AnomalyCon performer Keldari Station on what makes good science fiction
AnomalyCon (running March 28 to 30 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center) started as a steam punk and alternate history-themed convention but has since expanded to cover science fiction generally. In its fourth year, the convention is featuring guest speakers, artists, writers and performers that have either direct ties to the world of science fiction or whose work resonates with that creative sub genre. The alternative rock band Strange Artifact is appearing all the way from Tokyo, Japan and several local artists will grace the stage as well. We spoke with dub/electronic duo Keldari Station about its favorite science fiction books, movies and television series and why it has chosen to cover television theme songs for this event.
Michael Danahy Keldari Station in cartoon form
Westword: You're band is pretty much part of the experimental music scene in Denver. How did you come to play this event?
Darren Danahy: The person who picks bands for it approached us. That was shortly after we'd become Keldari Station. We'd only played a couple of gigs at that point. We'd been making music and started recording it and putting in online. Within a few weeks of that someone asked if we wanted to play a gig.
Kelley Donovan: That was Don White of The Kappa Cell.
That was your first show, the one in the basement of The Gypsy House last March?
DD: All the songs had working titles like "The Neutral Zone" and named after science fiction things. So I think that maybe that's the connection that happened. We had titles like "Tardis Wake," "Gallifrey Timeshare" and "Mos Eisley Contraband." That's probably how she found us through Soundcloud.
What was your introduction to science fiction?
DD: For me it would have to be Dr. Who or Star Trek -- something from the '60s or '70s. I've been an insomniac since I was a kid and that's what was on late.
KD: For me it was Twilight Zone and 2001 and then Star Trek, Star Wars.
DD: I think Star Wars was more like religion to me. Because I was never brought up on religion and when I saw Star Wars they had this whole concept of the force and I was like, "Yes!" So it's science fiction but it's still a traditional story in a lot of ways as opposed to Star Trek that had pretty alien concepts to me, even culturally, I think, things about equality, in 1966. They had a black woman on the bridge of the ship. That's pretty cool.
What are you favorite science fiction movies?
DD: I would say Alien. Especially the first one. I saw that when it came out. Made my parents take me, it gives me nightmares to this day. I still love it. That really changed things. I did love Star Wars and 2001. What really gets me, though, is anything that has time travel or time paradoxes.
KD: Or alien contact like Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Why is time travel so fascinating?
DD: When I see anyone in a movie messing with the space-time continuum I get this weird feeling of, "Oh, don't do it." I feel this connection to it, I feel like it's real. I'm not a religious person but god is very real to someone brought up on religion. To me messing around with space and time is a very real thing that goes on all the time.
Why do you think it goes on all the time?
DD: I don't believe that time is linear, we just experience it that way. I believe that we are unwitting manipulators of it because of our not understanding of it. I don't have any book to tell you to explain it.
That's a more intuitive explanation of quantum theory and the fourth dimension.
DD: Yes. Like Kurt Vonneget. In a few of his books there's a planet called Tralfamador. In The Sirens of Titan maybe but definitely in Slaughterhouse Five. Tralfamadorians can perceive all events as having at once. The main character gets unstuck in time and gets to experience that.
That's like Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen -- which is more explicitly discussed in the comic books than in the movie.
DD: Yes! That's the only comic I've ever read.