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June 13-19, 2007

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Arctic Adventures

Baby Seal Club warm up by cooling down for Burning Man

By Gabe Meline

It's easy to forget that there's music even happening at this weekend's Ice Flo event, what with all the painstaking detail to which the organizers have gone to ensure that the night is as beautifully bizarre as an evening at Burning Man. Along with an outdoor cabaret stage showcasing circus acts and a tribal fire collective, there's the promise of wandering Burleskimos, old-fashioned cigarette girls dressed in "furkinis." Add to the mix art displays, massage tables and the Amrita Bollywood Dancers, and you're looking at a night to remember any way you slice it.

But wait! There's also the seductive ukelele undulations of soul singer Rose Harting, the deconstructive consciousness-marauding of Pumps:Fire and the organizers of the event, Baby Seal Club. If Belle and Sebastian had hung out in more graveyards, they'd be writing songs like "Tethered to My Wrist," a wryly pensive folk lamentation with shared harmonies by Baby Seal Club's El Fudo and Choklit Chanteuse, and it's fitting that the band close the show; last year, says BSC's cocktail drummer Stache, Baby Seal Club were one of only a handful of live bands at Burning Man. To properly compete with the overabundance of DJs, the band had to perform on top of a pirate bus, driving around the Playa, until a sandstorm ultimately ruined their equipment.

This year, the band aim to build a large traveling blue ice stage--more securely shielded by the elements--on the back of a flatbed truck, and all funds raised by Ice Flo go toward this grand aim. Whether you care about Burning Man or not, it's sure to be a night you can regale your dad with the next morning when you groggily take him out to Father's Day breakfast.

Ice Flo goes down on Saturday, June 16, at the Sebastopol Brewing Company. 268 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol. 8pm to 2am. $10; arctic attire recommended. 707.823.7837.

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