Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Wins and Not-Wins at Consonance Saturday

Somehow I was up and ready to go early, and got to the con at about 10. Went to the FAWM (February Album Writing Month) panel, which I had not planned on because it was at 10. Interesting project, February a song a day, or something like that. The participants mostly claimed that having to write a song, record and post it in one fell swoop works. Not for me. Ideas just done pop into my head like that. A few of them sang their favorite entries, I was generally not impressed. But also not disgusted. So, not a FAIL.

The 11 o'clock panel next was billed as "What Hooked You?
    How did you get into filk? What kind of filk activities do you engage in, and where and with whom do you do them? What aspects of filk and filking mean the most to you? Are you a face-to-face kind of filker, or do you prefer online activity?  Explore the culture, history, and future of filk while helping Sally with her academic research."
  But it was Dr. Sally talking about how she does her research on the subject, and why we all should fill out her 4-page survey. By hand. Using lines meant for typewriting single-spaced. I left after 15 minutes and returned the survey to the pile.

And went across the hall to listen to the Filk Chorus "Come join your fellow filkers in making beautiful vocal music together! Rehearsal Saturday morning, performance Sunday."  which was pretty much as billed, except that it was more choral than filk. Jennifer Midkiff is an able choral director, and the session reminded me a lot of some of the chorus rehearsals I've been in for musicals. And reminded me I'll be doing that again Real Soon Now. I sat in the back pretending to only be there to take photos, and left after I'd heard enough of the first to songs to know these were not the songs I was looking for. I am looking forward to the concert tomorrow, they sounded very good.

Up to the con suite. Got some coffee cake, dropped a little bit on the floor, told the suite nazi I'd clean it up it as soon as I was done eating what was on my plate and had my hands free (because there was nowhere to put the plate down) and stood over it, so no one would step on it. But her OCD kicked in and she picked up most of the crumbs in a napkin while I was standing there. Total FAIL.  Where's her patience? Where's her dustbuster?

Back down for the concerts. Brooke Abbey (formerly some very long name beginning with L), Mary Crowell, Amy McNally. Three amazing talents, but I was as amused by their messing with the mikes (and Kristoff) as by their singing. Mary mostly sang and played clarinet, not much piano. Brooke was on her banjola, and Amy on her electronic violin. Mostly stuff I had not heard before, mostly serious. They all appeared to be on the same diet as me.

2x10s only had two people signed up, so I was planning on some con suite time after. Kathleen Sloan started, I am always reminded what a beautiful singing voice she has, because that's not the voice she talks with. A newbie from Santa Cruz who found out about Consonance at OVFF (she took the train there!) was next.
_HGS1987
Summer Russel has the most amazing voice, very powerful, clear. She sang a couple of Robin Hood-ish songs.

But wait! There's more! Bill L. had somehow signed up while nobody was looking. I spared myself the pain and went upstairs as per Plan A. Which means I missed "Puzzlehof", and the first of Nick's numbers. Jeff and Maya went up next, a duet for the first number and a solo by Maya, who claimed it was the first time she has been onstage solo since she was 17. Hard to believe.

2-fers done, next were guest concerts.

International guest Phil Mills has kind of a weak voice, and I can't remember anything he sang.

Gary Hanak, Interfilk guest, OTOH, completely blew me away. Worth three or four past Interfilk guests, IMHO. Absolutely amazing musician and songwriter. And that's even with his accordion handicap, which he redeemed himself with a hilarious parody TTO A Whiter Shade of Pale. He switched to guitar for most of the rest of the concert, playing his Pegasus-winning song Grandfather, a touching piece about light speed space travel ruining your family life. Fascinated not just by his singing but also by his 12-fingered guitar playing, which somehow he accomplishes with only the usual 10. With Weekend Filker, he coordinated voice, guitar and an audio track on his Jurassic era tablet. As if that was not enough, he lit up the piano with a parody TTO  something Billy Joel/Harry Chapin-ish. I haven't been impressed by sheer musicianship like his since Mary Crowell. I will be buying his CDs.

Interfilk auction was next, and as usual the bidding started well out of my price range. Not nearly as well attended as usual, maybe because there were no CDs of this year's concerts up for bid. 

That meant more time for dinner break, so instead of feeding my face I went to the nearest Fry's and bought another NAS shell, and a Netgear cable modem/router. They didn't have the model for the latter which I wanted, so I grabbed one a little less new and expensive. It looked like it had everything I needed.

Back to the con, my favorite dinner spot was packed with filkers who were finishing up, so I went a few doors down to the Halal Chinese place. I don't know if they were already there or arrived after I did (my back was to the door), but I saw Jeff and Maya and some of other filk royalty at a big table in a far corner. I had my tablet fired up to a kindle book. I'm not much for socializing while eating, would rather use that time for reading.

Next up was Bill Roper, who, like everyone else, commandeered Amy McNally.  Much as I enjoy her improv violin, this has gone well past old. I suspect the set went a bit more dark than if it had just been Bill's guitar.

Finally, Guest of Honor Concert: Wild Mercy. They are from Indiana, and include Barry Childs-Helton, Sally Childs-Helton, Jennifer Midkiff, Debbie Gates and, of course,  Amy McNally. All of them fine musicians, but I bailed after 4 songs because:
- They chose to print a program and use that as an excuse to just play one tune after another, no banter, no intros, so they could fit in all the tunes they wanted to play. If I wanted that, I could have stayed home and listened to their CDs.
- Four songs in, I hadn't laughed or even smiled. Their song were so effing mundane. I would rather be home installing a cable modem.

So I went home, with a stop for gas (which is now $1 a gallon more than a month ago - WTF?), and installed the cable modem/router. Which turned out to not have everything I needed - it only does the low bitrate bandwidth. So it will go back in the morning to the store closest to home, in exchange for the one I wanted in the first place, which apparently is in stock there.

No sense setting up the NAS until I have the new router.


I had forgotten my pre-meal insulin, so when I got home I shot up what I should have shot up at dinner. I overshot, and now am self-medicating with Oreos. Because I stopped stocking ice cream. Oh wait, I have some Klondike bars. Putting the Oreos away...


Plans for tomorrow:
Nothing at the con till 11:30, so exchange the router at Fry's. If that's done early enough, install it. Otherwise, go to the con.
Consonance till 3, then Sunnyvale to see the closing performance of The Little Mermaid, Jr. with the 2nd string cast.

That should be done in time to go home and fine tune the router. If it's still light outside which is possible after DST kicks in, I may spray weedicide on the places weeds are coming up. And pull up the lemongrass and plant Bee's Friend flower seeds there.
 
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