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!
Creative Mind Frame (1-UP) has come to the end of his Nerdcore Emulation Station journey.
If you’re not familiar with the Nerdcore Emulation Station (NES) series, it all starts with an assault on the entire universe by an evil army who call themselves the “Imagidrains.” (If you are, then skip down below to start reading and streaming!)
In the future, creativity is directly tied to life force which is fervently defended by artistic heroes of each planet.
The king of the Imagidrain army spends decades during a time of peace planning a vicious assault to send his imagination stealing minions to overrun planets in multiple galaxies, which succeeds in overwhelming the heroes who once defended them.
After a mysterious voice teleports the nearly killed heroes to a planet not currently taking the Imigidrain King’s immediate attention (with good reason) , he instructs them that in order to defeat the king, they must first venture through the worlds of Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64. In these worlds they will fight enemies they have never fought before including guardians left behind by the Imagidrain King to keep “visitors” at bay in order to augment their power so they can face off against the evil king.
Eventually the mysterious voice reveals himself to be of interesting relation to the story and they continue on to the Gamecube after freeing the planet guardians and other characters and bringing them along for the journey.
After saving the Gamecube from the Imagidrain army sucking it’s life force out, they are now venturing to the trippy home planet of the Imagidrains… the Dreamcast. While it is a Sega world at heart, it seems to have spread its reach to other systems and brought it back into the home planet, possibly due to the Imagidrains evolving and spreading to other galaxies and systems.
Cover of Nerdcore Emulation Station 3 (N3S)
Join 1-UP and party as he and party venture through this final world to put an end to the Imagidrain strong hold on the galaxy and also make sense of the past of the hero.
RandomBeats Music proudly presents SkyBlew starring in: SkyBlew The Cowardly Boy (yes, say it all together like A Tribe Called Quest lol.) After a lengthy hiatus from music, SkyBlew makes his triumphant return, with the follow up to – Race For Your Life SkyBlew! SkyBlew The Cowardly Boy, tells the story of scared young boy, who actually happens to be the bravest of all, but he doesn’t realize it yet. Born into a world surrounded by evil, he is forced to face his fears and fight the wicked, in order to become the man he is destined to be and save the people… This is his journey. You have to listen to each song carefully though, because the album has a deeper meaning as well. It’s all a matter of interpretation, so each person will reach their own revelation. Prepare yourselves, this is not your typical album, this is an experience… Unlike anything you’ve ever heard before! Released at a perfect time, as the world is in need of inspiration and Love. Enjoy!
This is going to be a slightly shorter post but I did want to let everyone know how awesome Classic Game Fest (CGF) 2016 was!
So if you hadn’t noticed from our flood of insta-book posts (clever huh >.>) the NPC Collective had quite an eventful weekend at Classic Game Fest which is one of the most fun and energetic retro gaming festivals we get to go to. Fun fact is members of the NPCC have been performing at Classic Game Fest going back to the year we officially became the NPCC! If you enjoy classic gaming and artists who specialize in the nostalgic feels… then you’ve probably found your next stop. CGF expanded this year to the larger space of the Palmer Events Center in Austin with even more gaming tournaments, free play arcade machines and awesome vendors! I even delayed our departure on Friday night so I could watch the Super Smash Brothers tournament :3
Other things that keep me coming back?
They keep accepting my submission (hah)
David is just plain awesome (if you don’t know David, go meet him at once)
It has the size of a large fest, but the environment of a friendly get together
I’ve met some amazing people who I get to see every year because of this event
While we spent most of our time manning the booths during festival hours, I did get to do quite a few fun things on and off stage including:
And obviously what we referenced in the title of the article…
WE MADE MUSIC VIDEOS!!!
One of the perks of actually remembering your camera is you can take some photos and shoot videos! Mega Ran was able to capture some footage for his Pokemon Go song and I was also able to knock out some footage for my 8 Bit Hero song! In case you’re wondering why the background looks similar in them… IT’S BECAUSE IT IS THE SAME PLACE!!! *Evil Laugh*
Embedded below! Go like, comment and share!! <3
Mega Ran : Go Save The World
1-UP (AKA Creative Mind Frame) – 8 Bit Hero
Anyway, as I promised I’ll keep this one short winded but if you check out this Facebook Album you can find some photos from the event! Doug Funnie, TekForce, Amarmis, Descendents Of Erdrick and tons more!
Where to even start? Denver Comicon was an absolute blast. I want to sum up how this convention started with one quote:
“Comic Book Classroom was founded in 2010, a Colorado charitable organization focused on enhancing and improving student’s learning experience through the use of comic book media.” “Denver Comicon.” Wikipedia.Wikipedia.org. n.p. Web
The convention uses the profits and sponsors a nonprofit program that takes place all year called Pop Culture Classroom. Pop Culture Classroom uses comics in classroom environments to increase literacy. I mean I played typing racing games all of the time as a kid and I type 90 words per minute, so I would have to agree that kids learn very well when you wrap the lesson in something that interests them. 🙂
When I first arrived and saw all of the kids there for field trips on a FRIDAY I was a little jealous I won’t lie (then again I was there for a vacation day on a Friday so I shouldn’t complain) and as I read through the program more in depth I thought… “This is mad cool, there are a lot of educational panels! And they’re celebrating teachers all over these signs?! OK DCC I SEE YOU!” For those of you who don’t know me on that level I am a huge believer that we need to increase not only the amount of education we provide to everyone in the world but also the quality of methods we use to relay the information. So when I saw how excited kids were walking over to a “NASA – Women in Science” or “Science of Exoplanets” panel I had already signed off that Pop Culture Classroom / Denver Comicon had my support.
As for any con I perform at, I didn’t get to see as much as I would like to see but here is the rundown for what Kadesh Flow, Mega Ran (Not Meg Ryan) and I smashed into one weekend.
Goosetown Tavern (Thursday):
After some flight delays and really close calls Ryan (Kadesh Flow) and I made it to Goosetown Tavern Thursday night and got to perform with a bunch of cool cats. We had a lot of fun during our set laying some rhymes and jazz down, and we quickly realized that the altitude shift was no joke. We were cramping and out of breath like 6th graders running the mile for the first time in gym class.
I always love seeing Word Burglar perform, he is that dude you watch and you’re like “Man you’re chill, just want to grab a beer with afterwards!”
I have to say I was blown away by Felix Fast4ward’s set… like it was insanely awesome. To describe it would not do it proper justice, but I’m going to try anyway… Watching it I’m going to assume you will probably have that face you make when you hear something so awesome it’s disgusting (Or when you smell something funky). Smooth beats obviously, but the thing that grabbed my ear was not how he used a diverse sampling set of things (from anime themes to the king – Michael Jackson), but the way he used them. The mixes and transitions were so perfectly blended… It was like a perfectly seasoned four course meal with just the right amount of offset in flavors. Unfortunately the delay mentioned above meant we missed most of the acts before us (Adam Selene, An Hobbes), but I was able to catch up with some of my friends from the high school and college days.
I’m used to the Dallas Comicon which is usually kind of low key the first day and partly the last day, which was not the case in Denver. While the attendance was obviously the most on Saturday (with that being the only sold out day) people were SHOWING UP with some of the most intense and intricate cosplay I’ve ever seen. There are no days off and almost everyone I spoke to gave about a three month estimate for the outfits.
Now I know The Dallas Fan Girls spend that much time and more on most of their cosplays but I guess I’m just not used to hearing the central tendency for time spent being that for EVERYONE. I will stick to music lol. Even though it took me forever to get a Gjallarhorn in Destiny I was able to find one in two days in Denver so note to self, whenever the Black Gjallarhorn is released in the next expansion… go to Denver, forget you Xur. Or I guess I could just pre-order (OH WAIT I ALREADY DID).
The NPCC had a handful of slots for the convention spanning from Friday to Sunday on the 5280 stage (located near one of the entrances to the show floor) if you couldn’t tell from our Facebook posts. I was a little bit worried about the acoustics, but the sound crew was on point and were doing adjustments every song for each act to make sure the artists could deliver wonderful music to the ear holes of each attendee. Mega Ran played on Friday after catching a flight from E3 with some backing horns from 1-UP and Kadesh, and per usual his presence was awesome commanded the floor… I mean what else would you expect from a Mega Ran show?
I hopped up onto DJ Alf’s 45 + 1 set right after which is an extremely cool concept if you haven’t checked it out before (don’t worry I’ll link you to one). He invites different artists up during a two hour time block and each artist performs either a jam or a song they’ve already written over a 45rpm record he spins to (artists choice). What we are left with is a wonderful smorgasbord of different genres and styles over some smooth records, and since I’m not the greatest freestyler I went ahead and did my 8-Bit hero song over the instrumental for Wings of Honneamise.
Saturday we were joined by Danimal Cannon for some free roaming of the Con while I basically scoped out things I was going to buy the next day. Lots of really good artwork and crafty things but I was slightly saddened by the smaller “celeb” presence (which I had to remember this is focused on education) in comparison to what I think I’m used to seeing.
But back to the music, I finally got to see an entire An Hobbes set which was cool especially if you’re into story songs like myself. He performed a string of songs off of one of his recent albums in which he focus on just that – telling a string of stories. I won’t get into detail and give any spoilers, but you can check him out here.
It was a great lead in because after he gathered up everyone’s attention we proceeded to steal it before they could leave.
Being our first time at DCC, sometimes I forget in these types of scenarios that people will sit when given the option. If you don’t think this is true… walk around a Con all day and then you can pretend like you don’t salivate when you see an empty chair. We jammed out both Saturday and Sunday (Sunday surprisingly being a larger crowd), I bantered, Kadesh threw some sick trombone down while I tooted the sax and we got to meet some really interesting and fun people from all over the state. Bonus find was we got to hang out with The Fangirls Of Dallas outside of Dallas which I will say it is always nice to have as many friends in the crowd as possible.
We stuck around and see Sunnydale High after talking to them a little bit (also partly because I used to have a huge crush on Sarah Michelle Gellar) and then a little bit of ghostRADIO. I chatted it up a bit with the drummer’s (SDH) family and they were so nice which is always pleasant to get to hear good music while sitting around good people, and then watched a few songs from ghostRADIO and … wow. I know I keep using words like awesome and wow but that’s literally how I need to describe the awesome music I was exposed to this weekend. Contrary to what some people believe I really like rock shows. ghostRADIO was like a mix of Alien Ant Farm, Incubus and Creed’s studio sound (for their instruments only because I’m not going to insult ghostRADIO’s singer like that). High energy, connected with the crowd and had great musical ability – check them out here.
Quickly following we dashed to the Marquis theater to catch Daminal’s set. If you haven’t gotten to see him yet he is as great live as he is mixed and mastered. Not just musical talent but you can almost watch the music flow from his heart into the guitar.
And then stayed to jam our tails off with Teacher-Rapper-Hero extraordinaire… MEGA RAN. I’ve already covered Mega Ran through videos so many times I figure you’re tired of hearing me talk about how great his shows are, so instead I opted to get some words from him and Kadesh about the con and how he felt about everything:
“As a guy who can say he’s seen them all when it comes to cons, I thought I was ready for the Denver Comic Con experience. I was not.
It’s larger, more expansive and more inclusive than most other conventions in the US, and even the world.
First of all, let’s start with the most important side of things to me, music. DCC has a stage that runs all day, every day with nonstop local and national music talent, something I’ve not seen at any other major city’s Comic Con. It’s a great place to sit and escape from the hustle and bustle for a while, as well as hear some new and interesting music.
Outside of that, the atmosphere was welcoming, the staff was helpful, and the people had an amazing time. That makes Denver Comic Con a rousing success in my book. Can’t wait to visit again.”
“I’ve been wanting to get out to Denver and perform for over a year, so the idea of finally having an opportunity to do so — and at Denver Comic Con, at that — was exciting. I have compatriots in the nerdy hip hop community whom I did not know even lived in Denver! Playing with and hanging out with them was an immense pleasure.
Unfortunately, 1-UP and I were too busy doing shows and preparing for shows to really experience Denver Comic Con to its fullest. I’m completely okay with this result, but I do have an unanswered curiosity about the con’s programming. I had no idea the event was so huge. I guess I know now. While I do think the performance space could have been more conducive to a live performance, the sound guys were dedicated and professional, and the opportunity to rock multiple shows was an honor! It’s always a pleasure to make new friends/fans and impress those who see us do what we do. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.”
Ok back to me. Sunday I wasn’t really anticipating a large turnout but there were A LOT of people there. I also saw a handful of repeat faces in the crowd which made me feel like we had done something right to bring them back for more!
Post set I rounded up some art and trinkets for friends and family (and myself) to support the local scene which was probably the most time I got to spend in artist alley. It’s bitter sweet because I got some really cool stuff, but it’s good that I didn’t spend more time there aka send more money than I needed to. But I did score some sweet Power Rangers socks and you all know how much I love them rangers.
The Round Up:
Middle Photo : MarkDago
Overall I give Denver Comicon an A. If you’ve ever been to one of my shows I’m all about quantifying everything including how I feel about things… just less ambiguous that way.
The amount of unique talent and art they bring in paired with staying on track with a goal that benefits the larger Denver community year round puts them on a level that a lot of people just can’t touch. On top of that the stage manager was very accommodating, always reachable and communicated all updates to us very VERY quickly. There isn’t much else I can ask for from a Con.
Got to see my friends, play multiple shows with my friends and had another excuse to go to a Comicon I hadn’t been to before!
I can’t wait to go back and it’s definitely worth it if you have yet to attend.