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A Percussive Passion

By culture, Millennials, musicNo Comments


One of my main passions in life is drumming. I love playing the drums. I am obsessed. When I’m not drumming, I’m annoying those around me with my incessant tapping.

Whether I’m playing to favorite songs on my headphones, practicing with my band Grimedog, or performing live, drumming gives me incomparable feelings of peace, freedom, power, and interconnectedness. I am free to let these feelings flow through me and simultaneously express them, spiritually and physically.

There are a wide variety of possible drum set-ups. Most drummers play three or four-piece kits with two or three cymbals. The reason for playing smaller kits is the simplistic beauty to it. There’s nothing elaborate. Everything’s right there, nice and tight. There’s less to transport, set up, and tear down.

I started on a five-piece kit with one crash cymbal. I play fast, intricate fill combinations. I prefer more options. I outgrew that kit faster than I could afford more equipment. I’ve had as many as nine drums and six cymbals in my kit, but I’ve found that seven drums and five cymbals is the sweet spot for me. Nine drums is fun, but I can achieve the same effect with seven, and it’s just as exciting and fulfilling.

People like to talk smack about drummers. A classic example is the old jab, “You’re not a musician; you’re a drummer.” I tell people I am a musician. I write most of the lyrics for Grimedog, and I sing occasionally. I love guitar solos and bass riffs, but drum parts in most songs have always sounded lacking to me. I play drums because that is where I can contribute the most to music. Another cliché is drummers are stupid.

The Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm conducted a study on the link between drumming and intelligence (Ullén et al., 2008). The study had drummers play different beats, then complete a 60-problem intelligence test. Researchers found a positive correlation between accurate timing, problem-solving, and general intelligence.

Researchers at Harvard discovered drummers’ internal clocks don’t rely on linear time, but waves similar to brainwaves, heart rates, and auditory nerve firings (Hennig et al., 2011). That is the most scientific description of how drumming feels. I also experience what Oxford researchers call a “drummer’s high” (Dunbar et al., 2012). Even if I’m having a horrible day, drumming pumps me up.

Drumming for extended durations requires vast energy. I can start a winter set shivering. By the end, I’ll be sweating through my clothes. However, there’s a soothing, positive energy that comes over me and gives me enhanced focus and a feeling of indestructibility.

I love feeling the music flow through me like a wave of energy and emotion. I love feeling those polyester film skins respond to my constant bombardment. I love following cell phones up past the outstretched arms to the faces glued to my every movement and recognizing the wonder in their eyes at what I am doing with two sticks and some tendons.

SnowGlobe Concert

SnowGlobe Day 3 Photos

By burningman, california, culture, dancing, edm, festivals, laketahoe, Millennials, music, musicfestivals, newyears, partyNo Comments

2017 ended in style as SnowGlobe Music Festival came to a close. Neon blue and red lights lit up the Igloo as the Los Angeles based band, Justin Jay, played trance-like, dreamy music. The crowed swayed back and fourth as guitar player, Ben Glasser, jumped up on an amp in front of the stage. Jai Wolf turned a crowd of people into a magical sea of music lovers all on the same wavelength. As the 2018 countdown began, Alison Wonderland slayed the main stage to end the year.

SnowGlobe Concert

The ZOA Brings Magic to SnowGlobe Music Festival

By burningman, california, culture, dancing, edm, festivals, laketahoe, Millennials, music, musicfestivals, party, rap, renoNo Comments

The annual SnowGlobe Music Festival is a time for trancing music, fun experiences, and exquisite art. This year the festival featured the ZOA sculpture, a playful expression of art made by the Chromaforms Art Collective.

The Chromaforms Art Collective specializes in making playful and interactive art creations with the help of engineers and sculptors. “A lot of our projects are community based, or we try to get a lot of people to help and to make something,” said Martin Taylor, an engineer who helped start Chromaforms. Taylor originally worked as an engineer in a prototype technology lab. After he was done working for the day, he would use the big 3D printers to create little sculptures at night. This is what drove his inspiration to start Chromaforms and to eventually quit his day job and pursue art and creation full time.

Taylor said the goal of the ZOA sculpture is, “To bring out a very playful aspect in people that often gets lost in larger society.” The piece was originally supposed to be a jellyfish that was going to debut at Burning Man. However, Taylor discovered that another artist had that same idea, so he had to change paths. By having the same jellyfish idea in mind, he used rainbow colors and soft and wrinkled materials that can change and be less predictable. There is also a mini faux fur star inside of the creation that adds a hidden magical element to the ZOA.

He wanted the piece to stand out and for participants to “be invited to investigate.” The ZOA piece is one of the first things you see when you walk in and adds an essence to the overall feeling you get from being at the festival. As the night got darker, more people seemed drawn in to the ZOA.

Fans would touch, spin, and often sit under it. “It brings people to a childlike state,” said Taylor, “It’s like a game.” Taylor described the piece as almost like a hologram at night. No matter which stage you are at, the ZOA seems to be the central location of the festival grounds. “There is also the element from seeing it from far away and investigating it.” said Taylor.

The ZOA sculpture made its first major appearance at Burning Man this year and later to EDC Orlando. The Sculpture folds down easily and deflates, so it can depart from one event to the next. “It’s going to be there for a little while, and then it’s going to travel somewhere else.” said Taylor. The overall essence of the ZOA adds a deeper meaning to the culture of what is SnowGlobe Music Festival. The next project Taylor plans to work on will try to star plastic bottles and ideas to bring new energy to things people see as everyday wasteful items. Taylor’s advice to potential artists is to try to have a day job and pursue art at the same time. “Doing art is just equal as much work,” said Taylor.

different colored yoga pants

SnowGlobe Winter Fashion Guide

By california, festivals, laketahoe, Millennials, music, musicfestivals, reno, snowglobe, winterNo Comments

Most of us have seen popular fashion choices for festival wear. Guys wear tank tops and bandanas while girls sport jean shorts and flower crowns. These are perfect options for a warm, sunny afternoon in April. But for those who have attended or plan on attending South Lake Tahoe’s SnowGlobe Music Festival this winter, cute and warm may not always mean the same thing. This year’s festival weather includes high percentages of humidity, snow and rain showers, and temperatures with lows bellow 20 degrees. Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to dress up and accessorize without sacrificing your toes to frostbite. 

1. Feet First In between all of the weird dancing you’ll be doing and waiting in line for the bathroom and food trucks you’ll be on your feet all night. Don’t chance it with a pair of Vans or your roommate’s old snow boots that leak. It’s worth every penny to buy yourself a nice pair of snow boots. Yes, they are pricy, but it’s going to be worth it when you don’t have to leave your friends to go warm your feet up in the car. Festival grounds are going to be covered in ice and snow, so waterproof shoes are a must have. I’d recommend Sorel or Moon Boots if you’re looking for particular brands. Plus, they’re available on popular sites like Amazon or Zappos at a discounted price. It’s also smart to buy a pair of long socks normally used for skiing to add an additional layer of warmth. 

2.Leg Up A great way to add some color to your outfit while also staying warm is to layer up with colorful leggings. Melting Pot World Emporium has a great selection of leggings. It’s best to wear 2-3 layers with your favorite color on top, of course. Popular prints and designs this year are vibrant colors with galaxy prints. It’s probably best not to go with jeans because they’re going to be hard to get on and off for layering where as leggings are comfy and easy to pack. 

3.Don’t Be Shady, Or Do For those of you who’ve been up to Tahoe skiing or snowboarding, you know that the snow harshly reflects sunshine onto your face and eyes. During the day a pair of fun sunglasses is a great way to add a customizable look to your outfit. Popular costume stores in Reno such as Junkee offer a great selection of reflective sunglasses or even cool, clear lenses. Melting Pot also has fun glasses if you want to rock the peace sign, too.

4.Get Cozy SnowGlobe is the perfect opportunity to dress as crazy as you want to. It’s a smart idea to bring your warmest coat, but you can always throw random fuzzy vests or faux fur jackets over it to add to the festival look. If you’re not into the fur look other ideas include flannel shirts or a Mexican poncho. Bright scarves are also a fun way to add some fun. Pro Tip: Bring hand warmers as well. Swing by Walmart or another convenience store on your way to Tahoe. They’re small, light, and easy to use. Every bit of warmth is going to make a difference. 

5.Pack It Up You’re going to be hauling water bottles, cash, car keys, your wallet, snacks, and extra pairs of socks in your backpack at a minimum. Melting Pot has hilarious backpacks and fanny packs that make for great photos. Depending on your style you could go for a flashy silver fanny pack or an alien backpack. 

6.Hats Off To You The last thing you want to forget is a warm hat. Beanies come in practically every color. You could go simple and wear a regular hat, or if you’re feeling fancy wear something with a giant pom pom. Many costume specialty stores in Reno have those fuzzy wolf hats too if you really want to get into the spirit. 


Have other tips or ideas on how to stay warm at #SG17? We want to hear from you! Tag us on social media or email us at