Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

I had a blast at Comicpalooza’s weird and wonderful Memorial weekend. Every aspect of Comicpalooza was a carnival of the fantastic and the Steampunk ball was no exception.

A Belle of the Steampunk Ball

A Belle of the Steampunk Ball

The music was merry the hall was grand and one and all came with their dancing shoes on, in costumes both elegant and outrageous.

Buxom damsels in bustles and corsets and dapper men in Victorian attire swung their feet, kicked up their heels, and bounced at the ball.

Performances began with Frenchy and the Punk. Their flapper cabaret, Great Gatsby sound was a party in itself.

DSCN0464Professor Elemental’s performance as always was rollicking fun. I say steam, you say, punk. “I say steam, you say, ____.  I say steam, you say, _____.” Proffesor elemental’s youtube video

Marquis of Vaudeville with their rockin circus of sound, the smooth mellow vocals of Toby Lawhon,  and a sensual base guitarist with a magnetic flair and whipping hair had everyone prancing and dancing. Marquis of Vaudeville’s youtube video

Abney Park

Abney Park at Comicpalooza

The ball reached the height of amazement when Abney Park took the stage and the magic of music reached a whole other level. Abney Park’s youtube video

May I have this dance?

Now that the ball is over, the dancers have left, the booths at Comicpalooza have been taken down and all the stars have gone. So we are left waiting for the ball and Comicpalooza to come in 2014.

Maeve Alpin is the author of four Steampunk/Romances: To Love A London Ghost, Conquistadors In Outer Space, As Timeless As Stone, and As Timeless As Magic.

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Veronique Chevalier, aka The “Weird Val” of Dark Cabaret, is a woman of many hats. Literally, as well as figuratively. She’s an Entertainer/MC/Panelist who’s plied her trade at Steampunk & Comic Book events the width and breadth of the US. A self-proclaimed “Mad Sonictist”, she’s gained notoriety for her parodies on the theme of Steam, & she roguishly appropriates the tune-age of everyone from The Beatles to Thomas Dolby. MAD Veronique also holds the dubious distinction of originating Gothic Polka, with her recording “Polka Haunt Us: A Spook-tacular Compilation” which was an Official Selection on the 51st Annual Grammy Ballot. She shall soon be releasing a volume of steampunk haiku, with full-color illustrations by Walter Sickert; and she was also the 2012 Recipient of The Steampunk Chronicle Readers Choice Award for “Best Dressed Female Steampunk”. Visit Veronique’s Website at http://WeirdVal.com


Gearhearts Steampunk Glamour Revue
by Veronique Chevalier

gearheartsErotica, just as any other human creative endeavour, is in the eye of the beholder. Fortunately, for those of us who prefer to let the organ between our eyes fill in the blanks for us, there is Gearhearts Steampunk Glamour Revue.

Published by comic book company Antarctic Press, this quarterly photo pin-up mag features compelling images of steampunk-attired ladies (and in Issue #5, gents only). Also, featured are book, music & film reviews; interviews; illustration; and various forms of literary expression. Many of the models are contributors to the content, rather than being relegated to being merely ornamental.

Some of the noteworthy array of steampunks, who have been featured between the covers of the various issues thus far, are authors O.M. Grey, & Gail Carriger; illustrator Brian Kesinger; cosplayer/personality John F. Strangeway, aka “Steampunk Boba Fett”, and Yours Truly (pictured here, on the cover of Issue #6).

Editor Guy Brownlee and his staff are to be commended, especially Patricia Ash, who is a most adept pen-slinger, indeed.

Gearhearts Steampunk Glamour Revue is available at most comic book emporiums across North America, and may also be purchased online, directly from the publisher thus:
http://www.antarctic-press.com/html/version_01/store.php?id=Gearhearts You may also go to the main page of their online store, scroll down to where all the titles are divided up by creator, and find it under “Guy Brownlee, Tim Collier” or just search the text string “Gearhearts” on the page. They still have copies of all issues, including #1, available!


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To the tune of Here We Come A-Carrolling

Here is:DSCN0219

Come A Steampunk Writing

In Ebooks so green

Come a-typing

about robots on steam.

sin city 3Gear, cogs, and brass for you.

And to you swift airships too.

And may editors send you

contracts for the new year.

Best wishes on your books in the new year.

Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year

Steampunk Alchemy Christmas Tree

Pinterest Steampunk Christmas

Maeve Alpin

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As the Steamed airship lands in Phoenix, Arizona, I go to greet my two guest. They step across the gaping space between the dock and airship to board, with a graceful, fluid glide. Both are dancers of

Diosa with sword & Katara in top hat

the Osiris Belly Dancing Company, Diosa, the director and her co-dancer, Katara.

I show them into the parlor where they ease onto the cushioned hand carved settee with lion head legs and claw feet. I sit across from them in a chemille upholstered arm chair.

“Welcome aboard Steamed. It’s so good to have you.” I lean toward Diosa as she sets her sword on the marble top coffee table.  “I love your dance company’s name, Osiris. Of course he’s the Egyptian god of the dead. Also, George Mann wrote a well known Steampunk novel titled The Osiris Ritual.  Why did you chose the name Osirus?”

Diosa flashed a bright smile. “I chose the name Osiris as a result of a series of my own personal experiences through belly dance. Enthralled by dancing with double veils, I later aspired to dance with seven veils, attributed to the myth of the “Dance of the Seven Veils”. After researching the history of Inanna and Ishtar and their descents into the underworld, I thought it fitting to use Osiris, also known as the keeper of the underworld. The name became a symbolic transformation of spirituality, where a dancer could abandon inhibitions and masculinity, empowering her feminine expression, as if to shed the facades created to hide her true self.”

“How intriguing.” The engine purrs and the china teacups on the coffee table rattle as the airship lifts off. I rub my lips together as I think of my next question. “On your website you say the Osiris Dance Company has its roots in Egyptian Cabaret. As I and some of our readers may be unfamiliar with the term, can you tell me more about what that means?

Diosa with the Osiris Dance Company

Diosa with the Osiris Dance Company

Diosa nods. “Our roots are bound to a more refined style with ballet and jazz influences with arm positions and traveling movements. Body movements are smaller, intricate muscular movements lending to a more intimate venue like night clubs or in this day and age, at coffee shops. Costumes also tend to be more intricate with a two piece sequined, beaded, and rhinestone bra and belt. The music style may have more dramatic orchestral elements with lavish musical styles.” 

I poured  Diosa a cup of steaming tea. “How old were you when you started belly dancing?”

Disoa picked up both cup and saucer, holding them in her lap.  “I began belly dancing when I was 28. I was entranced by the majestic and fluid belly dancers at the Aladdin in Las Vegas with their glitzy costumes and the wonderful live music.”

I brimmed Katara’s porcelain teacup full. “What drew you to this beautiful, exotic genre of dance?”

Katara took a sip of tea. ” I took my first belly dance class at the beginning of my senior year of high school – I was seventeen. It was  the embodiment of grace, beauty, sensuality and womanhood. So I found a studio, and my first teacher – who happened to be Diosa!”

I picked up my own teacup, took a hot, refreshing sip, then shifted my gaze onto Katara. “Tell me, When did you first fall in love with belly dancing?” I dropped a cube of sugar into the teacup. “Also , when did you first fall in love with Steampunk?”

Katara set her teacup  on the marble table top and leaned back against the red settee. “I first saw belly dancing when I watched one of our local belly dance legends, Yasmina’s, public access show once as a little girl. I was fascinated! Then, I saw another local legend, Jasmine, perform in a cultural week at my high school and decided I had to find classes in the dance style. Steampunk, I first found several years ago. I was completely intrigued with the way Steampunk blended historical fashions with modern designs. And it gave me an excuse to break out the corsets and bustles.”

Leaning forward I picked up a sliver spoon and stirred my tea as I asked Diosa, “What intrigues you about Steampunk? Why did you decided to blend it into your belly dancing performances?”

“Our group is always intrigued by doing something new and off the beaten path. We’ve done marionette pieces, Alice in Wonderland, and tough girl themes. We trained so much in traditional styles, that I think we all just wanted to do something completely different. ” Diosa picked up the teapot and poured more of the steaming brew into her gold rimmed china cup. “When we started dancing at Comicon, we were actually thrown into the Steampunk genre when we were invited to perform at the Steampunk Ball. I consider our dance style to be belly dance fusion, but we blend steampunk into our costuming for those specific venues.”

Katara leaned forward to pick up her teacup.  “Personally, alternate histories always fascinated me, and the way Steampunk blends science fiction with Victorian themes intrigues me.” She took a dainty sip of her tea. “But, really, it’s the opportunity to play with historical fashions and blend them into something interesting and modern. As far as adding it into my dancing, it seemed a natural progression. A new way to tell interesting stories with dance and some really fun costumes.”

I shifted my back against the soft, cushioned  arm chair  “Why do you think steampunk and belly dancing blend together so well?”

Diosa with fan

Diosa with fan

With a flick of her wrist, Diosa snapped her fan out and fluttered it in front of her face. “Steampunk and belly dancing blend together so well because they both thrive from innovation, whether it’s creative choreographies or outrageous costumes.”

Katara with fan

Katara with fan

Katara set her teacup down and flicked her fan open as well. “Belly dancing has always been seen as an exotic, mysterious art form.  I believe that speaks to steampunk – it allows a blend of ethnic and intrigue that melds well with the mixing of sci-fi and history that makes up so much of steampunk. And it brings in a new kind of cultural interest – which was a big part of victorian life.”

I grab my own fan from the coffee table and open it with a flick of my wrist as I ask Diosa, “What are some major challenges of choreographing Steampunk Belly dancing performances?”

“Like any choreography, picking the right music and costuming are a couple of the major challenges. The music is my muse, so if I find an inspiring song, the choreography comes pretty easily.”

Katara of Osiris Belly Dancing Company

Katara rests her fan on her lap. “A major challenge is to bring elements of the steampunk world into a middle eastern artform. Personally, I’ve always leaned toward a more fusion style that blends the traditional dance with different styles (anything from theatrical to jazz to modern), so it wasn’t -too- much of a stretch for me, but being able to embrace that science fiction/period element was definitely a challenge.”

I fluttered my fan and leaned back, fixing my gaze on Diosa. “What Steampunk bands, in addition to Abney Park, do you  think play music which fuses well with belly dancing?”

Diosa set her fan beside her sword on the marble table top. “Music reminiscent of the time period can lend itself to that specific style, especially when blended with the theatrics and costuming. I’ve seen dancers perform to music I considered fusion, though their costuming style was steampunk. I haven’t really figured out what categorizes a band or music as being ‘steampunk’ other than the fact that they specifically note themselves as such or the artists are wearing steampunk apparel.”

Katara brought her teacup to her red lips and took a slow sip. “Well, Abney Park is one of my favorites. I also have performed to a Professor Elemental piece or two. A good many of the steampunk bands utilize instruments that are good for dancing to. Beats Antique is fabulous, as well, it’s a band that is a ‘belly dance band’ that works great with steampunk.”

I point my fan at Diosa. “Do you have a favorite steampunk song for belly dancing?”

Diosa rest her hands in her lap. “I don’t necessarily have a favorite steampunk song, but I would lean more towards songs by Beats Antique, Bass Nectar, or Beirut. I love the ‘carni’ influences as well as the fusion of dub-step.”

Katara - comicon

Katara – comicon

Katara set her teacup on her porcelain saucer with a soft clang. “I love dancing to Hans Zimmer’s “Discombobulate” from the first ‘Sherlock Holmes’ soundtrack. I’ve done a really fun ‘Hyde’ piece to it.”

“A Hyde piece sounds amazing.” I dropped my fan onto my lap and grasped the carved arms of the chair as the airship rocked slightly.  “You have performed at the Wild Wild West Steampunk convention and Comicon. What differences have you found in belly dancing at those types of steampunk/sci-fi/fantasy cons rather than other venues?”

Diosa answers first.  “We have found styles vary and interpretations of the dance is very different. We have observed some burlesque styles that lend to more of a strip tease, where others are theatrical and humorous. Some groups still hold true to their own traditional styles, whether it be tribal or cabaret, but I have not observed a specific style that would be considered ‘steampunk belly dance’.”

Katara adds, “The biggest difference, to me, tends to come from the audience. It’s refreshing to have a group of people who are new to belly dance reacting to the performance  as well as appreciating that someone could blend something like that with what they themselves love: steampunk.”

I snap my fan shut and lean back as I nod at Diosa.  “What do you like most about performing at steampunk/sci-fi/fantasy cons?”

Diosa tilts her head. “What I love most about performing at these different venues is the invitation to create from an entire fantasy world, whether it be super heroes, manga characters, cult television show favorites, or even our own made up characters.”

Katara reaches up to adjust her top hat.  “I love being able to take belly dance and make something new with it. Being able to combine this beautiful art form with a style I already enjoy, be that steampunk, pure sci-fi, or fantasy, is great for me. And being able to share it with the community that completely embraces it is amazing.”

I lean back in my chair, relaxing and enjoying the company of my guest. “What do you think is the status of Steampunk belly dancing in the United States? Is it growing, changing?”

“From what I have seen, it is a small light in a world of dancing.” Katara spreads her hands as she speaks. “The belly dance community is aware enough of Steampunk to love it, but may not have quite ‘gotten it’ yet. It is definitely finding its niche though, and starting to get a following. An example: about a year ago I performed in a belly dance show completely themed ‘Steampunk’, people loved it, and the community really came out for it.”



Having picked up my teacup and drinked the last of my tea, I set it on the table. “I have to say the steampunk costumes of the Osiris Dance company are perhaps the best I’ve seen. Exquisite. Who makes the costumes for your dancers?”

Diosa smiles as she answers. “Both Katara and I create our own costumes. Sometimes we’ll make our own individual costumes or design/make costumes for the troupe. I made the ‘western-influenced’ costume pictured here, though I’ve made Domba-inspired tribal costumes made with tassels and kutchies for our troupe. Katara also designed and created her ‘Victorian-influenced’ costume posted in this interview. She is also a professional seamstress and takes on the bulk of our costuming, such as our marionette doll pieces (I love my ruffles!).”

Katara flashed a broad smile. “First – thank you! Because, I actually make a good percentage of them. My ‘real job’ is as a professional costumer, so it just made sense for me to help the troupe out in that sense. Diosa also does a lot of the work, making a lot of her costume pieces. So, we have almost complete control of our designs.”

I leaned forward in my chair, toward Diosa. “Did you find choosing dance as a career a hard or easy choice?”

I was a hobbyist at first, but eventually it lead to dancing full-time. Dancing inspired me to get my Associate’s in Exercise Science, as well as certification as a personal trainer. It’s not an easy career, as dance becomes hard on the body, just like any athlete. You need to be knowledgeable in muscle work, nutrition, history, and aware of new styles and moves. You constantly need to be on your A-game. When you are dancing upwards of 15 to 30 hours a week, your body can easily become overworked and more prone to injury. I danced full time for over a year, and as much as I love the dance, I was exhausted. I believe awareness of the dance and culture here in Arizona is sparse, so paying venues are difficult to find. Presently, I am a full-time school teacher, but I continue to perform in my spare time, and I also find joy in teaching belly dance 2-3 times a week.”

Katara nodded. “It sort of crept up on me. Granted, it’s not my only career, but considering how much of my life ended up being dedicated to dance, it just made sense.”

Katara & Diosa - comicon

Katara & Diosa – comicon

I laced my fingers together. “What advice can you give to anyone interested in becoming a professional belly dancer?”

Diosa cocked her head. “Be consistent—find a local teacher you can study with weekly and progress your training by attending master teacher workshops and/or online videos. Do your research—is this career for you? Can you support yourself financially in your area? Dance, dance, dance—find venues you can perform at to get your name out into the community and connect with your audiences. Abandonment—get rid of all your inhibitions. Your audience can clearly see if you’re embarrassed, fearful, or preoccupied. Let loose in your dance! Teach—there’s no better way to improve your own technique than to teach others.”

Katara tilted her head toward me. “Take every class you can find. All kinds of styles – every kind will help your overall dance ability. And take every opportunity to perform you can find. Get as comfortable in front of an audience as possible and learn how to perform to them. Your technique is important, but if you can’t connect to the audience, you’ll lose them.”

I see the teacups are rattling on the coffee tale. I know what that means, the airship is landing. I have time for one last question. “What future aspirations do you have for the Osiris dance company?”

Diosa inclined her head toward me. “I would love to continue challenging ourselves with choreography and storytelling. We have learned a lot working with each other all these years, from staging to personal space, I hope one day we can specialize a class teaching duos our choreography and how to dance with each other.”

Katara tilted her head in a nod. “I want to keep improving and creating some of the most interesting performances around. I really love the more theatrical pieces Diosa and I have been coming up with lately. It’s the sort of thing I’ve always wanted to do! And I do hope to compete out of state again.”

Well maybe I can squeeze in one more question as I clutch both arms of my chair for the airship landing. “Speaking of competitions, what dance competitions or live performances do you have coming up, when and where?”

Diosa grasps hold of the arm and back of the settee, bracing for the shakiness of the landing. “Our upcoming performances are the Tucson Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention on March 8th and the Phoenix Comicon Labyrinth Masquerade Ball on May 24th.”

The ship has landed so we say our good byes. Diosa picks up her sword and fan and dances off the airship along with Katara, but you can visit them anytime at their website. Please comment or ask questions below.

Maeve Alpin

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Today we welcome the band Control.

Folklore and horror interface–laugh, but smile no more.

This did not happen

by Control

Why do we do steam punk?  We have to, because it gives us the power to fashion our own reality from fiction, future, and history.  Performances and productions fixate on the synthesis of artifacts and auguries, embellishing the dark side.   Essentially, this is what humans have always done.  That is how rockabilly informed psychobilly, and how folklore influenced sci-fi. In an age where it seems every deed has been done,  we look back at the past with a jealous eye, wishing there were just one original innovation left to be created.  We replay the past in a malicious light, editing to express our rage at the barren landscape of art and music today.  Steam punk is fan fiction for an age in which we should have lived.

Despite our obligation to antiquity, we don‘t play age-old instruments or wear ornate costumes in our band, Control.  Our lyrics cover topics from local news scandals and prevailing phobias to folklore and forensics.  All of these things can happen simultaneously and without explanation. Postmodernism offers us the tools to revise timelines and combine a diverse range of influences, and we’ve accepted the invitation to wield them artfully.

Our writing process is based on our urges and responses to art.  Images from fiction and film captivate and command our artistic impulses.  These moods spawn riffs, lyrics, and rhythms.  Then we elaborate. And suddenly we have crafted an epitaph for Magrathea or a threat against Abigail Williams.  Characters from our favorite works send us signals about their undisclosed desires and objectives, and we respond in song.  This constitution between fantasy, history, and sound is our only imperative.

Your iPod has both Strauss and Stooges.  Your bookcase shelves Dickens next to Douglas Adams. You can’t let go of things that should have happened.  Listen and we’ll go raking up old graves together…







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Today we have a very special guest thursday post.  Lolita Deb is interviewing musician Jyri Glynn creator of the musical experience, Anguisette – The Creation Chamber.

Interview with Jyri Glynn, musician and creator of the musical experience, Anguisette – The Creation Chamber

By Lolita Deb

Deborah: Welcome to Steamed! We’re so glad you could come to visit. Tell us about yourself. Have you always wanted to be musician?

Jyri Glynn:  Thank you, Deborah for this opportunity. 

I first started taking classic violin lessons when I was about seven years old.  I can’t tell you exactly why I picked that particular instrument but I continued to play it throughout most of my school years in various school and church orchestras.

Once I got about halfway through high school, I started losing interest in playing sheet music and resented my insistent parents because I really wanted to play electric guitar.  I started getting into rock music and really wanted to play it — but because of my strict religious upbringing, it simply wasn’t allowed. 

Around seventeen I quit playing and ended up dropping out of orchestra.  This was mostly as a revolt against my folks, but I also felt like it was “uncool” (when it came to my peers) to play a violin.  I wanted to be a rockstar, not a nerd with a violin case on his back. 

About ten years later a musician friend of mine and I were talking and I mentioned that I had once played violin and still owned an acoustic violin with an electric pickup.  He encouraged me to bring it over to his house and play around.  So I ended up doing just that. 

I was absolutely intrigued with all the interesting sounds one could create running the violin through different effects.  I had tried this nearly a decade earlier but the technology back then just wasn’t the same.

After playing around with the newer, modern equipment, within no time, I found myself newly inspired.   I immediately started relearning the instrument while constantly experimenting with various combinations of sound modules and pedals.  Within a few months my buddy and I ended up starting a band together in which I played the electric violin.

D: Tell us a little about your band? How long have you been together? How did you come together as a group?

JG: I play electric violin in a rock band called The Sins and Anguisette is a solo project that I’ve been working on for roughly eight years off and on.  It is an EBM/Electronic project that I have composed most of the music for, with the help of some of my closest friends.  I’ve also had various female vocalists write and record vocals to the music based on a title or theme.

D: How did you decide on this particular sound? What is about your music that makes it Steampunk?

JG: Because my primary instrument is violin, I tend to initially write string parts when first composing a song.  The additional instruments are typically added afterwards. 

I’ve always loved the sound of a beautiful, yet sorrowful string instrument — particularly cello and violin — and I write the majority of my music in a minor key.  I guess that’s what gives Anguisette the signature sound that it now has.

I’ve always viewed Steampunk as the combination of modern technology with the antiquities of another age.  A violin is very much an antique instrument, as its origins date back hundreds of years, yet an electric violin enhances this classic foundation with elements of modern technology. 

I don’t know if that necessarily makes my music “steampunk,” but I’ve certainly heard people categorize Anguisette’s music as such.  Not unlike the Goth moment of the nineties when everyone started dressing like vampires, I see much of the steampunk music genre based more on fashion than on a specific style of music. 

Personally, I’ve always loved steampunk fashion, so when I filmed my first music video for “29 Years,” I incorporated these types of styles into the dream/nightmare scenes of the video using costumes and props. 

D: Is there a story behind your band’s name? Does Anguisette translate to something?

JG: I first heard the term from a friend who suggested it after reading a book by Jacqueline Carey called Kushiel’s Dart

In short, an Anguisette is a person who takes pleasure in pain.  For me, though, it doesn’t necessarily mean in some S&M or physical sense.  It is more about learning from painful situations and then taking pleasure in the knowledge one gains in the end.  So basically, it’s the whole “beauty in sorrow” thing.

D: Can you tell us more about your most recent album, The Creation Chamber? Does it have a back story? The songs seem to take the listener on an emotional journey.

JG: Most everyone has experienced the loss of a love one or the death of a relationship.  The concept behind this album is to express the different emotions that one feels while going through that sequence of events.   

From the death of one, another is born.

D: This album has an amazing variety of singers on it, how did this collaboration come about?

JG: As I’ve mentioned already, my goal was to create an album that would capture each individual emotion one experiences after a major loss.  All the vocalists and guest musicians involved played an integral part in the conveyance of these emotions and themes.

Whenever I would hear a vocalist whose work I enjoyed, I would contact them, usually through email, and explain the concept of what I was trying to accomplish. 

Once a vocalist “clicked,” I would email her the music with a working title and an emotional theme, and then I just let her take the track in whatever direction she wanted.  The singer would then breathe life into the piece of music. 

I have actually never had the pleasure of meeting many of the singers on the CD in person, so the project was definitely a bit of an online experiment. 

D: Where can we buy your music?

The Creation Chamber is available at SINister Records; as well as, CdBaby, Amazon, iTunes and at most major online music stores. 

My website is: http://www.anguisette.com

Friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anguisette

Fans can hear my music, watch my video and obtain more info on the band at: http://www.reverbnation.com/anguisette

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In the last two weeks I’ve come across more references to Steampunk in the mainstream than I have all year. One was the episode of the ABC show Castle, where the main character, who’s a writer happens to stumble into an exclusive steampunk club as part of a murder case he’s following. The second is this clip by the band Sugarland, in which they describe their influence for their latest album–Steampunk of course! Check out their costuming and stage set up, it’s just awesome.

There’s also steampunk fashions at your local mall. Check out Wet Seal and the “military” look popping up in fall fashions. All of these show me how Steampunk is merging more and more into the mainstream. People are beginning to get a glimpse of the amazing Victorian idealisim, romanticism and creativity that is inherently part of what we love.

If you haven’t explored Steampunk, now’s the time to check it out! There are a dozen or more steampunk conferences and conventions all over the country, several in Canada and even more in Europe. Some are a weekend, some are just a day, all are a dip in an absolutely amazing font of creativity.

Right now (as I finish writing up The Hunter – my paranormal steampunk due out in Nov. 2011) I’m using the costumes I want to create for Steamcon II as my carrot to get my daily pages finished first. I’ve got my science assistant costume complete with a modified tan raincoat I’ve modded into a spencer length in the front with two long tails in the back (and replaced all the plastic buttons with gold ones – naturally), that I’m going to pair with brown knee breeches, brown boots, a white peasant blouse, a mini underbust corset from Clockwork Coture and my first set of goggles!  I’m still at work on sewing the Lady Vampire high society outfit (taken from my vampire countess in the second book of the series – The Legend). I’ll admit I had my tophat made for me, but I’m sewing the dress (with bustle, overcoat, skirt and underskirt) myself. And because Steamcon II’s theme this year is Wild Weird West, I’m working on a western outfit as well that’s got a fringed black leather jacket with beading on it, a high-necked white blouse, a longer skirt and of course a cowboy hat and boots. I’ve still yet to completely figure out how to mod a gun into a replica of my sting shooter in my stories…but I’m working on it!

Where else have you seen Steampunk showing up in the mainstream?

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It’s Thursday, which means we have a special guest for you. Today we have the band Marizane.

Lolita Suzanne: Welcome to Steamed! We’re so glad you could come on. Tell us about yourselves. Have you always wanted to be musicians?

Todd Jaeger: Marizane consists of Todd Jaeger, Debbie Shair, and Jim Laspesa.
I have been playing music since I was about four years old. I started on the piano and then eventually took up the guitar and bass and then the Theremin. Debbie has also been playing music since childhood starting on the piano and was an early adopter of electronic keyboards given that her parents were involved in the home computer and electronics business in the early 1970s.

LS: Tell us a little about your band? How long have you been together? How did you come together as a group?

TJ: Well, Marizane was originally one of my projects (Todd). I originally intended to write a full “rock opera” with the fictional character would be named Marizane. I completed two songs that made specific references to this character but ultimately just adopted the name for the band that I was playing with at the time. This was around 1988. I met Debbie in 1992 by answering her add in a local paper for “Keyboardist seeks band for therapy and gigs”. I thought that was a great heading and immediately called her to set up a meeting. She was the only person that I had met with that understood what I was trying to do musically and she had a very unique style of playing that fit right in with the theatrical vibe of my songs at that time.

LS: How did you decide on this particular sound? It seems so different from anything out there. To me it sounds like Steampunk lounge music—something you might hear while sipping absinthe in a club full of air pirates with ray guns…

TJ: Well the sound of the music today is the result of our collaboration through the years. You can hear elements of it in the earlier songs that I recorded by myself but it really developed between the two of us.

LS: Is there a story behind your band’s name?

TJ: No, I just wanted the character to sound sort of like a classic B movie alien invader.

LS: Nice. Who doesn’t love alien invaders? So, what’s the best thing about being in a band? The hardest?

TJ: The best thing about it is sharing the blame when things go south, the hardest is not being able to take all the credit when it goes well.

LS: Can you tell us more about your most recent album? Does it have a back story? Do you have any favorite songs? Where can we buy your music?

TJ: “Cosmosis” is all about journeys. It could be literal travel or just psychological road trips through the mind’s cosmos. In either case the cowboys are real.

Favorite songs: “Monsters of Karri Mia”, “Fiddler’s Green” and “Ship for Brains”.

The album is available on iTunes and CDBaby as well as Amazon.

LS: Very cool. So, where can we hear you live?

TJ: Playing live can be tricky in terms of scheduling. Debbie is also playing keyboards for Heart and is frequently out of town on tour. However, we are just finishing building our new studio and rehearsal location “TomorrowLabs” with our partners (Wondermints and Brian Wilson members Nick Walusko and Darian Sahanaja). So playing some local shows is not out of the question in the near future.

LS: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened at a performance?

TJ: Well, we do have the distinction of having played at a club that had two dead bodies on the premises, one being the displayed corps of a clown from the 1920s, and the other a taxidermied girl in a wheel chair at the foot of the stage. We also did a show for Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco on the night of September 11, 2001 because as he told us “just because Madona canceled her gig doesn’t mean you have to”.

LS: Do you have any new projects?

TJ: Right now we are just getting the new studio ready for recording, we will then be working on new material.

Thank you so much for visiting us. We really appreciate it. You can also find Marizane on Facebook.

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 If you live in Seattle or nearby the fantastic Abney Park will be performing at the Circus at the End of the World a fabulous steampunk event! I have it on good authority from Captain Robert(lead singer of Abney Park) these tickets are going fast, so GET YOURS! Last year they had to turn away a 100+ people at the door! So order your tickets, then grab your goggles and start up your flying machine and make sure you get there! I have seen Abney Park live and they are AMAZING! They put on such a great show, trust me you don’t want to miss it! Sadly I won’t be able to attend this year 😦 If you make it let me know how it went! ~Elizabeth

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I was recently shown this fantastic music video by the Raveonette’s for their song “Heart of stone.” I think the imagery is stunningly beautiful and quite thought provoking! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! ~Elizabeth

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On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

12 Air Pirates

11 Painted Ladies

10 Clock Hands

9 Ray Guns

8 Pairs Brass Goggles

7 Aviator Caps

6 Cogs and Gears

5 Mad Scientists

4 Flying Cars

3 Top Hats

2 Dirigibles

And an Airship in a Pear Tree!

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And the winner of my very last tiara is…

drum-roll please


I’m so happy to discover this blog, because I’ve become a fan of Steampunk and just started plotting a YA and now I know how to describe it.

Congrats Deborah.  email me asap at suzanne lazear (@) hotmail (no spaces) so I can get you your tiara in time for nationals…congrats on your award and I’ll see you there.

It’s Friday–and a holiday weekend.  Happy Independence DayHave fun and be safe. 

Need something to do?  Check out the calendar section at Dieselpunkswhich has listings for steampunk and dieselpunk events all over America!  (What’s dieselpunk, you ask?  Dieselpunk comes after steampunk, roughly the 1920’s-1950’s when diesel was king, how cool is that?). 

Here’s a steampunk band called Abney Park which I had heard of but hadn’t actually checked out before now.  This is a video of their song “Airship Pirate” shot in their studio–which is exactly where a steampunk band should be rehearsing, the belly of the HMS Ophelia!  I really love how they blend different genres and the violin adds so much.  Check out their decor and costumes.  Enjoy!

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Recently I was having dinner with my niece who was visiting from out of state. We were having a nice conversation about steel-boned corsets and steampunk when she asked me if I’d heard of a singer named Emilie Autumn.

I hadn’t.

She told me to youtube her.

About a week later I needed some inspiration for my steampunk YA WIP, so I went on youtube and looked her up. Music is a huge inspiration for me (all those years of classical music lessons as a kid, lol), so why not seek out some steampunk music for a steampunk story?

All I can say is Wow.

Emilie Autumn calls her music “Victorindustrial.” Basically it’s industrial-type music mixed with harpsichord and violin sung by a women with pink hair and a corset. It’s steampunk meets Gothic-Lolita at it’s finest. The lyrics are soulful, the music haunting, her voice is amazing, and some of the titles are just hysterical (Like “Miss Lucy has some leaches.”) Truly I am astounded and fascinated by how incredibly cool she and her music are. It sounds like her stage shows are amazing, too bad she won’t be in the US for awhile.

I’ve become mildly obsessed with the song “Opheliac” (“Shallot” is my niece’s fave, and I like “Across the Sky” as well.)

Check this out. The actual song starts around 2:30.

Anyway, happy weekend and happy father’s day!

I’m cross posting this over at my personal blog . Come by and say hello.

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