seanan_mcguire: (knives)
Sometimes I look back at my own teenage years, tangled and tempestuous as they were, and wonder if I knew how lucky I was, musically speaking. The Counting Crows still played at the U.C. Berkeley on-campus club; Heather Alexander was both local and frequently touring; Celtic rock was having a resurgence, with Avalon Rising and Four Shillings Short playing somewhere almost every weekend.

And there was Annwn.

They were weirdos. They were wonderful. They were everything I wanted to be when I grew up. The idea of making Elton or Leigh Anne proud of me was enough to motivate me to do almost anything. I got to have a relationship with them, to know them as humans and artists and creators and people who let their freak flags fly proudly and without fear. I am the adult I am because they were there to be an example for the confused child I was.

Leigh Anne died in 2006. I still miss her. I will always miss her. Annwn died with her. Even if the band had wanted to continue, there was no replacing Leigh Anne. She was absolutely one of a kind.

For a long time, their music has been unavailable. Now, that's changing, and one of their best albums, Come Away to the Hills has been made available for purchase, as has the one album she recorded with Daoine Sidhe, Now and Then, which you can access here.

If you love Celtic rock and folk music, please give a listen.

This is one of the voices that made me.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
...copies of Stars Fall Home and Wicked Girls! Start your CD collection right!

Welcome to the seventh of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, I am avoiding the post office as much as possible until that other winter holiday is over).

The seventh giveaway is for copies of Stars Fall Home and Wicked Girls. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I am not feeling creative right now. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Wednesday, December 14th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is now CLOSED.
seanan_mcguire: (average)
Hello, glorious people!

It is time to tell you of a wondrous thing.

My dearest, most beloved Dr. Mary Crowell, who you have heard on my CDs Wicked Girls and Creature Feature, if not on her own, absolutely transcendent material, is running a Kickstarter right now to fund the production of her new album of amazing, mythological music. Mary is one of the kindest, most utterly generous musicians I know, and her work is well worth your time. Please take a look at her plan, and if you'd like to hear more, well, you know what to do.

But.

For Mary's birthday this year, I wrote her a short story, because sometimes I am less lazy than I am broke, and my friends need things that make them happy. Titled "Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour," the story is simultaneously our first Rookery piece and our second Rookery piece: an earlier story was written for the PaulandStorminomicon, which has yet to be released, and this story comes before it, chronologically speaking. This is my Secret Urban Fantasy Setting (tm), because the stories about it always seem to be destined for dark and hidden places.

Not this time.

If you back the Kickstarter at any the tiers which include a USB drive, you'll get a copy of the story, along with all of Mary's albums in digital form and all her recordings from the last year of her Patreon. Quoth Mary: "Tiers that include the UBD drive: $70 Digital Plus, $145 The Harold Tier, $350 Almost the Full Tour, $450 The Full Tour, and $1,000 Pas de Deux."

Furthermore, and quoting Mary again: "Only the three highest tiers ($350 Almost the Full Tour, $450 The Full Tour, and $1,000 Pas de Deux) include a chapbook of your story, 'Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour.' By chapbook, I mean small hard bound book, because Wesley. (These are limited. He will make no more than 29 of these total. You-Seanan and I-Mary each get one, leaving only 27 to be acquired by pledging to this Kickstarter.)" Wesley, Mary's husband, is a craftsman and a scholar, and the pictures she's shared so far of the books in progress are positively gorgeous (you can see pictures as a part of this update). Basically, after I have been eaten by genetically modified banana slugs, this chapbook will be an incredible collector's item.

Kickstarter!
seanan_mcguire: (sparrow hill)
The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Pretty Little Dead Girl is...

[livejournal.com profile] mac_arthur_park!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Saturday, December 19th to be considered valid.

Three more days to go!
seanan_mcguire: (coyote)
Many people don't realize this, because it hasn't come up much lately, but I am part of an acapella group. I am, in fact, one of the three founding members of Lady Mondegreen, an all-female filk acapella group with members all over the world (or at least, all over North America and Europe). Because I live on the West Coast and the other two founding members live on the East Coast, we have not actually performed together since 2007. So when ChessieCon asked us to do a concert, we said sure. Why the hell not?

Batya, Merav, and I rehearsed as much as we could while I was in New York, and made our way to the con, where we took the stage for a surprisingly (dauntingly) large crowd. Our set list was as follows:

Sound check:

Theme from Banana In Pajamas
The shunning of Josh (ala Charlie the Unicorn)
Theme from Disney's The Gummi Bears
Theme from Disney's Rescue Rangers

Actual concert:

"The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown" (Eddie From Ohio)
"Bottom of the River" (Delta Rae)
"Lorelei" (The Pogues)
"Flu Pandemic" (The Flying Fish Sailors)
"If I Had a Boat" (Lyle Lovett)
"Mordred's Lullaby" (Heather Dale)
"Lilo" (parody)
"All In Green" (e.e. cummings, music by Batya Wittenberg)
"Anything For You" (Ludo)
"Bedroom Eyes" (Uncle Bonsai)
"Reunion Hill" (Richard Shindell)
"This Side of the Knife" (Talis Kimberley)
"Don't Go Down to the Quarry" (Peter, Paul, and Mary)
"Leaving On a Jet Plane" (John Denver)

Post-concert:

"We are Wyld Stallions!"
"We are Sex B-Bomb!" (Quoth Batya: "I don't want to be Sex B-Bomb.")
"We are Mouse Rat!" (Cue me bouncing up and down singing "Sex Hair/Sex Bears.")

...all in all, not bad for our first show in years.
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
As I get ready to return to the studio and get back to work on Saint of Thorns (probably coming out some time in 2016; the album for 2015 is Creature Feature, and we're laying out the liner notes now), it occurs to me that some of you may not know how awesome and incredible my recording engineer, Kristoph Klover, actually is.

Let's fix that.

I have one copy of Elbows and Antlers, the latest CD by the band Avalon Rising, of which Kristoph is a founding member. Celtic funk, folk rock, call it what you will, it's amazing. And I am giving this disk away to one lucky winner.

To enter...

1. Comment here.
2. If outside the US, indicate that you will pay postage.
3. That's all.

I will choose a winner via RNG on Monday, January 26th. If you're interested in checking out Avalon Rising before then, here's their website: http://www.flowinglass.com/

I highly, highly recommend all three available Avalon Rising albums, especially if you like my stuff, Vixy and Tony's stuff, or Talis's stuff.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
...a copy of Wicked Girls on CD!

Welcome to the ninth of the Twelve Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 25th (some other winter holiday). Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 29th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, still mailing shirts).

The ninth giveaway is for a copy of Wicked Girls on CD. This is going to be a random number drawing, because that's working well so far.

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate that you are willing/able to pay postage.
3. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Wednesday, December 24th. Sorry this one went up so late: I was out of the house all day, actually having fun. I regret nothing.

Game on!
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
I had never been to Germany before. But since the convention I was going to be a Special Guest at (Filk Continental) was in Germany, it seemed like a good time to show up.

Tom helpfully drove me to the station near the house, where I got a head shake from the station agent, who disapproved of my (admittedly expensive) "take the Heathrow Express from Paddington" plan. I pointed out that I was a clearly foreign woman with a giant suitcase, and that sometimes we pay to not take stairs. He replied that he would have made different choices with his money, and gave me my ticket. Jerk.

Ahem. The Heathrow Express proved to be a quick, pleasant way to get to the airport, and I highly recommend it. Yes, it was more expensive, but the savings in terms of both time and stress cannot be overstated, even if I did promptly get off at the wrong terminal. (This is a big deal in Heathrow, which is one of the largest airports in the world.) I found my way to the right terminal, and then the right gate, and finally the right seat on the right plane, and all was right with the world.

My flight was short and uneventful, and eventually dropped me in Hannover, where I was collected from the arrivals area by Rika and Rachel. I went to sleep in the car. Then I went to sleep on the couch at Rika's lovely apartment. Then I got up for breakfast with some lovely filkers who live in Rika's apartment complex, and whom I would see a great deal of over the weekend (yay!). They had an assortment of cheeses. YAY CHEESES. And then I went back to sleep for several hours. This would prove to be a good thing later.

The drive from Hannover to the convention, which was being held in a lovely little youth hostel near a castle, was lovely, uneventful, and long enough for me to watch two episodes of Leverage. We got there, got checked in, and I went to poke Vixy with a stick, since I had missed her dreadfully during my "out of time zone" adventures. She felt unwell. I still had my cold meds from when I'd first arrived in England. The circle of cold meds closes, and all is complete.

Sunnie and Betsy were in my room when I came back downstairs, making it our room, and the weekend had officially begun.

First up was dinner with the concom, at a local restaurant that had passed their stress test, but did not so much pass the "twenty people would like to be fed and Seanan is about to pass out from low blood sugar" test. Boo. It took about three hours to eat, and by the end of it, I was a murderbunny. I ate half of Betsy's dinner, which helped. Going to bed also helped...although it would have helped more if I'd been able to sleep. Unfamiliar place + thin walls + thin bed = Seanan begins her three-day ordeal of stumbling through life, dreaming of sensory deprivation chambers. Boo.

The next day was Friday, and kicked off the convention. We rehearsed for our various concerts, attended opening ceremonies (awesome), and opening concerts (even more awesome). I went to bed early, in hopes that I would sleep. I did not. Sigh.

Saturday was my concert, followed by Vixy and Tony's concert. Since we both used Sunnie and Betsy extensively, we were basically solid walls of sound, and everything went amazingly. The whole audience stood up and held hands during "We Are Who We Are" (Vixy and Tony's latest song, which is awesome), causing Vixy to wander around looking stunned and asking if that had really just happened. Hee.

Sunday was workshops, more concerts, and the final request concert, where Steve Macdonald and Katy Droege did "Cold Butcher" at my request, I did "Still Catch the Tide," and Vixy and Tony closed the con with a repeat performance of "We Are Who We Are." The Dead Dog that night was awesome, and I even stayed up for several hours to enjoy open filk before staggering off to bed.

The next day, Steve and I got a ride home from Syb, while Katy drove Vixy and Tony home. We all met up in Hamburg, where we had a lovely steak dinner before crashing at Steve and Katy's place. The next day, Steve got me to the airport to begin my incredibly long journey home.

But that's another story.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
So Chris, who used to drive me all over the place before he got a better job and had to stay in the South Bay more, was cleaning out his old car when he found a CD longbox that had apparently gotten lost in there, like, literally years ago. Many, many years ago. And in that CD longbox (which he returned to me, because he is a good Chris), I found a bunch of copies of the original run of Stars Fall Home. The one with the owl and me on the cover. Yeah, that one.

Wow.

This is the original, crappier version of the album. The version that is currently in print has been fully remastered and has a new track ("Continental Divide"). There's nothing extra on this version; it's literally just older and a little less awesome. But when I recorded it, it was the best thing I had ever done, and it's definitely a different version.

So:

If you are a collector/completest, and would like to own the first edition of my first album, I have fifteen copies. They are $10 if you're going to be in a position to pick them up; $15 inclusive of postage if I have to mail them within the US; and $20 inclusive of postage if I have to mail them outside the US. Email me through my contact form if you want one, and get them back out of my house.

ETA: Please stop asking about Pretty Little Dead Girl. I am selling fifteen copies of Stars Fall Home, first edition, at this time. I am not selling anything else.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
This question has been coming up a lot recently, so I thought I'd take a moment to address it in a central place that people could be pointed to. Specifically:

"Why can't I buy your music on iTunes/Band Camp/Amazon MP3/whatever?"

Sometimes the question takes the form of "I have gone all-digital, why do I have to buy a physical CD?", but those are basically the same thing, since "Why can't I buy..." is the flip side of "Why do I have to buy...". And here is my answer:

I will never, barring the closure of all the CD manufacturing companies, be selling my music digitally. If you want to own my music, you will need to either buy and rip a physical CD, or pirate it. I would obviously prefer the former, but since some of my CDs are out of print, I'll understand if you go for the latter.

Why?

Two big reasons. These are...

It's a hobby.

I am not a professional musician. Even if I sell every single copy of every single CD at full "retail price," never selling through filk dealers or sites like CD Baby, I won't turn a profit. Breaking even is the most that I can hope for. Because all CDs are nothing but red ink, they don't further complicate my already incredibly complicated taxes. If I started doing digital sales, which many people view as "money for nothing," I might pass that magical line where I make a profit, and then I would have to figure out how to deal with things.

I don't take enough of a loss for my music to be a tax write-off (yet), but I also don't make any money, and that keeps things simple. If I started needing to religiously track receipts and who paid what where to who, I don't know that the carrot would remain worth the stick for me.

The digital divide exists.

I feel as strongly about physical CDs as I do about physical books. The ability to release things digitally is amazing for people who can't afford a print run, or are doing something incredibly focused, or just want to get themselves out there. I can afford a print run; I have an audience; I am as out there as I need to be. And people like my mother, who doesn't own an MP3 player, and who listens to all music via her CD player, still exist.

Because of the costs of production, I can only afford to produce physical CDs when I'm sure that I'll be able to sell them. If 50% of my audience went to digital downloads, I'd wind up with a lot of unsold CDs, and again, would not be able to justify producing more. And for me, that would be the end of it. I'm not going to pay for recording and mixing and mastering and not have something in my hands when I'm done. I can't afford to produce CDs in units of less than 1,000—and with full "to get this, you must buy physical" buy-in, it still took four years for Stars Fall Home to sell out.

Cover songs.

None of my cover song licenses include digital rights. All my albums would be missing pieces if I put them up for digital download.

And so...

I know that this can create bottlenecks. I know that physical disks come with shipping costs, and that sometimes vendors run out. I know that I'm losing business. These are choices that I made, for the reasons listed above, and while they may be wrong choices, they are mine, and I'm sticking with them.

Thank you.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
I'm Guest of Honor at NORWESCON, in beautiful Seattle, Washington! It's time for fun with crows, evergreens, and rain! If you're planning to be in the area, here's where you can find me throughout the weekend:

Thursday.

5:00pm, Guest of Honor Banquet. I am not on the menu! But I believe banquet tickets are still available, and you can put food in your face. Yum!

7:00pm, Opening Ceremonies. We are gonna open the shit out of this convention.

Friday.

1:00pm, Reading. I have copies of Sparrow Hill Road, and I'm not afraid to open them...

3:00pm, Feminism in Fandom. Let's play Bingo!

5:00pm, Lifetime Members' Banquet. Food. Again.

8:30pm, Vixy & Tony concert. Come see the ever-amazing Vixy & Tony in concert with Betsy Tinney and Sunnie Larsen, as well as musical aid from yours truly.

10:00pm (roughly), my concert. I'll be honest here: it's basically the same set-up. There's not going to be a hard line between us so much as "first set list is finished, we pause to pee, second set list begins." I highly recommend attending both. I'll have CDs, T-shirts, and posters for sale.

Saturday.

1:00pm, autograph session. I'll sign shit!

5:00pm, Q&A. Come with your Qs, I'll show you my As.

Sunday.

4:00pm, Closing Ceremonies. Find out who next year's guests will be! Watch this year's guests try not to pass out on the table! Good times.

Hope to see you there!
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
Filk Continental happens in Germany. It happens in a castle. It is one of the only filk cons I have never attended, because it is very far away, and up until recently, I have had very limited vacation time.

It's still far away. But this year, I'm going...and I'm going as their Special Guest! Yes! After a year off, Filk Continental is gloriously returning, with Vixy & Tony as their Guests of Honor, and me as their Special Guest. A German appearance! A fantastic party! A glorious time!

October 3rd through 5th: the website and details are here: http://www.filkcontinental.de/fc/home/index.php.

I'm so excited!
seanan_mcguire: (zombie)
How about a celebration of his evil works, and the evil works of others? Introducing the latest album from awesome-tastic filk rock band, Ookla the Mok, vs. Evil.

A little background:

Ookla the Mok has been through a couple of incarnations, but has always included Adam English and Rand Bellavia. Their first album, Less Than Art, is one of my all-time favorites. Their comic book themed album, Super Secret, is a filk classic. Both are absolutely worth picking up and adoring. Apart from all that, Rand is a friend of mine, and so when he asked if I wanted an early copy of vs. Evil, I pretty much shrieked, grabbed, and ran.

vs. Evil lacks of the deep emotional content of Less Than Art, but that's actually a good thing in this context, because it lets the true silliness of their subject matter shine. From "Evil I" through "Kang the Conqueror" and "The Lizard," this is a celebration of the mad scientists and evil bastards of comic books and movies. The song "Mwahaha" could play over one of Megamind's exploits and no one would bat an eye. It's awesome.

Here is a link to the album:

http://www.ooklathemok.com/vsevil.php

Here is a wholehearted endorsement of the album:

"vs. Evil warms me to the bottom of my black predator's heart." —me.

Here is a death ray.

Draw your own conclusions.
seanan_mcguire: (princess)
A wonderful fundraiser has been put together in the name of my beloved friend, Jay Lake, who is currently battling a recurrence of his cancer. The fundraiser is at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Sequence-a-Science-Fiction-Writer/38705

To quote the description text:

"Jay Lake is an award-winning American author of ten science fiction novels and over 300 short stories. He is also one of more than a million Americans who have colon cancer. Diagnosed in April, 2008, Jay's cancer has progressed from a single tumor to metastatic disease affecting the lung and liver, recurring after multiple surgeries and chemotherapy courses, and multiplying from single tumor presentations to multiple tumors presentations. Jay is now in his fourth round of chemotherapy, but it's not clear that it's working, and his doctors have little to go on in terms of advising further courses of treatment for him. In short, things are not looking good for Jay. Not at all.

However, a new technology is becoming available—one that may offer his doctors a better option for treating the cancer. We're trying to raise funds to allow Jay to have whole genome sequencing. There is a small possibility that the results of such a test, which is more comprehensive than conventional genetic testing of tumors, may suggest a treatment path that Jay's doctor's may not have considered, and that could be life saving. It's a really small chance, and Jay knows that.

For this fundraiser, we have asked some science fiction and fantasy writers to donate an "Act of Whimsy" which they will share with the community as we reach milestones in our fundraising."

My act of whimsy? DISNEY MAGIC, BITCHES. I have promised an undisclosed act of filking, and here it is: I, and an assortment of the ever-rotating members of my mix and match band, will perform and record a cover of the Disney song of your choice in honor of Jay Lake. Animated movie? Musical? Live action classic? Phineas and Ferb? The possibilities, and the horrors, are endless. "Wreck It Wreck-It Ralph," "Age of Not Believing," "Rollercoaster," "That's How You Know"...whatever.

But first, we gotta pick a song. So! If you have donated ANY AMOUNT, go ahead and comment here with the name of the Disney song YOU want to hear. If the song you want has already been commented, do it again, as I will be using the random number generator to pick a song tomorrow afternoon at 5pm PST. I will NOT tell you what song has been chosen. ONLY TERROR WILL TELL. (Actual recording will have to wait until this cold gives me back my voice.)

This is honor system, guys; please only comment if you've donated, but I won't chase you down demanding proof.

GAME ON!
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
I am home from Chicago (again), and fighting my way out from the massive piles of paperwork and detritus that built up while I was at Windycon. I had a fantastic time, and I got to rock the house with one of my favorite temporary backing bands, Dead Sexy, which consisted of Wild Mercy, the Suttons, and Dr. Mary Crowell. Seriously, I am the luckiest girl in the world.

As is the custom around here, I now present the Windycon set list, with arrangement notes. It was a great show, and our song choices went as follows:

1. "Counting Crows." (Seanan, vocals; Debbie, Brenda, vocals; Bill, Barry, guitar; Mary, piano; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Sally, Debbie, percussion; Jen, bass.)
2. "The Sealskin and the Story and the Sky." (Seanan, vocals; Debbie, Brenda, vocals; Bill, Barry, guitar; Mary, piano; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Sally, Debbie, percussion; Jen, bass.)
3. "How Much Salt?" (Seanan, Debbie, vocals; Barry, guitar; Mary, piano; Bill, mandolin; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Sally, percussion; Jen, bass.)
4. "Ten Years." Talis Kimberley cover. (Seanan, vocals; Barry, Bill, guitar; Mary, piano; Jen, harp; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Debbie, Sally, percussion.)
5. "Fly Little Bird." (Seanan, Barry, Debbie, Jen, Sally, vocals.)
6. "Mother of the Crows." (Seanan, vocals; Mary, piano; Bill, Barry, guitar; Sally, creepy thunder noises; Brenda, percussion.)
7. "Silent Hill." (Seanan, vocals; Mary, piano; Sally, creepy thunder noises.)
8. "Landslide." Fleetwood Mac cover. (Seanan, Mary, Brenda, Debbie, Jen, vocals; Bill, Barry, guitar; Amy, fiddle; Mary, piano; Brenda, Sally, Debbie, percussion; Jen, bass.)
9. "Dare to Dream." (Seanan, vocals; Bill, Barry, guitar; Mary, piano; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Sally, Debbie, percussion; Jen, bass.)
10. "Burn It Down." Vixy and Tony cover. (Seanan, vocals; Bill, Barry, guitar; Mary, piano; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Sally, Debbie, percussion; Jen, bass.)
9. "Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves." (Seanan, Jen, vocals; Bill, Barry, guitar; Mary, piano; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Sally, Debbie, percussion; Jen, bass.)
10. "My Story Is Not Done." (Seanan, vocals; Bill, Barry, guitar; Mary, piano; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, Sally, Debbie, percussion; Jen, bass.)

The bridge for "Wicked Girls":

Brenda beats bodhrans and Vixy's run off with the fairies,
And Debbie will pour you red wine pressed from sweet poisoned berries.
Jen poses riddles and Mary plays tricks,
While Sally makes music by banging with sticks,
And the rules that we live by are simple and clear...


As always: "Counting Crows," "How Much Salt?" "Mother of the Crows," "My Story Is Not Done," and "Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves" are on Wicked Girls. "Silent Hill" is on Red Roses and Dead Things. "Fly Little Bird" is on Pretty Little Dead Girl (out of print).

"Ten Years" has not yet been recorded, but you should check out Talis Kimberley's latest album, Queen of Spindles. "Burn It Down" has not yet been recorded, but you should check out Vixy and Tony's latest album, Thirteen.

"The Seal Skin and the Story and the Sky" and "Dare to Dream" have not yet been recorded.

Huge thanks to the sound crew, to the Windycon filk programming department, and to all my wonderful musicians, who uplift me to a level I could never reach without them. I am honored, I am grateful, and I am going back to bed.
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
I believe we've discussed this before, but: in the filk community, there is a man by the name of Bob Kanefsky. He is also a verb. To "be Kanef'd" is to have one of your songs gripped in the white-hot maw of his evil genius, chewed up, and spat out as something entirely different. If he and Weird Al Yankovic got into gonzo parody battle (probably in an abandoned warehouse somewhere, with lots of exposed beams and weirdly good lighting), Kanef would win with subtlety and horrifyingly accurate internal rhyme.

To be Kanef'd is a rite of passage in the filk community. It is the announcement that yes, you have made it as a songwriter; yes, you have created something good enough to be worth tinkering with.

The first time I was Kanef'd, I like to've died. Literally—I couldn't breathe. And as with most creative people, he's only improved since then. At the Circus on Saturday night, he launched a new parody at me, using Vixy and Tony as his delivery mechanism.

"I get paid to write a fairy tale:
Tinkerbell’s detective daughter,
Fourteen years of unread mail,
Like a fish out of the water..."


Oh, yeah. He went there.

"Deadline: About the Author" is set to the tune of "My Story Is Not Done," and contains spoilers for/references to the Newsflesh trilogy, the Toby Daye books, and Discount Armageddon. And it is hysterical.

Bob Kanefsky, I salute you.

I shall have my revenge.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
I'm a little under the weather (and totally exhausted) following Chicon 7, the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention, but that doesn't mean that I get to neglect everything forever. More's the pity. I had a wonderful time, when I wasn't a giant vibrating ball of stress, and I am remain honored and delighted by all the great things people said and did in my presence.

As is the custom around here, I now present the Chicon set list, with arrangement notes. It was a great show, and our song choices went as follows:

1. "The Sealskin and the Story and the Sky." (Seanan, vocals; Vixy Dockrey, vocals; Tony Fabris, guitar; Mary Crowell, piano; Betsy Tinney, cello; Amy McNally, fiddle; Brenda Sutton, bodhran.)
2. "Counting Crows." (Seanan, vocals; Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Mary, piano; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, bodhran.)
3. "Mama Said." (Seanan, vocals; Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Mary, piano; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, coconut shells.)
4. "The Ghost of Lilly Kane." (Seanan, vocals; Mary, piano; Amy, fiddle.)
5. "Dear Gina." (Seanan, creepy vocals; Vixy, extra creepy vocals; Mary, creepy piano; Betsy, creepy cello; Amy, creepy fiddle.)
6. "Still Catch the Tide." Talis Kimberley cover. (Seanan, vocals; Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Mary, piano; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, bodhran.)
7. "Dare to Dream." (Seanan, Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Mary, piano; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle.)
8. "Tanglewood Tree." Dave Carter cover. (Seanan, Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, bodhran.)
9. "Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves." (Seanan, Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Mary, piano; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, bodhran.)
10. "My Story Is Not Done." (Seanan, Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Mary, piano; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle; Brenda, bodhran.)

ENCORE:

1. "The Seal Skin and the Story and the Sky." Arrangement as above; we did it again for Cat Valente, who had missed the start of the set.
2. "Archetype Cafe." Talis Kimberley cover. (Seanan, Vixy, vocals; Tony, guitar; Mary, piano; Betsy, cello; Amy, fiddle.)

I did not actually get a written copy of the "Wicked Girls" bridge. I'm sorry! But I'm sure it was lovely.

As always: "Counting Crows," "Mama Said," "The Ghost of Lilly Kane," "Tanglewood Tree," "My Story Is Not Done," and "Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves" are on Wicked Girls. "Still Catch the Tide" is on Stars Fall Home (out of print). "Dear Gina" is on Red Roses and Dead Things.

"Archetype Cafe" appears on Talis Kimberley's album of the same name, currently available on CD Baby. "Tanglewood Tree" also appears on the Dave Carter and Tracy Grammar album of the same name, currently available from retailers everywhere.

"The Seal Skin and the Story and the Sky" and "Dare to Dream" have not yet been recorded.

Huge thanks to the sound crew, to the Chicon 7 filk programming department, and to all my wonderful musicians, who uplift me to a level I could never reach without them. I am honored, I am grateful, and I am going back to bed.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
Wicked Girls: the shirt.

The shirts have arrived from the printer, and they're perfect! Well. Most of the shirts have arrived from the printer: I'd say 95% of the shirts have arrived from the printer, and the last 5% are on back-order but should be with me very soon. And yes, I do mean "with me." Right now, the shirts are a huge stack of boxes in my living room, where the cats eye them with suspicion, because they dislike sealed boxes.

Why are the boxes sealed? The boxes are sealed because we're waiting for the mailing envelopes to arrive, and because we'd like to ship the darker colored shirts without a massive supply of bonus Maine Coon and Siamese hair this time. It's a wacky idea, I know, but work with me here. We've scheduled a packing party after Worldcon, to be held in a cat hair-free location, and will be trying to stuff literally every shirt into an envelope in a single evening. Mailing will commence immediately afterward.

I cannot take requests for early shipping right now, as that would require opening all the boxes and digging through all the shirts to find the right one. And then the cat hair precautions would be for naught. (Also because I'm in final prep for Worldcon, so I'm a little distracted, and only the Great Pumpkin knows what I would actually stuff into your envelope. Maybe it would be a T-shirt. Maybe it would be teeth. Who knows? Not me.)

But soon!

Wicked Girls: the CD.

The reprinted CDs have arrived from Oasis, and they're gorgeous. We fixed the typos from the first run (specifically the misspelling of "Carnival" on the back, and the spelling of Brian's last name throughout). The album is back in stock at CD Baby, at least for the moment; I shipped them 29 copies, and they're already down to 14, after having it in stock for a day. So if you've been waiting to get a copy of your very own, this would be a great time to order, since I have no idea when I'll be in a position to mail them a restock.

Basically, I am locked in a never-ending battle with the post office, and the post office is winning.

And that's the news.
seanan_mcguire: (barbie)
Evil pie!

We open today with Paul Goat Allen's review of the entire Newflesh trilogy, which he calls "an instant classic." He also says, "The narrative supremacy of this trilogy is unquestionable: both Feed and Deadline were nominated for the Hugo Award (in 2011 and 2012, respectively)—and Blackout is arguably the strongest of the three!"

I do not have words for how happy this review makes me. It...if just one person feels this way, I did it right. And that's amazing.

Meanwhile, Calliope's Domain has posted a review of Discount Armageddon, and says, "The writing of this book definitely had a lighter, funner tone than Ms. McGuire's October Daye series that, in my opinion, really let stand out. Heck, if not for her name on the cover, I never would have guessed the same author wrote both series; a true accomplishment, I think, for any author writing multiple series." That is a huge compliment. Thank you so much.

MiB Reviews has reviewed Blackout, and says, "One of the great assets that the Newsflesh trilogy has is the way that every book is a different type of story. Atop the overused backdrop of the zombie apocalypse, we have a novel about a conspiracy to sabotage a political campaign by a fanatic from the point of view of a calm, seasoned journalist; an action-packed romp against impossible odds where the villains just can't help but to blow everything up; and now we have a story where simply surviving and living in peace requires helping genetic experiments escape from labs and uncovering the biggest government conspiracy in US history. There might be another author who's blended zombies and one of these genres together so seamlessly, but I doubt that anyone else has done so as well, or done so three times." This is what winning looks like!

Sigrid Ellis has posted a review of Wicked Girls that calls the album "Hugo-Award-worthy" and says "This is the engagement that makes our beloved fantasy and science fiction world bigger, braver, and stronger for the future. And it’s a good album, besides. Making comparisons to other artists is tricky, because not everyone likes the same things I like. But I found—and this is high compliment—that the lyrics reminded me of a sort of cross between the poetry of John M. Ford and the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. Bleak and cynical and stupid-stubbornly hopeful, my favorite kind of thing." I...oh my sweet Great Pumpkin. I am so touched.

Tom Knapp rounds out today's roundup with a review of When Will You Rise?, about which he says, "Grant, in just over a hundred pages, creates a fully realized disaster, and readers will understand the science behind it. It's a short, punchy book that makes you want to read more." Everybody dies!

That's it for right now. Thank you to all readers, and all reviewers, whether I find and link your review or not. I am so honored.

Life is good.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
I'm starting to wake up after the sheer awesomeness of Confluence 2012, where I appeared as their combo Author Guest and Filk Guest. I am the peanut butter cup of cool! I had a wonderful time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the only city to greet me at the airport with a full-sized T. Rex skeleton. These people know how to party. I ate great food, met great people, hung out with Tamora Pierce, Michelle Sagara, and Jonathan Maberry, and basically partied like it was 2399 and human sacrifice had just been legalized on Jupiter's second moon.

I remain totally grateful to have been Confluence's Guest of Honor. It was an honor, and I had a fantastic time. The Confluence set list, with arrangement* notes, was as follows:

1. "The Sealskin and the Story and the Sky." (Seanan, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, djembe; Kathleen Sloan, shaky things.)
2. "Counting Crows." (Seanan, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, djembe; Kathleen Sloan, vocals.)
3. "Mama Said." (Seanan, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, eggs; Kathleen Sloan, vocals.)
4. "Modern Mystic." (Seanan, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, djembe; Kathleen Sloan, vocals.)
5. "Phantoms of Summer." (Seanan, vocals; Gary Ehrlich, guitar; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Cat Faber, mandolin; Kathleen Sloan, vocals.)
6. "In the Foam." (Seanan, vocals.)
7. "Dear Gina." (Seanan, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, djembe; Kathleen Sloan, vocals.)
8. "Maybe It's Crazy." (Seanan, vocals; Cat Faber, mandolin; Gary Ehrlich, guitar; Cat and Rand, maniacal laugh.)
9. "What A Woman's For." (Seanan, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, tamborine; Kathleen Sloan, vocals.)
10. "Evil Laugh." (Seanan, vocals; Cat Faber, mandolin; Gary Ehrlich, guitar; Kathleen Sloan, vocals and shaky things.)
11. "Burn It Down" (Vixy & Tony cover). (Seanan McGuire, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, djembe.)
12. "Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves." (Seanan, vocals; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, djmebe; Kathleen Sloan, Cat Faber, Judi Miller, vocals.)
13. "My Story Is Not Done." (Seanan, vocals; Cat Faber, mandolin; Rand Bellavia, guitar; Gary Ehrlich, guitar; Kathleen Sloan, shaky things; everyone on stage, vocals.)

The bridge for "Wicked Girls" was:

Mandy's a pirate, and Judi signs songs for the fairies,
While Deborah will pour you red wine pressed from sweet poisoned berries.
Dee poses riddles, while Erin plays tricks,
And Kaia builds towers from brambles and sticks...


As always: "Counting Crows," "Mama Said," "My Story Is Not Done," and "Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves" are on Wicked Girls. "Evil Laugh" is on Stars Fall Home (out of print). "Modern Mystic" and "Phantoms of Summer" are on Pretty Little Dead Girl (out of print). "Maybe It's Crazy," "Dear Gina," and "What A Woman's For" are on Red Roses and Dead Things.

"The Seal Skin and the Story and the Sky," "In the Foam," and "Burn It Down" have not yet been recorded.

Again, I am so very grateful to the Confluence concom for having me. I had a wonderful time, and I can't wait to go back.

(*It was a big band and a lot of skin-of-our-teeth arrangement, so I may get some of my instrumentation notes wrong. I will fix if this is pointed out to me, and mean absolutely no offense of any kind. I am simply a frazzled blonde.)

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