That is why, I believe, house or electronic music, which is typically vocal-less and based on rhythm, is the most popular (even over hip-hop) on a global scale. People of all races and backgrounds can readily relate to the hypnotic, tribal feel of the drum. For proof, go sit in or nearby a drum circle in any place in the world.

So for this fifth installment in the ongoing In Celebration of the Drum Amoeblog series, I say let the drummer get wicked, well wicked -- in the form of these three great video clips including the French beatboxer Joseph, the Japanese drummers whose formal attire should not fool you into thinking they can't get funky, and the wonderful American marching band, hip-hop drummers in the clip on top of this Amoeblog.

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IN CELEBRATION OF THE DRUM: PART THREE, JOHN BONHAM

Posted by Billyjam, January 10, 2008 07:25am | Post a Comment

John Bonham of Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dicjohn bonhamk" drum solo off the 1969 album Led Zeppelin II is considered by many to be the best rock drum solo of all time The track is featured both above and below in two very different versions.

The above clip, taken from The Song Remains The Same DVD, captures the late, great artist (tragically dead at the young age of 32) at his best live -- only problem with the film clip is that it keeps cutting away to non music footage when all you want to see/hear is the drumming.

Meanwhile, below is an audio only (just one still image) YouTube clip of the song but in a completely different, raw version. It is the drum solo as it was originally recorded -- isolated from all other sounds. Reportedly recorded in May 1969 in Los Angeles, this earlier solo (only the drums for whole track) was originally titled "Pat's Delight" and the solo here, as you'll hear, is much longer than the one that later appeared as part of the Led Zep Moby Dick track.

Revisiting this drum solo now -- at a time when Led Zeppelin have surprised the world and reformed after not playing a full concert together as Led Zeppelin since Bonham died in 1980 -- makes it all thled zeppelin iie more fitting and profound, not to mention sad. One can't help but wonder what if John Bonham hadn't died so young in life? What if he were alive and able to join Robert Plant and the newly re-banded Led Zeppelin?

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