You gotta love any song with a typewriter as part of the percussion section! It is a melancholy subject but a very good song.
“Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band combines the rich musical history of the circus and the vagabond peoples of Europe with the raw energy of avant-garde jazz, the burning heat of funk and the irreverence and fun of today’s Vaudeville for a sound that is somehow familiar yet like no other. Label them anyway you like! Call them avant world fusion, call them experimental big band, call them gypsy steamfunk, call them circus noise! They may be tough to sum up, but it’s easy to tell you they’ll show you a good time and they’ll get a crowd dancing!” Read more
You can catch their next show on March 16 at the Steampunk World’s Fair in New Jersey!
“Ostensibly folk, but folk run over with a steam-powered bus driven by Homer” –The Ocelot
“The Mechanisms were created by Dr Carmilla to form her backing band in late 2010. When the doctor decided to concentrate on her solo work, they threw her out of an airlock and struck out on their own. They work mainly from their homeport of Oxford, but since 2012 they’ve also presented several well-received shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
With anything up to nine members playing more instruments than you can count, they re-work traditional songs and weave them into dark stories from possible futures. So far they have told of Snow White’s bloody rebellion against the villainous Old King Cole (“Once Upon a Time (in Space)”, 2012), of the fate of Ulysses, who built a Vault which contains a secret every Olympian in the City is afraid of (“Ulysses Dies at Dawn”, 2013), and of the struggles of the Pendragon Gang to impose order on Fort Galfridian (“High Noon Over Camelot”, 2014).”
Sometimes, Steampunk books are serious challenges to the ideals of the Victorian age and tread on the dark side, and other times they are silly fun. Letters Between Gentleman, by award-winning “chap hop” artist Professor Elemental and accomplished author Nimue Brown, is most definitely the latter.
As implied by the title, this book is presented as correspondence between the mad genius, Professor Elemental, and his hapless benefactor. The sister of said benefactor is concerned for her brother’s welfare in light of the string of accidental deaths at the hands (mechanical, animal or some combination of the two) of the Professor’s creations. So she hires a private detective, Algernon Spoon, to look into their association. The book is also populated with the Professor’s “Notes to self” on a range of topics including the best way to preserve beheaded badgers and his on-going battle with the mice he trained to take dictation.
The format left a little to be desired, but on the whole I really enjoyed reading this book. I regularly laughed out loud at throughout at the crazy inventions, cease and desist letters from would-be clients and humorously exaggerated gender norms. Some books carry their readers along on a tide of action, but I kept on reading this one because it was purely entertaining.
Letters came out in September of 2014 and is available now as an ebook or hardcover.
If you aren’t familiar with the Professor’s music videos, check out the animated piece featured on Disney’s Phineas and Ferb below, or watch any of several posted on his website.
I missed my chance to see the Frenchy and the Punk performance during Weekend at the Asylum, but I’m not going to miss sharing this dynamic duo with you! “Frenchy” (Samantha Stephenson) was on the panel for the Steampunk on the International Scene session at the con, and she shared that though she and “The Punk” (Scott Helland) hadn’t necessarily set out to be a Steampunk band, the way to community had embraced them was amazing and she was so thankful to be doing what she loves for an appreciative audience.
This “Folk Punk Cabaret” band is currently touring in the US, so if you are lucky you might get to see them this Spring.
Upcoming Tour Dates
Jan 16-18 HRM Steampunk Symposium @ Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
Jan 22 Pond 5, New York, NY
March 6-8 Wild Wild West Steampunk Con, Old Tucson, AZ
Apr 24-26 International Steampunk Symposium, Cincinnati, OH
May 15-17 Steampunk World’s Fair, New Jersey
It is no secret that I love Lindsey Stirling because of her layering of a classical instrument over electronic music that creates a great old-meets-new feeling. Unwoman is another such artist, and her instrument of choice is the cello. I didn’t find out about this amazing singer-songwriter-badass cellist until after I left the San Francisco Bay Area, but after my stint abroad there is a good chance I will end up back in Northern CA once again, so maybe I can get a chance to see her in concert after all. She has several albums available on her bandcamp page, but meanwhile you can enjoy the video below.