SXSW Watch 2009: Girls Rock Camp SXSW Day Party

If I’d had an option like Girls Rock Camp Austin when I was a teenager, I might have avoided this shiny pink catastrophe:Far worse than the pastel-hued wardrobe, was my overly-eager-to-please attitude and willingness to let others decide who I was and what I wanted. I loved playing the piano, and I dutifully went to chorus practice and piano recitals. But I really wanted to be a badass musician. Confident. Funny. Cool. And maybe even a little bit of a trouble-maker.

It took me ’til my 30s to learn that the opinion that matters most is my own, and that yes, you can play Chopin and Beethoven, then follow it up with something (gasp!) completely made up. It’s OK to noodle around, produce funny noises, sing too loud, and make tons of mistakes.

So, yeah… something like Girls Rock Camp Austin might have saved me a few decades of bad clothes and bad self-image. Plus, it looks FUN.

Girls Rock Camp Austin is a day camp exclusively for girls where counselors teach campers guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals. The campers form bands and learn to write original songs, then perform together at the camp’s finale. CAN YOU EVEN?! So cool.

I have to quote from the mission statement on the Camp’s web site because it makes me shout, “F*ck, yeah!”

Our primary goal is building girls’ self-esteem through musical performance and artistic creativity. This is not a camp for the American Idol-inclined. Turning girls into stars is not our main goal, although it would not necessarily be a bad by-product. Rather, we are a nonprofit dedicated to empowerment.

Again: F*ck, yeah.

So… you might not be a girl and you might be too old for day camp, but you are certainly not too old to do the following:

1) go after your dream of rockstardom
… however you define it. Pullups? A trek up a mountain? Telling your secret crush they’re the cat’s meow? Writing a book? Taking photos? Playing the drums? I finally ditched the pink satin and joined not one, but two rock bands. And while I’m not the greatest keyboard player out there, I bet I have the most fun!

2) go to the Girls Rock Camp SXSW Day Party

It’s FREE! No wristbands or badges or invitations necessary!

You can win a Daisy Rock guitar!

It’s all-ages and family-friendly!

This is the only party in town with free, easy parking!

It’s got chicks bringing the rocking!

Date: Friday, March 20
Place: Whole Foods Market rooftop patio

2:45 Fabi Reyna – Camp graduate! (Austin, TX)
3:00 Peggy Sue (Brighton, England UK)
3:40 BO-PEEP (Tokyo, Japan)
4:20 Rank + File – Camp graduate! (Austin, TX)
4:30 Follow that Bird! (Austin, TX)
5:10 Hesta Prynn (from Northern State)(New York, NY)
5:50 The Coathangers (Atlanta, GA)
6:40 Adrian and the Sickness (Austin, TX)

NOTE: Not only do Adrian and the Sickness completely, TOTALLY rock, I interviewed Adrian for a magazine, and she couldn’t have been more charming. She’s soft-spoken, intelligent, generous, and she f*cking SHREDS on the guitar.

The Brave Ones

Come along with me on a Friday romp — this story is going to weave together punk rock dreams, self-publishing, Roller Derby, Social Distortion, and...

Read More
Brian Williams + Sugarhill Gang

When I was about 12 years old, I went roller skating at the Roller Roost II every weekend, and I was desperately in love with...

Read More