THE JUNEAU COMPLAINTS CHOIR 2007 AKA SKUNK CABBAGE COMPLAINTS CHORALE
The Juneau Complaints Choir performed “It Blows” on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol Building on March 9, 2007. Composed by Patricia Hull and Anthony Tengs, and sung by a stalwart group of 7 including the composers, the song moved complaining from mere grumbling to a true artform as part of the first annual Cabin Fever Arts Festival.
"We would have had larger numbers, but the night of our first rehearsal our town was hit by its first blizzard on record. Still eight brave souls attended even though the police were telling people to stay off the roads. On performance day the weather was cooperatively stormy as well! We caught an especially strong dramatic blast of wind right as we first sang the words, "And it blows." Our only complaint about the weather for our performance is that it didn't rain -- our refrain was about the rain--but snowed. Sideways." -- Patricia Hull
The member of the First Juneau Complaints Choir - struggling with the harsh climate of Alaska - are the heroic pioneers of the new annual cultural highlight of Juneau. The Complaints Choir of Juneau will convene every year with updated lyrics and melodies until the whole city will join in. Be aware, they will be back in 2008.
For the non-locals Patricia has compiled some background info on their key-complaints:
(a) Blue Cross is an enormous health insurance company and many people are working unfulfilling/dead-end jobs just for the health benefits.
(b) Juneau is the state capitol of Alaska but the majority of the state's population lives in Anchorage so they've been threatening for years to move the center of government there. The effect of this on Juneau is that builders are hesitant to invest in new housing developments for fear they will be stuck with housing stock should thousands of state workers suddenly move to Anchorage. (Such a threat deeply hurt the housing market in 1986.)
(c) A double-wide is a kind of mobile home, that is twice as wide as the normal 10 feet or so.
(d) Juneau has two main population clusters Town and Valley: Town is about 6,000 people, very liberal; the Valley is about 13,000 population, very conservative. Overall our population is about 35,000. Haines is a tiny town to the north with a population of 900 that nonetheless has a beautiful performing arts center: we don't.
(e) Juneau has but one divided road and it has four stoplights. Nonetheless, people try to drive on it like it is a freeway.
(f) Last year, our local theatre company's season featured three plays dealing with the theme of mass murder.
(g) Our State Founders are reaching advanced ages and are dying, so the state flag is more often than not flying at half-mast in someones' honor.
(h) The TransAlaska pipeline was built in the 1970's and was like a Gold Rush for the state.
(i) This past year, we broke all kinds of records for consecutive days of pouring rain, and we just broke the all-time record for snowfall.
The Juneau Empire has more of this story.
Lyrics by the citizens of Juneau.
The Juneau Complaints Choir (2007) are Bonnie Chaney, John Dunker, Linda Giguere, Deborah Smith, Nancy Thomas, Patricia Hull & Anthony Tengs.
The Song was composed by Patricia Hull & Anthony Tengs.
Produced by Juneau Arts & Humanities Council / Nancy DeCherny.