Script Frenzy is complete. I’m still debating whether or not to make the PDF file available for download for those who want to read about anthropomorphic chemical elements for whatever reason– frankly, I haven’t put much thought into it because I’m already looking ahead. Specifically, I’m looking to jump into Hardcore Novel Editing Take Three on a book that first devoured my life over half a year ago:
Twitter: The new facility for historical research.
To get myself prepared for this occasion, I’ve done several things, including: changing my computer’s color scheme to polished bronze, briefly hijacking my parents’ high-volume printer in the name of Queen Victoria, and making goggles.
No, seriously, I made goggles.
I’m also setting up a music playlist similar to the one I used while writing the first draft. Said playlist consists of liberal amounts of the “American Tail” and “Dinosaur” soundtracks, oh, and a few “thematic” artists.
So if you’re like me and like a little steam in your punk and a little punk in your steam, here’s a list for you of three of my current faves:
The Clockwork Quartet: Anytime I talk about this band I wind up babbling superlatives and synonyms for the word “epic”. To make a very long ramble short, I hold this band responsible for the following:
- Inspiring me to fill my book with things like clockwork automatons (I would also toss “airships” in there, but frankly, Final Fantasy is responsible for that more than anything.)
- Firmly cementing my already-present but rather nascent love of all things steampunk
- Much of the “art direction” and “theatrics” of my book (as much as a book can have those two things).
- Somehow breaking onto my Last.fm Top 15 despite only having two released songs.
For the uninitiated, the Clockwork Quartet makes songs that tell stories. AWESOME stories. About things like rogue clockmakers or distraught mad scientists. They’re very theatrical in nature, and I am 99% sure that you will find them “pretty spiffy” at the very least, or more likely, “ZOMG THAT AWESOME’D MY FACE OFF”.
When I first found out about them I listened to their two songs on repeat for six hours straight or something like that. I still listen to them a lot. Twitter will explode with my fangirl on the day that they release another song– mark my words. (I’ve also officially christened myself “The Stowaway”– it matches the names of all their other characters, and seriously, I will stow away on their airship.)
Vernian Process has been around forever. One of the great things about them is that they aren’t limited in style, or scope, really. I mean, they have an album of Castlevania remix songs. Is that win, or is that win? (Correct answer: It’s win.)
One of the things that I think they are best at is atmosphere music. I played a loooot of Vernian Process when writing “airship scenes” in my novel. They have an instrumental song called “The Maiden Flight” which is 13 minutes of sheer aether-soaring goodness. I’m pretty sure I could guess what it was about even if it wasn’t called “The Maiden Flight”, just because the imagery in the music is that evocative.
“Her Clockwork Heart” is another one of my faves of theirs– a wistful, bittersweet melody about a robot girl. Side note: this is another reason why I love steampunk music: you know how people toss around stereotypes about music genres? Country is gonna be about your wife leaving you and your dog dying, rap is about… well. You know. Okay, so, steampunk is about robot girls. And you know what, THAT’S FREAKING AWESOME.
Tom Slatter – I just stumbled across this guy recently, and can I just say, I have no idea why he isn’t more widely listened to. It’s quirky, experimental acoustic about airships and clockwork devices and automatons. Now I don’t know about you, but that sentence would have sold ME already.
Of course nobody offered me that description so it was the first song, “Mechanism”, on his album that really sold me. (You can go listen to it on the website, by the way. Go. Now.) Yeah, the chords are bizarre and there are weird notes flying around in the background, but that’s why it sounds SO GOOD. I had to listen to this one over and over again because it was brilliant like that. It’s not too often you come across something that is harmonious by being disharmonious.
(Disclaimer: I know nothing about music, except what I learned in middle school orchestra and from messing around in FruityLoops.)
Ultimately though, the great thing is that Tom Slatter’s music ends up sounding nothing like the previous two bands I mentioned and still comes out as quintessentially “steampunk”, and not just because of the subject matter of the songs or how “period” the music is. He nails steampunk by capturing the essence of subtle subversion that it is. The music is weird, but you know what, so is dressing up in goggles and mechanical body parts. That’s the point.
WELL! There you have it. Shoutouts to three artists that more people should listen to. As for me, I’m off to work, and then this will be followed tonight by leaping head first into novel editing! …or I might get sidetracked by a Back to the Future marathon. We’ll see.