SF Sketchfest Post #2 – Double Nellie and w00tstock

nellie2014Since I last posted, we attended three additional SF Sketchfest events, which encompassed almost our entire weekend.

On Friday night, we returned to the Marines Memorial Theater for Wits with John Moe, a live taping of a radio variety show with skits, music and interviews with Moe’s guests. We went to see Nellie McKay, but also got to see Loudon Wainwright III, Paul F. Tomkins, Paget Brewster, and Eugene Mirman.

I enjoyed the show mainly because Paul F. Tomkins and Nellie McKay were incredibly funny throughout the event. Eugene Mirman has a distinctive voice, but just wasn’t that funny. Paget and John played their characters fine, but stuck to a somewhat lackluster script for almost all of their dialogue. Loudon played a few songs and they weren’t bad, but his acting was basic and he didn’t really add much to the show.

I don’t regret going because Paul and Nellie made it a great time. People audibly exclaimed during “Toto Dies” – there was no way some in the feel-good comedy crowd could’ve seen a stark political barb coming from her.

Saturday included a trip to the Verdi Club for a Sketchfest concert with two solo performers, Tom Brousseau and Nellie McKay. We got there a bit early in hopes to eat a tasty dinner. In the end we ended up at Charles Chocolates, where we had s’mores and hot chocolate, and bought Nellie a candy bar and us some almonds and a cookie for the next day.

On the way back toward the Verdi Club, we found a discarded end table on the sidewalk near a trash can. It is a nice piece of furniture, so I put it in the car and we took it home with us.

The concert was great, but sadly a bit shorter than I would have liked, because of how much programming they jam into Sketchfest. Tom Brousseau was an adequate opener, at ease on stage with a great voice, who had a song about a woman who wrote an Olive Garden review my wife had read on the internet.

Nellie McKay’s set was pretty awesome, but again, sadly a bit too short. My favorite part was her English medley of classic British rock ballads. We stuck around and briefly chatted with her, gave her the candy bar, and had our photo taken with her as everyone was rushing out to let the next act’s audience in.

Sunday was the third annual w00tstock Founders Night, except it was at 1pm and didn’t include w00tstock founder Wil Wheaton. It was again at the Marines Memorial Theater, and we sat in the same seats in the front row of the balcony as we did two nights before.

Paul and Storm had new songs. I didn’t particularly care for the new songs but can acknowledge that they were new and somewhat reminiscent of their older material. I did like the George R. R. Martin song, but it wasn’t the first time we had seen them perform that particular song.

I will likely buy their new album anyway when it becomes available.

They also did a presentation of the best 36 seconds of video on the internet.

Patrick Rothfuss, who between PAX and here is becoming a pretty regular substitute Wheaton, was up next. He read a humor column he wrote for his college paper, a Facebook post about spending time with his son, and then did an audiovisual presentation of a short story that could be a children’s book, depending on which ending you read through.

Rothfuss was pretty entertaining and his Worldbuilders charity seems like a good cause. Someday I may check out one of his books.

We took a brief intermission and came back to Adam Savage who told a story about his life as a student filmmaker in New York, and how the SWAT team paid him and his roommates a visit one night.

Then it was already time for the show closing Pirates Wife’s Lament.

But first, Paul and Storm asked everyone to tweet at WilW with 3====D.

The song took them five minutes past curfew.

w00tstock really loses its charm when rushed along, and the nerdy memes and clips weren’t there as filler. I don’t think we will do the w00tstock panel at next year’s Sketchfest if there is one.

Overall it was a fun weekend, but the running from event to event took its toll, and we have been resting and working ever since.

One piece of progress. After thirty years I finally finished the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game today, while using the Text Fiction app to play it.

More Sketchfest tomorrow and beyond!

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