New York Metropolitan Filk Presents

NEFilk 27: Contata 8

June 23–25, 2017
Hyatt Morristown at Headquarters Plaza

3 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ (973) 647-1234
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Our Guests:

Bob Kanefsky | Mary Ellen Wessels | Jane “Auntie Arwen” Sibley | Zornige Ameisen/Angry Antz (Silke Kovàr and Steffi Zurek)

Guest of Honor: Bob Kanefsky

by himself

Bob Kanefsky is a songwriter (practice limited to parody lyrics) who has written about 20 parodies of pop songs, a number of folk parodies, and a couple hundred of other people’s filk songs. He started attending filk conventions at Bayfilk 3 in 1986 and first ventured east in 1988 for Ohio Valley Filk Fest. He rarely comes to the East Coast, but did attend at the first Concertino. He was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2003. This is the first time he has been a GoH at any of the filk cons, which traditionally only invite performers and split-class characters. (He was the first known Filk Guest at a Worldcon — Intersection, in Glasgow in 1995, but this is technically the first time he has been any kind of Guest of Honor, with or without the “u”.)

In his mundane day job, which is neither, he writes software that is used in planning activities of Mars rovers and landers, lunar orbiters, simulated space missions from the bottom of the ocean to the top of volcanoes, and the ISS and its crew.

Web site: songworm.com, established 1997

Albums: Roundworm (Prometheus Music, still in iTunes at least) and Tapeworm (Firebird Arts & Music, out of print). Various artists.

Home: Silicon Valley, California

Primary superpower: Prides himself on reverse-engineering what makes a song work and writing a tight parody that exploits that.

Secondary superpower: Able to blow Bubbles of Unusual Size with a single hand, without use of tools.

Fatal flaws: Allergic to microphones, cameras, stages.

Brave Toaster: Mary Ellen Wessels

by Corwin Stauff (with kibbitzing from Mom)

Mary Ellen Wessels first landed on this planet in 1963. She was found by Winston and Faye Wessels, who raised her alongside their other two children. Her species had been known across the seven galaxies for their musical talent, which fortunately for Mew, (a name earned by her time in the Girl Scouts) was allowed to flourish by her Earth family. Her mother sang and played piano, her sister played cello, her father whistled and played sousaphone, and her brother listened to the most perverted of musicians; Frank Zappa. Other influences include Joni Mitchell, Stan Rogers, The Indigo Girls, Pentangle, The Bobs, Pete Seeger, Christine Lavin, The Beatles, James Keelaghan, Holly Cole, Emma Kirkby, Sheila Chandra, Great Big Sea, and many more heathens. Her many talents include guitar, mountain dulcimer, bodhran, dumbek, recorder and, of course, her voice which has been described as clear, powerful, versatile, and lyrical. She is married to Edward Stauff, who works as a professional church organist1. She has two children, Corwin Stauff (the co-writer of this bio2) and he who shall not be named3. When she’s not making music, she is an educational advocate and teacher. She lives in New Hampshire with her family and cats, and more instruments than space. This summer “Enduring Romantics” (the duo formerly known as “Hopeful Romantics”, aka “Mew & Ed”) will be embarking on their second annual summer house concert tour! Mew has been a GoH at several cons, and appeared on numerous recording projects, but this is her first ever appearance as a Brave Toaster.

1 Also a once & future programmer, and he built a harpsichord using hand tools which is why she really had to marry him

2 a fine choral singer himself

3 Eldest son, who plays too darn many instruments, just like his Dad

Interfilk: Zornige Ameisen/Angry Antz (Silke Kovàr and Steffi Zurek)

by Gwen Knighton

If you took two shots of very dark espresso, added a finger of rum for even more warmth, then served it up with two scoops of chocolate ice cream, you’d have a good metaphor for the sound of Angry Antz. There’s a meeting of the earthy and ethereal that occurs when these two women perform together that’ll transport you to a magical space, and you won’t want to leave in a hurry.

Silke has been playing violin since she was nine, but her life changed when her sister abandoned guitar lessons (and her guitar!). Her musical life has taken turns through folk, jazz, weird guitar solos, and finally a band that took her to a festival where she was introduced to filk. That was 2003. The band broke up, but Silke (thankfully!) stayed, met Steffi and started playing music with her. She’s also the longest-commuting member of English filk supergroup Cosmic Trifle.

Controversial German family band The Kelly Family were Steffi Zurek’s first musical icons: through her desire to emulate them she learned how to play the recorder. When she met Silke in 2005, she swore she’d never be on stage, ever, anywhere. At the 2006 FilkContinental, Angry Antz performed on stage at FilkContinental for the first time. Steffi says this is because Silke is very persuasive. Silke says it’s because Steffi said she wouldn’t, so it became Silke’s job to encourage her. Investigative reporting reveals that in fact, Steffi was just afraid to say no to Silke and Silke thought Steffi was just afraid of the audience. Twelve years later, they don’t appear to have any clearer idea of why they keep on doing this, except they are pretty sure they couldn’t actually stop.

Please, stop what you’re doing and have a listen to Angry Antz sometime this weekend. You should also spend some time talking with them. Get to know them; ply them with alcohol and sweets. You’ll discover so much that you’d never have known otherwise. Of course, a good percentage of it will be nonsense, but remember it’s the journey that counts. Angry Antz have taken a long journey to be with you this weekend. Your short journey down to see their concert will be so rewarding. Take it. And take them some chocolate, would you? They’re probably starving.

Main | News | Hotel | Registration | Song Contest | Guests | Contact Us | Our Members | Schedule (KonOpas)

For more information on the convention, contact our con chairs, Merav Hoffman and Joshua Kronengold.
For questions, suggestions, or corrections about the site itself, contact webmaster@contata.org.
Contata runs under the aegis of the Northeast Filk Convention.

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