The Breeders, “New Year” (demo version)
The Breeders have been my favorite band since I was 13, when “Cannonball” introduced me to the world of alternative music and changed my life forever (and it doesn’t hurt that we share a hometown). It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite, but I really love this demo version of “New Year.” The 7/8 section totally shreds; I like that it feels a bit heavier in this version, and I can’t resist odd meters. Having heard the album version about a million times, it’s a lot of fun to listen to this demo and get a peek into their creative process.
Kim Deal, “Walking with a Killer”
Since The Breeders are my favorite band, I was completely stoked when Kim Deal started releasing solo singles. The simple, understated drum groove at the beginning grabbed my attention right away, and the little guitar sounds in the background give the song a lot of atmosphere. I love that Kim Deal clearly pays a lot of attention to the sounds she gets, but without losing that Dayton grit.
Lou Harrison, Suite for Percussion
Next to Kim Deal, Lou Harrison is one of my biggest influences. He was one of the first composers to write music for percussion ensemble, and much of it uses “noisy” instruments (like brake drums) in delicate and melodic ways. Thanks to Harrison, things like woodblocks, coffee cans, and flower pots are essentials in my percussive arsenal.
Nymb - So, This is How It Is
Lately, I’ve been on a bit of nostalgia kick with Nymb. I love how the drums drive them through these soft and poignant openings, and then build up to a frenzy; check out “Need for Attention” at the 42:00 mark for a shining example.
Mount Eerie “No Flashlight
My bandmate in Corbezzolo, my punk bass + drum duo, introduced me to Mount Eerie. I haven’t dug into Phil Elverum’s work thoroughly yet, but much of it reminds me of when I was a kid and used to hide in my closet with a flashlight and read for hours: very intimate and secret, like every song is a little place of its own. And of course, cool percussion sounds are always a bonus.