- City Guides
Steampunk Digest - November 13, 2020
Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world
Friday, November 13, 2020
The holidays will arrive early for steampunk fans as Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is set to premiere Nov. 13 on Netflix. The musical stars Forest Whitaker as Victorian-era toymaker Jeronicus Jangle, who has fallen on hard times after his apprentice Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key) stole his prize creations. Newcomer Madalen Mills portrays Jangle’s granddaughter Journey, who helps restore his creative spirit.
Early reviews are highly positive: So far, it has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it “stands to join the ranks of holiday movie classics,” writes Los Angeles Times critic Gary Goldstein. Written and directed by David E. Talbot, the film also stars Anika Noni Rose, Hugh Bonneville, Phylicia Rashad, and Ricky Martin, with music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, Usher, and Kiana Ledé.
This is shaping up to be a big week for steampunk music. First, Steam Powered Giraffe has released 1896, its long-awaited sixth studio album. The two-disc package features 12 songs, 10 of which are reprised in acoustic versions for a total of 22 tracks. The band has been releasing singles and music videos over the past year, but now you can get everything in one package.
The CD version includes a lyric and art booklet. The album is also available as a digital download on major streaming platforms, but if you want the acoustic tracks, you’ll have to get it on Bandcamp or iTunes. Learn more at the band’s online store.
Meanwhile, Unwoman is planning a Nov. 13 release for The Love Apocalypse, aka Uncovered Volume 6. In addition to her original compositions, she frequently puts her unique stamp on other people’s songs, then releases the covers to her Patreon and Bandcamp subscribers. Once she’s accumulated enough material, she improves the mixes and has the music professionally mastered for album releases.
This 14-track collection fits “with a subtle narrative of love and upheaval,” she writes. Tracks include Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield,” Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Kiss Them For Me,” The Cure’s “Lovesong,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Every Day is Exactly the Same,” and the Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy for the Devil.” She’s compiled a Spotify playlist with the original or most famous versions of the songs.
Dr Ignatius Cole and his Brass Knuckle Steampunk Sinfonia are out with their second album, Professor Bartholomew’s Strange Ways. The London-based musician describes his sound as “Epic Steampunk,” with inspirations that include Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and Hans Zimmer’s Sherlock Holmes soundtrack.
Back in September, he released a music video of the opening track, “Brass Knuckle Umbrella,” which begins with a cinematic steampunk adventure before segueing into an orchestral performance by the Sinfonia, complete with a robotic conductor and keyboard player.
The Steampunk Musik Kollektiv has released German Steampunk Freakshow, a sampler featuring 30 songs by 15 bands from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The most familiar name on the list is Feline & Strange, who are joined by the likes of Aeronautica, John Blacksteam, Circus of Fools, SalonTrio Malheur, Turm & Strang, and more. The download includes a 70-page PDF booklet with lyrics and info about the bands.
Chap hop maestro Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer has joined the ranks of musicians on Patreon. Mr. B’s Guild of Chap-Hop has five membership levels, ranging from Associate Member (US $2.50 per month) to Chairperson ($120 per month). At the last tier, “You are just being silly now and must thusforth be made Chairperson of the Guild,” he writes.
Rewards include patron-only posts and events, early access to content, and, for $30-per-month City Members, a “Chapilates Video Class.” A Google search for “Chapilates” comes up empty, leading us to surmise that Mr. B is on the ground floor of a new workout craze. All members receive a coveted Guild Badge.
The Falconeer, the aerial combat game from independent developer Tomas Salas, is now available for PCs and Xbox One. As we wrote in our video game roundup back in June, it’s set in a fantasy ocean world where warriors pilot large birds of prey and battle against airships, dragons, flying beetles, and other airborne combatants. The PC version is available via Steam. See the website for more info.
In case you missed it, this is the weekend for the San Francisco Opera’s first-ever online costume shop sale. It’s your chance to buy custom-made outfits seen on stage in productions including Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus, and Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Prices range from $75 to $1,000, plus shipping and taxes. The sale runs Nov. 13-15. Buyers in the San Francisco area can choose to pick up the costumes by appointment through Nov. 24. See the website for more info.
Atthis Arts, an independent publisher in Detroit, is offering the Midwest Spec-Fic Book Box, a package containing four speculative fiction books plus one “mystery book” and unspecified extras.
The titles include Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus (published by Apex Book Company) and Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks (published by Queen of Swords Press). Rounding out the quartet are The Traveling Triple-C Incorporeal Circus by Alanna McFall and Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, edited by Zelda Knight and Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald. Purchasers will also receive digital downloads of the books.
The package has a retail value of more than $80, the company says, but it will sell for $50 plus shipping. The deal is limited to the contiguous U.S. and expires Nov. 20.
Anna Dadones is on Kickstarter with a set of wooden steampunk-style dice in various styles plus boxes and a dice tower. The boxes are available in two sizes, a small one that can hold six dice and a “Book Box” that can hold 18. She also offers dice in dieselpunk and cyberpunk styles.
The campaign launched Nov. 10 and seeks US $1500 by Dec. 15. See the Kickstarter page for more info.
Wendy Steen Shaner is seeking Kickstarter funds for Naughty Faeries, a set of steampunk-themed playing cards featuring cartoon art by Stef Wilson. The project includes two decks of cards—a regular deck and a Special Foil edition—plus poker chips and coasters.
The cartoon faeries are naughty enough to be at least borderline NSFW (Not Safe for Work). “I’m not bad, I just draw that way,” the artist writes.
The campaign launched Nov. 5 and met its $500 funding goal within 15 minutes. The creators are now well into stretch goals as they approach $9000. It runs through Nov. 19. See the Kickstarter page for more info.
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