Caught in The Act

Scenes from the Hit Like A Girl 2014 Contest Finals Show

Place: Drumchannel.com, Oxnard, California
Date: April 3, 2014
Event: 2014 Hit Like A Girl Contest Finals Show

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For most of the show, the hosts included (left to right) 2013 Under 18 Champion Alexey Poblete, DRUM! Publisher Phil Hood, Tom Tom Publisher Mindy Abovitz, TRX Cymbals President David Levine, Cherry Bomb drummer Nia Lovelis.

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Guest Kirsten Matt, Zildjian's West Coast Artist Relations Manager, explains her role in working with drummers worldwide.

2014 Hit Like A Girl Contest

Alexey takes a solo break to open the show.

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Getting excited about the Hit Like A Girl finalists.

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What would be extra cool under the Christmas tree? Yamaha DXR powered speakers with a DXS subwoofer.

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Nia Lovelis with her singer-songwriter mom, Ana.

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The contest was conceived by David Levine (left) in 2011, who enlisted Mindy Abovitz (Tom Tom) and Phil Hood (DRUM!) as partners.

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Happy trio.

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Girls, who hit like girls.

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The web site production is carried out by the DRUM! staff. Drumchannel is a major partner thanks to their show production. Don Lombardi of Drumchannel, with Phil Hood.

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The show stalwarts: (standing) Kirsten Matt, Don Lombardi, Phil Hood, David Levine, Lenny Vitulli of Performance Drumming. (kneeling) Alexey Poblete, Mindy Abovitz, Nia Lovelis.

View the show.

Caught In The Act: Kenny Aronoff

Kenny Aronoff is perhaps the world's busiest drummer. It all started when he played with John Cougar Mellencamp more than three decades ago and his snare drums sounded so big and crisp and loud that it was like the background noise of the universe, caused by the echo of the big bang, temporarily disappeared. That's when his phone started ringing. Three decades on he is the first call if you need to honor musical royalty at the Kennedy Center, or support the Beatles on their 50th anniversary, or just need the world's fastest study to fill in for a night on a major tour. But his day job is cutting tracks at home for producers and artists all over the world. On this day he was in his Uncommon Studios recording tracks for an artist named Beverly. In the days before he recorded four Bodeans tracks. Tomorrow it will be someone else who needs perfection in a hurry.

Thanks to Robert Downs for the shot.

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Iron Reagan & Exhumed At The Oakland Metro

Michael Hamilton looked relaxed during Exhumed’s crushing set – part of this blaster’s lethal charm. Note the 45-degree rack toms and total absence of floor tom. Doesn’t get any more extreme than that.

Michael Hamilton

Iron Reagan was all Cold War nostalgia as they ripped through their 40-minute set of thrash gems averaging less than too minutes long. That didn’t stop Ryan Parrish (ex-Darkest Hour) from beating his kit senseless.

Ryan Parrish

A Visit To Kaman Music

During a recent visit to southern California we had a chance to stop in Ontario and visit Kaman's west coast digs.The area around Chino and Ontario is a tribute to logistics; mile after mile is given over to warehouses and shipping offices for goods coming in and out of the Los Angeles area. Here Fender, and its Kaman Music subsidiary, responsible for such brands as Gretsch, Gibraltar, LP, and Toca, has a huge warehouse, nearly 3/4 mile long. In addition, Kaman develops its new Kat electronic drumming products here. So naturally, when I had the chance, I wanted to stop by and see it in person ”Kaman

Mark Moralez, the Kat Percussion Product Manager, in his office. Mark is surrounded by drums and guitars all day.

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On the walls, classic drumming albums.

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The Fender half of the building stretches for thousands of feet. But the Kaman side, housing products from Gretsch, LP, Toca, Kat and other brands, is pretty good sized, too.

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When not driving forklifts and loading trucks, the warehouse crew is working on ping-pong technique. Mark says they take it seriously.

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In the dealer showroom Brent Barnett, who handles artist relations for Gretsch and Gibraltar, was setting up an endorser's kit for photos.

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Getting the tom mounted just right proved a challenge. The room is used for demos, concerts for dealers who visit the facility, and photography.

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The brain crew: Mark Moralez and Brent Barnett of KMC with Dennis Peters of Heavy Bag Media.

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The Toca side of the demo room. Products are displayed by brand in a store-like setting.

Kenny Aronoff At The Baked Potato

Kenny Aronoff and friends Brent Woods (guitar) and James Lomenzo (bass) played the Baked Potato in Los Angeles on November 18, 2013.

Photography by Robert Downs

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