Several years ago, VH1 made a documentary about the Langley Schools Music Project, and you can watch the whole thing on YouTube. If you're not hip to the Langley Schools Music Project, you're in for a real treat. Between 1976 and 1977, music teacher Hans Fenger and a group of middle school students recorded two albums of the 9-12 year olds singing rock and pop tunes by the likes of the Beach Boys, David Bowie, Neil Diamond, and Klaatu. In 2000, a record collector picked up a copy in a thrift store and sent it to outsider music expert and WFMU DJ Irwin Chusid who busted his tail to get the albums re-issued on a single CD, titled Innocence & Despair. The recordings are bittersweet, simultaneously bleak and hopeful, and beautiful.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.