Classic 80’s Hits Interpreted for Ragtime Piano – By Scott Bradlee

Ragtime had its popularity peek between 1897 and 1918 and featured a “ragged” syncopation in the rhythm. Scott Joplin, the composer of Maple Leaf Rag and the Entertainer, is probably the most well known Ragtime artist today from its heyday.

The lack of modern popularity has never stopped Steampunks from exploring a genre, however, and so today I’m bringing you one of my stranger finds… Classic 80’s Hits Interpreted for Ragtime Piano, by Scott Bradlee.

The songs featured are:
Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Don’t You Want Me Baby – Human League
Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer
Material Girl – Madonna
Every Breath You Take – The Police
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
Never Gonna Give You Up – You’ve Been Rickrolled! ( or Ragtimerolled?)
Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler

Did you pick them all out? It took me a couple tries and having the list in front of me to get them all.

Mr. Bradlee’s talent is both apparent and impressive. It would be very neat to have him playing some of his works at a piano in the lobby of SteamCon…. ah, yes, that would certainly complete the experience! If you liked what you saw/heard, be sure the leave Mr. Bradlee a comment in the comments section of the video!

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing

Exciting news for all you Steampunk music lovers: the release of The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing’s first album is soon approaching it’s release date set for some time in May. The album is satirically dubbed: Now That’s What I Call Steampunk! Volume 1.

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing is a band based in London that took their name from the Goulston Street Graffito discovered above a section of Catherine Eddowes’ blood-stained apron thought to have been discarded by Jack the Ripper as he fled the scene of her murder.

This album is not to be missed. In Steampunk Magazine 7, they had this to say about The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing’s album, “if you’re only going to buy one album this year, then make absolutely fucking sure it’s this one.” Duly noted.

Even more exciting is the fact that forty specially made wax cylinders are being made by Poppy Records featuring one of the songs on the album.A wax cylinder was a popular medium for the recording and playback of music in the 19th century. It looks like this:

You can read the interview with The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing here. It includes some exciting information about the release of their upcoming album and more information on their very limited wax cylinder edition of Now That’s What I Call Steampunk: Volume 1.

You can keep up with The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing through their MySpace and Facebook page. You can get a sampling of their music on their MySpace page, where you can listen to Ebenezer’s Carol. I really like their punk sound, and I’m certain I’ll be buying their album come May, and so should you!

The Cog Is Dead

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you a new band I have recently discovered, The Cog Is Dead. This new band promises a new twist on the Steampunk music scene.

Below is a trailer announcing their soon to be released debut album, set for sometime this spring. Take a look at this message from Captain John Sprocket:

I honestly haven’t heard too much about this band, but the one song that is featured on their YouTube Channel “The Death of the Cog” is really very catchy.  I rather like it. You can take a listen here:

You can be sure that I will be watching the band with considerable interest, and that I will inform you, my dear readers, of any new developments regarding the band or the album’s release date. In the meantime, all the information one could possibly desire can be found on The Cog Is Dead’s website.

Abney Park: Aether Shanties

Abney Park is probably the best known Steampunk band. Their industrial sound is truly unique and makes for some energizing listening, especially when compared to the mediocre things that they mainstream music industry produces and dares to call music (Disney, I’m looking at you…).

Abney Park was initially founded as a Gothic Industrial band. It wasn’t until their eighth album Lost Horizons in 2008 that they found the Steampunk niche. They created alternate personas and a fictional back story about their lives as airship pirates to ‘explain’ their genre shift. Many of their songs have some reference to this back story.

Aether Shanties is Abney Park’s tenth album. Lyrically, it’s an extension of the airship pirates theme, while succeeding in conjuring up all sorts of old-timey sounds and imagery that fit the Steampunk genre. The sound is excellent, the engineering of the album well executed.

Please click on the album above to go to Abney Park’s marketplace. The link I have provided even has two sample songs you can listen to before you buy the CD. Digital download of Aether Shanties is also available in the market place, as are all of their previous releases.

If you’re interested in exploring Steampunk music, this album is a great place to start.

And, I just found out that Abney Park will be visiting my home town in June! Squee!

Vernian Process

I’d like to introduce you all to yet another trailblazing Steampunk band for your auditory pleasure, Vernian Process.

I really enjoy the various references to literature that they incorporate into their lyrics. Their sound is rich and unique, less industrial sounding than Abney Park. Their orchestral pieces are evocative and emotional.

Vernian Process has a link on their website for their “radio” where you can listen to complete songs of theirs off of the album Behold the Machine to get an honest feel for their music. Sometimes, just 30 seconds of each song isn’t enough to get a real feeling for a band and the kind of music that they produce. Click here for the radio. I think you will like what you hear.

And, if you like Behold the Machine, you can download a complementary high quality copy of the pre-release album here (Scroll down to below the track listings for Behold the Machine). Please drop Vernian Process a note to say thanks if you download and enjoy their work. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you as a new fan!

In fact, I sent them an email to say thanks for the download earlier today, and I got a message back from Joshua P. Pheiffer, one of the members of Vernian Process, thanking me for the message. He also said that Vernian Process will have the full version of their album done very soon! I’ll let you know when I hear anything else about the official release of Behold the Machine.

Two points to the first person who can tell me what work of fiction is being referenced in the Curse of Whitechapel. You can listen to it in the radio player.

Wonderland: A Tim Burton Ball

If you happen to find yourself in San Francisco tomorrow, Friday February 5th, I must recommend an event which is sure to excite: Wonderland: A Tim Burton Ball at the DNA Lounge. A month before the release of Alice in Wonderland, this event promises to be one worth dressing up for and attending.

But perhaps the fact that this is Tim Burton ball isn’t enough for you. If you’re asking why I’m showing you an event clearly hosted by Goths, then let me highlight the evening’s main Performance: Abney Park!

This band is trailblazing the concept Steampunk music. They’ve got a fantastic sound, and they are entirely dedicated to the Steampunk subculture. Here’s a sample video of one of my favorite songs by them, Airship Pirate. Plus, you can take a look at their Steampunk influenced recording studio, which is nothing short of decadent.

Awesome. Don’t miss the chance to see these guys live!

A bit more about the ball: Tickets are available to pre-order for $16 at the DNA Lounge’s website if the pre-order stock hasn’t sold out. Otherwise, it’s $18 dollars at the door in a Tim Burton character costume, and $20 without a costume. Dancing lessons are just 5 dollars and include instruction into the Polka and the Jitterbug, which starts at 7:30 and goes until 9:30. This event is for all ages and lasts until 3 in the morning.

For those of you on Facebook, the event has its own page there as well. Check it out here.

As I am in Dallas, Texas, I fear I will not able to make the event, but for those who do, I’d love to hear about how it was!