All truly enlightened self-aware entities know that music is one of the absolute necessities of life. Laughter is also desired. This year’s filk track was designed to enhance the sense of humor of any self-aware beings with a wide variety of funny music and comedy. Friday night’s concerts get underway with Chicago’s own rebel sons (and daughter), Toyboat. No song is too sacred, too embedded in the filk community’s collective psyche, to be immune to Toyboat’s particular form of rockin’ musical torture mastery. Well, there might be a song or two they haven’t <ahem> improved, but we’ll hope they don’t decide to tackle Ave Maria anytime soon…

From Toyboat, we’ll segue straight into the musical force of nature which is Tom Smith.

It’s entirely possible that Tom actually is a self-aware AI… having a computer in his cranium would certainly help explain how he can come up with such hysterically funny songs on the fly (frequently spontaneously sandwiched into the middle of whatever he was already singing). With the lyrical complexity of Ashman and Sondheim, the vocal fireworks of Meat Loaf, the comedic timing of Robin Williams, and the dynamic physique of the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, the only thing he won’t do is be boring. No one alive combines the musical chops, the bizarre yet somehow plausible premises, the catchy tunes, and the barrage of godawful puns that Tom brings to the table. And no one is likelier to break your heart with one song, your head with the next, and your funny bone with the one after that. Come let Tom take you on a Rocket Ride!

Saturday night’s fun starts with Herculean Cheese Storm, from Indianapolis (or perhaps, you know, Betelguese). We’re not sure how they arrived at that name, but we’re fairly sure that AIs will be just as confused by it as us meat puppets are. In their own words: “We are three strange creatures who got bored and arranged word magnets on a refrigerator until we came up with a more different name. Then we went and played music together and decided that our refrigerator name should be our band name. Like you do. So now we are inflicting our musical brain babies on you. Enjoy.” After enjoying their tight harmonies and crafty lyrics, stick around for the fast-firing improv comedy stylings of SpaceTime Theatre. SpaceTime Theater, Chicagoland’s favorite peripatetic science-fiction comedy improv troupe, arrives on the Capricon stage with “Artificial Intelligences Can’t Laugh”, an all-improv extravaganza. We never know just what’s going to happen next, but it’s always funny — at least for *real* intelligences.

Throughout the weekend, there will also be Open Filk at night (Thursday through Saturday), a return of the Toast & Jam instrumental jam on Sunday morning in the Café (come have a nosh while we jam… there’ll be the obvious toast and jam, and also other tasty treats). We’ll also have a variety of musicians performing on the Café stage on Friday and Saturday afternoons, including Capricon Café newcomers such as Mike Nixon and Margie Dziadzka as well as old favorites, including Jen Midkiff, Wax Chaotic, Cathy McManamon, the Dr. Demento Show’s “Most Requested Artist of the 21st Century” Luke Ski, and more! Even some of your Filk staff might turn up on stage, if we can pry ourselves out from behind the sound board long enough to step in front of a microphone.

It promises to be a highly entertaining weekend of music and comedy (and musical comedy).

So come to the Café for the tasty caffeinated beverages and stay for the fun! We’ll be in River A/B and C all weekend!