Fans of avant-rock percussion should already know the name of Kid Millions. It’s the nom de rock of John Colpitts, best known as the drummer for the long-running, krautrock-influenced NYC band Oneida, who became notorious in 2002 for the 14-minute, one-note song “Sheets of Easter” from their essential 2xCD Each One Teach One. Millions’ uncannily metronomic timing, enviable stamina, and the fact that he’s one of the nicest guys on Earth has made him a sought-after percussionist, and he’s served stints with Ex-Models, Spiritualized, and the terrific Marnie Stern. He’s currently on tour with his recurring heavy-friends project Man Forever, whose new LP is Ryonen, a collaboration with Sō Percussion. From MF’s FB:
Man Forever is actually a band. It’s not a statement about men. It’s a compositional vehicle that tends to have a lot of drums but sometimes it doesn’t.
I’ve seen Man Forever three times, and I’ve yet to see them sans a lot of drums. The first show I caught had pounding from the likes of Obnox honcho Bim Thomas and Call of the Wild’s scary-good Allison Busch. The second time, Millions recruited local musicians at every tour stop to perform a drums-and-drone composition. But last Saturday, Man Forever were in Cleveland, and members of Yo La Tengo were also in town, doing a DJ set for Record Store Day. And so it came to pass that that night, YLT’s Georgia Hubley became a part of Man Forever with Millions, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Brian Chase, and Amy Garapic of the percussion ensemble Tigue. Shame there was apparently only a hi-hat available for Hubley to play, but then Garapic made just a snare go a pretty darn long way.
It merits mentioning that Millions had played with Hubley before—he was one of the supporting drummers in Yo La Tengo’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon appearance in 2013, along with with Portlandia’s Fred Armisen. The clip, sadly, has been nuked from NBC’s website and Hulu, but if you’re really jonesing to see it, there’s a vid posted by someone who shot it off his TV screen here.
Here are the remaining tour dates. Per Millions, Brian Chase is on the tour through the April leg, possibly longer.
Apr 26, 2014 Winston, Salem, NC, Reanimator
Apr 27, 2014 Richmond, VA, Balliceaux
Apr 28, 2014 Charlottesville, VA, The Southern
May 08, 2014 Albany, NY, The Low Beat
May 24, 2014 Pittsburgh, PA, Gooski’s
May 25, 2014 Erie, PA, Basement Transmissions
May 26, 2014 Columbus, OH, Double Happiness
May 27, 2014 Detroit, MI, Trinosophes
May 28, 2014 Milwaukee, WI, Cactus Club
May 29, 2014 Bloomington, IN, Magnetic South
May 30, 2014 Madison, WI, Good Style Shop
May 31, 2014 Louisville, KY, Dreamland
Jun 01, 2014 Dayton, OH, Blind Bob’s
Jun 03, 2014 Poughkeepsie, NY, My Place Pizza
Jun 22, 2014 Raleigh, NC, King’s Barcade
Jun 23, 2014 Knoxvile, TN, The Pilot Light
Jun 24, 2014 Asheville, NC, The Mothlight
Jun 25, 2014 Atlanta, GA, 529
Jun 26, 2014 Chattanooga, TN, Sluggo’s North
Here’s the video of Kid Millions’ ability to make drum circles cool again. I only got a few minutes of the set before my phone’s memory filled up, because I suck at phones. Additional footage comes courtesy of Jon Morgan and Lou Muenz.
Finally, this is one of my new favorite things—a video Millions made as a primer for musicians performing with him on “Surface Patterns,” the piece he did on his previous tour. It’s a charming and funny video, and a rare chance to hear a composer explain his work to the musicians who’ll be playing it.