by Adam Gold
I just came across a day-old Nashville Craigslist post that, in announcing last-minute drummer auditions for an East Coast tour that’s less than a week away, answers neither of these all-important, aforementioned queries.
The post, however, does offer plenty of other information. Like how responding skin-beaters absolutely MUST have chops when it comes to running Ableton Live (a looping sequencer), grooving “solidly” to a click (and by “to” I’m guessing the poster means “in time”) and playing two back-to-back 30-minute sets a night without whining. Such are the requirements for pulling percussive double duty for “two indie-rock bands sharing a band and a drummer, leaving for an East Coast tour on Saturday, Jan. 21.”
In case that’s not enough relevant information, the post goes on to elaborate:
Both artists are unsigned, but we both have dedicated fan bases and we take this seriously. The tour is booked solid by an agent. Our usual drummer is in school and can't tour. The touring/session drummer we hired bailed yesterday (excuse: expensive car repairs). Pay is a negotiable flat fee (up front) plus a per diem.
OK, that kind of addresses the issue of payment, though not specifically. And hell, in this business, for all we know, “booked solid” could mean “booked like shit.” But giving the poster the benefit of the doubt, surely stick-slinging respondents couldn’t possibly have any other curiosities in regard to this gig, right?
Good thing the post doesn’t end where that block quote does. It goes on to include a complete routing itinerary, so that the gig-nabber knows (or is at least forewarned) that he/she will get to see the skylines of cities like Baltimore, Md.; Rockville Centre, N.Y.; Danbury, Conn.; Worcester, Mass.; and Delran, N.J.
Does it still seem like there is some profoundly relevant piece of information that is missing here? Perhaps something that would give audition-curious drummers cause to ponder whether or not this gig is suited to the specific musical, aesthetic and stylistic tenets of their metronomic, Abletonic skills behind the skins? And does the post answer such a begged question by stating that the two tour-bound, drummerless bands’ “music spectrum is indie to electronic to pop to rock. (Just think) Barcelona to Postal Service to Coldplay to U2” ... too hip to be square?
No, it fucking doesn’t.
For what conceivable reason would the post in question neglect to ever mention a specific band and/or artist name? Could the poster not want promoters, former drummers or current solid-booking managers to know that their bands are drummerless on the eve of this upcoming East Coast outing? Do they want Craigslist trollers to think that their bands, though unsigned, are perhaps some established entities in league with names like Barcelona, Postal Service, Coldplay and U2? Could it be that said mystery bands actually are big-time rockers and the glaring omission of their names is a matter of rational security? Maybe the bands are just embarrassed to admit who they are on Craigslist — a sanctuary of controlled anonymity? Or maybe they think they’ll endear themselves to gig-starved drummers by injecting a little bit of mystery into the mix?
The poster’s concluding sentence suggests the last of those assumptions could be the case, stating to readers, “If you’re interested and available, send some YouTube video links and your contact info, and I’ll give you more details about the two artists.”
I know that drummers are notoriously stupid — I am one. But even I wouldn’t thoughtlessly abide this aggressively non-specific game of carrots and sticks (and symbols), even if it means missing an opportunity to visit Delran and Danbury for the first time. More details about the two artists?! What could those be? Their favorite colors? Their zodiac signs? Their social security numbers? At this point I’m sure as shit not going to presume that it’s their goddamn band names.
Now, here’s the fuckin’ scoop, y’all. I know this website. It’s called Google. And when I use it to cross-reference a couple of the cities mentioned in that all-important tour itinerary, and then limit said search to recently posted items, I had a Yahtzee! moment and discovered that the mystery bands in question are, in all likelihood, Wisconsin’s own Gardening, Not Architecture and Nashville’s own … drum roll, please … Dinner and a Suit. The two bands have a tour that — kicking off Jan. 21 in Myrtle Beach, South Cackalacky — has, save for one show, an identical itinerary to the one posted on Craigslist. Mystery. Solved.
And in 2012, that’s what us journalists call “reporting.” Neat, huh?
In providing Nashville drummers with such services, I’ll engage in some script flippage and post “YouTube video” clips of each band below. Once I report, you can decide if you wanna reach out to the band and show ‘em what you’re made of (to click, of course). And if you do, take note that, according to the Craigslist post, tour rehearsals have already started. So don’t do that thing that most drummers inevitably always do — get frustrated and uncommunicative and then passive-aggressively decide to start writing your own songs and start your own band because your current bandmates are shiftless, lazy losers who can go fuck themselves.
Gardening, Not Architecture:
Dinner and a Suit: