Saturday, November 23, 2013

Upcoming shows to look out for

Hey all, 

I will be making an announcement here in the near future for some upcoming shows that will be in the local (Southern California) area. Depending on my availability this will be updated in the next week or so. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sorry for the absense

I apologize for the continued absence here. I do plan on updating everything relatively soon and possibly moving things around. As for now, I will update the playlists

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ghostfire

Ghostfire is a band out of London that was formed back in 2011. While the band has gone through many changes since they began, their musical stylings and band theme have remained constant. The band theme is shrouded in mystery...as in, that is what they are going for. They take the theme and influence from the time in Victorian England where Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd were on the minds of the people as well as numerous deaths that were unaccounted for among the downtrodden populace. That translates the the dark sound that Ghostfire is well known for as well as the feeling of a mysterious past. 

Ghostfire themselves have gone through quite the lineup change. Ghostfire added a former member of Abney Park (Nathaniel Johnstone) to their lineup, as well as new lead vocalist (AJ Hollywood) does an amazing job on their upcoming EP (Skeleton Coast) which I was lucky enough to get my hands on and play this past show. Other members of the band (none to be outdone by the others) are Win Deltiev on the bass as well as backing vocals. There is Les Murphy who is another back up vocalist. Andii is on the banjo and guitar (she is also an all-around nice person). last, but not least is Al on the drums. Ghostfire's official release date for the EP is Septemeber 30th and I highly suggest trying to get it since it is amazing; it would also support the band which is always a benefit since they can make more music with more money (hint hint, nudge nudge). Anyways, I hope to one day be able to meet Ghostfire in person and see them live, but until then I will keep my eye on them. I recommend my readers do so as well at their website here: http://www.ghostfiremusic.com/

Make sure to help them in their quest to reach 1000 likes on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GhostfireUK

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Abney Park

Abney Park was founded by the leader of the band today, Robert Brown. They come out of Seattle, Washington, though Brown himself traveled the world as a child with his parents. The band was originally a goth themed band that was founded around 1998. Many of the early releases were, obviously, goth related and changed to the steampunk theme in 2005. Brown even has a whole backstory of how the band came about this change, which involves alternate realities, pirates, and time travel, but you can read more about that on their website: http://thewrathoffate.abneypark.com/. In fact, Brown is working on a book (as can be seen through the link). Gotta love them airship pirates as well as the imagination of Brown. 

Abney Park is considered the keystone of the steampunk genre since they were the band to really bring it in to the public's (well...those of us that like steampunk now) eye. Sure, there were bands before Abney Park, such as Vernian Process and Voltaire, but Abney Park mastered the genre and even made it there own such as other bands have done themselves. The one great thing (amoun many) of the steampunk genre is how versatile it is. Anyways, you can see more at their website if there are more questions you have about Abney park: http://www.abneypark.com/

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Voltaire

Alright, this week's feautred artist was Voltaire. He has been around for quite some time and many people have heard of him. No, I am not referring to the old writer from France, but the name of the man I am talking about has his middle name of Voltaire. Aurelio Voltaire Hern├índez is the man I am talking about and he is the lead singer of the band that has his middle name for its name. Voltaire started with a group of friends back in 1997 and got an official record deal in 1998. For a long time, the music that came out of Voltaire was more aligned with the goth genre, but there have been two albums that Voltaire released that are considered Steampunk: To The Bottom Of The Seas and Hate Lives In A Small Town. Both of the albums came out recently which could mean that he is conforming with Steampunk more so lately, but the newest album he is working on is called Riding A Black Unicorn, which doesn't seem too Steampunk, but there is a gray zone between goth and steampunk which makes it fine and dandy.

If you are looking for some concerts of Voltaire, you will be in luck if you are on the East Coast since Aurelio teaches (as a professor) Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York. INterestingly enough, he was also born in Havana, Cuba. Anyways, you can look him and his band up to find upcoming shows as well as check out their website here: http://www.voltaire.net/music/

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Johnny Hollow

Johnny Hollow was founded in 2003 officially, but the friends that comprise it had been drinking buddies since 2001 (or possibly earlier). They got their online start with the website mypetskeleton.com and encouraged the start of the band. Unfortunately, they don't have a background story that is well developed such as those of Professor Elemental or Steam Powered Giraffe, but they do have a website that can tell more about their personal backgrounds which you can visit on your own here: www.johnnyhollow.com. They do have a third album in the works which I am looking forward to once it is released. I hope to get my hands on that, but that is once it comes out.

Anyways, Johnny Hollow is considered borderline for Steampunk because they don't meet all the criteria of the genre such has I have listed. They do use classical instruments (especially violins), but their lyrics do not always follow steampunk themes or stories nor is the band theme a fully developed steampunk theme. They do come close on the lyrics some of the times, such as with Worse Things and Bogeyman, and the band theme does have a retro theme that can be seen with the artwork of Johnny Hollow (the band mascot) and the albums. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Walters Robotics Expo

This past Thursday, July 18th, 2013, was an adventure for myself and my girlfriend that I dragged to it. At first, I was taken aback by the lax parking as well as the lack of signage to direct people to the event, but all that was forgotten after I entered the facility; the vendors selling the various gadgets and nick-nacks from the photographs being snapped with the robots of Steam Powered Giraffe made the event initially excite me. I am sad that I never got to take a photo with the robots of the band, but I got a couple of pictures with Professor Elemental and some things autographed by the robots and Prof. Elemental. All in all the event was a complete success.

Dino Staat the Steampunk Magician:

This was the first act of the event and was entertaining. Unfortunately, it was hard to watch it with all the other people trying to buy things at different vendors (including myself). 

The League of Steam:

Again an entertaining act that I didn't get to view much because people won't sit down in the middle aisle. It did help me to move up closer and get better seats for Professor Elemental and Steam Powered Giraffe. 

Professor Elemental:

He is probably one of the best acts live I have ever seen. Not only does he sound like how he does on his albums, but he gets the audience so involved into his act. He got the entire audience off the butts and feet, jumping to the rhymes he was busting. At one point, he did a freestyle rap based off of the things in the audience's pocket (I was hypnotizing him and he including that in it). I was able to get him to play one more song which was nice :)

Steam Powered Giraffe:

They were superb live. Talk about sounding great live, I think that they are better live than on recordings since it doesn't do them justice. My biggest negative about them was that they didn't get the crowd as involved into their act as Prof. Elemental. However, they made up for it with their antics on stage and beautiful music. I wish that they would not have such a long drum solo for Matt Smith (one of the human players) since it was boring and took away from their act. Their encore was great and made me happiest since it was Fire Fire. All in all, I would see them again live in a heartbeat and wish I could meet them all in person like I did with Prof Elemental.

Encounter with the Walter Girls:

I had a fun encounter with the Walter Girls (workers for Walters Robotics that maintain the robots of Steam Powered Giraffe). I purchased a bunch of stuff from them at the gift store, and was leaving when they stopped me. I was confused since I was almost out the door and on my way home. Apparently, my card didn't go through due to a brief loss of signal in their devices so she needed to run my card again. This was fine by me, but what she said made me laugh. She said, "You did that tip of your hat to distract me in order to get away, didn't you?" I laughed and rebuked, "And I would have gotten away with it to, if it weren't for you pesky Walter girls." I reran my card, which worked this time, and left with many memories that I will tell for years to come.