Listening to Rock School Jam (2005-05-25)

Movie City Indie links to the New York Times article on a current boom in documentaries. Rock School is part of this boom, covering in nonfiction what Richard Linklater's The School of Rock portrayed in fiction. (Unlike nearly every other movie I mention in this blog, I haven't seen The School of Rock.)

I enjoyed the documentary quite a bit; I enjoyed Paul Green's teaching style very little. I doubt that speaking to kids on their level requires berating them. Also, I wondered about their eventual goal to be rock stars. Does anyone become a star in a cover band? Is composition ever taught? The one girl in the documentary that mentioned composing her own songs appeared to stop doing so when Paul belittled her Sheryl Crow style.

Apparently I need to go to rock night school, because I didn't recognize many of the songs in the jam at Neumos after the film. I did recognize Santana's "Black Magic Woman," Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Heart's "Barracuda" (performed with Ann Wilson), Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder (also present), B-52's "Rock Lobster", and Eminem's "8 Mile." Eddie Vedder said that Paul Green told him which song to play, and told him he'd better play it well since the Seattle audience was his neighbors!

While C.J. Tywoniak is the guitar-playing child prodigy of the group, recent Rock School graduate Louis Graff played excellent guitar while also acting like a rock star, complete with facial expressions and jumps into the audience. After the concert I congratulated Louie (and his "adopted mother" Robin Slick). The lead singers, in contrast, were often expressionless (despite their vocal intensity) and occasionally looked a little bored. I again wondered if technical perfection is enough to become a star.


William said...

Jamie also provides a review, plus links to a press kit and an NYT review.

William said...

The SIFFblog review by Amie Simon of Rock School and Rock School Jam suggests an experience very similar to mine.