Saturday, December 26, 2009

Today's hot drummer

Hardly anyone would disagree if I singled out such drummers as Neil Peart, Keith Moon, or Gene Krupa as amongst the most amazing drummers of their times (though of course Neil's time isn't over yet!), in the same way people speak of Eric Clapton or Eddie Van Halen when talking of guitarists.

While I'm not as disconnected from modern music as I used to be, and I dip my toe into the stream of modern culture fairly often (though admittedly neither deeply nor for very long at a time), I'm not nearly in touch enough to be able to say, or even speculate, about who are the drummers out there now that stand out as the best in their field. The ones amazing people with great drum work, or innovative techniques, or otherwise bringing attention to the usually-taken-for-granted rhythm section.

(Actually, I'm not even sure who are the hotshot guitar players right now either. I've heard about Orianthi as an up-and-comer, but who else? Or is the current music landscape such that there wouldn't be any small group you could single out as "guitar gods" anymore? Maybe it's too contentious, or maybe no one even thinks that way, or it's not guitarists people coo over nowadays.)

1 comment:

litlfrog said...

I think speculation about technical skill, who's got the best chops, etc. is a big part of fandom in metal and progressive rock, but I'm not highly familiar with those communities. That kind of skill is orthogonal to success in most modern popular music--being a kick-ass guitarist or drummer can't hurt, but it doesn't usually have a lot to do with making great pop or rock music.

*goes off to check something in Google Docs* Looking at my favorite albums from this year, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you who's a great instrumentalist. The guys from Mars Volta can certainly thrash it out, and Andrew Bird is a fine violinist (and whistler!). But Neko Case, the Raveonettes, Metric, Camera Obscura, Bat for Lashes? No idea if they can play particularly well. They make great albums, though.