First Day With The Roland SPD-SX, Looking Back On Spring and Forward To The Summer

I’m now the proud owner of a Roland SPD-SX. For those who aren’t freakishly obsessed with drum samplers, the SPD-SX is a sampling pad that lets you trigger loops, samples, live sample and play electronic kits in a live setting. It’s basically the unicorn of drum gear.

I got back from the DonCat mini-tour this past weekend and had the pleasure of nerding out on the SPD-SX to a few tunes Jess, Andrew and I are working on. Here’s a video of the results

When on tour, always bring a nerf football.

When on tour, always bring a nerf football.

I’m recording at Tiny Telephone with Jess and Andrew this summer, and also playing a bunch of shows with Debbie Neigher and Split Screens. This summer is shaping up to be a busy one and I’m excited!

Also, check out the full audio from Split Screen’s gig at Bottom Of The Hill here. It was a killer night and we’re stoked to play there again on 4/17.

Daytrotter Video Blog

It finally happened. After months of scheduling, we recorded Daytrotter Sessions as part of Daytrotter’s Noise Pop series. It was a blast drinking way too much coffee and recording with my friends.

Here’s a short blog from the sessions with Debbie Neigher and Split Screens. Enjoy.

Tagged , ,

Pridgen’s Lessons And Bike Accidents

hand

I knew I was totally screwed as soon as I turned the corner. I was trucking down 14th street on my way to a lesson with Thomas Pridgen (of drum god fame), I turned the corner and — pothole. One Jabba the hut’s sand pit (a Sarlacc) sized pot hole. 

I flew over my handle bars, caught myself partly with my hands and a little with my face. But, my bike was fine and I could still get to the lesson on time. 

I asked Thomas if I could wash my (bloody) hands before we started. He was his usual chill self about the whole thing and just replied “Damn man, it looks like you got in a scrap.” 

 
 
 

The Lesson

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 10.21.52 AM

Thomas doesn’t write anything down, or slow down, and it’s awesome.

Right when you sit down at the kit, he’ll start playing 7 stroke rolls over a bassa nova bass drum pattern and tell you to switch your hands. I immediately think “What? What do you mean switch my hands? I’m barely keeping up with my dominant hand.” Of course, I say nothing and just do it. Then, as Thomas knew all along, you’re doing it. You’re strengthening your weak hand, you’re playing some crazy pattern in 7/4 that he won’t slow down so you can understand, and won’t write out. You just do it. 

Thomas says that he looks at some of the drills and patterns he teaches as shapes. You can’t break them down into these little bitty parts because you lose the sound. 

His advice during that lesson:

Just make the drum sound good. Work on when you hit the snare, it doesn’t sound like anybody else, it sounds like you. So when somebody wants to hire you, they say ‘I want that guy, because he just makes the drums sound like they should, like they fit.’

At the end of the lesson he complimented me on being one of a few students that could get through his snare drills. I freaked out like a little girl on the inside. 

I’m incredibly excited to be learning from Thomas and I’ll post lesson updates in the future. 

 

 

 

+/- “Rewrite The Story” Drum Cover

Here’s a cover of “Rewrite The Story” of +/- new album “Jumping The Tracks”

It was a really fun song to learn, and even more fun to play. I love the bell pattern Chris Deaner chose on the choruses. Killer stuff.

PS – Buy their album at http://www.plusmin.us/store.php

Tagged , , ,

Kicking 2014 Off Right

Image

The King looks over my kit

 

I’m now the proud father/owner of a C&C Player Date kit. Thank you the good folks of Revival Drum Shop for expertly packing the kit which ensured it was transported safely from PDX to SFO. 

New Year, New Kit, New Tunes/Tour

TunesWith the new year I’m finishing new tunes which will be done by my 25th birthday March 1st. If I haven’t completed the remaining 2 songs by then, you can come to my house and burn my clothes.

Kit: The drum covers, they are a’comin. The first one on deck is Maps and Atlases “Everyplace Is A House”   

Tour: Split Screens is hitting the road again in the last week of January. We’re kicking off the tour with a show at Amnesia Tuesday January 21st. It’ll be a party. I’ll post the dates on the shows page. 

 

I hope the new year brings you excellent burritos and perfectly roasted coffee. That is all. See ya on the road! 

Tagged , ,

Unravel With Debbie Neigher, Live at Viracocha

Here’s the video from the show Debbie Neigher played with Mary Lambert at Viracocha. It was an awesome night.

Altamont

Well, it took longer than I expected, but the video of my first song “Altamont” is online here

Writing (and completing) songs is a strange cathartic process. I even had to mourn the loss of one Midi keyboard along the way. (RIP Keyboard). But, I got the itch now. I’m writing a few more songs in hopes of putting out an EP early next year. Thanks for reading, check out the video, and yes the tune is in 7/4. It’s my favorite time signature. 

Tagged , ,

Dear Piano Gods, Give Me Strength

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 4.02.01 PM
Dear God I forgot how hard writing music is.  Playing piano is difficult and as a short dude who never grew up to be 6′ 1″ like his Dad and therefore still has “puppy paws”,  it’s harder. That’s my absolutely terrible excuse. My friends call me out on my excuses and that’s what makes them good friends and bandmates. Over the past two months, playing shows with  Debbie NeigherFox and Woman, and Split Screens have made me realize two things.
 
1. I have insanely talented friends that I’m stoked to be playing music with

2. Writing music makes you better at your instrument (even a caveman instrument like drums).

So, for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to write a few songs I can record drums to. Yes, they are mostly in 7/4. No, I’m not singing (I reserve my dulcet vocal tracks for behind the drum set when I sing off-key to a harmony part I don’t actually know). And no, I’m not recording in a studio. These tracks will be videos and they’ll be up on SoundCloud.

The first song will be done in the second week of September. Until then, please give me piano lessons and correct my harmony mistakes. Thanks!
(Also peep the shows page for two new shows with Split Screens and Debbie Neigher in September.)

Tom Jones, Tunes and Tour

Tom Jones voice is an integral part of Fox and Woman/ Split Screens tour. Driving from San Francisco to Portland, we blared Tom Jones. After a gig in Cottage Grove, we danced on the sidewalk as Tom Jones’ “In Style and Rhythm” blared from the van’s open doors.

We’re having a great time drinking out of a porron, and enjoying each other’s tunes. Fox and Woman is killing it if I may say so myself. Their new record sounds even more powerful when played live (but make sure to buy their album here). I also played tunes from Debbie Neigher’s forthcoming album. Super fun. We’ll be playing in Davis next month.

We’re in Spokane now after reuniting with Split Screens’ old tour buddies, Terrible Buttons, who we played with on our Southern California in February. Playing Mootsy’s Bar last night was raucous and awesome.

Now enjoy the story of tour as told by Vine posts and pictures. Also, shows. Check out the shows.

Phil Summons Scott Stapp, Sings Creed
The running joke on tour is that Phil is slowly morphing into Creed’s lead singer, Scott Stapp with his hair, flannel and undershirts. In this video, the transformation is complete.

The Band Dances To Tom Jones
As previously mentioned, when we roll into a new town, we blare Tom Jones – and dance.

The Band Sings R Kelly
R Kelly is the van jam.

Check out the shows page for information. We’ll be in Seattle tonight. Follow Fox and WomanSplit Screens and Debbie Neigher on Twitter.

Drum Rants

I’m gearing up for tour with Split Screens (check the shows page) and working on new beats and new techniques to stay sharp.

Grooving to a click is key, and getting my dynamics right is as well.

The video shows a few ideas I’ve been kicking around.

Now I’m working out of David Garibald’s “Future Sounds” an old but awesome book.

See you on the road with Split Screens!

Tagged , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.