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About Dmlkmen

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  1. As far back as I have been a fan and participant, this corps has always embraced entertaining crowds playing jazz, rock, and everything in between. Going on my 30th year as a fan and a participant, it is this corps and Madison, to which I always have looked forward to seeing the most every year. 1988 Bloo was the first show I ever saw live. Later I learned about what fans discovered about them in 87- (so many cool stories on how that corps earned its following). I was in the crowds and saw reactions from 93, 94, and especially 95-which had a very strong emotional connection to the crowd. Not to digress, but I feel this organization has arguably been one of the the most entertaining over many decades. What they have done in this decade is extraordinary . But to really understand the corps, its worth us "older" fans to note the corps history to younger fans who are into Tilt, Kinetic Noise, "the wink" etc, and let them know about C Jam Blues, The WWII tribute, Seasons of Jazz, My Funny Valentine, etc. and all things in between. This said, seeing them in the theater Thursday night was the continuation of so many years for me in being entertained. Thanks Bluecoats for always being that corps thrilling crowds year after year.
  2. Looking forward to what they bring this year. Gut feeling is they will bounce back. Recent years such as 2008 and 2010 have shown us they are capable. Chuck N. arranging for them, as many have said here, should be great for bringing out the Madison sound, fun, excitement, and fan accessibility we are used to with Madison. That noted, if I were to guess what we will see this year from Scouts, I hope they will bring something to us like 2012 Crossmen. Familiar theme revisited, (1992), very fan friendly/accessible, but an approach that is fresh. Chuck’s take on Michael Jackson’s Earth Song fit so well into that show and identity of the corps. It was like their new “Pat Metheny”, in terms of identity. I felt that piece and that show “welcomed Crossmen back” for us as fans . When speaking of that identity I am not expecting 1990’s or 1980’s Scouts all over again. Nor a retro show, ( ie: 2010 ), to bring us back. Faster, louder, higher, can’t be “ what is old is new again”. So many have discussed Bluecoats being “the direction Madison Scouts should have gone”. Yeah, I can see the logic in that. Its a good assessment. But Bluecoats were not exactly, “underwhelming” in terms of entertainment in the last 30 years. Like Scouts, they had their own identity and entertaining shows- it’s just within the past decade they have taken their identity to a new level of appreciation in shows we find innovative, accessible, and fun. Madison will take that step like Bluecoats have- I trust in that. Those adjectives of accessible, fun, and even innovative, I think will be there this year.
  3. The Scouts are, without a doubt to me, where it begins and ends for most entertaining shows. That said, it’s hard to fit 12 shows throughout the 30 years I have been a fan into one post. But here goes.... 12. 1990- It doesn’t get a lot of love. It took 9th, as the bar stools as well as visual in the opener are a bit of a head scratcher. But this is the first appearance of the piece “Remembrance” , which is always a great listen. The closer “You Can Cook” is very entertaining, 11. 1998- An anniversary show that was a lot of fun and entertaining. Lupon the Third was a different choice for an opener- but a great one . (Now, if we could just get another anime theme song, Cowboy Bebop, on the field). The closer of this show, Rememberance, is a classic. The groove provided by the percussion in this piece is perfect. 10. 1991 - The first City of Angels show. Very entertaining arrangements. The company front at the end, with the rifle toss and files going into the company front- great drill. 9. 1986- Great hornline. The Duke Ellington piece in this show has some terrific brass moments, to go along with great arranging. The closer from Starlight Express is also memorable. 8. 1975 - Almost put this higher, (But must leave room for the rest I really enjoy too).. MacArthur Park, of course, is a classic Scouts piece. So many other pieces in this show are also classic. I am rather new school in drum corps, but this show deserves to stand the test of time. 7. 1994- This show lit up Foxboro on Finals night, as it did all other shows that season. The closer gives me chills every time. The soloist doing his thing, and that push by the corps forward to the end. Pure drum corps joy. 6. 1996- Soprano soloist in the beginning. Mis Abuelos as the opener. The ending push in Malagueña. All deserving to be called the Drum Corps Dream, Part Dos. 5. 1992 - The Second City of Angels. Beefed up book in percussion and brass. Entertainment value turned up. Classic brass sound. 91 was good, but this one is the more entertaining of the two. 4. 2014- Not on everyone’s list to be ranked this high. But I was impressed with it, from the first time I saw it. From the first time st the movie theater event in June, through August and Finals, ot chsnged dramticslly, Particularly the closing piece and the soloist in the end zone- which was a perfect way to end it. I would like another take from the Scouts of Ellis music, or a show with an entirely Kenton book anytime. 3. 1995 - I was in Allentown to see this show live. From that experience, I don’t think there will ever be a louder crowd response I will hear in my lifetime. (2008 Phantom was close). . When your corps is selling signed drum heads at the souvie booth from the snareline, it speaks volumes to how popular this show was at the time. 2. 1984- One of my favorite Scout books ever. I have waited entirely to long for the Waltz of the Mushroom Hunters to be brought back by the Scouts, (or another corps on the field). That piece alone, makes this one of my favorite Scouts shows ever. 1. 1993 - Strawberry Soup.. Crowd response to the sopranos in the stratosphere.- Epic. The rain.. Drums solo kicking ### in Strawberry Soup, as well as laying down the groove throughout the show. This show was on fire throughout the season, and it seemed to hit its peak that night in Jackson.
  4. I am probably going to take flack for where I place 86 and 88. But I can listen to those shows all day, especially 88. Unlike most, I am not a huge fan of 2000 and 2005. 12. 1982 - Only recently discovered this show,. YouTube video. Listen to it often and whistle the Gershwin tune. It’s become an earworm. 11. 2011- Between Angels and Demons- Saw this live at DATR, lower deck at field level. Although the music to this show was fantastic to hear in the lower level of the stadium, I regret I was that low to not have seen the visual with a higher field view. 10. 1998 - Stonehenge- The closer drill and ballad. Two of my favorites. 9. 1999- The Big Apple- Jan Van Der Roosts’ music and the Cadets are like peanut butter and chocolate. I hope at some point they can revisit some of his music. I love the ballad of this show, as well as the opener. 8. 2003 - Our Favorite Things- Underrated. Fanfare and Allegro Is one of my favorite concert pieces I have ever played, and it was a joy to see Cadets do this in tribute to earlier SCV performances. Bringing back Rocky Point, and doing the Z pull was greet to see. Malagueña is fun, but not the high point of this show for me. 7. 1985- Jeremiah, Make our Garden Grow, Candide- I was hoping Cadets could bring this back, or elements of it, in the Bernstein Estate deal they recently made. Alas, we won’t see it rebooted, as Cadets went another direction. No need to mention here the monumental performance this was for the time. I wish I knew what drum corps was st the time, to have seen it live. 6. 1991- ABC’s of Modern American Music- Short Ride in a Fast Machine is still one of my favorite openers of all time. Tons of punch in how thet piece was arranged. Fanfare Fugue and Riffs as the closer may be unorthodox for the Cadets. Particularly in the sense that they park and blow to end the show, and is not at 220 bpm to close out. But the Park and blow after the cool “snake drill” , fits perfectly and is fun to watch. 5. 1986- On the Waterfront/ Christopher Street- The Cadets at this time with the drill and speed,...I didn’t know what drum corps was until middle school in 1989. This was one of the first Drum Corps shows I had ever seen on VHS, (1989 Bluecoats the first I saw live). I could not believe how they marched at that speed and the intricate formations in the drill. 4. 2001 - Juxtaperformance- The horn book thet year is off the charts. Farandole is a pleasure to listen to. 3. 1988 - Copland’s 3rd Symphony- Underrated. Some find it boring. I find the meters, melodies, time signstures, marching ....and mellophone writing, in this show to be incredible. 2. 1992- To Tame the Perilous Skies- A tie with my #1. Only loses by .025 on an ordinal score. 1. 1993 - When Kings Go Off to War-The intensity and punch of this show. I don’t know how they marched and played that fast in the first two sets. Still watch this show in awe.
  5. Great offseason topic. Couldn’t resist. My Ultimate Finals: Venue: Broncos Stadium at Mile High- Denver, CO Weather: Partly Cloudy skies, 71 degrees, calm wind, 15% humidity Before the Show - Exhibition: 2004 San Francisco Renegades ( DCA) 7:00pm - National Anthem and America the Beautiful- U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps with special guests, The Troopers Alumni Honor/Color Guard presenting colors. 7:06pm - 1992 Velvet Knights ( in Finals due to a rare tie for 12th in Semis with 91 Crossmen). 7:30pm - 1991 Crossmen 7:47pm -  2012 Carolina Crown 8:04pm - 2000 Boston Crusaders 8:21pm - 2015 Bluecoats 8:38pm - 1995 Madison Scouts 8:55pm - 1980 Spirit of Atlanta 9:12pm -INT- To fix the glass window shattered in the Press Box by back to back 95 Scouts and 80 Spirit of Atlanta performances. (Crack started by 2004 San Francisco Renegades). -During INT, I go down to the lot to see 1990 Star of Indiana during warm up. I get a chance to sit in the center of the arc, as they play their opener. 9:35pm - 2002 Cavaliers  9:52pm -1993 Cadets of Bergen County 10:09pm -1999 Santa Clara Vanguard 10:26pm - 1990 Star of Indiana  10:43pm -1991 Phantom Regiment  11:00pm -1988 Blue Devils 11:25pm - ( Exhibition) 2007 Anaheim Kingsmen Alumni Corps 11:47pm -Anaheim Kingsmen Alumni Corps drumline provides cadence for corps entering field for retreat. 12::05am- Awards. With a tie for first - 1990 Star of Indiana and 1988 Blue Devils 1:00 am - I head over to SCV busses to hear “ Clowns” played for the last time, to end the season.
  6. Agreed. 2004 Finals in Denver was great. I have been to DATR the last 6 years, and feel Mile High is the best stadium for a large regional, or if we ever go outdoor again, the venue for Finals. Lot/ Warm Up area: All around the stadium. Easy to find corps and walk around during pre show, or if you are just into seeing corps in the Lot. In Stadium: The 300 section of the stadium, which features the United Airlines Club, is fantastic. Blue Knights sell seats in this section for 50.00 to 80.00 each year, and its the place to be. You get access to an indoor bar, concessions, bathrooms, and a large screen to watch shows if you don’t want to be out in the stadium seating. And there is really not a bad seat anywhere in the stadium. Acoustically, its phenomenal. And the crisp air of Denver summer nights, makes it perfect. True there have been some rainstorms I have been in, ( ie: BK had an epic performance of their Firebird show, “Avian”, a few years ago in the rain). But the last few years, the weather has been perfect. Its pure Drum Corps joy to go to this show each year.
  7. I am heading out to the stadium in about 20 minutes from the Aurora/Parker area. That's about 20 miles southeast of the stadium. The storm looks like it's hanging to the east and not pushing in. No rain here. But the wind is blowing enough to push a 5 toss or flag toss 5 yards to the left of you. The wind right now is something ferocious. This has been the case all summer: Gusty Thunderstorms with thunder and ferocious wind but no rain. Conditions at the stadium are probably windy, but as I look west from my spartment, I see blue skies to the west towards the stadium. I am lucky I will be in the club seats in Level 300. There is an overhang in that section and an indoor area with a large TV, nice bar, exclusive concessions, and bathroom facilities. The way to go for 50.00-80.00 tickets. Been there every year since 2011. BK's performance in the rain a few years ago, was epic. But hoping Mother Nature can stay east with the rain tonight.
  8. Agree on what is said on th ballad, which I think is "Everything Must Change" ? Have to listen to the Spotify again over in the other link. Anyhow, that piece reminds of the old days when BD put Hank Levy pieces into their shows. I appreciate that they are just letting that piece breathe. The soloist do need to stand out more over the ensemble- both the trombone and trumpet. Some of that may be the audio of the videos like others are saying, we will see. I will get my chance to see them live at DATR in a few weeks, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing it. Anyhow, my like for that ballad is strong. It doesn't matter to me if the corps is moving or not during- I just want the BD horn line to have that moment and play. We can call it the "concert" section of a show. Judges might not agree with I just said, but as a fan, I could listen to that piece all day.
  9. Wow! Just got done watching. BD and SCV are both phenomenal shows. And thank you to both corps for some beef in those arrangements. Brass is playing their tails off this year in both corps and I love it. Favorite moments in SCV have to be the entire opener visually, but moreso the closer and how they are playing it. BD;s arrangements and the way they are being played are just off the charts this year. Big shout out to the SCV Alumni Corps as well. Their performance was very entertaining.
  10. I was at a theater in Denver tonight. It was 3/4 full. Many HS kids, instructors, and and even senior citizens in the audience. All appeared very excited to attend DATR in July. Good vibe in that room tonight. Lots of applause for the corps. Anyhow, some thoughts on the evening. Crossmen- Never really grasped how the props fit into the show. But that will come as the season progresses. I see some sort of cloth or other curtain being placed over the "1996 BD esque" jail- bar looking prop. Brass has a mature sound I like. First hit of the show is great. Percussion is what I always identify Xmen as, and it seems to be there. Groove is there too. The music is something of an acquired taste for me. I was humming the 1985 BD played tune for the closer. But that is the only piece I felt a connection too. Overall, I feel I have to watch it again to get a good read. Blue Stars- I was listening for the particular tunes noted in the reportoie. Ssdly, I could only vaguely recognize them when I listened. It's not that I don't like the arrangements, but some of them seem to short to me or overarranged. That said, it would be my only complaint. Brass- it is not the sound that hurts those arrangements. Blue Stars have a wonderful sound. In their ballad especially. It seems Lady Marmalade, took a minute for the corps ( and me) to find the groove. The recorded lyrics, once I heard them and grasped it- did overlay pretty well with the brass accompaniment. Drill- as usual, very nice. I find Blue Stars visual/ drill since 08 to rank high on my yearly list. Guard is always good under Shapiro's direction with those tosses- and they have another stellar one this year. Looking forward, like many, to see where this one goes. It won't make my " CD in the car", but when you add all the elements together- visual, theme, etc.- it will be a good one to watch. Cadets- Tnis is a long review of this corps because I will admit, it's my favorite show of the night. I think so because their presented concept of Mass is unique, emotional, and powerful. It might get some "1995 esque" changes by August. But I trust it will be all for the better. Regarding changes- First, I appreciate the opener, and really hope that DOES NOT change. Simple Song was great. So subtle, and evokes emotion to me. In an era where so many corps do a chord and extended whole note for an opening hit - it is so subtle and refreshing to see you doing it differently this year. Would I like their Simple Somg trumpet solo on a French Horn like the past? Actually, I liked it as is. As the show progresses, and we get to hear the choir and the references to the Mass- I do see where they fit. I think its necessary and poignant to have those in the show. Music- I kept thinking of 1990 in recognizing much of what I was hearing. You realize you are now "old", when you see and hear how powerfully and differently they are presenting the pieces. What I thought was hard and technically brilliant with the meter changes, Crazy 8, and drill of 1990, is now technically brilliant with voice, electronics and demanding drill in 2017. Admittedly, yes, I think there are hot mess moments. The pews and praying section needs some work. I also think that the jazz and swing interpretation needs some greater build up or better segway. Either that, or it needs taken out altogether. I have been a fan for over 20 years. Upon first time viewings of some shows, I see that one show every year where I know I am looking at a champion or game changer. This includes Phanton 08 in San Diego. They got beat by Vanguard that night. But that show, even in its June form, grabbed me. I had something. I have that same feeling about Cadets. Crown- They leave so many questions for me tonight., (and I am afraid to ask). I am afraid to ask because I know the show is going to show me all the answers to my questions, in time . I want the poles on the field to mean something. I don't get why the program coordinator keeps saying the show is about "deconstructing". I want to ask, "what are you building with the poles on the field? Building not just with the poles, but building musically and themstically too? I am not asking Crown to tell a story, because their horns and the way they play can just be the story to me. But, it would be good to give us a hint before July as to where this is going. Musically- Steve Rondinaro nailed it -"Two thirds of the show Ill take". If I hadn't listened to No One to Know One before this show, I would have no idea what's happening in that part. (That piece does sound great, otherwise- so much potential). The Wicked Ballad- Reminds me of 07 Cadets in how the "sans voice" recording is coveted by many. That said, I have to agree with many about the singer. I would rather the singing/human voice be put on a flugel horn or French Horn. However, if you do find it necessary for voice/singing, bring the singer back for No One to Know One because the piece calls for it. Overall, I want this show to click for me. Its just a first viewing. So I am hopeful. Cavies- Wins the " early season best conveyed theme" award of the night. Not much to say here. The theme and overall presence, plus the ability to not take themselves to seriously - digging it. In fact, it would have been my favorite show of the night, had Cadets not been in the lineup. My only complaint would be that at this point in the season, the closer doesn't seem to gel the way I had hoped. Mars and My Way have so much igoing on during the segments, that it was hard to distinguish how they fit together. I will need to watch this on Flomarching again to get it. Note on props- I think there will be a cover over the jungle Jim looking prop they crawl,out from under in the beginning of the show. If that happens, good. I was trying to think how a rainbow colored jungle gym prop Is supposed to resemble man crawling out of a cave. Bluecoats- "They are who we thought they were". And this year is following the trend. Uniform wise, I do believe a top is coming. Wearing t- shirts tonight is not what I am expecting their uniform to be throughout the season. Musically- Thought they were the most confident group of the night. They had a grasp and a salesmanship on what they were playing like no other corps. Soloists are kicking butt. Their opener. while fresh and different, does somewhat lack the groove I enjoyed the last two years. But as the season develops, I will probably be whistling it by mid July. It needs some time to grow on me. A question for the ballad- why does the corps play backfield on a mic to amplify what they could play forward? Maybe I will get it later. The jury is still out. The Zappa piece as the closer- nailed it. Love it. This one is not quite there in my great category. But I will give it room to grow on me. I will see it live at DATR. And I hope by that time, this corps is "en fuego" in the form of a Madison of the 90's type hype feel. I want that feeling to be evident in the crowd with me that night as we are all screaming Blooo. Onward to the Stanford show on Sunday. Greatly looking forward to,SCV, and what they brin. Blue Knights as well.
  11. The one that is my favorite is the one I wish I could have seen live- and that is the 1988 Blue Devils closer. 1. Crowd Accessible/ The tag at the end-( I would have been clapping to the beat in Arrowhead with the crowd too). 2. The two soprano players playing the corps off the field. I love a good tag line to play a corps off the field, (SCV and Cadets over the years). But doing it to jazz to end a entertaining show even better. Madison did this a few years ago at the end of their Don Ellis show, and I loved it. More please. 3. Perfect ending piece for that show. That show, in my opinion, is one of the most entertaining in DCI history.
  12. Klesch is the modern day Jim Prime to me. Both arrangers fall into the - "CD's you put in the car":- category. That category being the arrangements and how they are played, equal to or exceeding enjoyable without visual. Also want to note the importance of needing a good brass instructor/ brass staff to interpret and teach the arrangement for the corps. Prime had Donnie Van Doren. And we know his brilliance. Klesch has his "Van Doren" in Matt Harloff. Just as much kudos to him is deserved for interpreting and polishing the arrangements and creating the "Crown sound". Thankfully YouTube exists to show us his technique. All kinds of awesome in the videos to showing us how to kick butt and motivate a brass line to the extraordinary. That video from 2013 where he says, "Its all you, no one is scared, it's the season" - best ever. The technical brilliance written into Klesch arrangements is always awesome to hear. As a brass player, I sit back and listen to those runs in the opener of 2012's show, or the many moments in 2014 and just say, "####, now thats playing!" But more importantl of an enjoyable listen to me is Klesch's subtlety and emotion in the ballads he arranges. 2008 with Somewhere/Somewhere over the Rainbow. The 2015 Copland Piece. And lets not overlook what he did with Acedemy's Unchained Melody last year. Is he the best out there tight now? To some , yes. To me, I tend to pick a handful like Shaw, Naffier, Boerma, Downey/Meehan,Thrower, and Boccok. I also look at brass staffs in teaching and interpreting those great arrangers, just as much as I look at the arrangers. So while Klesch is great, I am also happy for many others I get to hear every year.
  13. I'll second the motion on Cavaliers show looking exciting this year. Just saw their repotoire over in the other thread. I'll get a chance to see them live in Denver, and am anticipating it greatly. SCV would be my other choice. Luckily, I will also get to see live in Denver. Just saw their birthday dinner teaser. 2015 was a show that grew on me, and was quite refreshing to see. A very different take with electronics, and done quite brilliantly. If it is an "earth" themed show that they give us this year, (I got a vibe from their music in that video that it was), I am also interested to see how Webers dril matches that theme. But of all corps, I am anticipating what Bluecoats and BD put on the field the most. The last two years from these corps remind me of what Garfield and Cavaliers were doing visually in the 80's and what Star was doing for demand of book in the 90's: Shows that changed the game. On one side you have the great staging of the Blue Devils carving out a new path in visual design. On another path, The Bluecoats are doing the same but with sound and repotoire. I like this new and innovative style from both corps. Side note- I have been catching up on some threads after not being on here in awhile. Read the Bluecoats are rumored to have a Metheny piece in their show?If so, I am all in. They have captured "a groove" in their music the past two years. In particular in their opening pieces. Shaker Loops reminded me a lot of a Madison or Crossmen style of groove , (especially in the part after the tuba feature)l Of course, Crossmen and Metheny go together like chocolate and peanut butter, but it will be interesting to see a Bluecoats take on his music too. Lastly, I am anticipating Carolina Crown. Just saw their small clip from their camp. Playing Medea with the overlay of the western film piece, IMO, brilliant arranging. It leaves me wondering what other pieces will be part of this show, and how they all fit together for a theme. Should be a phenomenal brass book and brass sound (as usual) from this corps. Its not to much longer till the movie theater premier. Counting down the days.....
  14. Elegy for Dunkirk Is one of my favorite pieces from any film, largely due to the mood it sets in an incredibly shot scene in Atonement. Happy to see it will be in the Cavaliers repotoire. Possibly a candidate for ballad of the year. This scene with Elegy for Dunkirk is one large take with brilliant cinematography. Here it is from the film:
  15. VK did Alice Coopers' "School's Out for Summer" in 1990. Good arrangement in a really good show. I remember seeing the Teal Sound "Symphony and Metallica" show at a contest in Orlando that year. I think they were Division II at the time, I thought they did a decent job with the material, "One" in that show was one of my favorites of the year. (I have often thought what the Blue Devils would do with a show like that, to be honest). Teal Sound went on to play a few more pieces from A Perfect Circle, (I think in 2009). I didnt like the arrangements, but overall, an interesting show concept. Speaking of a Perfect Citcle, a lot of that could translate well to the field. Three Libras in particular. Some have come on here over the years in threads like "The Musoc Corps Should Do" thread and asked for Maynard's other band, Tool. Interesting stuff there too.