My Aversion to Album Reviews and Drum Gear Reviews

mikel

Platinum Member
Well that's just flat out wrong.

I enjoy listening to people who are more knowledgeable than I am about a topic discussing it. Whether it's a movie, music, the written word or TV, a well informed critic brings an interesting point of view and an entertaining - in the broadest sense of the word - way of imparting that point of view. I'm not looking for validation of my taste, and I am quite prepared to enjoy a good positive review of something that is not to my taste.

And if you "suffered through" Jane Austen, you're probably not qualified to pontificate on writing.
Well, its not is it? You don't "Need" third party validation of your taste or choice.

I have watched films that have had rave reviews and been less than entertained. Conversely I have DVDs in my collection that I have watched over and over and the critics thought them rubbish. Personal taste. Some critics seem to get too wrapped up in the whole "Film Making" thing, and forget the maxim of a good story well told.

There are lots of books that the system call "Classics" that have bored me witless. I am quite capable of reading any book, or watching a film, and making my own mind up as to weather its a classic or not.

The same goes for music, tell me the genre, i will give it a listen if it interests me, then I will decide if I like it or not. Its not rocket science.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
No it's not rocket science although the uber inteligencia seem to think so. Gear review... just get cheap drums with good heads ,good cymbals and good hardware, the drums are not important. Huh ? Album review ...play whatever you like but don't actually play real drums on it never use a guitar for goodness sake and use your computer to do everything, oh yeah and repeat the same lyric over and over again. That should just about cover it.
 
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Les Ismore

Platinum Member


Do these Gretsch drums and Sabian cymbals sound the same when played by Lee and Blade? Suppose my style is closer to Brian Blade, and only Tommy Lee shows up to play so I can hear what these drums and cymbals sound like?[/I].



They would sound the same to an experienced ear, what they play might sound different, but all drums have an inherent voice, and at best that'd be what one is trying to describe in a review.






Magazines like Drum! Have yet to write a negative review of any drum or drum kit. Why bother reading them?
Right, they don't want to upset the advertisers. How can there be an impartial review in a magazine with ads?
Catch 22 is alive and well. Its all about sales. No sales= No drum rag, no food for the kids.





J Gordon Holt used to just send back a piece of equipment he found below par as opposed to reviewing it.
A real disservice to humanity, especially if that's your job- reviewing. The ancient Romans had it right IMO, they'd terminate you if you didn't take a side.




Scott, it'd be real interesting to find out all the various pen names Ron Spagnardi used when he wrote articles in MODERN DRUMMER, can anyone confirm them all? And how about yourself, did you also contribute to MODERN DRUMMER with various pseudonyms?
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Why would I want to read that?! If I wanted to read Nietzsche, I'd read Nietzsche. He does a much better job of writing.
OK...THAT is one of the funnier things I've read in a bit.

Thanks Bac!


I must say, I have no use for art criticism. I can make up my own mind...I don't need someone telling me what to believe so I don't embarrass myself in front of my influential friends who are doing the same.

A good gear review however is great!...as long as its detailed enough on why the opinions are formed.
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
mikel -

I agree. Trusted reviewers are very helpful. Also, places like drummerworld.com, where drummers actually using products talk about them, ask questions, compare their expectations of products to the reality of products -- that's priceless.

Les Ismore -

1. What qualifies a listener as having an experienced ear? There's no way, playing as they are known to play, that Tommy Lee and Brian Blade get the same sound from the same drumset.

2. re: Ron Spagnardi's pen names. What interests you about them? As for me? I never wrote for MD using a pen name. Always my real name.

Best,
skf
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
mikel -


Les Ismore -

1. What qualifies a listener as having an experienced ear? There's no way, playing as they are known to play, that Tommy Lee and Brian Blade get the same sound from the same drumset.

2. re: Ron Spagnardi's pen names. What interests you about them? As for me? I never wrote for MD using a pen name. Always my real name.

Best,
skf

Let's use this as an example- If TL and BB were in a room with a set of LUDWIG CLASSIC MAPLES and a set of PEARL VISION BIRCH demonstrating both, sure they would make different sounds on both kits, but also both kits would make different sounds, and its that which one would report on. Now if a reviewer were listening to both chaps on one drum kit, the experienced reviewer might use both players differences to quantify the review. "The sound TL muscled out of the 16x14 FT was deep and clear, while BB made the 16x14 FT sound subtle and more tom tom like..."

Drum reviews aren't usually of another drummer playing the drums, its the reviewer hands on with the kit in review, so one, or two different drummers playing a kit and reviewed by yet another drummer would be an interesting review none the less. In the case of (we'll call it) a traditional review, the reviewer would emote water came to them as far as the drums sound and their experience with the kit in review.

Would a review quote like "The bass drum spurs are key operated and are fixed in their height..." be informative to me? Yes. What about "The tom toms sounded rich and deep with the supplied 2 ply drumheads, but I found the ability to get similar performance in other tuning rages difficult..." Yes again.


There's no scientific standard for reviewing drums in a drum rag. The reader gets what they get. Videos (YouTube etc.) are much more informative along with web sites like GURU drums, where they actually use a web space opportunity to explain their products in detail, not leave the visitors with more questions then they came with.




re: Ron Spagnardi's pen names. What interests you about them? As for me? I never wrote for MD using a pen name. Always my real name.

What interests me? Same thing that would interest anyone. What were they, how may, the subjects, are they archived etc.? All part of MD's history. The reason for seems obvious, he was just starting out, couldn't afford writers, but who knows really...?
 

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Les Ismore -

Good points on drum gear review variations. Thank you.

As for Modern Drummer Founder/Publisher Ron Spagnardi's pen names? I don't think it's a secret that, in MD's early days, Ron padded the masthead with a couple of names. People can agree/disagree about Ron's need for doing that. I think he added a few names thinking potential readers and advertisers would think MD was a larger operation than it was at the start.

I write about my first meeting with Ron in 1978 while he was still running MD out of his home basement. The people I met that day -- mentioned in my blog post -- made up the MD staff.

I did not meet Ron's wife, Isabel, in 1978. Isabel was in the office every day when I worked at MD. I don't know specifics, but I can't imagine she was not helping her husband during those early days.

And Cheech Iero played a role during MD's early days. I met Cheech once in passing. And I know he wrote for MD. Beyond that, I know only that he was there in the beginning, or near the beginning.

We never discussed it, but I'm willing to bet the bulk of editing and putting each MD issue together, at that time, was mostly done by Ron Spagnardi and Karen Larcombe.

I'm looking at the April 1981 MD masthead. The two Associate Editors listed -- Mark Hurley and Paul Uldrich -- are fictitious. So is Production Manager Roger Elliston. Administrative Director Isabel Lori is Ron's wife using a pen name, a combination of her first name and their daughter's first name.

Everyone else listed on the masthead is real.

Finally, Ron never liked putting his real name on anything he wrote for MD other than his Editor's Overview. I don't know why. But he wrote, for example, MD's History of Jazz Drumming. Sometimes Ron wrote drum exercise columns under pen names.

Best,
skf
 
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