Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"I'd Love To Listen, But Will These Headphones Give Me Earwhigs?" Issue #91

Quick show news! I'll be returning to the KISS CAFE in Seattle next Saturday, March 14th, for an all-ages show. KISS CAFE has a great vibe, and though not large by any means has the biggest beer selection around (local beer snobs take note). My friend Patrick Porter of EXPLONE will be opening the evening at 8:00 pm and I'm assuming will be playing some new cuts from his forthcoming album. I'll be composing a set of solo, Collider, and a few Kirby Krackle cuts to compliment the microbrews flowing that evening. See you there.

Ok, on to the good stuff! This past week I was in San Francisco for WonderCon. For those of you who are (?), it's the West Coast equivalent to the convention I was in NYC for a few weeks ago. This was the 2nd stop on the KIRBY KRACKLE spring convention tour and though it was only a little over half as large as the last one, we sold many more albums. That felt pretty damn good, and especially that this time the internet buzz in comic circles helped us out by sending folks our way. As I posted a few weeks ago, more and more reviews and podcasts have been coming out supporting KK and Jim and I couldn't be more thankful. All day on your feet working the hustle makes it very worth it when there's good feedback. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and we're enjoying riding the wave while it's here.

Taking what we learned as to what worked (and what didn't) from NYCC, we had 2 listening stations this time which made it much easier to manage table traffic and be able to share the music with many more people as a result. Some of the highlights each day for me came by way of sharing the music with little kids who can't believe there's a song about Mario Kart. Also, I think I finally got over the fact of feeling strange asking women I didn't know if they want to hear a song about playing Nintendo Wii naked. Creepy at first maybe, but once they understood what I was saying it usually ended in smiles.

As always, the best part of these kinds of gatherings isn't how much you sell (though I'd be lying if I said it wasn't important), but the cool people you meet and the stories you gather. There are many, many, many vendors at these conventions and I felt that at this one the gem came in the form of a woman named Wendy and her "I HEART GUTS" collection. Ever wonder where you could find a stuffed plushie of a Mammary Gland? What about a sticker set of the "best of" the reproductive organs? If that's what you're in the market for, this was the girl for you. All her products were creative, cute and I liked them so much in fact that I took the risk of getting the wifey her very own shirt with a cartoon Uterus on it. That's called love. Check out "I HEART GUTS" here!

When I was little, I dreamed for becoming a comic artist before I discovered that I enjoyed playing music. Given that, you can probably guess that there's a part of me that still holds onto a bit of that dream and thus in many ways being in KK is my way of involving myself in the comics industry the only way I could be. Still when you're 11 you don't think about sitting in a bar with some of your favorite writers while they try to outdo each other in grossness by telling the most horrific yet extremely creative flatulence stories you've ever heard. I could merely observe...

As for the city of San Francisco itself, I really couldn't tell you much! When you're in a convention hall from the moment you get up to darkness once you get outside it doesn't make for very much sightseeing. Unlike NYC, we didn't have much tourist time for sightseeing but had the opportunity to have some unique experiences the last day before we left for the airport. John Giang is a great artist, and a friend of a friend who works for ILM (Industrial Light and Magic), the company that is one of the largest and best special effects firms in the world. He worked on Iron Man as well as a few other projects since his tenure began. The facility flows with the energy of creative minds fueled by one of the swankiest cafeterias I have ever seen. I almost had a panic attack trying to choose between just the beverages. 100% Fresh squeezed Bartlett Pear Juice or Apple Limeade. Apple Limeade?!? I need to learn how to do special effects stat.

After ILM, we took the BART over to PIXAR which I assume needs no explanation as they've created some of the coolest stories in animation ever. The building itself is full of life-size props and character replicas from the movies and like ILM feels like a lot like the same creative energy that just thrives there. After signing my second non-disclosure agreement of the day (ok to talk about a little but no takey the pictures) we were taken upstairs to see the art proofs and concept storyboards for their new movie to be released this summer called UP. I was excited before the visit, but now really want to see this movie bad. I see how it could end up being my favorite Pixar release easily after seeing some of the depth and emotionality this film seems to be packing in the story. Awesome.

Glad to be home but like I Twittered this weekend, it always feels like leaving summer camp...minus the crying. I truly enjoy talking to the fans and getting new folks who I know will love these songs to just take the time to listen. Headphones on the head + smiles = me so happy.

"Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you."

-Shakti Gawain


1 comment:

Elwood said...

Looks like an awesome time. I'm very jealous of the ILM visit.

I'm going to try and make the concert of the 14th, too!