Deep Space Bop

Do you believe in No Win Scenarios?

Welcome to the free, weekly version of Star Trekking, my attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier. If you like it, please consider becoming a subscriber. Simply click this button for immediate access to bonus content:


This month marked the arrival on earth of the first LP from Star Trek punk rock band Boldly Go.

We spoke to Boldly Go back in September and thought we’d check in with them now that the world is opening up a bit. And, in fact, they recently played a live gig.

As a reminder, Boldly Go! is “a Star Trek themed Punk Rock band from the West Virginia sector of the Alpha Quadrant.”

In September, they shared their origin story with us.

The band started in 2019 when Foz Rotten had the idea to mash his two favorite things together. A lifelong Trekkie and Punk Musician both, it was only shocking he hasn’t thought of it sooner.

Foz put out a post online and it took off pretty quickly. Within a couple of weeks we were at our first practice. It’s now been a year and we are signed with Coffin Curse Records and about to release our debut album, “United Federation of Punx”. 

They closed out their Q&A with this wish.

We’d love to tour. Tour all over. Big Shows, Small Shows, Conventions, House Parties, any size, any where. We are ready to play! With the album coming out, we hope that as soon as the world allows for it, we will be hitting the road to promote it as much as possible. Hit us up to come to your town! 

I asked Foz to update us on the band since last appearing in Star Trekking.


How did the band spend lockdown? How did you keep in practice? 

It was a long year for sure but we made the best of our time and have definitely grown as a band since before the Pandemic canceled all shows. During the early months we used it to finish recording our debut album “United Federation of Punx” and we released it at the end of 2020 on Coffin Curse Records. Also during this time we welcomed two new members into the Boldly Go! Family with Nick Keck joining us on Guitar and Justin Gore joining us on Bass. We used the time to practice as much as possible and when shows kicked off again we were ready. The set has never sounded better. 

I know you recently played a live gig. Was this your first one since lockdown? How did it go?

We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get back out there and play a ton of shows right out of the gate. People are hungry for shows and to get out there and have some fun again. We are always looking to play new places so if you are reading this and want to book Boldly Go! please get in contact with us! 

What kind of response have you gotten from folks who've received the vinyl?

It’s been a great response! We love getting pictures and videos of people opening up and showing us their copies. Coffin Curse Records did a great job with the release and the Red Vinyl looks and sounds amazing! 

Tell us about your upcoming gigs.

Up next Is 08-07-21 in Maryville, TN, at The Bird & The Book, and 08-13-21 at the FRIDAY THE 13th Fest in Charleston, WV, at The Red Carpet.

Then on 09-11-21 we are honored to be joining THE Star Trek band of Star Trek bands, Five Year Mission for their 11th Anniversary Show in Indianapolis, IN, at Melody Inn. This is a make up show for the 10 year anniversary show that got canceled last year thanks to the Pandemic. 

Also we will be at the Starbase Indy Conventiom in Indianapolis, IN, at The Marriot East on Thanksgiving Weekend. We will be performing Friday & Saturday night and have a booth there all weekend so come by and say hi!

For a full list of dates and to keep up with all the new ones added, just follow us on our socials or visit www.boldlygoband.com

What does a live Boldly Go! show feel like?

Pure energy! We got Warp 9 every song, and don’t stop until we’re done. 

Working on any new material? Plans for another release?

We have three great new songs in the set that we have been playing live and we can’t wait to get into the studio and start recording our next full length.  We are in full on writing mode and hope to be starting recording by the end of the year. 

What Star Trek episodes (or movies) really clicked with you over the past year and a half? 

The latest season of Discovery was great and  even inspired the lyrics to our new song “Something New”. Going into the unknown is always a scary task, but as long as you have a crew you love and trust with you, you can do anything. 


Here’s a video for their song No Win Scenarios.

And here’s a glimpse of how they might sound if they come to your town.

Here’s their current tour schedule. And if you see them perform, please greet them for me!

You can listen to more of their music and connect with them on their website: boldlygoband.com.

Hailing frequencies closed.


MEANWHILE…

More vehicle decoration inpiration.


A+++ photo.


I have really enjoyed following Nate Ming’s rewatch of all the films. This tweet is a good one.


More fantastic photos.


Red Angel alert.

Plus more Trek art.


Two starfleet officers walk into a bar…


Update on Tilly’s beach vacation.

And Michael’s.

And Coleen’s.


What would you find on your Trek beach vacation?

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Thanks for reading!

Paid subscribers get a bonus deep dive issue this Tuesday.

Until next time,

LOVE long…and prosper.

Neil


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

But first, the Tranya

Ah ha ha ha ha ha

Today I am resharing a post that originally went to paid subscribers.

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Greetings, my fellow primitive and savage members of human civilization.

Today’s special bonus Star Trekking is a deep dive into deep space. But don’t worry, our intentions are peaceful.

So brush up your poker skills as Captain Kirk plays The Corbomite Maneuver.

Busy photographing stars in a part of space where no ship has gone before, the Enterprise encounters a strange cube which blocks their path. Later, the cube’s owner, Balok, of the mile-wide starship Fesarius, engages Captain Kirk in a battle of wits to determine the fate of both their ships.

This early episode is truly iconic. From Fred Steiner’s score to McCoy’s “What am I, a doctor or a moon shuttle conductor?” to Spock’s “Fascinating,” all the elements are here. And this is only the third episode filmed – really the first “regular” episode, since the first episodes filmed were the two pilots (The Cage and Where No Man Has Gone Before). Kirk gets to strut around sweaty and shirtless at the opening and Spock gets to flaunt – and be shamed by – his reliance on logic. McCoy bursts in with concern for a single crewman’s health and Kirk gets to show how humans prevail over their primitive instincts and barbaric past.

Crewman Bailey really rubbed me the wrong way this time. He’s frequently struck deaf and dumb by the wonders in front of him. Really, get this guy off the bridge. The first time he daydreamed a mistake, fine, but the second and third and fourth times? Send him down to swab the decks before he gets everyone killed. I guess McCoy’s rejoinders to Kirk about “promoting him too fast” were supposed to make me feel like Kirk has a lot of faith in Bailey, but Bailey doesn’t seem to warrant that kind of trust.

“Derp.”

And speaking of McCoy’s rejoinders, it seemed really odd that he gave Kirk this kind of lecture when they were potentially minutes away from their own destruction. Despite Balok’s warning to the humans to make things straight with their deities, the crew seems to just keep meandering on about their business. Yeoman Rand, it turns out, was farting around, using a phaser to make a pot of coffee, while the doomsday countdown clock ticked away. She waltzed onto the bridge mere moments after the sigh-of-relief from avoiding certain death. Is Rand’s deity housework?

And speaking of deities, here’s an interesting mention. Balok (the robot version, voiced by Ted “Lurch” Cassidy) assumes the crew of the “United Earth Ship” Enterprise seek comfort in a deity or deities. No real response from the crew on that matter, but a nice nod to the idea that aliens won’t share our belief systems – and that even among us, belief systems differ. The alien nature of Balok seems to be the crux of the episode. It’s all about encountering something beyond our ken. Kirk makes a speech about aliens, that we’ve encountered them before and usually found them to be non-threatening. So the ship & crew at this point seem to be quite human-centric. Spock is their only alien, and his salient trait is hinted at being curiosity. Which is interesting, in light of what I remember from the back cover of the first Blish novelization.

The first books I remember buying for myself were Star Trek books, bought with money I got from my grandfather. He’d purchased a savings bond for me when I was born and it was given to me on my (tenth?) birthday. And I chose to immediately cash it in and blow the proceeds on Star Trek books – a couple of James Blish novelizations and David Gerrold’s World of Star Trek & Trouble with Tribbles. On the back of the first novelization, Spock is described as being completely unemotional and alien except for his “cat-like curiosity.”

Balok remains an interesting character. First interacting with the humans through his threatening puppet, Balok turns out to be a friendly and rather childlike example of what would become a Star Trek trope, the advanced alien testing our primitive species. His love of Tranya, his favorite drink, still reverberates. In college, my friend Stephen Meyers and I concocted our own recipe for Tranya and consumed it often, always with a nod to Balok’s laugh.

The cocktail culture seems to be flourishing in the future, as plenty of drinks are served, most of them assumed to be alcoholic. None of your wimpy TNG synthohol here. And conversation is important. The plot, the danger to the ship, lingers as discussions are held. This is a nice melding of the “too cerebral” vision from Roddenberry’s first pilot with the “action-packed” adventure of the second. It’s slowly, deliberately paced, with many shots of the bridge that are just a bit different from the standard ones the show eventually fell into. The bridge itself is still a bit of a work in progress, with viewscreens that don’t always contain a graphic and Uhura in the wrong colored outfit (and cursed to say “Hailing frequencies open” about 700 times). But it’s our bridge, the one we remember, albeit with a few more extras milling around than we got as the series progressed.

The future itself is still a little loose. Kirk makes a reference to something happening two centuries ago that seems a little advanced for placing in our present day. I think they were still under the impression that they were farther away in time from us than the 23rd century that became the official line.

So we’re still meeting this ship, this crew, this universe. And it feels reasonably adult, even fifty years on. This episode takes place almost exclusively on the Enterprise and, fittingly, the Enterprise is Kirk’s babe of the week. He talks about his responsibility to her and we sense the truth of that statement. This is Kirk’s ship. And it’s quickly become ours, too.

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Screencaps from the indispensable Trekcore.

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Thanks for reading!

Leave a comment

Until next time,

LOVE long…and prosper.

Neil


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

Bad Choices & Bourbon

Aliens, beach reads, and more

This is the free, weekly version of Star Trekking, my attempt to share points of interest and random intersections in the final frontier. If you like it, please consider becoming a subscriber. Simply click this button for immediate access to bonus content.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dan Decker for his podcast, Bad Choices & Bourbon. Disclaimer: I did not drink bourbon during the episode. But I sure thought about it.

Listen here: clickity click

We talked about Star Trek, of course, but also James Bond and many other things. Including whisky.


Ross Douthat writes an “occasional newsletter devoted to questions raised by my books.”

In the most recent issue, he discusses extraterrestrial life and “the potential unfathomability of an alien intelligence, the possibility-cum-likelihood that nothing in all our science fictions have prepared us for how an intelligent non-human civilization or culture would present itself to us.”

Frankly, I read it expecting to eventually come to a Star Trek reference, and Douthat did not disappoint.

A civilization where death follows reproduction might have developed complex religious or political customs around that brute fact, or it might have evolved or figured out ways to avoid the the biological necessity of death but still retained a death drive as a common psychological experience — to be managed, resisted or embraced depending on the specifics of the social order. A civilization where the male reproductive desire spiked periodically in ways that threatened death unless he mated might lead to the development of complex rituals … ah, but now I’ve described the Vulcan pon farr on Star Trek.

He goes on to discuss the Borg, as well as numerous other sci-fi depictions of alien life. The whole thing is well worth reading.

Has Star Trek painted a too-humancentric view of alien civilizations? Are we too expectant that aliens will just have funny ears or funky foreheads? When the general public thinks about aliens, do they picture “greys” or Klingons? E.T. or Spock?

The truth is out there.

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MEANWHILE…

It’s beach time.

What Trek book are you reading this summer?

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Much like Tilly H-G, above, I’m jumping into the Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway, except I’m going to do the audio version, with the fabulous Kate Mulgrew reading. Should be fantastic.


It belongs in a museum. Oh wait, it is in a museum.


Have you seen this show yet?

And speaking of fonts.


More confirmation of the ongoing thesis of this newsletter, that Star Trek is everywhere, whether you’re actively looking for it or not.


I think I need to repaint my car…


Dave Baxley kindly let me know that I am not Herbert.


Important question.


Check out this thread.


I, um, still have mine. They’re in the attic, but still…


A Lego Enterprise!


Fascinating.

In an article, Rodriguez described the above experience as an "encounter between Star Trek and Christianity." 


To celebrate Star Trek IV returning to the silver screen, here’s a nice song for you.

And that is a truly colorful metaphor.


Simply click this button to help support Star Trekking:

You’ll get immediate access to bonus content when you become a paid subscriber.


Thanks for reading!

Leave a comment

Until next time,

LOVE long…and prosper.

Neil


Star Trekking is written and edited by Neil Shurley, except where noted.
Star Trekking logo art by James H. Dargie.
Amazon Affiliate links included to help offset some of the costs of assimilation.

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