Last year at Brooklyn’s Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, Boredoms orchestrated an unforgettable spectacle that ranked among my favorite shows of 2007 with their 77 minute, 77 drummer 77BoaDrum piece. On 7/7/07. It was billed as a “once in a lifetime” event, but that was before Nike appropriated some funds for Yamantaka Eye to reprise the concept with an all-new/all-drum piece, while still packing a numerological punch by adding 11 drummers and 11 minutes. And holding it on 8/8/08. Just as last year’s started at 7:07PM, this year’s will take place at 8:08PM — but in a nice bi-coastal bonus, we’re talking a start time of 8:08 in both L.A. and NYC. What you won’t see reprised is what’s depicted in that pic: Unfortunately, Yamantaka Eye won’t be conducting either drum line.
The Los Angeles event will take place beginning at 8:08 PM PST at the city’s famed La Brea Tar Pits, and will feature 88 drummers selected by both the Boredoms and 88Boadrum artistic director Hisham Bharoocha of Soft Circle. The New York event, conducted on behalf of the Boredoms by Brooklyn’s own Gang Gang Dance, goes down at 8:08 PM EST at the Williamsburg waterfront.
Like last year it’s free, but to avoid last year’s unorganized mess at the door, this year will feature physical tickets instead of vague RSVP lists. They’ll be available here on Friday 7/18. The rub: New Yorkers, you’ll be choosing between this and APW, which is also going down on 8/8 (yes, it’s one of the Radiohead nights). Don’t worry if you miss this second “once in a lifetime” spectacle, though — there’s always September 9th, next year.
If you want an idea for what that many drummers at once sounds like, here’s a bit of last year’s review:
Yamantaka Eye conducted the spiral of full drum kits (all with three cymbals at least), using his pink baton both to signal rhythmic shifts/swells and to trigger sample pads unleashing resounding, sustained bass/guitar crashes, occasionally lifting the celebration’s group trances into more fevered peaks and surges. It was also the coolest game of Telephone ever: Wait patiently rolling on a crash cymbal ’til the drummer ahead of you started a drum fill; study for a second, and start smashing that fill with an eye towards passing it on the next banger down the line. Everything emanated from the Boredom-nucleus though, Eye spitting tribal yells/chants, moving gracefully-then-violently in his baton-triggers. A booze cruise traversing the East River slowed to a crawl by the Park, and even though the “ba-da-ba-da-bum-bum” occasionally approached deafening levels, if you listened hard enough, you could hear that boatload of drunks simultaneously saying “What the fuck?”
To get a feel for what a ton of drummers looks like, though, here’s a ton of photos and video.