Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Places I Have Been

Well, Sam from Meansauce messaged me some time back discussing how college can keep a person busy, and I definitely believe that now more than ever! :D Plus, working a new job, I find my days are significantly more busy than previously, but that's understandable.

Thankfully though, while I have been busy with class and work, I've still had many successful ventures into what one would consider Otaku life, and all of them truly are quite exciting!!!

But instead of making a blog post for each one, as I should've, I'm going to cram this blog post with all of my news and recent activities, chronologically I suppose... (ok, I left out one but look at how long this post is!!!)

The Captains @ 91.5 WAWL, Chattanooga, TN - CSTCC

So, as I mentioned in my last post oh so long ago, the Captains were coming, and of course have by now come and gone, to Chattanooga. Little did I know how cool and awesome it'd be (sure, I guessed...), even considering that their radio appearance on the WAWL, the station where I DJ at, didn't go at all like I planned, everything was frankly better than I could have planned!

First, Eric, creator of Tokyo No Radio which released the Captains first American release "Last Group Sounds", called me saying the band had arrived at Chattanooga State (CSTCC), the college where I was bringing them so they could go onto 91.5 WAWL, the station there, to talk a bit about themselves and the show. As I walked towards the parking lot, I couldn't help but see them immediately because, save for their manager and Eric, they were decked out in their Captains' uniforms. After meeting them, I discussed with Eric and Kizuhiko, leader of The Captains, what's going to occur, let Kizuhiko talk a few minutes, play a song, and then discuss the concert and let them go do what they need to do before the show.

Well, that's what happened but, and I thank my fellow dj Stevo for this, I actually did nothing but bring the band and pick the song because Stevo, whose shift it was, was excellent with the interview, and I could tell that was a great experience for all parties. Stevo apparently knew more than a few things about JRock, having friends in the service, and so I was actually assisted by someone whom was quite able and quite helpful!

Now, I didn't mention this before but, as is often the case at the station, there was a class of students who were in the radio station, and since the station's fairly cramped as is, when The Captain's entered eyes quickly shifted to them. So then, after about 15 minutes on air we left and found the class, which turned out to be a professional theatre class, outside and The Captain's chatted briefly and got some pictures with the group, Stevo, and myself, and all was quite cheery. After that, we walked back and I talked a bit more with the band, and they were on there way to rest before the big show that night.

The Captains @ Rhythm & Brews, Chattanooga, TN

That evening was the night of the performance, and since I wasn't sure what the venue was like, I was excited of course, but equally curious just about what the atmosphere of the show would be like. My dad, who'd been before and was interested in hearing The Captains', who'd I'd talked so much about, came with me and brought along his video camera to shoot the performance, which is now on YouTube.

Upon getting to the venue, I discovered that Rhythm & Brews is a decently small place, but with a nice balcony which I immediately headed to. Once I claimed my table, I went visited with Eric briefly, purchased some items from The Emeralds, Peelander-Z, and The Captains, and headed back up goodies in hand to my table to await the concert. After a few minutes, I realized to my disappointment, that as happens too often in Chattanooga, the crowd would be fairly small, but I did get to talk with a friend of mine who I met at 91.5 WAWL back when I used to work there before college, and we talked for a bit which was quite cool.

Back to the show though, even with the few people there, The Captains clearly were energized and ready to perform, and perform they did! Both my Dad and I were blown away by the performance, and if I wasn't before, I can clearly say I am now a significant fan of The Captains. I'd go into more detail, but the videos do more justice, so I'll paste a link here for you all to look and enjoy :)

The Captains Live @ Chattanooga, TN - Entire Show (Playlist)

Anime Weekend Atlanta - Saturday Edition

After The Captains' performance, I felt particularly emboldened I guess to do more Otaku activities, and with Anime Weekend Atlanta approaching, I was given a surprising opportunity to do just that. At first, I was reticent though, because living near Atlanta I know enough to realize cool stuff goes on there, but that driving is generally a pain! Trust me... But upon telling my brother that Greg Ayres, voice actor for Koyuki from BECK would be there, he was enthusiastic enough to convince me that we needed to go down Saturday.

So we did, and first off I must say AWA is located mostly outside of the city on the northside, where I come in from, so that was truly the easisest drive I've ever had to Atlanta! Although, once the con was over I know even the drive would've been worth taking, but let me return to what I actually did at AWA.

First, my brother and I waited in line for registration for some time, so we took our time and got a glimpse at a vast amount of the cosplayers there. For the most part, I'd say there was clearly a diverse nature, but Bleach and Death Note seemed to rule the day, with shows such as Haruhi, Ouran, and Naruto a little behind them. After waiting in line, my brother and I scouted out the dealer's room briefly, and then headed on to our first panels of the day.

The 1st panel was called Anime in Academia, and being that both my brother and I are both students at different levels, we found this to be pretty enjoyable. While I thought the guy's talk was intriguing, I'd say the list of books and resources he gave were probably worth the whole talk.

After that, my brother and I hung around in that room for the next panel, which was the Anime World Order Podcast Panel. Now, this was a bit of an accidental misnomer as we soon learned, because Daryl from AWO, was actually too busy with helping AWA in other ways to lead the full panel, although he did make an appearence. Instead, we were greeted by Noah and Aaron of the Ninja Consultant Podcast, and Paul from The Greatest Movie Ever! Podcast, which I thought was cool since I'm an occasional listener of the Ninja Consultants, and frankly I thought I'd never see them anywhere near me. Additionally, in the crowd I saw Alan, Bryce, and Jefferson from the podcast, and while I didn't get to talk to them like I wanted to, it was still cool to see them. I'd say the panel was half A.W.O. tribute, half crazy anime/podcasting discussions, which is exactly what I wanted it to be, so I felt like I got my money's worth so to speak :)

After that, my brother and I went to the dealer's room and met Greg Ayres, which was cool, and he signed our program in a very BECK fashion, which was awesome. Then we realized we had some time on our hands, so we scoured the dealer's room, picked up some pocky, grabbed some sushi for lunch and basically rested for an hour, which was enjoyable since I was already pretty overwhelmed by all that was going on at that point. In the same vein though, my brother and I thought we would enjoy the con and relax a bit by watching the AMV competition, and we did, but oh my gosh I wasn't ready for what I saw, which was a gigantic room filled to capacity with tons and tons of people! Only later did I learn, thanks to listening to OG's AWA coverage, that AWA is in fact the con for AMV's, but even so I don't think I would've had any idea that there would be so many people all watching AMV's. Of course, as one would expect, the AMV's were I'd say all quite stunning! My favorite AMV, which I'll link to here, was the MPAA Piracy - One Piece Parody, and my close favorite, as addictive as it is, was a mash-up of many shows all to a song about how wonderful "Bumble-bee Tuna" is.

Then we hung around because conveniently the three JRock bands that were playing that night at AWA, The Captains, The Emeralds, & Peelander-Z, were going to have a group Q&A with the audience. The bands came out to much fanfare and cheer from the many fangirls present, and all of the bands certainly gave the audience a lot to enjoy, especially when different members would mimic other's on stage. Sure, the questions weren't anything too special, but the result was great, and thanks to some quick thinking and the power of technology I was able to capture the whole Q&A, which I'll link to here of course.

Between the AMV competition and the Q&A session, much time had passed so before my brother and I decided to grab some dinner, we made a sweep of artist alley to pick some cool poster's we saw, which in case I can't scan, I'll just tell you the shows that are featured: Bleach, Haruhi, and Naruto. Trust me, I think they're cool.

The final hurrah then for us at AWA was then the concert itself, which was truly awesome to say the least. Due to the return drive, my brother and I were only able to stay for The Captains, but seeing the mass of people there getting into the music made me feel so good, especially after the few people that came to Chattanooga. Even more than this though, you could tell the band's energy level had just risen to a new high, which I thought hardly possible. As you may have guessed, yes I got some footage, but only two songs sadly since my battery was dying, but even so I hope you enjoy what I did get! That was truly the capstone for a great day, and a great con which I plan to return to for sure!!!

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