The Boredoms Revel in Rhythm, Numerology for 88 BoaDrums - Rolling Stone
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The Boredoms Revel in Rhythm, Numerology for 88 BoaDrums


Jeff Winterberg

On Friday (8/8/08), 88 drummers played for 88 minutes at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles and in Brooklyn, New York, on the Williamsburg waterfront in an annual project that was this year titled “88 BoaDrum.” Lead by the Japanese psych-rock band Boredoms, the drummers played full drum kits arranged in a spiral formation. Onstage in L.A., Boredoms were the spiral’s center. I was drummer 56, on the outer shell of the spiral, and the 88 minutes were a blur.

With 88 drummers playing at the same time, the volume was epic. In Asian cultures, 8 is an auspicious number. It’s pronunciation sounds similar to a word that means “prosper.” There are also ties to the symbol for infinity. Whatever the meaning and reason, there was no way to get around the bigness of the sound.

As the beats made their way around the spiral you could feel them as much as hear them. Audience members were right behind the drummers interacting with the rhythmic army. Snare rolls ebbed and flowed like tides and 4/4 beats washed into cymbal swells. The cumulative vibration seemed like enough to roust whatever long-dead beasts sitting at the bottom of the tar pits.

The Boredom’s Yamantaka Eye’s blue poll meant make an accent (hit a cymbal) and keep playing the rhythm. Red meant hit a cymbal and stop. The white poll, which looked like a trident, meant go nuts, or free form. Instructions for the white poll were “Please play strong and powerfully.” The rhythms began with Boredoms in the center and grew out sequentially around the drum spiral. The rule was to follow the drummer to the right for the pattern and follow Eye for tempo and volume swells.

“Last year’s 77 drum event in New York on 7/7/07 had such an impact on me I thought we should do it again,” Eye said. “It is very enjoyable to be a part of such a large, plural, and united sound. There are so many drummers here, each with their own version of making the beat. I am honored. I want them to hear us in Osaka.”

Here’s a list of the 88 drummers in Los Angeles and New York:


Hisham Bharoocha (Soft Circle)
Zach Hill (Hella)
Butchy Fuego (Pit Er Pat)
Kid Millions (Oneida)
Dave Nuss (No-Neck Blues Band, Under Satan’s Sun)
Christopher Powell (Icy Demons, Man Man)
Aaron Moore (Volcano the Bear)
Warren Huegel (Tussle)
Dustin Donaldson (freelance/session, I Am Spoonbender, Link Wray, Thought Industry)
Derek James (Entrance)
Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, All Smiles, The Black Heart Procession)
Tim Soete (The Fucking Champs)
Michael Tapper (We Are Scientists)
Adam Pfahler (Jawbreaker)
Claude Collins-Stracensky
Sara Lund (Unwound)
Matthew Hartman (Sic Alps)
Chris Moore (Negative Approach)
Abby Ball
Ryan Huber
Geoff Soule (FUCK, Tara Jane O’neil)
John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees)
Shahin Motia (Oneida, Ex Models, Knyfe Hyts)
Alexis Garapulos (Arp, Expanding Headband)
Katelyn Hall (Mika Miko)
David Janik (Company)
Michael Henrickson (Evolutionary Jass Band)
Tom Recchion
Michael Bulington
Trent Moorman (Head Like a Kite, The Saturday Knights)
Brian Dwyer (Papertrigger)
Damon Eliza Palermo (Mi Ami)
Michael Catano
Vice Cooler (xbxrx, Hawnay Troof)
Andy Connors (ex-A Minor Forest, Lumen)
Weasel Walter (xbxrx)
Adam Baz (Evangelista, Ohioan, Nightwonds)
Dave Aron (Koi Pond)
Pete Vogl (Koi Pond)
Robin Easton
Alianna Kalaba (We Ragazzi)
Gregory Rogove (Priestbird)
Jonathan Holland (Tussle)
Brendan Fowler (BARR, Car Clutch)
Adam Autry
Anthony Petrovic (Ezeetiger, The Drums)
Rob Barber (High Places)
Dan Rowan (Foot Village)
Grace Lee (Foot Village)
Jason Adam Baker (Necking)
Andrew Neuhues
Sandra Vu (Midnight Movies)
Than Luu (Black Gold, M. Ward, Adam Franklin)
Jaiko Suzuki (Electro Putas)
Brian Miller (Foot Village)
Ryan Pritts (Paik, Bolmongani)
Gabie Strong
Jessica Espeleta
Patty Schemel (Hole, Juliette Lewis, Pink)
Roy Tatum (Wives)
London May (Samhain, Dag Nasty)
Wendy Shuey
Paul Quattrone (!!!, Modey Lemon, Midnite Snake)
Josh Taylor (Foot Village, Friends Forever)
Sarah Anderson (Lucky Dragons)
James Jolliff (Brother Reade)
Brian Girgus (lowercase, Track Star)
Yoshi Nakamoto (The Aislers Set)
Nora Brank
Chris Hathwell (Moving Units)
Kevin Stuart (Crystal Antlers)
Damian Edwards (Crystal Antlers)
Bianca Sparta (Erase Errata)
Michael La Franchi (Giant Drag, Let’s Go Sailing)
Taylor Richardson (Sunburned Hand of the Man)
Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus)
Diva Dompe (Black Black)
Tennessee Thomas (The Like) Erin Garcia (Brother Reade)
Steven McCarty (Dead Meadow)
Joachim Cooder
Mike Sord Gard (M. Sord)
Aaron Sperske (Beachwood Sparks)
Sara Diaz
Wendy Farina
Greg Fox (Pink Mountain, Family of Love)
David Horvitz (Black Flag, Crass, Germs, Dag Nasty

New York:

Gang Gang Dance
Ryan Sawyer (Tall Firs, Stars Like Fleas, Thurston Moore, Eye Contact, Lone Wolf and Cub)
Chris Brokaw (Come, ffffflashlights, Thurston Moore’s New Wave Bandits)
Will Shmee (Knox Dad)
Suzanne Rogaleski (Lone Wolf and Cub, Badmittons)
Alex Holden (Big Numbers)
Andy Macleod (Lights, Love as Laughter)
Torbitt Schwartz (Chin Chin, Reverend Vince Anderson)
Jaleel Bunton (TV on the Radio, Reverend Vince Anderson)
David Bergander (Celebration)
Brian Tamborello (Psychic Ills)
Jim Siegel (Ning Nong Radio)
Greg Anderson (Oakley Hall, Windsor for the Derby)
Dreiky Caprice (Crash Worship)
Matt Heyner (Malkuth, No-Neck Blues Band)
Joseph Stickney (Bear In Heaven, Rhys Chatham, Paul Duncan)
Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Zwan, Neil Diamond)
Samara Lubelski (Hall of Fame, Thurston Moore’s New Wave Bandits)
Pete Nolan (Magik Markers, Spectre Folk)
Abby Portner (Rings, Hex Message)
Tom Peyton (Fakers, KGB) John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man) Andrya Ambro (Talk Normal) David Sparks Spencer Herbst (Matta Llama) Timothy Monaghan (J.A.C.K.) Andrew Barker (Gold Sparkle Band) Joseph Noll (My Best Fiend) Dave Witte (Municipal Waste) Nick Lesley (Necking, Gunung Sari) Jim Sykes (Parts and Labor) Michael Evans (God Is My Co-Pilot) Dong-Ping Wong (Necking) Spencer Sweeney Nondor Nevai (Aborted Christ Child) Jonathan Lockie (Sightings) Dave Bergander (Celebration) Jules Scott Key (Metric, Bang Lime) Yuval Lion (Pink Noise) Ronnie Seward (Whooping Crane) Corinne Jones (Effi Briest) Adam Lee (Let’s Go Bowling) Nancy Garcia (Monotract, Thurston Moore) Ben McConnell (Phosphorescent) Pascal Spengemann (Hex Message) Speck Brown (Orphan) Laura Rogers (The Rogers Sisters) Rupert Clervaux (Sian Alice Group) Kyle Warren (Dinowalrus) Adam Marnie (The Mess of New Mexico) Alex Epton (Spank Rock, XXXchange) Otto Hauser (Espers, Bert Jansch, Vashti Bunyan) Nick DeCarmine (Slow Dynamte) Frank Haines (Blanko and Noiry) Brian Deran Marcus Burrowes (Rockersnyc) Avi Cohen (Soiled Mattress and the Springs, Silk Flowers Emmy Miller (Xtreme Violence, The Peppermints) Ryan Tozzi Oran Canfield (Child Abuse) Erik Rappin (A.R.E. Weapons) Matt McCauley (A.R.E. Weapons) Brian McPeck (A.R.E. Weapons) Brian Weitz (Animal Collective) Kyle Simon (Baby Talk) Danny Tunick (Arnold Dreyblatt, Fakers) Leah Moskowitz (Bloody for Me) Joe Wong (Parts and Labor) Nathan Corbin (Excepter) Hamish Kilgour (Clean and the Great Unwashed, Samara Lubelski) Linnea Vedder Shults (LIGHTS) Lacy Lancaster (Durty Nanas) Kathleen Cholewka (Les Sans Culottes, Discovery) Noah Lennox (Panda Bear, Animal Collective) James Buonantuono (Other Passengers, Ruby Glass) Sadie Laska (I.U.D., Extreme Violence) Keith Connolly (No-Neck Blues Band) Jason Mills James Corrigan (ON/OFF, Wool, Rivers) Miles Levy (Malcolm Mooney, No Doctors) Tommy Rouse (Entrance) Eric Cohen (Fly Ashtray, Caroliner) Christopher Weingarten (ex-Parts and Labor) Tim Evans (Bogan Dust) Ian Vanek (Japanther) Chris Millstein (Jah Division) Nick Ray (Golden Triangle) Travis Chance (Usurp Synapse) Michael Colin (Aa)


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