Detroit-based indie rockers The High Strung
, whose penchant for playing live music in libraries was the subject of a This American Life feature
, were invited to play a show at the Guantanamo Bay library this summer. They said yes. What followed is documented in a Vanity Fair
article, written by the older brother of one of the bandmembers.
Some of their turnout may have been siphoned off by the presence of another group that had flown in with them [m]ade up of about eight active-duty armed forces members(...) "They're called USA Express," Derek said. "Which is probably the worst band name in the world. That's the best we can do, the all-powerful minds of the U.S. military? Anything would be better than that. The Rangers. The Fighters. Really, anything.
USA Express was also a rock band, but in a different idiom. They played covers of contemporary hits, as instructed by the Army. "Nothing they did was their decision," Derek said. "Where they went, how long they performed, their playlist. The Army said, You have to learn these 60 songs, and your first tour starts in three weeks. Go." For prurience sake, I asked what the 60 songs were. "Something by Pink, 'Freebird,' 'Billie Jean.'" Derek laughed. "That was the highlight of their first show for me actually, 'Billie Jean,' because I was invited to sit in. Their drummer was this 52 year-old dude, and he wanted to perform some dance moves during 'Billie Jean,' so they asked me to cover for him, and he got up and did this Michael Jackson-style dancing while we played.
Video of that "Michael Jackson-style dancing" after the jump. The High Strung Rocks Gitmo (Vanity Fair, thanks Mark Kleiman)
In 1971, Australian filmmaker Paul Witzig released his fourth surf movie Sea of Joy, celebrating the rise of the short boards. To score the film, Witzig enlisted Sydney band Tully, best known at the time as the backing band for the Australian production of the psychedelic musical Hair. Now, the good people at Anthology Recordings […]
I really dig the design of this 1966 portable record player! If I had one, I’d play Manfred Mann’s “Pretty Flamingo” on it too. “You can treat it just like a transistor radio and the sound is free of distortion however you carry it!”
Will Smith’s entry in the annals of catchy Thomas the Tank Engine remixes is even better than Biggie the Tank Engine. Also, “Insane in the Train” is the perfect title, but that mix isn’t quite up to the gold standard of the others: Here’s Back in Coal Black, just madness:
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]
Learning is a 24/7/365 proposition, and it never ends. And if you’re truly serious about leveling up your skill sets and career prospects, get a subscription to Stone River Academy’s massive course collection. This offer normally is worth over $1,400, but is now available for just $89 in the Boing Boing Store.A respected name in information technology […]