When the music teachers at Boise Rock School offered their first weeklong camp for at-risk youth and refugees in 2012, they werent entirely prepared for five Nepalese teenagers who appeared.
These kids spoke little to no English. They knew next to nothing about American music and culture. School co-founder Ryan Peck remembers noticing the teens trying desperately to fit in a quest made apparent by their not-always-hip fashion choices.
They wanted so hard to be cool, but they dont really know whats cool, he says.
Versatile musician and teacher Thomas Paul got creative while leading that group. There was no handing these kids a guitar and teaching them a standard Led Zeppelin lick.
I guess theres these sort of traditional Nepalese chants, Peck explains. And they made them into rock songs!
These kids actually kept attending. We let them come for free pretty much the whole year.
This sort of gratifying experience is what makes the faculty at Boise Rock School, 1404 W. Idaho St., excited and proud to offer a second camp from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 19-23. Its open to any kid who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
Students are chosen through nominations emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading Free Camp. Include the students name, age and instrument choice, along with a brief description of why the student should attend an awesome week of rocking, as Peck puts it.
Students should be between the ages of 6 and 18 and can have any level of music experience from total beginner to virtual expert.
The camp has a limit of 32 students but wound up with 36 last year.
Well probably end up with close to 40, Peck admits, which just ends up a little bonkers.
The free camp is a lot of extra work. Refugees often do not have transportation, so the Rock School teachers drive a van around picking them up.
Were bustin our butt, Peck says. But its really rad. And its great for us.
This type of program is more important than ever now that the Treasure Valley has just one rock school for kids. School of Rock, a franchise in Eagle, recently closed.
Boise Rock School, which opened in 2007, has evolved into a diverse creativity center. Peck says that card-carrying rock music performances are now a minority among the styles created by students.
Now its like kids writing original music, kids recording music. And maybe the music is like synth-pop or folk or whatever.
I guess the rock attitude is still there, he says, but theres not as many kids doing straight-up AC/DC.
WHAT HAPPENED TO NORTHWEST CHILIFEST?
You know that cushion-vibrating noise caused by ingesting too many beans? So far, thats the soundtrack to Northwest ChiliFest, which was hyped at Boisechilifest.com all the way up to the day it was supposed to start: Aug. 8.
Until the website suddenly was updated, information there said it was happening Aug. 8-10, 2013, at Meridians Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, including 50 amateur chili enthusiasts competing for cash prizes totalling $10,000, along with concerts by 80s hair band Warrant and country singer Collin Raye. (Newsflash: Warrant frontman Jani Lane died of alcohol poisoning in 2011.)
ChiliFest was cooked up by one of the players behind last months much-maligned Northwest RibFest, which got tossed out of Kleiner Park and wound up taking place at the Idaho Center Amphitheater in Nampa.
The organizers of (Northwest ChiliFest) pulled their permit after the City Council denied the temporary-use permit for RibFest, explained city of Meridian Communications Manager Natalie Podgorski via email.
But wait! Northwest ChiliFest still might be simmering. The website now says the event has been postponed and that new details will be available soon.
Im told that the Idaho Center Amphitheater has penciled in Oct. 4-5 as hold dates for a rescheduled ChiliFest, so well see what happens.
Pass the Beano.
LOCAL SPORTS RADIO
Thinking mans local sports talk radio? In the Boise market? Could it happen?
On Aug. 5, KTIK 93.1 FM added a new local show to its weekday lineup.
Bob and Murph hosted by Boise State play-by-play announcer Bob Behler and Idaho Statesman sports columnist Brian Murphy airs from 1 to 3 p.m. With Idaho Sports Talk with Caves and Prater running from 3 to 6 p.m., it makes for a five-hour block of local sports-talk radio.
While Caves and Prater often choose to take a Dumb & Dumber route of listener jabs and Caves cackles, Behler and Murphy have a more analytic, straightfaced approach.
Were trying to be sports talk, Murphy says, emphasizing the two words. No shtick, no games. Issue of the day. What sports fans want to talk about.
CONCERT, EVENT UPDATES
A tour supporting the long-running Fox TV series So You Think You Can Dance is headed to Boise for the first time.
The 42-city trek, celebrating the shows 10th season, will stop at Taco Bell Arena on Monday, Nov. 18.
The performance will feature the Top 10 finalists of 2013: Aaron Turner, Amy Yakima, Fik-Shun, Hayley Erbert, Jasmine Harper, Jenna Johnson, Makenzie Dustman, Nico Greetham, Paul Karmiryan and Tucker Knox.
Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. event go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at BoiseStateTickets.com for $29.50, $42.50 and $55.
West Coast Fest, headlined by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, was abruptly rescheduled two days before the event.
The concert, slated to occur Aug. 10 at the Revolution Center in Garden City, will now take place Oct. 19.
IN SCENE AUG. 16
Craft beer is showing up increasingly not just in cans, but in unusual cans.
The Western Idaho Fair is right around the corner. We have the scoop on the hottest events and newest midway rides.
Boise Philharmonics Picnic at the Pops series leads off with Latin Fever.
Michael Deeds column runs Fridays in Scene and Sundays in Life. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @IDS_Deeds