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Count Me In (2021)Count Me In (2021)

This eighty-minute music documentary by the director-producer Mark Lo is all about drumming, mostly in rock bands, but also in other contexts — at home as a youngster, a drumming club, drum circles, or a school band. For the most part the movie moves between interviews with about twenty famous rock drummers, and then concert footage of these drummers plying their trade. In addition, Lo includes archival footage of famous drummers from the past like Buddy Rich. I appreciated how Lo included several women drummers who comment on their unique experiences in a male-dominated niche (my favorite was Cindy Blackman Santana, wife and tour drummer of Carlos). The people that Lo interviews don't just like or even love drumming; they are passionately obsessed with it, and could not imagine doing anything else in life, as witnessed by family videos of them as little kids banging away on pots and pans like emerging prodigies. Several of them describe the exact moment or experience when they absolutely knew they had to be a drummer, and then the shock and joy when they actually started to make a living doing it. In an interesting side note, there's a brief lament about the advent of "drum machines" (computerized synthesizers) that threatens to displace the otherwise very human skill of what one person called "punctuating life with rhythm." I watched this film on Netflix.

Dan Clendenin:

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