Honor students to put on punk benefit show

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2004

One day this spring, Juneau resident Annie Calkins visited Juneau-Douglas High School to share her tales of a Kenyan town she had visited. A school she toured had few basic supplies.

Students in the National Honor Society at JDHS were so taken by the story, and the pictures, that they're putting on their own benefit punk show. At least six, possibly seven, bands will kick off the summer concert season at Marine Park from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, May 29.

The show is free, but donations will be accepted. Proceeds will help ship educational supplies to Kenyan schools in need.

Lifted, Angry Angry Death Slug, Canadian Shortstack, Spasm, Groping for Elmo and an as-of-now-untitled metal band are on the tentative bill. All the groups are either high school bands or include at least one high school student.

"It's basically a fund-raiser to raise money to ship books to Kenya," said Juneau-Douglas junior Connie Loken, a member of National Honor Society in charge of publicity. "(Calkins) said the students didn't have any pencils or paper."

The show isn't part of the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council's Friday Concert in the Park summer series. That starts June 11 with a 7 p.m. appearance by the Thunder Mountain Big Band.

"You can expect some quality music, some good entertainment on the weekend," said JDHS senior Adam Durand, bass player in Spasm and the metal band, vocalist in Death Slug. "There will be food there - cookies and snacks - and you can give donations if you want. They can expect a quality original music setting, brought to you from Juneau, Alaska."

Most of the bands have been around a year or two. Death Slug formed after a JDHS talent show in which Durand was playing a bass solo and Josh Jeffries was playing a guitar solo. They recruited bassist Alexei Painter and drummer Walker Janelle. Durand switched from bass to vocals.

A quick look at the lineup so far:

• Lifted, a Christian rock band which put out a release on local label Dave's Bedroom Records.

• Angry Angry Death Slug - "It's sort of punk," Durand said. "It's like if you had a punk band, but then had a really good guitarist that played metal solos."

• Canadian Shortstack - "They do a lot of covers," Durand said. "They do some nice melodic things, not hardcore, but cool and easy as opposed to jumping around screaming."

• Spasm - "It's a mix," Durand said. "It's sort of what happens when you put band geeks together that know music theory but want to play rock music. You get this pseudo-Bach, punk stuff."

• Groping for Elmo - "Very punk," Durand said. "They do a lot of covers, and their lead guitar player, Wes Boatwright, does a real good job of emulating the classic punk voice of bands like Rancid. They're really good."

• The as-of-now-unnamed metal band

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