On Friday night we experienced the second in a series of shows we didn't know would ever be a series. For the New York installment, Gang Gang Dance led 88 drummers including Panda Bear and XXXchange in what was basically a superpercussion heavy Gang Gang Dance show. We drank wine and looked at the city and watched people drum for 88 minutes. It was the first time we remember being cold in awhile, but it wasn't too cold. After the jump read 88 thoughts and answers to those thoughts from FADER editors Matthew Schnipper and Sam Hockley-Smith.
Sam: Where was Panda Bear sitting?
Matt: I could only see half the drummers.
I couldn't hear most of the drums, just the main drum.
I tried to listen hard to hear all the drums and it reminded me of doing close-readings of poetry in college.
Why did I only see one guy with a glow stick?
I am glad I did not see anyone with a glow stick.
What is the best way to enjoy something like this? Do you sit down or do you stand up and dance?
Why couldn't I see very much?
Because people were all standing which was really sad.
Who was the worst drummer, if I had been involved would I have been the worst drummer?
This makes me wish I knew how to play drums but I’ll never learn.
Do you think god exists and if god exists did he clear up the weather and make it beautiful because we were on the water?
This book I am reading has an epigraph that says people can’t predict the weather in the future accurately because we don’t know what the weather is now and that is what event this was like.
One of my questions is about god, are you offended?
Is this going to be Gang Gang Dance's big moment?
Should I have brought a coat. If yes, why?
A light jacket because it was cool by the water
There was free ice cream but it didn't look good.
I can’t eat ice cream because of lactose problems and it makes me feel better when people are impeded doing things I wish I could do. Like when His Hero Is Gone cancelled a show in ninth grade I could not go to anyway.
Do you think Andrew WK felt left out this year, or just felt like Hey I did it once before and I had a shaved head so why would I do it again no one could tell where I was the first time
I bet he couldn’t play or decided not to play.
Was it better in LA?
I cannot believe that much is better than Eye + Yoshimi, regardless of setting.
I didn't fall asleep this year, but last year seemed cooler. Why did I feel this way?
Because in your mind everything that has already happened seems cooler.
Imagine that rehearsal, did people walk in knowing what to expect or were they just totally confused the whole time?
Both, which is pretty awesome.
When I was a kid I played two instruments, piano and electric bass. I never practiced either instrument because I didn't care and never retained any of the knowledge from any of them except I know how to play a song called "Friendly Conversation" on the piano and I can play "Smoke on the Water" and "My Friends" by Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass. Do you think anyone didn't practice and just "got away with it?"
Yeah. I bet some people are just naturally more skilled at things. I really wanted to be good at basketball when I was a little kid and had serious hustle and practiced a lot but it just was not happening and I am very short, it’s not a possibility.
Can you ever really get away with not practicing? Or do you always lose when you are the one who does not learn and everyone else does?
“Learn” is a peculiar word, and the idea of “getting away” is also peculiar. I think you can trade off of inherent ability for a long time, sometimes forever, but you will never be as great as you could be if you do not practice. It’s sad to see people not grind like they could or dismiss the necessity of hard work.
If it was so hot—like 125 degrees—would you have jumped in the water even though it is absolutely disgusting?
I might have. No, it is disgusting.
Why didn't I take a free poncho?
You don’t need more stuff.
If I did take a free poncho and I was drumming, would I play in the poncho. (yes)(who wouldn't)
No, the plastic would feel weird on your body.
How hard was it to organize two of these things, were there enough drum sticks? Did anyone feel so left out that they couldn't show up? I know if I really wanted something and didn't get it, I wouldn't be able to patronize that thing or place for a long while.
I think a lot of diligence and people whose job it is to make sure there are drumsticks.
How awesome does New York City look right as its getting dark?
Best place in the world, cannot believe my parents moved little kid me away and I will never forgive them (sorry guys).
Photo from LA by Evan Cohen
Matt: Is that Amber’s boyfriend playing drums or do guys with jean shorts just look alike?
Sam:Good question, but I think jean shorts are sort of a fashion anomaly. Technically they shouldn’t work but at the same time sometimes people pull them off. Do women like them really on men?
Who is the drummer on the stage with the gigantic beard?
I didn’t see him, but I wish it was me.
Why did I never notice that this park is so big?
You know, I thought the same thing but when you compare it to the size of a very large building it seems pretty small.
Is this last part fun if you don’t like free jazz?
Oh man they just banged on the drums for like ten minutes huh? At first I thought that was great because it was a moment for everyone could lose control and just journey into their own headspaces, but then it got long and I got cold and wanted to leave.
I really have to pee.
Yeah I didn’t have this problem, I went right before it started and was glad for the spotlight over all the toilets.
I wish 3/4ths of the audience had not stood up because I really want to be sitting.
I stood up, and I think it worked better. There was a dude behind me doing a total rave thing with glow sticks and I laughed at him but then I was like DO YOU DUDE. Last year weird ‘90s hippies basically got teleported from the past to waterfront park so they could pour gravel over themselves, this year a guy had a glow stick.
How can eighty-eight people be playing drums and I can’t exactly tell?
I think it was because it was only the main couple that had mics. I thought that was lame at first, but then I realized Hey this is just a GGD show, and I haven’t seen one of those in forever.
Is this what feeling cold feels like because I forgot because it’s August but that air coming off the East River is chilly.
I always overreact when it’s cold, I was complaining and telling people I needed my winter coat.
Do the Boredoms listen to Gang Gang Dance?
Most likely yes. I picture them all being friends and hanging out and looking at Dash Snow paintings will listening to unreleased Sunburned Hand of the Man CD-Rs
How did all of these people get their drums here
There are a lot of people here, it’s nice people like music.
I thought that too, but do people actually just like events and being near people who also like events?
It’s lame that people couldn’t see from their rooftops because of newly constructed glass condos were blocking the view.
I’ll bet people could see from that huge condo that’s right at the entrance.
This makes me feel good about being a person, just the idea that lots of people got together to make this happen in so many different ways.
Yeah I’m actually really surprised they pulled it off, it doesn’t seem like anyone involved in the New York event was particularly organized.
It’s weird they are doing this again this year because last year was so singular.
And even weirder that it was sponsored by Nike
If they do this again next year and then the next year will they do it different because it will start being too cold out.
Next year is actually the last year they could do it without people complaining a lot I think. However, I would absolutely go to a snowy drum circle with…1200 drummers?
Chioma says there are no black drummers.
There are very few black drummers in rock music right now I feel. That being said, not everyone here is a drummer so that is kind of a bummer. I wonder if anyone pointed that out to them?
Some things Gang Gang Dance do I have only heard them do ever and it’s nice to have a style.
Yeah they do have a style, I love when a band can only sound like themselves.
Do you think Brian Degraw saw last year’s 77Boadrum and liked Eye’s trident and wanted to replicate that with his gigantic conducting wand?
I think maybe, or maybe he got the trident and thought it was too awkward so he decided he’d just use a stick instead. I think a lot of musicians are less self conscious than Eye.
What is the real difference between a city and state park and did that make the necessary permit different?
I’m kind of bored by this question in all honesty, I don’t really want to answer it or try and answer it. Usually when someone says state park I imagine like a big park with maybe a bear accidentally in there somewhere.
If I can hear really loud guitar over eighty-eight drums I am probably going to go deaf from this.
I didn’t feel like it was so loud actually
Sitting in the grass is one of those things that is nice in really corny ways.
Yeah! I know what you mean. I always want to put my arm around a girl and if a girl isn’t there I always think about America which is corny but you know.
What am I going to do after this?
I had to go meet a friend and I didn’t have time to eat dinner so I ate trail mix on the train. Did you get to eat dinner?