Retrograde’s over, we’ve moved into Taurus season, and the snow has finally disappeared for good. It’s almost summertime, which means three things: cut-offs, camp, and second Halloween.
If you’ve never celebrated second Halloween, you’ve been missing a solid costume opportunity. But this weekend in Columbus, you can remedy that horror – Grrls Rock Columbus is hosting a Halfway to Halloween matinee and cover band showcase on Saturday, raising funds for this summer’s iteration of the camp.
Grrls Rock has become a Columbus staple. Started in 2013, the camp offers music lessons (as well as every-summer, can’t-miss-it camp stuff… hello, capture the flag!) to girls, trans, and gender-variant youth from ages twelve to eighteen. It’s an opportunity for transitionally-aged kids to delve into the music world in a supportive and educative environment – one that prioritizes the creativity and voices of those who often don’t get put on mainstream stages. The Grrrls learn instruments, create bands, and step into the spotlight for two concerts. Payments for the camp are sliding scale with available financial aid; volunteers are sourced from the Columbus community; and the campers are matched with mentors. Basically, it’s a youth development dream.
Dreamy, too, is the list of bands getting covered at this weekend’s event. At the matinee, which is all ages and will be held at Used Kids Records, The Hex Girls and Diva as Devo start at 5pm. Then, at 9, head over to Summit, where the line-up includes cover-band-versions of The Cranberries, Sleater-Kinney, Rihanna, Cat Power, Bauhaus, and Shania Twain (I’m guessing the cover artist didn’t expect Shania to be canceled by twitter so close to the show…it happens). The show costs a $5 donation, and costumes are encouraged.
What’s remarkable about the fundraiser, though, isn’t the chance to wear your sparkles–it’s the number of Columbus musicians who will be playing at the event. The Cranberries’ band is made up of members from Didi and Field Sleeper; the Devo iteration by Foxx Smoulder; Cat Power channeled by Pony Dog. The cover show should be weird and wonderful, and I’m looking forward to hearing crossovers between musicians old and new; the styles of each knitting together to make music specific to the space in which it will be created.
Intersections between local artists and local youth organizations are so important, especially with on-going budget cuts to creative programming in schools. There is no way to ethically build a community without that community’s input, and burgeoning artists deserve a seat at the table, joined by mentors they can trust. And though not all of the musicians playing on Saturday will or should take mentorship roles, I’m glad to see the way that GRRRLS rock is woven together by many varied threads.