When bad people play good music

Date: Tue, 05 June 2001

Well damn that was fun! The Crater Hill Black Ops Blues Band had its first show, to a moderately sized but extremely enthusiastic audience over at Scott Base. We had some weather going on so I think fewer folks came over from McMurdo than would've otherwise. We still had 75 or so. It was a fabulous time anyway, we had a rough start to the first song but we recovered without starting over so I think most people didn't notice. I sang, I played guitar, I failed to tip over in the dress and high heels. I think it was a success. We added another song and some more people in the last week so we were up to 10 people (not all at once) and almost an hour playing time. After we were done there was another band and then a DJ, so everybody got to dance as much as they wanted to. I almost perforated a friend's foot before I decided to give up on the heels. We need to get some more songs together and do it again.

We've had some other excitement going on in the last two weeks, including some fuss centered around the band. Two weeks ago we had a few people up at T-Site as a practice audience, we all had a great old time and did the whole set twice (they didn't seem to mind). Unfortunately one of the trucks driving back down the hill got going a bit too fast for the road (it is deceptive) and had a teensy little rollover incident. Nobody got hurt, the truck drove home, but for some reason station management took it entirely the wrong way and banned us from practicing at T-Site. There were inquisitions and meetings and all kinds of rumors for about a week, and then things seemed to calm down a bit. We're still waiting to see if there are any latent consequences for either the driver of the truck or for the rest of us, just for being bad people. In the meantime we had to find a new practice space, well the normal band room is too small for us so we got permission to use an empty room in the main building with the galley etc. Then the Recreation folks started telling us we didn't have enough amps for two practice spaces, so we would have to consolidate with the other band room and all three current bands would have to fight it out for practice time, then they backed off of that and told us that we couldn't have two drum sets out at once so we would have to put ours back in storage, then we got permission from Denver to keep using the second drum set, then the firefighters who have been getting fumed out of the firehouse got granted some of the other empty rooms in the same building, most of them on a different hallway but one two rooms down from the new practice room. So now we have our new practice room, with enough amps and a drum set, but we have a curfew. But that's ok. We've lost access to T-Site, which is a shame because it's the only homey space on station and it was darn nice to get out of town, but on the plus side now it's easier for other people to join the band for a song or two and we're well on our way to our goal of outnumbering Scott Base.

The same week that this was all going on the station manager received a complaint about the name of another McMurdo band, Monkeybox. This offensive name is from a listing of obscure euphemisms for female genitalia from That Play. Obviously the station manager's only option was to tell the band to change their name, instead of telling the complainant to go home. so they advertised as "Austin, Bill, Chris, and Mike" and I got annoyed and posted a few copies of the First Amendment in our main hallway. Then more copies started showing up in places I never posted them. The band put up their own signs, there was your typical hubbub in the galley, somebody even came to the costume party dressed as the First Amendment. After a few days the station manager backed down. Oh my goodness. This week has been much more rational so far.

We just had our monthly two-day weekend, that was very nice. It's totally dark all the time now - around local noon there's just a little bit of blue outlining Arrival Heights, but that's it. We've had some mild auroras and we've got a great view of Mars. Right now the full moon is hanging out across the sea ice and giving us a very dim, spooky outline of Mt. Discovery (which we haven't seen in a while). I also like it when the moon lurks around the shoulder of Ob Hill, which always seems larger than it really is when you're looking straight up at it from town. It's not too long until Winter Solstice, and then the sun will be coming back. It's hard to believe that winter's been going so fast.

Happy Danish Constitution Day,


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