22.5.17 – Man Forever

Man Forever is a percussion ensemble founded by ONEIDA drummer John Colpitts. Equally versed in the disparate musical languages of DIY rock, improvisation, and contemporary classical, Colpitts created Man Forever to 'explore the outer limits of drum performance, to overwhelm, to investigate the nuances that bloom in the midst of repetitive music." Elaborate drum arrangements remain essential to Man Forever, augmented by voice and melody - and by Alexander Hawkins for this special OTO show. 

"[Kid Millions] plays with a momentum and velocity that few can match and...a huge amount of soul." - The Quietus


Kid Millions (John Colpitts) / drums, vocals
Matt Evans / percussion, organ, vocals
Amy Garapic / percussion, vocals
Carson Moody / drums, vocal,
Brandon Lopez / bass
Alexander Hawkins / piano 
Noah Hecht / additional percussion on "The Clear Realization" 


Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook. Mixed by James Dunn. Mastered by James Dunn. 

Cover art: 
Remo Salvadori
Continuous Infinite Present  1985
Steel cable
Photo: Jean-Pierre Maurer, Milan
Courtesy of the artist

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC. 

1. You Were Never Here / Continuous Infinite Present - 12:06
2. 10,000 Things - 3:42
3. Twin Torches - 10:07
4. The Clear Realization - 21:58


Man Forever

The music of drummer John Colpitts as Man Forever is explorative, innovative and fearless. A musician and composer equally versed in the disparate musical languages of DIY rock, improvisation, and contemporary classical, Colpitts (aka Kid Millions) has made an album that defies genre classification. Propulsive, elaborate drum arrangements (created with TIGUE Percussion) remain essential to Man Forever - on the songs of Play What They Want, they are augmented by voice and melody with contributions from Laurie Anderson, Yo La Tengo, and Mary Lattimore to name a few. Play What They Want represents the culmination of 25 years of musical engagement by one of New York’s most acclaimed percussionists. The collaborative process, essential to Man Forever, requires the relinquishing of one’s ego for a greater purpose. In Play What They Want Colpitts leverages a vast and talented stable of diverse collaborators to create a work that transcends the sum of its parts. “You Were Never Here” kicks off the album with a gorgeous vocal performance by all members of Yo La Tengo and, like the transition from the black and white to technicolor, the piece becomes a driving, wild marriage of Max Roach’s “Garvey’s Ghost,” McCoy Tyner, Alice Coltrane and Steve Reich. World-class harpists Brandee Younger and Mary Lattimore join bassist Brandon Lopez, pianist Sam Yulsman and the Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble to create an experimental jazz and classical “dream team.” “Ten Thousand Things” resonates with TIGUE’s tense, virtuosic compound meters, a Moondog-esque vocal by Colpitts and singer Nick Hallett, and another intuitive performance by harpist Mary Lattimore. Finishing the side, “Debt and Greed” is a surprisingly wry pop tune that combines Colpitts’ Jaki Liebezeit-esque drum groove with CSN-style harmonies, guitar by Trans Am’s Phil Manley, and horn playing by Ben Lanz (Beiruit, The National, Sufjan Stevens). The second side leads with the evocative album centerpiece “Twin Torches.” Here Colpitts worked with the legendary multi-media artist and musician Laurie Anderson, who provided spoken vocals and violin on the nearly 10-minute tour de force. This composition also features arresting vocal atmospherics by Quince, which precede some of the most complex drumming Colpitts has ever recorded. The album closes with “Catenary Smile,” a prickly ballad featuring Nick Hallett’s cascading background vocals which buoy the lyrics: a contemplation of humanity’s problematic tendency to anthropomorphize inanimate things. While Colpitts’ previous albums have expanded on the possibilities and limitations of drums and percussion, this new album redefines the project in myriad ways. Building on a complex rhythmic foundation, Man Forever created an album that is innovative, imaginative and joyous. Play What They Want is a rare record of untamed ambition that hits all its marks.