Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The most important person in the world - A MarsCon Report

Here is the report from my first ever MarsCon!!! (The best birthday present EVER!)

Day One

I volunteered for a bit. Worked 3.5 hours at the Consuite and Registration. It was pretty fun. I got to talk to people. It’s a little like stalking without scaring people. For example, I share a birthday with Carrie Dahlby. Didn’t know that. I got to see all of the people I know of from the “dementia scene” – Luke Ski, Carrie Dahlby, Hot Waffles (and Tim’s Banjo), Tak, Alchav and Kristi, Eric Coleman, Beth Kinderman, Jared Ringold, Bill Putt, and I’m sure there were others. If being in the presence of the “cool people” and talking to some of them wasn’t enough - I got a cool shiny button from the Martian Militia. (PS Since I don’t have my own stuff to sell yet, everybody go to these people’s websites and buy something!)

I ran into Alchav downstairs in the hotel and he invited me to the Dementia Dinner. Bill was taking pictures in the lobby and having people dance for his own amusement – there may be a video of me out there somewhere dancing like a fool because Bill Putt said to. Dinner was fun – although completely inexplicable to someone who wasn’t there. I sat with CRoses, ameangirl (not a typo or commentary on her personality – just her badge name), DJ Particle, and DJ Phoenix. Eric Coleman and Davroz rotated through my table. The food was pretty good – I ate fettucini alfredo four nights in a row. And the servers were very tolerant if somewhat slow. Half of the servers looked somewhat scared whenever they had to approach our group. The others seemed to be having fun.

I attended Opening Ceremonies. There was a skit. Skits are okay. It wasn’t Monty Python. But nothing is. I had to do several skits for Boy Scouts. I liked the Opening Ceremonies skit better – it had video game characters. Yay Pac-Man!

Between Opening Ceremonies and the first dementia concerts, I did the only non-comedy music programming I attended all weekend. I had to show up – it was my idea and I was on the panel. “How to Survive the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.” Props to Kevin and Brian. They really did all of the hard work with the movie reviews and the power point presentation. I got to play middle ground, ask questions, sit up front, and pantomime zombie attacks. All fun! I had no idea what to expect or how it would go, but I really liked it. I think it went pretty well. I couldn’t have hosted it by myself. Oh and I got a new book for my reading list – The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. Mostly I got to wear my very cool Night of the Living Dead t-shirt. w00t!

The Dementia Track concerts:

The first night of concerts featured Beth Kinderman, Eric Coleman, Worm Quartet, and The Gothcicles.

Beth Kinderman is not all that demented. She has a geeky singer-song writer acoustic vibe (sort of like Jonathan Coulton). She is, however, awesome. Very awesome. My favorite Beth Kinderman song is Valley.

Eric Coleman sounds like what I’ll probably sound like when I grow up. He stops his songs occasionally to talk, make pithy comments, be funny, have side bars. The odd thing is I usually stop my pithy comments to sing…. I actually didn’t recognize him until he started singing The Only Coffee House in Town. I was so glad we didn’t skip his concert. He was great.

As if I didn’t have enough proof that my parents are cool, my mom sat with me through a whole Worm Quartet concert. Worm Quartet is… Worm Quartet is…. Worm Quartet is not for the faint of heart. It would be too easy to describe Worm Quartet as a guy with a mullet screaming over pre-recorded synthesizer tracks. However, proof does exist that beyond being extremely funny and profane (and awesome!) – ShoEboX can actually sing well. My favorite song was What Your Parents Think All Your Music Sounds Like. However, I was not allowed to get the button. Just because mom would tolerate the insanity – doesn’t mean she’ll let me take the insanity home with me.

Then there are The Gothcicles. Again, their show was awesome. Their music was awesome. It was late at night though. I am supposed to be asleep by 10 p.m. I saw about half of the concert but I missed their performance with Sudden Death.

I finally calmed down enough to fall asleep around 1:30 a.m. What a blast of a day!!!

Day Two

Breakfast at the hotel was pretty bad. If it hadn’t been free – I doubt that I would have forced myself to eat any of it. Don’t get me wrong. Unlimited free bacon is hardly ever a bad thing (see Bacon!, below). But, I do like my breakfast bacon with other edibles.

Saturday was pretty slow until the concerts started. We looked around the dealer’s room. There were a lot of things my sister would have liked… a bunch of shiny stuff, a Luke Ski album here and there, and some Star Trek memorabilia. Ok, it was stuff I would have liked. But I was saving my money for CDs.

The Dementia Concerts (part 2)

Rob Balder, Sudden Death, Paul and Storm, Possible Oscar, and Hot Waffles (with Tim’s Banjo) performed on Saturday.

Rob Balder gave an outstanding performance. He opened with my mom’s favorite song Always a Goth Chick to Me. ‘Twas Awesome. ‘Twas very, very awesome. During the song Give It Away he threw CDs into the audience. I didn’t get one – but it was still a great set. I also liked the new prop. Rob Balder looks interesting in pink kitty ears. Who knew? The only thing I didn’t like was that he didn’t play Nethack, but the ears nearly made up for it.

Sudden Death was terrific as usual. He did all of my favorites. It was a little disturbing when nateboi took off his t-shirt, but that wasn’t Devo Spice’s fault really. I was hoping other fans (girls) would follow suit – but they tell me I’m too young for that.

Paul and Storm. They were amazing. I had only heard about half of their songs before the concert, so I really enjoyed listening to them. I bought their album because Jonathan Coulton called in the middle of their set and told me to, but I would have anyway. Really.

Possible Oscar had some difficulties getting set up and started. It seemed to bother them a lot more than it bothered me. But then, I’m a fan. Talk Nerdy to Me will always be one of my favorites.

Hot Waffles were the musical Guests of Honor. Tim’s Banjo did a really good job, but Chris’s bass had some technical difficulties. So much so that all future technical difficulties were referred to as “Chris Waffle moments.” Tim and Chris were really great. I wish that all of the dementia artists had an hour or more to perform – but I felt like Hot Waffles really put together a good show and I really enjoyed it.

I met Tak (from Revenge of the Particle) after the concerts. She made my day by telling me that I made her “sucktacular” Friday better. She is undefeated on Dementia Smackdown (the wrestling promotion and not the MarsCon event) – and always will be in my heart!

I didn’t do too much after the concerts. I was hungry and tired and mom wasn’t sure that the 13th floor was a good place for me to hang out. So, we went to the Prime Rib Buffet in the hotel restaurant and then hung out in our suite. Mostly, I played on the computer and tried to find Dementia Smackdown.

Day Three

Another day, another bad hotel breakfast. At least it was free and had bacon.

The most important thing (for me) was the Dementia Fan Showcase. I was disappointed that DJ Particle didn’t get to do more songs. I originally signed up for the fan showcase specifically because I heard that DJ Particle was going to sing. But, give me an audience and a microphone and I will always sing (as DJ Phoenix learned to her detriment) whether I know the song or not. I got to perform covers of Always a Goth Chick to Me and My Cat is Afraid of the Vacuum Cleaner (which I usually do in harmony with my sister) – with Power Salad in the room listening!!! Yay me. I also got to sing with DJ Phoenix and play fanboy for CRoses. This is the stuff dreams are made of! Everyone was great – Alchav, BreakmanZ, Bill and Davroz, and all the others whose names I don’t know. I only wish I had brought the camcorder so everyone could experience the awesomeness. Next year I will (may?) debut a Gifted Gear original.

Dementia Track Concerts (Part 3):

Art Paul Schlosser, Carrie Dahlby, Power Salad, and the great Luke Ski performed before the Dementia Smackdown (which is not quite the same thing as the wrestling promotion of the same name).

Art Paul Schlosser may be my new favorite dementia artist – if only because he let me go up on stage with him and sing I like my Mother. As I said before, give me an audience and a microphone…..

Carrie Dahlby is one of the main reasons I went to MarsCon. (She's so pretty) She performed with her dad – which I thought was really cool.

Power Salad sang to me. I AM the most important person in the world, you know. He really performs a wild show.

What can I say about the great Luke Ski? He’s another reason I went to MarsCon. He’s a great performer, but I am sorry to report that he is not quite as pretty as Carrie Dahlby. Since he has his own cheering squad, I hope it won’t hurt him for me to say that. My favorite Luke Ski song was Holding Out for Hiro.

A review of the Dementia Smackdown performances wouldn’t be complete without a retelling of all the in-jokes and off-the-cuff remarks. Unfortunately, I can’t possibly replay all of the funny moments here (although I wish I could). Basically, all of the artists did covers, tributes, and lampoons of the other artists’ performances. I will never forget Wyngarde’s performance as the magical Pegasus…

The yolk’s on you,


PS I arrived a day early (Thursday) and left a day late (Monday) – but nothing exciting happened.


Alchav said...

In retrospect I should've volunteered Friday as well, since it was such a slow day.

The term "Chris Waffle moment" actually dates back to when Chris Waffle had a Dementia Radio show every Wednesday, and his show frequently featured technical difficulties, and then any time something went wrong on Dementia Radio, people would say they're having a Chris Waffle moment.

And you say you missed them performing with Sudden Death, which was right after I was on with them; did you miss that too?

I'm glad you enjoyed the Con as much as you appear to have.

Stephen said...

Hey Alchav -

Thanks for clearing up the "Chris Waffles moment". See, in jokes are hard to explain or understand - even when you think you know what is going on. I missed the whole back story on that one.

Did you perform with the Gothcicles? If so, I am so bummed that I missed that! I loved your green hair that night. What song did you do? I have been enjoying your CD (buy Alchav's CD, everyone).

Thanks for the comment. Thanks for including me at MarsCon!


Kristi said...

Glad to hear that you had such a nice time at Marscon! It's certainly my favorite con! I hope to see you back there in the future!


Alchav said...

I did "Hey, I've Got that Font," doing the titular line.

I screamed higher-pitched and louder than I ever knew I could!

It was amazing. And I was drenched in sweat afterwards.

WildCard9 said...

I am very glad you had a good time at MarsCon. This is a great con report, and I wish that I knew you were around on Sunday night since I had tried to do an after-con get-together for whoever was left on Sunday night in the Dementia Party Room on the 13th floor. No partying was involved, it was just someplace for everyone to hang out.

Beth said...

Hey there! I'm glad you enjoyed my show at MarsCon and I hope to see you up here again one of these years. (c:

Beth Kinderman

Anonymous said...

The only reason why I didn't sing more at the Dementia Fan Showcase was because I only had time for one song...the Showcase was for the people that signed up, you were the real stars of that. I was only the host :) I wanted to give you guys your moment in the sun first.