« Barbecue on the Horizon | Main | New Experiment »

February 24, 2008

Idiots'Fest 2008: Day 1

Okay, it's been over a week now since the big shindigenanigans, and neither of us has yet to post about it. We are very good about posting about little nothings, like our dog and my increasing girth, but when something REALLY important comes along, we're just unable to put it all to paper/pixels. The reason here is that Idiots'Fest was so great and awesome that it totally blows my mind to even think about. So many things went JUST RIGHT and there were so many great moments and there was so much that just flew by because we were both running around like crazies that it's hard to even know where to start.

That being said, I think it makes at least nominal sense to start with Day 1. (btw, I just looked up "nominal" to make sure it meant what I thought it did (it only kind of did, but whatever) and the fourth definition listed was this: 4 informal (chiefly in the context of space travel) functioning normally or acceptably. What the...? I wonder how often THAT definition comes up...) So, Day 1 was the kick-off event at the Rose O'Neill Literary House at WC. Matthew and I did a reading with Drew and Brian underscoring us. We read Unattractive and Inadequate and debuted Volume 14 (can you believe it? It's already written and drawn - even though Vol. 13 has yet to be sent out! Thanks, baby, for making me have to do advance work!). If you're at all intrigued, Volume 14 is called "The Vast Sahara". Brian and Drew rocked it with some crazy middle-eastern influenced jazz or something (can you tell I'm not a musician?) - trust me, it sounded awesome. We actually got a recording of it, so someday once it's mixed down, I'll post it (apparently matthew was yelling into the mic so drew needs to pull him back a little bit on the recording). There was a fair turnout of the college crowd and some community members, and the rest of the performers for Saturday trickled in throughout the evening.

During the break between sets, there was a demo in the press room showing how the broadsides were made. I got to crank one of the suckers through - Emma and Mac had already printed the black plate and most of the yellow plates, but left a few of the yellows for the demo. Check out my mad letterpress skillz:

How cool is that? I love printing. There's something so gratifying about the fact that you can just crank out as many of those things as you want, if you have enough paper and ink. There's something about multiplicity that I'm a real sucker for. I don't care what someone's doing, if they do lots of it, it's just plain impressive. Yeah, okay, it's a lame way to pass judgement, but what can I say, I have no standards. Quantity over quality, every day. Isn't that how the world goes 'round, anyway?

Some other folks got to print their own broadsides too:

Can you tell we're related?

Anyway. They turned out beautifully, and I only wish we had sold lots and lots more of them. We did our best to hype them up:

And then matthew and I tried our best to match talent with brian and drew, but they totally rocked us out:

From the looks of this picture, they're being very casual about their rockittude, but trust me, they were amazing. It was all improvised (they had never even seen or read The Vast Sahara and hadn't really played with each other in years) and they really did a stellar job. I keep thinking to myself how excruciating this whole event could have been if the (self-proclaimed impromptu) musical talent had been mediocre, or even talented but unable to mesh. I wasn't worried, but the greatness that was evidenced really brought into focus the potential for it to have been really really bad. If one cog had been off, it really could have sucked. But it didn't. Thank goodness, because then next year we might have had to call the festival Subscribers That Suck. It just doesn't have the same ring to it.

We finished off the evening by setting things up for the band over at Bookplate. There were still some random things in the back room, which Matthew put to good use.

There were lots of shenanigans, some pizza and some belly shots, and we got to hang out a little with Bren, who is officially our most dedicated subscriber, bringing in some dozens of new subscribers from her home state of Iowa. There have never been so many idiots in the great midwest.

There was also lots of fiddling and faddling with sound equipment that left the ladies glazed and irritable. But I suppose it was all necessary. We parted ways for the night around midnight, abuzz with anticipation for the main event.

And by "abuzz with anticipation" I mean "completely physically and mentally exhausted".

Posted by ribbu at February 24, 2008 11:52 AM