Friday, August 14, 2009
The stress of rock camp is really getting me down, I haven't eaten or slept much. What do I do?
Get a tattoo to remind yourself to eat food and drink water.
I'm not very good at instruments, what should I do?
Start a pop band and call your music obscure.
How do I get public recognition outside of Pendleton?
Send Casey numerous emails entitled PRESS RELEASE. Show up at his house; sleep on his couch/eat all his food. Stay there for 6months then move back to Pendleton.
I don't like music and I'm scared of people and sunlight. What do I do?
Start an avant garde punk band and call your music noise.
How does one integrate the well experienced musicians with that not so experienced?
Three major chords and a tambourine.
I broke someone's instrument and I don't know how to tell them, what should I do?
Leave a note with your insurance information. IOU
My wife is really into the Game, but I'm into Jay Z more, how do we save our marriage?
Only discuss how much you hate Kanye.
RTJ: So, how do you feel after winning?
Edward: Very surprised. It was a little cliched.
RTJ: what was the inspiration for the name?
E: I just thought of something cliched.
RTJ: What makes you so awesome?
E: *laughs* My determination to be amazing and my ego.
RTJ: Any advise to those less awesome?
E: Nothing in this world worth having is easy.
RTJ: What does your career look like after rock camp?
E: Focused. I won't be surrounded by cool people.
Members: Weston Simonton, Gabriel Lybrand, Addison Shulburg, Vaughn Anderton, Levi Cecil, Andy Cooms
Other names you came up with: Blue to the Bone
Hit song from your band: Shout - The Isley Brothers
Sounds like: Dirty blues review
Members: Brooke Lee Ann Wilson, Alicia Vurgis, Cole Zeckman, Jordan Short, Scott Swenson, Cliff Marquardt, Jared Marquardt
Other names you came up with: Gibsons R Us
Hit song from your band: How I Feel About You Now
Sounds like: Progressive Alternative rock
Members: Liza Dadoly, Tyson Block, Mel Dadoly, Tracy Lagore, Donaven Johnson
Other names you came up with: Stir-Fry Arcade
Hit song from your band: Shoes or Mama's Boy (Haven't decided which one yet.)
Sounds like: Very versatile. Francis Hardy meets Melissa Ethridge
Members: Forrest Hughes, Jack Bradley, Sam
Other names you came up with: 10 Foot Taco, Found Magazine, Tranke, Distracted
Hit song from your band: Interview Questions
Sounds like: "Nirvana taking Casey Jarman's rock journalism class." - Randy
Members: Kyler Moony, Austin Miller, Ian Summerfield, Matt Holmes
Other names you came up with: Bean Addiction, Black Odyssey, Summerfield
Hit single for your band: Epic Fail, Plaid Chick
Sounds like: "Astroid! Oh, a sentence? Like Garden Variety." - Skylar
Members: Travis Baltzor, Hannah Hulska, Brittany Taylor, McKayla Nitz, Makaela Mckague. Along with Freddy and Frankie the Fishes.
Other names you came up with: Ninjas, Neon Thunder, We Are Not Terrorists, Bronze Hippos
Hit single for your band: As If It Were Better
Sounds like: "Good friends making beautiful music together!" - Scott
Jacki: I want to first start off with the question, ‘How did Peter invite you here?’ because it seems to be different for everyone, and it’s an interesting question.
Levi: I kinda don’t remember cos it was like three years ago at this point. But I think it was mostly just, ‘You’ve played a lot of shows here, and you’d be good at the camp,’ and boy was he wrong… I think it was mostly just cos my band had played so much at Great Pacific and he figured some of the kids had been at the shows and would know who I was…
Scott: It was pretty weird. Peter sent me a scented letter. It was sealed with that like wax stuff, and I had to break it and open it up, and it smelled like roses.
- Was there a lipstick kiss?
- He really wanted you there.
Scott: At first I didn’t want to say yes, but it was so sweet, and heartfelt, that I just thought I better go. Actually, I was in Heroes and Villains with Levi. He actually invited our entire band. The second year all of Heroes and Villains came, and since then, the three of us have been coming and the other two members have stayed at home.
Nick: We talked about this yesterday. I was not invited; I had to invite myself. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
Vaughn: I don’t really recall being invited, I more or less just kinda crashed. And I don’t really care if anybody hates it, I just feel like I really need to be a part of rock camp, and that’s why I’ve been coming ever since.
Thomas: I met Peter through J.D. from Rian Beach, from playing at House 801, I think in 04-05, I’m a little fuzzy. I was friends with Levi and Maranda, and met Scott in Heroes and Villains, and they told me immediately after their first camp how much fun it was and that I had to do it, and I was lucky enough that Peter asked me to.
Casey: I guess I was Peter’s second choice for the journalism teacher. I think he emailed Ezra at the Merc[ury], and Ezra couldn’t do it. Maybe then he emailed my old editor Amy and she couldn’t do it, and so I was like, ‘Heck yeah, I want to do it.’ It kind of gave me a feeling of power. But it’s been really really fun and I’ve had a great group of students every year, so I keep coming back.
Amanda: I think the reason we met Peter was we came through town playing shows at the old 801, the Pendleton Overground house. He invited us to the first rock camp, we’ve been coming ever since, and I for one think it’s cool to have the same people and add new counselors every year, cos you start to form relationships with the kids and see how they’ve grown and learned..
Jessica: What’s the most memorable moment of camp?
Scott: What’s most memorable for me and my favorite is Friday, day. The other days are great and you’re getting a lot of work done but you start to see the light in all the kids’ eyes and they know the show’s about to happen, so they’re half nervous and half over the moon excited about the show that night. The work mode usually doubles, and the excitement in the air doubles, and it’s when you see the culmination of all the days before, coming together. All the work you’ve done with them is visible and you can see why you’re here…. Friday is just incredible. And then of course the show. That’s the payoff.
Skyler: …It was just nice that through Peter’s idea that he came up with, it turned into something where kids who can’t always feel comfortable being themselves have an environment, one week out of the year, where they can dress however they want to dress and say what they want to say and be how they want to say and not feel ridiculed or looked at like they’re some sort of weirdo, but in fact belong to something, and I thought that was really neat.
Vaughn: I just like seeing all the great things come out of rock camp. This has really boosted a lot of people’s confidence…
Casey: What makes rock camp special?
Randy: There’s a bunch of things that make it special to me. For one, teaching is not any of our main gigs – maybe we do it on the side, but it’s not a main thing that we do, so we don’t really know what the hell we’re doing. So we’re coming at it with clear heads and full hearts instead of being beaten down and having all these expectations of how it should be done or how it has to be done.
Maranda: We’re learning as much as the kids are.
Randy: How much the community of Pendleton gives to [the camp]. We have this huge place to make it happen in the Arts Center, and a huge talent in Peter to pull everyone together… There’s so much generosity…
Victor: I think Randy just said it – what makes rock camp special is Peter. Every morning he gets us in there at 8:30 and we start having fun immediately with some clapping game or something. Everything is always very positive – be inclusive, have fun… the accent here is ‘Be very positive.’ If you know a kid’s screwing up, you don’t tell him he’s screwing up. Always reinforce that they’re doing a good job, and get them to have fun and they end up playing well, and it seems like they always leave here super happy.
Peter: Everybody that we’ve had help out with rock camp has shared this same vision. I’ve never articulated it like this before but I feel like everybody has the same general idea that we don’t want this to be like high school band class… In rock camp, it’s kind of applied learning – they leave here going like, ‘Oh, maybe I don’t need an Xbox to be a rock star; maybe I can be one in real life – and I got everything I need to know to do that here.’ Rock camp, it’s more like – just go make it up. Do something.
Vaughn: I think rock and roll is still a revolution in the making. Now we’re teaching it.
Andy: It hit me on Monday – seeing returning people, returning faces… It seems like at times in the other years – ‘I’m not a teacher; don’t choose music, kids, cos it’s crazy.’ But then we’re here and we’re teaching it, and trying to figure out how to teach it and I’m really excited about teaching it, but at times it’s like, ‘What are we really doing? Is this really affecting the community?’ It goes back and forth – it’s affecting it greatly, or it’s not, and to be able to keep coming back and having the same people keep coming back, it’s really working on something.
I got there on Monday, and I was yelling to the guitarist, cos it was really loud in there, ‘Nothing is wrong. Do whatever you want.’ It’s a lesson I’ve learned through playing music and it’s cool that we can impart that to them. And that it’s rock n roll and it’s their art and they can do whatever they want. We’re not even reading music.
Matt: Something else I enjoy about rock n roll camp is the other avenues for creativeness… you learn how to do stuff that’s also involved with music, but not necessarily playing the music – it offers the children another area to expand themselves in.
Addison: Coming in and teaching intermediate guitar, you never really knew what they wanted to learn. They don’t give you a lot of input … so you kind of pick something. You need them to trust you that it’s something that’ll be good for them, and I’m trying to tell them, ‘Practice this, it’ll make you better in general,’ and no one really seems that big on it – and then you come back the next day, and I remember seeing Evan, and he’s in the corner, and he’s practicing everything I showed him, and he’s just wailing away on it, and he improved a hundredfold since the day before. I keep seeing other people practicing the stuff, like the scales, and it’s really cool having them actually, you know.
Andy: We don’t even know – how much we’re affecting them.
Wilson: Having Addison sitting here, and Jacki sitting here… What’s been really cool to watch is seeing you [Addison] be the punk kid four years ago. And seeing you walk around today, and when I had questions about how to teach a guitar thing, you were just wandering by, you immediately stopped, taught the thing to the kids, had them totally into it, totally could understand what they were talking about – taught it perfectly. Everywhere you were going – it was incredibly impressive. It just made me so happy. I think of all things, it’s neat – we actually get to see the physical growth of these people and then hang out with them – they become our peers.
Skyler: I can’t help but feel rock camp was a little responsible for that.
Maranda: I get excited. When I’m like twenty miles outside of town, I start speeding up, and I just can’t wait to get here. It’s so much more welcoming, and people are more open and friendlier here than in Portland, and not as pretentious and not afraid to learn. I have something to offer here.
Aaron: Having something to offer. It’s awesome that everybody comes – the counselors, we all come from different musical backgrounds. We all comes different types of bands and different places and our teaching styles and musical styles. By the end of the week we all have our places, and the kids are as eclectic as we are.
Victor: It’s a really great experience, and it’s really great to feel you have something to offer, something to teach. I grew up doing music camps, classical music seminars, and there’s always so much structure, and you learn a lot, but there’s never that feeling of empowerment that you get here – I think everybody knows when they show up Monday morning that they’re responsible ultimately for learning their instrument, starting a band. Any time I’m working with people, it’s always the kids who are just driving exactly what they want to do.
I see what they like in music and I feel like I can kinda help them get a little closer to that, by just encouraging them to do their thing.
Pendleton’s a smaller place – it really wants it.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Rawk Tok Jamboree: What is your biggest inspiration?
Nick Jaina: I would say... Tom Waits and Paul Simon. Paul Simon for his songwriting abilities, his singing abilities, orchestrating abilities. Tom Waits for his ideas for using weird sounds and deconstructing conventions of modern pop music and his passion.
RTJ: What is your favorite part of touring?
NJ: You're in a van for eight hours and hoping you get to the venue on time. You get there and you're hoping that people show up and you can actually get there with the people at the venue remembering you are playing there. And you wait through other bands, and you get up there and you get to play your music...Most of touring is worrying and work.
RTJ: The bands that open for you don't remind you why you are doing what you're doing?
NJ: When you are going to a city for the first time, you're not put on the best bill. They are bands that are just starting out. People just throw bands at you that aren't the same. You have to work at it, it doesn't just magically happen.
RTJ: When you play shows here is Peter pretty good at getting you an opening band?
NJ: Well, Peter is a different kind of promoter. He actually cares. Peter only does shows he wants to do, he does it because he really wants to do it. You would hope there is a Peter in every town.
RTJ: What is the worst part of touring?
NJ: When you go through all of that and feel like its not worth it. You are hoping for any recognition that you are doing something worth while, when you don't get basic human things like that it get to be a drag. You start to wonder how worth it, it is. Every show is a day of your life, getting to that show, playing for it. Ultimately, that's how you feel, all day you're waiting, working towards this thing, if it doesn't go well because of things outside of your control, it's a bummer. But you have another show the next day, another chance.
RTJ: Where are some places you have been?
NJ: We've been all around the country, any city you can think of. New York, Chicago, New Orleans. There there are always the small college town, you aren't expecting them to be good but there is a cool scene and it turns to a place you always go back too.
RTJ: What's the worst concert you've ever played?
NJ: There was this one in Chicago, we got the gig a week or so before. Somebody wrote to me in MySpace "Hey, if you need a show in Chicago here's this." It was a normal bar, but they were trying this new thing with stand up comedians. The bands would play after the comedians, and the guys said that it was really cool, people would come out and stick around. We got there and no one was there, except the four comedians. They weren't remotely funny, they were vulgar, hostile, horrible comedians. And the emcee kept talking and talking and we knew no one was going to come. Our instruments where behind him and we went up and disassembled our instruments, not even saying a word. We just left, that was the worst show ever.
RTJ:Do you look back on it?
NJ: Oh, yeah. When you're living it, it sucks. Now it's funny. Like the time we were playing a show in Canada, and were turned back at the border. That was two days of our lives because we had to reroute our tour because some one didn't get our paperwork. But now it's like, Ha! We got thrown out of Canada!
RTJ: Who are you helping at Rock Camp?
NJ: ...the kids!
RTJ:What surprised you most about the rock camp?
NJ: How good the good kids are. There's allot of people here who could show me a few things! There's allot of good drummer and bass player, good singers.
RTJ:What is your favorite song to listen to before a show?
NJ: That's a good question. Ones that are sung with allot of passion and energy. To remind me to give everything, 100%. Sometimes you forget, "I wanna do this. I wanna go full tilt." It's good to have songs that remind you of that. There's this song by Tom waits, where he sounds like his vocal cords are bursting or bleeding.
RTJ:Peter alluded you had done some street preforming.
NJ: Yeah, it started on tours where we were going to cities we had never been before. How do you get people to know about the show? We don't have a big name, we aren't in the papers, we want people to be there? How do we get the word out? And we needed money for gas and all that. We all played acoustic instruments and it worked out well for our songs. We got really boisterous and it worked, allot of people paid attention. It was a a really cool way to publicise our own shows and not depend on other people. It's worked more often than it hasn't.
RTJ: Well, thank you for letting us interrupt your lunch hour.
NJ: Thank you...Janis Joplin. It's an honor, I thought you were dead!
Pendleton Rock Camp... for some it means improving their musical talent, for others it means starting a band and playing a show. But for all, it means Wilson is coming to town. Being my first year in Pendleton I have not fallen under the charm of Wilson. Now I’ve come to see that Wilson could be the sweetest man to ever enter Umatilla county, but could is the keyword. I’ve acquired some theories that, if proven, could show that Wilson will be the mastermind behind world war 3.Now you might ask “awwwww Wilson’s a sweetheart he could never do anything to anyone, he’s the most beloved guy in Pendleton right now.” A man loved by everyone! How could he be evil? Well how about a country's most loved man at one point, Mr. Adolf Hitler. I have found a direct link between Wilson and the North American Nazi Association (as shown in the picture below.)
You may not believe in Wilson’s affiliation with the Nazi party. I can respect that, I’ll just call you ignorant. But even if I was wrong, answer me this, have you ever seen Wilson without a beard? Why does a man need a beard in August? Could he be hiding something under that beard? In 1926 author H.P. Lovecraft wrote a short story detailing the myth of the dark lord Cthulhu (pronounced Ke-Thoo-Lu.) Now Cthulhu’s mouth is a vast amount of tentacles. Once again I must ask, have you ever seen Wilson without his beard? Could Wilson be…..
So maybe my last two theories could be seen as false. But I what about the obvious? The only counselor that looks like Jesus, Only counselor with a beard (after he attacked Casey Jarman and shaved him clean in vengeance after Casey wrote a poor review about Wilson’s Kid Rock cover band) and the fact you’ve never seen him angry. Now how does the happiest man in Pendleton unleash his anger? Simple, by beating Cambodian children.
By this point the only ones reading this and still not believing in Wilson’s evil are just in denial, So I took this opportunity to go straight to the source of a great evil…Wilson
He got what he had coming.
Anything else Wilson?
Well I set up Saddam Hussein as a puppet Dictator, I won him in a game of poker at his palace, Not a very good gambler. What else... Oh I used to hang around with Pol Pot in Cambodia, great tennis player but the Khmer Rouge thing wasn't my scene.
Wilson, you're horrible.
But in all seriousness, get out to see Point Juncture, WA any chance you get, just don't talk to Wilson. Beyond the beard is a frown.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Some of the songs are slow enough for you to feel a bit lethargic, like the track "I'll Be Waiting In The Sound". There are other songs that have some synth, it doesn't sound like it was pre-made, but homemade and tweaked just enough so it has it's own sound. There was some nicely played acoustic guitar and accordion (or concertina?), that also added to the unique sound of Cecil's CD. I really can't think of anything to compare it to, except maybe a soft rock artist who has a concertina and they wanted to sneak onto the record.
Personally, I can't wait to hear it live. It's going to sound amazing! It's a pretty mellow CD, something you'd listen to as you read or if you are stuck at home one grey, cold fall day. By the end of the CD, it felt like you've just woken up from a pleasant dream you can't wait to go back to. OR, you are so relaxed and in love with the world you are in a daze the rest of the day.
If you get the chance, check out Levi Cecil's 'Everything Is Fine'. It is definitely worth your time to listen to.
We asked Addison, a former student and first-year counselor, some questions about his experiences here.
Addison, you've been at rock camp all four years what have you noticed as far as improvements go?
Addison: It has become less messy, and a lot more organized... I think we have the elimination of fruit punch to thank for that.
What do you like to see the kids doing?
I really like after i teach someone some guitar tricks and i see them practicing what i taught them... I pretty much like whenever i see the kids working hard. It makes me feel awesome.
I have heard quite a few kids saying that you are their least favorite counselor, and that they think you suck.
No. But how would you react to that?
I would cry myself to sleep, and try to improve my teaching habits... Or something.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Rock & Roll Camp: What do you play?
Shane Robbins: Black/ Goldish Gibson voxton
R&RC: Who do you admire as a band that is like yourself?
SR: "The Kill Davids and also the K.K. and the R.R."
R&RC: What kind of music do you listen to?
SR: "Music that makes me want to freak out!"
R&RC: What made you want to do Rock and roll camp?
SR: "The people and the music coming together."
R&RC: How did you choose your bandmates?
SR: "At first it was just me Dalton and Eli, but then Sam took Eli's place for some reason."
R&RC: How long have you played the guitar?
SR: "I've played for 2-3 years."
R&RC: Why do you like music?
SR: "Because it's the only thing in this world that makes sense anymore, and the music itself because I think it's beautiful."
R&RC:Have you wanted to explore other instruments?
SR: "Well maybe singing, but I originally was playing the base and switched to guitar."
R&RC: How long did you play the bass?
SR: "1 year and I still kinda do but I'm more into guitar than bass."
R&RC: What advice do you have for new upcoming bands?
SR: "Don't let the music die in your hearts, just because something is not right."
R&RC: How do you prepare yourself for an upcoming concert?
SR: "A lot of concentration and confidence!"
R&RC: How do you balance music and your everyday life?
SR: "By putting them into one."
R&RC: How does your everyday life impact your music?
SR: "I think it makes it ten times better. It gives me more drive to make songs that will hopefully change the world."
R&RC: What is your outlook on music in itself?
SR: "I find it beautiful, suspenseful, dramatic, I feel it gives us hope for something new."
R&RC: Who is your favorite musician?
SR: "Ozzy Osborne, and everyone else that knows how to make music."
R&RC: Where do you get your inspiration from?
R&RC: Any other gigs coming up, besides R&RC?
SR: "When I find a band."
R&RC: How do you feel towards Peter W.?
SR:" I find him an amazing guy for putting this together and making it happen."
R&RC: Last Words?
SR: "Love the rock, forget the drugs!"
What do you like about your music style?
Amanda:It has soul.
What do you think you need to improve on?
When did you guys become a band?
How are you going to be during the concert?
Is there any pro bands that inspired you?
Well, the songs are actually country and Motown, but we wrote it ourselves!!!
- Fabo Ramirez, Ashley Clark.
- Band One - Evan, Forrest and Miranda. Practice space - Elevator Room
- Band Two
"What?! I can't hear you! What?!"
Poor Chris didn't stand a chance against the floating red...thing
Monday, August 10, 2009
I've seen pants that exact same color, and a shirt, and shoes, and a hat, and...
Nothing says "punk rock" like a lime green bass.
Except a lime green name tag maybe...
These bassists look like they are practicing. In reality, they are
having a philosophical discussion on art and music.
Levi serenades the others. They, however, are not too impressed.