Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Consonance 2011

Wednesday already, and the week is slipping by me. I've been processing photos taken at Consonance like a mad person, and they're in a convenient album over on Picasa. Feel free to see them as a slide show to get the flavor, and if you want to download certain ones or get prints, please do. Just don't use them for commercial purposes without permission, please. Lots of pics of wild musicians hanging out playing guitars and such.
Tony and Jeff during open filking on Friday night.

Music cons used to be a very integral part of our life; time constraints and kids and lack of funds have made us really cut back on how many we can go to these days. It's a great bonus for us that Consonance happens once a year at a hotel about a mile and a half from our house. The boys love going. This year was the first year that Riley really felt like a part of the action; he joined in the Friday night drum circle, sat in on Joe Giacoio's Guitar Workshop (though it's hard to know at this stage how much he got out of it; he's now experimenting with Open D guitar tuning) and he joined the Sunday night Rock Jam. With great enthusiasm, as you can see:

Riley at the Rock Jam. Taken by John O'Halloran with my camera.
The concerts that I managed to get to were great; Margaret and Kristoph entertained the crowd with their usual impeccable performance abilities. Kristoph runs sound during the whole convention, as well as loaning all of their sound equipment for the duration of the con. It's hard to guess what Consonance would do without his generosity with his equipment and his skills and time.

Margaret and Kristoph.
Chris Malm, the International Guest over from the UK, played a set with a fun mixture of funny, sad and spooky songs that were all new to me.
Chris Malm in concert.
I loved his voice as well as his accent. Oh shut up. I know it's a cliche to love other people's accents, I don't care. Great performance all around.
The Guests of Honors' concert set was amazing and hilarious. Maybe you had to be there. It ended up with Joe's song about men wearing women's clothing and had a whole crew of guys wearing aprons on stage dancing and a bra that ended up being thrown into the audience...
How to explain?
Carla Ulbrich and Joe Giacoio are pro musicians who come to the filk cons when asked and join wholeheartedly in with the madness and chaos. Well, at their GOH concert they created a whole new level of crazy chaos and mayhem.Their soundcheck was a whole experience in itself.

Joe during the soundcheck. Best.Soundcheck.Ever.

Carla did a number of her funny songs, and read an excerpt from her new book, which sounds like a winner. I may have been wheezing the loudest at her list of things you don't want to hear when you've been diagnosed with a chronic illness, since it all hit close to home. Funny, poignant stuff. As one would expect from a wit like Carla.
Carla reads a list of What Not To Say from her new book.
Joe is one of the most innovative and unusual guitars players I've ever seen; he does wild percussive things with both hands while playing a song as well as singing. You'd have to see and hear it to believe it, really.
Joe gets crazy with his guitar.
Then he invited guys up on stage and launched into the song about wearing women's clothing. Now the rumor was that whenever he performs this song, the joke is on the volunteers and they end up slinking away as they realize what the song is saying. Not this crowd. Aprons got tossed up on stage, the guys donned them and formed a chorus kick-line while singing lustily along.

And there was the bra thing, too.
Let's just be clear; it wasn't Carla's bra.
A raucous good time was had by all, needless to say.
Kris, Maya, Jeff Bohnhoff with crazed interloper Debbie Ohi.
And all that was only up to Saturday night; I missed a number of great concerts because i was busy Saturday during the day. Sunday brought a whole new set of concerts and workshops.

At Joe's guitar workshop.
Paul's concert went smoothly and he did a number of funny and serious songs with the help of various guest musicians asked up to help out.

Debbie on flute, Paul, Vixy and Kathleen on vocals.
He also snuck in a few joke songs aimed at some select people. Debbie was prominently featured and swore revenge:
Paul's song about Debbie Taking Over The World.
And Jeff and Maya had their own concert, a tour-de-force of witty lyrics, soaring vocals and guitar wizardry.
Jeff, Tony, Maya and Vixy.
Jeff and Maya's daughter Kris joined them on a couple of songs as well.
Kris singing lead on 'Stuck On Tattoine Again'.
And Jeff got to rock out with his electric guitar:
Jeff bonds with his electric guitar.
And of course the kids all hung out together, soaking in the music as a natural way of life and having a great time together.
Amanda shows Casey how to make really big bubbles.
The next generation of The Zombie Apocalypse.
Amanda's mad bubbleology skills.
The kids in action.
Altogether a fun, satisfying weekend full of lots of great music, humor and good friends we don't see nearly often enough. sigh.


  1. I wish we'd been there. Love the blog!

  2. Yes, it was a wonderful convention as usual. Thanks for helping me catch up on that which I didn't make it to because of my schedule.
    Next year, All Consonance All Weekend. *whew*

  3. YAAAAAAAAAAAY for your blog and omigod, you are suchSUCH a fantastic photographer, Beckett. I usually hate the way I look in photos, but you actually me look (*gasp) okay. Sometimes even GOOD.

    Miss you already.

  4. i agree! wonderful pictures (and great comments)! Thank you or sharing them!