Sunday, October 13, 2013

Psyche Corporation at Steampunk City Today!!!



Psyche Chimère-Breaking News!!!



********* Psyche Corporation  ************

Performing TODAY @1849 carriage house 

@Int'l Steampunk City 

1-2pm & 4-5pm nearish to the Morristown, NJ train stop.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Creatures of the Night Event Sponsored by Kali's Hourglass at local Goth/Steam Dance Club




Yes that's right... Kali's Hourglass is at it again, but this time with fangs bared!   Some of the photos from this event were so macabre there was serious concern whether Facebook would permit the simulated Vampiric violence to be broadcast on their rather prudish site, so the full photo set from the performance art photo shoot with Ramon and Radha will be found only on this blog site!







When they weren't biting each other out on the patio for photographers  ...they were inside dancing their asses off!







Ramon privately admitted later that "laying across Radha's lap allowing her to ravage me for the cameras was definitely the most fun job I have ever had!"  Unfortunately the photographer hasn't delivered those shots yet.  Yea... OK they were still dressed, but the look in the eyes during that set says it all.  A very private moment made rather public.




It was a great event with Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, and Warlocks all having a great time and entertaining and socializing with other guests.  While only a few of the attendees were elaborately dressed, many of that club's regulars could be stark naked and still meet the above descriptions...literally!
(Hmmm...... maybe that's an idea for the next event???)

https://www.facebook.com/events/398797090243135/



click here for: more photos from the event






Happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Steamstock Chicago Stirring up Steampunk via Doc Fantastique!

Nothing spreads Steampunk like a great Steampunk Convention!  This is a shining example that you may want to consider if you ever make it out near the Windy City.  You know... that icon of Diesel Punks, Old Chicago!  This convention appears to be turning heads and changing minds about all forms of Steampunk!

http://doctorfantastiques.com/2013/08/steamstock-chicago-stirring-steampunk-is-the-windy-city/

Saturday, September 21, 2013

How Do You Dress a Steampunk Dog???


Steampunk dog (via http://www.faistapart.ca)

 I am a dog lover and I usually spend most of my time about finding new dog fashion to make my dogs super cool dudes. I recently found out about a new dog fashion – the steampunk dog! This article also explores what steam punk is, and how to dress…

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Steamfest Australia 2013 - Steam Down Under via Doc Fantastique!


I am always thrilled to hear about great events occuring among our cousins on the other side of the globe.  Take a look at this article about what's been shaking "down under"!



http://doctorfantastiques.com/2013/09/australia-steamfest-2013/

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tesla Motors Uses the Wonder of Modern Inventors to Force Real innovation in Cars Today!

Tesla Could Be Big Disruptor, Says GM – No Kidding (via Clean Technica)

This article originally published on Gas2by Christopher DeMorro General Motors is a company that represents both the endless possibilities of automotive technology, and the “old guard” that often seems just behind of trends in innovation. Under…

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dragonball Z League at Anime Fest!


Fantasy Sports League goes Anime at Anime Fest!!! Dragonball Z League, the most popular program for the internet gamers channel TGN, will be presenting their innovative approach at AnimeFest at 6 pm Friday in P2 and Monday 11 am in P6. This presentation will not only explain the league, but actually allow some of the most avid fans in the audience to customize their own team and pit them against the other side of the room during the presentation.   

This extraordinary online game system, comprised of both man/woman and machine, staffed primarily by volunteers, allows anime fans to custom modify/train the characters from the Dragon Ball Z universe and compete in an international sports league with regulation tag team combat matches that makes the characters of that anime universe real like never before! If you are near Dallas and you like anime or fantasy sports leagues, this is an event not to be missed!!!

Whether you enjoy being an active part of forging a winning team out of something less, making a good team great, or just sitting back and watching the action, this may be just what you have been waiting for.  For those who like to bet on their favorite teams, this league has something for you as well, though it limits such betting to entertainment purposes only at this time for legal reasons, but don't think that reduces fan enjoyment of placing a wager on the under dog and watching them pound the favorites into dust!  

Instead a few players against others, this league allows hundreds, (about 200 at present) and possibly thousands in the future (spectators of the live stream game topped 3000 last week, to directly contribute to making their favorite team of Dragonball Z team into a fighting force that their opponents never saw coming!  Try to get out to this great event and learn what you've been missing.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cogs N Crossbones Was a Rousing Success!



The recent Cogs N Crossbones event, sponsored by Panoptikin and produced by Kali's Hourglass was a rousing success!

The evening started off with Steampunk Music from an international assortment of bands at a volume appropriate for socializing and getting to know one another.  This is an element often lacking in many events, so we made sure it was available form 8 to 9 at this one.  Attendance was very good for the evening making the club very full, but not too crowded to dance, and dance we most certainly did after the show!

While people arrive at very different times, this ensured the ones that like to come early had time to speak meet new people, and in theory at least, meet some of the performers and hosts of the event before they get too busy.  In practice, both are often scrambling to ensure the stage, lighting, sound system etc. are perfect and doing sound checks before the show.  All the guests, however, had a very good opportunity to meet one another and socialize while final preparations converting a dance club into a concert venues were made just right.

As Panoptikon's venue had very high quality sound equipment, but like msot dance clubs, cannot be linked into safely for concert purposes, and the lighting is not designed for that purpose either, we had been planning the best methods to adapt and overcome for some time in advance.  We managed to put together a pretty good stage and lighting for Darwin and helped her get the dance club turned into a music venue for the show such that everything happened on schedule.

Darwin Prophet and the Chronus Mirror gave an excellent concert that had people very impressed with what they could do for the community.  We also managed to sell enough steampunk gear and pull in enough profit at the door to give them some love on a monetary level in thanks for their efforts after the show.  At one point while selling music and Steampunk items donated to their merchandise table, we counted the cash so far, just before the show, and it came out to exactly 42.

Darwin and I had a good laugh and saw that as a great omen since it is the precise number given by the universe's most advanced supercomputer as the exact answer to the question "What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?" or words to that effect in some alien tongue, in one of our favorite comedic sci fi series "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

After the concert, while the band was still breaking down their equipment, the lights went down, the fog machine kicked in, and the dance music pored into the club drawing attendees into the dance without hardly skipping a beat.  Panoptikon's resident DJs and hosts Lord Byron and Son of Sam, poured out the very finest in darkwave, industrial, new wave, steampunk, and unusual dance tracks with a strong 3/4 time beat pulsing through every fiber of the club!  The amazing number of video screens played music video for many of the tracks as well.  The dancers were good enough to leave a clear path to one side of the small stage for removal of band equipment as the dance floor began to fill, so everything moved smoothly transitioning from one portion of the program into the next.

Some of the fashion Show participants after the show - much thanks to Ron Wheeler for this photo

The Steampunk and Pirate Fashion show at midnight was also very well attended in that we programmed not only experienced models, but also most of the highly decorated attendees, to strut their stuff and show off their creations and ensembles on the catwalk from midnight to 1230 am!  We started out the evening with a few experienced models and costumers scheduled, but recruited more and more from the audience to add more variety to lineup prior to the show, until it became very much the audience participation event we had hoped to produce!

Naturally by the end of the night and after tallying the door to ensure expenses and the door and Djs were paid, we still had considerably more to make a modest, but tidy profit, all of which we in Kali's Hourglass chose to give to the band, who more than earned it!  There are some things that are worth far more than money like spending such a fun time with good friends!  It also made it seem we can indeed produce a Steampunk Event that does well locally if we try to keep it reasonable, casual, fun, and put together both a program and budget appropriate to local needs and interests.

The vendors seemed pretty happy with the event as well.  We knew that at a 6 hour event where there would be loud music and low lights it was a less than ideal setting for vendors, so we didn’t actually charge them for their space.  They paid normal admission and provided their own tables.  We provided advertising and customers.  In the end they came through as we had hoped adding extra color, sights, sounds, and wares to delight those attending the event.  When the vendors are part of the show, and we are using a venue that won’t hold more than around 200 max, it hardly seems right to charge extra for the space.  As a result, they were able to make some profit while having a good time, and everyone left happy!

Thank you all so much for everyone that came and especially to Darwin Prophet and the Chronus Mirror, Lord Byron, Son of Sam, the Exclusives staff, and all the lovely people that agreed to participate in our Steampunk & Pirate Fashion Show at midnight. A special thanks also to our Vendors who helped to add color and interest to the evening. I hope you all had a great time!

You can see some photos of the event and the attendees as well as most of the fashion show participants on the event page at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1374526556103577/

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review of New EP: Darwin Prophet and the Chronus Mirror



Darwin Prophet and the Chronus Mirror recently released a new EP by the same name.  This little number is a real jewel with a warm, bluesy kind of Rock and lyrics as wonderfully strange and unique as the mind of the lead singer Darwin herself.   This band is getting pretty well known around the Steampunk Community in Texas the surrounding states for high quality strings with warm soulful voices presenting Steampunk Music.  They first achieved notariety, in their current form as one of the best loved bands at The Difference Engine Steampunk Convention in December 2011.  They have since performed at The Nightmare Machine, Arcadian Clockwork, Time Traveller's Ball, and many other Steampunk Events in addition to their normal shows and performances.  They will very shortly be performing as headliner band at Cogs N Crossbones on July 26th, 2013. 

So what is Steampunk Music?  The definition varies from musician to musician, and they rebelliously plan to keep it that way, but the basic idea is to present music with lyrics and styles that blend the very old with the futuristic in one package.  While electric guitars may be used, they usually blend with classical strings and sometimes far more exotic instruments.  Vocals vary in style, but they are intended to deliver storytelling at it’s finest.  Something that passionately takes the listener into another world, often set in the past, but with mad inventors, wild adventurers, and sometimes dimension hopping explorers.  Steampunk, at it’s source, is science fiction, set in lush artistic times of the past filled with polished mahogany and brass with loud steam driven power and an eye toward the strangest of horizons.  In this, Darwin and the Chronus Mirror excel! 


This EP takes us into a dimension hopping excursion through the galaxies of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide”, make not so cryptic references to the Star Trek sagas, and go to places that exist only in the mind of the songwriter.  The songs weave stories of danger, loyalty, adventure, commitment, and love.  As this band’s back-story is set as visiting aliens observing and interacting with the mad inventors and adventurers, as well as the great poets and social rebels of Earth’s history, their lyrics take a road less traveled, but should really appeal to the hearts of science fiction fans of all genres and times.  Darwin voice, backed by the sultry Darkrys’ voice and viola, are as warm, sweet, and sensual as fresh molasses in mint juleps from the Deep South.   Maestro’s violin underneath everything is truly beautiful.  You really should try this EP and see what you've been missing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cogs N Crossbones - Steampunk Pirate Concert, Dance, & Fashion Show


Cogs N Crossbones - Steampunk Pirate Concert, Dance, & Fashion Show - presented by Kali’s Hourglass.


This is a new Steampunk special event invited by Panoptikon Goth Industrial dance weekly event as a special added feature for July 26th at Exclusives Nightclub at 4207 Maple Avenue, Dallas, Texas. (Oak Lawn district of Dallas at intersection of Maple and Knight streets) 


At 8 pm there will be Steampunk music in the background, a Steampunk social hour, and steampunk vendors, at 9 pm there will be a performance by Darwin Prophet and the Chronus Mirror, and at the stroke of midnight there will be a Steampunk Fashion show.


But first, the dance must commence!


At 10 pm the Goth/Industrial dance will begin with a short intermission for the fashion show then continue until 2 am. The music format typically includes the best of Darkwave, Electronica, and other styles blended into what many consider the finest Gothic dance event in Texas.


Cover is a ridiculously low $5. Drinks specials include $1 for a small draft beer, $2.50 for vodka punch, and $3.50 for well drinks. The two best dance DJs in Texas, Lord Byron and Sam Nicholson will be spinning from 10 till 2. Steampunk and/or pirate attire is encouraged, but anything that makes you happy is fine. Naturally by steam punk we also mean Clockpunk, Dieselpunk, Post Apocalyptic, or any other type of Punk you prefer!


As this is a licensed Bar and dance club, we are not able to permit entry to those under 18, and please do not bring any actual working cutlasses or flintlocks etc. Any costume weapons that are not obviously costume only will need to be approved by the bar owner or left in the car, just like at a real Pirate establishment!!!



Steampunk Pirate Fashion show by Kali's Hourglass at Cogs and Crossbones a Panoptikon special event.


We are looking for all sizes of models to show their creations or their finest Steampunk and/or Pirate apparel from their closet. This includes Dieselpunk, Clockpunk, Post Apocalyptic Punk, or any other type of Punk that floats your ship!


No experience necessary! This is to show the variety and beauty of our community! Please do not be shy- we know we have many talented artists out there in our community.


Please send me the following:


Your preferred name or the name of your Steampunk or Pirate Persona


Brief description of your outfit including: what parts if any did you make yourself, what designer or label for purchased items, and any interesting details about the props and accessories with your ensemble and how all of it relates to your persona/outfit.


In the interest of time, we will be forced to edit this down to a length we can clearly read to the audience during the time it takes you to make your first walk around the edge of the stage showing off your finery.


If you are interested in costuming ideas on a budget try one of these sites:


How to Steampunk an outfit

Historical Pirate Attire


If interested in being a steampunk vendor, participant in the fashion show, or just have other questions, 
please contact us covenantofthekraken@yahoo.com 

or at the event site itself at:

Cogs N Crossbones


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Native American Steampunk via Beyond Victorianna

As a Native American I both long to do Native American Steampunk and at the same time shy away from it, knowing how sensitive my Northern Native cousins are about "cultural misappropriation" issues.  I think this article actually suggests some ideas though that are just too wonderful to pass up.  Take a look!

http://beyondvictoriana.com/2011/12/21/musing-about-native-steampunk-guest-blog-by-monique-poirier/

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Steampunk: It's All About Values via Decimononic


This is a very interesting article that I would vbery much like to direct my reader's attention to.  It discusses the controversy about the actual meaning and forms of Steampunk and concludes it is "All about values" which I happen to agree with.

http://www.decimononic.com/blog/steampunk-raison-detre-its-all-abot-values

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Affordable Electric Cars Finally a Reality?

Tesla Repays Department of Energy Loan Nine Years Early (via MarketWired)
SOURCE: Tesla Motors, Inc. May 22, 2013 16:27 ET Only American Car Company to Have Paid Back Government PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - May 22, 2013) - Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced that it has paid off the entire loan awarded to the company by the Department of Energy in 2010. In addition to…

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yesterday’s Tomorrow





This new album just released by Victor Sierra is deliciously dark, delightfully intense, and deliriously Steampunk!  It opens with a musical sequence that makes you feel you just woke up with a hangover as extra Shanghaied crew in the hold of some dirigible about to engage in aerial combat and blaring dark Germanic music of war to terrify their enemies.  Man, I knew not to trust that German barmaid when she offered me something “really strong for free”!  It moves rapidly from one world musical style, culture, and language to the next through the great courage of Yiddish, the ingenuity of the English, the romance of the French, then dives into the hot-blooded passion of Spain!  If you do not speak all these languages, not to worry, the emotions are raw enough you won’t need a translator for this album!

I asked about the languages and learned that the one I was having trouble with was Yiddish, so naturally I asked why.  Bob told me he was Jewish from a family originating from eastern Europe.  I thought about that for a moment and then asked, "Do you mind if I point out that use of Yiddish, now that I think of it, helps make the album all the more Punk in some ways, because the struggle of Jewish people in Europe is also one of the greatest tales of courage against oppression in human history?  It sort of ties into the whole Steampunk philosophy of rebellion against commercial giants and society trying to force everyone to conform to trashy commercialism and repression of creativity."  He said he was fine with that as I definitely had the right idea about how Yiddish tied into the album for him.

It presents Dieselpunk musical styles from the days of WWI through the times around WWII throughout the European theater with Steampunk themes of courage, duty, love, and loss throughout.  While many bands are called Steampunk, Victor Sierra is one of the very few that puts explicitly Steampunk themed adventure and content into the majority of their work.  While it was written with the listening audience in mind, it's also very dance worthy music, which is important to dance addicts like myself.

To give you a small taste of the themes in the album, I asked permission to post a few verses from one of the English songs Shadows In the Rain:

WHEN THE WIND IS BLOWING AND WHEN THE WORD IS SAID
EVERYONE IS MOVING AND NO ONE IS AFRAID
WHEN THE BAND IS PLAYING WHEN THE PROMISE IS MADE
WHERE THE RAGE IS BURNING THERE ARE DEBTS TO BE PAID

WHEN CITIES ARE MADDENING AND WHEN AIRPLANES FLY LOW
BABIES ARE SEEING THINGS THINGS THAT WE DON’T KNOW
WHEN RIVERS ARE BOILING WHEN SIX TURNS INTO NINE


WHEELS OF TIME ARE SPINNING AND ZEPPELINS KEEP FLYING

You should definitely check this album out!  It's already available on Bandcamp among other outlets.  If the foreign languages give you too much trouble, write me here.  I have a full copy of the lyrics and permission to share upon request, but until then, I will allow you to enjoy the mystery of the album just as I did the first 20 times or so.  I really enjoy this type of creative use of oneself to create puzzles and mystery within the art.  We all need a bit of mystery in our lives do we not?  

http://victorsierra.bandcamp.com/album/yesterdays-tomorrow

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Comicpalooza’s Steampunk Ball 2013


This year Comicpalooza went all out for the entertainment section of their Steampunk track scheduling Frenchy and the Punk (from the East coast), Abney Park (from the West coast), and local favorites Marquis of Vaudville for the Steampunk Ball.  Early advertisement for the event also billed Professor Elemental and  even local artist Addisyn Madd , but while it did show Addisyn Madd at the registration stage, Professor Elemental, the artist they brought in from furthest away, was left entirely off the written schedule and the online schedule as well.  He apparently had some opportunities  to perform occasionally during the weekend, but without it scheduled in writing, we were unable to find them, so we were especially sad to see he was left off the concert lineup as well.

The Steampunk Ball was a little hard to locate, and was not actually in the block spreadsheet schedule as it was in the ballroom of a hotel next door to the convention center.  Once a person located the hotel, some of the hotel staff were unclear about it being scheduled there as well, but once we got upstairs, we found ourselves in the midst of a lovely gathering of exotic characters from different times, areas, and fictional (one would assume anyway) timelines.  In other words Steampunk Madness began to set in and it was utterly delightful!  The crowd gathering was made all the more unusual by an almost even mix of Comicpalooza Anime and Sci-Fi oriented as well as a few Horror oriented merry makers among the clearly identifiable Steampunk attendees.

When time came to enter the great hall, the most visually noticeable element were the gigantic translucent marble light fixtures all over the ceiling which were as elaborate as any palace of Europe.  After Gawking at the setting a little, one began to notice the small groups gathering to talk and mingle (one of the best parts of this event) prior to the start of the concert with Steampunk oriented music supplied by Professor Argo in the background. He also played similar music in between each band’s performance.  This would have been perfect if it had been lowered from dance club volume more to a social gathering background level that we could more easily talk over.  Just the same, he is fast becoming one of the best known and sought after DJs in Texas for Steampunk Events due to his ability to find and present good Steampunk and/or dance music that suits the taste and dance styles of the Steampunk Community.  

Frenchy and The Punk came on first, with their usual World Music fun Gypsy kind of sound.  Their finest talent seems to be in interacting with, reading, and working the crowd.  Frenchy joked with the crowd at how much she was enjoying the Steampunk Belly Dance and quasi mosh pit forming in their midst and to keep it up strong!  At one point, they began both playing drums simultaneously as an unusual way to work up the crowd, but it worked so well that they continued this way for a second round before going back to picking stringed instruments and singing more tunes.  This evolved into various themes ranging into a bizarre conga line with anime characters, belly dancers, Steampunk characters, and even “Furries”, horror, and Sci-fi characters in the mix.  Needless to say, the crowd loved it and they were a great hit with the visiting “Steampunk curious” young crowd that came across from the main convention to check out our ball.

Scheduled next was the Texas Home grown favorites, Marquis of Vaudville, but just before they went on, we had a surprise appearance by that wonderful madman Professor Elemental.  As he was flown out from England and advertised for Comicpalooza 2013, but somehow left out of the concert lineup, this writer was a little surprised, but extremely pleased to see him on the stage.  What happened next will doubtless have more than one version in the telling, but made the Steampunk Ball all the more “Punk” and fascination.  He started out by introducing himself (many of the young ones visiting our ball really didn’t know any of the performers) and stated that it appeared that someone was throwing a Steampunk Ball without even inviting him which was clearly a terrible social Faux pas!  (As he was used to sell tickets, then left totally out of the program, this writer actually agrees with this statement even if made only in jest)


Professor Elemental is a comedic Rap singer who produces funny satire for a living, so the rest was not too unexpected, but really well played.  He started by admitting that he found himself outside having a smoke and a rather “distressed Diva” moment, when he was approached by local Steampunks who were equally unhappy about this turn of events and asked if he would consider performing a bit during the 30 minute intermission between bands.  He agreed, but unfortunately was not able to get his equipment and be put on stage until about 10 minutes before the next band, so he started out by asking the crowd if they would be alright with him offering one or two little Rap Dittys for their amusement.  The crowd gave a very enthusiastic yes, so he dropped even further into character and did what he does best, Gentleman Rhyming, or Rap Steampunk style.  He portrays a very upper crust, stiff upper lip, English gentleman from the Victorian Era that has discovered Rap and turned it to his own devices.  The crowd loved it!  They were so enthusiastic that he said, “Well… they are going to need a crowbar to get me off the stage now!”  He performed for about the agreed 30 minutes, and while the Marquis of Vaudville members looked a bit uneasy with no certain time to step on stage, in the end, it was all good fun, and Toby, the Marquis front man was very gracious in that he thanked Professor Elemental for helping to make it a great Steampunk Event.  The audience definitely agreed!

Marquis of Vaudville then took the stage.  Their smooth, 40s era romantic crooner style smooth vocals mixed with classic rock live instruments produced an excellent sound that the crowd really loved.  It was definitely more Dieselpunk, than Steam, but that is part of it’s charm.  Lyrics ranged from Vaudville era slice of life to more unusual songs overlaid with symbolism.  Toby, the vocalist, was definitely putting heart and soul into this performance and his band backed him every step of the way!  The band's new guitarist, Bryan Geddie, brings both high quality guitar licks and a lot high energy to the stage.  He has integrated very well with the band over the last year and is fully accepted now by the fans.  Kelly continues to bring the soul in through his bass while Phil brings on the heat through his drums!  Some danced, some applauded, while others just watched intently or sat back enjoying it.  It is of note, that one of the very enthusiastic audience members included Captain Roberts of Abney Park.  When asked how he liked our local boys, he just said “They’re great!” and gave enthusiastic support while they played.

Next came the headliner, Abney Park.  When this band made a rather daring move to include very obviously Steampunk Fictional stories about Airship Pirates in a major album, and went even further to name the album after such a song, Captain Roberts once said his band members thought he had lost his mind.  They had already recorded the album, but weren’t clear that he meant to feature that and others like it on a major album that was by a band well known as “Goth”.  They feared they would not gain enough new fans to offset the loss of a few Goth purists who might consider it too playful for their tastes.  Robert stuck to his guns and proved he was right to take this turn and admit his and their interest in helping create a whole new genre (or at least subgenre) of Steampunk Music.  Since then they have gone on to become what many consider the best known Steampunk Band in the world.  Of course, when any band performs for such a specialized niche, it is hard to get rich in gold, but they love what they do, and we love them doing it!  Besides they can always take to the skies if they run short of gold eh?


This writer had been hearing some controversy about the new Steampunk Albums having interesting stories, but less emotional intensity than the earlier Goth albums, and a great deal of varying opinions about the experimental direction the last two albums took as well as recent changes in the band members.   The band’s performance on this night certainly seemed committed to prove any such doubters wrong.  The performance was the most intense and deeply emotive Abney Park concert this writer has ever attended!  It had a bit of the original Goth material, including well loved favorites, but, being a “Steampunk Ball”  mostly presented material from the first two Steampunk Albums.  While the two more recent albums were not represented as much, that stands to reason as both are so new that that fans are still digesting them and it is hard to pin down favorites.  As such the first two Steampunk albums about Airship Pirates and strange inventors took precedence in the lineup.  This appeared to be a good choice as the crowd loved it!

This writer had also heard various rumors and speculations about whether the band would be able to produce the depth and quality of sound they had while Nathaniel Johnstone was playing with them, but this was also shown to be an unfounded concern.  This writer was amazed at how well the new violinist, Titus, played the solos and how skillful and personable the new guitarist, Josh, could be.  Both of them have integrated beautifully with Dan, Kristina, and the vocalists already.  Add to that the fact that their newest vocalist Jody Ellen has had three years now to perfect the way she lifts and supports Robert’s vocals while harmonizing with them, and the music was incredible!  Two of the band members I had asked about responses to their newest members (meaning ones with them less than a year) said that the fans accepted them very well, then spontaneously mentioned that Jody was unquestionably the best vocalist they had ever had!

Other changes worthy of note are that Kristina, the bands own Mistress of the Dark, (and of the set list) who plays keyboard, acts as timekeeper, controls background tracks, and essentially orchestrates stage performances (or so it seems), was moved to the front of the stage where we can see her more clearly as she performs.  The other obvious changes were the two new members Josh and Titus, of course, and that many of the Band members were sporting newer and fancier attire. This was especially noticeable on Dan, the Bass player, who usually wore relatively basic WWII Dieselpunk military attire, but was now sporting something roughly similar in design, but with elaborate and symbolic embroidery front and back and a finely made utility belt item of dark leather and brass on his hip.  Captain Robert was also sporting new duds, at least new to me, that looked great on him.  Kristina and Jody routinely vary their wardrobe with well fitted attire ranging from Victorian through World War two era, and this concert was no exception.  Josh had a very “Neo-Bedouin” look, and Titus was wearing a steam-powered top hat that looked like a flying inventors workshop all in one chapeau.

When buying their latest album after the show, Kristina asked about the concert, and this writer told her it combined the power and intensity of their early Goth albums with the fun and cool lyrics of their newer Steampunk albums.  They have managed to fuse the best of both into something wonderful. This was unquestionably the finest Abney Park Concert this writer has been privileged to attend! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New York Library Presents Steampunk Exposition via Examiner.com

I was thrilled to see this.  It's a great article about one more way that Steampunk is being presented in an appropriate and respectful way in the public eye.

NY Library spotlights Steampunk

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Land of Oz Based Steampunk Game

Everyone loves the land of Oz (via http://www.lazygamer.net)

Apparently all the remakes of Oz-based movies, mini-series and whatnot have caught on.  American McGee sees fit to use Oz lore to make his latest steampunk game… and I must say that I’m intrigued, except for the zombie part. Maybe it is my fascination with all things American McGee does, but I…

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wave Gothic Festival in Leipzig

Wave Gothic Festival photos: Oh, by goth by golly (via Cranford Chronicle)

Once outlawed by the East German government, the annual Wave Gothic Festival in Leipzig is now a bastion of inclusiveness, provided your tastes run to steampunk, leather fetishism, Viking and Renaissance role play, vampires, death metal, zombie apocalypses or just plain run-of-the-mill goth. More than…

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Poo Poo Platter: Drag Queen Theater par excellence in Austin



While down in Austin promoting a band, this blogger found himself face to face with one of the best delivered and funniest Drag Queen Comedy shows ever.  At Elysium there is a monthly event that dubs itself  “Poo Poo Platter”  While I was a little uncertain if this was where we wanted to spend Friday night in a town as vast and varied as Austin, the club owner, John, at Elysium, talked into taking a look.  They bill the event as follows:  “For our May installation, the girls of PooPoo Platter are giving the stage to five of the baddest bitches in Austin for our first ever Sequin De Mayo Chola Pageant!”   This blogger loves theater of any type, so it seemed worth a look.

While I am not particularly experienced at comparing “Drag Show” events, comparing an amateur/semi-pro stage event involving theater and comedy is hardly new to me, so I simply applied the same standards I would assessing any other event.  Did they appear to dress up for the event?  Are you kidding, these are "drag queens" baby, and they did not disappoint!  The glitter eyeshadow and eyeliner alone could probably have been seen from space if it was an outdoor event, to say nothing of one pair of earrings that looked like they might have weighed as much as their wearer.  Did they present a stage act that appeared adequately rehearsed?  Actually they get very high marks in this category.  While some seemed partly improved, the comedy seemed pretty well written and rehearsed as well as the talent show events in this spoof of a beauty pageant  and delivery of lines from contestants and judges had enough attitude to put American Idol to shame!

Now for the most important question for this type of event:  Were they funny?  Let me just say that comedy is such a dangerous and slippery slope that it is almost impossible to make people laugh without offending anyone.  On the other hand,  directly causing pain to someone so others can laugh at them, seems to be the most common, yet in my opinion, the very lowest form of humor.  That is definitely not what they presented.  Strange humor, satires of corruption, and humor that spoofs or makes fun of one’s own cultural group are the two that seem to take a higher road and still can be really funny if well delivered.  These girls, both the "Drag Queens" and the judges as well, were utterly hilarious using all three with excellent effect!

The contest poked fun at most aspects of a beauty pageant that involved some of the inherently ridiculous aspects such as objectification, arbitrary standards, corruption, and other general nonsense.  They also made fun of themselves, Drag Queen behaviors in general, Latinas (since four of the contestants were Latinas), one "white girl" by the name of "Puta Blanca" (you can guess who she was poking fun at) and three sarcastic, corrupt, and airhead type judges.  There were other aspects that were surprising such as a few rather credible bits of character acting, surprisingly impressive and theatrical makeup work, and one dance and burlesque by one contestant that was one of the finest, and actually one of the sexiest, burlesque routines I have seen.  Did she win the contest?  Of course not as that would suggest beauty pageants aren't fixed or corrupt, and we cant have that now can we?  In fact, the winner’s talent show involved a sexy dance culminating in slinking on all fours off the stage onto the judges table and French kissing one of the judges for a rather extended period, or at least until the laughter started dying down.  When the judge caught her breathe, she said “I know I told you I’d help you win if you made out with me, but I didn't mean here while everyone was watching!”

This blogger will include, naturally, a photo of the cast.  If you are in Austin for one of these “girl’s” shows, I must say that I very highly recommend it!

A few words from the director about the show

Friday, April 19, 2013

Psyche Chimere Discusses Psyche Corporation's Future




I recently explored further into the recent past and future of Psyche Corporation with their resident Evil Genius Inventor Type, with a voice- (among other things, *evil grin inserted here*)  to die for -  Psyche Chimere!




I asked directly about the great variety of musicians and dancers she performs with in various videos.  She tells me that her favorite dancers live in Ithaca, New York, so they always perform with her at “The Haunt” and at whatever other events can afford their transportation costs, but that she often permits local dancers, who are able and willing to contribute interpretive dance to the act, to perform with her in order to make her performances a more participative and entertaining event.



As for musicians, she has regulars that perform on guitar and cello, with occasional addition of other instruments, but she travels with those that are able to make the event and uses backup recordings of each for any that are unable to attend.  Percussion and backup vocals apparently she does herself prior to the show, but Psyche Corporation experiments with a variety of approaches to music, so nothing is set in stone.  I then asked about past, present, and immediate future performances planned.  Here's what she gave us:



2011-Last year is the first year I really expanded into more conventions outside of the Wicked Events circuit (they do conventions, [such as Steampunk World's Fair, Wicked Faire, Geeky Kink Event] and that's how I started in conventions).  This has gone well, and I tend to get more fans whenever I perform at a new convention or hosting event because then I reach people who haven't heard of me before but who are likely to enjoy my music, since I go to conventions where much of my target demographic goes.  I've just noticed over time that the people who like my music are Steampunk, Goth, intellectual, geeky and/or have a thing for Tori Amos or Kate Bush.



Future - 2012- This year I am returning to the same conventions from 2011 more or less, while tentatively doing a few new ones in other states if they're able to cover transportation.
I try not to cut back on performing unless it is done to focus on something else that helps the music. In this case, I am dedicating that time to working on the 4th album primarily for this year while maintaining a  'holding pattern' on the conventions I'm doing. I do all the conventions that are locally convenient and large, plus some faraway ones that have travel stipends, and don't actively look for [any extra] bookings this year.



I would like to take this year to push online promotions, perhaps through youtube webisodes, or drawings, or setting up LARPs for others to play in my “angelbot” universe, doing photo-shoots with local photographers once the weather gets warmer up here, and possibly putting together an extremely simple but high production value music video for another song.  Since I take such care to craft my songs, it may be quicker to generate material for consumption via skits and storylines and puppet shows done in the Psyche Corp. universe.  These are things that, in theory, anyone could do, but which are hard for me to spend a lot of time on when I have the music and school and drawings, photoshoots, and/or music-videos to do.



Thank you Psyche Chimere   We look forward to your upcoming events and the release of your fourth Album which is much anticipated by your fans!!!



More information on The Steampunk World’s Fair can be found at steampunkworldsfair.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Shadow Queen Rocks the House at Ikkikon VII



Psyche Chimere, front woman for Psyche Corporation, performed as the headliner musical performance at Ikkicon VII this last Saturday. Earlier in the day she led and taught a "Learn to POI Meetup" group on two occasions and gave an interactive lecture on the current real science and state of the art involving connecting the human brain directly or indirectly to computer mainframe operations.

The concert was not well advertised and many attendees actually thought it was a speaking event for some new anime they were unfamiliar with, but when Psyche Chimere's incredible voice began pouring out into the hallway from the concert stage, people began flowing in to see where this nectar of the Gods (or Shadow Queen in this case) was coming from. Even some of the other musical performers and professional musicians attending the convention wandered in and appeared to be enjoying the concert immensely.

As this was the first time Psyche Corporation was presented in this part of the country, many guests were surprised and puzzled at first, but then became intensely interested and began wandering over to the merchandising table (which this writer was manning) to buy every album they could get their hands on. After the concert, they got albums autographed and expressed their appreciation to Psyche for the performance, but she had to leave rather quickly due to a VIP Pass only meet and Greet being scheduled immediately afterwards.

Those who did not have time to get autographs were assisted with that either just before or just after the VIP Meet and Greet. The fans then lined up to get their picture taken with the "Shadow Queen" and I was more than happy to learn and use whatever I-phone , camera , or other device they carried so as to give them a few photos with the artist that they could take home with them. They seemed to be really enjoying this and were so reluctant to disperse that, in order to avoid a fire hazard blocking the hall, the con staff had to move this informal "Photo Op" group to a different location where Ms. Chimere continued to answer their questions, discuss future possibilities (most wanted her to perform at conventions in their home area or state) and finally ended with hugs all round before dispersing.

I think it is safe to say, she managed to build a new, diverse and loyal following among Ikkicon VII anime convention attendees from many different states.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Caelestis Designs releases Edara’s Kickstarter campaign! (via G*M*S Magazine)
Caelestis Designs is proud to announce the launch of the Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance Kickstarter Project. Indianapolis, IN – April 1st 2013. Caelestis Designs is bringing its creative project Edara: A Steampunk Renaissance, a table-top role-playing game, to Kickstarter in an attempt to raise crowd…

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Psyche Corporation's Psyche Chimere Grants an Interview





Here at The Art of Steampunk (aka S.S. Kali's Hourglass), we try hard to ally with others that want to share good fun and creative art in all it's forms.  We also tend to really like art that leans toward sci-fi or what the Lotus Comic staff define as "Nerdy" vs "Geeky" .  Along that line, I would like to bring your attention to a singer, storyteller, comedian, and drop dead gorgeous performer that does cyberpunk/darkwave type performances with one of the finest voices in the industry, yet using such bizarre items as a percussion track based on the DNA sequence of the polio virus.  I think you will like her.

Psyche Chimere
Psyche Chimere (also called the "Shadow Queen") of "Psyche Corporation" is the lead singer and much of the creative genius behind the group's work, although she would be quick to point out that it would have been impossible without the help of her dancers, musicians, videographers, sound engineers, and fans.

(and yes the E in psyche is pronounced as it refers to the Greek Goddess of the soul or spirit and wife of the God of love - Eros)  

Her entire artistic musical vision is backed by a very complex and wonderfully fascinating dystopian fictional world where dreams (that allow you to fully experience any fantasy you wish) are designed, bought, and sold.  The brightest and most promising of dream designers at one dream manufacture group (that is, at Psyche Corp.) eventually hacks the program and takes over the minds of some of their most powerful clients, subliminally, in order to get herself put into power as the Shadow Queen, ruler of the world.  Thus begins the reign of the Shadow Court, made up of the executive board of Psyche Corporation, which lasts for centuries, led by various CEOs known as Shadow Kings and Queens.  Centuries after the first "Shadow Queen", a new Shadow Queen arises who is so feared by the rest of the Shadow Court that the executive board plots to overthrow her.  Their super advanced technology and bio-engineering makes it essentially impossible to kill her, or at least stop her from simply reassembling herself afterwards, so they find a way to send her back in time and strand her in a time and place where the technology is too backward to build a time machine to return.  Of course, that's where the Steampunk angle sometimes comes into play.    

Here is our first real interview with her:

Psyche Chimere

1)  So tell us Psyche, what is your own musical background?

I studied opera for 6 months at age 13, and again for 6 months at age 17.  I also studied piano from the age of 5 to 6.
[editor's note: She also said in an earlier interview in Filligri Magazine (Nov 2011) that at six years of age, when her parents finally stopped requiring her to keep up such an extreme pace of learning new piano recital pieces for local community events, she started playing only what she liked and experimenting with music.  Eventually she began composing her own music by the age of 12.]


My skills at computer music production were self taught.

2) Who are your dancers, and what types of styles have they studied?

The two dancers that most often perform with me are Arydaea who studied belly dance and Akiri who studied ballet.
[editor's note:  She also has other costumed and choreographed dancers already in place with the Texas Street Team for shows in and around Texas, and accepts offers from local dancers who are willing to add interpretive dance to performances if the event is unable to afford transportation costs for her regular dancers, thus the assortment of dancers on some videos.]

3) Do you use the same musicians most of the time, and if so, what are their names, instruments, and backgrounds?
  
Usually it varies.  It used to be Exit on live guitar, then it was Paul Hoppe on live guitar, now we are looking for another guitarist.  Recently acquired Mike Lunapiena on cello for the live show. They've all played in other bands.  Exit in 99cent Special, Paul also plays in Villain's Lament, Mike does a solo act called the Wandering Cellist and plays for Music Under NY.
[editor's note:  I think they are considering taking on a drummer, drum set, middle Eastern, African, still in discussion actually, but this is art baby!...They aren't rolling in money, so it will have to be someone that loves what they do more than with big dollar signs in their eyes, and they still have to be able to do it well.]

4)  What do you consider to be your biggest influences in both music and the lovely dark fiction woven throughout your lyrics?

Within Temptation, Poe, Elisa, Kidneythieves, MSI, Loreena McKennitt, Squonk Opera.  Don't think I sound like them though.

Dark fiction um..  Maybe Asimov, Bruce Sterling, some book I read in middle school whose title I forgot but which was about telomerase injections, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but really it's probably things from dreams I've had.

5) Who did your video and sound mixing on the various videos and how did you convince them to work for such beautiful, but mostly unfunded, projects?

Seriah Azkath did the camera work, and he and I worked together on sound and everything else for the first two videos, with acting help from local friends who played characters and extras.     I wrote up all the screen plays.  The 3rd video was directed and filmed by Brandon Herman.  I did everything else except for playing the parts of the extras and other actors which we gathered from local steampunk people and friends.  Some people are just willing to help out a friend, as in the first two videos, and in the 3rd video, I think it was still mostly friends and friends of friends helping out, but some people may have joined because it seemed exciting.

Sharkbanana in a glamour shot
6) What do you, your obese unicorn, and Sharkbanana get up to in your almost non-existent spare time?

We have tea parties with the Queen of Helicopter Graveyards.  Very solemn and mechanically unpropelled occasions.  

 7) 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?

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?

I quite agree!  Mustard greens wouldn't make for a very interesting nightmare I'm afraid.   You, on the other hand, dearest Shadow Queen, Psyche Chimere,  you are quite a dream yourself!  Many kinds of dream on many levels, and all of them wonderful, except for the terrifying ones of course.  Thank you so much for sharing this with me today...and for not turning me into mustard greens or anything...I do hope you will permit an audience again at some point in the future. 

As for you more gentle and funny alter ego ... Stay strange, we love you that way!!!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Austin Vampire Ball

So what do Vampires and Steampunk have in common?  Far more than you may think.

First both communities range from fans that like to watch cool people in even cooler clothes doing fun and entertaining things, or that are fans of fictional stories with these communities as a centerpiece all the way through "lifestylers" who embed the look, the culture, the values, and the people of these cultures in almost every aspect of their lives.  People like that consider "costumes" to be what they wear to work every day (assuming they work a typical corporate job) and their lifestyle to be who and what they really are.  Naturally the same could be said for many other cultures, but the fact remains, that the cultures have more in common that just the tendency of Vampires to show up a lot in Steampunk fictional novels and plays.  They often have individuals, friends, and even families that truly are a part of both communities at once.  As such, I think it appropriate to mention this very interesting new event in the heart of Texas:  The Austin Vampire Ball.

Do I think it's worth attending?  I wouldn't miss it for my own funeral!  See you there.

https://www.facebook.com/AustinVampireBall?fref=ts

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Twisted Skies Steampunk Card Game



I haven't seen the final product of this game, but I know the quality of the game maker, Jim Trent, (one of the Steampunk Community's own!)  so I am recommending others take a good look at his work.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1842406318/steampunk-card-game-twisted-skies

Monday, April 1, 2013


30 Alchemical Gadgets (via G*M*S Magazine)
By Thilo Graf This pdf from Rite Publishing is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s check this out! By now, you probably are aware about some of the idiosyncrasies of my preferences. I’m conservative…

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Where Did the Road Go?


Psyche Corporation shared a link to a cool new radio show:

Where Did the Road Go?

www.wheredidtheroadgo.com

Interview with David Weatherly. David is the author of The Black Eyed Children, and is the founder of Two Crows Paranormal. David is an Author, Paranormal Investigator, Cryptozoologist, and UFOlogist, with over 35 years experience exploring the weird and unexplained. The Black Eyed Children is a ver...
Share

From the desk of the Shadow Queen:  (Psyche Corporation)

So, the guy who masters all of Psyche Corporation's music, not only hosts a cool radio show, The Last Exit For The Lost (radio show), which plays Psyche Corporation all the time, but has just started a new talk show, dealing with the paranormal, lost civilizations, alternative science, and such, and uses Whirring World from Psyche Corporation as the closing theme. If you want to check it out, it's called Where Did the Road Go? and it airs every Saturday night at 11pm Eastern, right before The Last Exit for the Lost.



The Last Exit For The Lost (radio show)

‎Where Did the Road Go? is now on iTunes. For those of you not familiar, this is our talk show that airs the hour before The Last Exit. If you are at interested, go subscribe and give us a good rating. We have some awesome guests coming up, where we will be talking about some really creepy paranormal stuff, lost civilizations, and a LOT more. First interview is up, which challenges the very concept of reality. Go to the website, www.Wheredidtheroadgo.com for the schedule and links to iTunes, an RSS feed, and Twitter... And like us on here!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dead Can Dance (via Gregory James)

I haven't posted for a while, as we have been recording the new Emily Palen release Creation and my new release Cult of Beauty.  But I have been out to see some great music, and there is more coming up this fall.  In August Dead Can Dance played the Greek Theater.  It was their first tour in 7 years…

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


A horde of the undead is about to sweep over Europe. The Devil's Harvest by @ScottWhitmore (via The Masquerade Crew)

FRANCE, 1916: THE GREAT WAR in Western Europe is at a stalemate with the Allies and Central Powers facing each other from muddy trenches on either side of the deadly No Man’s Land. To end the years of bloody warfare, the Germans plan to unleash the perfect weapon in a villainous attack that will…

Friday, January 25, 2013

Diesel Punk Coming of Age

At a recent local Diesel Punk meeting, local Diesel Punk Pundit, teacher, and blogger, Larry Amyett disclosed that a very impressive upsurge of interest in Diesel Punk has been coming into it's own in the last few months.  He has produced a very popular diesel Punk Pod Cast and partnering with Jen Wang to produce a number of interesting articles, podcasts, and event sponsorship in the Dallas area. This reporter has plans to interview both of them for more details.  In the mean time, take a look at their work on:

DieselPunk

and this excellent article about recent projects they have been developing:

DFW Dieselpunks After Dark

As the article does not actually link to the semi-adult Dieselpunk site, I will give you a link here:

https://www.facebook.com/dfwdieselpunksafterdark?filter=1

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Nikola Tesla Story: Filmmakers Aim to Re-Write History (via Nvate)

By Michael Cleland Nikola Tesla, a once world famous 19th and 20th century American inventor, is practically an unknown in American history. Filmmakers Wilhelm Cashen and Carole Bourgeois are working to bring him back to life on the silver screen with their impending documentary, “Electricity: The…

Friday, January 18, 2013

Frenchy and The Punk's New Album Release!

In an effort to assist my friends in sharing their delightful Steampunk and World Music Act with the world, I am sharing their public announcement of a promotion under way for their new album!  They are one of the most sought after musical acts for Steampunk and Steampunk related events the world over.  It's Frenchy and the Punk!

Reposted e-mail from the Frenchy and the Punk Mailing listserve.


Greetings Frenchy and the Punk friends!

We hope your new year is off to a great start. We've had a few weeks off the road and now have some new artwork to auction on ebay. We also finished up our new drum and dance CD, Elephant Uproar! The world wide release date is Tuesday March 26th and it will be available from Frenchy and the Punk.com, iTunes in the US, Europe and Asia, Bandcamp.com, at all our live shows and a zillion other outlets, like, believe it not xbox! Everyone that ordered the CD through our fundraising campaigns will have the CD by February 12th!
We are auctioning some brand new artwork and we thought you'd like to check it out. The first item is on auction until Thursday January 17th, here is the link: FnP Auction Item #1
Scott will have some of his intricate pen and ink art guitar banners and Frenchy will be unleashing some special Bohemian Bats.