Organized by Sheila McCarthy (formerly of Autobody and Cattle Prod), Drumhead was a free-form percussion extravaganza gathering avant-garde scenesters from Chicago and downtown New York. McCarthy, a percussionist and vocalist from the latter, eschewed her singing in Drumhead, which featured two other core members in percussionist Josh Matthews and bassist/keyboardist/percussionist Tony Maimone. Maimone was a veteran of alternative and experimental acts like the Red Krayola, Pere Ubu, They Might Be Giants, Frank Black, and Bob Mould, among many others. It was his work with June of 44 drummer Doug Scharin's experimental dub outfit Out of Worship that brought Drumhead to the attention of Perishable Records, the imprint founded by ex-Red Red Meat members Ben Massarella and Tim Rutili that released material by Scharin's various side projects. Massarella and Scharin were both employed as guest drummers on Drumhead's self-titled debut, which was released in 1999 and also featured guest spots from Eric Marc Cohen (McCarthy's ex-Autobody bandmate) and Marcus Righter. The album focused almost exclusively on rhythm and percussion, but did have some bass and keyboard work from Maimone and, to a lesser degree, McCarthy.
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