The Clockwork Ball Playlist: December 31st, 2015

Emmett:

Van Dyke Place – In No Man’s Land

KK & the Steampunk Orchestra – Desert Isle

Terrible Spaceship – Lost

The Dixie Hummingbirds – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen

Biscuithead & the Biscuit Badgers – Never Going Back

Rasputina – Wish You Were Here

Tin Hat Trio with Tom Waits – Helium (Reprise)

8in8 – One Tiny Thing

Steam Powered Giraffe – Diamonds

Kate Bush – Cloudbusting

DeVotchka – Head Honcho

Lady Attercop:

Nouvelle Vague – Master & Servant

Adele – Love Song

Rufus Wainwright – Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk

Gogol Bordello – Start Wearing Purple

Eric McFadden – Womanizer

The Correspondents – Rogue

Caro Emerald – That Man

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers – It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)

Squirrel Nut Zippers – Fat Cats Keep Getting Fatter

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – Zoot Suit Riot

Emmett:

Imelda May – Tainted Love

Max Raabe & Palast Orchester – Kiss

The Puppini Sisters – Heart of Glass

Lee Presson & the Nails – Ace of Spades Polka

Gogol Bordello – Pala Tute

Dr. Steel – Back & Forth

April Smith & the Great Picture Show – Movie Loves A Screen

The Real Tuesday Weld – Me & Mr. Wolf

Squirrel Nut Zippers – Hell

Caro Emerald – Dr. Wanna Do

Lady Attercop:

Tape Five – Dixie Biscuits

PostModern Jukebox – Thrift Shop

The Lost Fingers – You Give Love A Bad Name

Nouvelle Vague – Blister In the Sun

Elvis Costello – Let’s Misbehave

Eartha Kitt – Let’s Do It

Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me with Science

Unextraordinary Gentlemen – Goodbye 1870s

Rocky Horror Picture Show – Time Warp

They Might Be Giants – Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Emmett:

Tiny Little Big Band – Insane in the Brain

The Cog Is Dead – Danger on the Dancefloor

Janelle Monae – Dance Apocalyptic

Boney M – Rasputin

Sailor – Girls Girls Girls

Vourteque – Magic Dance

The Decemberists – The Mariner’s Revenge Song

DeVotchka – Somethin’ Stupid

Glenn Miller – Auld Lang Syne

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – I Wan’na Be Like You

Lady Attercop:

Hugo – 99 Problems

Jace Everett – Bad Things

The Stray Cats – Rock This Town

Patsy Cline – Gotta Lotta Rhythm

Billy Idol – White Wedding

The Clash – London Calling

Siouxsie & the Banshees – The Passenger

Concrete Blonde – Walking in London

Madonna – Vogue

Prince vs Genesis – Kiss & Dance

Emmett:

Die Antwoord – I Fink U Freeky

Titus Jones – Sexy Funk Thing [Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars vs. Justin Timberlake vs. Hot Chocolate vs. Rod Stewart ]

Cameo – Word Up

Usher vs Yello – Oh Yeah Yeah

Electric 6 – Synthesizer

Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That

Prince – Sexy Dancer

Stromae – Papaoutai

Nina Hagen – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Dragon*Con 2015: Mechanical Masquerade Playlist (Sunday September 6th, 2015)

Emmett:

Antony & the Johnstons – Dust & Water

Art Bears – Civilization

Adam Ant – Stand & Deliver

April Smith & the Great Picture Show – Terrible Things

Beats Antique – Dope Krunk

DeVotchka – Basso Profundo

Robyn – Konichiwa Bitches

Cameo – Word Up

Analogik – Gypsy Doodle

Jive Bunny – Swing The Mood

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers – It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)

Doctor Q spins…

Lady Attercop:

In Grid – Vive La Swing

Tape 5 – Dixie Biscuits

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – Zoot Suit Riot

The Brian Setzer Orchestra – Jump Jive & Wail

Big Bad Voodoo Daddies – I Wan’na Be Like You

Caro Emerald – That Man

The Correspondents – What Happened to Soho?

Blair Crimmins & His Hookers – Mean Mean Man

Asylum Street Spankers – Digga Digga Do

Emmett:

Max Raabe & the Palast Orchester – Tainted Love

The Puppini Sisters – Walk Like an Egyptian

The Real Tuesday Weld – Me & Mr. Wolf

Hugo – 99 Problems

They Might Be Giants – Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Doctor Q spins…

Lady Attercop:

Gogol Bordello – Pala Tute

Flogging Molly – The Devil’s Dance Floor

The Pogues- Fiesta

The Clash – London Calling

Siouxsie & the Banshees – The Passenger

Emmett:

Loo & Placido – Skrillex Mode [Skrillex & Damian Marley vs. Deorro vs. Depeche Mode vs. Sam F vs. Marilyn Manson]

Lady A: 

Feist  – Sealion

Emmett:

The Hood Internet – No Chrome [Ratatat vs Blackstreet]

Doctor Q spins…

Emmett: 

Boney M – Rasputin

AnDyWuMUSICLAND – Pretty Hollaback Fancy Girls [Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea vs. Gwen Stefani vs. Charli XCX]

Lady A: 

Sailor – Girls Girls Girls

Electric Light Orchestra – Mister Blue Sky

Doctor Q spins…

Emmett: 

Die Antwoord – I Fink U Freeky

Peaches – Back It Up

 

 

 

A Rousing Introduction to the “Music ‘O Gears” by Laura Casteel

It’s easy to endure a four-mile traffic jam when you can plug in your iPhone, turn on your radio, and realize that at least you’re not combatting demon-possessed orphans or gin-crazed koalas. It’s also easy when you can hear anyone from The Cog is Dead to Adam Ant to Johnny Cash, and listen to your beat-up Honda sonically morph into the bridge of the airship Calpurnia. To paraphrase Poppy Meriwether: hello there, darlings, and welcome to The Clockwork Cabaret.

This weekly podcast, hosted by DJs Emmett Davenport and Lady Attercop, showcases what they call “music ‘o gears,” interspersed with comedic dialogue from the hosts and other characters; these include Poppy and Percy, a pair of sardonic automatons, along with occasional special guests. Think of it as A Prairie Home Companion with absinthe on its breath. Listeners may not always hear music typically described as steampunk, but that’s part of The Clockwork Cabaret’s appeal—each episode redefines the genre in its own unique way. Featured artists range from contemporary favorites of the steampunk community, such as Frenchy and the Punk, The Nathaniel Johnstone Band, and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing, to icons of indie rock, swing, punk, broadway, and other genres from throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In one playlist, you might hear the Andrews Sisters followed by Tom Waits or Asylum Street Spankers, while another might feature Eartha Kitt alongside The Decemberists and Hellblinki. Some selections also highlight lesser known artists with a flair for the macabre or anachronistic, an example being Eric McFadden’s deliciously dark cover of Britney Spears’ “Womanizer.” If a song has a gothic touch, reminds you of days gone by, or is just really interesting, chances are you might here it on The Clockwork Cabaret.

The podcast’s eclectic musical palette reflects the artistry of its “Darling DJ Duo.” A savvy entrepreneur, Emmett Davenport’s DJ career spans over fifteen years, and she currently operates the Victorian-themed Café Diem coffeehouse in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Lady Attercop illustrates the witty web comic Strange Fiction, and provides much of The Clockwork Cabaret’s promotional artwork. Together, they lend their tune-spinning skills to a variety of steampunk events, including the Clockwork Ball in the Triangle area of North Carolina, and the Mechanical Masquerade at DragonCon. They also work diligently to bring alternate history to the un-steamed masses through a number of other projects, including the upcoming Youtube series Lushington’s Lounge, the only how-to show to feature puppets drinking vintage cocktails.

In addition to their other talents, our hosts display their comedic chops through their on-air Clockwork Cabaret personae. Davenport is the eldest of the Davenport sisters, traveling the world aboard the airship Calpurnia and trying to avoid trouble from the villainous organization CLANNG. Her companion, the snidely mischievous, rum-guzzling criminal Attercop, hails from a swamp-dwelling family of ruffians with more siblings than there are atoms in the universe. The characters’ continuous storyline determines the theme of each episode’s playlist. For instance, a recent episode featured songs on the subjects of crime and punishment, as well as Attercop’s anxiety over her upcoming parole hearing, brought on by Davenport’s callous consumption of Attercop’s lawyer: a sack of potatoes named Betty Sackface.

Thanks to the efforts of these self-described “professional ladies” to stay true to themselves and refuse genre restrictions, The Clockwork Cabaret celebrates what might be the greatest attribute of the steampunk subculture: its accessibility. The humor never veers into the desert of pretentiousness (where even the cacti judge you), and the diversity of the music allows a broad audience to embrace their inner anachronist. The next time you’re feeling landlocked, don’t hesitate to grab a bottle of gin and hop aboard the Calpurnia—just ignore the koalas.  

Published in: on March 4, 2015 at 12:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Clockwork Ball Playlist: December 31st, 2014

Coming Soon…

Published in: on January 2, 2015 at 1:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Dragon*Con 2014: The Mechanical Masquerade Playlist (Sunday August 31st, 2014)

Emmett:

Mindy Gledhill – Anchor

Tin Hat Trio featuring Tom Waits – Helium (Reprise)

Beirut – Elephant Gun

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights

8in8 – The Problem with Saints

Sailor – Girls, Girls, Girls

Max Raabe & Palast Orchestra – Tainted Love

The Puppini Sisters – Heart of Glass

Louis Prima & Keely Smith – That Old Black Magic

– Live performance by the Nathaniel Johnstone Band –

Doctor Q spins…

Lady Attercop: SpareElbowSkin – Blurred Bartman [Robin Thicke vs Bart Simpson]

Emmett: DJ John – It Takes Two to Kiss [Rob Base vs Prince]

Doctor Q: A Plus D – Heart of Glass [Puppini Sisters vs Blondie]

Lady Attercop: Cameo – Word Up

Emmett: Romeo Void – Never Say Never

Doctor Q: DJs From Mars – Show Me In the Deep [Adele vs Robin S.]

Lady Attercop: Big Bang – Fantastic Baby

Emmett: 2NE1 – I Am the Best

Doctor Q: Dan Mei – Good Time Gangnam Style [Psy vs Alex Clare vs Nicki Minaj vs Ram Jam vs Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen]

Lady Attercop: Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy

Emmett: Men Without Hats – Safety Dance*

Doctor Q: DJs From Mars – Sweet Child O’ Brightside [The Killers vs Guns n’ Roses]

Lady Attercop: Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough

Doctor Q: DJ Mike A – Die Young In The Cave [Mumford & Sons vs Ke$ha]

Emmett: Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That

Lady Attercop: The Gourds – Gin & Juice

Emmett: Robin Skouteris – One Hell Or Another [Avril Lavigne vs. Katy Perry vs. Blondie vs. A-ha vs. Toni Basil vs. The Knack vs. Offspring vs. Ting Tings vs. Jerry Lee Lewis]

Doctor Q: DJ KineTiczz – I’m Steampunk and I Know It [Parov Stelar vs LMFAO]

Lady Attercop: Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?

Emmett: Tears for Fears* – Shout

Doctor Q: DJ Morgoth – Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up [Nirvana vs Rick Astley]

Lady Attercop: ABC – Poison Arrow

Emmett: DJ Mouse – Maybe It Was the Elves [Shaggy vs Bert Kaempfert]

Doctor Q: The Protomen – The Hounds

Lady Attercop: Flight of the Conchords – Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros

Emmett: Crispin Glover – These Boots Were Made For Walking

Doctor Q: Mr. B, the Gentleman Rhymer – Let’s Get This Over and Done with

*= denotes request

In the Kitchen with Emmett: Stark Raving Malbec

First off, I have to admit that I bought this wine purely for the label and the price. It was $7! I mean, even if it’s crappy I can cook with it. Besides, I was once told that if you’re not a wine collector paying more than $10 for a wine that you’re going to drink right away is pretty dumb. Unless, you’re trying to impress someone (namely, a date or in-laws) or you’re studying to be a Sommelier then, by all means, be all snooty about wine.

Stark Raving Malbec is from Argentina and developed by winemaker John Kane (part of Rosenblum Cellars). These wines are made to gulped or slurped, meant to be simple to drink like grabbing a beer, which explains the screw cap. Honestly, I like the new movement in screw-on caps for wine. I think it keeps the wine fresh longer & encourages me not to drink a whole bottle in one sitting… but, that might just be me.

The label says that this Malbec tastes like berries and smoky bacon. Well I didn’t detect any bacon, but I did notice berries, cherries, and a slight hint of thyme. Overall, I’d say the Stark Raving Malbec was a strong, rich, smooth wine. Perfect for eating with a steak, pizza or if you want to be classy like me, all by its lonesome.

Published in: on July 10, 2014 at 7:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Thrilling Tales of Wonder…

Published in: on June 24, 2014 at 11:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pseudonyms…

Pseudonyms that people really should be using, but aren’t;

Phineas P. Phineas-Phineas

Lord Reginald & Lady Elizabeth Blimpington

Winthrop Q. Cogsbury

Rust Bucket Johnny

Underwood P. Gogglethorp

Dr. Hooligan

Lila Downtroddensburg

Published in: on June 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gaming with CLANNG: Long Live the Queen

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This game is one that surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. It’s a strategy-centric visual novel based on helping the main character, Princess Elodie, survive the one year until her coronation after the death of her mother, the queen. My initial skepticism of a pink girly princess main character faded a bit by looking over the trailer, and since it was on sale I figured, why not, and grabbed it up. Naturally, it turned out a whole lot harsher and revealed more horrifying bits as I plowed my way into it over and over again, because I just had to try ONE MORE TIME.

Starting out, this is very obviously the kind of game that will be played through several hundred times as you try to make it past one more assassination or civil war or noble uprising. There are loads of skills to be learned and since you can only pick two per week, there will inevitably be gaps. Pairing that with the bonuses and negatives that the five mood stats give you means that choosing between skills you want and skills that you can get loads of points in changes things up. Trying to figure out which ones will be needed at what point in time is tricky, too. there are some set events depending on which checks you pass and fail, but many others seem to randomize a bit. And passing some checks just open up others. After the first dozen deaths or so, I tried writing down the checks in order so I could move forward, and this foiled me more than once. After all, the story line will change not only depending on the skill sets your character has, but the checks you pass or fail. In fact, making certain checks will give you more information that will alter the set of choices one can make, just to add more to the pile.

Diplomacy and currying favor with the people seemed like a good initial strategy, so that’s what I went with at first. At first, things seemed to be going well. I failed a check about a wearing a necklace early on that led to some awkward misunderstandings and then to making someone mad with a sloppy rejection of their proposal. Still, I thought things were going fairly well. Then, a civil war popped up; My nobles were displeased with my rule. Despite massive stats in intel, my military skill was too low to intimidate them into backing down. It was sloppy, but the uprising was quelled. At the ball, I failed in poise, dance, and flattery checks, only really managing court manner well. Thing weren’t going all that great, especially after the clumsy appearance at that parade, but still, I figured things were moving along well enough. Concerned for possible dangers on the road, I opted not to visit a distant friend. Things were still a bit muddy after that civil war, and I didn’t want to risk a horde of highwaymen assassins. It all seemed well enough until a mysterious benefactor sent me a box of chocolates, and I watched a half dozen failed checks roll by as Princess Elodie thoughtlessly scarfed all the poison down just before the big tourney. End of try one.

A dozen attempts later, I kept trying to dodge around the death only to be struck down elsewhere by poor decisions. I went on the trip to the friend’s and was shot through with an arrow. I accepted the initial marriage proposal, only to be killed in the civil war. I tried to squash the civil war before it started and wound up in an arranged marriage and killed by an assassin before I even bumped into my new fiancée. I sunk a bunch of points into making a good impression at the parade and then the ball, but not enough to not eat those damn chocolates again. I finally survived to the tournament only to be challenged to a duel by an upset noble and killed when my magic was too low to take out the other guy and my swords skill wasn’t enough to thrash him in the duel. Things just didn’t seem to be going well. Every time I thought I got how to fix something, new problems blindsided me. Even writing down the checks as they popped up meant I failed most of them, spreading myself too thin to succeed at more than a handful. It was frustrating beyond belief. Being a good ruler was just so damnably hard. So I tried changing up tactics.

Next round strategy: Crashing fully into the royalty skills to get into the treasury to get the crystal and slam into magic early and then opting out of the tournament didn’t help. Dead again. It was hard, but that made it a challenge. I HAD to live to coronation at some point! Time to change up even more.

After trying and failing to win the game through diplomacy and intrigue, I won the first time by becoming a super militant dictator lady who exploded her way into the treasury to get magic powers. Well, almost. I had to die in the unexpected final confrontation, and then run through again after leveling magic to the max and adding some weapons skills in addition to the military route. Of course, my triumphant swell at finally making it through to the end didn’t keep me high long. This just meant that now I had to find all the other possible endings.

I won’t talk about all of them here, though; Part of the delightfully addictive nature of this thing is coming back and discovering new bits. Once I finally decided to try making it to Briony’s party in a later run, a whole new bucket of stuff slopped over onto the floor. Being able to save at almost any time means that, if need be, you can backtrack a few days prior to an untimely death and crash level the skills needed to make it farther. Fool that I am, I didn’t think to take advantage of the saving feature until way, way after the third or fourth time living to the end. Not game, successful game. I’ve sunk way too many hours into this thing.

There are a lot of moments in this game that definitely feel very much Guide Dang It; Looking over the achievements list makes one scratch their head in confusion over how some of the things are supposed to even happen. That’s part of the charm, I think. It’s one of the few games I’ve played that makes it seem like the head to wall banging of multiple playthroughs and endings worthwhile. So many factors are at work that wildly different outcomes are all lurking in the wings, waiting to be discovered with just a little more perseverance.

So many little satisfying facets of the puzzle to find each time, it has plenty to offer and and wealth of replayability. For less than ten dollars, that’s not too shabby at all. I say it’s worth looking in to, at the very least. People fond of strategy games will most definitely enjoy it. It’s been one of the most satisfying Steam purchases I’ve made in a while, that’s for sure. – Mariya Pischalnikov (@madmechantrix)

Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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No Girls Allowed… Apparently.

Oh my Glob! At first I was quite excited to hear that McDonald’s was going to have Adventure Time toys in their Happy Meals. I’m not a big Mickey D’s fan but I have been known to get the kid’s meals for the toys on occasion. So, imagine my surprise when I see that the only characters represented are Finn, Jake, B-Mo & the Ice King.

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Now, granted you can argue that B-Mo is an asexual robot voiced by a female, but that’s hardly the point. I love Adventure Time and this cartoon has some absolutely brilliant female characters – Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess, Marceline, Lady Rainicorn, the cavalcade of Princesses, not to mention the characters from the genderbending “fanfiction” episodes;  Fionna, Cake, Ice Queen et al.

This harkens back to the good ole days of “boys will be boys” and girl should wear pink dresses. Maybe, I’m a product of my hippy upbringing but my favorite toy as a small child was a dump truck. I used to carry all my toys around in it and sleep with it, to the dismay of my mother not because I was a girl but because it was a big metal dump truck in my bed. She was concerned that I’d hurt myself.  My male friends played with my Barbie dolls because there were never enough female characters in their G.I. Joes, He-Man or Star Wars action figures. I climbed trees and played LaserTag with them. They played dress-up with me and we all grew up to be heterosexual, law-abiding members of society and even if we didn’t, it wasn’t because of the toys we played with as kids. We would have played the same games with sticks and rocks, if necessary. Boys playing with dolls or girls playing with trucks doesn’t mean anything. Honest. It’s completely normal.

All the gender bias we perceive as adults are not in young children’s heads until adults put it there. So, what does this say to me? Simply that there are a bunch of close-minded idiots making cartoons, toys, video games, etc aimed at creating what they think is the appropriate way the sexes should act. I think this sort of thing really needs to stop. Boy may be boys and girls may like to wear pink frilly dresses but they grow up to be adults. – Emmett

Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment