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Monday, November 5, 2007

David "The King" King

I saw the Bad Plus perform at the Regatta Bar recently. It may be the best show I've ever seen. Watching David King play the drums is like witnessing the Christmas morning of a 5 year old whose mom is the CEO of Toys R' Us. If you play the drums, watching him will make you want to quit. If you don't already play, watching him will make you want to start. I believe he's reached that level of ability where he isn't inhibited by his body in any way, so what you're seeing is a man-shaped conduit for relentless rhythmic inspiration. His cymbals are like competing toys, he loses interest in one mid-phrase and you get to watch him rediscover the other with this huge surprisey smile on his face, and then lose interest in that one and either switch back, or dedicate this full-bodied enthusiasm to some other area of his small kit.
Why is he better than any other drummer I've ever seen, many of which may have more technical proficiency than he (that being said, even their most recent record doesn't fully demonstrate how limitless David King sounds)? Because David King is in love with music and he doesn't censor his PDA for anybody. In addition, he allows his sense of humor to be part of the drumming. It's written into the music. I don't see anybody doing that right now in music. I see a bunch of bands who are ultra-concerned with how they appear to everyone else. And the majority of musicians I know are incredibly funny people, but don't allow that side of their personalities to manifest in their music. Or if they do show their funny side, they don't do it in a well-crafted and interesting composition, they do it in some half-assed spoof. Like this.

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