Reggy's wasn't my only rock 'n' roll adventure last Saturday; in the afternoon, I also swung by the Girls Rock! Chicago Kick-Off Celebration at Josephinum Academy in Wicker Park.
Yet another outgrowth of Baby Boomers striving to relive their youth through their offspring, as well as an example of the dreaded phenomenon of helicopter parenting, a number of expensive, corporate,'60s-centric "School of Rock" programs have sprung up in recent years to grab fists full of mommy and daddy's dollars while teaching junior how to "rock out" playing "Smoke on the Water" -- a vastly inferior alternative, if you ask me, to him gathering with friends in the basement, making a glorious noise of his own, and puking in the corner after drinking too much cheap wine.
Girls Rock! Chicago is a very different story. Part of a national alliance of similar programs across the country -- one of the first, in Portland, was strongly backed by Sleater-Kinney and the subject of a 2008 documentary entitled "Girls Rock!" -- this is a non-profit program staffed entirely by female volunteers from the local music community dedicated to teaching girls ages 8 to 16 to express themselves through guitars, bass, drums, or the DJ's turntables. It started with one week-long program in August 2006; this year, it's grown so popular that there are two camp sessions, both already filled to capacity, and both ending with the campers strutting their stuff onstage at Metro playing the songs they wrote, practiced, and recorded with their peers.