J Mighty Mike Saga and DJ Luminal keep the party going into the late hours!
MIGHTY MIKE SAGA: A REALLY, REALLY FUN DJ PRETENDS TO BE STEAMPUNK
Would you like to see the greatest Steampunk DJ in the world?
Well, that’s Joseph Vourteque. We’re not sure if he’s coming, yet. In the meantime, we get… DJ MIGHTY MIKE SAGA!
…who is, in fact, not actually “pretending” to be Steampunk. Mike looks 100% like someone in an old Billy Idol video, possibly the third zombie who gets zapped in “Dancing With Myself”. But he’s amazingly passionate about one single thing: making a room full of music that’s outside of the “same twenty songs you hear at every Bar Mitzvah or wedding”, yet makes people REALLY comfortable and REALLY want to dance. And his knowledge of Steampunk music is exceptional and vast.
Let’s face it: Some of us love to dance. Some of us go to dances feeling shy and unsure, but maybe, if the music moves us, we’ll dance and have fun. I’ve never seen anyone who can pull both kinds of people out onto the dancefloor as effortlessly, as happily, as Mighty Mike Saga. He’s incredibly versatile; he’s famous for a kind of music which is appreciated by about 20% of World’s Fair attendees (that’s Goth/Industrial) – but what he spins for us is actually this incredibly variety of tunes which fit beautifully into a Steampunk groove, yet expose you to new music, new sounds, and new beats. I’ve seen him make 8-year-old kids dance with 70-year-old insurance adjusters and 22-year-old skater kids ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
According to his bio, a two-years-old Mighty Mike “began spinning records on a PlaySkool stereophonic hi fi record player with an Old Radio Shack Mixer to fuse his favorite Sesame Street and Muppet songs together in harmony.” This sounds really implausible and we don’t actually believe it, but we can totally believe that music has been this kids’ life from before he was old enough to walk.
His website is totally designed to make him look like the most Dark Dark Darkity Dark Goth/Industrial DJ ever. Don’t let it fool you. He’s actually a really sweet guy who plays all kinds of music. But he also really likes to scowl in pictures. That’s because the REAL story of when he was two years old was that he tried to imitate the aforementioned Billy Idol video, and his face stuck that way…
Danielle Ate The Sandwich – from her last.fm page.
“Wine and hot peppers? Yes! You can you have wine with spicy barbeque, Indian and Thai food. Just be sure the wine you select is bold enough to make its own statement. Pair a peppery pinot noir with pad Thai. Nibble a flavorful curry while sipping a musky, spicy gewurztraminer, refreshing white Burgundy, or a cooling floral rose.”
Despite the “Sandwich” above, and the food quote above, this isn’t about any kind of cuisine. If you already know the music of “Danielle Ate The Sandwich”, you’re probably doing the same thing that I’m doing, which is dancing around in my chair like an idiot. If, like many folks on the East Coast, you don’t know her work, you are in for a spectacular treat. You are in for a spicy gewurtztraminer! Whatever that is.
At the time of this writing, Danielle hasn’t sung a single word about goggles, dirigibles, airship pirates, or the year 1854. No, her only claim to fame is being one of the greatest young songwriters of the past thirty years, with a voice that rivals anything you’d hearon the radio today.
Danielle has a voice which could calm the mind of someone driven mad by the Necronomicon or raise the spirits of a fellow trapped in a future world and chased by hungry Morlocks. She performers in way that feels as intimate as a cafe singer in a three-table basement, but can fill a stadium with just a few laughing words. Most of all, her amazing songs go right through the mind, into the heart, past the heart and towards the soul, and then they take a quick circuit around your elbows just for the heck of it. There’s a reason why there’s half a million views for this video; there’s a reason why she’s one of the most critically-acclaimed young artists in the United States.
She’s unique, whimsical, friendly, funny, and her songs catch you and hold you and draw you in. She embodies the greatest qualities of the spirit of Steampunk, and we’re out of our minds with joy that we have her with us.
Even if she does sometimes cover Miley Cyrus songs:
Remember: As with all of our artists, Danielle’s performances ARE included with a basic ticket! You do not need a special ticket to see her – but be sure to get to her stage quickly; it’s going to fill up!
Holly Brewer of HUMANWINE and The Folks Below. Photo by Doug Glass.
‘The Folks Below’ reclaims and weaves stories from the underbelly of a burning city once consigned to oblivion.
Their self titled debut album will be released in the spring of 2013.
So in 2012, we said:
Callooh callay! M@ McNiss and Holly Brewer’s HUMANWINE shall be lending their mesmerizing talents to our humble stages! The muzik of the New England-based band is fluid and changing with each line up, often showcasing their eco-anarchist stance against a plastic and non-renewable lifestyle in modern or near-future settings. Their latest album, Mass Exodus, was released just this past October! The story-songs of the album strip away a few more veils from their elusive ‘Vinland’; a land filled with riddles, keys, captains, seafarers, makers, breakers, dissenting masses, a drug hazed public, caustic self appointed leaders, a cog turned YerYerOwn called 01, and their journey through a forbidden city of the enjoyeurs to the door of the Veil Nil. HUMANWINE is here to remind us that we are all a stone’s throw away from shedding our self-imposed chains!
Well, it’s 2013, and Holly Brewer of HUMANWINE has brought “The Folks Below” into the world. We don’t yet know exactly how it will sound or what it will be. But we know it’s going to be COSMICALLY EPIC, and it’s going to be at World’s Fair!!
Psyche Corporation performing at The Anachronism. Photo by Eventography – www.Babetted.com. Gears by Faberge. Okay, we’re lying about the gears part.
“Q: Are you planning on trying to return to the future any time soon, or would you prefer to stay a while longer and screw over “The Corporation” in this time line?
A: I cannot return to the future until time machines get invented again, so I have to stick around ‘til then at least.. It’ll be a while before the Corporation arises, but I would like to keep an eye on technological processes relevant to the Corporation so that all things are in place when the time comes, so to speak. It would be fairly embarrassing to try to devise a nightmare when you’re missing a key electroencephalotransmogrifier or something. You might just get mustard greens instead. Who wants mustard greens when you’re expecting Freddy Kreuger, right?”
-From an interview with Psyche Corporation, July, 2012
One of the challenges of writing about Psyche Corporation is that people assume we’re simply being hyperbolic. We say she sings beautifully; people assume she sings well. No; this is a classically-trained singer whose vocal range encompasses four octaves. And she has that same discipline you often find in those with operatic training and rock-and-roll hearts; sure, she can hit the mind-stopping force of that gorgeous perfect high note, but she seldom does, because what matters here isn’t the sheer skill or the range. It’s the way she knows how to strike some crystalline glissando, or puff out casual spoken words, go in low with a menacing growl.
And we say that she moves like a dancer; people figure it’s a figure of speech. No; as a trained dancer, she’s actually choreographed all of her own songs. Have you ever seen early David Bowie, or some of Lady Gaga’s more stylized work? Or the works of a traditional storyteller from a culture which uses dance linguistically? This is like that, only in a strange cybernautical, anachronistic world all her own.
Did we mention that last part? On top of her voice, her dance, her music (did we mention that she crafts some brilliantly intricate melodies? She composes much of that music herself, as well) – she’s created an entire world for her songs, one that comes out piece by piece through her various songs. It’s not unlike watching a series of short films, narrated from different points of view, putting together a larger set of stories and characters and circumstances in the dystopian future-and-past of Psyche Corporation, purveyors of dreams.
Voltaire has packed every room we’ve put him in – packed to capacity, no matter how large a room it was. This year, our new Main Stage can hold 1200 people. And he’s going to fill it.
It’s not just that, in a Steampunk culture whose Renaissance has been in the past five years, he’s an elder statesman. Though he is – Voltaire was wearing his jaunty top-hat before Abney Park had ever uttered the words “Airship Pirate”. Some of it lies in his extraordinary talent as a musician; he wends his voice adroitly through a song, catching you, adding spice and flavor and impact. His guitar work is simple, clean, and elegant. But more than that, as a performer, Voltaire is simply mesmerizing. He holds a stage, he captures attention – and he does it casually. We know few musicians who are so comfortable having conversations with the audience, and then blasting into a song at full throttle. Check out this, for example:
Mr. Aurelio Voltaire has seen unusual people doing unusual things for 20 years, and been commenting on it the whole time. I’ve seen literally hundreds of people cracking up to his description of how goths dance – I’ve seen it happen at Goth shows, I’ve seen it happen at Anime conventions, I saw it happen in a little café in New Jersey once – the audience didn’t matter, his sense of humor and timing were too impeccable to resist.
For me, it’s about the songs. It’s safe to say that few artists of the past 50 years have touched the sensitive subject of brain-eating with such grace as in the song he did for “The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy” – you can see the whole short film here; his song starts about 90 seconds in. And even the wisest diplomats are challenged by the battles between Star Trek and Star Wars, but Voltaire did makes an eloquent bid to bring them together in “Bitreksual.” And finally, there’s the song I plan to sing to my own niece, when she’s just a few months older, the song Voltaire wrote for his own son- “Goodnight Demonslayer:”
(Note: Voltaire handles many subjects, some of which have some adult content. We do not recommend him for children, unless you want them to grow up weird.)
Paul Di Filippo – Famed Author, Agile Mind, Fascinating Guy
“Paul Di Filippo has certainly done his homework: the settings as well as the language emulate the times and, in Dickinson’s and Whitman’s cases, their poetic language, which asserts itself into their conversational dialogue and thoughts at most unusual but appropriate moments. Dickinson’s “Universe Entire” is disrupted by a naked Whitman bathing in her rain barrel and singing his “body electric.” But will Dickinson’s “White Election” remain intact?”-Amazon.com review of “The Steampunk Trilogy”
“Science fiction at its best should be crazy and dangerous, not sane and safe.” -Paul Di Filippo
There’s always an urge to start out by giving you an author’s credentials. And sure, his list of published books, stories, and essays, is incredibly epic, including nominations for science fictions highest honors – a Hugo, two Nebulas, two World Fantasy Awards. I mean, seriously, it’s not just incredibly epic, it’s ridiculously epic; check it out over here.
But those aren’t the only reasons why Paul Di Filippo is likely to be part of your favorite encounters at World’s Fair. When we were looking at authors, we kept hearing about what a sweet fellow Paul is, and how, despite being one of the best-known short story creators and essayists alive in science fiction today, he’s terribly down-to-earth. From everything we heard about him, we thought, “Here’s someone we’d love to run into at the bar!” And his work is so great! It’s eccentric, spanning a wide swooping swipe at several genres. He’s an avid experimenter, an open-minded creator who truly fits the spirit of The Steampunk World’s Fair!
His website says, “Paul Di Filippo is the author of hundreds of short stories, some of which have been collected in these widely-praised collections: The Steampunk Trilogy, Ribofunk, Fractal Paisleys, Lost Pages, Little Doors, Strange Trades, Babylon Sisters, and his multiple-award-nominated novella, A Year in the Linear City. Another earlier collection, Destroy All Brains, was published by Pirate Writings, but is quite rare because of the extremely short print run (if you see one, buy it!).
The popularity of Di Filippo’s short stories sometimes distracts from the impact of his mindbending, utterly unclassifiable novels: Ciphers, Joe’s Liver, Fuzzy Dice, A Mouthful of Tongues, and Spondulix. Paul’s offbeat sensibility, soulful characterizations, exquisite-yet-compact prose, and laugh-out-loud dialogue give his work a charmingly unique voice that is both compelling and addictive.”
Okay, that’s actually a better description than we were going to write. Curse you, Paul, and your exquisite-yet-compact prose! We’ll just leave this here, and say, “This is a splendid fellow. You ought to look up his work, read it, and buy the man a beer!” (possibly at our Craft Beer Tasting…)
Walter and the Toys enjoying their usual afternoon tea. They seem to have accidentally replaced their tea with some sort of deadly toxoid. We are not entirly surprised. -Photo from PerformerMag.com
What does one say about Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys? Good grief! One says as little as humanly possible about them! In fact, even reading about them might give you vicious and possibly fatal bohemian germs. I recommend you scrub your mind most thoroughly with an approved form of absinthe or, if you’re not of age, with some more Steam Powered Giraffe.
Must we say something about them? Very well…
It’s really hard to have a unique sound and songs replete with mad-poet imagery and yet be so sweet to listen to, so catchy, so full of crunk and funk. It’s downright weird to see this band of Boston badpersons create such great songs, and then, secretly, be such amazingly sweet people. I mean, they’re such sweet people. You could cry.
Walter Sickert’s coming off the mighty premiere of their dark musical parable, “28 Seeds”, which I had a chance to see in person. It was a really frightening musical future. It got phenomenal rave reviews, like this one. Seriously, this is a group of cross-genre artists so talented that if aliens stole their brains and replicated their music and sold CDs as a benefit towards buying a giant cannon with which to destroy the earth, I would still buy those CDs. I can’t help it. These guys are that good.
And they’re appearing at almost ALL of our special events:
This is the actual lobby of one of our hotels. Okay, the raptor _may_ have been added to the picture. But the trees are, oddly enough, really there.
“So tomorrow we disappear into the unknown. This account I am transmitting down the river by canoe, and it may be our last word to those who are interested in our fate. I have, according to our arrangement, addressed it to you, my dear Mr. McArdle, and I leave it to your discretion to delete, alter, or do what you like with it. From the assurance of Professor Challenger’s manner–and in spite of the continued scepticism of Professor Summerlee–I have no doubt that our leader will make good his statement, and that we are really on the eve of some most remarkable experiences.”
-Ned Malone, intrepid young journalist in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World”
“Taking dinosaurs off this island is the worst idea in the sad, long history of bad ideas.”
-Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Michel Crichton’s “The Lost World”
“The continental hinterland consists of deserts, jungles and rainforests. It also contains lost kingdoms of Amazonian princesses, volcanoes, elephants’ graveyards, lost diamond mines, strange ruins covered in hieroglyphics and hidden plateaus where the reptilian monsters of a bygone era romp and play. On any reasonable map of the area there’s barely room for the trees.”
—The omniscient narratorial voice, in Terry Pratchett’s, “The Discworld Companion”
Do you love dinosaurs? We love dinosaurs.
You’ll find lots of neat things in this area – we’re creating a number of Saurian surprises for you to enjoy! (None of them will involve being eaten by prehistoric carnivores. We promise. We are a mostly-raptor-free zone.)
We have a series of very polite Steampunks who think they’re dinosaurs. And you may encounter them as you wander through this area! They’re going to be doing silly, fun little things all weekend, just to brighten your day and make it a bit more surreal. Some of them may secretly be Big Important VIP Guests. So get ready for life to be just a bit more on the weird site.
We’re not sure why the Embassy Suites hotel chain decided to have jungles in their hotels. I mean, we’d do it, but we’re crazy. It sounds like the sort of thing that would come up during a World’s Fair brainstorming session. ”Wait! Why don’t we fill the hotel WITH TREES? And a little waterfall!” ”And Frenchy & The Punk could play there!” ”…IN the waterfall!”
Do you know that we did an entire event based on combining Steampunk and Dinosaurs? It was pretty splendid. It was this:
As we said back then, “What’s forty feet tall, has four arms, four legs, a huge tail, goggles, razor sharp teeth, and has a head full of steam? If you guessed, “A Tyrannosaurus Rex being ridden by an intrepid Steampunk adventurer,” you’d be right! You’d be kind of weird, but you’d be right.”
As one of our dear friends said, “Awk! Awk! I’m a Dinosaur!”, and as our other friend replied, “…Dinosaurs really don’t sound like that, you know.”
Sure, they’re possibly the #1 band on the Steampunk scene these days…but they still have to battle a certain prejudice:
It’s a sad and unfortunate state of affairs that in the year 2013, a group of Steam Powered Robots doesn’t have the freedom to express who and what they really are.
We completely get it. We’ve seen your hypnotically mechanical movements; we’ve heard those machine-generated glorious voices; we hearken to your tales of an autokiniton’s life. We get it: you’re robots. You don’t have to pretend with us, guys. We understand that you’re not really human. You are one of the most famous musical groups in the Steampunk universe; of course you’re brass devices, the products of some mad inventor. I mean, just look at this:
“Steampunk and Futurism mesh together with mime and music to create a breathtakingly imaginative act. Hydraulics hiss and motors hum as three robots begin to snap into mechanical movement. Their instruments ring and the automatons begin to belt out in three part harmony. The robots of Steam Powered Giraffe are like nothing you’ve ever seen. The malfunctioning joke-spewing metal men play a collection of original Vaudeville inspired tunes fused with modern flare and executed in a super-sleek, one-of-a-kind performance.”
It’s true. They’re amazing; we’ve been hearing about them for three years. There’s nothing quite like this show. The robot actions are fascinating; their tales and songs are an enthralling retrofuture universe which suggests fascinating things about the entire concept of Steampunk. And they’re catchier than the Devil playing a concert with the Pied Piper. There’ve been 1.1 million views of their video, “Honeybee”:
Now, if we were the sort of easily-deceived humans who believed what robots told us, then we’d believe that “The artists behind the robots started street busking as these quirky characters in January 2008 at Balboa Park, California…. Trained in pantomime by Seaport Village mime Jerry Hager, with collective backgrounds in clown, theatre, music, and visual design, Sam Luke, and the Bennett twins Christopher and David have sculpted a striking homegrown performance that will leave you tapping your feet and humming for days.”
Certainly they’ll leave you tapping your feet and humming for days – presumably through some sort of wild invention which inspires foot-tapping and mouth-humming in organic life forms. The robots of Steam Powered Giraffe have never SAID they’re paving the way for Steampunk automatons to take over the world, but they never said they WEREN’T, either. But they’re such fantastic performers, we’ll bow to the inevitable. Come play for us, O Future Cybersteaminetic Overlords! We look forward to your benevolent brass hands of rulership!
Attention Steampunk World’s Fair Attendees:
We’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about the scheduling for Steam Powered Giraffe at this year’s The Steampunk World’s Fair 2013: Wherein We Make Madness Official, Hopefully we can answer all of your questions and concerns here.
If you’d like to see Steam Powered Giraffe at SPWF’13, you’ll find them in the following places and times:
Additionally, the SPG Fan Club is running a “Jam Party” in our Kids’ Corner on Saturday May 18th at Noon!
If you’re concerned about making sure you get a good view of the SPG concert itself, we recommend attending our Centennial Exhibition Ball, held in the Midway Grand Tent from 6:00 – 9:45pm. Immediately following the Ball, there will be a Steam Powered Giraffe trivia contest and raffle, leading up to the show at 10:15. If you enjoy that performance, please consider sticking around for Voltaire, who takes the stage as our closing act for the night.
Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band is not so much a band, per se, as a musical force of nature. They are a volcanic eruption of amazing sonic and rhythmic fantasmagoria. The marching band was one of the glories of 19th century; there’s a reason why, in an age of amplifiers and electronics, modern parades still have this 200-year-old concept as their centerpiece. Imagine all the glory of a gorgeously-uniformed precision brass-and-thunder orchestra. Then imagine it marching. Then imagine it being transported inside a Steampunk festival. Then imagine it them being manic music virtuousos and circuspunks, and then imagine them playing a cover of “Sexy Back”, by Justin Timberlake, in an impromptu jam session outside of a hotel. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it – that’s what they did at World’s Fair I:
The description on their website is “Our Circus Band combines the rich musical history of the circus and the vagabond peoples of Europe with the raw energy of avant-garde jazz, burning heat of funk and the irreverent fun of today’s Vaudeville for an experience that is somehow familiar yet like none other. They dance at the edge of reason, sing the song of society’s fringe and drum out whatever din you are called to march to.” But that description barely does them justice. Pretty much every Steampunk music site who’s reviewed them has raved about them, but they’re not just unbelievable Steampunk music, they’re unbelievable music – period. To wit:
“After seeing them, I think it’s fair to say that no ENSMB neophyte will ever understand what they are getting into until it’s happening! They were hands-down the best band of the night, full of energy and life and surprises at every turn…. They were great fun, and quickly had the audience storming the dance floor and jumping around with a variety of crazy dance moves…. I can only say that I’m really sorry I hadn’t gotten around to seeing them earlier, and I hope I get to see them again soon. They’re definitely being added to my ‘must-see local bands’ list.” -www.ConcertManiac.com
Members of ENSMB will be some of the hosts of our events throughout the weekend, likely including our Absinthe Tasting! Look for them throughout the event! Actually, you don’t really need to look for them… we can safely say they’re pretty much impossible to miss, which is good, because you REALLY don’t want to miss this.
Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band is also an Headlining Act at The Goblin Market on Friday evening!
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