Browsing category: Audio

Wicked – Musical Steampunk Fantasy in Oz

Posted by on February 25th,2008


I’m not dead!  I apologise for being absent so, but it’s back to pleasure as usual and I’d first like to mention that when I was in New York (for the Dances of Vice festival, more on that later) I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see the musical Wicked on broadway.  Oh, such a beautiful show!  Telling the tale of the Wicked Witch of the West, the Good Witch Glinda and many more non-Dorothy characters from Oz, and I honestly hadn’t gone there with the expectation of anything Steampunk.  However, I was very pleasantly surprised – from utterly delicious pseudo-Victorian Emerald City costumes (that you can see blurrily in the video above) to the ominous and threatening influx of dangerous science and more cogs than I could shake a magic wand at!

The sets featured sillouetted iron bridges, giant backlit gothic clockfaces, and a wooden clockwork dragon overseeing the whole beautiful affair.  The Wizard of Oz’ mechanical giant head is also has to be seen to be disbelieved!  I’d heartily recommend seeing it if you can (New York, Chicago, LA, London, Tokyo, Stuttgart, and Melbourne) and if you don’t come away with a hankering for green lensed glasses/goggles, I’ll be somewhat surprised.

La Mécanique du Cœur – Novel and Album

Posted by on November 23rd,2007

And novel it is indeed! La Mécanique du Cœur, by the French rock band Dionysos, is both a novel and an album of accompanying songs, telling the tale of a young boy from 19th Century Edinburgh, born with a heart so cold that his witch-midwife replaced it with a clockwork one, so that he may live.  A sad tale of Steampunk, then. The video above is what clinched this for me, however, beautiful animation with a faint “Nightmare Before Christmas” feel to it, with the unfortunate young man finding that a clockwork heart can break just as easily as a real one.  More animated cogs than you can shake a beautifully designed pagoda parasol at, and a particularly sad ending to this miniature narrative.  I do not know what they’re singing, but I do not mind terribly – it’s perhaps even more lovely because of it.

Thank you so very much to Mr Martin for pointing this out – and you can read much more about it at the Filles Sourires blog.

Atomic Sonic - two FX boxes in a more retrospective style

Mr AndyW wrote to point out the works of musical circuitsmith, Tim Kaiser of AtomicSonic.  While the majority of the works are themed too late for Steampunk, there are a few (such as the ones above) that I wouldn’t mind having sat in a bakelite enabled (1908-ish) electrically focused laboratory!

The items above are ‘FX Boxes’, and there are a few styled for wooden cases, as you’ve seen above.  Others fit inside retrofuturistic geiger counters, or have big warning lights on them, and brushed steel rollcages – so for the most part, the ‘atomic’ part of the name is very well earned indeed!  Still, lots of fun and you can hear samples of some of these custom items – quite peculiar.  Do take a look at such treasures as the Solar Theramin (also wooden encased) and the Monterery Fun FX Box!  Many thanks, Mr W!

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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – Band

Posted by on March 13th,2007

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Well now, Ms Yayanos is a quite the fan and friend of the music group Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and wrote to inform me that they’re on tour at the moment. The above image, as well as this one here, are apparently stills from their recent music video shoot, and they’ve got quite a lovely Victorian visual style working for them in these! However, they seem to do a little of quite a few things, and the review that Ms Yayanos sent me said that they were “equal parts punk, prog rock and opera” – but the few track snippets I listened to on their official site came across to my inexperienced ears as quite unusually tempo’ed industrial.

Not my thing (yes, I’m still looking) but again – music being so subjective, I’m sure some people here will find them quite enchanting!  Thank you, Ms Yayanos – your affection for this distinctive group of musicians is very heartwarming.  grins

Mustache Rangers

Commander Major Alastair Q. Bastidious and First Lieutenant Rutuger G. Phooneybaum, in their aluminium spaceship, plumb the depths of space in their ongoing missions from the Great Mustache for the greater glory of the American nation!  And what moustaches they have – cheer thrice for The Mustache Rangers! An improvised comedy program, with old-style phonograph style music, Steampunk technology, and adventures in the murky regions of space (sponsored by Doc Johnsons’ Olde Tyme Elixer, of course) – there’s been ten episodes so far.  I love the style, and the idea, though I found that the improv-ness of it started to embarrass me a little in the first episode (I mean really – what’s in the envelope!).  It also confuses me somewhat – it’s all about adventuring for the glory of America, and yet they say “Aluminium” and “Zed” (inconsistantly).  I am baffled, but I applaud their efforts nonetheless.  Here’s a link to the first episode of their journey – and it seems they may be sent into the very heart of a star!  Thank you, Mr McKeown!