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(Festival blog by Staff Writer Marion Prudhon, 1:40 a.m. Friday): The sun disappeared from Longyearbyen just a few hours before Sugaray Rayford took the stage for the first of two times Thursday night. But he wasn’t about to let the audience sit quietly in the dark.
“I know Norwegians dance, I’ve seen them,” he said, imploring the crowd to get out of their seats while performing a trio of songs during the official opening of the festival at Kulturhuset.
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I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.