If you missed this weekend's Detroit Film Theatre presentation, you'd best go to your Netfilx list and add Girls Rock! to your list so you can get it as soon as it hits DVD. The documentary takes you inside the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls -- which is basically the coolest camp to which you could send your little lady. Not only did it look like an amazing amount of fun, the camp helps girls hone basic fundamentals that they'll be able to use in all aspects of life -- team work, self-esteem building, conflict resolution, self-defense, stage presence...
At the beginning of the film, one of the instructors says: "Even if some of these girls never play their camp instrument again after this, we still have a chance to really reach them." That much is true. Watching some of the focused-on participants really grow and blossom over the five day period was inspiring' this camp will be something they'll never forget.
The movie had, not surprisingly, a very "riot grrrl" feel to the presentation -- complete with music by Bikini Kill and footage featuring the Gossip's Beth Ditto as one of the camp's vocal instructors. It makes generational sense to me that camps like this would be growing in popularity right now -- the "riot grrrl" generation is now at the age where they're having kids -- and recognizing the role music played in their lives growing up, they see an opportunity for the next generation to be inspired and empowered by rock even earlier than they were.
Today's rock n' roll world is more open to women, but it's still very much male dominated. The "riot grrrl" generation had Kathleen Hannah, Kim Gordon, PJ Harvey, Kim Deal, Liz Phair... that is, women who were kicking some major ass and doing it their way and getting quite a bit of notoriety for it -- even Top 40 radio play! Today's girls have to wade through a lot more mainstream, fake breasted garbage to find that kind of authentic voice. A camp like this one really opens the doors for girls in so many ways -- and shows them how to walk through those doors with skill and confidence.
So who's doing stuff like this in the Detroit area? Whether girls or mixed gender, I would love to hear from and talk to you...
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