Loading out for a weekend set of shows in Kennewick with Leannan Sidhe – if you’re in the area, here’s the Facebook event, c’mon out! Leannan Sidhe is a trad- and trad-style band, so playing a renfaire is something they do on the regular, even if very little of the music is actually Renaissance-specific, and the weather is supposed to be great. See you there!
The Gas Works Park show tomorrow is cancelled – turns out the organiser didn’t realise that even ‘private’ parties require permits for entertainment, and once made aware of that, discovered… well… yeah.
Sorry folks. Just found out myself.
With Leannan Sidhe again. It’s this Friday at Gasworks Park, and to be honest I’m not sure how public an event it is? But it’s at Gasworks Park, so how private can it be? It’s not like they’re reserving the whole park, and there will be amps, you’ll be able to hear it from outside.
We’re on either at 6pm or 7pm, they’re still finalising the order because it’s kind of a big graduation party. And to be honest I don’t know whether I’m even supposed to post about it to other people but, well, I have now, so there. XD
See you Friday, or not!
Saturday features the return of THE BIG SHOW! This year, it’s really THE BIG BIG SHOW, the show so nice they had to BIG it twice, with afternoon and evening concert blocks. CRAZY I KNOW RIGHT? And yet 100% real.
Tomorrow I’ll see a lot of you at Norwescon – I hope!
Friday concerts at nwcMUSIC got moved to the afternoon! Except for the PDX Broadsides’ halftime bonus show at the burlesque. That’s something new – I think it’d a pretty good idea tho’. (They have a full show on Saturday.)
Norwescon’s nwcMUSIC 2017 starts THURSDAY! Are you ready? I’ll be there – of course – and doing panels, starting with Home Recording I at 3pm. Here’s the Thursday concert lineup, hot off the… well, okay, not the printer, but you know.
And over here is the full rundown. See you soon!
Click to emBIGgen
It’s a BIGGER GRID than it’s ever been because it’s a BIGGER SHOW! Starting with the return of THE BIG SHOW on Saturday, this time, Saturday night – there are a lot of daytime shows this year, which will hopefully make it easier for everybody.
PLUS! The return of longtime favourite ALEXANDER JAMES ADAMS, here as part of his Canticles tour, with the whole Canticles crew. We have newcomers CELT CHECK and DOGWOOD and NATHANIEL JOHNSTONE with returning favourites like SHUBZILLA (fresh from her smash shows at SXSW) – and KADESH FLOW and longtime HEROES OF FILK favourites VIXY & TONY and BETSY TINNEY and new geekmusic favourites like The PDX Broadsides.
It’s a BIG BIG BIG BIG SHOW!
Daytime programming is back too, with sing-a-longs and how-to panels and meetups and MAD LIBS FILK, making its first return to Daytime since, oh gosh, nwcMUSIC 2012? It’s been a while but there’s room for everything at THE BIG SHOW!
Do I have panels? OF COURSE I HAVE PANELS! It wouldn’t be BIG! if I didn’t have panels. On Thursday, I’m moderating Home Recording I, with Alexander James Adams. On Saturday, I’m with Jonny Nero Action Hero, Alec again, and Stephanie Weippert on “How Big a Fish Do You Need To Be?”, with Jessica F. Herbert of PDX Broadsides on “Songwriting 101”, and “Find Your Instrument” with, oh, probably everybody.
That’s usually how that panel works
Then Sunday, it’s Christian Lipski (PDX Broadsides), Alec, and me up for “Home Recording II: Even More Homerecordinger.” It’s BIG EDUCATION to close out THE BIG SHOW. You’ll be there, of course.
I may bring a secret project. Excuse me, SEKRIT PROJEKT. But I can’t tell you. It’s SEKRIT.
It’s very strange to start learning the violin (or, in folk terms, the fiddle), just because it’s an instrument that anyone around me actually plays. Honestly not entirely sure what to do with that. Everything else I’ve learned it’s been me and THAT’S ALL (for the most part) and so I’m all kinda “…huh” and not sure what I think about it.
The other people at the Qualicum Beach workshops were pretty much “…well you’re jumping straight into the deep end, aren’t you?” at me, and I’m all YES BUT IT’S OKAY I AM A SHARK. A SHARK WITH A FIDDLE. APPARENTLY.
I have a few photos, but not that many, because the weather on the way was pretty terrible and I like rain and stuff so you know I’m not fucking around. But right as we were docking in Nanaimo, it cleared up a bit, and I took a few pictures.
Of course, the best picture I got of Andre – who was leading the workshops – was on guitar. Go fig. Still, it’s the best shot I got that wasn’t video. (I took a little video for technique study later.)
I broke a bow string! MILESTONE ACHIEVED! Very, very small milestone. Still. Also, a vaguely album-covery picture from Saturday night, after dinner but before the ceilidh performances, of the workshop stage.
Oh, yeah, there was a stage because everyone at the workshop gets up and does a piece or two. Anna and I went up as a band and did the entirely-unrelated-to-the-event “King of Elfland’s Daughter” and “Elf Glade.” They were not expecting that, and Andre was all “now I get what you do.” It was pretty metal.
We’re off to Conflikt, a filk (geek folk/fan music) convention in the Seattle area. Last year I was Toastmuppet, this year, I’m just one of the crowd. See you there, I hope!
If not, or even if so, this works way better than it has any right to, but it is a bit slow at the start. Give it time.
In soundcheck, setting up for my Sunday concert, we were setting up the octave mandolin, and really, there are “folkier” instruments than an octave mandolin? But not many.
So when I’m plugged up and the sound crew ask for some chords and it comes out roaring with that metal sound straight off the pickup, and they actually jump in shock because wow not expecting that… it’s really satisfying. 😀
Back from Orycon 38! They certainly kept me busy – panels on building microphones, on orphaned lyrics, on building a recording studio, a bunch of others. I was in fact so busy that I only managed to take one photograph. It’s from the green room balcony, and here it is:
But I’ve seen some other photographs around. Sadly, so far, they aren’t public – if you find any, link ’em in comments! Also, thanks to everybody who turned out for a Sunday afternoon show at checkout time, that takes some goddamn dedication. Cramming six songs into a half-hour set doesn’t sound that tricky, but I wasn’t simplifying anything for anybody, which is why I showed up like two hours early to set up before anyone else. (Setlist: Supervillain For I Love You, Thirteen, Coyote, Shout at the Desert, Kaiju Meat, We’re Not Friends/The Future Has a Place.)
I’m definitely going to keep performing Kaiju Meat as if it were actually a hiphop song, which it’s not really? But that performance approach really helps it work live, so I’m doin’ it. We also did USSR later, in the band scramble, and that nearly started a goddamn riot. EVERYBODY SING ALONG IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU!
I really only got to one panel I wasn’t running, the hilariously fun Overwatch meetup, wherein… okay, so, there’s a meme, Everyone In Overwatch Is Gay? Because EVERYONE IN OVERWATCH IS GAY. And at the meetup, literally everyone was queer, we actually checked.
It was hilarious.
So, yeah! Thanks again for having me, and special thanks to the createspace crew for the use of their sewing supplies – very much appreciated – and let’s do it again next year. ^_^
Hey everybody! Heading down to Orycon this morning. I’m bringing the carbon and crystal microphones and we’re going to do what we did at Clallam Bay Comicon and let people record themselves all old-timey. It’ll be fun!
My schedule, as of the latest revision received:
5pm – Choosing & Learning a Musical Instrument – Mt. Hood (2)
6pm – Building Old-Technology Microphones Because You Can – Belmont (2)
2pm – Group Home for Abandoned Lyrics – Belmont (2)
6pm – Building a Home Studio on the Cheap – Belmont (2)
12:30pm – CONCERT! – Mt. Hood (2)
2pm – Band Scramble – Mt. Hood (2)
3pm – Jam In The Key of C – Mt. Hood (2)
See you there!
I’ll be at Orycon this weekend! I have panels and workshops and a concert on Sunday afternoon, so please come out for it!
They’ve actually given me a panel on building old-technology microphones, which is pretty cool, and I’ll let people record themselves on a 1920s-ish carbon mic and a 1940s-ish crystal mic, so hopefully that will be fun. People really seemed to enjoy it when I had the setup running at my dealer table at CBCC.
I need to find time – somehow – to wedge in building a new amp board for the microphone panel, because I don’t want to take apart the existing crystal microphone for show-and-tell, and I think it’ll be neat to show that off. Later today. Hopefully. Assuming nothing else explodes.
Like, Monday, right? Things Happened, and then I got to spend the afternoon pulling unimaginably gross material out of a fluid pump system while going, “oh gods, oh gods, I hope this is only cat litter, please let this just be cat litter,” and when that’s happening, you have officially reached what one might call a BAD SCENE.
Not “darkest timeline” bad scene, but: bad.
Anyway. Thank the gods that’s over. See you this weekend!
Hey, I got my Orycon schedule! I’m doing several panels and will write those up in a bit, but the concert is Sunday, November 20th, 12:30pm, in Mt. Hood.
I know that’s still a bit off, but that just means plenty of time to make plans, eh?
Back at Clallam Bay Comicon, I did “USSR” for the first time, as a karaoke track. When I got back, I posted a video of the live USSR performance on Tumblr, taken off of audience camera.
And that was fun, but the sound quality was pretty bad, because it was just the on-camera microphone. Plus, the camera did things like make automatic-recording-level adjustments throughout, which means the backing track is pulsing all over the place.
I’m going to be cleaning up some other, similar live recordings for some other people this weekend, so I’ve had a go at this audio, just to warm up and see what I can do with it. That’s meant a lot of level-control automation, heavy use of a multiband compressor (and a high-pass filter to get rid of most of an occasional rumble from… somewhere…), a bit of reverb to smooth out some of the sample rate issues, and a lot of EQ work.
I’m going to massage it a bit more, I think? But I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve managed so far (mp3 link). The amount of surprise audio-level changes is down a lot, I’ve brought back the low end and some of the high end, there’s even a hint of kick to the bassline now – though I wonder if I’ve over-built that at the moment. It mostly sounds okay but I’m not sure it’s so great on anything that does a lot of bass boost, like some gaming headphones.
Anyway, what do you think? I’ll re-upload the live video with the improved/massaged audio if enough other people think it’s better enough.
VCON has me running open filk on Friday and Saturday nights this weekend. I wanted to do a poker-chip queue system, which is basically a way of making sure everybody can get a turn without having to fight for it, without imposing full queue/bardic rules. You have a blue round, a white round, and a green round.
But that’s not so great for blind people, so I came up with something I hope works: poker chips with braille letters indicating their colour:
W is for White
It’s hot glue! I’m kind of pleased with the idea, but I’m a little bit nervous because, well, it’s hot glue. Here’s hoping the glue holds up. 😀
The show at VCON is on Sunday afternoon! They’ve stacked like five of us up, and we each have mini-sets.
Anybody reading this going to be there? If so – got a request? It’ll just be me, as far as I know, so no whole-band songs, I’m afraid. Unless they’re USSR or Kaiju Meat, I’m willing to do those with backing tracks. XD
Also, I’m still a little “woah” that I’m on a panel with Kevin Anderson, Gerry and Sylvia’s son, who does modern CGI and(!) ultramarionation Anderson Entertainment shows. And a bunch of Doctor Who work with Big Finish, too. Awesoooooome.
But yeah, if you’re going to be there and want to hear something I can do solo, let me know. ^_^
VCON – the Vancouver SF Convention – is coming up, and of course yours truly has a show and some panels and a songwriting workshop! So if you want to see what a songwriting workshop is like when it starts with a brief physics lecture, and also work on some song you’ve got in mind, go sign up right now!
The workshop itself is Saturday, October 1st, at 1:30, in case you don’t when VCON is this year. They’re back in one of the hotels I wrote about in “You Can’t Get a Good Kamikazi In Vancouver,” specifically, the one that’s Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really <gasp> Really Far Away. But it’s a nice hotel despite that, and VCON is reliably fun.
So – see you there?
PAX, DragonCon, Burning Man, Bumbershoot, Fan Expo, Faerieworlds, I don’t even know what else. And, of course, a bunch of people stayed home. Where were you?
I, of course, was at PAX, riding a dragon.
I also released a single. It’s one that’s super-personal for a lot of reasons, and I wrote a big post about it here which you should read because I think it’s the kind of thing that will mean a lot to a bunch of other people as well.
And, of course, you can go right on and play it right here, which you should do. It’s on Bandcamp and also on Soundcloud.
But PAX – wow, yeah. I didn’t intend to do all four days, but I did, and I’m glad I didn’t sell the extra passes. Totally worth it.
First, in a lot of ways, I figured out why it’s felt different the last few years, but still good. PAX got too big to be the “instantiate the internet” event it started out being years go, and, having now spread out over several blocks (all the way to the Westin!), it’s become a gaming-oriented theme park overlay for the city.
That’s a very different experience. But the thing is? I like theme parks. I had a great time. For example – I don’t give two figs about Magic: The Gathering but I loved tooling around the insanely-decorated Paramount. I liked that there was a VR-events hotel. I liked the teeming hoards of geeks up all night downtown, the sidewalks like party wing hotel corridors only not so cramped. I liked finding said afterparties, as well. It was epic.
And, the old parts are still there. I spent a fair amount of time in the handheld lounge and having people want to know where the hell this weird-ass handheld I was playing came from and how they could get one. POCKETCHIP YOU OWE ME. (I was mostly playing Celeste on it, which is kinda brutal. I’m 1km in so far. Hard game is hard.)
From a coming-games standpoint, VIVE did what Oculus Rift did not do, which is convince me that goggle VR has a place in computer gaming in the very near term. It’s kind of like – okay, things like the Virtual Boy and predecessors (which existed!) weren’t quite yet up to Pong. Kinect was maybe Advanced Pong. Oculus Rift made a big jump forward, and is kind of an, oh, maybe an Atari 2600 experience – fun to play with, but not fun to play.
Vive, though – yeah. Vive reaches the level of being actual fun. Look, here I am shootin’ a bazooka and throwing grenades at Nazis! Because fuck Nazis. Really, I wish they’d been doing the greenscreen for another game called Raw Data, because that was the most fun, because it was 100% I AM TRACER ONLY FOR REAL WITHIN VR. That was great.
And sure, it’s probably about the Commodore 64 / Atari 800 level of VR device, particularly since there are still controllers with buttons – even if they’re a lot less intrusive than, say a gamepad. But as we all know from history, Commodore 64 is Good Enough. Game ON.
Oh, what else. The Overwatch cosplay was thick, I shot every Overwatch cosplayer I could grab (which was not all I saw) and put a bunch of photos on Flickr.
I entered a lot of hardware raffles (like usual) but did not win (like usual). I played a hilariously stupid game called Gang Beasts which is technically a fighting game, but all of the characters are floppy plushies. I won one round by deciding I’d just go jogging around the outskirts of the arena instead of fighting and the other players all accidentally threw themselves off the edge of the world. VICTORY THROUGH JOGGING! And I scouted out a lot of hardware, like y’do, for when there’s money again and I can think about building a VR gaming PC.
Like y’want to, at least. 😀
Where were you, and was it fun? Play the new song while you’re telling me about it. It’s the kind of thing I think a lot of us are going to need heading into the rest of this year, and for now, hopefully, we’re all coming off a good long weekend. Time to get back to work.
we’re not friends, we’re not lovers, we’re not people you know
different clans, different colours, and a whole different flow
but i know that when i see you that it’s true even so
that the future has a place for me
and the future has a place for you
and the future has a place for both of us now
As you may know, several years ago, I started and built a small geekmusic festival at Norwescon called nwcMUSIC. I took last year off completely as a sabbatical year, and they continued to do it.
This year, I’m back as an advisor – sort of a showrunner emeritus. And while I won’t be running it, I will be giving a lot of advice and training on how to run it the way I did.
NOW IS THE TIME TO CONTACT NORWESCON TO BE A PART OF NWCMUSIC 2017! Or, for that matter, to be involved in any programming at the show. Here’s part of the announcement:
I know Norwescon seems forever away, but August is actually when the main work of programming begins. SO! if you are interested in being a panelist, get yourself over to this attending pro information page and use the contact link to tell us who you are and why you would be a good panelist.
Please do so even if you have been a pro before, the programming team isn’t constant from year to year.
Bonus request: if you are an artist, and there are workshops/demos you could run, please include that info; art track is my responsibility and I’d like to increase the amount of hands-on programming.
So, hie thee off and fill out the form! That’s EVEN IF you’ve been at nwcMUSIC or Norwescon Programming before. I did it, even. Do it today!