Tonight we had another morale raising performance

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©Pvt. Albuagh
“Tonight we had another morale raising performance here on our camp, a band named “Brickfoot.” As I have explained elsewhere in this blog, Armed Forces Entertainment contracts with a variety of musicians and comedians to tour camps and bases around the world in an effort to provide a temporary distraction for soldiers. I can honestly say, that this was the best AFE sponsored show I have seen, partially because of their brand of music, some of the artists they chose to cover, and for the unfettered support they showed the troops. This evening, the band played a variety of cover songs, from the Beatles and some other classic rock favorites, to originals they had written, to some more obscure modern “indie” songs. What impressed me most about this band was their covers of the White Stripes, Radiohead, Coldplay and most of all Elliott Smith.

If there was a singular event that could immediately bring back memories of home and make me feel like the world I knew before is closer than I realize, it would be hearing an Elliott Smith cover song live. I am willing to wager that only one or two of you out there have listened to Elliott’s beautiful, melancholy whispers and gentle melodies. That is fine with me, he is not an artist that has mass appeal in America’s pop-culture. This is exactly why I was surprised to hear the song “Cupid’s Trick” played before an audience of soldiers 10,000 miles away from home. As the song ended, I called out the name of the album it appeared on, “Either/Or”, and the band members seemed equally surprised as I initially was, to find a member of the audience who knew every word Elliott Smith ever published. All I can say, is a temporary euphoria has set in from hearing a single song, it was as if God himself gave me a taste of the life I remember, and I am savoring every second of it.
I can not describe how much Elliott’s music meant to me, and even that is an understatement. I talked with them after the show and they said they usually also play “Everybody cares, Everybody understands.” I thank the band for making me feel closer to home than any singular action that could have happened here in the war.”

Sgt. Chris Missick (23 mai 2004)

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