Category: Music

11 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, Aurelio Voltaire

Does anyone not know who Voltaire is?  I mean, anyone reading this Dragon*Con countdown?  I feel like Voltaire is one of those Dragon*Con staples, like the Crüxshadows, or Emerald Rose.  He’s sort of a folksy-macabre-storyteller singer (and he also does movies and comics and TV and toys, he’s pretty busy).  I guess, to me, he’s sort of like Marc Gunn in that I can see his appeal, but I don’t really get it?  I went to Voltaire’s show in 2010 and it was certainly entertaining enough, he’s very charismatic and puts on a great live show, but I wasn’t inspired to go out and buy a CD afterward.  But props to him for having a great stage name (shout out to 10th grade English!), and great website image  (on a flaming unicorn!) and also for being Cuban American. Diversity in the house, right?  I feel like most of the previous bands I’ve profiled have been extremely white.  Also, why is there no Dragon*Con hip hop group?  This is Atlanta, how has no one crossed into sci-fi hip hop yet?  That’d be amazing.

Also, I like his top hat.  Top hats are cool.

Music time!

Everyone knows the “Brains!” song, right?

So this song is called “Riding a Black Unicorn,” which is a wonderful song title, truly.   Actually, I sort of love this song.  Voltaire has just risen in my esteem a bit.

So that’s another one of his classics.  Y’all get the idea.

I’d like to point out here that one of my friends declared “I can’t stand that guy,” when I told him that I was profiling Voltaire.  So that makes me feel a bit better about not being head over heels regarding Voltaire–although that “Riding a Black Unicorn” song is still phenomenal and I love it.

Talking points:

–Macabre-folksy singer-songwriter in a top hat

–Brains!!! (Aka Dragon*Con staple)

–RIDING A BLACK UNICORN.
One thumb up.  For the black unicorn song.

12 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, Valentine Wolfe

Valentine Wolfe is an awesomely gothy looking band composed of Lady Sarah Black and Braxton Ballew.

Awesomely gothy, right?

Valentine Wolfe describes itself as “Purveyors, Performers, and Composers of the finest Gothic Cabaret music for Voice, Double Bass, and Electronics. Proudly providing macabre entertainment for Living, Dead, and Otherwise, since 2006….Valentine Wolfe is an electronic music group that features operatic female vocals, solo double bass, and electronica driven beats. You’ll hear elements of metal, industrial, goth, trip-hop, j-rock, and classical blended together in a divine cocktail we call Steampunk Macabre.  We like to think if you enjoy artists like Emilie Autumn, Rasputina, Nightwish, and Nine Inch Nails, you’ll like us.”  Steampunk electronica, let us hear it!

Here’s a fan-video made to their song “Snow Queen.”

Oh man I really like that–love the sort of drivey electronica strings in the background, and also the opera-lady vocals.

This is their song, “A Thousand Little Deaths.”

Sixteen-year old me would have been all over this band.  I love it.  Check out Braxton Ballew rocking out on that bass!

So, that’s “The Darkest Night of Winter.”  They lose some points for the Steampunk goggles, but overall I like it.

Talking points:

–Lady Sarah Black and Braxton Ballew

–Gothy Steampunk Electronica

–Stand-up bass, operatic lady vocals.

Two thumbs up, I like it!

15 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, This Way to the Egress

 

First off–what a great band name.  This Way to the Egress, I can get behind that name.  This is another Steampunk band–or, according to their Dragon*Con profile, “an Ole Tymey Gypsypunk- Cabaret.”  The band is Philadelphia-based and is composed primarily of ‘Tyrant” Taylor Galassi, “Saddle Sarah Shown,” and Mischief M@ Verderosa.  The band also includes a rotating number of guest performers to supplement the main trio.

Here’s a little clip from their website bio:  “This Way to the Egress is an Ole Tymey – Gypsypunk- Cabaret. With a valiant effort to “bring the show back to the people” they are a revolving door of musical mayhem, sideshow, burlesque, and comedy leaving a modern twist on the good old days of Vaudeville. Like a renegade theater of sorts, they weave visual antics with eclectic sounds creating an experience unlike any other in their genre.”

So many Steampunk bands guys!  How on earth are we ever going to tell them apart?!  Oh well, let us listen to some music:

So that’s a video that shows lots of clips from their performances–yep, it looks like they have lots of live, circus-y act components to their shows, specifically components including attractive ladies during shimmy-ish things.

This video has a nine-year old kid in it!  Not entirely sure why.

Ack!  A Steampunk band in the daylight!

Oh hey, they played this one in Chapel Hill! Funsies.

Talking points:

–Steampunk band from Philadelphia

–Three main members

–Lots of circus-y components and shimmy-shimmy ladies.

Two thumbs up, because they sort of sound like aspects of the Decemberists that I like, and also like Beirut, and also who doesn’t love a fire-breather?

 

16 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, The Extraordinary Contraptions

I saw the Extraordinary Contraptions at my first Dragon*Con, when they serenaded those of us who were waiting in line to get into the Time Traveler’s Ball on Friday night. 

SO STEAMPUNK am I right?  The lead singer (WHOSE NAME IS SEPHORA, LIKE THE MAKEUP STORE, AMAZING/RIDICULOUS) is playing some sort of like combination of a piano and a recorder.  Check out their Dragon*Con profile, they use phrases like “Dimension-spanning stories of steam and strife” and “aural anachronisms.”  You probably know them from their “I’m on a Blimp” music video that, once, played four times in a row on Dragon*Con TV.  FOUR TIMES IN A ROW:

So, The Extraordinary Contraptions are Atlanta-based, so props to Dragon*Con for supporting the local talent.  Here is some more of their Steampunky music:

Is it just me, or are there a ton of Steampunk bands this year?

Anyways, talking points:

–Atlanta-based Steampunk band

Lead singer named SEPHORA who plays a piano-recorder

–On a blimp.

One thumb up.  They get points for nostalgic reasons!

17 Days to Dragon*Con: Band Profile, The Aeronauts

Aiden Sinclair is a magician, not a band, so I won’t be profiling him, but this is the link to his website and this is the link to his Dragon*Con profile.

The Aeronauts have a very brief Dragon*Con profile (what’s the deal with that y’all), so I’ll just quote it all here: “The Aeronauts were formed on an idea of creative a fun visual performance that equals their musical performance. Since formed in Nashville in ’08, they’ve grown in number of members, costumes, balloons, allies, and an even bigger number of fans. They want everyone to join in their adventure across the world and join in the fight against the boring!”  I haven’t even Googled them yet, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to fall into the “Steampunk band” category.

Here’s a link to their Facebook page and yes, it does look like they are Steampunk, but I am loving the picture of them in normal clothes THANK YOU FOR NOT PUTTING YOURSELVES IN A BOX (and I totally love that one of the guys is in what looks like a paisley-print sarong).

I love costumes, and I love balloons, and adventures are pretty great too, so let us see if I will like their music:

That’s the song they wrote for Steampunk Boba Fett.  I like it a lot but I’d like to more if they weren’t wearing Steampunk clothes.  LET THE NASHVILLE BLUES/ROCK STAND ON ITS OWN MAN.  LET IT STAND.

That’s the only other video of them that I could easily find–I also like that they have a female bassist.

Ungh, so many “Steampunk” bands y’all.  Talking points:

–Steampunk band from Nashville…

–…Since they are from Nashville they have a good musical sound…

–…but they are still Steampunk…

–…but, hey, female bassist!

Eh, one thumb up.  I wouldn’t seek them out, but if I stumbled into one of their sets I might stick around for a few songs.

thAT’