We have the largest selection of Steampunk musicians anywhere, and, arguably, the most diverse. We feature not only many of the top Steampunk bands in the world, but an extraordinary collection of lesser-known musicians who are, nevertheless, quite brilliant. Come and enjoy our vast array of musical acts!
The Steampunk World’s Fair brings together arguably the greatest collection of Steampunk musicians in the world. Want to see them perform together? In this lighthearted musical extravaganza, some of the most talented performers in Steampunk (or anywhere else) get together to improvise music in the great tradition of musical performers for millennia! And since it’s improvised – this is all once-in-a-lifetime… you’ll never hear quite this music, quite this way, again. Don’t miss it!
Come make some noise at the Steampunk Mandoleers’ Old Time Jam Session and Sing-Along! The Mandoleers, a loose affiliation of mandolin-picking steampunks, will have lyrics and chord charts for songs popular at the turn of the Century, and you’re invited to bring an instrument or your voice and join in!
Musicians of all skill levels are welcome, with any acoustic instrument that can be played at any appropriate volume level for an informal ensemble (for example, Highland Bagpipes might be too likely to drown out the rest of us). Mandolins, of course are especially awesome. Don’t play an instrument? Come sing along!
Insomniac Folklore is a project born out of wanderlust, nostalgia, and copious amounts of strong coffee. They offer intense and entertaining live shows, enticing audiences into an energetic whirlwind of imagined days gone by. At present, the group is made up of Reverend Tyler Hentschel, Amanda Curry, and Adrienne Hentschel, with frequent appearances by Wallace the singing sheep. Their music, to which they lovingly refer as “Tantrum Folk,” has been described as a combination of ’60s folk-rock, ’70s punk, indie-rock, and vaudeville. In the vernacular, this translates to a heartfelt and theatrical stomp-along party which may very well leave you in tears.
Hangouts are more informal gatherings with specific performers and hangouts – a chance for casual conversation and such with delectable comestibles available for purchase at the Portable Daffodil Cafe in the Radisson.
Authors and artists will sign copies of their works, some may have items available for sale – fans may also bring personal copies of items.
Take a look below for when to find your favorites!
Friday, 7:15 to 8:15pm
Centennial Room (Embassy) – Please note this is the only hangout in this location
It Was Prof. Donnelly in the Parlor with the Port This is a time for gentlefolk to gather, and listen to The Professor share stories of his travels, his adventures, and various events.
Port wine (and other classy beverages) served at the CASH BAR.
Morte McAdaver, the notorious necrominstrel maestro extraordinaire is
up to his latest schemes in solo acoustic antics! Come see this
strange fellow perform songs from his numerous projects, including
Pandora’s Toybox, and even some new material that Morte may or may not
have written the night prior to the performance! If you’re in the
mood for a quirky, silly, and delightfully depressing round of tunes,
Morte McAdaver may just have what your ears crave.
Throughout his 17-year career in the entertainment industry, DJ Luminal has worn a lot of hats: audio engineer, electronic musician, remixer, and most recently lighting designer for German electronic pioneers Atari Teenage Riot for two US tours — including the 2012 Coachella Music And Arts Festival alongside such EDM giants as Swedish House Mafia, Amon Tobin, Datsik, and Feed Me. His favorite hat, however, is the one he wears under his headphones while spinning records for crowds up and down the East Coast!
A vinyl purist who still performs entirely on a pair of turntables, Luminal’s record crates are chock full of tunes guaranteed to get your feet moving. From classics to cutting-edge VIP pressings, expect to be treated to a thoroughly postmodern juxtaposition of the old and the new, peppered with frequent nods to sci-fi, gaming, and internet culture. Bring your dancin’ shoes and get ready to cut a rug!
My songs are often funny, dark, hopeful, and strange. I’ve been writing them for a long time, and I’m finally going to get up and share them again, after a long, long break.
“Some of you out there might know that I was an unusual singer-songwriter long before I started doing events. Some of you might know one of my musicals, like “Absinthe Heroes” or “What SHARP Teeth”. Some of you might have no idea that I write songs or play music.
It’s time for me to come out of the musical closet (I didn’t think I had any closets left!) – and play some songs. I’m playing songs written over the span of the last 25 years, quite literally – I’ll be playing at least one song I wrote when I was 13 (granted, only ONE song from that age – most of my songs from that time were plain awful) – and several songs from my new virtual album, “Imaginary Places I Don’t Belong” – including a few that I’ve written just in the past few days. (As of April 27th).
You’ve seen him vend, you’ve seen him act, and you’ve seen him MC – now see him…rap?
Montague Jacques Fromage (of SteampunkFUNK Bazaar) has take Victorian Rap to an unbelievably new height… FUNK rap. Not just elementary rap extolling the virtues and vices of the Era, MJF has added the scintillating hook of Funk with rap lyrics that vie Gilbert and Sullivan for intricacy and social commentary. All of this combined patter, audience participation and highlighted with the amazing pre-recorded sounds provided by Steampunkfunk meister Mike equal a performance that has yet to be equaled.
Ego Likeness was created in 1999 by artist Steven Archer, a DC native, and writer Donna Lynch in Baltimore, Maryland. Taking their name from Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel ‘Dune’, the band began as an experimental/ dark trip hop project. Over the last 15 years they have moved in a darker/electronic/ dance direction with a heavy rock sound.
They have toured extensively through the US and Europe and can be found on four (soon to be five) of their own albums, and on numerous compilation CDs.
Archer and Lynch are also artists, writers, and spoken word performers.
The Steampunk World’s Fair is thrilled to have them rock the midnight hour on Friday – catch them before they are gone!
Archer and Lynch have been married since October of 1999 and currently live in Maryland with two hairless cats.
Ego Likeness is on the web, Facebook, and……..STANDING RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!!!
It’s easy to define Steampunk music. All you have to do is open the portal in your wardrobe that leads to an imaginary, steam-driven semi-Victorian future-past, and check out whatever’s playing at your local music hall.
But for those of us who don’t have hidden portals in their wardrobes or, even worse, don’t have wardrobes, it’s a bit harder to define. And that gives us the freedom to offer you quite a lot of variety, and let you chose what’s Steampunk (and, secretly, even if you decide something isn’t Steampunk, you can still enjoy it at our Fair. We won’t tell on you…)
Here’s what I say: Whether it’s Steampunk or not, we’d like to give you the chance to enjoy a band whose percussion is Tupperwear, whose sound is kind-of like maddened folk-rock, only catchier, and who write songs about, say, pirates, metaphorical hats, Steampunk monsters, being kicked in the head, being someone’s nose, alien invasions, Sesame Street characters, and seventies clothes – to name a few.
A Halo Called Fred is one of the most fascinating groups we’ve ever worked with. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, try listening to a song or two. Possibly “(Hat) [note that this link plays automatically, and includes a word you can't say on the radio]“, or “Barry The Steampunk Monster“.
Or, you know, check out their whole website at www.AHaloCalledFred.com, or their Facebook page, to find out about a band that’s been making unusual music for nigh-on two decades!
And now – a sneak peak of what the band will be bringing to the Steampunk World’s Fair 2013!
Baroque and Hungry is an acoustic band from Central NJ that performs and oddball mix of folk, rock, Americana, and baroque music. Matt “Steampunk’s Favorite Bard” DeBlass belts is in charge of lead vocals, mandolin and bow ties, Neil “Magnificent Nose” Fein takes care of guitar, backing vocals and remembering where Matt put the lyric sheets while Roger “not-quite-so much-the-new-guy-as-he-was-this-time-last-year” Noguerol rounds out the sound as percussionist.
Matt and Neil have been fixtures at a number of Northeast Steampunk events, including Steampunk World’s Fair, Steampunk Industrial Revolution, Clockwork, T.E.M.P.U.S. and the not-quite-steamed-but-somewhat-punk Wicked Faire.
Check out audio samples and info on the Baroque & Hungry website and Facebook. You can find Neil’s thoughts on everything, including music, at The Magnificent Nose.
The Way Station’s Celtified House Band – Music to Drink By
The Waysties are The Way Station’s very own house band. A roving cast of regulars bring you rousing Celtic (and occasionally Celtified) music, tailored to be the perfect accompaniment to a night of prodigious libation.
The Wandering Cellist (aka Mike Lunapiena) started playing and became obsessed with the cello at age 16. He would fuse this new-found obsession with the passion he had developed years earlier for heavy metal music. This has defined this unorthodox journey he’s taken.
In the years that followed, he got some classical training, started playing in rock bands, began composing his own music, began playing in the subways & freelancing in New York City. His journey would take him from popular New York City underground venues to a Progressive Rock Festival in Quebec City, to Steampunk, Sci-Fi & Gaming Conventions in the Northeastern US, and beyond.
His music fuses his classical training with his love of heavy metal, fantasy, film & folk music. Building layers of cello on top of each other, he creates a world simultaneously dark, beautiful, wonderful, fantastic & breathtaking.
Born under a bar stool in Saskatoon and raised by a pack of wild koalas, Painless Parker plays a mixed bag of country laments, sea shanties, murder ballads and classic rockers, filtered through a grimy, whiskey-stained punk lens. Toe tapping, finger snapping and general getting down is highly encouraged during the show.
Take a listen to “Drinking with the Devil” (Rough Demo)
“Explosive, fast-paced, and gloriously emotive.” Prepare to be blown away by The Rose West
The Rose West is an eclectic, progressive bent narrative rock outfit based out of Brooklyn, NY. Founded by former Tryptich rockers Robare Pruyn and Aaron Starkweather, the band has recently released their independent debut album “When the Road Darkens” produced by Chris Bittner and Mike Birnbaum (Coheed & Cambria, The Sleeping, 3, Blondie) and has been performing actively throughout the American Northeast in support of the album’s release.
Come see a One-Time-Only Event……for the Second Time!!!
Musical sensation THE WANDERING CELLIST and itinerant audio engineer DR ANDY perform together at the 2013 Steampunk World’s Fair on Saturday evening. A pairing like you have never heard before, and may never hear again!
Ply him with whiskey and who knows what may happen!
Matt DeBlass, steampunk’s favorite bard and the Steampunk World’s Fair’s official Chief Bow Tie Inspector, turned to the world of steampunk after being told that he couldn’t wear a bow tie to perform at renaissance faires. Here, Matt found an ideal niche for his own eclectic, gleefully anachronistic collection of music. By bringing elements of world folk, Celtic, rock, classical, and 19th century parlor music into one program, he stretches the bounds of genre and period. Matt performs on a variety of acoustic instruments, including mandolin, guitar, harp and percussion instruments, some of which he has built or modified himself.
When not trying to invent a new standard of parlor music, giving presentations on modifying and building instruments, or demonstrating how to tie his signature neckwear, Matt is a busy gigging musician and teaches lessons in percussion and rhythm guitar. Come see Matt perform for a chance to learn what, exactly, the man on the floor’s been drinking!
Matt will be preforming solo, but you can also catch him with Baroque and Hungry!
Matt is also a velocipede expert, and may be just the person to see if your penny-farthing is acting cantankerously!
Katie Kat has revolutionized the classical voice recital. She produces and stars in an operatic recital performance for arts venues and private events across the country. These performances come with translations, videos, electronic backing tracks, costuming, and a superpower voice. Katie Kat is also an adjunct professor of voice at NYU Steinhardt.
With translations, storytelling, and a superpower voice, she makes what used to be old and stuffy into an inspiring and powerful experience.
Ms. Kat will have performances all three days of The Steampunk World’s Fair. In addition, she will be making a special “Katie Kat Mermaid” appearance during the VIP Waterpunk event at the Radisson pool on Saturday night.
If you ask nicely, Platform One may tell you what is lurking just off camera.
Platform One first came together in Rhode Island in 1999. Now based out of New York, this band of highly energetic musicians brings together danceable beats, well thought out lyrics, and an appeal that crosses all genres. A combination of pop, gothic and alternative with a side of oontz, Platform one ranges in influence from And One to The Psychedelic furs, and Peter Gabriel to The Cure. They’ve spent the last few years playing festivals and conventions, from steampunk to goth, all over the Northeast with forays to the West Coast and New Orleans.
Classically trained musician Unwoman (aka Erica Mulkey) is an innovative melodic force to be reckoned with. She has a new album with her own darkly awesome twist on , Lemniscate: Uncovered Volume 2 out TODAY! Go to Unwoman’s Bandcamp for download info.
Based out of San Francisco, Unwoman has played her haunting electro-cello-vocal magic all over the country at various geeky and steampunky events such as Wicked Faire, Aetherfest, Clockwork Alchemy, AnomalyCon, and many others.
Unwoman will be performing solo at the Steampunk World’s Fair, but she does collaborate with other bands and performers such as Abney Park, Rasputina, Voltaire, Jill Tracey, and of course, Amanda Fucking Palmer.
You can check out lyrics, videos, pics, touring schedule, and more at her website Unwoman.com. Stay up to date with all news Unwoman on her Facebook.
The music of Eli August is akin to the waters of a great river. It’s always moving and pushing forward, whether through percussive guitar and banjo, or the urgency of delicately crafted lyrics; the music never looks back.
The Dark Americana music is, at its roots, devoted to romantics and those who reflect upon their days with a certain longing for the past. Eli is often backed by an ever changing East Coast collective called The Abandoned Buildings, who bring rich and earthy orchestrations to the settings imagined in August’s songwriting, from the deep undulations of the ocean, to the quiet mystery of the forest and the openness of the dry and dusty road.
Whether solo, or along with the Abandoned Buildings, Eli will have you tapping your foot, singing along and reminiscing of your own long ago journeys.
This Way To The Egress carouses! See them smiling? That’s the scary part. They seem so nice…and then they’re so WEIRD! And so catchy!
Pilgrims of the road, This Way to the Egress entertain by weaving their eclectic music with visual antics in a wild renegade theater! They’re like a highly-contained torpedo. They’re a system for taking in oxygen and giving out dance.
What began with Taylor busking alone, turning up his hat for a toss of the coin, all changed the day he wandered into the local Hop saloon to find Sarah playing a drunken piano and Mat keeping the beat. The three music revelers fit together like a glass puzzle and what started as a 3 piece quickly morphed into a traveling menagerie of circus sounds and cabaret sundries. Through the years of the growing troupe of musicians and various, geeks, sideshow and burlesque performers gracing their stages, they’ve finally settled into becoming what they set out to be……
Revelers of Music & Vagabond theater!
They’re a family of six musicians, whose arrival is always foreshadowed by their tromboning fanfare, complete with hobo horns, cheeps ties, and whiskey-soaked melodies. Their circus-cabaret sound is more than infectious, it’s inescapable. This Way to the Egress is a band that pumps energy into their music would put Tesla’s Wardenclyffe tower to shame! Their influences are vast, including klezmer, blues, ragtime, gypsy punk, incandescent circus sounds and old timey roots. They match visual antics to their eclectic sounds, leaving a stage performance unlike any in their genre.
World’s Fair I saw the premiere of one of the first Steampunk rock operas, “Absinthe Heroes” – words by Jeff Mach, music by Psyche Corporation. This year, in another first, Psyche Corporation, who’s never performed these songs live, will be doing a set of songs from the show!
Even better, to be surrounded by alchemists, who would look around at the mechanisms in my offices and promptly swallow mercury out in dispair.
It is a glorious time, in certain ways!
When I gave up Science for candy, they all said I was mad!
And by “all,” I mean, “None of them”. Apparently, there’s nothing strange about giving up the pursuit of understanding in the Universe in exchange for an opportunity to peddle toffee. Or at least, not so long as one says there’s more money in it, and one is doing it for the Children.
“A sultry, graceful, powerful French-born singer, percussionist and a fiery punk rock guitarist from the golden days of the hardcore scene blended their diverse talents to form Frenchy and the Punk in 2005. Imagine Django Reinhardt, Johnny Ramone, Siouxsie Sioux and Edith Piaf jamming together at an event hosted by Tim Burton. This is what it might sound like.”
Frenchy And The Punk are the world’s leading Steampunk Cabaret musicians, and one of the top Steampunk performers in the world. We’re incredibly lucky to have them!
Headlining Steampunk events throughout the United States and Europe, Frenchy & The Punk are dark cabaret, savage grace, and raucous good times. They pack more into one forty-minute set than you can find in an entire opera house filled with maddened musical demons over the course of a lost weekend. (Though if you do get an invite to that opera house, you should go.) Scott and Samantha embody music’s power to lift you up and fill you with a desire to take the stars home and put them on your refrigerator. Nobody sounds quite like them.
And there is no one in the history of the world who has regretted attending a Frenchy & The Punk show.
Here’s a bit more of what they do:
Don’t miss Frenchy & The Punk and literally hundreds of other amazing Steampunk shows! Get your tickets today!
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.)
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:
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!
Drawing inspiration from absurdity and embracing themes the folk movement finds abhorrent, this aggressive, lyrics-driven acoustic band brings songs of cows, math and someone you don’t know named Steve.
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