Is It Safe To Gnaw Through The Straps Now? (ericcoleman) wrote,
Is It Safe To Gnaw Through The Straps Now?

Convergence 2004

I took off about a half hour before I had planned …

I got into Minneapolis around 4 I think. I started trying to get in contact with my friend C who I was supposed to stay with. I had tried calling the night before and had a bad feeling. When we had talked the previous week she had told me that her grandfather was very ill and not expected to live much longer. He was 96 and had been ill for some time. Still it is a sad thing when a generation passes, he was a very nice man and will be missed by very many. My friend C is doing ok. She got into town Sunday morning and we had lunch and chatted some. Far less than either of us wanted, but I should be back up there soon.

I checked in at registration and wandered around for a bit looking for someone, anyone, who could give me a place to stay. The Chair of Marscon this year offered me his place (thank you so much) but I ended up staying at my friend redbird23's place. She is much of the reason that I was there and this is just another reason to thank her for my attendance at such a wonderful con.

I wandered around a bit and ended up in a panel about Live Journal. One of the panelists kept trying to point things in the direction that she wanted. No one agreed with her really. It was kind of funny.

I ran into the folks from Riverfolk and chattered at them for a bit. I took off to DQ next door for some supper and ran into Chas and Bonnie again and had a lovely dinner (amazingly good food too). I wanted a place to crash for an hour or two and they graciously offered me use of their room for a bit. Thank you so much all (but especially Bonnie since it was her idea). I remembered that I wanted to see Adam Stemple’s set at 11:30 so I set my watch and dozed for an hour or so.

I talked a little about Adam in my Demicon report. This was the first time I had a chance to see him play an entire show and it was astounding. He is one of the busiest guitar players I have ever seen, but he manages it without being too extreme. His songs are smart and catchy and his solo CD (which I bought) is one of the best I have heard in some time.

So the jam started at around midnight and was a blast. It was smaller than I expected (wait for tomorrow) but a lot of fun.

I think I played
Low Self Esteem (Caffeine induced thrash version)
And another couple that I cant think of at the moment

Hides was another jammed out fun version. Andy, as is his habit now, did wonderful things with the song. More on him later. Much more.

The jam was wonderful. The Riverfolk folk played brilliantly as usual. I had two very lovely young women both with glorious voices sitting next to me. I got to meet some new folks (if you were there and read this please introduce yourselves). There was a very blonde young man with one of the loveliest tenor voices I have heard in some time. I ran into him Sunday and told him so. If you read this, KEEP PLAYING. You are very very good and will get much better. If need be (and he said he couldn’t think of songs) bring a BOOK. I still do. A lot of folks do.
There was the fellow who I sat and talked guitars with Saturday who was at the jam both nights. I should have got his email. More on the song of his that I want to learn later.

I took off to R’s place around … oh I don’t know … 3 or 4 in the morning and found it with little problem. She has two wonderful purrs that I friends with. As I said to her the next day, I slept as well as I ever do (badly) but it had nothing to do with her place.

I got back to the con around 2 or so and wandered some more. I do have to admit that I felt a little lost. I’m going to a lot of cons and tend to make acquaintances slowly. Still things picked up later.

I wandered in for some of 3 Pints Gone’s set. Very fun trad renfaire sort of silliness (and seriousness too). The highlight for me was their stunning a cappella version of Wild Mountain Thyme. Man it was beautiful.

I wandered for a bit more, went to a panel about non-super hero comics which was quite fun.
I had dinner with redbird23 and stephanieb. It was nice to see folks I hadnt seen in some time.

Ok, Riverfolk’s set. Wow as usual. Every time I see them they do a very different set. Talking to Becca the next day it turns out that they have around 4 hours of material they can do. This was a wonderful show and ended with the exquisite Bonnie’s Song. I could write so much about what a wonderful person Bonnie is, but I would say buy the CD when Riverfolk get it out (and that song had BETTER be on it) and find out for yourself. It is one of the most beautiful love songs I have ever heard about one of the sweetest people I have ever met (yer a lucky bastard Chas, but you know that).

After the show I headed back to R’s place for a nap. The jam was starting at 2am this time. Man. I am too old for this.

I got back right at 2am, fully caffeinated and ready to go. The jam was wonderful. More folks including a couple of folks with whistles and flutes, a stand up bass player and an accordion player. I had told myself that I was going to go and get some sleep at 3:30 or 3 songs whichever came first. That didn’t happen. The highlights for me were …

The guy who did the Al Stewart song, man he is good. All his songs were amazing.

The guy who sang Southern Cross and directed us in playing it, what a voice.

The very cute fangirl sitting next to me who I recognized from Marscon, sigh (I’m so old).

Mentioning that I wanted to learn how to play She Moved Through The Faire and having someone show me the chords (which I have since forgotten). Then the singer from 3 Pints Down gave me one of their CDs for a (very wonderful) version to learn from. I gave her my CD in return, I hope that she likes it as much as I am enjoying her’s.

I did
Roman Wall Blues (Auden/Harvey)
Marie Provost (Lowe)
I Want To Kill Everybody (Haynes)

There is a picture from Capricon of Erica Neely looking appalled at me singing that I want for my webpage (please Mr. tigertoy). I could add pictures of Becca watching me play Marie Provost to that and have a wonderful page about how I can disturb an audience.

The guy I mentioned earlier (we talked guitars) did the most twisted song of the evening. It was a blues song about a man in love with a sheep, then it becomes a murder ballad of sorts because, at the request of his g/f, he kills the sheep. Then she leaves him for a ram. It was WRONG… WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG

I have to learn it.

I took that as a dare and closed my evening with my favorite Ed Haynes love ballad (see above). I laid down at just about 5am.

C called me around 11 or so, and we both tried to get back to sleep (she had caught an early flight and I had … well … been up till OHMYGOD:30 in the morning). We ended up meeting for lunch around noon.

I headed back for my show and got there just a little before my sound check.

This is where things get good.

I had talked to Andy Anda from Riverfolk about coming up and playing, he was polite and assumed a song or two. I told him he could do whatever he wanted. He ended up playing the entire set. We ran through Don’t Go Home as the sound check and I knew this was going to be great.

I have not played a full set of material with another musician in something like 20 years. The last show that Soldiers In A Field played here in Ames in the early 80s sometime. Andy had heard some of the songs, didn’t know most of them and STILL played so much better than me.

The problem with playing with Andy is that you want to watch what he is doing. I kept getting distracted as he was doing something lovely.

It is also difficult when Becca gets into the act from the audience.

I never break up on stage … never. Becca got me twice. I didn’t get through the 2nd line of Marie Provost before I cracked up.

Here is the set (more or less)

Hey Dad
Low Self Esteem
Color of Your Eyes
Marie Provost
Almost Beautiful
Trophy Wife
The Woman I Want
Bang My Bald Spot

Andy asked me if I was going to follow my set list. I said yes. Here is the original set list

Hey Dad
Low Self Esteem
Color of Your Eyes
Don’t Go Home
In Crosby Park (I should have played this, Andy would have done wonderful things to it)
Almost Beautiful
Trophy Wife
The Woman I Want
Bang My Bald Spot
J’s Wild Appalachian Stomp

So I was close. I did digress and cut but stuck to it more than I expected.

I really think that this will be remembered as my favorite show ever. So much of that is due to the folks in Riverfolk, but especially Andy. I can’t thank him enough for lending me his brilliance for an hour. During Color of Your Eyes my face hurt from grinning during his solo. The alternating between bits of dissonance and beauty in Hides was stunning. It is a cliché to say it but it was magical.

I stayed for a little of Lukeski’s set so I could see the new song and headed home.

I had a great time at Convergence, thanks to

And all the folks I played with, chatted with and ogled. It started with a lot of worry but ended up being a great convention and my most memorable show.
Tags: andy, convergence
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