Game Designer and Author, Matt Forbeck
Okay, so what happens when you are kinda getting back into gaming, don’t know it nearly as well as your totally involved brother and you go to the best four days of gaming in Indianapolis? You end up running into an individual huge in both gaming and writing. The only problem is you don’t even know that he is that huge and big.
Dan the Bard
Dan Marcotte is a well-rounded bard. According to his Bio Page:
What can I say? I’m a Bard! I walk the land, singing songs, telling tales, and doing good deeds! I play all sorts of instruments like the Renaissance Lute, the Egyptian Oud, Elizabethan Cittern, Turkish Laouta, German Lautenguitar, Medieval Gittern, Puerto Rican Cuatro, Mandolin, Penny Whistle, Bodhran, and of course Trumpet. I perform at small and large Sci-Fi/Fantasy Conventions like GENCON INDY, GARYCON, WINDYCON, 3CON, DUCKCON, CODCON, ACEN, and C2E2. I’m the Music Director of the Bristol Renaissance Faire where I perform all summer. Yes, I do birthdays and weddings.
I also do a lot of mainstream music and storytelling in schools and libraries with my partner Judith Heineman. And I’m a founding member of The Whiskey Brothers Irish Band! I grew up in Schaumburg, IL, and was (and still am) a Dungeons and Dragons playing Band Geek.. I went to Illinois Wesleyan University for my undergrad, with the intent on being a band director. Somewhere during that time, I got it into my head that I wanted to be a bard, but I didn’t know how to start. So I got my Masters Degree in Renaissance and Medieval Music from Florida State University. Upon completion of the degree and my thesis, The Ap Huw Manuscript and the Welsh Bardic Tradition, I announced that from that day forth I would walk the land, singing songs, telling tales, and doing good deeds.
He was kind to give us some time at Gen Con 2014. Listen in as we talk about:
- What led him to the bard’s life
- The instruments he plays
- D&D is, of course mentioned
- How long he has done this and music in general
- His inspirations and influences
- How he created his unique niche
- His thoughts on the new media order
- How many Cons he does
- We digress to Jonathan Coulton for a bit
You can find Dan the Bard on the web at:
An Interview with The Great Luke Ski
The Great Luke Ski is a multi-talented man. He is energetic, entertaining, genuine and hilarious. He does stand up, music, cartoons, collects everything, is a member of The FuMP and gave us his time for an interview.
Luke Ski is Dr. Demento’s most requested artist of the 21st century. Replacing the earlier top-requested, Weird Al. He has also won Logan Awards for Snoopy the Dogg and When You Wish Upon a Death Star. He does a podcast, Bad Rapport with fellow FuMP member, Carrie Dahlby. He is a regular convention performer and this year would be his 20th performing the Gen Con in Indianapolis.
You can read more about Luke at his About Page. You can also listen in as Luke and Lumpy discuss:
- His background
- You Might be a Trekie
- How he does his music and collaborates
- How he has shifted on parodies
- His inspirations, both comedy and hip hop
- His thoughts on the new media order
- How he feels about CDs
- Paywutchyalike parody with Devo Spice
- 500+ Comedy Albums, his search for a K-Tel vinyl
- His favorite albums
- Doctor Demento Show still on air
- Cirque du So What
- The Logan Awards
- Art By Luke Ski
- His advice for those who wish to do what he does,
- The Sideshow Page at thefump.com for those just starting
- A Submit Button is also on thefump.com
- His latest album, Fourth Grade Talent Show
You can find out more about The Great Luke Ski at:
The Great Luke is a regular to many cons, according to his website:
San Diego Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration, Dragon*Con, WorldCon, NASFIC, Creation’s 40th Anniversary Star Trek Convention, GenCon Indy, Origins, Nerdapalooza and many more. He also is the chair of the comedy music track at MarsCon in the Twin Cities (marscondementia.com).
If at all possible, I suggest you catch up with Luke Ski when he is on the road. He also often works with others such as members of the FuMP. This year at Gen Con he did a Friday Night Live show which included many other comedy musicians and had Whitney Avalon perform a few at another show he did at Gen Con this year. Of note, Whitney Avalon and Jonathan Hurley won a Logan award, Outstanding Comedy Music Video, for That Doesn’t Make Sense.
Five Year Mission – Shore Leave
This is one great 5 man band. Lumpy was lucky enough to catch up with them in this year at Gen Con 2014 and can’t wait to see the Gen Con regulars again next year.
The members of the band are:
Noah Butler – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
Andy Fark – Percussion/Songwriter
Patrick O’Connor – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
Mike Rittenhouse – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
Chris Spurgin – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
Apryl is a classically trained pianist who began playing music at age 3. She plays many instruments and has a serious love for music Medieval and Renaissance era music. According to her about page
Apryl Knight brings years of experience and enthusiasm to all of her performances. She has been playing music since she was 3 years old, starting with piano and voice, then flute, and continuing to add expertise in other instruments until it would be impossible to list them all here. Some of the instruments she plays include bowed psaltery, flute, pennywhistle, bodhran, guitar, pianonomicon, and voice. She also dances, winning awards for her bellydancing and performing with gfire and Desert Passion Middle Eastern Dance Company. When not performing, she teaches piano and music theory.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Apryl at Gen Con 2014. Listen in as we discuss:
- Her musical backgroud
- Where to find her on the Internet
- The instruments she plays
- Her influences
- Her interest in women who wrote in the era
- Her thoughts on the new media order
- The Tolstin Troubadours
- Her albums
- Her advice to aspiring musicians
You can find Apryl Knight on the web at:
2014.09.22 – Tech Net News and Opinion
We opened this week’s show with Titanic and Cape Cod Girls from the album Choice Cuts by Water Street Bridge. You can find out more about this band by listening to the interview at the end of the newscast or by checking out the individual posting of the interview on Indie Nation. Join Brian and Lumpy as they discuss some Walking Dead spoilers and rumors, Google news in general, drones vs Star Wars and more in tech and science news. We would also like to remind the listeners that we encourage listener participation through chat, comments and you are welcome to actually join us on the air. To find out how to join us on the air, contact us via our chat room on the Listen Page.
- First off, the season premier is 12 October
- Season 5 Episode 2 – Another character from the comic, Father Gabriel.
- Carol is supposedly back at the end of the premier
- FYI – Lumpy did check, Walking Dead Season Marathon begins on 6 October
- The Air Herald reports that there will be a spin off
- There is talk about Beth, it seem that a trailer gave that and a few other things away
- Washington D.C. is in the storyline
- Beth has been in some of the teasers, possibly in a safe place
- It doesn’t look like Glenn dies by episode two
- The best cities for Internet (based on speed and/or price)
- Be kewl by looking the fool, strap your iPhone to your face
- Audible security loophole exploited
- A fewregarding Apple:
- Comcast denies TOR statements from customer
- Star Wars set needs a drone shield
- An analysis of the 5 million leaked gMail passwords
- Native Netflix support for Linux
We closed with a few more tracks from Water Street Bridge:
- Pay Me/Iko
- Zombie Jamboree
- Lumpy’s Interview with them at Gen Con 2014
An Interview with Water Street Bridge at Gen Con
Water Street Bridge is a three person band from the Midwest. The members are Jon Baade, James Kuehl, and Richard Miller. They were one of the many acts performing at Gen Con 2014. To be honest, I had not heard of them before the event. However, I am darn glad I did. They do really good music.
Their music is refreshingly different and energetic. They also have a nice visual aspect to their performances because of the instruments and wardrobe they use. Finally, as people they are just fun to be around. (I really got a kick out of Jon photo bombing a few folks at the con.)
I think it is also very clear that these three men honestly love what they do. You can sense their passion when they perform and even feel it when you chat with them at their merchandise table.
Listen in as we talk about:
- How the band formed
- Their musical influences
- How to find our where they are playing
- Why they are hard to figure out exactly what kind of music
- What kind of instruments they play
- How many releases they have
- The story behind the skull shakers
- Their advice to aspiring musicians
You can find Water Street Bridge on the web at:
I got to spend a few minutes at the Gen Con with Andrea of USAopoly Games. The company has been around for a few decades and has a large number of games available. They also will make custom games. They offer a number of themed Monopoly games. They are a family fun oriented game company.
Listen in as we discuss:
- The company history
- Some Walking Dead Games the company is releasing
- How quickly they sold out of Walking Dead Bang
- Some stuff for Firefly fans
- A game based on the classic card game war
You can find USAopoly Games on the web at:
They Might Be Giants to do Fan Appreciation Show
I just had to share some of the good news I received in my inbox. A band that I and many others have been fans of for years it going to do a show for the fans. I even remember “Dial a Song”. You can learn more about the event here. The concert will be on Friday, October 17 at 8 PM. Having seen them live in the past, I assure you that it will be a great show… they are awesome live.
You can find out more about this band at:
- Matt Bennett Reviews They Might Be Giants Live (nerdist.com)
- They Might Be Giants Live – Free! Download (indienation.fm)
- They Might Be Giants Offers Free Live Album Download (macobserver.com)
- TMBG wants your global help to make a new “Alphabet of Nations” video (boingboing.net)
A Nursery Rhyme Turned into a Geekery Rhyme
Gen Con is a huge event. There is certainly no shortage of fun to be had at the event. In fact, there is soooo much to do at the event it is impossible to take it all in. One of the nicer things at the con is the Family Fun Pavilion area. You can even play a game, The Cheese Weasel Conquest, while you explore the various exhibits.
In my opinion one of the best exhibits in term of being family oriented was G33k & Company. While I made it a point to interview all of the Family Fun exhibits which participated in The Cheese Weasel ConQuest, I feel that this exhibit was likely the kewlest of the bunch. Listen in as an attendee reads what I am going to call a Geekery Rhyme. (Her son even celebrated his birthday at the event.)
These rhymes are the creation of “Mother Geek”, Diane Presnell. You can find Diane Presnell and her company on the web at:
- G33k & Company Website
- The SurReal Mother Geek on Facebook
- A YouTube Video of a 2013 Gen Con interview
- My interview with her
Yes, Gen Con 2014 ended over a month ago and I am still publishing interviews. I am typing and editing as fast as I can. I ended up with a gluttonous amount of material but I promise you I will get them all done. However, between work, lack of drive space, ancient machines (my newest is 10 years old), a WordPress update eating the website, biological necessities and carpal tunnel I just can’t move any faster. Please be patient.
They dub themselves as a 16th century rock band. While the entire ensemble was not present, the two, Robert Bruce Scott and Jon Silpayamanant, who performed put on quite the show. Robert Bruce Scott delivered an excellent solo performance.
They perform in numerous languages, blend classical style, opera and much more. They are likely the only band on the planet to do an Ewok song from the original Star Wars movie. (That’s right, Lucas took it out of the DVD releases.) I also don’t ever recall a cello and mandolin covering Crazy Train, Stray Cat Strut and many other pop tunes.
- How many languages they sing in
- Their influences
- Their musical background
- Their latest album, all around Star Wars
- Thier take on the new media order
- Advice to individuals who want to do what they do
- Their musical backgrounds
You can find Il Troubadoure on the web at: