friday, august 29

i wish i could have slept later, but jetlag woke me up stupidly early. oh well, we kinda had to get an early start anyway. we got on the road for a little ways and then looked for some breakfast options. we decided on a "shari's" restaurant, mainly because it was there. i did like the logo though, it reminded me of watching "family ties." i got the crepes, mainly because i was excited about going to the crepe stand outside the convention center later, and figured i would make it a multi-crepe day.

a while later, we rolled into seattle and headed straight to our soundcheck at the convention center. there was much confusion on the loading dock, but we figured out where we needed to be and met up with the Duke and his friend Shiraz once in the theatre. what is awesome about PAX is that there are a bunch of people assigned to know what is going on, and their job is to bring you around and show you where you need to be, and make sure you have everything you need. it's a really well-run experience. so we had folks getting us our badges and we started setting up our stuff to soundcheck, and we had help getting all our stuff to the merch table, and then Gordon Merrick showed up! i had not seen him since the last PAX, which is really too long to go without seeing him, so it was a very happy reunion. and then we soundchecked, which went smoothly. they had in-ear monitors this year, which i had never used before, and it was fantastic. it's amazing how much easier it is to sing (reasonably well) when you can actually hear yourself. thumbs-up.

Soundcheck pix courtesy of David Greenspan


then we were brought to the green room, where we could see out the windows and overlook the giant room where everyone was queueing up to be let in. they had just started letting the public in about half an hour prior, so things had started getting kinda chaotic inside. we relaxed for like 5 minutes before heading down to the merch table, where jason was holding down the fort. having done this last year, i was a little more mentally prepared for the ensuing craziness. plus having jason there made things wayyyyy easier for me, so i could actually focus on meeting everyone instead of selling stuff. no more addition and subtraction clouding my brain. anyway, we signed stuff and took photos for an hour or so, before heading across the street to the panel that sean and i were on.

also by David Greenspan

the audience was actually fairly gender-balanced, but up on stage, it was a great many guys, and me (the panel was all the musical guests: the minibosses, jonathan coulton, mc frontalot, the oneups, amanamaguchi, and darkest of the hillside thickets). it was audience q-and-a style, and the questions were mostly about the music biz and vidgeogame music biz, it was pretty cool hearing everyone else's perspectives on that. anyway, by the time that was over, i was all weak and low blood sugar-y, so we went across the street to the crepe stand for my much-anticipated crepe. it had cheese and egg and spinach with bechamel sauce. oh boy, it was worth the wait.

i felt much better after having some food, and we went back up to the merch table and did our thing there for a while.

we ended our feud with frank howley, aka that bratty kid from the brainpower video.

then we went off to do a couple of interviews: this one with [OC] and then another with Spike TV (we're in there around the 12-minute mark). we still had yet to check into our hotel, as our day had been totally nonstop, and we decided it'd be less stressful to just get ready in the green room as opposed to running to the hotel and back before our set. so that's what we did, and hung out with our lil' posse up there (we'd been joined at this point by kathryn and holly (aka mrs. duke and mrs. shiraz) as well). so i got fancied up, and then got nervous. sitting around before a show does that to me. especially when the show is "kinda big". eventually the oneups finished and an enforcer came to fetch us and lead us backstage, where i waited some more and continued getting nervous. i mean, holy crap, there were a lot of people out there. i think it was like 5000 or something? that's way more than we normally play to. i wished there had been a bottle of wine in the green room.

gordon merrick introduced us again this year, and then it was time to go. i finally got un-nervous about 3 songs in, and it was great fun. it was awesome having the duke there this year, and it was great playing as a 4-piece. it was incredibly helpful being able to hear myself too. which isn't to say we didn't mess up. because we did totally mess up a few times. BUT we actually nailed "final countdown" this year (i mean, the lyrics and the keyboard parts, that is. not me actually hitting all the high notes. those are hard!) anyway, the whole thing was great fun, and a more solid show than last year, i think.

then it was over and we went back to our table and met folks and signed stuff and took pictures for HOURS. these people were so patient, waiting in a big humongous line, it was kind of amazing. it's weird feeling legitimately famous. i mean it's kind of novel and awesome. the crowd finally dissipated around 2, then we had to pack up our gear and merch and get everything out to the car (once again with gracious help from the enforcers) and then finally checked into our hotel around 3:30 am. way too pooped for an afterparty, unless you count the fun gordon merrick slumber party (a swig of absolut from the minibar and maybe some cookies, i can't remember now).

some lovely photo galleries on the following pages...