Bart plays the drums following a counselor's suggestion. He is very good at it, and is asked by a rock group to become a member of their band, something that has been Lisa's dream for a long time.
While attending the funeral for Amber, Homer's now dead Vegas wife, Bart gets bored and plays a game of paddle ball, which backfires by everyone getting choked by the paddle ball. As a result, he is forced to visit Dr. Brentano, who suggests Bart get a drum kit. Bart gets a kit and instantly becomes a natural at it in seconds, as he starts hallucinating Homer's face in every drum and cymbal. He practices non-stop, and bumps into The White Stripes who are playing "The Hardest Button to Button" in a parody of the song's Michael Gondry-directed music video. Eventually, his drumming drives Homer and Marge crazy, so Lisa suggests that she will take Bart to a jazz brunch.
Lisa asks Bart to jazz along with her quintet at Jazzy Goodtime's, which he does. Bart easily overshadows everyone, including Lisa, and a legendary jazz group asks him to play with them, much to Lisa's chagrin.
Bart's drumming is such a success that he is a town icon and made the front cover of two magazines, thus making Lisa positively irritated, as she understands that Bart is not worthy of his newfound popularity. Marge, who does not want Lisa to compete against Bart, chooses to let her adopt a puppy in order to make her happy. At the animal shelter, Lisa picks the cutest puppy over a very sick dog that would otherwise die. At night, the sick dog comes in a ghost-like form to tell her that his fate is doomed because she chose the other dog over him. Lisa plans to go back and adopt the sick puppy, but after seeing how sick many of them are, she chooses to adopt them all in order to save their lives. On her way home, many other animals join her, including a horde of circus animals. Having nowhere to put the group, Lisa places them in the attic.
After dinner that evening, Lisa goes into the attic and finds Bart making jazz music with the animals she rescued. However, a tiger bites Bart's "drumming arm" causing extensive nerve damage, so Bart can no longer play the drums.
In order to raise money for the operation he needs, Bart organizes a benefit concert with his jazz friends. Meanwhile, Lisa is informed that the animals will be taken to a pound and killed if she is unable to find a suitable home for them. In the end, after the benefit concert was a good success, Bart feels empathy for Lisa and plans to use the money to build a home for all of the animals.
The episode was viewed by 8.94 million people when it was originally aired.
IGN liked this episode, saying "it was decent", and praised the strength of the season so far. The episode was given a 7/10 rating, similar to the rating of the previous episode.