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Everything posted by MarimbasaurusRex

  1. I'm more concerned that a guy from Mandarins thinks Taiko is Chinese! yikes...
  2. Holy crap... Was just watching some rehearsal footage of BD 2013 and was really struck by how they have used the changes that so many have beefed about, including myself at times, to morph drum corps it into something amazing again. This show is a game changer. But, what got me most was seeing it out of uniform, in human terms, just people doing amazing things. The shakos, rifles, and other pseudo military gear seem even more hugely out of place in this reincarnation of drum corps. If they can someday shake off this vestige of what was and humanize the entire package, I'm sold. It's exciting, superman stuff, but it comes across most that way if we see that these are indeed real people, not pseudo soldiers or robots. Either way, this show is a true creative and performance feat and it's pretty awesome.
  3. Assuming this is intended as a community based and community serving organization... Providing entertainment and pageantry for civic events. Providing a means for young people to better direct their energies and talents for a common good. Providing music education. Providing lessons in civic responsibility and good citizenship for it's members. Providing general community service. These are all things drum corps USED to do, and still could.
  4. Agreed 100%. Two things really attracted me to the early broadcasts. 1.) It was live which made it like you were there, gave it an excitement it didn't have in later years. 2.) No one knew who would win. Every year the championship was up in the air. It was even exciting seeing just who made finals. Drum corps does not translate well to TV. The cameras can't possibly see it all or feel the wind of a good fortissimo parting your hair or moving you in the chest. TV is good at presenting DRAMA. Once the drama of the event was lost, so was the interest for anyone who wasn't already a corps fan and was watching it just to see the shows one more time. With a few exceptions, most years these days it's pretty well known who is expected to win. There might be a dogfight for that number 12 spot, but in general there is little drama. Championships is more of a culminating event to end the season. Take away the live aspect of feeling like you are there as well as any drama over who will win and what have you got that works on TV? My first exposure to drum corps was not TV, but it was my first exposure to DCI and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to be part of that. Because I could imagine what it was like to be there in real time, with real anticipation of an unknown outcome. It was original reality TV. Real life drama that was unfolding and if I played my cards right I might get to be there too.
  5. 9 times out of 10, THAT's the guy who is closeted gay. There were always gay people in the various corps I was in and we either knew for sure or just assumed they were cuz it was obvious. Was it ever a problem? No. Has anyone ever been accosted by a gay guy in a drum corps shower? I strongly doubt it. The only problems I recall with gay people in drum corps were the adult letches, often corps directors, who preyed on young boys. It was quite common back in the day and we learned to watch out for them. Gary, I remember quite a few in T-Birds who were gay and we shared the same showers on the rare occasions we had showers. It wasn't an issue. And I agree with the poster who said the part about confusing physical gender with sexuality. That's 100% correct, they are 2 different things entirely. Homophobia is exactly that, a PHOBIA, a type of mental illness.
  6. More and more bummed every day that I can't be there! It's gonna be epic.
  7. Absolutely. I remember watching BD for years on tour and noting how level headed and professional their staff was, always. They also had the cream of the crop in member talent which I'm sure helped keep things a little more sane. But, it seems to be part of the culture. I once quit a staff because one of the instructors kept going off on members like a marine corps drill sergeant and the kids were really quite young and it was just totally inappropriate. I asked the BOD and the director to do something about it and when they wouldn't, I made it clear that it was "he goes or I go." I went. It still goes on today. I was watching a fairly prominent corps rehearse a few years ago and the staff was so condescending that I just had to leave. The corps director is a great friend I've known for 30+ years and I was shocked to see that he let that go on. It just made me sick to think that kids were spending thousands of dollars to be abused in that way. Every one of those kids was putting out everything they had and the staff treated them like meat. It's no wonder some corps can never quite get over the hump competitively. They would all do well to watch a BD rehearsal and learn how it's done.
  8. Things were definitely more barbaric back in the day. Can't say I didn't learn from it though, both what to do and what NOT do do. A few educational phrases come to mind... Do it again, but right this time. Play it more musical ######! F***ing meatball! You suck, you just suck, really... you suck. Good times!
  9. The orchestral term for hand cymbals is piatti, which is Italian for plates (or dishes). It's used to differentiate between a suspended cymbal and a pair of hand-held cymbals.
  10. 2 grand? You can't even buy the mics to mic a full set of keyboards for 2 grand, let alone the mountings, cables, mixer, amps, speakers, cables, etc. A single good quality weighted key synth is 2 grand. Try $20-30k and that's closer to the ballpark.
  11. Sorry to have to correct you, yet again, on this. Marching xylos were (are) the exact middle range of the standard concert instrument, chopping only a 5th off the bottom and a few notes off the top. Same goes for the marimba which knocked an octave off both ends (not counting the bass of extended range instruments). Marching bells are exactly the same as their concert counterparts, and marching vibes were actually the lower range of the concert instrument, taking only a 4th off the top. So to say marching keyboard instruments used only the upper range is simply not true at all. One big difference in sound from then to now is of course mallet choice. I was one of the first to rebel against the klangy mallet sound of the 70's and would only use mallets appropriate to the "normal" sound of an instrument, even when judges (yes, judges) insisted we should use something more ear shattering. We still projected just fine as evidenced by recordings. Of course 4 keyboards using softer mallets could not compete with 60+ horns at FF, but why should they? They don't really do that today either, serving an appropriate role between the louder impact points. I think the biggest reason for having big pits is BECAUSE THEY CAN, and that's really the only reason. Any talk about needing more to fulfill an artistic vision is silly, especially with the aid of amplification. No arranger writes 20 different voices of similar timbre simultaneously. There's a heck of a lot of doubling that really just isn't necessary anymore. But they do it, again, because they can. Incidentally, the mallets in my avatar pic are Balter #5's, a medium rubber which I still use quite often in a concert setting, as the more nebulous attack of a yarn mallet tends to get lost in a larger ensemble sound.
  12. What drums had steel wrapped over wood?? I hear a lot of people complain about the heavy drums back in the day, but I carried a 29" tymp when I was 115lbs and had worse back problems carrying a set of rotos with no shells at all. It was all about leverage. My back is just fine 30 years later, but maybe I was just lucky. Stretching before carrying helped a lot. I actually feel more stress carrying a modern set of quads.
  13. I agree 100%. It is the pulling from both ends that has always bothered me. Trying to stay what it is while trying to become what it isn't. It just doesn't make sense. Open the flood gates and see what happens.
  14. I would love to see a return to the helmet, but it would have to be redesigned from the inside and that would be costly. The solution to the fit and stability issue - Take the stripped bottom half of a shako and affix the shell of the helmet over that. This could be done by a manufacturer, but at what price. They were also heavy by comparison, so they would have to be made lighter. Another problem was that the shell of the helmet was only one size, so what fit and looked good on one person wouldn't necessarily look good on another. So, there would have to be different sizes made, again more costly and possibly a slight uniformity issue. Another poster said the helmets stained easily and that's true, but nothing a little white shoe polish couldn't fix. There isn't an easy solution and I think that's why they went with a shako, it was easy, but good things are rarely easy and I think it would be to their benefit to explore the redesign possibilities. It would be a significant initial cost, but might be worth it in the long run.
  15. Should be noted that Surf went up 5 places from last year. So yeah, they got something right.
  16. An actual professional what? An actual professional who didn't do his homework? Look it up in the Harvard Dictionary of Music. I kid you not... In standard music terminology the words are interchangeable. This is widely accepted in both the academic and symphonic worlds. I wouldn't say it just for the heck of it. Maybe writing it in a bigger font would make it more believable. And from an actual professional musician with A list film, television, and recording industry credits (MGM, UA, Disney, National Geographic, etc.), a music educator with 30+ years in the field, numerous professional awards, and a DCI individual championship (as if any of that matters to the discussion, but one good chest pounding deserves another): It's a good idea to check the accepted reference texts on this stuff. Although you may be accustomed to using the terms incorrectly, and feel a need to defend that and perpetuate their misuse, that doesn't change the actual meaning of the words. Or, in layman's terms - bzzzzzt wrong. LOL
  17. Geno's passing is a true loss to all of us. I can only thank him for his genuine kindness and friendship. The day he passed, the world got a little colder.
  18. I'll start by saying don't believe everything you read on wikipedia. The MW definition says the same thing I did, that arrangement and transcription are the same thing. It also describes it as an act, in which case it is being used as a verb. From the New College Encyclopedia of Music (required text for music majors) - Transcription. v. ARRANGEMENT (I didn't add the caps, that's exactly what it says, no more, no less.)
  19. I keep seeing, in drum circles particularly, that people refer to a more true to form arrangement as a transcription. But, this is not the case. Transcription and arrangement mean the same thing. Transcription is a verb and arrangement is a noun, both referring to the act of altering a piece for a particular purpose. There is no such thing as "a transcription." Transcription is an act resulting in an arrangement. When a piece is altered greatly, like most modern drum corps arrangements, it ceases to be an arrangement and becomes a composition on a theme. Come on all you music majors!
  20. Plan A - great idea. Seriously, they should really consider this. Of course they won't. And even if they did, judges tend to have the in front of audience personality of a wet dishrag, so it might not be as exciting as it looks on paper. But, this is the kind of thing that would give the activity a shot in the arm.
  21. OK, if he is 100% percent correct, then why was my school and all the others near it (and pretty much every one I knew of at the time) in marching band competitions through the 70's? I'm betting your high school competed as well, Mike. Bands of America also started in the mid 70's and my HS band was in it. People act like there wasn't competitive marching band going on back then and it just isn't true. Most bands were also moving to corps style by about 1975. it really wasn't all that different than it is now, with the exception of the broader scholastic participation in WGI. Let's try to avoid revisionist history to support a falsehood. My point is, you simply can't say nothing was lost with the death of so many corps. It just ain't true.
  22. Well, there was for me and I'd have to say most people. unless you just happened to be with a corps who's director was your band director. I had my school band directors, and then corps directors and instructors. Yes, some of those were band directors too, but from different schools. It's the difference between getting one point of view or several. It was a broader music education which I still benefit from today.
  23. This always gets me... There were just as many high school marching bands back in the day as there are now. Don't try to minimize the loss of drum corps by saying that marching bands provide the same experience because they don't, never have and never will. One of the things I enjoyed most about being in drum corps was that it was NOT school and it happened in the summer. It's a different experience with a different set of people, an opportunity to broaden one's life beyond the same old people and walls of school structure.
  24. Hear hear. Stepping away from the safety of DCI is something none of them have the nuts to do. I've always been a progressive type. When I was marching we would talk of 3D drills with jet packs, even thought amplification would be fine if you could carry an amp and have your sound come from where you were physically on the field. Drum corps needs to move forward and I appreciate GH's desire to move things in some kind of direction away from stagnancy. But saxophones aren't going to save anything. Like any other business, you have to define your market and then try to give them what they desire. But, the corps/band world is led by individuals with their heads buried in the cloistered corps/band scholastic world. It makes the scope of their viewpoint far too narrow to foster any truly meaningful change. People want to see something amazing. They want to see home runs at the ball park. They want to see great touchdown catches on the gridiron. The question is, what does the general audience think is amazing? Is it a saxophone or a mic on a player? Of course, not. I'm not sure I know the answer. But, some people do and they are making scads of money doing it, see Blue Man or Cirque or even, dare I say, Lady GagGag. Their answers are not the same as an answer for drum corps, but I do believe there IS an answer out there somewhere. Drum corps do amazing things. But, they are not necessarily the things people want to see. If drum corps ever figures out what people want to see from them, look out. Because the potential is there for something HUGE, and I think we all feel that. It will take stepping away from the safety net of the "activity." Build a show, a REAL show. Not 10 minutes of generic sameness from one group after another, but 90 minutes of amazing. Let your audience (not parents and other band directors) dictate what's cool and what's not and let the chips fall as they may. If you build it and make it really cool, they will come. Put up.
  25. OK, if that was being nice, one good turn deserves another... Webster - Excellence / Excellent: very good of its kind : eminently good : first-class Good IS a matter of taste to a point. But, you can execute very well and still miss the mark of what the music was intended to do on an emotional level. To limit the definition of good or excellent to execution alone is far more narrow than the actual meaning of the word. The dictionary is your friend. So, nice try but, bzzzt. Again, I'm not talking about content. tap tap tap, is this thing on?? Not complaining about style either. You still don't get that I'm talking about performance and not content. If you don't begin to understand what I'm saying, then why do you feel a need to respond with anything but a question of clarification? I'm happy to walk you through it if you can refrain from characterizing it as something it's not. You started off by assuming I don't like george Hopkins. Wrong. But, thanks for playing. I would put a smily face here but that would be disingenuous LOL. There are no "objective standards" in art. I know that makes some people crazy because you can't put it in a little box, but it's true. This is my point. Of course, any time you have multiple players on a part, you want them to play together. But, only to a point. In an orchestral string section, for instance, slight variations of tremolo, phrasing, etc. are what makes it sound fuller, better, more excellent. In the professional recording studio a great deal of effort actually goes into making things less perfect, more natural, more excellent. The most sought after amplifiers are those that add a little almost imperceptible distortion. Chorus is applied to a voice to detune it so that it seems sweeter and less sterile. The only "objective standard" is, does it sound good? And there is nothing objective nor standard about it. That's right. Because a well executed performance is not necessarily a good or excellent one. I know it's subtle, but stick with me here. Music is a form of communication, expression of thought and feeling. Playing the notes on the page accurately does not necessarily convey the composer's intent. It's about reading between the lines and making that performance come alive as something that touches people. If it doesn't touch people, then it has not succeeded as an artistic expression and becomes useless or, garbage. Yes, it's very different than when I marched. Such cannibalism has gone unchecked for so long that it's become part of the culture. That doesn't make it a good thing. It's only cryptic because you don't understand. And we agree on one thing. You haven't a clue.