Monthly Archives: May 2011

Cool Review

Photobucket

Sooo you may be wondering about my picture for today…..

Why yes that is a nutcracker (one of many in fact). And yes those are stockings. Cool red and black and leopard rocker drummer handmade stockings. (see that sliver of a pink tiger striped one – that’s mine!) And yep, those are cat ears at the very bottom….

Why is this picture up here on the last day of May? Because the nutcracker guy is a drumming nutcracker! So he has a reason to be on this site! Ha! That and it’s supposed to hit 100° today in our neck of the woods and I am channeling last Christmas when it was MUCH MUCH cooler. So drink plenty of water boys and girls. Stay in the shade or the air conditioning if you can or better yet floating around in a pool!

{Hello sweet sis-in-law is the pool cleaned and ready yet?? Just checking! : ) We’ll bring shrimp! Hello?…}

And just in case you didn’t get enough cool Christmas feeling yet or you’re just really curious like me, here’s a further away view of our nutcracker band (gotta love the one with the guitar! the boy’s been collecting these for years) our rock and roll stockings (crafted especially for our new little family this year – you will still be brushing fuzzy white stocking trim particles off your clothes and sewing machine well into the new year by the way…) and our beloved feline mascot/groupie (yes that probably is his best side…!) with his jingle bell collar….that he’s not terribly fond of….so I only subject him to it at that special time of year. Happy last day of May y’all!

Photobucket


Extra Extra! Read all about it! How not to lose your “edge”…

NOTE: the following is what my handsome drummer husband had to say about his latest find. He’s sooo excited that I thought I’d give him another opportunity to shout if from the rooftop and show off his treasure!

{So, since becoming unemployed I’ve been flippin drum gear to supplement my income (I don’t suggest this as a full-time job btw). Last week I ran across an ad on CL “drums for sale” for an unbelievable price. The description read “drum kit with travel cases and extras” and “I believe they are Pearl”, no specs listed only a small fuzzy cell phone pic of what was to me clearly a pdp kit (some people don’t know what they have).

Figuring I could clean ’em up and make a few dollars I made contact around 10 p.m. and was invited to come check ’em out. Upon arrival I noticed it was a 6pc pdp cx kit with dw 5002’s and 5500 hat stand…along with skb cases, 3 Sabian AA’s, an AAX, a Paiste Sound Formula, a Zildjian Z Custom and a Roc n Soc throne……and some “extras”. Just a few days later (my fingers are still sore from cleaning and polishing), most of the stuff has gone to a good home, a small profit was made and I’ve decided to keep those “extras” to compensate myself for the pain and suffering. So here are the “extras”…and yes I kindly paid the asking price…}

Photobucket

Thanks for sharing hun! Soooo happy for him!

So I learn new things everyday living with drummers like for example, that top drum in the picture is a dw maple and brass edge snare with satin finish and the one on the bottom is a dw lacquer bamboo solid stave snare. The boy and the husband were beyond excited to stumble upon them in their travels. (I believe the boy slept with the edge snare the first night…..! No! Just kidding! But he is very protective over it!) They are both really really pretty–this is apparently my first requirement when choosing drums and cymbals followed by — oooh shiny! oooh sparkly! (Nevermind what they sound like!)  But I am taking note on all the new information they bestow upon me as needed and here’s what I’ve learned so far. 

The edge snare has a 10-ply maple center section with chrome plated brass top and bottom edges. Not only does this construction make it durable but it also helps it project rich warm sounds with lots of volume.

The solid stave bamboo is just that, solid – not laminated which helps in producing those darker tones. It also sports a slightly deeper snare bed and is lacquered inside to increase sensitivities and enhance higher end frequencies.

A few other things I’ve learned during this past week- a case full of hardware is heeaaavvvy, we can fit a whole drum set with hardware and cymbals plus 2 snares in the back of our blazer, and one should never store drums in a basement because the amount of work to get said drums back into their polished and shiny pre-neglected glory is intense- just ask my poor husband who stayed up to the very wee hours of the morning 2 nights cleaning his way to a profit. I did help though….on one drum…….I’m a perfectionist…what can I say….I guess I just took too long since he could clean 2 or 3 to my 1…

Thus ends the story of how we acquired our two new percussion “family members”. Pretty soon the snares will outnumber the people here! Strangely enough the guitars already do! But that’s a story for another day…or another blog! Guitarlove anyone? Hmmm…! So until later, rock on my friends!


I’m with the band

First things first- Remember ladies and gents, the members of your favorite band are people [Gasp!] just like you! They have a mama and a daddy. They may be someones dad, mom, sister, brother, uncle, best friend, cousin, step child, god parent, grandpa or something to that effect. They have feelings and dreams and aspirations and may be wondering, “do these pants make my rear look fat?” (ok so maybe not that last thing – although that would probably be a concern of mine…)  But even though they seem larger than life to us when they’re on stage doing their thing they’re really human- no one is invincible (drugs, car accidents, divorce, and cancer get the best of rock stars too in case you haven’t noticed) or immune to even life’s little annoyances (bad hair days, splinters, traffic, or lost socks). So if you are ever in the position to meet some of them, above all be gracious and kind! 

So onto how to find yourself in that position. First off, if you’re not at the show, chances are slim to none that you will meet them. (Unless you randomly run into them at a taco bell as they are sitting down to their mexican pizza and a taco supreme…no we didn’t meet a rock star that way but there was a certain family member encounter with an infamous NASCAR driver….) Now that the obvious is out of the way! How to get to the show if you don’t have previous connections:

  • buy tickets
  • win tickets

We here at drumlove have bought our share of tickets. We have a board at home full of ’em. But we also seem to have had a lot of success winning tickets from various radio station contests. Never by calling in mind you- though my sister in law seems to be the queen of that it hasn’t rubbed off on us yet! If you don’t have the cash to buy your tickets, visit the website of your local radio station sponsering the event and enter their contests for tickets to the show you want to see. Sign up to be on their email list for the inside scoop. Check the band or tour’s website for drawings and contests and sign up there as well. If you don’t try you’ll never win. You can even try calling when they run those contests on air to be the whatever number caller to win. (it works-just not for me!) Throw it out there and see what sticks. Just look at what photoshopping a certain male band’s heads on girls bodies did for us! (I do promise to cover that in another post – gotta keep ya coming back right?)

Now, once you’re there, you’re still not guaranteed to meet them unless you’ve been lucky enough to win tickets with meet and greet passes. What to do? If it’s a lesser known rock band or almost any bluegrass band, hang by the merchandise table. I’ve seen many an opening band trying to gain a following who will come out and sign autographs and hawk their wares between sets and rub elbows with the general public. And almost any size bluegrass band in my experience does the same. (I think it’s a country thing) Sometimes those band members are even hanging in the crowd watching the next band – yes your favorite singer probably has a favorite singer too! For a larger more well known band, a lot of times they will stay after to sign things in a more organized fashion after the show is over. Check with the security personel at the venue as soon as the show ends to find out if the band will be staying for autographs and where to go to secure a spot in line. My mom has met Trans Siberian Orchestra about 9 times this way….and John Schnieder (nope he wasn’t just a Duke boy) and Alabama toooo many times to count….. gotta love her – my mother the groupie!

And there’s always the fan club route- joining one of those can oftentimes get you VIP status to meet fan friendly artists for free or a minimal fee – such as Miranda Lambert’s ‘Ran Fans’ . It’s only$20 a year and includes other benefits such as ticket pre-sales, exclusive merchandise, private fan club parties and lots of other perks.

Last but not least, it never hurts to ask. Contact the band through their website or social networking page.  You never know what might happen. They may not have the ability to give you tickets, but you could still get the opportunity to score some time with them.  My drumlovin’ husband actually has had great success with this. When the boy was young and started to get serious with his drumming, they contacted some of their favorite drummers who were coming through town and asked if they could meet them and ask some questions about drums and the business end of becoming a professional drummer. Low and behold, they met quite a few famous drummers this way – drummers who were cool enough to spend 15 minutes with a then 11 year old talking drums and practice pads and the ins and outs of their job – and the boy even got to help set up and break down some realllly cool kits in some cases.  Hats off to those guys for caring enough about furthering a kids interest in music to give just a few minutes of their busy schedules. Now this tactic probably won’t probably work if you are a 34 year old starving drummer living on your best friends couch – not enough cuteness factor there I don’t think. And don’t go out and borrow somebody’s kid just to try and meet a band member or two. Remember honesty and being genuine is always the best policy.

Thus ends my lesson on how to get in with the band. Remember, it’s not who you know but who knows you : ) And don’t forget to bring something to sign when you do get face to face with your idols- the whole signing of various *ahem* body parts thing thing is great for a laugh but that signature will definately be time sensitive ’cause it’s gonna wash off! Programs, posters, photos, tickets, t-shirts, cd’s, and drum heads are probably the better choice for collecting your favorite musician’s john hancock not to mention a little less awkward for everyone involved. So keep it PG folks and always remember your manners. And if you encounter someone famous in taco bell and call your sister to expound upon your good fortune, chances are that famous person can hear you…especially if you’re in the booth right next to them. And if you are dying to get their autograph or picture at least wait for them to finish getting their lunch down because no one likes cold tacos!


Cymbals for Crafting

What you can make with a cymbal : )

Photobucket

{Happy Birthday Capt’ Gray!}

NOTE: No cymbals were hurt in the crafting of this pirate hat. One Zildjian 17″ crash did lend its help in forming the perfect diameter circle to make the brim. Sometimes it’s useful to live with drummers!


What Not to Wear – Concert Edition

Something has been brought to my attention as of late: apparently I don’t always dress properly for concerts. See my evidence below…

Photobucket

[yep, that’s me and the boy with Three Days Grace- we won tickets to their sound check and meet and greet in Raleigh last year. Sorry about the hearts for faces- still a little unsure of broadcasting our faces to the wild wild web world just yet…]

Overall, it’s not a bad picture, but you can definitely tell one of these things is not like the other things! (thank you cookie monster!) And ask the boy about the fuschia square neck short-sleeved shirt or jean capris (unfortunately I don’t have proof of those one but they did make an appearance at other concerts). This sudden fashion police turn of events I think translates into I’m embarrassing him especially when we have the chance to meet the bands. In fact I have gained the nickname “candyland”. Not only for dressing in color, but for smiling! Apparently if you’re having a picture taken with a rock and roll band smiling is prohibited. So as I stood in front of my closet and pondered what to wear to our most recent event- Avalanche Tour 2011 baby! I will NOT be choosing the following:

  1. Anything pastel or bright pink, purple, blue, yellow or orange –because colorful usually doesn’t fit the mood they’re trying to go for (see above pic!)
  2. Cowboy hat – close quarters and standing room only make this not only hot (and I don’t mean in a good way!) but also probably annoying to whomever may be standing behind or beside me.
  3. Sweater vest- this may read a little too preppy for some tastes and when you’re around a bunch of partying people, the less reason you can give to offend, the better!

So I’ll stick with the basics. You can’t go wrong with black. If you don’t have something black or gray, then anything musically related can also work such as my trusty Marshall Amp t-shirt. (It’s kid approved by the way – he has one too although I’ve been requested to never wear it on the same day he wears his. He has his reasons.) Shoes should be comfy and for me that means trusty cowboy boots. Don’t knock ‘em til you’ve tried ‘em! In fact, the bassist for Shinedown once complimented me on them. And jeans, cause you really can’t go wrong there (unless they’re capris – see above). This was in fact what I wore to one of our last concerts.

Photobucket

[us again with Shinedown]

Ok, much better. Now if I can just remember not to smile….


Round 2…grammar, buying and selling drums and Terry Bozzio

Yay me! Way to hit the ground running with a new blog then let it sit there all by its lonesome waiting weeks to crank another post out. Good thing no one but me (and the husband) is reading this yet! I mean really, how can I follow that fabulous piece of writing that made up the first post? (I am being very sarcastic here BTW) So today, I’d like to cover a subject near and dear to everyone’s heart- grade school grammar. No not really, although I’ll warn you, there are going to be some references to it.

So guess what I found out? I am not smarter than a 4th grader y’all! (at least not when it comes to underlining the parts of speech in a sentence that are commonly misused or spelled wrong) The nephew needed help with his school work and being the nice auntie that I am I volunteered my services because 1) he was staying with us that day, 2) hey it’s 4th grade – how hard can it be? And C) they didn’t give me that valedictorian title for nothing all those years ago! Oooh how the mighty fall! [insert picture of me with a puzzled look on my face here] “It must be a misprint in the book son, because all those sentences look correct to me!” (…and I’m writing a blog – Lord help us!) But we persevered and things were underlined and work was completed and I slunk back to my grammatically challenged corner and pondered how much of a country bumpkin I sound like when I write. But it’s cute and endearing right?? Besides I can drive a car and a 4th grader can’t, so we’re even! But I digress…

So borrowing the words of Ron White, I told you that to tell you this (yes, it actually has something to do with drums- I promise!) We may not be great in using the English language correctly at our house, but we do know a few things about drums and cymbals. Here’s an example of what we see over and over in our personal buying and selling of drums and equipment. Just last week we were knocking around on eBay looking at cymbals (yes that’s cymbals with a “C” not symbals or symbles or symbols!) and found a great deal on “Paite” cymbals. Now, before we go all crazy thinking there’s a new company on the horizon, look again. Yep one MIA letter “S” kept that dude from selling his “Paiste” cymbal for a lot more money. (sad for him, but cool deal for whoever stumbled upon it and snapped it up) What’s my point here? Proofreading is our friend! The squiggly red and green lines all over your document in Word don’t mean Microsoft decided to decorate for Christmas early! If you’re gonna sell something, at least know how to spell it and describe it correctly—not only will you look smarter, but it will most likely get you more money! And, another spelling related tip: if you’re looking for something on eBay- try typing in misspellings! It could mean a great deal on a “Paite Symble”. 

Here’s something else we see from time to time – confusing descriptions. We personally have a lovely kit at home consisting of the following:

(Actually there’s a lot more pieces than just these, remember I live with drummers – they come with lots of accessories – cowbells, zil-bels, sleigh bells? But again I digress….)

bass drum

1 high tom

1 floor tom

Snare

High hats

Crash

Ride

Looking at the list above many people on the ‘ol Craigs List describe this as a 7 piece kit and that’s ok right? Not so fast. I’ve been recently educated (thanks hunny!) on what to call out when listing a kit- yes there might be 7 total things, but it would be better and more proper drum lingo to list it as a 4 piece kit (pieces referring to the drums only) that way there’s no confusion among people thinking there are 3 more drums hiding somewhere not pictured or listed. Another note on what not to list as a “piece” is a cymbal stand or drum stand. If it’s metal and it has legs and other adjustable parts, it would more accurately fall under the heading of hardware. So be wary of that “awesome deal” on a “20 piece kit”! Not only is the seller’s description of the deal as “awesome” up for interpretation, chances are unless you’re looking at a kit belonging to Terry Bozzio, that piece count probably isn’t true either. 

So, to conclude, spelling and word usage – it’s not just for 4th grade anymore! Use it or lose it and try not to let the little kids outsmart you!