Rocking for a cause

Mom stages concert at Fletcher's to raise funds and awareness for autism


Recently, local musician Lily Nebel needed help.

Nebel's son Edison, who had some autistic qualities, was having trouble in school, and she wanted to get him on the right track. Nebel sought out Pathfinders for Autism, a Towson-based nonprofit resource center for parents of autistic children. The folks at Pathfinders gave Nebel hints on how to handle Edison's school situation, which later worked out, she said.

So earlier this year, when Nebel began organizing a daylong concert to benefit autistic kids, she thought Pathfinders would be a good candidate for the proceeds.

The result is Sunday's Rock for Autism, a seven-hour, five-band show at Fletcher's. It's also a big birthday party for Edison, who just turned 7 and happens to love Nebel's punk band Finger Cuffs and his father Dayve Bowles' metal-influenced band Devil's Radio. (Nebel and Bowles are separated.)

"It's kind of like a double treat - proceeds go to autism, and my son has an awesome rock show to go to on his birthday with his friends and his Mom's and Dad's bands playing," Nebel said.

But don't tell Edison - it's kind of a secret.

"I haven't told him completely yet because he sort of gets anxiety about things like that," Nebel said. "If I spill the beans too soon, he'll sort of get a little anxious and too excited about it and not want to concentrate on anything else but that for a few days."

Edison shares his parents' passion for music. Right now, he's starting to get into Green Day, System of a Down and My Chemical Romance, Nebel said.

"He's got pretty good taste, I guess because his parents do. Not to mention, he loves his parents' bands. He enjoys being around it."

Nebel used to host band practice in the basement of her house, and Edison would come down to listen, she said. Though he's seen DayNovo, one of the bands playing Sunday, at the 9:30 Club, this will be his first official Finger Cuffs concert.

Each band gets about 45 minutes on stage, Nebel said. Stash, a 98 Rock DJ who has a son with autism, will MC the show.

Pathfinders will put the proceeds from the show toward its free resource center for people with autism, said executive director Dawn Koplos. One of the organization's goals is to become a central place for parents to get information to help their children, she said. Koplos sees Rock for Autism as a way to raise money for Pathfinders and awareness for autism.

"People are still finding out about us," Koplos said. "What's great about this event is it's going to help reach other parents too."

Rock For Autism starts at 4 p.m. Sunday at Fletcher's, 701 S. Bond St. Finger Cuffs, DayNovo, Devil's Radio, Paperback Tragedy and 7 Days Torn will perform. Tickets are $10. The show is all ages. Call 410-558-1889 or go to

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