The School of Rock
February 18, 2011
Last weekend I took some pictures of Rock Block, a program through a local non-profit where kids form a rock band, write their own songs, rehearse once a week and then play a big show at the end of 10 weeks at an actual legit venue in town, on a stage and everything with a lighting guy and a real sound system. It’s pretty sweet seeing these kids work together, coming up with song ideas (Pizza! Ice Cream! Basketball!…those were a few at the top of the list) and simply having fun with an adult in charge who takes the band as seriously as if it were their own.
I work with a girl who is completely and proudly obsessed with New Kids on the Block, and not, mind you, the 80s version of the band, but rather the 40 year old comeback version that to my ears, just sounds wrong. Everything about it. Wrong. But although she and I may exist at opposite ends of the musical spectrum, the one area where I know she’s right is that seeing them live would probably be totally awesome. Awesome in that surreal, where-am-I, I-can’t-believe-those-guys-are-40-and-still-writing-songs-for-teenagers sort of way. If someone paid for my ticket, I would definitely go. It would be such a ridiculous spectacle, with the dancers and pyrotechnics, smoke machines and whatever else they do at those kinds of shows these days, shoot off canons or fireworks that turn into dragons, who knows. I have to admit, I’m intrigued.
After being forced to listen to their latest album too many times to count, I got to thinking that rather than the New Kids getting back together, which I wish with my whole heart they never had done, they could’ve instead started a non-profit that would team up with a program like Rock Block and turn their final show into a spectacular extravaganza, complete with every bell and whistle in the book. It would be the coolest thing ever, like the finale of that movie School of Rock, every kids’ rock star dream, fulfilled. And then everyone would talk about how “those guys from New Kids are the greatest guys ever!” and they would go down in history as, dare I say it, cool. Instead of now where I keep asking myself over and over, why? Why New Kids, why?
My advice, use the pyrotechnics for good.