What kind of live music do you guys like at Cons?

edited February 2013 in Story Games
What kind of live music do you guys like at Cons? Genre's mostly. Specific bands, sure, but in general?

Comments

  • I probably listen to whatever is there. The best band I heard live at a Con were the local Mr.Hurley & Die Pulveraffen (who make pirate folk.)
    But yeah any good music is a plus, but I do not come to cons to hear music usually.
  • I have never heard good live music as a con
  • scrappy indie music made by geeks I know and love, such that even if I don't gel with the music, I still have an opportunity to celebrate the fact that a geek I love made it.

    upbeat dance music that inspires all the cosplayin' fellas and ladies to shake tail-feather.

    what's the context you're asking from?
  • edited February 2013
    Aside from the Klingon folk band playing in the hall at Gencon last year, I don't think I've ever bothered with music at a convention. It would have to be a specific band that I knew beforehand to catch my interest. ("Ooh, Ghoultown is playing at Dragoncon? Bonus!")
  • what's the context you're asking from?
    I'm a musician that likes to make lots of different kinds of music. Curious what is popular in the event that I one day decide to try to gig it up at a con.

    Like, I'd love to go and play instrumental epic fantasy style music - like you're listening to sound track of Lord of the Rings. But I could also go in and play hard hitting eletronica to appeal to the sci-fi theme - the stuff we listen to when we play Shadowrun. Or I could just bust out some good old reggae to get people dancing and jiggling.

  • From what I can tell something folky or fantasy style would probably go over well. Especially if it is a LARP scene associated con. Danceable "middle ages" folk usually gets attention. Speaking from my german perspective so it might be different at other places.
    (I'd rather her Ghoultown probably, but that is me)
  • I'd prefer nothing too geeky. Just play the music you like and can play well.
  • Like, I'd love to go and play instrumental epic fantasy style music - like you're listening to sound track of Lord of the Rings. But I could also go in and play hard hitting eletronica to appeal to the sci-fi theme - the stuff we listen to when we play Shadowrun.
    Go the Laibach route and combine the two
  • Never heard live music at a con except for a little J-Pop at a rave after an anime con. Given a choice, something Ska/Retro Swing would be good. JB's mention of Ghoultown would be a group that I'd make a serious effort to watch.
  • Lots of Ghoultown love in this thread. I'd go for the Retro Swing stuff too.
    Maybe we are all "Nerdabillies" ;)
  • edited February 2013
    Go the Laibach route and combine the two
    QFT.

    I will have to investigate this supposed "Ghoultown".

  • This depends.

    I'm a filker. I'm a gamer. I go to filking conventions, larping conventions, gaming conventions, and general sf conventions.
    At general sf conventions, I do filking at night. I may go to a dance -- a Regency or Victorian or Swing or Steampunk dance. I'm not likely to do anything more modern than that. I may do a concert during the day, but I really would rather do panels. But, you know, if Tricky Pixie's the musical guest, as in Reno, I'm there.

    At filking conventions, I go to concerts and filking. It's music and more music, and the occasional seminar I generally don't get around to making (though I did make one of Barry Childs-Helton's jamming workshops at the Ohio Valley Filk Festival.
    At gaming conventions, music is not what I'm there for.

    At GenCon, I may stop and dance when a small band is playing in an ample enough space, especially if I'm with Josh and the music's folk / folk-rock. I'll say hello to the musicians selling their CDs, and if we somehow don't have all the ones we want from the musicians we know, we may well pick up what we're lacking. But, I'm there for the gaming. I want the music to be somewhere the people who want it can find it, and where it won't be obtrusive to me.

    Except...
    Double Exposure asked Josh and me to run filking at Dreamation, and naturally enough, we said yes.
    This was a success, if you define success as "We never had to sing just to each other". There were 3-5 people there (counting us) for the entire two hours scheduled for the filk. Vinnie wants to try this again, and Josh has been contacting filkers who game (rather a lot of us), and some folks think going to a gaming convention where filking might happen one night is delightful.

    But I'm still primarily there for the gaming.
    I got to play in two of Bill White's wonderfully researched Cthulhu games. I think I understand Cthulhu Dark pacing a lot better now.
    I got to play in Night's Black Agents. I still don't get the General system of Gumshoe, but the game felt like one of those movies with explosions every other scene -- ones our heroes can outrun -- and it was awesome.
    I got to play in Hocus Focus Fiasco with Kat Miller and three other gamers who were totally _on_.
    I got to playtest The Tavern and I'm still thinking about how that game worked and about all the food stories.
    I got to play Monster of the Week, with bits of Monsterhearts' mindset creeping in, and I got to play Monsterwarts!

    And, during all of those games, none of which I would have wanted to miss, I was not wanting music.

    So, for a gaming convention, I want the music other folks want to listen to, and I want it where they can find it and it won't get in the way of the games I'm playing. If I am the music, I want it where folks who want to listen to it can find it, and where it won't bother anyone else.
  • I saw the pillows at Anime Boston 2008, which was a peak experience. These things do not otherwise go together.
  • None!

    Next question!
  • Music is pretty dependent on context.

    Like, when I went to Gencon in 2009, I remember there being some steampunk-folk group playing music in the hallway. And clearly they'd be invited and were on a schedule of performers, but it was also just right in the hallway. There wasn't really any way to engage, other than to just stand there in the busy hallway and stare at them.

    Are you wanting to create a space for dancing? Are you wanting to create some nice geeky backdrop music in the cafe at lunchtime? Are you wanting people to go to a music show at a convention? Are you wanting to add some soundtrack music in the background, during gaming sessions?

    Geeks like lots of different types of music, and the answers change depending on what you plan to *do* with that music.
  • edited February 2013

    I will have to investigate this supposed "Ghoultown".
    http://www.ghoultown.com/

    They're a "gothabilly" band that plays heavy country/cowboy songs about zombies, murder and Jonah Hex. I found them back when I was heavy into Deadlands. I really dig'em. I only mentioned them in the thread because I know they've played at Dragon Con once or twice. Apparently they're better known than I realized.

    Back on topic... If I could chose what kind of music to hear at a con, I'd choose power doom metal--songs about vikings and dragons and space pirates. The Sword, Slough Feg, and that sort of thing.
  • edited February 2013
    It'd be fun to have a scifi room with electronic music and a fantasy room with, I dunno, instrumental folk/Celtic/harp/etc played real low. More to create atmosphere and get in the mood than attend to. Maybe just play at the beginning and end of a slot when people are coming and going and getting settled.
  • Unless you want to be the living soundtrack for my live action game I don't want to hear you!

    (If you want to be the living soundtrack for my live action game we should talk.)
  • Maybe I'm confused.

    I've only been to maybe fifty game cons, but I don't recall ever hearing live music at them. So if that's what we're talking about, I feel like I don't have a foundational context for this conversation. If there was a panel about music appropriate for certain games or whatever, then that might make sense to me, except live music is sort of a weird combination...how would that work? Mostly, I think I'd vastly prefer not to have music while I'm trying to play games. It's bad enough shouting over the other fifty tables of gamers.

    If we're talking about more general SF cons, I guess I can see a place for that. And then my answer is what Graham said -- do what you do well.
  • What Joe said, with the caveat that I do not have to know and love the people themselves; some of the most fun con music I've heard was two guys (keyboardist, guitarist, both prodigies) riffing on game tunes in the hallway at an anime con a few years back.

    @Tulpa : Laibach might be a stretch, but Corvus Corax is certainly not a stretch. I would love to see MedEVIL music at convetions.

    Otherwise: Harp (GC had a roaming harpist for a few years, it was fairly awesome); big-bad swing (something fun, lively and dancable; music alike to Caro Emerald, Movits! ect).

    It's interesting that I'm recommending the above, when my two absolute favorite genres of music are electronic and hip-hop. Not sure there's a lot of room for either at a convention, though I would love -- LOVE -- to be proven wrong on that point.

    -Andy
  • Yeag the Corvus Corax genre is well liked in the german scene. Saltatio Mortis are a known nerdy band, they had an inworld cameo in a roleplaying book too. ;)

    I do not want to hear the music while playing, but if there is a seperate area, like a LARP tavern or just a stage outside or in a courtyard or something.
  • I went to a convention in New Orleans that had a little 4-piece jazz band playing as you walked into the convention center. It was a really nice touch. Maybe shoot for some common areas where people go through rather than pack in.
  • edited February 2013
    In 1999 (or such) the Cruxshadows played Origins. That was only because their producer (or whatever) was playing in our vampire larp. He also has permanent fangs and fights banks in court. What, the Philly goth scene is the shit. Anyway, all the vampire players went to see the band play in one of the rooms upstairs in the convention center. That was probably my best con music experience.

    Nowadays, I prefer my Con music like my street music: simple, beautiful, something I could stop and listen to if I wanted to and donate a few dollars or pick up a CD. Whatever style is yours is what I want to hear!
  • I'm always happy to see musicians getting paid. Gen Con is pretty good about paying groups to be in the hallway. I enjoy the SCA like bands playing medieval and renaissance music. If I was to add any kind of music I'd enjoy old time fiddle music like the Buckskinners do. What I can live without is the recorded music the people across from me played during Gen Con set up Tuesday and Wednesday "Gangnam Style" need not be played again...

    For the most part though I'm not at cons for music. If a game uses it to set scenes that is cool but it should be unobtrusive.
  • I went to a convention in New Orleans that had a little 4-piece jazz band playing as you walked into the convention center. It was a really nice touch. Maybe shoot for some common areas where people go through rather than pack in.
    I just kind of assumed that every building in New Orleans had a 4-piece jazz band in their lobby.
  • edited February 2013
    "Play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing even if it does take them 15, 20 years."
    - Thelonious Monk
  • Two thoughts:

    * Please pay the musicians, and as well as you can. Not only do you get what you pay for, but I also consider it an important element of social change, badly needed in North American culture. (Potentially having to do with the history of race struggle, but that's a whole other story...)

    * Have music for a party/hang, like if you have a bar or a dance party or something like that, when people are relaxing after all the games. That would create a nice "non-game" ritual space to just have a good time and let loose, a good contrast to the formal nature of most games you'll be playing (taking turns, sitting still, etc).

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