The true rockstar experience

Music's Edge is a unique music program that resides at the WOW Hall in Eugene, OR.

Since 2007, this program has offered motivated young musicians the opportunity to be a part of an intensive musical community with some real rock n roll grime to it.  

A top-notch staff made up of pro, working musicians and amazing guest artists make Music's Edge an unforgettable experience.  



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Big Friday Nite Show (Part 2 -- My Group "Llama in a Box"): 


Music's Edge Rock Camp, Big Friday Nite Show (Part 2 -- My Group "Llama in a Box"):

(Opener) "Born in the USA," Bruce Springsteen:
My dual-drummers opened into that big 80's no-hi-hat beat. Tiny Maci on bass hit a big bass note with the three guitarists' giant power chord. Rui & Izzi locked in the dramatic riff on piano. I held up a "V" to cue the verse. The rhythm section kicked into the groove, and Eliot began belting at the top of his lungs. I got goosebumps when The WOW Hall crowd howled as the…

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Friday Nite Big Show at The WOW Hall 

Music's Edge Rock Camp, Friday Nite Big Show at The WOW Hall (Part 1 -- Preparation):

There is still much blogging left. I hope you can stay tuned for 2-3 more installments.

After camp dismantles at 3:00pm, all 6 groups must sound check, in reverse order of show lineup, by 7:00pm when doors open. 50 kids, half of whom never done this before.
My group, "Llama in a Box," goes home for rest, snacks, and wardrobe. They return to the Hall at 6:10pm for their turn at 6:30 check, observing the prior band at…

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Session II, Day 5 (Friday): But they come back into the room ready to rock, always. 

Music's Edge Rock Camp, Session II, Day 5 (Friday):

It's Sunday, and I'm finally getting my bloggings to screen for the final two whirlwind days.

We had crossed the threshold of diminishing returns. So tired, so much ear-fatigue (volume is extreme in our Greenroom space). We weren't getting better, just making more mental mistakes. Face-palms and laughter. "Can we just be done?" Why not? The kids were utterly confident about the show -- more so than any other group I've had. But I'm paid to keep the kids…

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Rock Camp Incident Report: 

Rock Camp Incident Report:

As expected, dissension over the name “Albinio Mosquito” came to a head. We are now “Llama in a Box.” (Amended from “Throw the Llama Out the Window.”)

Simple unanimous agreement caused group euphoria. I suggested Eliot practice shouting the name during our final rumble. Owen counter-suggested “shouting our name while running down the street.” Before I could deter them with “Hey, no! If I lose kids I get fired!” Half of them were a block away, with Maci — the smallest — face-flat…

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Session II, Day 4 (Thursday): With the structures nailed down, we're focusing on details... 

Music's Edge Rock Camp, Session II, Day 4 (Thursday):

With the structures nailed down, we're focusing on details. The group takes frequent breaks while I take individuals aside for performance pointers. (I witness their comfort & confidence increase with their understandings.)

Guest roving vocal coach Melody Bell spirited 3 of my singers away for private sessions. When they returned for Bon Jovi, they lifted the band to new level. Also, Thursday is Soda-Day, and the caffeine-sugar was kicking in. This…

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Session II, Day 3 (Wednesday): The kids love "band meetings." We have our band name: "Albino Mosquit 

Music's Edge Rock Camp, Session II, Day 3 (Wednesday):

The kids love "band meetings." We have our band name: "Albino Mosquito," which hints at the Nirvana tune in our set.
Speaking of which, pianist Rui (pronounced "Ray," from Hong Kong), is taking the solo. He's classically trained, so I transcribed it for him. (As a guitarist, I haven't written music out in a dozen years, and I'm waiting for him to point out that I'm doing it wrong.) The song is difficult for all. Thesections go by so fast -- Verse, bam!…

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Session II, Day 2 (Tuesday): Very productive. By the 2:30 band meeting... 

Music's Edge Rock Camp, Session II, Day 2 (Tuesday):

Very productive. By the 2:30 band meeting, we had our 5 tunes, with the possibility of adding a ballad. We got our grooves, endings, fancy parts decided, solos assigned, and arrangements edited to suit our strengths and limitations. 3rd year guitarist Owen says we are farther along than usual by this time.
This session's theme is 1978 -- any 40 year-old charting song. I came up with Bob Seger. (To which Niko quips, "Is it a tradition that we have to do…

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Session II, Day 1 (Monday). Over 50 kids! We added a 6th grown-up 

Music's Edge Rock Camp, Session II, Day 1 (Monday):

Over 50 kids! We added a 6th grown-up -- former camper Philip Michael Etherington (home from Berklee College of Music). We set up his group on the patio. (Where I used to teach until I moved 'em into the Green Room.)

During the big meeting, "Clipboard-Tim" (formerly "Two-Phones Tim McLaughlin) asked an important question: "Has the term "headbanging" completely given way to "moshing." Answer: 
They are interchangeable. However, "moshing" is over 25 years…

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Holy Smokes! Another Rock Camp cometh 'round the bend. 

Holy Smokes! Another Rock Camp cometh 'round the bend. So I better finish up my bloggins about last week's session.
A few words about the other guys and their whippersnappers 
(And the obligatory anti-climactic Saturday "Day" show at Eugene Saturday Market):

Dan Mahoney is the new guy -- replacing "Crazy-for-a-Reason" Zak Johnson, who was dearly missed by many of the kids. (Zak rocks a new career and side gigs with Cherry Poppin' Daddies & David Jacobs-Strain).
Although Dan has…

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Big Show Re-Cap 

Music's Edge Rock Camp, Big Show Re-Cap (Part 1 — My Group, “Iguana Gods”)

Sound Check: Graduated from tiny practice amps to 100-Watt monsters. 2 full drum kits now. Co-operating w/ sound-techs while panicking, shouting worries all at once. In 15 minutes, we re-tune 4 guitars & bass, adjust amps, find several settings on 2 keyboards, lyrics & chords-charts for all. (Jack uses a capo, so he needs different chords.) Adjust drums and stool heights for little guys. (Thanks to the gracious aid of the older…

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