Category: Music Videos

19 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, Peter Pepper

Peter Pepper is an adventure-punk.  On the website, this is what Peter Pepper writes: “Turn up the volume with your middle finger till the walls collapse. This is the Adventure Punk movement.”  I still don’t know what being an Adventure Punk means, but you can read the full manifesto at the bottom of the page.  It feels vaguely anarchistic so…yeah, punk.

Peter Pepper, according to his Dragon*Con profile, has a band of action-adventurers who sing to help those of us who suffer from the great whatever.  I’m going to assume that the great whatever is the general malaise and ennui that happens with every day life, but I could be wrong.

So we should listen to some music, yeah?

Oh, this might be a bit too hard for me maybe?  Jon would like it though.

Yeah, it is a little hard.  That isn’t necessarily terrible but, um, this video is sort of scary isn’t it?  It sort of feels like Korn.  You can decide whether or not that is a good thing.

Yep.  Whatever, I guess.

Talking points:

–Adventure punk!

–Sort of scary lead.  Also sort of like Korn.

–COMBAT THE ENNUI.

One thumb up.  I could take it or leave it in all honesty.

20 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, Pandora Celtica

Pandora Celtica describes itself as (okay, deep breath here),  “a dark faerie Celtic acappella band from the land of dreams and myth. The Queens and Kings of the Fae have ordered the creation of our band that we may be a beacon of magic and high art in the mundane realms, both for the mortals and for you, our fellow Bright Beings, who make your home here.”

Hoo boy.  Okie dokie then.

I think examples like Pandora Celtica are why con-goers and nerds in general can sort of be given the side eye–IT IS SO WEIRD.  I enjoy keeping a foot in many different worlds, and a lot of people don’t even know that I’m a nerd until I open my mouth and start dropping obscure Star Trek references, but some nerds (like the members of Pandora Celtica) seem fine with keeping themselves firmly in nerd-land.  Which is cool, really, but I think the world is vast and varied and so I like the experience all sorts of different things, and I find that if I call myself “only a nerd” then people might put me into a little box.  BOXES ARE LAME.  Maybe I am putting Pandora Celtica into a box, but with a description like that how can you not?  Also, at a certain point I believe that men just need to cut their hair.  Sorry (not sorry).

ALSO THE WEBSITE IS ALL IN COMIC SANS AND COMIC SANS IS A TERRIBLE FONT IT IS ALMOST AS BAD AS PAPYRUS.  Ungh, comic sans is just such a disaster.

I know, I haven’t even listened to their music yet.  Truth: that description has already biased me against the band. Aside from the over-earnest fae stuff, the acapella band is just…I can’t.   I stopped liking acapella after I left college (because every college has an acapella group, yeah?)–not a comment on talent, mind you, because there are many talented acapella groups.  Just, again, not my thing.   Like, I’m sure there’s some irony in all of this, it is just hard to see on the internets.  I mean, I hope there is some irony?  Please have some good, healthy, self-aware irony?  Who knows.  Here is their Dragon*Con profile if you are interested.

All right.  Let us listen to some music.  Sigh.

So Ren-Fest.

Oh-so Ren-Fest.

So, that’s them hosting ModernPagan.TV, which I think tells you all you need to know.

Yeah, this just isn’t for me guys.  This is sort of like the Marc Gunn post: I acknowledge what Pandora Celtica does, I respect that other people like it, we are all entitled to our own opinions, and this music just isn’t to my taste: my opinion is “NOPE.

Talking points:

–“HAIL TO THEE BRIGHT BEINGS.”

Fairy faerie acapella band.

–So Ren-Fest.  SO REN-FEST.

Two thumbs down.  Beware the sparkly fairy magic.

23 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, Megan Jean and the KFB

 

Megan Jean describes herself as a “hard-touring, foot-stompin’, guitar beatin, upright lickin, washboard scratchin,’ banjo pickin’ madness with a voice like the devil herself.”  Her band, Megan Jean and the KFB, is a Charleston-based duo that from their description probably falls into the “Steampunk” music category.  They play gypsy, circus, americana, and the avant-garde style music.   Their Dragon*Con profile offers a nice little summary of their journey: NYC refugees who fled the city to settle in the Southeast, where they are now part of Charleston’s burgeoning music scene (I need to visit Charleston for serious y’all).  At first listen, their music is a little bluesier than some of the other “Steampunk” stuff I’ve heard at Con/during this band profile journey:

That’s the song that’s going to be featured in the PBS documentary in which the band is involved.

Not sure I like that song quite as much as the first one.

Or that one, for that matter–for a bit I thought it was a man singing but then I realized that Megan Jean has a very k.d. lang voice.

Check out the stand-up bass!

So if Dragon*Con were to have a blues band I’d say this would be it.

Talking points:

–NYC refugees, fled to the south.

–Steampunk via the blues.

–Stand up bass!

No thumbs–honestly this band didn’t make much of an impression on me, and in terms of female-fronted Steampunk bands I think I prefer Frenchy and the Punk.

 

24 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, I: Scintilla

 

I:Scintilla is a Chicago based band who has played Dragon*Con before, and who fits into the gothy electronica vein of musical performances.  I:Scintilla combines metal-infused electronica with elements of synth pop, trip-hop, and indie electro to create their distinctive sound.  The band is comprised of  frontwoman Brittany Bindrim, Jim Cookas (guitar/programming), Vincent Grech (drums), and Brent Leitner (guitar/programming).  I:Scintilla also has a reputation for having a great live act.

I just want to say: YAY FOR TONS OF FRONTWOMEN AT DRAGON*CON.  Ladies keepin’ it real next to the menfolk, hooray for feminism in music!

Promotional photo from I:Scintilla
Promotional photo from I:Scintilla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bitch, please.

Anyways, at this point the bands at Dragon*Con fall into a few loose categories: gothy electronica/dance, Steampunky/vintage, and general folksy stuff, maybe with a Celtic flavor.  Maybe I’ll stumble into something different down the line?  We’ll see–in the meantime, here is some music courtesy of I:Scintilla:

Oh lordy, so gothy!  Jon really likes it, of course.  I actually like it too.

Look at all the strobe lights!  I want to break out some glow sticks and twirl them ferociously in front of my face.

That was fun.  In case you can’t tell, my tastes sort of run to gothy, dancy, dark electronica.

Talking points!

–Female lead singer (grrrrrl power!)

–Heavy electronica dancy gothy sound

–Good live show

Two thumbs up!  GLOW STICKS FOR EVERYONE.

 

26 Days to Dragon*Con Band Profile, Marc Gunn

So according to Marc Gunn‘s Dragon*Con profile, he calls himself the “Celtfather”  Celtic music is Marc Gunn’s deal.  If you like Celtic music, read on.  If not, well, I’m guessing you don’t frequent the Pern or Filk or Tolkien tracks at Dragon*Con.   I don’t like Celtic music.  I’m just going to put that out there.

Did you watch the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics?  I did!  I loved it, despite people being all “WAH IT WASN’T BEIJING,” which, hello, nothing can be Beijing, and also it was SO. BRITISH in all the best ways.  I also really loved when the children’s choirs from the England., Wales, Scotland, and Ireland sang traditional songs from their countries.  Marc Gunn does a bit of this–the difference is, I don’t tear up with emotion (the children, guys, the children all united!) when Marc Gunn sings “Danny Boy.”

I am really into neo-folk music: Fleet Foxes, Joanna Newsom, Decemberists, Beirut.  But these all have a bit of winky irony to them, and also move forward with their genre.  Marc Gunn is firmly–from what I can tell, correct me if I am wrong as I am literally being introduced to his music today–in the un-ironic, actual folk-song camp.  I mean, check out this video: the long hair and the pirates and the kilts and the autoharp (which makes me think of the incomparable Catherine O’Hara in A Mighty Wind).

Guys, it is so Ren Fest!  And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you like that, but I can only do it in very small doses.  So here is another small dose:

Okay so that was about cats.  I like cats.  I don’t think I liked that?

One more, just to see if I can handle it:

So that’s from Dragon*Con 2011 and, um…no, no I still don’t like it.  I take back my earlier statement about him not having any irony–I think it is there, it just isn’t really my kind of irony.  Or sarcasm.  I like things with snark and no, there’s no snark here.  He has a nice voice, and he’s clearly good at what he does, but it just isn’t for me at all.

Talking points:

–A man and his autoharp

Utilikilt

–Celtfather

Two thumbs down.  I’m sorry, Marc Gunn, I am sure you have a very large following, I’m just not going to be a part of it.