Tag: steampunk

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

That’s how much money, over three years, the Steampunk Ghostbusters Charity ball raised for the Cancer Council Queensland. With immeasurable thanks to our guests, to the venue and staff, but most of all due to the amazing efforts of our coordinating committee and the volunteers. Honoured to have been a small part of a wonderful outcome.

Steampunk Ghostbusters Charity Ball 3

Steampunk Ghostbusters Charity Ball 3

This year is the last year the Steampunk Ghostbuseters Charity Ball will be run in its current format, so it’s going out with an apocalypse. Specifically, the end of the world that happens Valentines Day 2016 as stated in Ghostbusters 2. So the floor is being opened to classic steampunk, post apocalyptic steampunk and classic ghostbusters outfits. Tickets are on sale now at the Steampunk Ghostbusters charity ball ticket site.

If you’re going, drop a hint below of what you’ll be wearing!

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?

Even though it is now over a month since the second annual Steampunk Ghostbusters Charity Ball for 2015, I’m still watching the amount of money raised rise. We had thought we’d put in a magnificent total with the first estimate of just over $7000, but thanks to the tireless efforts of our talented photographer we have to pushed over $8000 raised for the Cancer Council Queensland. Frankly, it’s astounding, phenomenal and a tribute to everyone who attended, and everyone who worked hard to make it a reality.

On the night we had teapot races (with talented attendees making and bringing their teapots to the evening), an auction, burlesque and belly dancing, as well as a video each from the voice of Slimer and Professor Elemental (good luck getting off that island you crashed on, sir). I served as occassional noise-point for getting people to clear out of the way of the teapot racers, and the auction item display-person who walked around promoting the items for purchase. It’s nice to be involved.

Special thanks are in order to Matt Spoljarevic and Sarah Studer, the two powerhouses behind the successful evening, and not forgetting the efforts of Lynne Lumsden Green, Colleen Spoljarevic, Martin Studer, Scott Driscoll and our on the night extra volunteers Amy Driscoll and Brian Green.

Steampunk Ghostbusters charity ball galleries

Photos of the event can still be purchased from Sublime photos (money to charity as always), and they can also be admired online for free: Main gallery, Missing photos gallery.

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.