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15 February 2014 @ 10:15 pm
Night Vale: Walk + Condos Live Recording  
I hope everyone survived Valentine's Day!


This episode was an interesting one to me because it was about 50% Cecil Palmer and 50% Intern Dana, which is rare. The last time Cecil Palmer took a backseat was in the second half of the Sandstorm episode. The title of the episode is almost deceptive because I felt like there was a whole story about the Walk signs and their evilness that we never fully got because half the tale got cut out for Dana's monologues. Not that I minded Dana's monologues. I loved them as they were delivered with such sweetness by Jasika Nicole. I'm a little disturbed (as always) by the fact that even Dana doesn't know if she's herself or her double. If she's Vanessa instead, is she remembering Vanessa's mother and brother or her own? It's so confusing. Also, does her final monologue mean that Dana's...gone? It sounded like a real farewell for some reason and I felt myself getting a little choked up. Plus, the whole farewell sounded so ominous after she had talked so much about wanting to warn Night Vale of the unraveling that was headed their way. SO OMINOUS.

But as Dana wanders the void, Night Vale is plagued with walk signs that are malfunctioning. Or rather, hypnotizing people. One even shows up in Cecil's booth! At the very end he's all, "Whew! We narrowly escaped that one! This event and how we got out of it will really stick with me!" but of course we have no idea what the hell happened. Oh, and apparently Cecil finds Carlos rather hypnotic as well. OBVIOUSLY.


Moving onto the live recording...


So there are now about three versions of "Condos" out there on the Internet because this recording is a different show at the Bell House and not the one at the Bell House that someone videotaped parts of and put up on youTube. And I completely marvel at how Cecil Baldwin can give different line readings to the same lines over and over again.

I couldn't help but compare this full version to the full version that a fan videotaped at the Booksmith. While each one has something uniquely awesome to offer, I think in my heart of hearts, I prefer the Booksmith version the best. My main reason for this is that the Booksmith was a significantly smaller venue than the Bell House and subsequently, it felt more intimate like the podcast itself. While Cecil Baldwin's performances at both venues were great, I think the larger crowd of the Bell House made the recording seem louder, busier, and just bigger. It seemed like half the time, Cecil was raising his voice to be heard above the background music which was a bit troublesome. If I had a visual to go with the Bell House recording, I might feel differently as I was completely relying on sound to take me through the story so I got extra nitpicky when the background music became less background. Also, hearing the audience (which granted didn't feel THAT loud) but not seeing the performance kind of jolted me out of the episode every now and again. Audience sound was a lot louder for the Booksmith but somehow having a visual to go along with it made it seem less weird to me.

But moving onto what's awesome about this recording: well, there's Dylan Marron. Again, Jeffrey Cranor will hold a special place in my heart as Carlos. To me, Cranor!Carlos is the Carlos who is the normal, non-Night Vale person who is terrified and fascinated by all the bizarre Night Vale shenanigans. Marron!Carlos is the Carlos who has gone Night Vale native. I guess it makes sense (ha! I'm trying to inject SENSE into this show!) that Carlos has to adapt to Night Vale if he plans on dating Cecil and making a home in that town. He's gone from "JFC hair and teeth in clocks!!!!" to "Yup, switched out vocal cords to avoid throat spiders!" It's hilarious and I love how earnestly Dylan Marron plays Carlos ("Everything's exciting, particularly existence! Existence is the most thrilling fact of all!"). But I'll always sort of miss normal!Carlos who freaked out over so many Night Vale things.

As a final thing, I'll just throw in a Cecilos observation: in this recording you can hear pretty clearly that both were going to end the first phone call with "I love you" before getting startled that the other was starting to say it too and stopped. Ah, dorks in love. It's so sweet!
 
 
 
X-parrotxparrot on February 17th, 2014 01:21 am (UTC)
I bought Condos but haven't had the chance to listen yet, ahhh wanna~~! (But I rather love the idea that JC's Carlos was the outsider and DM's Carlos is the Night Vale-adapted scientist...or should that be "scientist"?!)

Have heard WALK though and quite enjoyed it. Dana's story was poetic and lovely and disturbing (need to listen again...are the orange triangles any relation to Strex's yellow triangles? Strex was dealing with oranges before. And were looking for the key to the door, and John Peters was looking at a picture of a lighthouse before, and aahhh what does it all mean, if anything?!)

I couldn't tell if it was Dana's goodbye or not...I want to hear more from her. Guess we'll see. My bro was tweaked out that she didn't know whether or not she was her own double (but were the doubles human at all? is there a reason that Dana has survived so long with no food, other than the nature of wherever she's trapped...?)

And meanwhile the WALK story with Cecil was hilarious in how we only got pieces - "wow we'll never forget that, it was amazing!" It's an old gag but always cracks me up. Also more fuel for the "Cecil vacations outside of Night Vale and freaks out at normal things" idea in a lot of fic...standard walk signs are going to terrify him!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 17th, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
or should that be "scientist"?!

It's totally "scientist" at this point. Or maybe when Carlos goes for a visit outside of Night Vale he'll put in his previous vocal cords and go back to just being a scientist, sans quotes.

are the orange triangles any relation to Strex's yellow triangles? Strex was dealing with oranges before. And were looking for the key to the door, and John Peters was looking at a picture of a lighthouse before, and aahhh what does it all mean, if anything?!

I feel like it's related to Strex but this whole thing is so difficult to theorize because we don't KNOW why Strex even exists. Are they just a money-obsessed large corporation? If so....WHY DO THEY CARE ABOUT NIGHT VALE???

Also more fuel for the "Cecil vacations outside of Night Vale and freaks out at normal things" idea in a lot of fic...standard walk signs are going to terrify him!

If Cecil were to ever visit the normal world, I feel like he'd be giving the side eye to just about everything.