So I got back from MarsCon 2012 (the one in Williamsburg, VA, if you're wondering—there are two) and slept and then went and gamed some more (gaming night takes priority...) and then slept and now I'm ready to discuss Marscon in long, meandering, run-on sentences. Buckle up.
It was a genuinely wonderful time. Less gaming than I'm used to at a con, but a very nice dealers' room, panels, and events. The Con Suite was excellent and incredibly well run, providing sustenance and beverages to all attendees, and even having their own programming. I performed a song during the opening ceremonies, then more songs during the “Filk Off” immediately following them. Later that night, I did my geek comedy set (no restrictions...) and had a great time. Sunday I performed an hour long concert to a bar that was considerably more filled than I expected for 11am (checkout time) on a Sunday in a hotel bar at a con. I ended up doing (mostly) requests during this show, performing some material I'd rarely done live, and even getting it all on video, thanks to my new friend Robert!
I got to see great bands and performers like Poisoned Dwarf, Coyote Run, the Boogie Knights, Danny Birt, and Jonah Knight. The last one--Jonah--caught me completely off guard. To be honest, I expected that, best case scenario, I'd gain some fans (at least one or two.) I never expected that I'd become one.
Jonah performs supernatural, ghost, and steampunk themed songs acoustically—all original material, with the sole exception of an incredibly creepy cover of Bad Moon Rising—no parodies. I know parodies are at the center of the filk movement, and they certainly have their place, but I'm drawn more to original material. I watched every single one of Jonah's shows (I missed part of one because I was performing, but that was my only excuse.) I bought his cds. I bought an extra copy of one, just to give to my friend Sean. Jonah is the real deal, and while the cd's are great, they are no substitute for watching him perform live.
He stomps in time, and sways, and emotes, and sometimes stalks the microphone, his eyes emotive, his face and posture conveying the subtle, wry humor underlying his music that might be overlooked on cd, simply because you're caught up in the musicianship. His voice wanders from Mike Mills to Peter Lorre to David Gilmour and back. He quips with the audience, and genuinely enjoys himself and his creations, and you do, too. You can't help it. It's contagious. So go listen to his music at http://www.jonahofthesea.com/ or at http://jonahknight.bandcamp.com/. Then buy it. And then get your ass to a con and see him perform. Totally worth it.
So, to sum up: Made friends, performed shows, saw shows, became a fan. Never expected it. MarsCon 2012 was an awesome, awesome time. I truly hope to do it again.