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June 8, 2006

Band Plays Libraries


Libraries Get a Dose of Noise

Little boys chase each other around the parking lot of the Saratoga Springs Public Library with balloons tied to their wrists. A woman watches with her collie.

Josh Malerman, the guitarist and lead singer for Detroit rock band The High Strung, leans toward the microphone.

"I think it's pretty awesome that your library's doing this."

He introduces his three-member band, said by music critics to be reminiscent of British-invasion groups like the Who. Just moments ago, their battered minibus pulled into the parking lot and Malerman ordered up hot dogs at the concession stand. He hadn't eaten all day.

The day before at the Kent Public Library downstate, 14- and 15-year-old girls approached Malerman, bass player Chad Stocker and drummer Derek Berk and shyly asked them to sign the backs of their shirts and their high school yearbooks. The band played Kent Town Hall when outdoor plans were drowned out by rain.

Two of their albums have been released under an indie label. They've been mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine and were featured on National Public Radio's "This American Life" last year amid a public library tour through Michigan.

This summer, they'll play five dozen libraries from New York to California.

They're not living a dream.

"We're wide awake," Malerman says.

Read the entire article here.

Posted by kstover2 at June 8, 2006 10:52 AM