Reading, Writing, Rock & Roll

The Real School of Rock

If only I'd attended The Paul Green School of Rock Music instead of wasting my adolescence rocking, alone, in my room. Maybe then I'd be preparing to take over the world like these single-minded scamps.

The Paul Green School of Rock Music is an original, performance based, interactive music school in Philadelphia that corrals children onto a tour bus and sends them around America with a fitful fistful of legendary rock songs: from Zeppelin to the Doors to Zappa and back again. A humble Harvard of guitar slinging virtuosity, the School is one of many new sincere efforts to organize the next generation of rock demigods.

The group of young 'uns was recently the subject of a documentary called Rock School (not to be confused with Jack Black's comedy romp School of Rock). The doc follows Paul Green and his students, a ragtag crew that includes nine-year-old twin boys and a 14-year-old guitar wizard named CJ. The School pushes its pupils to the next level--a fact proved with fire breathing, preteen Kiss cover bands, smoke machines, and lots of heavy metal hair.

You want to see these kids. You want them to blow your mind. But most of all you want them to ROCK. EVAN JAMES

Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, Friday, August 13, 8 pm, $10

Comics and Animation Fest

It's Cartoony Time!

Anybody who doesn't like cartoons is probably a horrible person who can't be trusted, has no friends, and kicks puppies. You're not one of those horrid people, of course--but it doesn't hurt to prove it, perhaps by visiting Nocturnal for an afternoon and evening of cartoon-filled fun.

First, there's the Comic Art Battle, which features two teams competing with comics-related challenges--from inventing a character to filling in those little word bubbles. The battle's stakes are high, with the indie artists of "Team Alternative" facing off against the superhero-lovin' "Team Mainstream." Both teams will fight with their mighty pens... with nothing less than eternal funny-book dominance hanging in the balance!

Afterward, catch the last night of the second annual Portland Indie Animation Fest. Featuring local and international animation in a wild range of styles, tonight's lineup boasts screenings of this year's entries, audience voting, the awards ceremony, and a recap of last year's best submissions. So either see some cartoon artists do their thing, or try to sleep with the knowledge that you'll burn in Hell for kicking puppies. ERIK HENRIKSEN

Comic Art Battle, 3-5 pm, $2. Portland Indie Animation Fest, 8 pm, $3. Both are at Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, Saturday, August 14