Tag: Steampulp

Published by Professor von Explaino

Steampulp, steampunk

Thinking about Steampunk utopias/ dystopias/ window dressing. Dystopian/ dark future steampunk where the streets and lungs are choked with smoke and coated in ash. Smogpunk? 
I’ve already claimed Steampulp for the utopian adventure theme.

Playing and loving a lot of Project: Zero Dawn; I wouldn’t call that steampunk. Post apocalypse settings strike me as survivalpunk or tribe-punk. Scrounge-punk? The technology source is part of the apocalypse/ survival aspect rather than steampunk style focus? Maybe?

Or thinking further, steampunk strikes me as function and delight combined. Things are built with attention and care to not just their function but their appearance. Modern tech is built to be work, be small, be discrete. Scrounge punk (and maybe kinda solar punk) has its delight in that it works at all and provides what’s needed. Steampunk, in this instance, is more of a window dressing; scrounge punk has delight based in the function and ingenuity of retrofit rather than the invention of function. Hmmm

I like the Clockwork Cabaret. Great music selection and fun + funny DJs. Their current backstory is Lady Attercop is running for president, so Professor von Explaino is throwing his support behind her campaign.


Threw together a quick “studio” in the lab/office and it worked surprisingly well. The old 3 bulb “operating lamp” from Ikea, relabelling some of the drawers, and just an old camera on a stand. I definitely need more practice talking to camera though.

Quick studio

Quick studio

Steampunk is a many-splendored thing (sorry Ms Suyin), touching many eras and ideaologies; similarly steampunk music is just as varied as the waistcoats on a steampunk model. Maybe you haven’t heard of some of the following and you’d like to try them, or maybe you’ve heard of others you think we should listen to?

Clockwork Cabaret – A podcast rather than a band, this is the premier steampunk radio program, they’re… mostly… kinda on topic a lot of the time. Episodes have a theme that’s loosely observed from afar, and they play a mix of music broader than steampunk, but definitely entertaining. They also host steampunk New Years Eve parties, DJ at Dragon Con’s alternate history track, and Emmet Davenport runs a steampunk themed coffee shop. I’ve found a lot of new music from this podcast.

A Halo Called Fred – Their tag line “the best guitar, bass, violin, and Tupperware band in the universe” may describe why I like them so much. Fun music, from the “step on a butterfly, change the future” logic of ‘In an Alternate Reality’ to the all inclusive nerd anthem of ‘We Love You All’, they’re fun fun fun.

The Cog is Dead – Each song is its own little story or snapshot of a steampunk world. My son and I regularly sing “Danger on the Dancefloor” in the car, and the “Prepare for Adventure” really sets up the whole album.

The Electro Swingers – Reversing the trend of “new music in old styles”, this takes old music and jazzes it up with electro.

Abney Park – Embracing the Steampunk Air Pirate to the nines, they’ve spawned games and books set in their post-apocalyptic universe. I really like “Steampunk Revolution” and I’m staring a “Whole Life Crisis” right in the face.

The Clockwork Dolls – The Dramatis Personae really feels like a collection of interwoven stories in song, with recurring characters, and a great listen from beginning to end. “Clockwork Maid” makes me think, but “No Guns Allowed In My Bar” is particularly rollicking.

Professor Elemental – One of the Chap-Hop greats out of the UK, soaring into the steampunk consciousness with “A Cup of Brown Joy” (I still prefer his original), he’s also in comic form and youtube series form.

Sunday Driver – Asian steampunk, mixing colonial UK with the Asian continent. “Black Spider” is a good starter, and “Mechanical Angel” feels like fairies on the keyboard.

The Decemberists – I’m listening to the Decemberists less lately because they’re definitely on the dark side of the Industrial Revolution. Revenge and horrors of life abound.

Frank Bennet – One of my great losses were his two original albums, because you can’t get them anymore. They were made of Jazz covers of modern music – you could argue they’re more Diesel punk than Steampunk, but bah. I like ’em. The cover of “Creep” sticks in the mind.

The Gregorian Masters of Chant – Flipping time maybe too far the other direction, modern songs performed in Gregorian Chant. I have a particular soft spot for “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.

The Mouldy Lovers – A local group I first heard at Prometheus Bound (steampunk nightclub). Very Romanian influenced, I like the “Tetris” one especially.

Mr B – One of the Chap-Hop greats out of the UK. Yes I repeated that title, as Professor Elemental and Mr B have had a joking “Rap Battle” that turned into competing complements and then a promise to join forces. I listen to Mr B slightly less now as I feel he embraces some of the less awesome aspects of Rap than the bonkers nature of Professor Elemental. “Straight out of Surrey” is great.

Unwoman – Singer with a wicked cello, saw her live at Steampunk Strides and bought a number of albums immediately. The covers in “Lemniscate” are great, I’m especially fond of “Beauty Over Industry” from another album

8in8 – A temporary band formed by Amanda Palmer, but the first song on the album is “Nikola Tesla” with a number of steampunk tropes. Fun.

Any more steampunk music suggestions?

I no longer have a laboratory.

The old house was proving too small for the growing family and after much searching we have a new home. Unfortunately this house does not have the large, unused under area that could be transformed into a steampunk retreat. I had some of my friends help me pack and say goodbye to the lab that was, consigning half built gadgetry and lab doodaddery to boxes marked Fragile and Do Not Stack.

The new house has given me an office again. The last six months of the PC propped up on the bedroom bench top have been less than ideal. Bright side, that gives me a room that I use often, and a large collection of devicery to play with. So, good bye barely used and barely visited laboratory, and hello living workspace. I’ve downsized to the furniture I liked the best, and I’m continuing to declutter (except for artistically pleasing clutter, a mad scientist has to draw the line somewhere) and streamline my science. Minimalism and steampunk can seem at odds, but I’m giving it a try. Well, minimalism may be an unachievable stretch goal – maybe I’ll just aim for “on a shelf or in a donation box” to start with.

Meanie Jean,

Meanie Jean,
Jean, I mean.

That Meanie Jean
That Meanie Jean
I do not like
that Meanie Jean

Do you just
add cogs for steam?

I do not add them
Jean I mean:
I do not just
add cogs for steam

Would you add
them to eyewear?

I would not add them
to eyewear
I would not add them
anywhere
I do not just
add cogs for steam
I do not add them,
Jean I mean.

Would you wear them
on your vest?
Would you wear them
on your chest?

I do not add them
to my vest
I do not add them
to my chest
I do not add them
to eyewear
I do not add them
anywhere
I do not just add cogs for steam
I do not add them, Jean I mean

Would you wear them
on your hats?
Would you wear them
on your spats?

Not on my hats
Not on my spats
Not on my vest
Not on my chest
I would not add them to eyewear
I would not add them anywhere
I do not just add cogs for steam
I do not add them, Jean I mean

Would you, Could you?
In a blimp?
Wear them! Wear them!
Please don’t skimp!

I would not,
could not
in a blimp

You may like them,
Start with one
You may like them
On your gun!

Not on my gun
I would not, could not on my gun
Not in a blimp, its just not done!

I do not add them to my hats
I do not add them to my spats
I do not add them to my vest
I do not add them to my chest
I do not add them to eyewear
I do not add them anywhere
I do not just add cogs for steam
I do not add them, Jean I mean

A coat! A coat!
A coat! A coat!
Could you, would you
on a coat?

Not on a coat, not on my gun
Not in a blimp, Jean! It’s not done!
I would not, could not on my hats
I would not, could not on my spats
I will not add them to my vest
I will not add them to my chest
I will not add them to eyewear
I will not add them anywhere
I do not add them, Jean I mean.

Say!
In a lab!
Here in a lab!
Would you, could you, in a lab?

I would not, could not,
in a lab

Would you, could you,
on your tote?

I would not, could not on my tote
Not in a lab, not on my coat
Not in in a blimp, not on my gun
I do not like them, Jean, not one
Not on my vest, not on my chest
Not on my hats, not on my spats
I do not add them to eyewear
I do not add them anywhere!

You do not just
add cogs for steam?

I do not
add them
Jean, I mean.

Could you, would you,
on fine boots?

I would not,
could not.
on fine boots.

Would you, could you
on fine suits?

I could not, would not, on fine suits
I will not, will not, on fine boots
I will not wear them on my tote
I will not wear them on my coat
Not in a lab! Not on a gun!
Not in a blimp! Its not my fun!
I do not add them on my chest
I do not add them to my vest
I do not add them to my hats
I do not add them to my spats
I do not add them to eyewear
I do not add them ANYWHERE!

I do not just
add cogs
for steam!

I do not add them
Jean I mean.

You do not add them.
It’s not done
Try one! Try one!
Start with one.
Try them and you may just stun.

Jean!
You are so heartfelt
I will add one
To my belt.

Say!
I did just add a cog for steam
I think I fin’ly see your scheme!
And I will add them to my suits
And I will add them to my boots
And I will add them to my tote
And in a lab, and on my coat
And on a blimp, and on my gun
With care, with flare, they add some fun!

So I will add them to my vest
And I will add them to my chest
And I will add them to my hats
And I will add them to my spats
And I will add them to eyewear
Say, I will add them EVERYWHERE!

Don’t like my gear?
Who gives a damn!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Steam-I-am

With invited guest Baron von Borg, we explore different flavours of steampunk. Video cuts out before the discussion devolves into an additional 30 minutes of pure, steampunk rambling (but there’s now a link at the end of the video if you’re keen). You do get a nicer look at the lab at least.

I haven’t felt really inspired for a while, no matter how I tried to force it. This weekend, in amongst birthday parties and the like, I just loaded up a metal tray with equipment I’d been wanting to tinker with and brought it upstairs to keep it close. At the same time I’d been trying to tidy up the PHP code on this site and, in a round about way, it all came together.

There’s a streamlined Gauge generator with more colour options in the works (once the host updates the PHP library to be able to cope with some new bits). Meant I could do a few more things with the Gauge generator.
I took apart a cheap thermometer for the fiftieth time and finally measured what I needed to measure.

So now I’ve finally got the gauge I’ve wanted to wear, inspired by one of Gilgamesh Wulfenbach’s outfits. Hopefully I can incorporate it into a vest the way I want to do it. Still, I think I need to get more circular thermometers to ridicuboost.

Steam-o-meter Mk I

Steam-o-meter Mk I