Sadly enough, MAGFest is over but that isn’t stopping us from reminiscing about our favorite moments.
If you were following us on facebook or using the hashtag #npccmag you may have noticed we were scattered quite a bit around the convention. For those of you who are unfamiliar with MAGFest, it is “an annual festival held in the Washington metropolitan area that celebrates video games and video game music, as well as their surrounding culture.” – Wikipedia
This was my second MAGFest (Some members 5th and 6th) and it was an amazing experience. People come from all over the world to nerd out about the things they love and share the passion for those things together like a family.
Since it was a MUSIC AND GAMING FESTIVAL the NPC Collective definitely did the musics. We had 4 main stage sets between the collective, played the Mega Man-athon from 5-10PM on Friday and were scattered through probably 10 other sets between main stage and underground.
Mega Ran, Creative Mind Frame, K Murdock, DJ Cutman and Sammus speaking about different ways they monetize their music
But the true fun was partaking in the convention itself, going to panels… playing in the arcade at 3AM and just hanging with people talking life. If you want to catch some of our performances you can head over to the MAGFest youtube page and Mega Ran also set us up a nice little Spotify playlist for the NPC Collective!
Below is a video with some of the collective’s thoughts on the con!
Short for “Music And Gaming Festival,” MAGFest is a four day-long event dedicated to the appreciation of video game music, gaming and culture. In short: it’s lit.
Catch members of the NPCC all over the fest!
On Thursday, 1-Up runs a panel on the “Fine Line In Music” while NPC’s Richie Branson and D&D Sluggers play main stage that evening!
Friday, Mega Ran joins our affiliates FanBros for a panel on geekdom in diverse spaces. From 5 to 10p, the whole Collective will be rocking live sets at the Megaman-a-thon, which will stream live at twitch.tv/halfemptyenergytank. Richie will hold a panel on Going Viral at 9PM.
Saturday, Sammus holds a panel called “Leveling Up: Monetizing Your Music” with special guests at 12:30, 1-Up Creative Mind Frame hits the MAG Main Stage at 3, followed by KadeshFlow at 6pm, and the entire crew will be rocking at the “Nerdcore Showcase” from 6:30 to 10pm.
Hashtag us at #NPCCMAG to find out where we are! it’s a party.
This is an image of Sammus and the information for the Kickoff Party. Text: GeekGirlCon Kickoff Party Concert featuring Sammus / Pokemon GO Game Cosplay! and Whitney Monge. Friday 10/7 @ Hard Rock Cafe
If you are in the Seattle area, come see Sammus rock the stage with GeekGirlCon at the Hard Rock Cafe! This is a FREE EVENT for those 21+. The first 100 people through the door will receive a free drink ticket!
Come thru and welcome back Sammus to Seattle and celebrate women in the fields of math, science, STEM and all around nerdery!
GeekGirlCon is a two-day convention Saturday, October 8-Sunday, October 9.
Also! If you’re going to GeekGirlCon, be sure you don’t miss the Women in Nerdcore Panel featuring Sammus and Shubzilla! That panel is Sunday, October 9 at noon!
This summer, numerous members of the NPCC embarked on a two part two, aptly titled “The Day Job Tour” (or “DJT”). The tour was split into a West Coast and East Coast addition, the West Coast stint culminating in performances at Anime Expo in Los Angeles and the East Coast romp ending at Otakon in Baltimore. For a few of the participants, this was the first foray into the world of touring. The following series of blurbs, broken up into a few parts, will detail individual DJT accounts from various NPCCs. Here’s part two of three!
The NPC Collective Presents: PAX West 2016 Nerdcore Hip Hop Concert! September 3, 2016 at the LoFi, Seattle WA.
The Day Jobs Tour was the first time I got to tour anywhere. I appreciated the invitation to participate in it, but also to have my near and dear friends Kadesh Flow, EyeQ, Bill Beats with me.
When I was asked to be a part of the tour, I was surprised to be included. When Desh and I started planning, I didn’t feel confident in what I was doing with my music. Often, I would second guess myself whether it was booking a show or writing a song. It’s not a great place to be for anyone. These were feelings and thoughts that I worked thru and were able to put aside so we could work together to craft our tour route and the plans along the way.
Being on tour was the jump-start I needed for the road to creative recovery. There were four times where my friends and I performed as best as we could to audiences that didn’t know us. Those were four times where we gave our audiences a positive experience and a great show. Couple that with words of wisdom from Kadesh Flow, EyeQ, and Bill Beats, and it was what is fueling me to rise above the lows and continue to create with them and the rest of my NPC Collective family.
One learns as they go when it comes to touring – this was no exception! During our travels, we discussed on strategies for effective promotion and partnerships with other artists and venues. We can do all the research we want, but that face-to-face contact makes such a difference.
Other things that I have learned:
I need to give myself more credit about the work I put in and the talents I have.
There are plenty ways to promo that we must tackle next time! There’s flyering and postering, but also getting our singles out to radio stations and podcasts so folks know where we are.
I want to offer more merch.
Save (A LITTLE!) of my money for In-N-Out Burgers and Marie Calendar’s. We don’t have that here in Seattle.
I must do a few collab tracks with my tourmates so we can vary up what we do and get each other on stage more.
(This is more of a reminder of the obvious than it is something I learned) I am surrounded by incredibly talented people.
Apparently, every Shubzilla set is leg day.
PAX West 2016
Soooooo where do I even start!?
This could also be labeled the “Tour where everyone has something bad happen to them.”
In all honesty though it’s a true testament to our bond as the NPCC. Regardless of all of the crappy stuff that happened to each of us individually (Flights delayed, laptops dying, questionably racist staff,lol) we never lost our cool or stopped having a good time!
I flew out directly from work and my laptop died, so I ended up using Eye-Q’s laptop most of the weekend (thanks brothaman). The tour was a ton of fun, it reminded me of those times you take kind of long road trips with your family for like 3-4 hours at a time. We played in NYC, Baltimore and DC, and since I can stay awake for a million hours at a time I did most of the driving which was hilarious because Chris would randomly have conversations with us in his sleep.
Otakon was literally the craziest and most fun / busy con I’ve ever attended. I specifically need to shout out ALL OF THE WORKERS there, seriously the joy that people had being there was contagious and made it so fun to hang out with them and chat whenever we got the opportunity. Thanks to Vince for booking us for the Matsuri – literal insanity. The crowds were so fun and they participated every time we asked them to… I know sometimes it’s like “Yo… I came to watch you perform and you’re asking me to help you perform?” but not in this case 🙂
Got to spend some time picking the brains of some really awesome people… For instance: Lotus Juice gave me some tips on a mobile production program, Diana Garnet opened me to the world of VIS manga readers and this really amazing fellow named Shin… well you just have to meet him because your mind will be blown at the awesomeness that flows from the man’s brain. I also spent a lot of time doing interviews and meeting people who were just there to enjoy their Otakon
Our New York and DC shows were in more intimate venues which I actually really like. In those scenarios I can get right up in your face with the creepy eyebrow look while I’m doing Corny Pick Up Lines, and there is no retreat…
But also finally got to do a show with Wreck The System and just chill with them which we don’t get to do a lot of! One of my favorite things about doing music is getting to interact with people I know virtually and just getting to know them in person a little bit more each time.
It was all a whirlwind of a weekend, but 10/10 would do again if given the opportunity. The only thing I wish I would have done was stayed a little bit later or maybe an extra day (I did rectify with PAX after learning my lesson the hard way.) All I know is #NPCCFAM we always have the best of times.
PAX!!! An experience I’ve been waiting on for nearly 10 years. Two of my best friends went when we were in high school as kind of a graduation present and I assure you I was happy and jealous at the same time. In the mid 2000s, it became a goal of mine to go to PAX one day and play all of the games.
As of Sept 2016, I can now travel back in time (once I learn time travel) and tell teenage Emmanuel that his goal has been fulfilled and close out with an epic fist bump. Joining up with the NPC Collective and Death*Star, we brought and weekend full of jams, hilarious (and some serious) panels.
Headed to the convention early Friday obviously to scope out the area, grab some grub and develop a game plan after picking up our badges. Because we all have no attention span and because I’m a huge Destiny addict, we ended up splitting up to go do our own things and explore for day one. Word to the wise, if you have the same cell provider as like 70% of the attendees (*Cough* Verizon) you may want to bring walkie talkies because you’re going to have a difficult time connecting to send messages over said network.
Destiny – I played that beta at the Bungie booth like 10 times. It was only a multiplayer map but man it felt good to use the Gjallarhorn again. ESPECIALLY due to the fact that I got mine in year one like two days before Xur finally decided to sell it
* Side tangent I started getting hit up on twitter by a bunch of random people because I had my tagline listed as “1UP @ PAX West” asking me for Union of Light Emblem Codes. I started just giving them out at random to people who were liking a photo I posted and gave a couple out in a random grand giveaway. Heads up… DON’T do that … It’s super aggravating when 100 + people are messaging you sob stories (some being spam accounts) about why you should stand in line for 45 minutes to get them a code for an emblem. *
But back to Destiny. There wasn’t a huge amount of the story revealed this weekend just by playing the multiplayer beta but it was still a lot of fun. Bare minimum I was able to test out a couple of maps and judge the character balancing as far as super negations went. I made it a point to play on the Warlock, Titan and Hunter to get a feel for the potential tweaks. I can say I didn’t notice a huge difference in the multiplayer mode other than hand cannons seemed pretty powerful in comparison to the Taken King (even more than the July damage buff). But then again I could have just been playing against some folks who were super good with hand cannons (ಠ◡ಠ)
1UP handing out thrashings in Destiny
** Other side tangent, Super Soul Bros were there playing right by the booth so it gave some awesome music to destroy folks to. Haven’t seen them since MAGFest so it was really good to get them back in the earholes. **
*** Double other side tangent. Spent too much monies at the Bungie store T_T #worthit ***
Rivals of Aether – This was actually introduced to me at Otakon by Trailer Drake. We played a few rounds in the hotel room a couple of days but I ended up forgetting the name of it until I walked up to the 6th floor (which housed most of the indie games). All I know is:
It was super fun
I played probably 20 + matches
I’m super addicted now and have to Boot Camp my Macbook now because I bought it anyway lol
If you haven’t checked it out, it plays a lot like Smash Bros Melee (SSMB) which IMO was the best one, but it’s all more pixel type 2D character designs. When I say it plays a lot like SSBM, I mean it even plays as fluid as SSBM (if not more fluid). Right now the game is still in early access but you can still purchase it and play, but it’s going to have releases and updates pushed to us until the game is complete. I still think that the playability factor is super high even in beta and TOTALLY worth the money. There were a lot of fighting games on the floor that attempted to emulate the SSBM style but were kind of clunky and not really all that enjoyable so it was nice to be able to come back to Rivals for a refresh.
Virtual Reality Demos – Even though I was there all four days, I actually never jumped into any of the Virtual Reality (VR) demo lines because I hate lines and yeah… I hate lines. I spent a lot more time observing people in all hilarity with their headsets on playing different games. PlayStation had quite a few set areas up with close observation range where you could see the participant and the television display of what they were seeing in their VR headsets. I’m sure even if there were ear buds in they could hear the laughter of joy coming from the crowds. It definitely put the idea and desire of picking up a set for myself, buttttt maybe on second iteration so I don’t have to deal with bugs and issues associated with early adoption syndrome. ^.^
I know that a few of my fellow NPCC squad attempted to get tickets for the Resident Evil VR experience. Which basically handed out all of the daily allotment of tickets within 30 minutes of the convention opening. I looked at that line once and was like “Nope.”
Kadesh taking losses in Tekken 7 😂
Other Stuff – To be honest the stuff mentioned above is what I spent a majority of my time on when it came to gaming. I strolled around a couple of days with Ohm-I and Kadesh Flow to try some games like Elder Scrolls Legends, Classic Gaming Room, Tekken 7, and got some serious education on Trove from Twixler. I will probably end up diving into that game as well soon and destroying my spare time life lol. Oh and Atlas Reactor haha! Ohm-I taught me a few things about that game since he’s like a celebrity there, although I didn’t want to get wrecked playing in front of people so I passed. Link here.
Even though I didn’t get wrecked Ohm-I caught these feet during Dance Dance Revolution T.T (for your viewing entertainment).
MUSIC AND PANELS
NPCC MOB – Saturday was a ball. We played an epic game of rap tag and blasted dopeness to the earholes with Death*Star at the LoFi venue a couple of miles from the convention center. If you haven’t been to an NPCC Mob event it’s pretty hilarious and MAD fun. I don’t mean to toot our horns but… TOOT TOOOT! We basically have a drink or two, pass the mic after a couple of songs and catch our breath something serious (◡‿◡✿). I bumped into Murs for a hot minute at the event before he had to bounce and the universe can be at peace as he is as chill as we all imagine and hope. Instead of writing a bunch about the show I will just share some pics from our wonderful photographer Sayed :
PAX West After Party @ LoFi (Photos by Sayed Alamy)
In addition to Saturday’s show, we fortunate enough to put down a quick set on Friday at one of our homie Mark’s shows and we were sprinkled in through some panels from Friday to Monday (Nerdcore Hip Hop Panel, One Fandom To Rule Them All, Business In Music and Code to Cardboard: How to Draw Digital Addicts to Tabletop) which ranged from fun debauchery to serious and informative with game creators all the way up to the grandfather of Nerdcore MC Frontalot. I will say that it is one thing to go to something celebrating the culture that you genuinely enjoy, but it’s a great feeling to be able to contribute to that thing you love. Much love to C0splay for the epic team up and making 17 and 28 year old 1-UP super happy.
Changing Faces Of Nerdcore Hip Hop Panel (PAX 2016)
So obviously we are at the end meaning it’s time for the unnecessary but usual ranking of the convention.
PAX West gets a 10/10 from me!
Reasons being: Even though there were lines (and I can’t subtract for this because every con and expo has lines), it was extremely well put together. The content was obviously right up my alley 100% so I’m going to be a little biased but it just felt a lot more like a “Hey, we are adults and are here to enjoy the Expo” versus a few that I have been to (and I’m going to sound old for this) where people are like acting an extreme fool in the con exhibit hall. Don’t get me wrong I love to party but I also like to be in the mind to enjoy the thing I traveled to enjoy, and while everyone enjoys the world differently I just appreciated the mature nature in which the attendees immersed themselves in PAX West.
Thoughts from Kadesh Flow:
Kadesh Flow (Photo by Sayed Alamy)
This was my second PAX West trip. It was much better than the first (not that the first was bad), as I was able to engage in more gameplay and attend more panels. The Lo-Fi show was the highlight of the trip. First, I’m still stoked to play a PAX after party. Heck I’m glad to just have chances to go to the convention! But playing an after party? Awesome!More importantly, rocking with homies from Death*Star and my NPCC family is always priceless. 1-Up, Shubzilla, Ohm-I, and I employed a highly effective strategy of running round robin for about two hours. The energy level remained super high, and everyone maintained a fresh and consistent energy as a result.
The biggest shock of the trip was Murs (yes, Murs) coming to the show and clearly enjoying himself. I looked out at him while we were on stage, and he was smiling, vibing out, and filming us!!!! Murs was filming our set! In a packed house. It was a great night and a great trip.
P.S. If you’re wondering where the links are to the things I mentioned before, scroll up… I hyperlink everything