We got back from the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo yesterday and I’m all jittery with leftover excitement. I’d gone primarily to see Kirby Krackle (for those just tuning in my husband Scott plays bass in the band) when they opened for Weird Al. Look, I tried to play it cool but this was a big, exciting, “if only I could tell my 15-year-old self” type deal. And it was indeed amazing and fun and I’m so grateful I got to be there for it.
After we arrived in Calgary I was given I Guest Pass to the expo and a Backstage Pass to the concert, neither of which I was expecting. I resisted my urge to jump around and squeal.
The band got a peek at the arena the day before when things were still be setting up. Three thousand some seats. No pressure.
The afternoon of the show was load in, including piles of rented equipment. The behind the scenes halls of convention centers are very sexy, as you can see.
The theater was more dramatically lit than the day before.
Weird Al’s equipment had already been set up and I fell in love with this drum. Hello cutie.
First Weird Al’s band did a quick monitor level check, along with dramatic lighting. Either they have a band member that does a really great Weird Al singing imitation or they have a Weird Al voice modulator (for harmonies?) but at some point a Weird Al sounding voice (not a recording) was tested and I wanna know how they did it.
Next came Kirby Krackle’s sound check, still with some dramatic lighting. They had smoke machines running before we arrived and I tried to get video of how cool it looked being pumped into such a huge room while they ran through various lighting cues but I completely failed.
During sound check they went through and set the sound level for each band member’s instrument and microphone. During Scott’s turn Weird Al came over to greet the band. (You can see his elbow in the photo above, just behind Scott’s knee. I promise!) So Scott didn’t get to say hello, which was a bummer. I was on the wrong side of the stage to grab a good photo of the moment. But we hear from close and trusted sources that he was a nice guy.
My husband wielding his huge instrument. Hey there.
We did a panorama of the theater with Kyle and Scott appearing at both ends. It’s possibly funnier when you’re scrolling the picture on the iPhone.
The band’s green room was really posh. Ok, not really. It was the locker room for a hockey team. The away team. It smelled like the inside of rental hockey skates and was all cement and wooden benches. It was awesome, actually, because the band ran through an acoustic version of Grandma’s House and really made the echo-y surfaces work.
I make fun but I should also say that the expo took really great care. There was nothing that wasn’t provided backstage (including private space) and everybody was professional and great at their jobs and happy. Calgary you’re great.
I attempted to keep a low profile while blatantly abusing my backstage privileges. Behind the stage was a curtained off area that contained piles of costume changes and from the right angle you could spy Weird Al’s jacket for Eat It! I wonder how many versions of this have been made over the years? Or is this the same one? Is it real leather? Pleather? I was too timid to run up the ramp and touch it. Also, I’m very certain that I would have been stopped and then kicked out. Maybe.
This was innocently sitting stage right. I walked past it a dozen times before I realized that oh my god this is Weird Al Yankovic’s accordion!!! I wish there was some haze-and-halo filter I could have put on this photo. I didn’t touch the accordion. I should have. Just to say I did. Also because nobody was looking and I totally could have gotten away with it. (“I touched Weird Al’s accordion” sounds misleading though, no? Funny, yes.)
Kirby Krackle took the stage to a swell of cheering. Which was amazing and made me smile. I have shaky video of the moment that contains a loud off camera “thank you” (from a volunteer photographer that I’d just helped sorta kinda sneak into a semi-backstage photo vantage point) and a whispered “you’re welcome” as the camera wobbles. I regret nothing but maybe it’s time to invest in a good video recorder and some big headphones?
(Photo taken while sitting slightly backstage, the screens were projected from behind so I could see a clear but mirrored image.)
On either side of the stage were big screens that showed the live footage as it aired by flipon.tv. You can (for free!) view the entire Kirby Krackle performance. I am listening to the show while I type this. It sounded better in person, but then again it’s hard to capture the awesome. Right around 17:35 I believe you can catch a glimpse of Kyle’s younger brother sneaking onto stage to capture iPhone video from behind the drums.
At a few points Kyle (the bright blur in the middle of the photo) jumped down off stage to run through the seats. The first time he did it he nearly gave me a fit because I thought he was going to jump all the way down. Happily he knew better than I and used a row of big speakers as a giant step. I heard later that Kyle had been caught examining his route down during sound check and had been given a stern “no” by a stage manager. Rule breaker!
The lighting and sound guys were quick. During Ring Capacity they threw up green lights.
Shortly after I took this photo the band ended their set and as I was turning back a guy (who had no idea I was connected to the band) bounded past and said to me “that was great!” Indeed it was, mystery man.
We watched most of the Weird Al concert from the arena seats that were behind the big screens. We’d situated ourselves in the shadows far back from the stage and early on a manager came over and indicated that we all needed to move closer to the stage. Turns out during Weird Al’s show all of the band members have a costume change for each song (the time is covered by Al TV clips, which are hilarious). From where we were sitting we possibly could have seen rushed clothing changes. They were a very good looking band but, yeah, I would have made sure we all moved too.
I live in Seattle so I had to include this picture of the wig that Weird Al wears during Smells Like Nirvana, his drummer was wears a wig of amazing dreadlocks. I’d seen the girls with pom-poms who are onstage during this song practicing backstage, they had a room with a window and as I passed by I thought one was waving frantically so I glanced over. It was awkward. I hope they don’t think I was peeking. Oops. In any case, Scott and I later saw them doing a full cheerleaders-with-pom-poms rehearsal in the hallway. I think they were dancers hired just for that show and if so they learned the routine the few hours before they went on. Bravo gals!
defective yeti — Tabletop Day Seattle. Matthew lists all the great events going on here in Seattle. I’m sad that I’ll be out of town for this, Dawgsled Events is taking over the top floor of the Columbia Tower!
There are a few video game developments that I’m pretty excited over. Ok, very excited over.
Yes! Dreamfall Chapters, the continuing story of The Longest Journey, is up on Kickstarter and it’s still going! I am a big fan of the first two games in this series, The Longest Journey and Dreamfall. The creator, Ragnar Tornquist, has started up a company and this will be their first project. They’ve already passed the $1 million mark and as a result the game will be available on extra platforms and there will be more content. I’m very excited to find out the fate of April Ryan and I have hopes that we’ll see Zoe again. I’ve been a fan of adventure games going way back to King’s Quest 1 but the Dreamfall games tug at my heart in a special way.
Dreamfall Chapters is also up for a vote over at Steam Greenlight. If you’ve got an account over there do me a favor and vote it up? Thanks.
I love the (free) Knytt games and played them to death so I was really pleased to find the newest one, Knytt Underground available in the Playstation store (it’s also available for Mac/PC/Linux). Knytt Underground keeps the 2-D screen by screen exploration and ads a map overlay. I’m only a few quests in and have been meaning to carve out some more time to explore and uncover more of the story. It’s also up on Steam Greenlight, throw it a vote? Please?
Small whine: There aren’t enough couch co-op games available. I don’t like playing FPSs alone, they get weirdly boring, but sitting on the couch next to Scott makes it really enjoyable. We’ve spent a good chunk of this winter playing split-screen Borderlands 2. It’s a vertical split screen and while at first it might be a little cramped I got used to it very quickly. None of the text or menus are obscured. We’ve been liking it so much that we took our time finishing the main storyline and now we’re revisiting everything to get all the Cult of the Vault symbols.
If you missed Double Fine’s Kickstarter like I did (oops) you can still become a Slacker Backer and get the game while it’s in beta. I was late to play Psychonauts so it’s still new and fresh in my memory. Really really looking forward to Adventure. In the mean time I have yet to play The Cave.
So many games to look forward to! And I have not even gotten to how much I am anticipating The Last Gaurdian, it will arrive some day, we just have to keep believing.
I’m currently on a trip through the UK with a group of wonderful girlfriends. I’ve got posts lined up while I’m away but I’ll be posting pictures when I can over at Flickr, Instagram and Twitter (I’m notmartha at all those places) if you want to follow along. I’m depending in wi-fi in the evenings so updates met be spotty. Full reports soon!
Reclaiming Wife: Chore Monsters, Feminism, and Zombies. Love this suggestion on how to mentally sort domestic skills balanced against being a feminist: “you can always bring in the zombies. As in, would doing or being good at this thing help me survive the zombie apocalypse if I were alone?”
Cool Tools – Human Dimension & Interior Space. A comprehensive set of measurements to help you design interiors, furniture and wearables for all people: “Good for architects, costume designers, gadget makers, interface designers, and interior decorators.”
Hi everyone! Today I’m letting an old friend and mastermind of recipe crawls introduce her new web series. There is a little scavenger hunt and a giveaway wrapped up in it all, which I find so delightful. Without Brooke’s ability to pull together blogger events the Partridge In A Pear Tree 3D Cookie and the Decorated Orange Pumpkin Pancakes for Halloween would not have been thought up. Thanks Brooke! Take it away:
It’s a Holiday Block Party, and you’re just 24 hours away from winning a last-minute $500 Holiday Shopping Spree from Good Cook!
There’s a new neighbor in the bloggy culdesac, so we’re having a celebration to say hello and you’re invited! HisXHers.com is a new online video series with Cheeky Kitchen’sBrooke McLay and Daddy Evolving’sEldon Kartcher. As a divorced mom and gay, widowed dad, Brooke and Eldon know a little about the untraditional paths life can take. They also know, as you do, how busy life can get. So, as real life besties with a penchant for food, design, and home, they decided it was time to create a deliciously stylish approach to the things we do everyday while keeping it all simple, realistic, and totally sexylicious.
Here’s how it works: Today only, 8 different blogs (including this one) are premiering exclusive HisXHers episodes. One reader will win a $500 Last-Minute Shopping Spree Visa, and 15 lucky readers will win an 8-piece Good Cook Bakeware set. Here’s how to get yourself all entered up and ready to win:
Visit all 8 of the blogs below & hunt for the answer to the secret question in their exclusive HisXHers.com episode:
Visit HisXHers.com, leave a comment with your answers to each of the 8 Holiday Scavenger Hunt questions, and you’re entered to win the Holiday Shopping Spree! To win one of the fifteen 8-Piece Good Cook Bakeware Sets, simply follow HisXHers.com on Facebook or Twitter.
Ready to get yer partay on?
Check out the episode below, nab the answer to this question, then visit HisXHers.com, leave a comment with your answers and you’re just 24-hours away from a potential shopping spree! Winners will be decided by 10 a.m. MST on Wednesday, December 19th.
This episodes Secret Holiday Scavenger Hunt question is: Brooke talked the whole cast of what show into a giant Christmas surprise for her daughter?
Two weeks of travel in November left me feeling a bit run down. I just cannot sleep well when I’m not at home and it leads to all forms of whining. (Frequent travelers who sleep, I salute you. Now tell me how you do it.) Part of the trouble is lower back pain which I’ve had since I was in high school and which has been bothering me again. When I was grousing about all my aches I decided I needed to start a regular exercise schedule again because I have discovered that when I keep my core strong my back pain is no longer a problem. I can sit in the least-ergonomic chairs and sleep in the saggiest mattress and be just fine. Also when you can keep up a sprint pace down long hallways you might not miss that connecting flight. (Which totally wasn’t my fault, who expected a worldwide computer system to crash just before my first flight of the morning? Who thought it would happen all over again for the return flights?) This is all “duh, Megan” information I realize but somewhere I had forgotten how beneficial it is for many different situations. Might any of this also have to do with putting on a bathing suit at Camp Mighty last month? Ha ha ha no! I mean yes, a lot.
So instead of giving in to the excuse that is waiting for New Years resolution time I decided to take this weak glimmer of motivation and start exercising right away. During the most overwhelming month of the year. Wish me luck.
One thing that is helping to propel me along is getting to try out pvBody. This is how it works, they send you a new exercise top and bottom each month for a subscription fee (which works out to two thirds less than the items would cost retail). If you like them you keep them, if not you send them back for a refund and shipping both ways is free. When you sign up you can chose guidelines based on what sort of activity you do (“being comfy” is one of the options) and style you like. They allow you to chose from a bunch options: racerback or camisole? short or long sleeve? low, natural or high waist? patterns or no? colors or all black? I like being that specific and I like not having to try on clothes in a too-warm and harshly lit dressing room. I’m finding having fresh new clothes that are stretchy in the right places and do that wicking thing to be motivating in a way I wasn’t expecting. Girl strong! Girl do extra bicycle crunches!
The Portland Bazaar is next weekend, Dec. 8th and 9th. There will be stuff to buy and food to eat and I wish I could make it down there. Also, Design*Sponge is buying the first 100 guests of each day a little pick me up (coffee from Heart on Saturday and Pine State Biscuits on Sunday). Nice.
The annual Gingerbread Village display here in Seattle is up now through January 1st at the Sheraton. If you’d like you can take a peek at what is on display each year. This display is one of my favorite reasons to take a trip downtown in the winter, and since the display is open at all hours (it’s in the hotel lobby) you can plan a late night viewing followed by cocktails nearby.
The Mighty Tieton 2012 Chandelier Festival is tomorrow, Dec. 1st and includes a Holiday Crafts & Antiques Bazaar and the opening of Trimpin’s Sound Space, which you can control using an iPhone. Which is awesome. I was a kickstarter supporter and have a bunch of tickets to experience it, which I’ll be doing soon.
Kirby Krackle just released a new song and video called One More Episode. (It’s fun to try to name all the show opening art in the video.) They’ll have a holiday single out soon, Kyle will be appearing at the Dammit Liz Holiday Special at The Triple Door. And Kirble Krackle will be opening for Wierd Al (!!!) at the Calgary Expo in April. Awesome.
I had a fabulous time at Camp Mighty earlier this month. There was lots of learning about inspiring projects, lounging by pools, connecting with new people (‘sup new peeps from Seattle?!) and visiting with old friends. Mostly though I was thrilled by the number of people I met who had amazing goals for their life and the year ahead, and I loved watching how sharing those goals meant finding people who were able and happy to help.
And! This year Bing was a sponsor of the camp and helped two campers with one of the things on their list and, shocker, I was one of those names pulled out of the jar. So I’ll be hosting my first dinner party for ten people with their help. I’m petrified and super excited and of course you’ll be hearing all about it. Thanks Bing!
Go Mighty is up and running and doing online what Camp Mighty does off. I’ve yet to get my list up there (a week visiting family around Thanksgiving means I’m a little behind) but good stuff is already coming from the site. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Cool Tools – Rivet Spacer. “A rivet spacer was originally designed for evenly spacing rivets on aircraft, but it can be used for evenly spacing anything, from buttons on a sweater, to finish nails on those infernal Ikea drawers you are trying to put together nicely.”