[UPDATE, 1/27/2011: We listened to our beloved commenters, so here's "People's Choice: Commenters Pick 4 More Female Drummers in L.A. for Our List!"]
Do you like women? Do you like drums? Do you like women on drums? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the launch of Tom Tom Magazine comes as good news. Founded in New York by Mindy Abovitz, the new magazine dedicated to female drummers heeded the advice to "Go West, young woman" for its fifth issue, and turned to Swahili Blonde mastermind Nicole Turley's expertise on L.A.'s leading ladies of percussion.
So, what defines a great female drummer for Turley? "Women have this innate quality where it's in their nature to lay back and listen to what's going on around them," she says, "paying attention openly, finding a proper space for everything to blend together. You find this in the best female drummers and musicians in general. Everyone's different, of course, but men get tunnel vision with things that they do. That's one thing I notice with women in music. More women are becoming multi-instrumentalists, songwriters, exploring all avenues of music. It makes sense. It's within a woman's nature to take in everything about her environment."
Here's then Nicole Turley's Top 9 Female Drummers in L.A.:
YASMINE KITTLES, Tearist
Nicole Turley: "She is just awesome. I've never seen anyone play percussion like her. It's really avant and very original. She plays percussion with found objects, just a metal pipe. It's pioneering in a way."
DANIELLE DEVINCENZO, Jeffertitti's Nile
NT: "I like her drumming style in the sense that it's deep and boomy and tribal and simplistic. Just from being so tribal, it has a nice power to it."
Tiffany Preston, Rainbow Arabia
NT: I've always known Tiffany as a guitar player, she's one of my favorites. But in Rainbow Arabia she and her husband switch between making beats and she plays electric drum pads. It's inspiring live, she constantly switches between guitar, drums, and percussion."
LAENA MYERS-IONITA, Swahili Blonde, Dante Vs Zombies
NT: "She's one of those people that can play anything. She's a really talented multi-instrumentalist. As far as percussion goes it's similar to Danielle, her style is really tribal and boomy. She has an amazing sense of rhythm. She's really great with using all kinds of percussion, drums, bells, shakers, maracas, bongos, congas."
CHERYL CADDICK, Silver Phial
NT: "She played with Erica Garcia. From what I know, she plays drums and sings at the same time. That's really hard. A lead vocalist and a drummer!"
JENEAN FARRIS, VoicesVoices
NT: "That's the cool thing about this. She's a multi-instrumentalist too. Her drumming style reminds me John Bonham in a certain way. It's deep and gut-wrenching and heavy hitting, such a driving rhythm."
ERICA GARCIA, Fools Gold
NT: "The first time I saw her play I instantly had a crush. Not only was she the only girl among 9 guys in a band, but she had such an amazing spirit. I've never seen someone play percussion where you see it affect their entire body and they have so much fun and freedom, getting lost in the rhythm."
AMANDA JO WILLIAMS, Amanda Jo Williams
NT: "Everything about her. The singing and the huge 1920s bass drum and kid's guitar. It's her vibe and her style and her energy. I don't even know how to explain it. It's really deep and driving and tribal but so much fun. There's such a childlike innocence too. It's a really interesting combo."
NICO TURNER, VoicesVoices, Rriiccee
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"The last time I saw her play was with Rriiccee and just from a drumming standpoint, it's really hard to play a simple beat and have completely steady timing, not slowing down, not going too fast, just perfect timing and rhythm. That blew me away abut her. I want to say she's like a machine but not in a soulless way. She has a deep soul energy too. No matter what style of beat she plays, you can feel that energy in her."
Tom Tom Magazine hosts two release parties this week, Wednesday night at Bardot and Thursday night at The Mezz.