Monthly Archives: January 2012

Love, The Music Weirdos

We’ve been called out…by a fifth grader. It happened back at either Christmas or Thanksgiving before everyone was about to dig into the mountains of food that my sister-in-law prepared. Her son had something he wanted to read that he had worked very hard on the day before. I’m still not sure if it was a school assignment or if he just got a wild hair being away from school but he stood up and started reading his 2 page document. I can’t remember the point of it all or if he even had one, because I was laughing so hard, but he wrote about everyone in the family – maybe it was why he was thankful for them – I dunno, but when he got to us we were lovingly referred to as the music weirdos. The child knows us well!

What other house could he go to and find cymbals in the living room chairs, guitar cases everywhere, drum parts on the coffee table,  and boxes of records piled in the floor from the boys latest conquest? (the records are what I came home to yesterday- and they were nice enough to warn me at least! And there was actually a really cool Edison Diamond Disc record in there from the 1920’s so for now the boy can stay!)

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If you’ve never seen one of these up close, they’re really very cool. They’re about 1/4″ thick but it’s not vinyl like we know it today. The early material inside was actually a wood “flour” core with an asphalt binder and later changed to add more china clay and less wood flour. Each side was then coated with a condensite varnish and the whole thing was laminated together. Produced from 1912 until the demise of the company in 1929, they were the third best-selling brand behind Victor and Decca but they were more expensive and only meant to be played on Edison Phonographs which used a diamond stylus that ran in the grooves and produced the sound. Any other kind of player with steel needles would damage the record and then they were only good for hot plates. Unfortunately the records were also expensive for the times and coupled with the fact that the music selection wasn’t as diverse as some of the other labels people lost interest and the technology didn’t last long. Kinda like a Beta tape versus a VHS. Please tell me you remember BETA tapes so I don’t feel so old.

Of course in order to get the really cool Edison record there were also about a hundred other records ranging from opera to Elvis to classical to the Statler Brothers and a whole pile of Sinatra 33’s. And we don’t even own a record player. So what’s a girl to do with all this vinyl?? Decorate with it? Play it? Make stuff out of it? Sell it? I’m leaning towards decorate and sell (don’t tell the menfolk!) How cool would a whole wall of records look? Kind like this but with more records….
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Did I mention we already had another stack of records stashed before the current ones came in? We better do something quick before they multiply again!

P.S. In other sorta related news: When something new comes into the house, something old should go out so to try to play by those rules, there’s a new “Shop” heading up at the top of the blog for you to check out what we’re clearing out. Sometimes the need arises to sell stuff in order to acquire other cool stuff like drums….or cymbals …..or food…..! Extra parts, cool cymbals, unique drums and other gear related items some from our own personal well-loved collection.  And there may even be some records on there soon….! So click on over and check back often. You never know what us music weirdos might be looking to sell to a loving home.

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Teach Your Step Mom to Play 7 Nation Army on Drums in 7 Easy Steps

1. Introduce your step-mom to the drums. Mom meet drums. Drums meet mom. Teach her how to hold the sticks and work the pedals. Teach her simple beats. Boom tap boom tap boom boom tap boom tap, etc. (there is a whole drummer language at work here trust me I just haven’t learned to speak it all yet.)

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2. Next, take over the radio in the car whenever y’all are going somewhere together and play her every White Stripes song on your iPod that you like. Repeat as needed but focus on the songs you like the most ingraining them into her psyche so that random riffs play through her head while she’s sitting at her desk at work. Eventually she will become the one playing you her favorite White Stripes songs. (Remember moms and dads there is no rule that says if you like bluegrass you can’t like Jack White- in fact I think he may even like bluegrass a little too…..give your kids music a chance ’cause sometimes it’s not just noise… unless maybe it’s the Beiber then I’m so sorry, I’ll pray for you…)
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3. Casually mention to your step-mom how easy the drum parts are in most of those songs – how they’re mostly quarter note beats and one day, if you’re really lucky, she will say hey if Meg can do it I bet I can too. [editor note: this happened about a week ago…. Look out world this chick has some sticks and she’s not afraid to use them!]

4. Work out your solo for 7 Nation Army on the guitar and then invite your step ma into the music room and have her play the part of the drummer. (black clothing and wristbands are optional)

5. Break down the parts of the song for her and tell her what to hit and when. Smile as she starts hammering away on the wrong drums. Gently correct her attack of the ride to sound more “tappy” and not so “crashy”. Remind her this is Meg White not Metallica.

6. Start to play, nod at her when to come in and listen as she gets lost halfway through the song and says, “man I need to write this stuff down so I know what to hit and when.” Cue light bulb moment when you excuse yourself from the room and return with sheet music. (Just because she only reads guitar chords doesn’t mean she can’t be taught drum score. There are a few old dogs and cats who can still learn some new tricks)

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7. Watch her light bulb moment happen when she puts it all together and realizes what all the dots and x’s mean after you explain them and then executes them in a semi-pleasing way while you rock on the guitar, even if they are just all quarter notes with one eighth note thrown in for grins.

Your work here is done!

P.S. For some more odd pairings (as if a step mom playing White Stripes on the drums wasn’t odd enough!) you can catch Jack White and the picker people (as we refer to them), Frank and Mike together tonight- Monday Jan. 9th on the History Channel in a new episode of American Pickers. And yes we are big fans of this show ’cause you know how we love a good deal on cool stuff around here!


What We Got for Christmas a.k.a Cymbal Love

Happy New Year and Hallelujah! Finally, I can talk about our new pretty shiny thing! (All cymbals to me were previously known as pretty shiny things and I really had no idea that there were different types that produced various sounds! Now I have been schooled. You pick up things – literally and figuratively when you live with drummers…!)

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[random pretty shiny things pic from Dale’s Drum Shop last summer]

So this pretty girl- yes I’ve decided it’s a girl because she’s curvy- is an 18″ Paiste 2002 series Novo China.
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This was the boy’s big gift for Christmas. We’re still not sure if he knew it was coming or not being as we’ve had it since last April…and he may or may not have noticed the big Paiste box that randomly appeared and disappeared and ultimately ended up hiding in plain sight in our bedroom and who knows if he is a curious kid or not- I’m sure he’d never tell if he happened to sneak a peek in the box… But we got such a good deal on it, it was hard to pass up at the time and we knew it would make a great addition to the kit and if we saved it for Christmas we could kill two birds with one stone. And sometimes as parents we do manage to plan ahead and this is beneficial because no one wants to really wants to be running into their second Target of the day on Christmas Eve 10 minutes before they close needing to buy 6 more gifts for people on their list….ahem…

But back to the bling.

She’s really unique for a couple of reasons. Most 2002’s are traditional finish and most 2002’s have red logos but she’s a rebel because she has a reflector finish and black logos- this isn’t uncommon, just much harder to come by. Apparently older 2002’s from around the ’70’s had black logos but I don’t think this one is that old so maybe it was somebody’s custom ordered homage that era.  She sounds like, as my dad put it quite simply, China. Never one to mince words, my father. Others described her sound as exotic and bright and sometimes slightly trashy. But I don’t hold that against her. I think she sounds pretty. And as an added bonus she has an inverted bell that can be played as an accent for even more versatility which isn’t an option on a traditional china.

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We tried and tried to come up with a clever way like what we did last year to present it to the boy but he headed us off at the pass with “Hey remember that treasure hunt thing “Santa” had me do last year where I had to solve the clues in order to get to my iPod touch??- please don’t do that to me again.” SO we resorted to Christmas Story methods– when Ralphie has opened all his gifts and his Dad says hey what’s that over there behind the desk?? And Ralphie looks and finds his beloved Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. Only we don’t have a desk so we hid it behind the cushion of the chair in the living room and after the destruction had occurred [see below]

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we asked him to straighten up the cushion in the chair and thus he found his pretty new shiny thing. Of course we couldn’t resist taunting him with the original box first thing that morning- we wrapped a tambourine in it just for kicks. Because what fun are kids if you can’t mess with them from time to time?