Meet a drummer

Those who hold down the almighty beat.

After years of waiting for the right time Kenney Jones finally published his memoirs, Let the Good Times Roll (Thomas Dunn Books/St. Martin’s Press), a clear-eyed, good-natured account of a career that took him from humble beginnings in London’s East End to the backline of some incredible groups.

We made our way into the very west end of the second floor where, set up in the corner, was a stand-up bassist and a drummer who had various bells and gongs behind his minimal kit. According to the program, this was duo B., (bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, drummer Jason Levis) and the music they were creating was one of those smile-inducing moments when you’ve discovered something that resonates.

Let’s see now: Anxiety? Check. Relentless, grueling practice schedules? Check. Nerve-wracking, possibly career-defining auditions? Sure, why not? Sexual harassment? Afraid so. How about a dream job? Yep, that too. In her 2016 memoir, Sticking It Out [ECW Press], Patti Niemi documents her experience attending Julliard studying percussion in the early ‘80s and the subsequent chase to become a professional musician.

While giving me a rundown of her current projects, Sara Lund came to a halt after naming four different bands and had to think if anything was missing: Hungry Ghost, Secret Drum Band, Nocturnal Habits, and Conformity Contortion. On top of all that, Lund is also a part-time teacher at a local elementary school and conducts private drum lessons out of her home.

With his fluid, workmanlike style, Pissed Jeans drummer Sean McGuinness brings an anchoring swing to an already thrilling band. Since their formation 13 years ago in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the band has released five albums, three EPs, and earned a reputation for visceral, sometimes chaotic live shows. Raunchy, hard-hitting, at times wonderfully obnoxious and defiant in their ways, the quartet represents a lifesaving breath o...

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