Just two short weeks ago our very own Music Director Russell Wiener and his band “The Title Trackers” rocked out at the Abbey Pub in Chicago and followed the performance up with a private gathering in the suburbs. Because Russell and the band are based in Los Angeles, he reached out to some Beber Alumni that have gone through the Beber Music Program to help. Even our very own Stefan Teodosic and board member Aaron Hadley got on stage and rocked out to some Britney Spears.

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The Title Trackers are a rock and roll satire, and their album Lost Title Tracks is a loving parody of their biggest influences and musical heroes. They took 10 classic albums with no title track and created them! For example, The Beatles album “Let It Be” has a song called “Let It Be” – that’s the title track. But The Trackers noticed that many albums don’t – from the Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” to U2’s “The Joshua Tree” and many more. So Russell and the Trackers wrote those songs, and performed then in the style of the band.

Below are some quotes from the Beber alumni that helped make the show possible and a final quote from Russell himself.

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— Sam Subar (Camper, approx 2009-2011) – “Beber Camp provided me with the opportunity to cultivate my love for music into something greater than it had ever been. At camp, I learned how to musically connect with other people on stage in front of an audience. To this day this is something that I deeply cherish and continue to grow upon. Most importantly, camp taught me how to feel confident and independently explore outside of my comfort zone.

Performing with Russell and his band The Title Trackers, as well reconnecting with other people I knew from Beber Camp was super fun. Playing a few professional gigs with Russell, who was always an awesome musical mentor at camp, sorta made me think for a moment and realize: “Wow, I’ve really grown since then.” I know a lot of that growing may have not happened in the incredible way it did without Russell and the resources and support the Beber Camp community provided me with at a young age.”

— Sarah Steiner (Camper approx 2007-2013, music staff 2014-2015) –  “It was incredible being able to perform with Russell and the rest of the Title Trackers! It gave me an opportunity that I would never have gotten had I not known Russell for years from camp. It was so fun being able to get on stage with other past campers and perform in an actual venue. It truly was a remarkable experience getting to live the life of a rockstar for a weekend.”

— Isaac French (Camper approx 2007 – 2011, music staff 2013) – “Playing music as an adult is one of the most gratifying things that came from being at camp.  Aside from the relationships I made, it’s the biggest takeaway.  I first picked up an instrument and performed on a real stage at camp and guess what, that’s basically all there was to what The Title Trackers + Beber Trackers did Saturday night.  It’s why we do what we do on a regular basis. Get up there, strut your stuff, surprise yourself and have some fun.

Beber teaches that in spades though, not just to music campers:  It’s a safe environment for kids to come, feel natural and in doing so, do/pursue whatever their passions are.  It’s a big world out there and having a niche where you get to check your baggage at the door is essential to trying new things and growing.

If I didn’t have Crown Hall, there’d be no Abbey Pub, no Cubby Bear, no HOB, no nothin’;  It all started there.

Getting on stage (you may hear this from every performer) makes me feel alive.  It’s an adrenaline rush and you, essentially, get to do whatever you want. Being on it with old friends made it even better.  We were all on the same page, we enjoyed the music we played (and you WON’T hear that from every performer) and it fostered the relationships we built in Mukwonago.

Everything about it was so Beber, and I’m so thankful for that.

Peace, love and happiness

Tracker Isaac out”

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— Russell – It was truly gratifying to be able to make a few calls and emails, when we realized it was economically unfeasible to fly our entire band to Chicago for a show, and have drums, guitar, and backing vocals so quickly and so skillfully covered by former Beber campers and staff. We had exactly one 4-hour rehearsal to go over 9 complicated songs in 9 different styles as a band, one night before our show.

Under most circumstances I’d be nervous, but in this case I wasn’t, because that’s exactly how many hours are spent in camp bands rehearsing before they play in front of the entire camp! 5 hobby days, 6 hours, 2 of which are always spent deciding on a song to play, a band name, costumes, etc. Plus coming up with arrangements, learning parts… it’s a blitz!

It’s no mistake that good players are created at camp, and good players improve their skills at camp. Because in the real world you will never be in a situation where you have 4 hours to prep for a whilrwind music festival in front of 400 people.

So I knew very well that Sam Subar, who I hadn’t seen in 4 years, would nail the drums; that Isaac French would almost effortlessly glide from song to song glibly catching all the nuances in his own particular style; and that Sarah Steiner would belt out the vocals like she always does and then help get us organized on stage like she is so adept at doing at camp.

We cannot wait to play in Chicago again so we can give it another whirl with these cats!

The Title Trackers put out the album on vinyl-only in March, and released on iTunes a few weeks ago! They’ve gotten rave reviews from outlets like The LA Times, WXRT Chicago, Ultimate Classic Rock blog, and Audiophile.net.

To preview the music, videos, and to buy the album (vinyl/CD or iTunes) head to www.thetitletrackers.com/music

If you purchase on iTunes be sure to leave a comment about the album! Thanks!

The Title Trackers