Dogs

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Did this as a ‘resume’ for an illustrated dogs book.
If y’all are looking for an illustrator for a book lemme know, we’ll figure it out. #dogs

12 most popular dog breeds in America
Here’s a flash sheet of some of the most popular dogs in America
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Virgil

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Made this for og Virgil & all his help as production assistant & photographer on the unity temple project. He took some absolutely beautiful photos & I’m eternally grateful for his help & support on that insanely emotionally draining day. Plus he hooked it up with literally the coolest promo photos anyone could ask for. ❤💙

A portrait of my cousin Virgil Van Bueren
A portrait of my cousin Virgil Van Bueren

Guy

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I scanned this guy. This is a portrait I illustrated for my cousin Guy, drawn with basically his name Guy for everything.  He’s a Chicago Cubs fan so I wanted to give him a similar style jersey with a similar style logo from them. #illustration #drawing #guy02200903.JPG

Hello World.

IMG_7649what up?

It’s been a some time, i’m terribly sorry that I’ve been away.

Although I’ve been away from here, I haven’t been away from drumming.

I moved over to instagram @drumnmike to post daily drum videos starting in July of 2016.  They’ve been educational, some silly, and the Unity Temple stuff is insanely serious (kinda).

I’m hoping to make my way back over here to start doing some catalogs of the drum videos and the drawings that I’ve been doing.  If you’re interested in drum projects or illustration commissions hit me up and we’ll get something going.  If not, buy something from me!  🙂

Drumnmike Podcast #2 (11-20)

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Listen here.

Podcast #2 starts with a little jazz.

The first song is an adventure, spanning close to 22 minutes. The next is a classic Mingus tune but with a different take on the melodies & rhythm. Next there’s a track from Goblin, known mostly for their soundtrack work in the 70’s & recently finding a new younger audience, one that forced (I use that lightly) them to go on a tour, something they haven’t done in ages, if ever.

Yesterday’s New Quintet is Madlibs jazz sample project, followed by Tortoise, a local Chicago jazz inspired group.

Samiyam is a hip hop/electronic/beats inspired project, followed by some classical music from Ives. I’m a huge fan of jazz with a classical chaser, does anyone else agree? They’re both mentally stimulating yet they’re both sides of the spectrum. This track is more avant garde classical than the straightforward classical music. Chambers follows which continues in the eerie, horror classical style.

To round it out one of my favorite metal/punk? Tracks by Mutoid Man from their first short form release. Then one of the tracks I played with a 1 time cover band I filled in on for a friend.

What do you think?

Track list
Pow wow! – tenderfoot chant
Charles Mingus – fables of fabus
Rush
Yesterday’s new quintet – uno esta
Tortoise – night air
Samiyam – return
Seattle symphony orchestra – instances
Spektral quartet – chambers: movement 2
Mutoid man- gnarcissist
Lake Street dive – you go down smooth

Drumnmike podcast # 1 (1-10)

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Drumnmike Podcast #1

Listen here

This will be a continuously updated list, starting today with 10 songs every time I post. Ideally I’d like it to start a discussion on what music people like our don’t like, & any similar suggestions.

Sometimes the list will have a coherence but mostly they were songs that came up on my shuffle list of bands I once heard about. Let me know what you think.

This week is spacey & heavy, starting with pink Floyd & winding through softer spaced out material from typically heavier bands.

Track listing
Pink Floyd – any color you like (live)
In Flames (black & white)
Fugazi – recap modotti
Dysrhythmia – let you fall
The Drums – money
Kylesa – between the silence & sound II
Goblin – fortuna
Truckfighters – gargarismo
Kvelertek – offernatt
Lazer/wolf – sacralicious

GWAR, Concord theater (151103)

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151103 - GWAR at Concord Theater: photo by drumnmike

God, what an awesome show.

I’m saddened it’s taken me this long to see them, & I’m also slightly embarrassed that I play in a metal band after what these guys have done.

Last time Oderus was alive they played at Reggie’s & for one reason or another I missed the show. That was a mistake on my part.

To enjoy this band is to enjoy metal in its extreme. All bands attempt to be heavy & loud & shit, tuning their guitar or bass down to the lowest levels available then playing heavy chords while their amps are as loud as they go. I’m down with that, but at the same point it’s impossible to continue to out heavy/out volume your contemporaries forever. The fact that 30 years ago gwar put a stake in the ground & decided to be as extreme as they are they raised the level of metal, without anyone coming close to what they do. (I’m open to suggestions of material I don’t know about)

The level of depth around the band & how they really create a theater show with their music makes it that much more fun. I’ve seen my fair share of heavy groups & while I enjoy them, sometimes it feels like I’m being yelled at at a show with 20 other people. Being recently married & having a kid on the way i have a hard time associating with such anger, but I like the technicality &  sounds of metal, just not all the time.

Gwar at least has the decency to not take themselves seriously & have fun playing while also playing some decent music. It’s not the best metal I’ve heard, but it’s damn good considering how many other things are into play with them. There is a high level of shock value so if the image of fake weiners offend you, don’t go. However if you can get past that you’ll have a blast…

I’m also starting to think Mike Judge
Judge should make beavis & butthead when they’re older.

sr:Mutoid Man – Reggies (150905)

150904 - Mutoid Man - Reggies: Photato by Drumnmike
150905 – Mutoid Man – before i moved to the middle of the floor – Reggies: Photato by Drumnmike

“It’s that drummer from Converge and the dude from Cave In” Aaron told me when he first heard about the band. “You’d really dig them.””i bet, it already sounds like it” I replied.  My exposure to Cave In has been brief, a few albums here and there but never to the point of obsession for a period of time.

Since being on the scene only 2 years now Mutoid Man has accomplished a lot.  In 2013 they released their amazing 15 min release Helium Head.  The first song Gnarcissist is a ripper.  As an introduction to a band it’s amazing.  It’s tight, it’s technical, it’s fast, it’s fun, it works.  It’s probably my favorite song on the release but that only speaks to how good that track is.

After ‘wearing out’ Helium Head I was nervous they would pull a battles on me. After a few questionable days, I cracked and finally listened to their newest release, Bleeder.  It’s great.  They took what they did for Helium Head and expanded it over 30 minutes.  The songs continue in the same intensity as Helium, but continue exploring ability of Ben to come up with an a complimentary beat to emphasize the rhythm of the guitar.

The songs are catchy and fun, but they really take a few listens to truly capture the grooves and rhythms the band gets involved in.  I’d be impressed not knowing this, but it’s valid enough to mention drummer Ben Koller and Stephen Brodsky have jammed together in the former’s current powerhouse group Converge and in Stephen’s famed project Cave In.  The music shows that these grooves could be difficult for some musicians to pull off together but not these guys.

And the show made it that much more enjoyable to watch such potentially complicated songs be played with such ease and humor, while all wearing black shirts.  They started with Bridgeburner and the crowd was into it.  The band was loving the show.  Stephen was all smiles, wide eyed, making a connection with the crowd and making a decision to connect with the band during the set. There were multiple moments at which I laughed out loud (loled) at his jokes.

They played the first 4 songs from Bridgeburner before making their way over to the Helium Head material, starting with the 2nd track and making their way through the rest of the release.

Stephen had a way of sing-introducing the songs before they played them. He’d typically use some mid song banter/story to lead into the song title lyrics.  Sometimes he’d sing it, other times he’d yell it, to match the aggression at the beginning of the song.

The band seemed to have a lot of inside jokes they were playing on, as the members would continually flip the other members off and vice versa.  Ben continuously would slam his drum stick to his floor tom in an attempt to make the stick fly to the balcony in the Reggie’s Rock room above the stage.

Drumming fans and fans of thrashy sludgey heavier punk music would enjoy the releases and the live shows.  Watching Ben Koller drum is always a bad ass thing for any fan of drum to watch.  He enjoys playing and has some incredible speed which he puts to comprehensive beats for all the music he plays. Although it was somewhat shocking because of how heavy the band is but the enjoyment they all shared together also shows to the longevity of being able to have a project that you can do with your friends but still put out some really great music.

Shortly after they left the stage the gear was still there and the lights were somewhat at ‘stage level’.  Ben walked on stage and said into the microphone “That’s all the shit we know. we don’t know any other songs.  Have a good night”. (I’m misquoting my quotes, i don’t remember exactly what was said).

album review: High On Fire – Luminiferous


Buy High on Fire – Luminiferous | listen to High on Fire – Luminiferous

Since I’ve been listening to dave weckl drumming I’m listening to more Chick Chorea and all the bands, projects and musicians he’s been associated with.  This lead me to the Jeff Forber Fusion group.  Today was my first time listening to them and I was intending to write a review, but finding that Kenny G, and while there’s nothing wrong with him, was one of the prominent members of the group I had to ask myself if I was really going that soft.

Sure I just got married but I can’t just lie down, can i? Either way, I got about 1 song in before realizing Mr G is one of the members of this group.  I had to do what any metal drummer would do.  Switch to High on Fire.

This band is the motorcycle loving leather dude you drink with and see at shows.  he rules, and he hasn’t had the gall to step down.  he has a vision of his life and who he is and he lives it.  This would be Matt Pike.  the dude was involved in the beginning of the true stoner metal sound with his group Sleep in 1992. He’s also had an intense life.

Watching High On Fire live is a trip.  Dude walks onto the stage with his shirt off, hair past his shoulders and they just shred. Their intensity is half of the show.  They just played Thalia Hall the same night Weckl and Mayer played at Martyrs. As a drummer I made the right decision.

When you hear the name High on Fire you hear Matt’s snarling voice in your head, like at the 2 min mark on Sunless Years. He’s yelling from the depth of his lungs and his voice has yelled in a lot of faces through the years. The thunderous drums that finish the track raise the song in an amazing way to end the song.

The songs tend to get into a mid tempo groove, but there’s also the rippers.  Slave the Hive is a thrash jam, double bass, big fills. pissed at someone.

This is one of those bands that if you like them, you really like them.  There are probably some fair weather fans, but the majority are devoted.  Their albums are consistently good.  You know what to expect, yet there’s something new for their music.  If they were to do an acoustic album there’d probably be overly dramatic reactions.

Hearing this new album, Luminiferous doesn’t sound like they’ve aged or calmed.  It sounds like they continue to refine their songs and collaboration as a band.  The album is great.  What’s difficult is to rate the album amongst the others without really devoting yourself to the songs.

The title track performs as you’d expect a High on Fire title track to play.  Luminiferous (the song) is a ripper.  Once the song gets to the climax (you’ll know) Matt’s voice holds out for dear life, like the drop below would hurt him.

The final track takes you on the familiar Matt Pike-esque journey.  In a slower groove, but the middle build is a monsterous drumming experience.  The only type of tension that can drop off to the slow sludgy groove they’re known for.

And after listening to High on Fire for any period you must cleanse the palate with Snakes for the Divine.

Buy High on Fire – Luminiferous | listen to High on Fire – Luminiferous

album review:Chick Corea Elektric Band – The Chick Corea Elektric Band

Buy The Chick Corea Elektric Band | Listen here

This is a little drum dumb assness for ya but I was thinking that it was Dennis Chambers playing drums on this album.  Now before you go any further you can know that it’s Dave Weckl. My bad.

The biggest problems with album like this is if you don’t know what to expect, they can be written off as a dated recording due to the very ‘out there’ sounds they used.  Truth. But being released in 1986 a lot of this stuff was ahead of it’s time, and without a lot of time to actually digest how certain sounds sound, being in the tunnel of awesome it’s difficult to see what’s ‘too electronic drums’ or ‘too flaming guitar solo’ or ‘too cheesy keyboard’ sounds.  In that same token, it’s what makes the music that much more remarkable.  It’s the experimentation with the sounds with some phenomenal players. When it works it’s a very nice result.

My favorite track on this album is ‘Got a Match?‘.  When hearing this phrase I immediately think of the Beavis & Butthead movie, and now that you do too we can move on to the album.

Although Rumble is somewhat uptempo and City Gate has it’s moments with some crazy drums in them, Got a Match? (see, how can you forget that scene?) is the first time the album let’s loose. The first time I heard this song I had to stop what I was doing to make sure I saved this track so I could listen to it bunch.  It starts with a really awesome, yet really subdued drumming on the high hat and snare with alternating ghost doubles and a melodious keyboard line.  After a short intro together the drums build adding some bass drum hits and the bass comes in.  The keyboard takes you on a little journey for a minute until they come back to that hook from the intro.  The beat this time includes some ride bell hits and a more complete build of the part. They meander for a bit then break for the drums to do their thing, come back for a hair then really letting the drums do their thing.  Some keys and bass get thrown in but if there was ever a song where the drum solo doesn’t feel just gratuitous and is a real part of the song this would be that song.  The beat on it’s own can be a solo for most drummers so the fact that it gets built up takes the song up that much further, while keeping the drums on track with the keyboard melody.  Before you know it the song is over and you need to listen again to make sure you heard that correctly.

Coming in just shy of an hour with 11 songs this album covers a lot of ground.  The electronic drum sounds and synth sounds get a workout throughout the album, but again as you’re coming into this stuff why wouldn’t you want to see how far you can explore it and see where it can go?

This album is further proof I have a long way to go to get over my ‘traditional’ jazz tastes and there are some amazing recordings out there that I’m excited to get involved with.

Buy The Chick Corea Elektric Band | Listen here