School band play 'Endtroducing' with real instruments

This is absolutely the best thing I've seen for ages (thanks, John). The after-school percussion group at Minnetonka High School, Minneapolis, rehearsed for months and can now play two tracks from DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing' album. The music was arranged by 25 year-old geographer/law student/vibraslap enthusiast Brian Udelhofen, who teaches the group. The Shadow Percussion Project links to this amazing video [65mb WMV] of the group's live performance in May 2005. They play 'Building Steam with a Grain of Salt' and 'Changeling'. What's amazing is how much like the record they sound (given the rather fuzzy audio), at least on 'Building Steam'. The drummers recreate the glitchy MPC-60 loop editing pretty much perfectly. Medals all round. Meanwhile, at the other end of the legal scale, you may find a very cool torrent on your local filesharing network called 'Dj Shadow - Endtroducing Sample Sources', which contains 36 tracks, from Metallica to Billy Cobham, that were used on the album.
UPDATE: The video is now HERE at the Internet Archive. Let me know if you have any problems.
UPDATE: 67MB is a hell of a big file, isn't it? Here's the first minute of 'Building Steam', squeezed down to: 2mb WMV and 1mb WMV.

PREVIOUSLY: More cool videos: Amazing kid dancing to Kraftwerk / Funny superdork animation / Franz Ferdinand wasting time / McRorie / Double neck guitar dork / Crazy synth freakout / The endless joy of loops /

Wow, that's just amazing, but it makes me feel old!!
I guess it makes me feel... young? That was the first electronic album I bought.
That is just awesome. I am going to be listening to that cd for the next few days now.
What a cool teacher!
All three links return "No web site is configured at this address." Has the site been musicthinged? Can somebody mirror?
help!! the link isn't working anymore. anyone have the file to host?
I'd really love to see this...can anyone mirror?
I'd love to see this video! Someone please host it and post a link!
mirror pleaseeeeee
I can host this if someone wants me too...plenty of bandwidth. You can send me a working link or upload it via a site like --- here's my email --
Andy over at says he'll have a mirror up first thing tomorrow morning.
I can mirror for you providing the bandwidth is below 1Tb per month and doesn't spike above 80Mb at any instance.

Email me at david (at) buro9 (dot) com

I can also host a torrent and ensure it's permanently seeded, which may be the best thing to do regardless :)
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Very cool. Not only is Building Steam... one of my favorite electronic songs, but thats where I went to high school.
I am a music teacher who loves Dj Shadow and this would totally inspire me...if I could hear it!! Please fix????
Anonymous music teacher - if you're Anne S, then your email is broken, I've tried to reply twice.
The video links are all working, and I posted the smaller files up just for you.
If you don't have Windows Media Player then you won't be able to see the clips.
Where's the drummer?
Watching the video almost put me to tears and gave me goosebumps... I would have killed to have been in a band like this in highschool.... Wow!!!

Mad props to the students and the instructor! You just made my day, heck, months to come I'm sure! =)
I remember when this was first posted in the solesides forum. Great that he finally put together a final performance video!

also the 'Dj Shadow - Endtroducing Sample Sources' .torrent is fantastic! been looking for many of these sample sorces for a while!
fantastic work.
is shadow the new sousa?
That is freaking awesome. I feel like I missed such a sweet opportunity not growing up there! I wonder if they will venture beyond DJ Shadow.
Endtroducing is one of my favorite CDs. This is awesome. Very impressive, very cool. I'd love to hear it live.
absolutely the best thing i've ever seen come out of minnesota.

then again, its only serious competition is "happy chef."

I think I would pay money to see this!
So very very cool... especially how you pulled off the drums. Not like you guys are a loop machine or anything.

Now if you guys could adapt Banco De Gaia's "Obsidian" that would be a treat :D
Why are people raving about this? I do not see how this music is 'totally awesome'. The drummer is sloppy, never tight, and certainly not 'like a drummachine' as someone put it. The vibes and piano lines are extremely simple, and form no challenge at all.
I advise you people to take a look at Milt Jackson for example. Now that is (was) a vibe player.
I am sure for the local schoolband it's quite cool to be able to do this, but for an objective music fanatic it just seems to suck... No offence, just keep practising. Let's say you guys are halfway of putting on a decent live show i'd pay for.
I must say I find the concept amazing and the fact that they did this nothing but great. But... I think they could have done a better job of Building steam...
ok, mr. anonymous a couple posts ahead of me needs to keep things in a bit of perspective here.

this is a HIGH SCHOOL band!!!

and not even an "officially sanctioned" one, that i can tell. the connotation of "after school" that i get is that it's just some music geeks getting together with their teacher with the hope of doing something cool.

which they have. i think for high school-aged kids to be into something like this is fantastic. seriously, it could be a lot worse. they could be covering some rubbish pop tunes.
That is awesome!!! They should tour everywhere... hell, they should tour with DJ Shadow.

- Cowicide
u gotta be kidding me with the 'wow'

their timing is as bad as a poor HS band.

in HS, we weren't allowed to have such poor timing.
This is Brian...the guy who made this thing. I have to say I'm psyched that so many people are digging this video. I never thought it would explode on the internet like it did.

To clear some things up, yes, this was an after school group. We were under a serious time crunch to put this together, and it was the closing chart of a 6 song concert. I think, in total, we spent 8 hours rehearsing the music.

Here's something else interesting, not all of these kids were high schoolers. In fact, the timpani player was an 8th grader!

So...yeah, I'll be the first to admit that the beats are somewhat sloppy at times. It was not a perfect performance, but I feel these kids put a lot of time and effort into the piece. You can slam it if you want, make fun of me, tear apart the arrangement or the sound/video quality, but please...lay off my students.
This is way cooler then the projects the percussion group I was a part of did back in highschool!
PS. Milt Jackson is the best vibraphonist ever. Asking people to compare a high school student who's busy with college application, SATs, soccer practice, homework, etc to a legendary vibraphonist is like telling people that their hometown high school football team sucks because they're not as good as the New England Patriots.
I love the idea, the audacity of even trying this in the first place. Awesome. Great job all. Thanks for the inspiration, Brian.
Awesome, awesome, awesome.

These young adults are amazing. Even DJ shadow himself didn't PLAY all these parts. Really Great Work - and lots of fun too!

damn this rules. my high school band never did anything so awesome...what a great teacher
I agree with every positive comment. This is one remarkable teacher; creative, inspiring and willing to do something unique.
Prince, Bob Dylan, Soul Asylum, The Replacements....

All products of the great State of Minnesota. Sure we pronounce the letter "O" a little funny, but we make some great music, thanks to band directors like this.

It's just a matter of time until another bunch of Minnesota kids flip the music world over again.
now ive seen this..i can offcially say the internet is over...... nothing more good will come of it....
that was fabulous!!!!
it gave me the same chills that i get when i listen to shadow's CDs!
great job
A surprising number of negative comments for what appears to be one of the coolest school bands i've ever seen. Congratulations on creating such a fantastic tribute to DJ Shadow, and keep up the great work.
there's always gonna be one guy who thinks everything sucks except what he likes.... man, this is amazing, that anoymous guy needs to shut up... you must have a very boring life since nothing's ever as good as you....
that is absolutely brilliant!
Kids, playing Shadow?! thats un-possible?
no, I just saw it.
*jaw drops
huge respect for an inspiring teacher and those kids are both hugely lucky, and pretty darn good!
Keep practising, and make a better copy - the world MUST see more of this!
that is hot hot hot hot hot
Excellent work!

My highest compliments to the ensemble, you have truly captured the sound and spirit of an incredibly complex piece.

It's an incredible idea and project, and best of all, it rocks.

Maybe try Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" next.
I can't believe anyone would say anything bad about this. The beats are supposed to be somewhat haphazard, the original composition is a cut and paste sample collage, to reproduce that on stage with humans instead of machines is a huge challenge!
So... it IS possible to make interesting things at school.

I could never imagine that.
Let the naysayers go back to their little nitpicking music studies and lonliness to nurse their egos and dissect the "greats." These young folks got the goods, big ups baby.
Just needed to say that there couldn't have been a more perfect producer for this to be done with. Picking up the 'Entroducing' LP when I was 16 made me become a producer. A true homage to Shadow.
Excellent job kidz and teach alike. Keep up the good work. Someone needs to get you a copy of the Doctor Octagon instrumentals - you guys (and gals) could play the hell out of that too!

Bravo - and get the kidz out to NYC for a show. They're much better than Lil' GnR.

Mr. Vos
Wow, i feel so untalented (i AM but that's a different story!!!) and unlucky for not being a student there!!! Amazing!!! :)))
i love dj shadow and i love this enembles performance. i started to record a non-sample cover of midnight in a perfect world a few years ago. i never finished and it was really rough but if you are curious check it out. i'd love to see more of that sort of thing. huge ups to the music teacher.
You know, this is just great.

How cool to see middle school kids putting together such a great (and complicated) performance, especially as an after school group.

I'm surprised at the knocks on this board - who would criticize anyone for playing music, especially kids taking on such an undertaking as DJ Shadow?

All of them, and the instructor, really have a lot to be proud of. And great source material, of course.
it's cool that they played it, and it was a good arrangement, but it definitely needed more practice
wow . . . building steam is a seriously complex percussion arrangement, and those kids held it down pretty well, even during the parts that teeter towards polyrhythmic.

freakin incredible, these kids should keep working together.
Wow thats really nice!
fantastic. much better than the dried up '76 trombones' i heard year after year, considering that like ian (posted above), i too went to this high school. (hi ian). kudos for stepping outside of boxes and doing a more original project. its refreshing to see.
A surprising number of negative comments for what appears to be one of the coolest school bands i've ever seen. Congratulations on creating such a fantastic tribute to DJ Shadow, and keep up the great work.
This must be one of the coolest schools in the world! Way to go, this project is amazing by all standards. I wish schools here in Israel could learn from this example...
This is fantastic. It's great to see a teacher willing to teach music that is relevant to kids. What an inspiration. Hope we can find a music teacher with as much forethought and originality for our child.
this looks really great. i watched the 2 MB sample first and now i'm downloading the whole thing. i don't know why some people can't appreciate what others are trying to do especially if what is trying to be done has to do with good music of this kind. those kids could as well be covering linkin park or something!
That is great! I love to see this sort of thing coming from a high school group!
Hey cool stuff i love shadow stuff and wish i had a teacher like you when i was at school......anyway does anyones know about a yahoo group where was posted a site about every shadows Samples???...i cant find it anymore and was very cool.......
Just wanted to say that this is one of the girls who is in the Minnetonka Percussion Ensemble and played the DJ Shadow songs. For all of you out there who are dissing us, come on, half of us were in 10th grade last year and I personally have only been playing percussion for 3 years. What do you expect? I agree with whoever said that saying we suck is like comparing a local football team to a professional one. We worked really hard on this and for the amount of time we had, we thought that we did a pretty good job. And don't diss the piano part, you see how fun it is to play alternating finger chords in a row so many times that you hand cramps up and you have to keep playing anyways. Plus the rhythm for the vibes that I played is the guitar line in the actual song and let me tell you, with four mallets for a highschool band player, it wasn't easy to learn. Thanks to everyone out there that was really impressed by us and what we did.
that was so cool, i wish i cood do something like that, but i play gonna cover some nirvana songs at skool this year, lol
goosebumps and tears...amazing work
Interesting reactions here, from all sides.

I'm a professional drummer/percussionist here in the SF Bay Area, and have always had tremendous fun with percussion ensembles, in school and beyond.

First, a hearty bravo to the kids in this Minnesota group. Wish I could hear the rest of the program that you played, and I especially wish the rest of this forum could do the same.

It seems that most of the forum is out of touch with music in general, either dissing the "sloppiness" of live players (students, at that), or acting amazed that such a towering figure in the musical pantheon as "DJ Shadow" could be co-opted by kids who actually, you know, play musical instruments.

Well, duh. Welcome to the other 95% of the world of music.

There are people out there who actually did take the trouble to learn the discipline of making physical sound, who've spent hours in their practice rooms, raising and lowering mallets just so, tuning drumheads so that that they sing, developing a refined touch, scaling the mountains of music theory, getting to know the world of styles inside and out on a physical and visceral level, and they have absolutely nothing to do with "drum machines".

There is no substitute for playing, kids. It starts where "DJ Shadow" leaves off, and takes you where no DJ will ever be able to go, everytime you pick up the instrument and struggle with it.

Again, congrats to the brave Minnesota percussionists. They left the little black boxes at home, and gained another little triumph for the living human over the machine.

And I'll betcha they're back in the practice room the next day.


ian, youre ridiculous. music is made by means of composition, regardless of medium. "assuming" dj shadow plays no instruments, or has used no live instrumentation recorded and sampled by himself, makes his music no less impressive. there are electronic musicians who possibly may not be able to make a series of comprehendable and linear sounds from a traditionally non-electronic instrument, and more importantly vice-versa. for many notable electronic musicians, there must be an understanding of full composition, and the same respect that a conducter and composer would receive must be given to most electronic musicians. these instrumentalists, semantics aside, are composers. while even though a traditional musician may only play one instrument, he or she still might not and most likely will not have the ability to conduct a multitude of sound. just because someone can play a traditional instrument does not in anyway give that person an aptitude greater than one of an electronic musician. you must also realize that most of the electronic greats, do not sample long tracks of pre-made sound, or at all. many create rhythms and melodies note by note and beat by beat. some samples are used as an homage, for fun, or to achieve a particular idea. when bashing electronic music, people commonly refer to mediocre techno, and all the genres that leap short from it, ie. jungle, disco, etc.. these genres are commonly extremely sampled, and scales and miuntes of arpegiation are changed only by pushing one button and one note every few minutes. this to me is an example of a somewhat talentless form of electronic music, and what i wish people would suggest rather that electronic music in whole. however, a sound, sometimes but rarely unique, is still achieved in this form, and should be respected. anyway, dj shadow has made some of the most amazing orcheastrations in electronic music, and its wonderful to see it portrayed with live instrumentation.

As a percussion instructor, this would be amazing for my group to do. I would really like to get a copy of the score, or even a place where I can buy it. Please email me at with any info.
I only wish my school was so progressive in their outlook!

What a great way to engage Kids into school workshops!

Minnetonka's drummers have always rocked! I was a member of Mr. Geldert's band 84-87---the reason we took the spirit award at State hockey was because of the drum line leading the crowd... DisneyWorld loved us in Jan.87, and yes, MHS was a very cool place to go to school. So, kudos to you all...glad to see the music hasn't died.
Absolutely brilliant.

Endtroducing.. is one of my fave albums and this was a great little homage.

Turntablist @
Hey, it's a jillion years later I know, but you should probably remove the link to the music teacher's site 'coz it now seems to link to rape porn. Just sayin'.
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