I'm going to try to write up more about FKO before I completely forget it.
Saturday got started late; I went to bed early Friday night feeling completely drained and I slept as much as I could, and that meant sleeping through the juried one-shots and the DADGAD workshop. (I would have attended the latter despite the fact that it was labeled as being for dummies and I do not self-identify as a dummy.) After briefly raiding the consuite, I went across the street to the teriyaki place, where I shared a table with georgeousgary and the_sheryl. I had a bowl of noodle soup and an order of dumplings, and I found it edible, but only that. Even if it's still there next year, I'll probably go to the Subway instead.
I find that I have trouble appreciating a whole afternoon of concerts, so I usually skip a couple, but this year they didn't leave any I wanted to miss. Playing Rapunzel blew me away. I have to make a confession here: I had heard Mich once before, when she was a guest at (I believe) GaFilk, and I didn't remember being impressed at all. (Maybe it was just me.) But on stage with Marilisa, Mich was animated, very interesting to watch, and sounded great on keys and vox. Marilisa was equally awesome on several instruments and vocals. I'm slightly surprised I actually lived through their parody of Ookla's "Home". I wish I had been positioned to see Rand's reaction -- but that might have made cardiac arrest a certainty! (A digression from chronological order here: I asked Mich the name of the piece at the Dead Penguin, so I could put it on my Pegasus Brainstorming Poll. It's called "(Go) Home".) After Playing Rapunzel was the event I was most looking forward to of the whole weekend: a concert set from Gwen Knighton. Gwen is the only person I'm aware of in the filk world who really plays the wire-strung harp. The sound of a single note on the wire harp is so lovely that it's almost cheating; anyone who manages to be minimally competent on it is going to sound great. And Gwen is far more than minimally competent; she is a virtuoso. And she writes fantastic songs, has a vast repertoire and knowledge of traditional ballads, and sings well. If you already have her album Box of Fairies, you know. If you skipped buying it (and I know that too many people have because there are still copies available) because you aren't the sort of person to whom the title "Box of Fairies" bespeaks an album you have to have, you're really missing out. I haven't seen Gwen since she moved to England for true love; it had been far too long. Gwen was followed with "Bits and Pieces of nMC" -- inidividuals and small subsets of nMC doing things other than choral arrangements. I don't remember much. There was something about goats. (Rhodri did a children's song about goats in Welsh.) Next was Tom Smith, always entertaining, doing a program mostly of songs from his iTom Song a Week project -- which means I knew most of the songs, but had never heard them live with guitar accompaniment. The final concert was a full hour of the n'Early Music Consort's amazing choral stylings. I don't really remember many of the pieces they did, but I do remember being amazed that a group composed of everyone who wants to join can sing such complex arrangements. Before the weekend, I was really wondering if their music justified the unprecedented effort to bring 16 people to North America from England as guests for a con. After the concert, I got it. They are amazing, they are unique, and for the many of us who either have no prospects of ever getting to England, or who hope to make it someday but haven't managed it yet, it was a great gift. (A quick note to anyone who notices that I'm leaving the one shots out of my report on the concerts: I missed a lot of the one shots due to my needing a break from a solid afternoon of concerts, and right at the moment as I write this I don't remember any of the ones I did hear. No offense meant to any of you who performed one shots.)
After the concerts, it was time for dinner. trektone generously offered to treat me to dinner again. We went to the same restaurant as last year, Havelly Pakistani and Indian, which is in a strip mall on the left side of the street a few lights south of the hotel. An excellent dinner. I warned trektone that since we've done this twice, it's now a fannish tradition. If we do it again next year, it becomes a sacred fannish tradition. Actually, I'm totally behind skipping the banquet and going to this restaurant Saturday night with a small group. FKO's standard weekend is quite close to my birthday, and I'd rather celebrate thus than in a crowded banquet. But you can't buy me dinner again unless I have a chance to reciprocate, Joey.
Despite being stuffed to the gills, we returned to the hotel for official dessert in the consuite. We were late; the hordes from the banquet had decimated the spread. But there was still some sweet stuff and conversation until it was time to head downstairs. I had arranged for the memorial for Dave Alway to be at 11 in Hawthorn D, the stage left piece of the main ballroom, and since I was officially hosting it I thought it would be polite if I were there on time. Unfortunately, while I was there on time, the room was not; if I had really thought about it, I would have realized that scheduling it just after the Interfilk auction in the same space was, to quote cadhla, "a shot of dumb idea with a bad plan chaser". By the time we actually got our room, it was closer to midnight than 11, and several of the people who I thought should have been there were either already filking in other rooms or had given up and gone to bed. But we had a good group there for the circle, with a number of people who had been present at the final Glimmerglass Fen&Filk and some others who hadn't. I hope the community will continue to remember Dave. I read two poems at the memorial, Dave's own "Quad Drill" and Alfred Noyes' "The Barrel-Organ", a lovely piece that only came alive for me from Dave's reading. After the memorial, I sang "Dancing Bear", got an Interfilk haircut, and sang "Dangerous Color" for the_gwenzilliad. Unfortunately, although I was not the basket case I'd been on Friday, I didn't have the stamina to stay up really late.