Everywhere they had huge blow-ups of the pocket program posted so you knew exactly what was going on where and when. I had never seen a con do this quite so ubiquitously, and I liked it. Those of us there were largely burnt out from ConJose and really appreciated not having to dig out our pocket programs.
There was also this really cool attitude of "we're doing this to raise money for a charity." They had a con suite with a real bar and a tip jar, the proceeds of which were going to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Filking was also laid back. We scheduled the filk concerts in two minutes flat. "Okay, the Masquerade Ball is scheduled to start at 8pm, so how about if I go first, then Steve, then Tony, so you two guys have a shot at getting real audiences?" Normally it's considered bad form to give oneself a concert, especially in the SF Bay Area, but there were so few performers attending this con we needed me to fill out the schedule. The "debate" as to whether to start the concerts at 8pm or 8:30pm took less than ten seconds.
I was going to stick to doing an all-acoustic concert because we had no amplification, but when a) I saw the electrical outlet in the wall and b) several folks mentioned something about doing poetry to music, I decided to throw all sanity to the wind and do my usual over-the-top show. I would keep in a couple of acoustic numbers -- the two "busty" songs, because the topic of "women being self-conscious about being flat-chested" came up. Those of you know anything about me know I am, uh, endowed.
I actually wound up dusting off material Friday night I hadn't done in a while or hadn't done in a circle, including the infamous "Starlight and Sousaphone." Someone asked me if I knew any Tom Smith stuff, and oddly enough I'd been noodling with the guitar riff when the room was empty (hey, someone has to seed the filking, and that was my job!). I didn't expect it to get laughs without someone busting in with a sousaphone on cue, but it did. It seemed like every time someone did a song that night they told the accompanying story. It was a very mellow and pleasant filk.
I tested my portable speaker system before leaving home Saturday, and when it worked on the first try, packed it up and went.
For the curious, my concert set:
- Aunt Bessie's Doggie Cabana (parody of Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" using the computer and a pair of stuffed dogs as props
- Big-Busted Woman (in the Key of D)
- Grandma's Training Bra
- the first verse of "Poetry's Greatest Hits" (half the room hadn't heard Vol. I, so due to lack of time, I did just enough to show what I was up to)
- Poetry's Greatest Hits, Volume II
mdlbear was next. I am always amazed at not only what he does on guitar but the depth to which he writes. Steve did "A-list" stuff and sounded the best I've ever heard him sound. After his concert we all started pestering him about getting his CD done. :-)
Next was Tony Fabris. Man that guy can play guitar! He was playing stuff by Queen to start out! I had to keep propping my dropping mouth closed as he moved his fingers along the fretboard playing chords I couldn't identify that quickly. He's still building up his repertoire, but what he's got is very strong.
After the concerts, we set up for open filking. Tony excused himself to go to his room, and I went up to the party floor in search of food. The parties at Silicon had lots of interesting stuff to drink, but they were lacking in substantial munchies. One did have some kind of curries, but the people running it didn't know whether there were mushrooms in them, so I was screwed.
Shmooz-wise, this was also a very successful con. I have recruited two more folks onto the Consonance concom (read: they came up to me and volunteered). There was this whole volunteering thing going on at the con. You know the old saying: "Stop me before I volunteer again." Clearly we'd all forgotten it. I almost agreed to run filking for Yet Another Con; I only hesitated because I have learned not to make decisions when my blood sugar is in the basement. (Ask me about The Golden Gait sometime!)
Now I'm home, the computer is plugged back in, and I'm about to konk for the night, happy I was a part of Silicon.