We see ourselves as Madison's lefty political, feminist, anti-racist, LGBTQ-positive, activist street band that performs to support social justice and local community. We play at rallies, demos and marches to keep spirits and energy high to sustain the struggle. We like to play in public spaces to connect with audiences who don’t already agree with us, and to keep the First Amendment healthy.
We practice every Monday evening, except for some holidays, from 7-9 PM on Madison's east side. For better audience connection, we work to memorize our music (though we acknowledge this is far from instant, and takes time). We're a mix of ages, skill levels, and learning styles.
We play year round, though we're busiest in the warmer months. In a normal year, we play out around 40 times. Our gigs are most often (but not exclusively) on weekend mornings/early afternoons. We play many stationary gigs, but we also march (or amble; straight lines are not allowed!) in parades, which are, notably, not always on flat terrain. Sometimes we play in light rain or drizzle. Sometimes we play when temperatures are in the 20s.
No one is paid. Any money from gigs goes to the band fund, which pays for rehearsal space and helps us travel to the annual October HONK! festival of activist street bands in Boston (though Covid has disrupted our HONK! attendance of late, since out-of-town bands are hosted by community members in their homes).
We wear red and black, with white accents, and we don’t match. Stripes, dots and whimsical hats are perfect.
Procedurally, we don't have formal auditions. If we don't currently have an opening for your instrument, we'll let you know and keep you on file. If we seem compatible and we do have an opening for your instrument, we'll invite you to rehearsal and we'll figure out over the course of a couple weeks whether we're a mutual fit.