Archive for the ‘tours’ Category

And off!

And we’re off – six shows in Oregon with Leannan Sidhe. See you when I see you – hopefully in Toledo or Newport or somewhere on the coast!

the perils of touring

…I just realised I’m going to miss the U. District Streetfair here in Seattle for the first time in … decades?

Seriously, I’ve gone to this thing since forever, more or less. I’m not originally from the U. District? (I don’t even know where I was born?) But I’m from the U. District. And Streetfair was always just a hop over the hill to the Ave and then STREETFAIR! which means summer is here, in a way Opening Day never did for me, even though I go to that too sometimes, and there’s way too many foods and booths and vendors and clothes and street performances and and and…

…and I’ll be in Oregon doing shows with Leannan Sidhe.

Which is awesome. Don’t get me wrong. If I had to make that decision intentionally I probably would. Probably.

But… streetfair. snif.

well hello there canadians

Citizenship and Immigration Canada just made it easier to book gigs – the work-permit requirement to perform anywhere serving food and drinks as a major part of their business model has been removed! Well, mostly – you can’t work anywhere on an ongoing basis without a work permit, and that includes bars and restaurants. But still!

This is a big deal for some of us. Everyone else, carry on as usual.

photos from the bay

Some photos from Clallam Bay! More are on my Flickr photostream, as usual. Plus, they’re larger, which is really good with some of the panoramas.

Come enjoy a ferry ride! Kingston-Edmonds, of course. I like Kingston quite a bit. Edmonds, too. The downtown is a lot like White Rock, even if I can’t entirely say why. Reminds me of a BC town. Which is fitting, given that it used to have a Vancouver ferry.

Small towns on the peninsula are still kind of a lot of 1959. I present you with The Bay TV Phones Motel. I’m told it used to be the Bay Free HBO Motel back in the 80s; I like the current name better, it flows nicely. But honestly, I edited out reflections of other modern cars, but otherwise? Welcome to 1959:

Fireworks was the first order of the show. I didn’t take pics of those, but here’s Shanti of Leannan Sidhe and … Linden, I think? From Project Wonderful, hanging out with pretty much the rest of town for three hours of legal and not-entirely-legal fireworks.

I didn’t take any photos during the actual convention, mostly because I was too busy! But I did get in a nice beach hike, so you’ll get photos of these. There are several more good ones on my Flickr photostream, as before, but here are some highlights.

Let’s Go Beachcombing!

Acres of Not Clams
Shanti told me what they are called but I keep forgetting. I’m bad at nouns.

Panorama of Not Clams

I’ve tried to get out to the site of the old lighthouse every year, but I’ve never made it. To get there without at least wading, you have to be there at very low tide. This year, the timing worked out perfectly.

The Abandoned Approach
(Again, lots more ruins photography on Flickr.)

Standing on the Foundation Pilings

Tide had already started to turn, and there’s no way back without swimming once tide rises much, so we headed back right away. As the sun started to set, the clouds moved in just so to make the sunset look like a binary star system.

All those pointy bits that look like rain are the not-clams you can see in the acres of not clams photos above. Tide wasn’t taking its time.

We found a bunch of really cool random things on the beach. I only posted pictures of a couple (some didn’t come out). While I didn’t keep it – I don’t tend to be much for keeping objects – I loved the deep blue of this shell:

Oh So Blue

Next year’s Comicon has already been announced, with an official convention hotel and everything. Looks like people want to make this thing succeed. I hope it works out, it’s a lovely place to spend a hot summer weekend – even if the Clallam Bay Inn no longer serves the most excellent waffle fries. (They went to wedges! They’re still good, but not that kind of good.) But I still got my cooked-fish fix, the bay is still gorgeous, and the fireworks are still insane. The important things endure. ^_^

adventures in clallam bay

Another year, another Clallam Bay Comicon! Donna Barr has a write-up here, with several photos. More programming this year than the previous two; Project Wonderful came in and did an interesting presentation about how they work. I’m going to follow up on that.

Next year’s con has already been announced. It’s funny – it’s not so much that the con (still very much a party hosted by Donna) hit critical mass this year. It’s more that it hit that pre-critical mass of people going, “You know, we could turn this into a real and bigger thing.” So next year, there will be a multi-person concom, there’s an official convention hotel, and multiple-room function space, and possibly some SCA tie-ins… yeah, it’s still very DIY, but more people are going to be involved in the doing.

Assuming everybody does what they’re saying they plan to do, of course. XD

Personally, I had my best year there yet. Bringing Leannan Sidhe along was awesome and both our shows went over pretty big. We had people coming back from last year who remembered the songs I did again, we had new people, some of the folks from town came over, and overall we just had a good old time. And sold CDs, which doesn’t hurt anything either.

There may be some video. I haven’t checked it yet. Fingers crossed.

I’ll post a picture-spam post from the hike we did of the continuing-to-be-gorgeous bay. For now, have a picture of a pretty moth I took, while setting up for the concert. Gorgeous wings, don’t you think?

clallam bay!

It’s Clallam Bay Comicon again, the third, which is pretty good for what basically started as a hangout at Donna’s house. They’ve expanded again – there’s more function space, though I don’t yet know how the layout is supposed to work. But that’s okay. It’s also going into Monday this year, in an experiment of scheduling; I’ve no idea how that works either!

But if you’re on the peninsula, I’m doing the Kitting Out Cheap panel again at 4pm – on how to build a recording studio good enough for home use when you have about $1.50 in your budget – and Leannan Sidhe and Crime and the Forces of Evil are doing a split set at noon Monday.

And even if you’re not on the peninsula now, there’s no reason not to be this weekend. Particularly not with the heat wave coming in. Hmmmmmm? Always cooler in the west, I’m just saying…

gamcon 2014, the first

Thanks again to GAMCON for having me at their event last weekend! It was The Bremerton Gaming, Anime, and Music Convention’s very first year, and the staff was all sorts of anxious to make sure attending professionals had a good time. I felt very well tended. They had their share of first-year problems, but mostly, it looked like only their fair share – except, maybe, for running out of badge holders and lanyards. They only bought like 110, and those were gone in minutes. I’m told they got more later.

I rode over on the ferry – I think it’s the first time I’ve gone to Bremerton as a passenger, so it was fun to get on and off the boat via the passenger terminal. Much cheaper, too, of course; bus to boat to CONVENTION! to boat to bus to home. And the convention facility was literally right next to the ferry terminal building, so it’s extremely practical.

GAMCON’s dealer room had some size for a first-year, with a couple of more exposition-like booths, and a pretty good range of dealers. I talked with a maker group for a while, with a couple of educational groups, with some people who build entertainment systems, some artists – they had a lot of artists in the dealer room, lacking an art show – and I bought a Mockingjay pocket watch. I have a convention watch again! It’s been a while.

But the best dealer had to be Team Rocket selling Pokébathballs, which are not at all stolen and are most certainly not boobytrapped in any way.

Not in any way.

Larger at Flickr

Other function space consisted of two primary function areas: an outdoor courtyard (concerts, original plan for cosplay competition, things like that) and the Fountain Room. Both spaces were pretty large, though the Fountain Room was a bit across-and-far from the rest of the event. Despite that, people found it. There was also what looked like a small tabletop area near registration, and a gaming trailer outside. I watched some Black Ops being played for a while, via the external display screen on the side of the trailer.

There are fountains outside, but you can’t see them in this photo.

The cosplay event had to be moved inside because of light rain, so I’m not sure the outdoor part of that was the best idea. They had a lot of entrants – I arrived late and didn’t get photos of everyone, but I still saw over 20 entrants.

The format wasn’t like anything I’d seen before – no stage, more of a walkthrough on the same level as the audience, with classes of “beginner,” “experienced,” and “master,” and at least some awards given by popular vote. No sound support, and I’m not sure if their classes are supposed to correlate to the Guild tiers or not. But they did have a photo area, at the end of the hallway runway.

There were a lot of hall costumers just wandering around – for such a small con, it sure had a lot of cosplay.

I’m not posting all of the costume photos here, but I took a bunch – they’re on my flickr page. But I’m posting this one, because…

…now that is a goddamn scythe.

But flags make the best props. Even accidental exposures look awesome.

It felt right to one-day it; I really, really needed a day off, so I just kicked back Sunday and did pretty much nothing. But I’d go again next year, if they do it again, and were I in Bremerton or out on the peninsula in general I’d certainly give it a good look.

Next weekend: Clallam Bay Comicon! It’s a weird one, on Sunday and Monday rather than Saturday and Sunday, because of Clallam Bay Comicon. Will it work? No idea. Let’s find out!

the road back

I’ll post about GAMCON tomorrow – it was a lot of fun, thanks for everyone who came! – but today, it’s the photos from the trip back from Greenland. Large versions on Flickr, as usual.

If we did a live album of these shows, or, for that matter, of all this whole tour? This would be the album cover. Totally the cover.

Taking the High Road

Yep, it’s a desert – all these were taken from the car on the way north and west.

Westward, Ho!

I took a lot of mountain pictures, but they were all from windows and only a couple came out. But they aren’t bad:

Desert Range

Desert Range 2

Getting a decent lens flare on a phone camera isn’t easy! I didn’t even do it on purpose, it just worked out that way. I thought it was worth posting for that alone:

Arc of a Driver

I wasn’t sure whether to I took a few of these as the sun set; the colours at the edges were really interesting:

Approaching Wormhole – Confirm Destination Vector

We saw a lot of these little white plumes along fences – it wasn’t smoke, it was just some sort of vapour rise at sunset. But that’s not poetic, so I called it…

Ghosts Dancing

Yes, I was taking panoramas from a moving car. The amazing thing is that some of them actually worked!

High Tension in the Distance

I brought up the lows a bit in this shot, because it was too dark, but it’s still just dark enough to call it…

The Dark of Sunset

The sharp edges of the mountains here are so stark. I imagine trying to climb them.

The Range and Road Go On and On

But then the rendering engine decided it couldn’t keep up. Clearly I need to upgrade reality’s graphics card. Or maybe I just need a new driver. I haven’t had time to be sure.

Texture Glitch

These came out really well for being shot through a bug-splattered windshield.

Down to the River (1)

Down to the River (2)

And finally, before darkness set too far in to shoot.

Moonrise over the Desert Sunset

from the green wood

I don’t actually know much about renfaires, and I don’t typically go to or play them, unless I’m playing with Leannan Sidhe, in which case, HI RENFAIRE TIEMS!

We had a great set of shows, thanks to everybody who came to them, some of whom came to all of them, which was pretty neat.

I am very sleepy and it is very late and I’m behind on too many things, so this is mostly a photo post. As always, larger versions – particularly important for the panoramas – are on my Flickr page.

This was not at all a part of the renfaire, but check out this Space Hotel with its Space Antenna. I have no idea what that antenna is supposed to do. I don’t think it does anything. There is an arrow that points wind direction, so that’s something, I guess, but honestly, what is this even supposed to be?


Besides totally awesome, of course.

Here are a couple of views of Camp Sidhe. The campground is right next to the Faire, and really, honestly, one of the more pleasant camping sites. It’s strange, camping in what amounts to a city park. The weather was nearly perfect this year, too – much cooler than last year.


Camp Sidhe Tree

Jeri Lynn, the Leannan Sidhe touring cellist (and who is also on the album), and in the second photo, Shanti and Matthew, Our Roadie.


This is the view from our campsite.


The River Wide and Long

I saw Homestucks and all kinds of randomness in attendance. I didn’t have time to get photos, tho’ – mostly I was busy doing four shows a day. Crowds were very good, we were standing room only a few times. We also had some of the regulars out doing their thing:

Brave Sir Robin

Yep, Them’s Fins

Inexplicably, the Americans showed up, from the Future. Presumably. They had a paddleboat:

Here, have a bunch of stage and backstage shots – the first one looks from off-stage right down Horseman’s Path all the way to Zinger’s Magic Pavilion. Mostly he’s moving to smaller setups, but he still brings out the big tent for this show. He lets us store our instruments in his backstage, which is really nice.

Stage to Stage

The intersection of Queen’s and Horseman’s

Backstage, Three-Headed Giant Not Included

Performers have a more-or-less green room with refreshments and places to sit; it’s called the Plague Pit.

What a dapper doggie!

So, yeah! I normally can’t do these sorts of shows, but since this one is in a park forest, I can make an exception and it’s all just fine. I got some really nice landscape photos on the way back – particularly given that they were taken from a moving car XD – and I’ll post this tomorrow or Friday, depending on time. Shout out to Tamra from coming all the way up to Richland to see us on Sunday, and everyone else who hung out and chatted too!

well, that was fun – now back to work

Tremendous fun in Oregon – thanks so much to Zinger and Tabitha for the ride back, to Shanti’s mom for hauling us around, to Glastonbury for having us in, to all the people who came to the shows and a zillion people and HI EVERYBODY! if you come up here and say hi!

I’ll post some pictures tomorrow, after we get done unpacking – Minion Paul got some cargo in from Starfleet, apparently. I have no idea what he ordered. But if you’re going to have cargo from and organisation starting with S, I’d rather it be Starfleet than Strexcorp.

Transporter Fully Operational

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