Thursday, June 28, 2012

World's Largest Goth Festival via La Carmina & Huffington Post

You have to see this!  It's just a taste, an appetizer really, but it will get you interested enough for more articles about our dark cousins, the Goth Culture.  No, they are not Steampunk, but the blend of the two cultures is where "SteamGoth comes from, and it would be ridiculous to say they aren't a rebellious "Punk" style culture.  Besides the fashions are wonderfully interesting!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Doctor Fantastique's Voted People's Choice!

Steampunk Chronicle’s 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards (via

 We are thrilled to have been voted “Best Website” by the lovely readers at The Steampunk Chronicle in this year’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Since June 2010, Doctor Fantastiques Show of Wonders has worked hard to bring you news of all things Steampunk. What started with a simple website has…

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dieselpunk VS Steampunk Part 1 via Dieselpunk blog

photo from "Dipity"

My friend and Dieselpunk scholar has another great article, in two parts this time, that compares these two genres with unusually keen insight and an interesting perspective.

Dieselpunk VS Steampunk - A Comparison

Friday, June 22, 2012

Underwater Machine, UFO, Building or just a WTF?

I can't even fully explain this one.  It looks like the millennium Falcon, and is about the same size, but at the bottom of the Baltic Ocean, made of organic material, and appears to have used fire rings (you know like "Campfire girls type) on the top surface.  go figure!  I guess I and my crew must be shooting down really strange vehicles at some point in the future, but while traveling through some past century.  At least that would be the narcissistic interpretation, because of course, just like in the movie Forest Gump, great events  must naturally all be about us somehow.  OK, back to the real world and real science now!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

One Eyed Doll's Kim Doing Backbend Guitar at Yulecon

Kimberly Freeman Get's Down!  

Photo of the Day!

Ok, so this picture needs no introduction other than to say that I was privileged to be there and take this shot and that it was at Yulecon 2010.  Note the guitar cord trailing.  This was in the middle of a live performance and, yes, she was really playing at that moment while balanced with one foot on one tiny armrest and the other on a different one!  The people gathered around had been gawking and dancing, but this rather stopped any other thoughts than "OMG, where's my camera!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Repost of: The Con Report: World Steam Expo via Doc Fantastique

The Con Report: World Steam Expo (via
World Steam Expo is one of the world’s largest Steampunk gatherings. For the third consecutive year, the convention brought the community together over Memorial Day weekend in Dearborn, Michigan, for four days of nonstop excitement. Fans of the Expo sometimes refer to it as “Steampunkapalooza,”…

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Naughty Octopus

OK.  So maybe you are one of those doubters out there that still think humans are more clever than Octopi? Well... I ask you this then clever creatures:  If you were attacked by a pod of bottle nose dolphins... (unlikely since they tend to rescue our species and our young when we are dying in their environment whereas many humans kill and/or eat theirs... go figure!) Would you be clever enough, stout hearted enough, and quick enough to grab the attacking predator by the balls and then latch on strong enough to convince him that your species is just not good  think you could manage that one?  Well take a look at this.

Photo taken by the Ionian Dolphin Project - please support their work!

(Please note, by posting this I am not suggesting that I advocate this or any other form of assault or sexual molestation of bottle nose dolphins.  Actually they are nicer to most humans, than well... say... most humans are.  Well at least when not in rut.  they have been known to get a bit pushy when flirting with some human women that the dolphins interpret as being "in season", but hey, that's how dolphins flirt is all.  According to the dolphin handlers I spoke to at places that permit humans to swim with dolphins, women that are menstruating often do get unwanted special attention, such as gentle shoving by the males, but it just means "they like you".  They are pretty much all poly-amorous after all.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Look at the Big Three Punk Genres via Dieselpunk blog

Psyche Chimere of Psyche Corporation - Steamy Cyberpunk Siren

My good friend and Dieselpunk aficionado brings class, not only to his wardrobe and many of our local Steampunk events, but to the literature in Cyberspace and this one is an example of his ability to take the complex and make it easy to understand about our world!

(Yes I know my English teachers would roll over in their grave at such a long sentence, but it just seemed very... well... Victorian.  Why use one word when 27 will do eh?)

Genre Punk Linguistic Family Tree

Friday, June 15, 2012

V is for Villians Brings Carnivale Noir Into the World of Steampunk

L to R Verica Jade, Mr. Agitaor,  Falon Flynn,  and The Pulse

V is for Villains was a band that I had not encountered prior to the Steampunk World’s Fair, but they seemed interesting enough, I stopped by one of their shows for a look and a listen.  The crowd seemed to really be enjoying themselves as many were up dancing in front of the band.  It had a smooth electronica feel, but with emotionally evocative sound, lyrics, and vocals.  The stories they tell in their songs reminded me at first of Voltaire as, like their name suggests, they are clearly taking the Villain’s point of view.  What is different is that they really do sing about plans to conquer, dominate, and subdue the planet.  This really gives the feel of a dark graphic novel come to life on stage!

 I asked for and received the opportunity to interview the band leader, Nicholas Santiago, about his band, the concept, and their future plans.  He told me that he and his brother,  Jonathon Santiago, performed for years in a band called Digital Mindy (Industrial Metal) for any years, but eventually wanted to try something entirely new. He wanted something a lot more fun and playful, but with really good quality music.  Something that would seem to leap right of the pages of his favorite dark graphic novels, like comic book super villains, but very classy, intelligent and dangerous ones.

Nick said he wanted a lot more theatre and story telling, but to still be making good music!  They mix Rock, Electronic, Industrial, and other styles into a fusion that rebels against the rules for musical genres.  It’s  a blend of Steampunk with Visual Noir.  He created V is for Villains to provide a stage for this type of musical performance art.  Nick’s brother, joined shortly after as their guitarist. Next  Carrie Hegenderfer came on board as the keyboardist, and finally Richard Nash as their drummer.

L to R Verica Jade, Falon Flynn, Mr. Agitaor, and The Pulse
Nick revealed that his supervillian name is “Mr. Agitator“, who, when not conquering the world, of course, is lead singer and songwriter for their evil collective.  His brother Jonathon, as “Falon Flynn“, spreads the power of darkness with his even more powerful guitar and backup vocals.  Their beautiful, and equally evil seductress Carrie, as “Veronica Jade“, adds depth with keyboard and her female lead vocals.

Their drummer Richard is just called “The Pulse”!  He was originally a fan of their evil plan to spread musical villainy and offered at one of their shows to audition for us.  He has added to the power of their sound ever since!

Mr. Agitator (Nick) said that he really has fun with this band.  “I get to entertain people on stage with music that I wrote, and [in the Steampunk community] I don’t have to dumb down the lyrics.  I get to do what I really like and they still really enjoy it!

I should add that the young lady (henchman?) manning their merchandise table was so friendly and charming, that I found I had signed up for their e-mail list before even hearing the band or speaking with any of them.  The rest of them seem just as friendly and smooth with the fans.  That combined with emotionally dark, but highly entertaining lyrics and music makes it likely that this band will become a frequent flyer on both the club and convention scene in the future.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Doctor fantastique's Show of Wonders Voted People's Choice!

Steampunk Chronicle’s 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards (via

 We are thrilled to have been voted “Best Website” by the lovely readers at The Steampunk Chronicle in this year’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Since June 2010, Doctor Fantastiques Show of Wonders has worked hard to bring you news of all things Steampunk. What started with a simple website has…

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One Eyed Doll's Kim Freeman Honors Her Mentor

Show at The Prophet Bar in Dallas 2012 on tour with Peelander Z

One Eyed Doll is a unique animal in the music scene!  They are one part "Little Orphan Annie", one part "Rob Zombie", one part Thrash Metal, totally unpredictable, and, as the title of one of their songs might indicate, "Beautiful Freaks"!  What you may not know, and I didn't know, is that they,  have a heart of gold and are true professionals when it comes to performing!  Junior is the more serious and sensible type that keeps Kimberly in one piece, physically and emotionally (including occasional medical care after throwing herself into the drums or Junior one too many times).  Junior also looks just scary enough to keep the slavering males at bay when Kim is looking the way she did when voted "Hottest Chick in Hard Rock".

So, remember when I said she had a heart of gold and a true professional?  Well take a look at this:   (If that isn't enough, I have another article coming about raising money for a chimpanzee rescue shelter)

Revolver Magazine Article

One final note:  If you are wondering why this item was originally posted on the Official Fan Site for Psyche Corporation, (and re-posted here) the answer is simple:  Kim Freeman and Junior are two of  their leader, Psyche Chimere's, favorite performers, and the more I observe and get to know them, the more I understand why.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Frenchy and The Punk Wax Poetic

Frenchy and the Punk, formerly the Gypsy Nomads, have made quite a name for themselves in the Steampunk Community on both coasts and everywhere in between.  I had the good fortune to meet them and hear them perform at the Steampunk World’s Fair 2012, so I took some time to get to know them as Steampunk performers.

Frenchy’s nickname is from the most obvious of sources.  She really is from France, she was born in Lyon.  She told me the band’s early name, The Gypsy Nomads, suited them at the time, not so much because they play Gypsy style music but that they are nomadic and multicultural. Over time their music evolved enough that they felt the new name simply better represented who they were as a band.

When asked what first attracted them to Steampunk, Frenchy described it this way:  “Steampunk brings warmth back to a world gone cold. It adds more beauty, texture, and depth to everyday objects and tools, reminiscent of a time past. It's a very creative community, which you can witness when you attend any steampunk event!"

“The Punk” got his moniker, because he started out his musical career deeply within the Punk Scene of the 80’s.  He said he was a “hard core Punk musician” rebelling against rigidity and limits in both society and
music!  He said this whole concept, as well as the music suited his personality, and to some degree still does.

He then gradually moved into “Speed Metal” where musicians compete to show who’s the fastest and the most skillful.  (kind of like in the “Old West”, but with guitars!)  Wikipedia defines it like this: “Speed metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal music that originated in the late 1970s from NWOBHM and hardcore punk roots. It is described by Allmusic as "extremely fast, abrasive, and technically demanding" music.”

The Punk told me that Steampunk has a retro feel that, like the original Punk Movement, rebels against limits. The Punk then got a really happy look and said he feels like, “With Steampunk, I've come full circle and I like it!”

In 2006 he says that Jeff Mach invited them to perform at The Wicked Faire and it was through that event that they first came to know of the steampunk genre. They have since been embraced by the steam punk community and have performed at almost every major steampunk event in the US. They play what they like, drawing from sources around the world, but always with an eye toward good music that tells stories and they have fun doing it!

I was able to hear their work and observe the response of the audience. I agree with his description about high quality musical story telling, but would underline the part about fun!  The audience certainly warmed to them and found their performance both fun and dance worthy!  You may notice that this theme of musical story telling gets repeated in multiple interviews with bands at Steampunk events suggesting that these truly are basic elements of Steampunk music as a genre.

They are on the road in Europe touring right now, but I just heard from them at one of their stops.
Here is what The Punk had to say about their current European tour:

"We are in France now, we played in Metz for the steam punk Metz crew and we play the big Steam Tour Soiree Extravaganza in Paris tomorrow and then head to England for shows and then back to France for more. It's been amazing so far and we'll be performing in a few different
cities from last year's European trek!"

I encourage you to come see and hear these early pioneers of the Steampunk genre any time you're fortunate enough to find yourself at an event where they appear.  Don’t forget to take time to meet them afterwards.  They are friendly, talkative, and just might wax poetic on you about the beauty of Steampunk, if you’re lucky!

Get the latest albums on their website!

Check out their new album release 'Hey Hey Cabaret'!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kimberly Making a Difference!

Kimberly Freeman with one of her youngest fans!
(courtesy of the One Eyed Doll Website-photographer in upper left corner)

Some may question why I am so quick to include (or some might say abduct even) my favorite "Queen of Weird" and excellent musical comedic performer, Kimberly Freeman and her long suffering and ever supportive man Junior into the madness of the Steampunk Community, but as a "hard core Steampunk Lifestyler", I look constantly for ways to both rebel against the status quo and make the world a better place in the process.  Kim has me beat this week and then some!  Take a look:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Inside the Minds of The Clockwork Dolls

I have always heard about performances of The Clockwork dolls, but had never had the opportunity to see them until the Steampunk World’s Fair this year (2012).  I managed  to schedule an interview in advance with The Clockwork , but both their schedule (and mine) were so hectic, at first, that we had to reschedule, but I found the band leader Allison Curval to be so gracious and courteous about this, that even that was a pleasurable experience.  Allison, Daniel, and Chris attended the interview, and before long it seemed more like ‘hanging out with friends” than a formal interview, which permitted some insight into their character.

I found many variations in the three of them of outgoing and shy, verbal and quiet, thoughtful and funny, but the one thing I never encountered was any heavy ego.  That is one of the great things about independent bands.  Many of the members are still focused on the love of their art, and this group is no exception.

I attended their shows before the interview and considered them to be well presented, good quality, fun, definitely Steampunk, and thoroughly entertaining.  Their music often sounds like a great sweeping movie soundtrack, or a song in the midst of an adventure oriented musical, but with a classical score behind the singers.  Their singers Collette and Trinket have an excellent chemistry that was often quite funny.  While they are both fine singers, this combination made for duets that are superior to either of them separately.

We tried to conduct the interview in the cool shade under the trees of the Midway, but part way through the interview, Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band decided to ignore their band’s name and marched through the middle of the area playing very happily and very loudly.  We thought that would pass, but then they went back to being stationary right next to us, so we moved to the hospitality suite.  Even that was a bit noisy and in the end we finished the interview in the hall.  I am mentioning this only to point out that through this all, Allison and the other band members made this all feel like a very fun and casual moment with old friends.

The music itself, the image, and concept of the band, Allison’s brainchild, was always intended to be to build a very visual and theatrical troupe that sang emotionally moving songs about adventure with a Steampunk Style using quality vocals and instrumentals in a variety of styles.  In other words, the concept was consistent, but the musical styles were never intended to stay static and was open to a variety of  approaches.  Their website describes it like this: “…they paint the epic musical picture of an elaborate and strange world as they tell the familiar tale of a young noble woman and her best friend battling against the odds for the freedom to be themselves. It is a world filled with pirates, dark saloons, airships, and the technology of both past and future. “Like most other “Steampunk “  bands they  use electric instruments, but blend them with older styles of instruments and music in a variety of ways.

When I asked about their early forays into the music scene, Allison confided that they owe a debt of thanks to Josh Pfieffer, the lead singer and band founder of Vernian Process for giving them support early on.  Allison sent a note of deep appreciation for the work of Vernian Process, and didn’t realize at the time it was sent from the Clockwork Dolls Myspace account instead of her personal account.  Josh tracked the message back and checked out their music.  Josh liked it well enough to book them as an opening act a few times for some of his solo performances, which naturally helped their public recognition in the Steampunk Community enormously.

They have continued to stay friends with the musicians they met on the west coast during that time and are very supportive of their various musical endeavors.  In their home turf of Baltimore, Maryland, they often perform with Eli August or with Petal Blight, and often interact with the Steampunk Community in Washington DC which is so nearby that they generally merge and function as one large Steampunk community with Baltimore.  They are also well connected with other bands and communities throughout the East Coast.  (Editor’s Note – Our friendly interaction at this event will now begin to connect them to most of the Steampunks from the Southern US as well)

As they have already been interviewed in a variety of forums, I focused more this time on learning more about the actual members of the band and how they came to join the band.  Allison Curval developed the concept and has always played guitar for the band, but has worked with multiple singers and musicians.  Allison said that she had already decided to have band members develop ornate fictional characters dressed primarily in Victorian Era attire, but she wanted to add as much elegance as possible herself on stage.  As a result, her “clockwork robotic governess” character is unusually colorful and elegantly attired.  When asked about how she spends her time when not making music, (and giving a serious answer that day) Allison admits to spending a lot of time on video games, RPGs, and “other nerdy stuff”
Collette Lovelace had been Allison’s close friend for some time before Allison heard her beautiful singing voice.  Collette was singing spontaneously one day at a restaurant they frequent, and it was so beautiful that Allison said that when she finished, you could have heard a pin drop in the place.  Naturally Allison wanted her to sing for the band.  She is engaging, friendly, funny on stage (as well as off) and gives excellent vocal skill to the lyrics.

Daniel met the band when they performed at Anime USA in 2009.  He was a big fan of their music, so he spent some time talking to Allison and the others after the show.  Daniel liked the band so much that he offered to assist the band as a staff member and has proven his worth in that area.   He has been with the band ever since.

Christopher found the band when they were asked last minute to replace the entertainment that had cancelled at a “Washington Lane & Lee Asian Leadership Conference”.  Christopher Bass met them after the show.  They seemed to have good rapport together, so when he said he was a guitarist, they asked him to audition.  Allison then brought him into the clockwork dolls as their Guitarist.

Trinket, their newest vocalist, was a very experienced performer that had been appearing as a perky and saucy singer for the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow for many years.  She was a mutual friend of Collette and Allison.  Allison had been discussing the possibility of joining the Clockwork Dolls for some years before she finally auditioned recently and created the excellent duet chemistry (and comedic chemistry) that has become almost a sideshow of it’s own in the middle of the band during performances!  Trinket is quite charming, very friendly, and has mannerisms that make it clear she is one of the old time pros that doesn’t drop character until the curtains come down, the audience has left, and all cameras are off.

I found all the band members to be people that loved their craft and simply so much fun to be around that they have become a favorite for me at events they perform at in the future.  Definitely check them out at their website and on Youtube as well.  I have provided some of the best links at the end of this article.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Top Ten Steampunk Bands via Xerposa

OK, so this isn't exactly my own top ten choices, but I found theri choices and descriptions very interesting and well worth a look.  This is exactly the kind of sharing of ideas and interpetations of amorphous things like "Steampunk Music" (which the musicians themselves insist must stay always open to interpretation) that I seek out and try to share with my readers!