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Midnight Sun: Procrastinators keep the beat
The Yuma County Fair had plenty of musical entertainment again this year, but there was only one act I wanted to see - The Procrastinators.
They are a group of three professional percussionists who play urban percussion on average kitchen utensils and equipment, creating rhythmic cadences reminiscent of a marching band drum line. Since I was on the Yuma High School Criminal Drum Line, and have always loved to watch university level drummers show off their skills, I couldn't miss this show.
The Procrastinators set up on Guido's Stage during the fair, and played a half-hour set. They didn't mess around.
They have three bar stools with five-gallon water jugs attached to each and a different sized cooking pan bolted upside down on the front. That gives the drummer four distinct sounds, much like a set of quad drums, not unlike those I used in high school. They reminded me of the Trash Can Trio.
It was really loud, and if they hadn't been up to speck on their chops and rudiments, it would have been obnoxious, kind of like a group of toddlers who had ransacked a cooking cabinet in the kitchen and started a symphony.
Luckily they made it work. It was amazing to watch as they played in perfect synchronization, twirling their sticks and taking turns soloing.
The hardest thing about having more than one drummer, which is why you never really see any rock band with two drum sets, is the phenomenon of "pop-corn." If the drummers aren't in sync, then it sounds like a bag of pop-corn getting popped in the microwave.
These three guys didn't have that problem. Their wrists flicked with intensely fast speed, but all while keeping in perfect unison. Truly amazing.
I was on a state championship drum line, but these guys blew me away with skills they had learned on the university level.
That is one of my peeves about Yuma. Unless you go to an out-of-town university, there is no marching band after high school. Arizona Western College does have a band, but it is only used for concert settings. Therefore, in my case, and for all those who graduate, there is no furthering your marching talents on the local level.
If there is a millionaire who reads this, please donate money to start up a Matador Marching Band. That would be awesome. They could march in the parades and give shows at both the college and local high school football games. Best of all the local marching band geeks like myself would have someplace to shine, and who knows; maybe we'll start a group like The Procrastinators.
After their amazing show, I caught up with John Wash, Mark Delgado and Chris Doolittle, the members of The Procrastinators, to ask them about their performance. Here is what they said.
Chris McDaniel: "You guys must have been on a drum line?"
Chris Doolittle: "Yeah. We all played in high school and Mark and I drummed in drum corps, although we didn't march together. That is the core of our musical technique."
CM: "Tell me a little bit about yourselves. Your equipment is homemade?"
CD: "It is everything you will find in a kitchen which is how we came up with this show. Plus the Trash Can Trio already had trash cans. At the time we had three bar stools that looked very similar to the ones we have now, without the polycarbonate tops. We used cheap cookware we got at The Salvation Army, but now we are using New Era cookware, which is better then the stuff we actually cook with."
CM: "How long did it take before you got the equipment just right?"
CD: "These are fourth-generation bar stools, which are supposed to look home made and rickety, but each set costs about $1,500 to build. It is a ridiculous amount of money."
CM: "How often do you practice?"
CD: "We don’t. We gig often enough where we don't have to practice this routine."
CM: "You are professional percussionists?"
CD: "Drumming is our day job, and this is one of our many facets."
CM: "Why The Procrastinators?"
CD: "Starting out we are the group that waits until the last minute for everything. Me and a couple of buddies on the drum line at San Diego State University saw a sign at Horton Plaza for a talent show. We needed to submit a video by Friday to enter, so, of course, we waited until midnight on Thursday. We had a minute and a half of just terrible material which is now our opening solo routine."
See you next week under the midnight sun...
WHERE TO BE
• Hip-hop band - 9 p.m. every Thursday - The Dunes
• Downtime - 9 p.m. today, Friday, April 9, and Saturday, April 10 - Mine Shaft
• The Lucky Cheats - 9 p.m. today, Friday, April 9, and Saturday, April 10 - Quechan Casino Resort
• La Vida Loca - 8 p.m. every Friday - Cocopah Casino's River Room
• E-40 - 7 p.m. Friday, April 9 - Yuma Fun Factory
• Slick Nickel - 9 p.m. Friday, April 9, and Saturday, April 10 - Crazy Earl's
• Carridale - 8 p.m. Saturday, April 10 - Open Aired
• Wayne & Ernie - 5 p.m. every Sunday - Parrish's Bar and Grill
• Slick Nickel - 7 p.m. Monday, April 12 - Quechan Casino Resort
• 5 p.m. today - Daybreakers Cafe
• 8 p.m. today - LZ Bar and Grill
• 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 - Friendly Tavern
• 10 p.m. daily - Ron's Place
• Yuma Jazz Co. - 7 p.m. Friday, April 16 - Julieanna's Patio Cafe
• Steve Embry - 5:30 p.m. today and every Friday - Radisson Hotel
• 6 p.m. every Thursday - Cocopah Casino's River Room
• Mariachi Divas - 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 5 - Paradise Casino
• Yuma Blues Band Jam - 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday - Jimmie Dee's Bar
• Re-Wind - 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 14 - LZ Bar and Grill
• 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday - LZ Bar and Grill
• 9 p.m. every Sunday - Pop A Top Saloon
• Tribal Comedy Jam 2010 - 7 p.m. Saturday, April 17 - Paradise Casino
• Carlos Mencia - 7 p.m. Saturday, May 22 - Quechan Casino Resort
• Willie Nelson - 8 p.m. Friday, April 16 - Quechan Casino Resort
• Merle Haggard - 8 p.m. Thursday, April 22 - Quechan Casino Resort
• Huey Lewis and The News - 8 p.m. Sunday, May 30 - Quechan Casino Resort
• Great White - 8 p.m. Saturday, July 17 - Paradise Casino
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.