Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mid-life crisis. At 30?!

30 was a tough birthday. I'm not sure why. I certainly don't feel old on an emotional level. My body is definitely starting to fail, but I attribute that to meat and cheese platters and chocolate death brownies at 1:30 a.m. as opposed to the natural aging process. Oh, and the extent of my exercise would be the 11 steps from my underground lair to the kitchen...which winds me every time. Nevertheless, when I hit 30 I felt like I needed something to make me feel young and groovy again. People with money buy Harleys or get their eyes done. People without money have to improvise. Me? I bought a drum set.

I'd never played the drums. I tried once at a friend's house in high school and instantly realized that it was brutally difficult. You have to have a minimum of three appendages that are all doing different things, keeping different beats, and working independently of one another. Good drummers do that with all FOUR appendages. I throw in the fourth every once in a while for effect, but any more than that and the whole train derails. When I bought my set I was entirely lost on where to start. I didn't know how to set it up, how to hold the sticks, which hand hits which thingy.

My brother in law has a friend named Loftin who is one of the most naturally gifted and "tuned in" musicians I've ever known. He suggested that Loftin come over and show me a few things. So he did. He set the kit up for me and showed me a few basics. Surprisingly I picked it up rather quickly. I started listening for rhythm patterns and drum beats in every song I listened to. I learned immediately that MY favorite music had impossibly complicated drumming, but 95% of the crap on the radio was unbelievably simple. So I started to get comfortable on the kit.

Loftin and I began jamming at his house...just the two of us. Bass and drums. He then introduced me to an insane guitarist named Randy (conveniently off camera.) We started to jam together and Tuesday nights quickly became something I looked forward to every week. We recently added vocals. Heather (Mable) is providing the pipes.

Last night I took a camcorder to our session just to see how we sounded since oftentimes my cacophonous drumming drowns everything out from where I sit. I am thrilled with the result.

Music is my heart and soul. I would never purposely listen to much of the music we play, but things totally change when you are actually CREATING the sound.

Please keep in mind that we are young and fledgling. I welcome your praise, but your sincere constructive criticism might just break my soul. And we will all be referring our friends and loved ones to this page. So if you hate it, pretend that you don't and post a comment glorifying our effort. Lie through your teeth. Then maybe we can talk offline and I'll get the REAL scoop. Honestly, please comment.

We need some work. We need some polish. We need GROUPIES. But I'm pretty proud of what we're doing. The first video is a cover of "Lullaby" by The Cure. The second is "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer. The final clip consists of snippets from a few other songs we are working on. Randy is also a brilliant songwriter and he has 5 songs he has laid down guitar and vocals for. I can't wait to get started on those. Covering songs is fun, but creating your own art is beyond description.


Sister said...

Brother-I can't believe how good you are at the drums! My goodness you are naturally gifted in music. By the way I think that your guitarist is fabulous as well.

Talbot Family said...

You know that the music of Weezer runs through my veins like blood. Nice choice! I am soooo proud of you big brother. This is what I always imagined you to look like. You just need the lights, the sweat, and the tight blackleather pants, oh and no shirt. Hmmm, maybe keep the shirt. Woooo Hoooo, I'll be a groupie.

Mandy said...

Oh, and by the way, I had a mid-life crisis too...

Dan Pierce said...

I blame you for every detail of my mid life crisis. (Which by the way has 10 more years and many many more pounds on your crisis.) I now go to sleep at night in the fetal position wondering "why now?" am I at 40 sporting my first goatee, and losing valuable productive time to daydreaming about motorcycles and scooters, not to mention countless hours of beating small black electronic drum pads. (shaking fist in air) Curse you Tyler!!! I'm just to easily influenced.

That being said, I thank you for helping me experience parts of life that would otherwise be just too impractical. Awesome! garage band videos, I'm way impressed, and I'm pretty sure that I was the first groupie. (good thing there was no cover charge at that time)

Tyler said...

Dan, you are classic. I was envisioning a different kind of groupie alla Penny Lane from Almost Famous, but this point I'll take what I can get. One day we'll have matching scooters with shiny dome helmets that we can ride to see the next Rush show, during which we'll be thinking..."I could play that..."

Rock the mullet brother!