Wednesday, May 20, 2009

RL Steampunk: Steampunk in Myspace

Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, one of the many Steampunk musical stylings in the genre's corner of Myspace

Bit of a busy time in RL, but aside from the usual circumstances, I had an odd encounter last week, which led me down the proverbial rabbit hole to a different Steampunk realm. As I was viewing emails, I received a request via Myspace from a “French Steampunk Metal” band (?)! Wasn't quite sure what to make of it, so I followed it, and after listening to a bit of the musical offerings by the musicians, decided that it wasn't quite my choice in musical stylings.

On a whim, however, I entered “Steampunk” on the general Myspace search, and was surprised at how much the genre has grown on Myspace. Seems to be about a 40/30/30 divide, between Steampunk enthusiasts, musical groups, and Esty crafters.

The individuals who follow the genre tend to be quite civil, and focused upon perpetuating the genre, including writing their own backgrounds regarding their online “nom-de-plume”. Interestingly, many backstories tend to be related to “famous individuals” - understandable to frame a genre, but working on a more original history seems to demonstrate more effort in creativity (e.g. see Dr. Mason – I believe by now he needs his own Wikipedea for his adventures)! A few other examples that I found entertaining are...

On the musical front, there are a good number of smaller bands on the scene, though the “big” names in Steampunk music (e.g. Abney Park, Dr. Steel, and of course, Mr. Vernian Process) are also present. Nonetheless, one can easily find groups that are the proverbial “gems” with a bit of effort. Their websites tend to be better designed than individual's sites (personal sites can range from “very impressive” to “ouch, your page is making me squint in pain, madam or sir”! Personally, I located a few that have caught my ear, so to speak, including:

Waves Under Water – A Swedish Steampunk New Wave/Electro/Goth band

Sidestreet Reny – A Pacific Northwest Blues/Roots/Folk duo

Voltaire – A soloist who specializes in Acoustic and Alternative music

Finally, Myspace is a popular means for Steampunk Crafters to display their commercial (and personal) endeavors for the general Steampunk public. I was surprised at how many were there were, and of course, how many were associated with Esty (a small online business center, with a number of merchants). There is quite a variety of goods to see (and purchase, if the fancy strikes), and a few sites I do particularly like are:

Empire Steamworks - an emporium which make RL Steampunk accessories

Steamgear Labs - RL creations and designs

and the aforementioned Esty Steam Team - a plethora of Steampunk merchants at one one locale

Well, this is a simple introduction to what I have found in the Myspace Steampunk circles. Do be aware of the scams and lavacious corners of Myspace (I have already been “propositioned” to “watch” a young lady via her web-cam …), but do take a moment and look – you never know what you might find!

Also, if you are at a loss where to start, a simple search for “Steampunk” is a start, at:

or do feel free to try my own locale, as I have added a few personages from the Steampunk corners, at:
(yes, I know I need a new photo, but the old one will do for now)!

Good luck and good exploring!


Handsome Chuck said...

Thanks so much for mentioning Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, and all of these other great musicians as well! There's a lot of great music happening out there in little pockets of the world, and it really helps to have people spreading the word about it.

if folks are interested in checking us out they can visit our myspace page and other websites. you can find us on facebook too. thanks again!

Rhianon Jameson said...

Most interesting and educational, Dr. Fabre!

Dr. Mason needs not only his own Wikipedia entry, but several study guides. :)

Dr. Rafael Fabre said...

@ Mr. Handsome Chuck - A pleasure to be able to spread the work about your musical endevors, sir!

@ Miss Jameson - I concur, madam. It would take an encyclopedic set (leather-bound, of course) to recap his adventures.