Land of the Rising Drum

When was the last time you saw an Asian fella banging the skins in a rock band? Unless you're a fan of popular Japanese rock bands such as Acid Mothers Temple, Boris or Electric Eel Shock, it has probably been way too long—and that's a damn shame. Perhaps we just need someone to inspire young Asian-Americans to pick up the sticks (as if the promise of fame and tang wasn't enough). Enter the Kodo drummers, Japan's premier ambassadors of rhythm. From their home on Japan's Sado Island, the drummers have traveled the world over for some 25 years, bring traditional Japanese drumming to the masses while expanding its possibilities. The word "Kodo" itself means "heartbeat" ("the primal source of all rhythm"), and the giant drums the musicians play—called "taikos"—are often said to mimic a mother's heartbeat reverberating through her womb. In other words, it's kind of like listening to Sabbath in one of those '70s egg chairs—minus the sweet riffs, of course. Catch them yourself 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane. And for the sake of rock and roll, bring all the Asian kids you can fit in the van. Tickets are $14 to $59. Call 214-528-5576 or visit
Fri., Feb. 23, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 24, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 25, 3 p.m.
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Noah W. Bailey
Contact: Noah W. Bailey