Gig Seeker Pro


Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Schooled! Wilson High’s Starparty prepares for the best summer ever."

The first time I heard Starparty’s Caleb Misclevitz sing, he was 15 years old and trying to perfect Elliott Smith’s “Rose Parade” in a basement practice room at the Portland outpost of School of Rock. “The trumpet has obviously been drinking,” he sang nervously. “’Cause he’s fucking up even the simplest lines.” Misclevitz forced the swear loudly, finding power in the rebellion the word represented.

A year and a half later, the 16-year-old singer-guitarist is a bit taller and a lot less nervous. It’s the last day of school for seniors at Wilson High, where Misclevitz and his Starparty bandmates—16-year-old bassist Raine Frederickson and 17-year-old drummer Sonia Weber—attend classes. Just before 2 pm, cars peel out in the parking lot while teens trade hugs and playful punches on the school’s front steps. Starparty meets me at a nearby park after school. A few minutes into our interview, Misclevitz cracks up mid-answer. “Sorry,” he says, his bemused gaze focused on a small flock of noisy kids 20 feet away. “The people smoking weed in the background are distracting me.”

There are a lot of distractions for teenage rock bands. Weber—a longtime punk fan who has increasingly dabbled in metal (today she’s sporting a cryptic Dethklok T-shirt)—says she’s been in a few different groups, but Starparty is the first one to feel like a real band. Most high school bands lack direction, she says. “They don’t know how to get shows—they don’t know how to take the next step to actually make it something that’s productive.”

The Portland public school system can’t help much in that arena; Wilson High has some music classes (including a guitar class Weber thought was “boring”), but many Portland public schools don’t offer music. That’s where the members of Starparty have a leg up on their classmates: In 2007, they all attended the Paul Green School of Rock, a national chain of for-profit music schools that opened a Portland location in 2006. “It does sound lame, because it’s called School of Rock,” Misclevitz admits. But when he actually began taking lessons (from former Portland teacher and musician Ben Barnett, who now runs the school’s Seattle branch), it opened up his entire musical world. “I think in my first guitar lesson I didn’t even touch my guitar; he just gave me a list of like 20 different records to listen to,” he says. “And I went out and listened to all of them. I think there was one I didn’t like.”

The ’90s-era indie rock bands Barnett recommended—Built to Spill, Superchunk and the more obscure wordy Illinois pre-emo outfit Braid among them—are evident in the developing thrust of Starparty’s sound (Misclevitz and Frederickson, who had previously been “a Hutch and Kathy thing,” added Weber in late 2008). From the clean, spiraling guitar on “Skydiving” to the Operation Ivy-esque departures of “Cute Names for Dangerous Things,” the band—which records to digital 8-track rather than Pro Tools or GarageBand—has its roots in music released well before the band came of age.

But Starparty’s lyrics, written primarily by Misclevitz, help set the band apart from its influences. Misclevitz writes from the unique perspective of a kid who’s got his whole life ahead of him, but is struggling with what that phrase really means: “Life is not a box of chocolates; life is like an airplane ride,” he sings on “Skydiving.” “And holding your breath won’t make you survive/ And the drinks are falling down, crash position’s assumed/ There’s nothing left that we can do.”

But the most pressing threat to Starparty’s existence isn’t life’s metaphorical airplane crash, it’s graduation. Weber has one year of high school left, while Misclevitz and Frederickson have two. The band’s seemingly bright future—it won 20 hours of recording time at the Vault recording studio and an opening slot at this Thursday’s Cleveland High fundraiser by winning a Battle of the Bands in April (full disclosure: I was one of four judges)—is one reason Weber tentatively plans to attend PSU after high school. “The goal is just stay together,” Frederickson says, pulling his shaggy blond hair out of his eyes. “Because it’s so much fun playing with each other.”

Misclevitz, ever the realist, provides a glimpse into his own post-high-school plans: “I don’t think it’s easy to get a place to live anywhere but here.” - Casey Jarman

Willamette Week - Willamette Week


We only have our self-produced 8 track demos, and the recordings from our radio show up on our myspace. We have yet to release/record anything professionally, but we hope to have a full album in the next few months.



We're Starparty from sunny Portland, Oregon. We play medium sized independent rock and roll music for anybody who will listen. We consist of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. We refuse to use any crazy pedals or effects on our guitars or vocals. Every single song is 100% original and from the heart. Caleb and I (Raine) have been playing music together for over 5 years now. We have played with a couple drummers now and therefore, have changed our music's style as we matured and moved on with our songs. Last summer, Caleb and I decided to play our collection of songs to a drum machine through Fruity Loops. We had a lot of fun mapping out drum beats to our songs, but all we could come up with were disco beats and fills. We decided to go out and look for a drummer who was as dedicated to the music as we were. We met up with Sonia, who we had previously been friends with us through other friends and through Paul Green's School of Rock, and gave her our D.I.Y. 8track recording of our prized song, appropriately titled: 'This Better Get Better' which is currently stuck in the head of our newly recruited "Merch Girl" Ashley Lister. Although not a part of the band, she has played an important role recently in promoting our shows. A little more than a month after giving Sonia our demo, we were having regular, weekly practice. We eventually wrote 4 or 5 songs and entered ourselves into the Music In the School's High School Battle of the Bands for Portland Public Schools. We had only been playing for a little bit and were already anticipating a win for the other, more experienced bands. We made it to the top 5 bands: a jazz band, a rap band, a ska band, an synth-pop band, and us, the indie rock band. The final "Battle" was held in April and we took first place. We were incredibly shocked. After that we were presented with a slot on the local college radio station, KPSU, an article in the Willamette Week and 20 hours of recording time at Vault studio. The best part is we got a show opening at the Crystal Ballroom, a huge venue in Portland, Or. Although winning the Battle of the Bands and getting that rush of exposure was insane and incredibly fun, it's never been about getting huge and famous. Just having our songs stuck in the heads of our friends is amazing. We're always talking at practice about how we cannot wait to hop in a van and go lose our money across the coast while we tour. We now have a larger batch of songs, and are constantly weeding out the good from the bad when writing more. I know for sure that, wherever this band takes us, music will always be a part of our lives.

Visit us!
E-mail us!