TOM TOM MAGAZINE #18: $6, 8½” x 11”, 62 pgs.

Sep 30, 2014

This straight-up magazine available in many fine independent bookstores bills itself as a magazine about female drummers, but really, it is so much more. The majority of features in the mag are interviews, and damn good ones. I don’t even play the drums, and I found every interview to be well done and captivating. There’s an interview with Fay Milton of the British band Savages, another with Gina Schock of The Go Go’s—those two right there go to show that this is not just a magazine about lady drummers, it’s a magazine about some of the coolest and most exciting ones. Above all, Tom Tom has impeccable taste. Because it is so solidly and confidently aware of what’s good, it’s free to branch out of just a few types of music to talk to female percussionists who play the tarima, a big ol’ box that drives the rhythms of the Son Jarrocho music played by women who are keeping the genre alive in Santa Ana, or the first female drummer in the first all-female band performing in a Cirque de Soleil show. The magazine also deals with issues specific to drummers who are women, like “When Boobs Become the Enemy,” a section on how to control your rack while you are doing your drum thing. (Suggestions varied based on cup size and genre of music played. Deeply informative; probably also good for jogging.) Music, book, movie, and gear reviews are in a section in the back, too, so you don’t miss out on those classic musician’s-magazine elements. –Bianca (