A New Milwaukee Tradition


It was a blast to be asked to play this show in which MKE bands draft other bands and then cover their music live.  It’s a reminder of how much talent and variety there is in this city – and that people from outside of it may not know that it’s here.  Our set was de/reconstructed hip hop from Vincent Van Great which means I had ALOT of fun playing drums.  (and BTW thank to Nick Lang from Buffalo Gospel for letting me use his vintage Ludwig kit for that chunky thump.)

Abby Jeanne and her awesome band did a great take on our stuff and I really wish I had been recording it because it was <insert fire emogi x 10>!!!

“Smith Uncovered: A Reinterpretation of the Songs of Patti Smith” w/Nineteen Thirteen – THIS WEEKEND!



“Smith Uncovered” is the latest in Alverno Presents’ series of shows in which local musicians interpret, deconstruct and artfully fiddle with a songwriter’s body of work. 
Alverno Presents impresario David Ravel recruited Betty Blexrud-Strigens of the band Testa Rosa to curate this concert, asking her to pick an American songwriter. Blexrud-Strigens, who took part in the earlier “Beautiful Dreamer” show saluting Stephen Foster, mulled over several possibilities, including Dolly Parton.  (Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

I am so excited to be joining Mr. Victor DeLorenzo and Ms. Janet Schiff onstage as part of this event.  In the past I’ve sat in with them as a percussionist but woohoo! now I’ll be manning the drum set for some upcoming Nineteen Thirteen shows.  I will do my best to keep up with these two and try not to geek out about the fact that I get to play with one of my long-time drum heros.

Now, if you’ll excuse me,  I have to go practice my bolero….

(commence frantic search of practice room for #VicFirth SD2s)

Double Drumming!

Well how about this? Good pal Victor DeLorenzo (do I really have to tell you that he’s the drummer extraordinaire with 1913 and Violent Femmes) has agreed to join Mike Mangione & The Union for BOTH shows tomorrow at the Steel Bridge Song Fest.

“Steel Bridge”, as we vets call it, is a very collaborative event. Many jams occur both on and off stage during the week, songwriting workshops are the norm and even a few MMTU songs were first conceived up there in Sturgeon Bay.

Still, I can’t believe how lucky I feel and how happy I am that I get to share the drum duties with Victor twice in the same day. His wizardry will no doubt leave me mystified and I’m gonna burst out laughing if he pulls out an air drum fill like I’ve seen him do in the past.

Please dear friends, take lots of pics and videos for me because I’m sure it’s going to be a blur.

(and did I ever tell you about the time a 17 year old Nez went to see the Violent Femmes and was awestruck by the tranceaphone? Well, that’s a story for another time…)



Thanks to @ThinkDrums and @PercUpLive for the RTs

I did a little tweeting today from the Cascio Interstate Music clinic featuring Todd Sucherman (Styx, Brian Wilson), Hannah Ford (Bellevue Suite) and Pearl Drums Corps’ Raymond Massey. Think Drums and Perc Up Live picked up on it and were kind enough to share it with all of their followers and I hope everyone enjoyed the snippets and pics.

AND as promised, here’s a video snippet of Todd doing a seriously cool reinterpretation of Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression.” I hope you like it!

Back from NAMM 2011

WOW. I had a blast. Got to hang out with some old friends and made some new ones too. For some reason, I spent a lot of time looking at stuf but not really taking many pics. I did upload a few to my flickr site (you can see the pics in the sidebar) and I uploaded a great set of videos from Stanton Moore demoing his new LP pandeiro and a “steam powered” drumset from Trick. Those are up at my YouTube site. Take a look and let me know what you think!

(Oh yeah, and I got to meet one of my favorite drummers of all time, Abe Laboriel Jr. He was the coolest guy and totally worth waiting in line to talk to!)

Only One Day Away!!!!

Wow – 24 hours till I leave and I still have so much to do; packing alone will probably take all day.

I think the first day will be slightly overwhelming but I will have my earplugs and a plan of action for visiting all the people and vendors in some sensible way.

(who am I kidding? I’m gonna wander around with a permagrin like a kid in the worlds biggest candy store!)

See you there!

Brian Blade!

Here's what @BrianBlade is playing on tonight  #BlackDub on Twitpic

Oh Dear Internet,

that Black Dub show at Lincoln Hall was amazing. I was right up front, 5 feet away from the man himself, just soaking up the heavenly drumming that Brian had flowing. It’s one thing to hear a recording, or watch some YouTube, but to see him in person was a celebration. There are few drummers I can think of that can effortlessly play any style of music from bop to pop (Gadd, Steve Smith, Steve Jordan, Vinnie, anyone else?) but Mr. Blade does it all, and looks cool doing it. He plays from this place of joy, smiling away, while just killing the drums. I need more of that please!?!?!

The magic of YouTube

It doesn’t matter what you look for, YouTube seems to always come through. Say you’re in the mood for some Steve Gadd. Want to know what he played on Aja? BAM!

Want to learn how to play 50 Ways to Leave your Lover? BAM!

Want to watch Steve Gadd in a movie? Yup. One Trick Pony on YouTube…..BAM.