Deep Thoughts, with actual member of Congress Steve King (R-Iowa).
X - Riding with Mary (single version)
with super piano by Ray Manzarek
The Feelies - The Last Roundup
This is dedicated to this year’s 4th of July shows at Maxwell’s.
A very strange list with mostly good commentary that I would have read more carefully had it not been presented in an infuriatingly cumbersome click-through format.*
- Yes, yes, we all love Dave Grohl as a drummer. He’s the Phil Collins of the indie world—he spends most of his time playing frontman on middle-of-the-road, workmanlike crowdpleasers, but we all know his true talents are behind the kit. Still, number one? I suppose it’s a stab at consensus in a list that wanders from classic funk to underground metal (and even classic metal!) to post-punk, but it’s kind of boring. The guy’s an awesome heavy-hitter, but I can’t think of anything he innovated upon in particular. I can’t think of any “Dave Grohl”-style drummers, offhand, and it’s not that tons of kids didn’t learn to play listening to him; it’s that he just plays traditional rock drums nicely.
- The range itself makes this list confusing. Why is Bill Ward an influence on “alternative” music, but John Bonham and Keith Moon not, despite their being mentioned in at least a few of the write-ups?
- There are a few worthy contemporary drummers listed, but, as far as “alternative” drummers (rather than influential drummers from funk, metal, Krautrock, free jazz, etc.), it’s pretty bogged down in the flashy, hard rock ’90s. Which is fine, because Stephen Perkins, Matt Cameron, Jimmy Chamberlain, etc. are all great, interesting drummers (poor Dave Abbruzzese, though—you tick off Eddie Vedder, and everyone forgets the snare cracks and cymbal rolls that made Vs. and Vitalogy crackle). But it’s as if the more deliberate side of 00s era indie rock were meant to be summed up in Grizzly Bear’s Christopher Bear. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t even have this conversation without mentioning Bryan Devendorf from The National, the kind of drummer who seemingly sweats every extra hi-hat tap, but never lets up on the flow. And the poppier side of the era could have been nicely represented by the New Pornographers’ Kurt Dahle, who combines Bonham kicks (and I’m not just tossing that name around—the production on Twin Cinema particularly invites the comparison) with Clem Burke’s flair for pop showmanship.
- Other M.I.A. “alternative” icons (it’s pointless to discuss external influences, since the boundaries of this list are so flimsy, but these land pretty definitively under “punk,” “indie,” etc.): Stephen Morris (Joy Division/New Order), Peter Prescott (Mission of Burma), Grant Hart (Husker Du), Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey), Bill Berry (R.E.M.), Adam Wade (Shudder to Think, Jawbox), Joe Easley (The Dismemberment Plan), Phil Selway (Radiohead—a major music publication perversely didn’t manage to mention Radiohead where it absolutely would have made sense to mention Radiohead!).
Speaking of Clem Burke (from item 3), the good stuff:
- His entry on this list is perfect. “Although he was playing the farthest back on the stage in a band fronted by a certified 1980s sex symbol, Burke compulsively tried to steal the spotlight — his streamlined new-wave pummel was counterbalanced by an addiction to flashy fills and spastic tom-tom outbreaks.” Yes.
- Glad to see Jim White’s work on You Follow Me highlighted.
- It’s always fun to see a list of Josh Freese’s insanely eclectic session work.
- I bitch about the over-inclusiveness of the list, but I have no idea where one should draw the lines around something like “alternative.” At the very least, there are a lot of drummers here from whom I haven’t heard a single rim click, so lots to explore.
* As annoying as it may be for readers, it must be at least as annoying to the contributors, whose work has been rendered secondary to stock photos and the click-through process (which makes viewing all but impossible in Firefox and slllllow on other browsers).
I maintain that lists like this are incredibly dumb, but I’m personally very happy for #100.
I’ve been staring at this for a long time.
Why do I ever read the comments on Brooklyn Vegan? They make me want to blow my brains out.