Yes is it unfortunately true, I am still editing interviews from Gen Con. I apologize for how long it is taking but my ancient hardware is just not allowing me to be effective at all with post production. (My newest machine is ten years old.) Nonetheless, it is what it is and I will do better next year. My 2015 motto is “new machine or bust”.
Happy Birthday is a card game that is similar to Apples to Apples. It is a family fun game from North Star Games. I really enjoyed watching the Happy Birthday Game demo. It is a simple to learn and play game for almost any age. Listen in as we play a game of it and talk to Luke about the game. You can also find North Star Games at:
As far as gaming goes, there are many “things” gamers may need to actually game. Some games require dice, cards, etc., In gaming, there are many games which require miniatures or models. To some gamers, a group of enthusiast of which I am a member, who feel that the creation of the model is just as big as the game itself. Some of us, even take it to the terrain level. For those of us who love miniatures and terrain, we need places like Morland Studios. They do models and terrain.
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:
She has Kittens and is not Afraid to Use Them
An Interview with Sarah Donner
If the musicians at Gen Con have anything in common, it could only be that they are all unique. Sarah Donner is one fine example of such, having her own special feline, geek, funny personal style, twist and brand. Not only does she do songs about cats, but specifically about Schrödinger’s and, check out her latest video at the end of the interview notes, which is Tesla themed. Seriously how could geeks like us not love this stuff?
Not only did we manage to catch up with Sarah Donner for an interview but she was also nice enough to let us record her live. Keep it tuned here for when we release all the Gen Con stuff. Also, if you ever get word that she is playing near you, be sure and go see her as you will not be disappointed. I was lucky enough to catch up with Sarah at a coffee shop across the street from the con. Listen it to as we talk and hit on the following and more?
Join us as she tells us about:
- When she started playing
- “Angsty female songs”
- How she uses comedy
- of course, cats, science, geek and other inspirations and influences
- The Anatomy Coloring Book
- How many albums so far
- Being on the road
- Her thoughts on the new media order
- What would she call her genre
- Who does she think she sounds like
- Our thoughts on genre
- Her advice to those who desire to do what she does
You can find out more about Sarah at:
- Ever Wonder What Schrödinger’s Cat May Have Thought? (pascophronesis.wordpress.com)
- Ask a Cat Lady, Sarah Donner Answers Cat Questions in Song (laughingsquid.com)
- Help Pave The Way To A Tesla Museum (pascophronesis.wordpress.com)
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:
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:
Mathew Rivaldi of Wiggity Bang Games
Mathew Rivaldi is the president of Wiggity Bang Games and he was nice enough to sit down with me and talk about his company and it’s most recent release, Alpha Bandits. The company was also giving out print and play versions of the game.
The company has a history of award-winning games and I feel that Alpha Bandits may well make that list. While I am still too far behind on interviews to have played it yet. I can tell you from watching others play it at the Con, it is a really entertaining board game. Listen in as we talk about:
- The company history
- Alpha Bandits, a devious word game
- Their competition at the Con
- How to pre-order their Kickstarter funded game, Alpha Bandits
- His advice to those who wish to create a game
You can find Wiggity Bang Games on the web at:
Below is a video showing you how to play Alpha Bandits
- Alpha Bandits by A Jennuine Life (feelincrafty.wordpress.com)
- With a Name Like Furt, You Know This Board Game Is Strange (wired.com)