July 7, 2007 will mark the global concert Live Earth, which features bands on all seven continents rocking out with a call to arms for combating global warming. San Francisco residents can watch the satellite feed at the Exploratorium, along with a screening of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. Web audiences can tune into MSN’s Live Earth webcast here.
Among the dozens of headliners, which include The Police, Shakira, and Linkin Park, Live Earth will launch the Indie band Nunatak onto the world stage. Made up of scientists at the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera research station on the Antarctic Peninsula, Nunatak will record a concert with a live audience of only 17, the full contingent of scientists and support personnel manning the station in the dead of winter. You can check out a rehearsal video on YouTube that features some pretty decent fiddling by Tris Thorne, the communications engineer at Rothera Station.
There’s a long tradition of do-it-yourself entertainment in Antarctica. Among the earliest explorers, who spent up to 18 months or more on the ice, it was the only choice they had. Costumes and wigs were part of the cargo on all of Shackleton’s expeditions and his crew competed in talent shows that starred cross-dressing sailors. Even today, with cable TV and DVDs available, there is plenty of homegrown arts and culture on the ice. During our expedition in 2001/2, we were lucky enough to catch “Ice Stock,” the New Years’ celebration of garage bands, arts, and chili-cook-off competition at McMurdo, the largest NSF research station in Antarctica.