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So... who all's going to be there?

Wild Mercy has a kickass set planned (in our full "with fiddler" configuration, which makes me squeee!), and all of us plus the luminous [ profile] quadrivium will be the backing band for [ profile] cadhla's concert.

It's going to be So.Much.Fun!! I hope I see lots of you there! ('Specially since I won't be at OVFF, so Conclave has to provide enough of a FilkerFix to tide me over for the rest of October!)
Confluence was fun... introduced some new people to our music and heard several people who I'd not heard/met before (Andina & Rich, Patricia Wake, and Pete Grubbs). Also had a good time hanging w/ the Dorsai. I do love working the dealer's room door, 'cause it means I actually see and talk to more than just filkers during the con! (Not that there's anything wrong w/ filkers, mind you... just that I sometimes need incentive to remember that there's more to the con than the filk room(s).)

Thanks to [ profile] mrgoodwraith for giving us concert slot and the all-important setup time, and thanks to [ profile] fuzzyvanman and [ profile] rms_butterfly for hauling sound equipment over to Pittsburgh so we'd have enough channels, and to [ profile] judifilksign for signing our concert! (I especially enjoyed "Fly Little Bird" 'cause I got to stand where I could watch her while I was singing.)

Tired... sleepy... back at work. More later, maybe, when coherent.

(What is wrong w/ LJ today? I've been trying to post this all day, both from my iJournal app and directly through the web interface, and as of 3:40 p.m., it hasn't posted yet!)

life is...

May. 26th, 2011 11:05 am
tollermom: (beetle)
... crazy-but-good in my world.

If I've been quiet here lately it's mostly because life is so nuts right now that short posts to Facebook are about the best I can manage.

This past weekend was the 8th annual WomenDrum Spring Fling and we had an absolutely crazy group of women for the event. Lots of fun, and lots of pictures that will make no sense to anyone who wasn't there, mostly involving the spontaneous ritual to the sacred avocado. I had a blast, and realized afterwards that part of the reason was that, for a change, I wasn't sick. It seems that my seasonal allergies/bronchitis have hit right at the time of the fall and spring events for the last two years and I've slept through half the weekend. This time, I enjoyed the entire event, took lots of pictures, hung out in the pool enjoying the warm spring evenings, and just generally enjoyed some quality time with good music and good friends.

For the last month, I've been up to my eyeballs in web pages for the local fire department. We're down to the wire, but with luck I'll make my (self-imposed) go-live date of "by the end of the month." That would be less complicated if I wasn't spending the weekend in Columbus at Marcon instead of in the laptop making pages, but oh well... I've got Monday off work, so I'll get my last updates done then, move the mail accounts and flip the DNS. Maybe. If the previous webmaster remembers to send me the login to the registry. This past Sunday was the second monthly meeting since I joined, and I'm officially no longer the new kid... a new probationary firefighter got voted in at the meeting. Also, the Chief ordered me a safety vest that says "Fire Photographer" on the back, which will be nice at incidents 'cause people won't try to ask me questions I can't answer. :-) Tuesday evening, we went out and did a public service gig, directing traffic at the local elementary school, where they had end-of-year musical and baseball sectionals all happening at the same time. I got a radio and everything for that one. Ooooh... ahhhh... (yes, I'm easily amused). I also discovered, since I had worn my FVFD shirt to work (and thus to lunch) that Moe's offers a 50% discount to FD members. Go Moe's!!

Last night, [ profile] harperjen and I played a Semi-Feral Mercy gig at the Claddagh in Plainfield. A friend of ours had earned 50,000 membership points there, so the Claddagh threw him a party. He knew about the party, but he didn't know that we were going to be there to play, so it was highly entertaining. Jen and I went early, pulled together a set list over dinner (Shepherd's Pie... yum!), and then threw in a completely off-the-cuff and unrehearsed rendition of [ profile] s00j's "Alligator in the House" when it was requested by the party boy.

Today, I pack for Marcon, gather the dogs' stuff so they can go to the kennel, and (hopefully) pick up the Beetle from the shop, where it's having a new turbo installed. With luck, I'll be driving it to Marcon, at 45+ mpg, instead of my poor overworked gas-guzzling Trooper. Of course, this makes the whole Getting The Dogs To The Kennel part interesting, since I can't take three unrestrained dogs in the Beetle. I may drive the truck in the morning, drop dogs off, go home after work at lunch (we get a half day off!!) and trade vehicles.

I'll be hanging out in the Art Show for a good chunk of the weekend, if you're looking for me at Marcon. Saturday, we have a Wild Mercy concert at 1 pm in Franklin B/C, followed by Leslie Fish's GOH concert at 2:30, then I go back to the Art Show. Hmmm... we should probably finalize our set list, eh?

After Marcon, the fire department website goes live (which should settle things down a little but I also go back to my normal volunteer schedule at the zoo, after several weeks off. "Spare" time??? Whazzat???

Through all of this, I've had a foster dog who's undergoing heartworm treatment and is on 10 weeks of crate rest. The poor guy is actually feeling quite energetic through all this, so he really doesn't understand why he's constantly being put back in his crate. :-( Of course, this leads to barking and/or howling, which is driving me Out.Of.My.Mind, which is part of the reason I haven't been posting here and also part of the reason that this post is very stream-of-consciousness, as my mind has been reduced to a zombiesque state by lack of sleep. Oh, and it's spring so the dogs are molting. Every minute that isn't packed with other things (see above... band... zoo... fire department) is spent vacuuming... or sneezing.

So... how's life in your world? And who all's coming to Marcon?
Pre-reg for FilKONtario closes on Monday!

That's only a few days away. Do you know where your registration is? (And if not, why not? Go! Register now!!)

It's gonna rock, after all!
So, who all's going to FKO?

We had Wild Mercy rehearsal on Sunday, even though poor [ profile] harperjen had the crud and laryngytis, and finalized our set list and ran through a few things. It's the best bits of the set list we'd planned for Capricon, then the set list that actually got played by our "Trouble Comes in Threes" incarnation, which works out to a solid hour of rockin' tunes! It's gonna be a great concert, and I'm sooooooo looking forward to FKO.

This is my first FKO! Can you believe it? I keep trying to go, and it keeps not working out (it being in the middle of our fiscal year-end craziness at work has been contributory in past years), so I'm really fired up about it. And there are going to be lots of people there that I've never met, including [ profile] talis_kimberley, who I had hoped to meet when she was at Duckon, then my truck died and caused me to stay home.

And there will be lots of people who I normally only see once a year or once every couple of years at OVFF, so that will be fun too. One of the best parts of getting out of our "home" region is getting to see and hear filkers that I don't see often. I guess after FKO, GaFilk will have to be my next "I haven't made it there" goal for filk cons. :-)

So, back to my original question... who all's gonna be at FKO? It's coming up really _soon_ now, so plan fast if you haven't planned already!
Whee! At this time two nights from now, I should be in open filk at Capricon, or possibly having a fast concert set run-thru with [ profile] harperjen and [ profile] sweetmusic_27 before decamping to open filk for the rest of the evening.

For most of the weekend, you'll be able to find me in the Capricon Cafe, where I have a set on Friday afternoon and where I'll be running sound for most of the other sets on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday night, we have Semi-Feral Mercy: Trouble Comes in Threes! (We decided that if Jen and I are "Half-Wild", then Jen, Amy and I are just Trouble. :-)) There will be harp! There will be fiddle! There will be guitar and percussiony bits.

We'll be doing songs you've never heard Wild Mercy perform! We may even be doing songs that we've never heard Wild Mercy perform (see earlier comment about a concert run-thru on Friday night... this would be why :-)). After all, we have to take advantage of having our very own fiddler, which doesn't happen nearly often enough, so we may go back to our roots and do actual traditional Celtic tunes. (Ooooh... aaaaah...)

Whatever happens, it will be fun, and you should totally be there!

(Oh, yeah... bring your voice, 'cause there will be singalongs.)
[ profile] min0taur's mother, Libby, passed away this evening. [ profile] harperjen had gone to the nursing home this afternoon to play harp for Libby, Barry and the rest of the family, and while the rest of the family went to get some dinner, Jen and Barry stayed and started playing "Mantra" on harp and guitar and Libby just peacefully slipped away, surrounded by love and music.

As Sally put it, "Actively helping a person make the transition is almost too profound for words.  People forget the power of music to touch people so deeply in terms of bodily responses and spirituality.  We treat music as a product, when, in fact, it's a powerful transformer.  Other cultures haven't forgotten this, and I'm ever grateful that some people in our culture haven't forgotten it either.  I'd say if people want to do something, they can donate to any of the Alzheimer's organizations."

Sally asked me to pass the word, since she and Barry are likely to be too busy to get to Facebook and LJ for the next few days. If anyone wants direct email addresses, feel free to contact me (debbie at reddogs dot com). I'll pass along additional info as i know it.
Home from Wild Mercy rehearsal, where we were picking our set list for Capricon. Taking advantage of having [ profile] sweetmusic_27 there, it's a very fiddle-heavy set. :-)
Wow... I've been bad about not posting here on any remotely regular basis, haven't I?

Sorry about that... I'll try to do better! :-)

Now that we've all survived the holidays, Wild Mercy is focusing on our next couple of conventions. First up, we'll be at Capricon next month, where we'll be joined by [ profile] sweetmusic_27! I think all of us have Capricon Cafe sets, and I'll be working the Cafe all weekend running sound, so I should be easy to find. Wild Mercy has a concert on Saturday night before open filk, and we'll do some new stuff, and some old stuff, and some Far Light stuff. (If you have favorites you want to suggest, now would be the time!)

So who all's gonna be at Cap? I know Xap, Gundo and Roper will be, 'cause they're all working. :-) What about the rest of you? Chime in!

Next up after Capricon is FKO!!! We're wildly excited to be the GOHs at FKO this year and it's hard to believe that it's only a few months away now. There will be music, and workshops, and more music, and I fully expect that hilarity will ensue. I'm extra excited because not only is it my first-ever FKO, it's my first trip to Canada! (I know... I know... I've lived w/in driving distance of the border for almost 15 years and never actually made the trip... and I even have Canadian dogs!!) I hope we're going to see lots of you there in April!
Jen and I have a gig at the Claddagh Irish Pub in Plainfield, IN, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (7-10 pm... join us!!). This would have been a full Wild Mercy gig but for the fact that Barry and Sally will be five states away at the time and we haven't yet perfected the transporter.

This, of course, has led to discussions of "What do we call ourselves when we're only half the band?" A variety of names were bandied about and mostly discarded, and the gig flyers are for Half-Wild Mercy, 'cause I was out of time and I wanted something that made it clear that it wasn't the whole band for that night.

I stopped by Barry and Sally's to pick up the keyboard last night, and Sally tossed out a new idea, which led to this discussion via text message w/ Jen...

Me: Sally posits that half-wild mercy is semi-feral mercy. This amuses me.

Jen: Should we behave differently as half-wide than as semi-feral? Or, for that matter, differently than when we are fully Wild Mercy?

Me: Well, both variants sound like we're at least partially civilized... or we have the potential to be. Of course, it also allows us to be much less predictable. :-)

Jen: Bwahahahaaa!

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Semi-Feral Mercy!
May and June are turning into very musical months...

Tomorrow, I can has a [ profile] s00j and K! Yay! For Sooj fans in driving distance of Indy, the concert is tomorrow (Friday) night at 8 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis (615 W. 43rd St.).

Memorial Day weekend will find me at Marcon, where [ profile] cadhla is the Music GoH and where the con will be filled with many many filkers... so many that I ran out of willingness to code in all those usernames so just trust me that there are lots! :-)

Right after that, on Tuesday, June 1, Marian Call, singer-songwriter of geek songs and Browncoat songs and just generally cool stuff will be in Indy at Lazy Daze Coffee House from 7-8:30 pm. She's doing a self-managed tour of the entire continental US, and she's just playing for tips at the coffee house, so I hope we can get a great turnout for her and make it worth her while to want to come back to Indy someday! :-)

Then on June 18th, Ginger Doss and Bekah Kelso, aka GBMojo (and two-thirds of the Travelling Fates) will be in concert in Indy. Yes, that's the Friday of Duckon. I know. But it's when they could be here. So for folks who won't be at Duckon, you can plan to come to the GBMojo concert! It's tentatively scheduled for 8 pm at UUI, pending confirmation of the space reservation w/ the church office!

The plan is to then drive up to Duckon on Saturday morning, arriving at least in time for the Lady Mondegreen concert at 3 pm. Duck will have another long list of filkers, including [ profile] talis_kimberley who I'm very excited about meeting!

That gets us through June and then we head into July, which starts off w/ a bang with Wild Mercy being the Filk GoHs at InConJunction over Fourth of July weekend, then another local gig on July 10 (info to come, as I don't have specifics yet).

Since the FilKONtario website has announced it, I can squee here now... Wild Mercy is thrilled to announce that we'll be the Guests of Honor at FilKONtario 21, April 1-3, 2011! We'll be joined by Interfilk guest Ghost of a Rose, from Houston, TX, and Filk Waif Karen Linsley.

I'm insanely excited about this! Not only do we get to go spend a weekend making music with friends in Toronto, but we'll be there for April Fool's Day. I wonder how much silliness that will cause?? :-)


Are we there yet??
There's fiddling in my living room.

The cats have hidden, but they also hide from my drums. Not music-lovers, my kittehs.

Amy rode to work with me this morning (leaving house at 7:45 after staying up 'til 2 a.m. *yawn* and she played on teh intarweb while I worked a half-day. [ profile] min0taur popped down from upstairs for a visit, then we bugged out after lunch and went to Butler Univ. and paid a surprise visit to Sally WINOLJ in the staff lounge at the library (when we finally found her). After we killed enough time to let the rain stop, we headed over to the Indy Zoo, where there were rays, and sharks to pet, and the most entertaining walrus ever (tip: go to zoos during weird off times when there are no crowds... you get to see the staff interacting w/ the animals and it's much more fun). Then meerkats and leeeeeezards, the baby giraffe, a Komodo dragon, and a red panda. Other things too, but those were pretty much the highlights.

We rounded out the evening w/ way too much Italian food at Bravo w/ Barry and Sally and now Amy's practicing and I'm enjoying (and catching up on mail and Twitter and LJ).

Soon, there will be sleeping, since there was precious little of that last night!
I'm finding, more and more frequently, that the music of my filky friends doesn't have to be relegated to traditional filk venues. Many of the songs make the transition to more mainstream venues without missing a beat, and it's fun to watch audiences hook into the stories in the songs.

I love playing for fannish audiences because they listen and they're interested in the lyrics, and they sing along and show obvious enjoyment in the words... not just the music. But if you get out of smoky bars (where bands are frequently just background noise for the drunken conversations), mainstream audiences can also turn out to be very appreciative of songs with cutting wit and good storylines (or just a great beat, even with semi-incomprehensible lyrics).

Yesterday was a good case in point. Wild Mercy played a picnic gig at a local winery. People (several hundred people!) brought chairs or blankets and hung out on the winery's beautiful lawn, enjoying pizza and wine and the company of friends, kids and dogs (I must do a blog post over on about this being a dog-friendly event... I know lots of the local dog-loving crowd would be thrilled to have another place that they can take their furry friends), while we did three sets and enjoyed the unseasonably cool weather.

First Set )

During the set break, I went out to spend some quality snuggle time with a gorgeous Newfoundland (who can resist a giant black fuzzy dog, after all???) and visited with several clusters of people as I made my way across the lawn and then back to the patio, and several people commented on how much they were enjoying the variety of the songs. Yay! We like introducing new people to the music of our friends!

Sets Two and Three )

So, out of 32 songs, 14 were filk. For a non-fannish audience, who pretty much just ate it all up. That's pretty cool. (We also got great reactions to Naked Highwayman and the Christine Lavin and DaVinci's Notebook songs, all of which are certainly very filk-compatible, while not technically filk.)

My point (yes, there really is one) in all of this is that there are many audiences who love a good song, and filk has generated a lot of good songs. Now we just all need to get out there and share them with the rest of the world! Don't sell audiences short by thinking that they "won't get it"... heck, people were rockin' along to "Come to the Party"... even as they looked puzzled by the word salad sections! :-)

So for those filkers who also gig in mundane venues... go through your filk book and see what you can add to your repertoire for those gigs. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised by the audience's response!
Last night, I ran the songs for my internet cafe set, packed everything (I hope!) and hauled it upstairs, and finally fell into bed at about 2 a.m.

This morning, I hauled everything from kitchen to truck and now I'm at the office. I work 'til 2, then I'm hitting the road, which should put me in Chicago squarely in the middle of rush hour. Yay for good planning!! *rolls eyes at self*

For the rest of the weekend, you can probably find me in the Capricon internet cafe, the filk room, or the pool (which will likely substitute for sleep at some point, water baby that I am). Or possibly holed up in my room practicing. I tried to add way too many new songs to my solo set, so I have to solidify the ones that I'm keeping, cull the ones that won't quite be ready, and figure out timing and order. Nothing like leaving that 'til the last minute, eh?

I hope to see a bunch of you there! :-)
Wild Mercy has been nominated for a Pegasus award (for the non-filkers on my f-list, information can be found at OVFF's site about the Pegasus awards and at Debbie Ohi's Filk FAQ if you need the basics on "What's this filk thing anyway??") in the Best Performer category!

Looking at the list, I'm both thrilled to be included *bounce bounce bounce* and sad that we can't all win... *whimper*... and being on the same ballot with [ profile] sweetmusic_27 is especially bittersweet since she became such an integral part of the Dream of a Far Light project.

I do love the timing, though... this nomination, along with [ profile] min0taur's nomination in the Best Songwriter category, coming on the heels of our releasing "Dream of a Far Light" and performing the whoooooole thing at Marcon... it just caps what has been an incredible year for us, as we took Barry's baby, added a Wild Mercy spin to it, and sent it out into the world. I remember when we set out to be a Celtic band... if Barry and Sally hadn't introduced Jen and I to filk, we'd probably still be griping about playing pub gigs and the hassles of being "live background music" for the dinner crowd, and loading out at 2 a.m. to go home from smoky bars. I look at my f-list and think about the fact that I wouldn't have met three-quarters of you if I hadn't fallen into filking. I wouldn't have been to cons on both coasts and all over the midwest... life would just be so much less rich without all of you.

So thank you. Thank you for nominating us. But most of all, thank you for listening... to me the coolest thing about playing for filk crowds, whether in concert or in the filk room or in a random corner or hallway, is the intelligent listening that comes along. I love story songs, but story songs require an audience that "gets it" or they're no fun. You guys make it fun, 'cause you listen to the stories... you laugh with us, and sometimes you cry with us, and that's what it's all about.

Now go vote ... there are a ton of great nominees out there and lots of music clips to listen too!
37 years in the making, the full Far Light song cycle was performed in public for the first time today. We had the fiddling of [ profile] sweetmusic_27, the signing of [ profile] judifilksign, and excellent sound support from [ profile] fuzzyvanman, [ profile] rms_butterfly and Em, and the videography skills of our friend Tim, so that we can actually watch it later. Best of all, we had an excellent audience who celebrated with us as Project Far Light was born.

We will perform the full cycle again, but we'll never do it again for the first time. This one was special.
In 36 hours, the first-ever performance of the complete Lightship song cycle will be underway.

Project Far Light is ready for launch!

If you're going to Marcon, join us at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Franklin BC. Be among the first to hear the entire "Dream of a Far Light" concert, complete with the fiddling of [ profile] sweetmusic_27 and the beautiful signing of [ profile] judifilksign.
FedEx tells me that the "Dream of a Far Light" CDs (all 1073 of them) have been delivered to Small Green Alien Productions. Woohoo!!!

Now I'm avoiding the urge to duck out of work long enough to go pick them up just so I can hold the finished product in my hands. :-)


Itshereitshereitshereitshereitshere... *happy dance*
Wheeee! Great set at the Broad Ripple Arts Fair this morning... we were the first band up, which meant we could get there early and take our time setting up. The sound guy turned out to be one who I've known from the local music scene for years, so we were in good hands for gear and setup, and while it was a bit (okay, more than a bit) windy, we didn't lose either our tent or our audience to the weather.

Note to self: "Ready for the Storm" is a bad choice when weather is blowing in. Do not invoke the weather gods, dummy!

Tomorrow, we rehease at my office... we're going to go set up in the cafeteria so we can run the Far Light cycle in an actual performance arrangement instead of all facing each other like our normal rehearsal space. Need to see how many visual cues get lost, and figure out the best layout for the Marcon concert so that we can cue off each other without facing each other.

Just think! This time next weekend, we will have just finished the Far LIght concert! We'll have actual CDs in our hot little hands! W00t!!