Friday, October 30, 2015

Band Review: Bongley Dead

I don't have a lot of information about Bongley Dead. I found them not through the usual process of being followed on Twitter - I don't think they are on Twitter - but by a sound file left in a comment on a blog post. Well, I don't mind unconventional approaches.

I have only found one web page at all affiliated with them, and even for that page the browsing could be a bit more convenient. It is still the source of a generous amount of good music.

There is a demo from 2012, Album 1 from 2013, and Album 2 with no date, for twenty-five tracks in all that are solid listening.

The band name and the descriptions of the band members' jobs make it seem like the music should be more geared toward horror. Marcello is responsible for evil, as well as vox and guitars, and that makes the "solver" by drummer Simone's name, and even "secretary" by bass player Federico, seem more ominous. However, the music is more traditionally rock than you might expect.

There is a kind of '90s alternative feel. The recording quality is more crisp than muddy, with more of a focus on guitars. At times I was reminded of Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains, and even a little bit of the BoDeans on "The Edo Song". Bongley Dead establishes good grooves.

To really get an idea of their guitar skills, the best tracks to listen to are probably "Is It My Feet" and "Wasteland". Good tracks in general include "Wild Black Comedy", "Chained Monkeys", "The Way U Love Me" (not at all like the Paula Abdul song, which is fine), "Little Shine", and "A Better Daybreak".

I wouldn't mind seeing a stronger web presence for the band, helping them reach fans more effectively, but they have put good music out onto the internet, and I can't complain about that.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Band Review: Requiem for the Dead

I don’t know what I’m doing this week.

With Halloween approaching, I wanted to see if I could review some bands that were a little more seasonally appropriate. I ended up choosing two bands with “Dead” in their name (but not with “Grateful).

I had Requiem for the Dead down as a band recommended by various members of Farewell, My Love, and I started listening to them this week. I really liked them. Their music was both energizing and emotional. This could be a band for Cure fans who want something livelier, or Psychedelic Furs fans who want something more rock, or people who won’t have any idea what those last two things mean but like good music.

Then, when I was looking for links to include with the review, it appeared that I was listening to the wrong band. The band that I had meant to check out seemed to be going by just Requiem, and had a much harsher sound.

Normally I would consider that to be serendipity; I had one found one band I liked by accident and could always check out the other one later. Then it looked like the band that I liked was done, with no new web activity since early 2014. I have reviewed bands post-breakup before, but if I like the band it’s disappointing.

Then there were other things that added to the confusion. There was a guitarist for Requiem for the Dead whose link went to a page not found, and their Facebook link from Reverb Nation was also broken. However, the Reverb Nation page also mentioned a new release coming that matched Requiem. Spotify has them as two separate bands with separate albums.

At this point I am assuming that the band did a major retooling and did not fully clean up the internet. This is not that unusual, but it can still be frustrating. Or perhaps I am just irritated because I liked them better the old way.

So this is what I can say. The 2013 Memories EP by Requiem for the Dead is really good, as are some of their other songs on Reverb Nation. If you listen to The Unexplainable Truth by Requiem, I can hear traces of the previous sound, but it is a lot more hard-core and less melodic. Something happened, but I don’t really know what.


And also that a lot of the links aren’t that informative, but I’m putting them up anyway.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Where they went wrong

Fortunately, before I read Grossman and Pinker I already had some experience in being disappointed by authors.

As part of my long reading list I read The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, and I really liked it. Then he let me down.

I read multiple articles on it. The Buzzfeed link is more about Ronson and the book, but the Shakesville link is really important for context, and for Ronson's duplicity in dealing with Adria Richards, which I find interesting in light of his sympathy for the quote manufacturer that is mentioned in the Buzzfeed article. I just have no trust for Ronson anymore.

Let me go back to On Killing. What I thought at the time was that Grossman was so entrenched in the military mindset that it limited his outer view. There were some things it helped him to understand better, but other things it made him miss.

It is completely normal for your lived experience to affect how you view the world. I know a lot of people get their hackles raised when you bring up "privilege", but it is true that there are things that you don't have to know. That doesn't apply to Grossman as much, but I totally believe it applies to Ronson and Pinker.

I don't have to think about what being black is like; I do have to know what being a woman is like. There are things I am aware of because of my economic status, and because of being educated, and because of being fat, but I don't have to know about being queer or not having good educational opportunities available, and I wouldn't if I didn't make a point of listening and reading.

if your circumstances place you at the top of the hierarchy (straight white male), then it is easy to only know that experience. These particular writers missing important things is not surprising.

Therefore it is easy for Ronson to compare job loss to rape. It is easy for him to sympathize more with the person who lost one job (where he already had a file) and still has a fair amount of privacy than the person who has had death threats and online harassment and had much worse employment problems. That is not changed by the fact that the man was violating the conference's policy, and the woman was following it.

It is easy for Pinker to decry rape culture as a thing when he is not the one devalued by it. Honestly, we might not have the right name for it. Right now I am finishing up Danielle McGuire's At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance. Black women were raped and sexually molested by white men frequently, and there were rarely any repercussions. At the same time, accusations of the rape of white women got black men killed pretty regularly and the fear of it was used to keep white people afraid of integration.

That is about maintaining a social structure, so it is political. That doesn't mean there is nothing personal there, or that the sexual aspects are meaningless, but that's not all it is. It can be perfectly reasonable then to see in how we as a society respond to rape that there is something more there.

I don't want to prove rape culture or resolve online harassment in this post, but there are two things that I notice. One is that privilege comes through. Adria Richards, as a black woman, gets abuse that the person she reported got to skip. That's not a coincidence. You can find lots and lots of examples of that happening. So white guys missing things is one thing, but when the people at the top of the heap won't see the problems of those lower down, that's a structural problem and it needs addressing if we are going to pretend to care about fairness and justice and democracy.

The other thing I notice is that since you do have to actively seek out other viewpoints to get the full picture, it is fascinating and discouraging how strongly some people resist the inclusion of other voices. I read recently that diversity has become a word that people use to avoid talking about race, but that's unfortunate. Truly seeking out diversity means that you can get better information and better ideas.

That's why you need to hear from other writers, even though publishing is mostly white. You need to have racial diversity in film crews, and not just the cast. You need to be hearing from different people on the opinion pages. Unless we just don't care, but we should care.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

They have greatly disappointed me

It is possible that one purpose of the (for lack of a better categorization) self-actualization reading list was to learn that people can be wrong about some things and right about others, or not to completely discount someone for their shortcomings. If that was the case, it may not have worked.

I have no problems with Alexander, Maslow, or Erdman for that matter, but before I got to reading the books I started having some problems with Pinker and Grossman.

I did not change my plans for reading the books, though that has happened with other authors. (I learned how to delete books from my Goodreads reading list because of Malcolm Gladwell.)

I think I am going to go over the basics today, and then try and make a point tomorrow.

There were actually two things with Grossman. In the original interview along with mentioning how the changes in training - and specifically shooting practice - increased the kill rate, he did mention video games then as damaging. I heard it but it wasn't my focus.

Later when I was reading Killing Monsters: Our Children's Need for Fantasy, Heroism and Make-Believe Violence by Gerard Jones, Jones made a much better case for the safety of video games and the role they play. Jones' work made me more skeptical of Grossman, but not nearly as much as someone attributing the sheepdog analogy to Grossman.

The idea is that there are wolves, which are dangerous to the sheep, and sheepdogs are scary because they look like wolves and sometimes act like wolves, but they are needed to protect the sheep. I have referred to it before. At the time some police were passing it around as kind of a justification for some police brutality that happened.

Grossman referred to it in On Killing, but as an analogy he had heard from an old soldier, and that he didn't strongly endorse. It felt to me that he was telling it more as an interesting viewpoint. It also goes against pretty much everything else he had written, because a lot of people tell the story as if the sheep couldn't do what the sheepdogs do. Grossman's point is that we train them to be killers for a specific purpose, and then we need to have a means of bringing them out of that mode through ritual or a readjustment time. (Therefore, anyone can become a sheepdog and we need to be careful not to leave them in sheepdog mode.)

That is more practical to do with soldiers than with law enforcement, which may be just one more reason to completely rethink law enforcement. Grossman does not get there at all. After making this very strong case for all that their training does to make soldiers and police killers, suddenly violence in society is due to video games and soldier's adjustment problems are because people were not welcoming to Vietnam vets. The book was first published in 1995, so he wouldn't have had a chance to observe a lot of post-Gulf War issues, back when "Support Our Troops" was everywhere. Still, it was such a sudden and mystifying shift. I guess it was less of a let-down because I'd had reasons to suspect that he would let me down before I got there.

I still think Grossman's intentions are good, and probably 70% of the book is really good. That may sound tepid, but it is absolutely glowing compared to my thoughts on Steven Pinker.

Pinker attacked rape culture. No, he's not attacking that there is a culture where women are devalued, and the common response to any report of rape is to wonder how the person was asking for it, and that it should be dismantled. He attacked the idea that this is a thing.

To some extent I could see where he was coming from. Since Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape came out in 1975, there has been a growing understanding that rape is about power. Movies and television shows will often have it as a throwaway line, "Rape's not about sex; it's about power." That is routine now, but it took a while. The first time I remember hearing it was in the ads for Disclosure, a 1994 movie.

Pinker says rape is about sex.

I won't deny that Against Our Will has it's shortcomings, and there are a lot of contemporary issues that it doesn't cover. At forty years old, that's not surprising. For the time it was groundbreaking, but as soon as you figure some things out that gives you new things to figure out.

I have no objection to someone re-examining rape culture, or what roles sex and power play in rape, but just dismissing something for which there is so much evidence, and which causes so much damage, and which I can't help but know is unlikely to happen to Pinker himself does make him seem like kind of an arrogant ass.

And his book was greatly disappointing too. He had some great writing samples from other people, and I am glad I read those, but there was so much that just dragged in between. Furthermore, if the whole point of this style guide is that it was written by a cognitive scientist instead of one more writer or editor, why did it read so much like all the other style guides by writers and editors?

So perhaps one way of analyzing this is that some people may be good at collecting data or examples, but not at interpreting them, and these two writers happened to be good collectors. I think there is something else going on though (which I hinted at in the third paragraph), and we will get to that tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2015

My self-actualization reading list

I am pretty much done with another set of books that I had grouped together.

The title is questionable. Even when I knew that I would bunch them together, I was thinking of them more visually, as the spot in the spreadsheet where I had listed them. Then I could think, "Yeah, those." I knew what I meant.

It is partially that they served different purposes too, with the connection between them being somewhat random, except in that they are part of my desire to fix the world. (I'm not sure if it's obvious, but that is my general goal.)

Things did not work out quite the way I thought they would, which I will get into more in a different post, but this will be about what books I decided to read and why I thought they would be helpful.

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st century, by Steven Pinker

When I read about this it was described as a style guide written by a cognitive scientist instead of a English scholar, which seemed promising. I wanted to read it because in addition to seeing how important writing and other forms of self-expression are, I have also seen that many people seen unable to describe the most basic things. Someone will be falling apart, and want to talk, but then when you ask them what is going on, or why they feel that way, they don't seem to have the tools to describe it. That is not just an impediment to communication, but also to self-comprehension. I hoped this book might give some helpful hints for getting past that, but it didn't. To be fair, that's not the book it was trying to be.

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Dave Grossman

I saw an interview with Grossman while looking for something else, and thought it was fascinating so wanted to read one of his books. I chose this one largely because the library had it, but it is his most frequently cited so that worked out well.

In the interview he was talking about how the military and police have gotten around our natural aversion to killing other people by adapting their training, demonstrating that historically the majority of soldiers did not kill. With adjustments to training that has changed, rising upward noticeably in Korea and then more sharply for Vietnam and beyond, but we have not taken into account the cost of breaking down that resistance. Given my concerns about police brutality and mental health in general, and how we treat each other, this fit in well with the reading.

Peaceful Measures: Canada's Way Out of the War on Drugs by Bruce K Alexander

I'd been wanting to read something of Alexander's ever since reading about the Rat Park experiment, but old Canadian academic writing can be difficult to find. I finally got this one, and it was great. It is very academic - to bring people around who don't want all the fine details, Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari is a better option - but I like having more information, and some new things about addiction clicked for me while reading this. Obviously this is about fixing the world too.

I will say that when you read this, some of your stereotypes about how nice Canadians are get damaged. Of course, they may have learned that from us.

"A Theory of Human Motivation" by A. H. Maslow

I think deciding to include this is where I eventually started thinking of it as being about self-actualization, though it's really not. Anyway, I had certainly seen Maslow's hierarchy of needs referred to many times, and wanted to refer to the original. This was a pamphlet of a 1943 paper for Psychological Review. He refers to prior work though, so there is probably something more definitive out there. This is what I could find.

I'm not sure there were any real breakthroughs with it, but what he wrote made sense, and this is finally something by Maslow himself and not someone referring to Maslow.

Mission creep is a constant with me. There were a couple of books that I read that I did not specifically intend to be part of this list, but happened to go well with it. Those include The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, by Richard G. Wilkindon and Kate E. Pickett, and The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, by David J. Morris.

Also, there was one that I felt did need to be included.

Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village by Sarah Erdman

I wasn't sure why it felt so important, but having recently finished it, perhaps there are some important lessons there. It is a Peace Corps memoir. Her time in the village starts with good intentions but without being sure what to do and how to help. There is an early focus on AIDS that gets no traction, but it comes back after she has done other things. Still, things do get done, and it takes patience. Then, as it closes and she returns home, civil war presents a threat of undermining. So perhaps the lessons are patience, hope, and a reminder that some things are beyond your control, though not a reason not to try.

On a final note, I just want to point out that I would not be done with these books yet if I had not taken some vacation last month. Some of the things that we saw on that vacation may influence some of my thoughts as well.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Drum Week Band Review: Vixen

I can't say what it was that first struck me about the drums in Vixen. I was listening for guitar, and specifically for really masterful guitar played by women. I thought the guitars were fine, if not what I was looking for. (Well, maybe "Living In Sin".)

Vixen's percussion stood out. That was the work of drummer Roxy Petrucci. I don't know why it stands out for me, but I hear it in Madame X too, Petrucci's other project.

The reviews haven't been really traditional this week, being a little more historical, and I want to keep up with that because I learned some things.

My interests during the '80s were more pop and New Wave. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the bands that I thought of as metal, though listening to them now very few of them sound that metallic.

I mention that because I didn't spend a lot of time on Vixen, though I do remember "Edge of a Broken Heart". My other memory is that I had gotten the impression that they were being gimmicky by forming an all-girl metal band. (Also, I thought I remembered them as a super group containing Lita Ford, which was not true at all.)

Now, that people at the time might have spoken disparagingly of band that was all women but not pop seems completely plausible. My not paying much attention to the genre would have made it easier for that to stick. It was just so far off base.

You can find disparate stories of the formation of the band, with dates given as far apart as 1973 and 1981 (which would overlap with Madame X) for the formation. That is so normal. The members got started playing early, tried multiple lineups, and there were changes. Even if you don't accept the 1973 start date as pertinent to the band, for singer Jan Kuehnemund it was pertinent. Then when you consider that the signing with EMI didn't happen until 1988, like they say, it's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.

It may be possible that EMI was trying to be gimmicky with something different, and that wouldn't be the first time that something a little bit different helped a band out. The signing is still happening four years after Vixen has appeared as a band (called Diaper Rash) in Hardbodies, three years after they moved to Los Angeles to be a part of the LA band scene (they originated in St. Paul, Minnesota), and one year after they were featured in The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years.

That's a pretty respectable rock trajectory. Even after they initial breakup it appears that they all kept working on other projects. So this leaves me feeling that they deserved more respect than they got, even though I may be misremembering how much respect they got.

I liked listening to the music. I prefer the more melodic songs, which is no stretch for me, and I think they hold up.

As for why Petrucci's drumming appeals to me so much, I'm not sure. However, I also get inexplicable joy from watching Ronnie Vannucci Jr. of The Killers drum. Maybe I have a thing for Italian drummers.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Drum Week Band Review: The Surfaris

It was hard to know what bands to do for drum week. I remembered that the drums had really appealed to me when I was listening to Vixen, which I will cover tomorrow, but I couldn't tell you why they appealed to me. (Unless I figure it out by tomorrow, which would be nice.)

The other thought that occurred to me was "Wipeout" by The Surfaris. The logic of reviewing that related to drumming is more evident - that's some pretty powerful drumming.

Here's something that might be less obvious. I listened to a lot of surf music in my childhood, and other tunes of that era. I had listened to "Wipeout" many times, and it was included in many collections. Still, until 1987 I believe I associated it more with the Dick Dale style guitar. That changed with Dirty Dancing. The brilliance of the drums didn't hit home for me until I saw Jennifer Grey as Baby going up and down the stairs, rolling her hips, stamping and kicking in frustration at first, then vamping as she got better and could feel the music.

Response to music is very personal. In addition to "Wipeout", The Surfaris are generally known for one other original song, "Surfer Joe". I was not impressed by it, but listening to a recording of a concert, the crowd was excited to hear it coming up, and approving that it was the five original verses.

Regarding other material, in my listening I heard a lot of covers. Some of them were songs that fit in really well with their style, like "Misirlou" and "Tequila", generally done pretty well. There is also a song, "Punkline" that seems to be their own but from 1982, which I really liked. "Point Panic" is also theirs, and pretty good. Still, I am mainly thinking about drums right now, so I want to talk more about "Wipeout".

Surfaris drummer Ron Wilson played in the school's Tartan marching band, and loved Scottish marches. The drum solo comes from that, and a paradiddle exercise, and bongo rock-type breaks. It was something they put together in about ten minutes, rhythm guitarist Bob Berryhill says. And yet it was a fast hit, something drummed out in malt shops and aspired to by learning drummers, and they got a gold record.

It took ten minutes, but it's not ten minutes, because there is all of the practice and listening to music and loving music that came before, coming out in the song.

Reading about the band now is kind of depressing. Bob Berryhill is still around and playing the songs with his own lineup which includes family members. Otherwise bassist for their tour, Ken Forssi, died from a brain tumor in 1998, saxophonist Jim Pash died of heart failure in 2005, and Wilson himself died of an aneurysm in 1989, one month before his 45th birthday.

But the song won't die. Music lasts, and it continues to reach people decades later. It can continue to be seen in different ways, with new things noticed.

That's not a bad legacy for anyone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Drum Week: Everything else

If being able to drum without drums is helpful for submitting #everyonedrum videos, E-MUTE would be in good shape. Perhaps his "Concerto for drumsticks, bin, kitchen & metal barrier thingy" is a little short, but he also roams London looking for random things to drum, posting videos of drumming on escalators, elevators, and whatever seems like it will work.

The caption on the videos refers to finding the right balance between stick and surface. I'm sure that is a factor, but it would be reasonable to do it for pure joy. I like that sound. This works. He seems to be enjoying himself.

(But I think he already has a drum kit.)

Those videos have been fun to watch, and Theo posts a lot of good content in general. However, when I first reviewed E-MUTE I thought of him specifically as more of a keyboard/piano player and singer. Someone else was playing the drums in the videos. Reading more, he drummed for others before starting this project, and the "mute" comes from feeling silenced when he was playing for others.

There are plenty of stereotypes out there about dumb, animalistic drummers. It may be harder to dispel those stereotypes when their instrument is the least portable. Singers and guitarists can roam the stage and jump on to and off of equipment, but the drummers are often capable of more than you think.

Sometimes your drummer is Dave Grohl, whom Kurt Cobain acknowledged as a better guitarist than him. Sometimes it's James Dewees, who does drum in Coalesce, but if you knew him from My Chemical Romance or The Get Up Kids or Reggie and the Full Effect, you don't think of as a drummer.

That leads to my next link, and interview with Bill Cardwell of C & C Custom Drums:

This was posted by Cory White, whom I know as a guitar player (for Coalesce and Reggie), but he has also worked with this company and is proud of this work. Reading it makes me realize how much I don't know about drums, and how much there is to know, but also that we don't generally know drum makers. People can name lots of names in guitars; Fender and Les Paul sound familiar even to people who know nothing about guitar. That doesn't happen with drums. It made me more aware, and pleasantly surprised to see that there is such a shop near where I live, Truth Custom Drums in Beaverton:

Speaking of things that I have not known, I was reading something about the importance of the relationship between the bass and the drum. It makes sense - they both relate to the rhythm - but it was something I'd never thought about. That's something I hope to understand better as I learn more.

Today's post is pretty random, but the overall point is there's a lot of cool stuff out there. If everything you learn shows you more things you don't know, well, that means more opportunities to learn cool stuff.

But the moral of this week is that drums are cool. So are drummers and drum makers.

Thursday and Friday: reviews of bands whose drums I like and I haven't reviewed yet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Drum Week: Everyone Drum

I don't remember exactly when I got the idea that there should be a drum week. I know I mentioned it last December, and I'd already had it in mind for a while then. It could have made sense to do it in conjunction with Whiplash, but I still haven't seen it. The reason it occurred to me to do it now is because I saw a tweet that it was time for the 11th #everyonedrum.

Everyone Drum is a quarterly giveaway that Greg Wells does. People who do not have a drum set can send him a video of them drumming and one lucky person gets a new drum kit.

Wells is a music producer with a wide range of skills and experience.

I believe I started following him when he was working on a project with All American Rejects, but he works with a lot of people, and I follow a lot of musicians, so I can't swear to it.

What I do know is that I was already following him when he started, so I have been able to see eleven rounds now.

The first thing I found inspiring was Wells' generosity and commitment to putting music into more people's lives. Having instruments can be wonderful for creative expression, for discipline as you practice, and for relationship building as you collaborate with other musicians. Gear can also be expensive, and support in schools in unfortunately low. That someone can and does do this is great.

There have been other fun aspects is well. There are the pictures of people with their new kits, sometimes in far off places, and those beaming faces.

There are also the entry videos. One of the challenges is that the person entering for drums does not have drums. Some might have the option of playing on someone else's kit, if they know someone they can ask, but others get creative. They drum on their heads or counters or chairs.

That is fun, but it also makes me think more deeply about percussion. The most accessible way of making music is vocally, but after that it's drumming. So many things can stand in for drums. People can thump out rhythms on hollow legs, or clap and slap their legs, or create a surprising range of sounds on paint buckets.

That's one reason that the hash tag works so well. Not everyone will win a kit, but that's okay. No matter how wonderful it is to have a drum, everybody can drum.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Drum Week: Origins - House and Brother

Those catch-up music reviews I did the last week of August really helped clear up some of the old spots on my spreadsheet. There is just one more line that I have been putting off for longer than a few weeks.

One of the follows that happened early was James Payne. He was a musician, but his profile was linked not with a band, but with a project. He and Alessandro Lombardo (Drum Brother) were setting up in a house (Drum House) and intensively studying drums with a goal of playing professionally, and then they would go out and try and make it in the world.

That is clearly music-related and James is a musician. I put bands on the list to review whether it is the band that follows me or one of the members. However, there was not quite a band at that time to review.

I just kept it up there for a while. I added a note later that James was playing with Hour of Penance. Now he is listed with Vital Remains. Alessandro still doesn't show with a band, but he seems to play a lot as a theater and session musician.

I kept track, but I also noticed other cool drum-related things, separate from them. That's when I started to get the idea that there should be a drum week. I would say that was the idea's genesis, but then you might think I will be focusing on Phil Collins, and I don't think I will. (I don't have anything against him.)

This week will be a celebration of the drums, and today we start with The Drum House.

I am in no way qualified to say if these videos are helpful. I never got far enough in my own drumming attempts. If I ever get back to it, I'll at least check it out.

There are still some things that I find impressive, so I will go over those.

One is that some of the videos have associated PDFs. I just think that raises it a level.

Video quality is pretty high, frequently using picture in picture technology so you can see both a wide shot and a close-up of the key area. There are attempts to make things more fun, some of which work better than others, and they get some interesting locations from time to time.

Another aspect that I like is the wide variety of topics. While between them it appears that at least James is more drawn to metal, there are jazz and gospel techniques covered, and there are non-technique videos on topics like getting cruise ship gigs and drumming for musical theater. They didn't just want to play drums well; they wanted to play professionally. There is artistic and career information.

Part of that broad reach is served by bringing in many other musicians. It looks like the house itself was located near Berklee College of Music in Boston, which I imagine provided a deep pool of available talent. (The house also might have been in Florida. I'm not sure about that.)

Youtube is constantly trying to get you to view other videos, so they will show links to related ones. This meant that while watching the Drum Brother videos with JoJo Mayer I would see links to his TEDx Talk. A video with Steve Gadd linked to another video titled "That's why Steve Gadd is the number one drummer in the world". That's just the tip of the ice berg, so it seems that there is a lot to explore here, especially if you drum.

So the channel is probably helpful, but also I have to give them credit for making me think I should spend a whole week just blogging about how drums are cool.