26 January 2006

Retainers / Drumming

Hello -


I usually don't post personal stuff here, but this time I just have to. After one and a half years of braces - no popcorn, no Twizzlers - I finally got them off. Hoo-ray! However, I was quickly saddled with something that I never imagined could be worse than braces: retainers.

The orthodontist was right. I sound like a fool talking with these things on. Good thing I married a linguist who is able to analyze the fine points of my messing up training sentences like: "Seven silvery slippery snakes slid slowly southward."

Speaking of retainers, you might enjoy recalling Ben Affleck's scene in Good Will Hunting about a different kind of retainer. [335k .mp3]

And now for something completely different.


Do any of you play musical instruments? What made you choose the instrument you chose? What musicians inspire you?

I've been drumming since 4th grade & even then wanted a drumset. But it wasn't until I was a high school freshman that I heard the cool upperclassman playing Living Color's "Cult of Personality" on our jazz band's Tama kit that I realized that yes, I must get a drumset, and I must get one now. That, and when my father had me listen to In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida on his new Walkman back around 1980...

With that I give you the following two lists:

Drummers so good they make you want to play drums
Gene Krupa: "Sing, Sing, Sing," baby!
Neal Peart: Rush, Moving Pictures, "YYZ"
Manu Katche: any of his work with Peter Gabriel
John Bonham: Led Zeppelin, .. uh, gosh do I have to pick one?.., Led Zep IV, "When the Levee Breaks"
Max Roach: Clifford Brown & Max Roach, "Jordu"
Joe Morello: Dave Brubeck Quartet, "Take Five" (here's a free video of one of his drum solos)
Carter Beauford: Dave Matthews Band
Lars Ulrich: Metallica (honest!)

Drummers so good they make you want to quit playing the drums
Mike Portnoy: Dream Theater, Metropolis 2, "Overture 1928". free video of another song
Dave Weckl: Chick Corea
Gregg Bissonette: I don't suppose you've heard his solo on Maynard Ferguson's "Coconut Champagne"?
Buddy Rich (don't even get me started - see for example "Stick Trick")



Rob Barac said...

What do you call a person that hangs out with musicians?

A Drummer.

OK, now that that's out of the way I'd like to say that I personally think that when a person can actually appreciate the nuances of good drumming that they can ONLY THEN call themselves real a musician, regardless of trhe instrument/s they play.

RLB said...

To answer the question you posed at the top of the drumming section: I play piano and clarinet. My mom played piano (she had a great songbook with all kinds of fun kid songs when I was little), and so did my grandpa (never had a lesson in his life, just played by ear, and sang -- Sinatra, Bing Crosby, etc.), and there was never any doubt that I wanted to learn. I took lessons from kindergarten through sixth grade, and am really glad I did. I would LOVE to have access to a piano now. As for clarinet, I started that in fourth grade. I was pretty small then, so realistically clarinet and flute were about the only viable options. (I never had an interest in drums -- I like *melody* too much.) I wasn't sure which to take up, so (true story) my parents asked my little sister, who was always much more opinionated, which she might want to play when she was old enough. She picked flute, and so to attempt to avoid some classic sibling rivalry, they got me a clarinet, and the rest is history. It worked out very well -- I took lessons all the way up through high school and managed to make District Band twice. :)

In neither case, though, can I point to musicians who inspire me on the instrument. (Other than my piano-playing family members, I guess.) They're both hobbies for me but I wasn't into either one enough to develop any sense of who the great masters were that I should perhaps be emulating. On the other hand, clarinet in particular has been extremely important in my life, in that I have always been in bands (concert and marching), and those experiences have given me most of my fondest memories and dearest friends. I'm not sure how my social development would have gone if I hadn't been involved in music.

Thanks for the thought-provoking post. And congrats on the removal of your braces! (But sorry about the retainer.)