YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE ROCK! (The High Strung plays Guantanamo Bay)

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009, 11:27 am by Ben Salmon

Detroit-based garage-pop band The High Strung are faves around Frequency HQ. They’ve played in Bend at Player’s Bar and Grill (read my review here) and the Bend Public Library (where they’ll be again Aug. 19), and they’re always a good time.

They’re also just back from some gigs on the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sounds like the punchline to a joke, right? Well, it’s true, and Vanity Fair has a report written by the brother of drummer Derek Berk right here. My favorite part:

Some of their turnout may have been siphoned off by the presence of another group that had flown in with them. Made up of about eight active-duty armed forces members who earned a slot by submitting … a video of themselves strutting their musical chops, this group travels around in matching outfits, entertaining the troops in exotic locales like Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Belgium. “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.”

Again, you should read the whole thing here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start a band called The Fighters. We’re going to cover only Belle & Sebastian and G.G. Allin songs.


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