Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The latest issue of the Gatehouse Gazette - #22!

The prodigal son (or magazine) for Steampunk and Dieselpunk has returned, albeit on a limited basis!  The exceptional Mr. Ottens (and his diligent associates) have released issue number 22 of the Gatehouse Gazette, much to the pleasure of the greater Steampunk and Dieselpunk circles - so to enjoy excellent articles, such as insight to the upcoming European Steampunk Convention, Spanish Steampunk, an introspective on the legendary Raymond Chandler, and much, much more, please visit the Gatehouse Gazette, issue number 22, located at: http://www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/Gazette%20-%2022.pdf

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Film Noir Classics: The Big Combo

Another genre classic, The Big Combo is interesting as it no only is great for its great lines, such as..
- "I'm gonna break him so fast he won't have time to change his pants"
- "If they take you to police headquarters, shoot yourself in the head.  It'll make things simpler."
- "You're a little man with a soft job and good pay.  Stop thinking about what might have been and who knows - you may live to die in bed."

... but for its subtle (or not so subtle) sexual innuendos, which passed by the censors of the day.  From the sexual dominance of Mr. Brown over Susan, to the thinly veiled buddy-buddy button men (gay relationship... the line by Mingo while he's in hiding, that he can't "swallow anymore salami"), there are a lot of lines that add to the complexity of this excellent plot.  So do enjoy yet another Noir classic!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Cap'n's Cabaret (at Dieselpunks.org)!

The Cap'n and an intrepid companion off to another corner
of the Dieselpunk world!

During my time blogging (a few years now), I've seen many endeavors come and go, both hosting sites and blogs, thus I do have an admiration for longevity.  Keeping an eye out for this quality, I did wish to mention an excellent series at Dieselpunks.org, by Cap'n Tony, called "The Cap'n's Cabaret".  The good Captain reviews a musical highlight from the Dieselpunk genre every week, and as an added bonus, includes the details to a tasty beverage to indulge (necessitating a serious upgrade to my own bar - which is sadly lacking since my bachelor days...).  Nonetheless, I would certainly recommend visiting at least one (or at best, all) of the Cap'n entries... starting at: http://www.dieselpunks.org/profile/JohnPhilpott - Do enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Film Noir Classics: Quicksand

Another gem from YouTube, Quicksand is a classic storyline...

Young auto mechanic Dan Brady (Mickey Rooney) takes $20 from a cash register at work to go on a date with blonde femme fatale Vera Novak (Jeanne Cagney). Brady intends to put the money back before it is missed, but the garage's bookkeeper shows up earlier than scheduled. As Brady scrambles to cover evidence of his petty theft, he fast finds himself drawn into an ever worsening "quicksand" of crime, each of his misdeeds more serious than the last.
His descent is sped along by his heartless and morally lacking boss Oren Mackay (Art Smith), and the seedy owner of a penny arcade on Santa Monica Pier, Nick Dramoshag (Peter Lorre). Brady and Vera split when Vera purchases a mink coat with money Brady has stolen. Brady's still-loyal but unappreciated former girlfriend Helen (Barbara Bates) then reenters the scene and tries to woo him back. Later fleeing what he believes will be a murder charge, Brady carjacks a sedan which happens to be driven by a sympathetic lawyer (Taylor Holmes).
By movie's end Brady is back with his faithful girlfriend, who promises to wait for him while he spends the next few years of his life in prison. (from Wikipedia)

Another Noir gem, so do enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Caravan Palace - Rock it for me!

Wanted to ensure one didn't think the site had gone stale, so to speak, so I'm adding a gem from Caravan Palace's newest album, Panic! (er, from March, so again, I'm a bit behind).  Nonetheless, please do enjoy, and consider a visit to their website, at: http://www.caravanpalace.com/

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Film Noir Classics: Double Indemnity

Walter Neff: "I killed him - I killed him for the money, and the woman, and I didn't get the money, and I didn't get the woman.  Pretty isn't it?"

As I was reviewing Dieselpunks.org, I followed a link from a smart short called "Blood Ties" (which I promise to post later), when reading the sidebar for YouTube suggestions, my eye practically fell out of their sockets!  One of the greatest Film Noir works, Double Indemnity, was waiting for my enjoyment. One of my evening readings, Dark City, (by Eddie Muller), reviews the entirety of Film Noir, "District by District" (e.g. the different chapters have ominous titles "Sinister Heights", "Knockover Square", "Shamus Flats", etc...), and one of the great works they mention is Double Indemnity - a story of intrigue, murder, and well, I'd recommend getting comfortable, pouring a nice drink, and watching one of the greatest Film Noir works ever!  

For more information on this, please pass an eye over...

Film Page Classics: http://moderntimes.com/double/

Friday, July 13, 2012

Electroswing Sessions - July, '12

Been a bit distracted with RL for the time being, but Electroswing added a new mix, which for all intents and purposes is a nice place holder - do enjoy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The 40's Guys!

Happened upon Mr. Tome (from Dieselpunks.org fame) on this spiffy series from "The 40's Guys!  Its like a retrospective comedy series - done in an old-school sitcom setting, with canned laugh track, topical humor spices with era slang and attitude... and one of the funniest things I've seen in ages!  I"ll be posting more from the fellows in the near future, but for now, here is a taste of their work, and to fannagle the remaining videos, pay a visit to their YouTube website, at: http://www.youtube.com/user/The40sGuys?feature=watch

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Zeppelin Memorabilia for Sale!

Came across an interesting article in the Mail Online about a British pensioner who is placing over 600 items of zeppelin memorabilia for sale on the 25th of July, in East Sussex, UK.  Many are original pieces from era airships, including items form the Hindenburg, but the overarching theme revolves around German zeppelins.  However, some are pieces are replicas, such as the zeppelin salt shaker, though the article did give the impression the majority of the items were originals.  To read the article in full, please turn to the Mail Online article, located at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2168218/Hindenburg-Airship-shaped-cocktail-shaker-scorched-letter-pulled-rubble-1937-Hindenburg-disaster-15-TON-collection-Zeppelin-memorabilia-sale.html

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dieselpunk Artists: Jack Vettriano

The Singing Butler, by Mr. Jack Vettriano

At times, one fails to see something that is obvious to others, especially when it concerns art.  The above image, The Singing Butler, by Mr. Jack Vettriano, is a staple of many stores (including Ikea, where I've spent many an hour waiting, patiently in my opinion), for framing in many abodes.  However, after a reading a thread on Dieselpunks.org, I decided to delve a bit deeper into Mr. Vettriano's work.

Amateur Philosophers, by Mr. Jack Vettriano

Mr. Vettriano's works delve deeper into what could be considered the Dieselpunk genre, before it was named or identified as such.  The majority of his works tend to revolve around imagery of the era, though there are subsets which include modern vehicles (well, modern for the era), and some almost NSFW type of artwork.

Exit Eden, by Mr. Jack Vettriano

Additionally, the gentleman is a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and though a spry 60 years old, I believe he still continues to produce amazing works.  This being said, though his original works may not be affordable for the every day admirer of his skills, reproductions are easily available (and quite reasonable, as well)!

The Duelists, by Mr. Jack Vettriano

Not to belabor his background, but there are numerous sites in which on can preview more of his works... to do so, please consider visiting any of the following locales...

Mr. Vettriano's website, at: http://www.jackvettriano.com/
Mr. Vettriano's Wikipedia site, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Vettriano
A Vanity Fair article about Mr. Vettriano's works, at: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2012/07/jack-vettriano-singing-butler-art
A website with posters and limited editions, at: http://www.vettriano-art.com/

The Temptress, by Mr. Jack Vettriano
(a sample of his NSFW works)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Strange Aeons, a Dieselpunk webcomic...

As I dove into the entries on Dieselpunks.org (to catch up after my visit from Debbie (the tropical storm, that is), I came across a quiet link on a thread, which led me to an amazing webcomic - Strange Aeons!  Needless to say, a visit to the site was in order, but I did have some trepidation, my expectations for the Dieselpunk genre tends to be a bit high, but... Strange Aeons is an amazing work!  Without letting too much pass from the comic itself, it titles itself as a Dieselpunk Retro-Pulp thriller, and smartly meets its mark.  The storyline and artwork are spot on, and the very well done Deco design (and adverts) are small but essential nuances added to the comic.  So, without belaboring my long-winded descriptions, please do take a trip to Nocturne City, and follow more of the adventures of Strange Aeons, at: http://strangeaeons.comicdish.com/index.php?pageID=1

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dieselpunk Travelogue - The Liberty Belle

One of the outstanding builds of Swing Times is their entertainment zeppelin, named the Liberty Belle!  Floating high above the sim, it is one of the hidden gems of this new sim.  For those who have familiarity with the Dieselpunk genre, probably the most notable zeppelin is the infamous (and hilarious) "No Ticket" scene (as listed below).

As wonderful as that scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is, it does leave one wanting more... and it is now here!  The Liberty Belle is the location for entertainment at Swing Time, as has a spacious entertainment area (seen below), and "dining area" (on the other side of the bulkhead).

The spacious dance floor!

One issue with arriving at the Liberty Belle is finding the entrance... to do so, go to the main rental area on the sim (its where there are pictures of rentals with doors just below it - due north of the sim arrival point), find the door with by the plaquard announcing the next event (it will be a white door, that says "Exit"), open and enter... and you'll be aboard the Liberty Belle!

The Liberty Bell Bar, overlooking the sim

There are numerous rooms, including the bar, smoking lounge, and study (seen below), but the ship is still undergoing some renovations, so please don't be surprised at a few unfinished areas, while on board.

The Study aboard the Liberty Belle

As an added bonus, there are small rentals available on the ship (as seen below), which allow for privacy and relaxiation, and a very affordable price!  Thus, if you're looking for a small and unique corner of SL with a great Dieselpunk / Retro flair, I would most certainly recommend a visit to the Liberty Belle - for a short or long term visit!  To take a trip, please follow this SLurl!... http://slurl.com/secondlife/Swing%20Times/146/163/22

Outstanding accommodations on the Liberty Belle, overlooking the sunset!...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New York Times Article: Mr. Michael Arenella's Jazz Age Life

Mr. Arenella visiting the De La Concha, a smoking lounge in Manhattan
(by Ms. Kristen Morgan, NYT)

While some men must labor on a work-a-day existence, a lucky few have the opportunity to enjoy a Jazz-era inspired world!  Mr. Michael Arenella, a Jazz musician and band leader from Brooklyn was recently interviewed and snippets of his efforts to revive not only the classic music from the 20s and 30s, but his laborious (but very impressive) efforts to bridge the (Dieselpunk) past to today.  An excellent article, along with a video and photos, demonstrate the attention to style and period detail... well, do read the article for yourself (along with excellent links, including one to his jazz band, the Dreamland Orchestra, along with his ongoing endeavor, the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island.  To read this work, please turn to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/arts/design/living-in-the-past-is-a-full-time-gig.html?_r=2

(A tip of the fedora to Mr. Matt Deckard, for this excellent find!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The arrival to Diesel City!

(A reprint from the Steampunk Tribune, Diesel City is one of the cutting edge Dieselpunk works available on the market!  I most certainly recommend Mr. Stefan's work, but please do continue reading...)

Over the five plus years that the Steampunk Tribune has been in existence, two of the tenants I've endeavored to remain faithful to are: 1) Maintain a focus on the Steampunk genre, and 2) Minimize my review of books.  The first issue is fairly obvious, as it is the "rasion d'etre" for the blog is the genre - people who come to this corner want to read about Steampunk and associated goings on.

The second exists only because RL has been particularly demanding during the past few years, thus reducing the time I have to relax and read.  Though I've received numerous generous offers to review Steampunk books, it would be simply wrong to simply accept literature, then not do it justice with a proper review (and the Steampunk Scholar does an yeoman job of Steampunk literature review… and I'd certainly not wish to vex one of Steampunk friendliest academics!)  I always said that it would take something extraordinary to bypass these two dictums - and I have found such a gem with Diesel City.

Diesel City is an endeavor by a Mr. Stefan, (also known as *stefanparis on DeviantArt, for those in the know), is an exceptionally talented multi-media artist who is based out of Paris… but is known for his amazing works regarding the Dieselpunk genre.

I won't belabor attempting to define "Dieselpunk", as many who are familiar with Steampunk are certainly aware of this later off shoot of the genre.  (If you are not familiar with Dieselpunk (DP), I would suggest a visit to the online epicenter of Dieselpunk, located at: http://www.dieselpunks.org/).  Though DP has been around for a few years, it has slowly begun emerging and establishing itself apart from its better-known older cousin.

As Steampunk has its roots in the turn-of-the century, including its artistic influences from Art Nouveau, Dieselpunk takes its artistic inspiration from Art Deco, but with a bit of an… update.  With said inspiration, as with the plethora of new genre art that exists for Steampunk (again, a quick visit to Steampunk on DeviantArt will exemplify this), Dieselpunk has perhaps fewer, but better known artistic specialists, one of which is Mr. Stefan.

His work, Diesel City, takes a first-person narrative of Dieselpunk, while displaying his amazing works, both via original stylized art and representation via photo-manipulation.   My first introduction to his work was via the Dieselpunk.org website, (see globe photo), and his Art Deco influenced work has a leaning towards advertising - promoting unique products, means of travel, and destinations!

His photo-manipulation work provides more of a feel for the Dieselpunk atmosphere - Diesel City focus less on an over-arching narrative, and more on translating the genre atmosphere via inspiring imagery and enveloping commentary.

As one of the seminal works of the Dieselpunk genre, I'm confident that anyone wishing to understand (and be inspired by) Dieselpunk will thoroughly enjoy this outstanding work!  But enough of my prattling - to learn more, please visit the Diesel City website, located at: http://www.dieselcity.fr/en/home.php

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jazz Venues: The Cat's Meow

The Cat's Meow Bar

There are more classic gems beginning to emerge in SL with an emphasis on the classic Jazz era look and feel.  The other day I was fortunate enough to stumble such a gem, at a small club named "The Cat's Meow".

The exterior of the Cat's Meow

At first blush, the Art Deco stylings certainly caught my eye, along with the grey/black/white tones of the venue, which leads me to believe that it is more of a photograph destination.  That being said - its quite a great little place!

The entry foyer, to the main floor

I have been cursed with poor timing, as I've never seemed to have caught anyone visiting / dancing / photographing at the Cat's Meow.  A pity, as the builder has demonstrated strict detail to the architecture, yet infused a beautiful venue at the location.

The Cat's Meow Dance floor

As a untarnished gem, if you are a Dieselpunk enthusiast, Jazz lover, or just enjoy genre builds, a relaxing trip to the Cat's Meow would certainly be worth your while!  Do to do so, please follow this SLurl, and take a step back in to a glamorous era, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/the%20blue%20scimitar/28/90/704/

A smooth time awaits at the Cat's Meow!...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dieselpunk Travelogue: Shopping on Michigan Avenue, in 1920s Chicago!

A perfect day for shopping in 1920s Chicago!

When someone shops in Second Life, especially for a specific genre, hunting down attire or addtitions can be a challenge.  Additionally, using "keywords", such as "Steampunk", "Dieselpunk", or the like would ideally be a means of quickly finding that ideal fedora or flapper dress, but again, many SL merchants realize this, and add those words to their own search function, even if the store has no connection at all with the genre (e.g. adult attachments listed under "Steampunk").  Quite an annoyance!

A view of the legendary clothier Sonatta Morales, anchoring one corner
of Michigan Avenue, with advertisements galore!

Thus, having an area where the items are well within the bounds of the genre (in this case the Dieselpunk / Pulp genre), is a great relief.  Seraph City has two such areas (The upscale Carrington department store, and the extensive Java Jive shopping complex - just look for the percolating coffee pot!)… but the largest area with genre attire, accoutrements, and even autos, would be the long stretch of road in 1920s Chicago - Michigan Avenue!

The entrance to StarChild Designs

For those not familiar with 1920's Chicago, the sim is an immersive RP experience - there are regular events recreating the Chicago gangster era, and thus a wide selection of attire and additional items are key to excellent performance!  (For more details on the Gangster RP, please visit their main website, at:  http://www.1920chicago.com/)

The 1920's Chicago Welcome Center, 
located at the east end of Michigan Avenue!

One does not have to be in "era attire" to shop on Michigan Avenue, however.  (Once you cross one of the adjoining bridges, then appropriate attires is insisted upon).  Thus, a leisurely stroll between the stores to find that perfect dress / suit / auto / piece of furniture an be enjoyed without concern!  Some of the stores located on Michigan Avenue include Sonatta Morales, Starchild Designs, Swank Brothers (for gents), Skye Qi Vintage Apparel Emporium, Melu Deco, Monarch Motors, and many more!

The elegant and inviting Fiume Jazz Club, 
perfect for a nice respite after a day of shopping!

So if one is in the market for Dieselpunk / Pulp era attire, or just wishes to enjoy a bit of quality shopping, do consider a visit to Michigan Avenue, and enjoy a slice of classic 1920's Chicago, located at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Shepham%20Estates/186/225/22

Friday, June 1, 2012

Jazz at Kotaku!

As I was searching for articles, I came across this unique piece on the site Kotaku - which usually focuses on video games.  However, the article by Mr. Kirk Hamilton, titled "Growing the Jazz audience 'Can't be done."  Maybe that's Okay", really caught my eye!  A very insightful piece on the current state of Jazz listener-ship and its future, and is most certainly worth a read.  Additionally, he has a semi-regular series of Jazz-related entries on Kotaku, so do look up his work there!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jazz URLs for Second Life (and general use!)

Art Deco Radio Station in Tulsa, Oklahoma 
(Love the giant antenna, and the title/call letters on the front!)

One of the quandries I have faced with many a SL Jazz location is the lack of variety of Jazz genres.  As much as I like Martini in the Morning (which is one of the most popular streams for its excellent selections of music), there are times I would prefer a specific niche, such as 1920s radiocasts, Bossa Nova, West Coast Jazz, or the like.  To address this issue, I did a bit of hunting, and was able to find suitable selections for use as streams for land parcels in SL.

As I use Itunes as my main music player, the means to find a Jazz stream is:

"...So, I use iTunes as my default player. When the stream opens in iTunes, I do a 'GET INFO' (in the FILE menu), it will show you the actual URL. There's a similar capability in VLC, etc."
-  (A tip of the hat to Sterling Whitcroft, from the Second Life Archives, 2006)

Also, if you are listening to a stream via iTunes' Radio option, a right click on the center top listing (right below the "iTunes" title, in the bubble), will provide the "get info" option, and the stream URL.

Radio announcer from the 1930s - love the mike!

Good information, but it didn’t quite work for me, unfortunately.  I took the somewhat longer route to find streaming URLs:
1) Opened iTunes
2) Go to Shoutcast
3) Searched for the "Jazz" stations
4) Found a station, and chose the hyperlink
5) The ".pls" feed loaded at the bottom of the screen
6) Double clicked (opened) the feed
7) The feed will open up in iTunes
8) Right click the feed, and choose "get info"
9) The URL will near the bottom of the popup box - done!

(Please note: If you can't find the directory for any uploaded URLs in iTunes, please look on the sidebar, for a small section titled "Internet Songs").  I decided to forgo directly linking the URLs, but if you load the URL in your address banner, it will take you to the "Shoutcast" page, which often has the station's website added!

This being said, I have a few selections already set up at the Empire Jazz Club, which are…

Ill Street Lounge = http://steady.somafm.com:8500 (Exotica Lounge) (at the Carrington)
Radio Dismuke 1920s = (Swing)
Street Lounge  = http://steady.somafm.com:8500 (Lounge)
1920's Radio Network = (Early Jazz)
Riel Dieselpunk = http://dieselpunk.radioriel.org
Sky Jazz FM = (Classic Jazz)
Smooth Jazz.com = http://scfire-ntc-aa06.stream.aol.com:80/stream/1005
Bossa Nova = (Bossa Nova)
Martini = http://mitm.streamguys.us:80 (Vocal Jazz)
RetroJazz = (Classic Jazz)
Riel New Toulouse = http://newtoulouse.radioriel.org

"Old Time" microphone from WNYC!

And… with a little bit of elbow grease, I'll likely be changing out a few of these streams with some of these…

Global Swing Broadcast, at: (Swing)
Abacus.FM Vintage Jazz, at: (30s Jazz)
WNNO3 - New Orleans Jazz, at: http://nyc01.egihosting.com:18840/ (Classic Jazz)
The New England Jazz Express, at: (Classic Jazz)
Jazz Excursion, at: (Classic Jazz)
Blue FM, at: (Instrumental Jazz)
Jazz Radio, at: (Classic Jazz)
Mellowradio.nl, at:
121WebRadio, at: (Instrumental Jazz)
Radio B2b, at: (Bossa Nova)
Jazz Con Class, at: (Classic Jazz)
Dyszel Jazz, at: (?)
Public Domain Jazz, at: (Classic Jazz)
Best Smooth Jazz, at: (Lounge Jazz)
Breezy Radio, at: (Classic Jazz / Oldies)
Paul in Rio Radio, at: (Brazillian Jazz)
Bossa Nova Jazz, at: (Bossa Nova)
Bebop, Sky FM, at: (Straight Jazz and Bebop)
The Penthouse, at: (Vocal Jazz, 50s)
(The "Cosmopolitan sound of New York")
The Jazz Groove, at: (West Coast Jazz)
American Songbook, Sky FM, at: (Classic Vocal Jazz)
Radio Casablanca, at: (Classic Vocal Jazz)
Franks Place Jazz, at: (SL Jazz Club)
WUSF (St. Pete/Tampa), at: (Public Radio, Jazz at night)
Datetempo Lounge, Sky FM, at: http://scfire-ntc-aa08.stream.aol.com:80/stream/2012
(I didn't know AOL still existed!)
PLUSFM.NET, at: (Lounge / Eclectic)
Vid 90, at: (Straight Lounge Jazz)
Atmosphere Jazz, at: (Classic Jazz / Lounge Jazz)
Cool Groove Radio, at: (Modern Jazz / R&B)
Chroma Classic Lounge, at: (Classic Jazz)
RebelNet Radio Jazz, at: (Classic Jazz)
Jade's Jazz Lounge, at: (SL Jazz Club)
JAZZ FM 91, at: (Classic Jazz)
The Jazz Express, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Amazing Smooth Jazz, at: (Smooth Jazz)
The Source Smooth Jazz and more, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Smooth in Seattle, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Smooth Radio London, at: (Smooth Jazz)
All Smooth Jazz - 111 East Radio, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Smooth Radio Northwest, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Ambient FM - Tenerife Canary Islands, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Absolutely Smooth Jazz, SKY.FM, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Smooth Jazz.com Global Radio, at: http://scfire-mtc-aa05-stream.aol.com:80/stream/1005 (Smooth Jazz)
1FM - Bay Smooth Jazz, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Uptempo Smooth Jazz, SKY.FM, at: (Smooth Jazz)
Jazziando.com, at: (Latin Jazz)
Syndicate online, at: (Vocal Jazz)
LaTin Jazz Radio, at: (Latin Jazz)
Latin Jazz - Cesar Martignon, at: (Latin Jazz)

If you come across a mistaken or misplaced number, please let me know - my eyes began to get crossed after the first hour of annotating these locations - thanks!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jazz Venues and Sims - Swing Times!

As part of the return to the Dieselpunk / Jazz scene in Second Life, I am slowly making my way across the sims, finding new places to visit and enjoy.  After finding a few dead ends, so to speak, I stumbled on perhaps the brightest, newest light in Dieselpunk in SL - Swing Times!

The main business offices of Swing Times - along with news headlines!

While pondering the economic cycles of Second Life during my commute in RL, I did wonder why some venues fail, while other succeed.  It isn't a panacea, but I am beginning to believe that one factor which leads to overall success in era genre is a good immersive experience in Second Life.  That may seem obvious, but I'd say its easier said than done, as numerous people have attempted to keep sims in both Steampunk, and more recently in Dieselpunk/Pulp era afloat, but with mixed success.

Outside the Arcadian Hotel

While that will certainly be fodder for another entry, I must say that I'm very impressed with Swing Times, for a number of reasons.  The most obvious is the sim construction.  The owner, Captain Paul Creighton, whose serial adventures were featured a few months ago on the SL JAM, has built an 30s/40s urban cityscape, with a mix of traditional and Art Deco builds - all quite nicely done.  The entire city isn't entirely Art Deco / Streamline Moderne, but there is plenty of this beautiful type of architecture to catch one's eye!

Swing Times at Dusk

Additionally, there are plans in place for genre events... there are numerous entertainment venues at the sim, including a USO club (more on that below), a Drive-In, cabaret, and a few intimate Jazz clubs, interspersed throughout the sim.  There is a complete slate of schedule of events at the visitor's information bureau - there is always something planned at Swing Time!

A taxi waiting just outside the Arcadian - for that "quick getaway"...

Merchants and residences - both are here, and appear to be filling up quite nicely, since the sim opened its doors (in March, if memory services me correctly).  The arrival location is a central gazebo (as seen below), which is surrounded by numerous merchants, and the Visitors Information Bureau (located just underneath the billboard with the fellow sporting a grey fedora).

The Central Park of Swing Times, with shopping galore!

The areas for residences are both available for rent or purchase - and it appears that both are starting to move quite smartly!  The rentals are unique residences, in the era theme, and I'll assume that the same holds true with the purchased parcels - as I noticed a few nice Art Deco builds with Maritime Moderne aspects showing up!

Open a door, and walk into your new residence in Swing Town!

Rentals can be found at the Visitors Bureau - simply open a door, walk in, and if the location is available - pay the meter and rent!  Quite simple!  (Full disclosure - while writing this piece, I couldn't resist the temptation, and now reside at the Swing Times Yacht Club - a nice Maritime Modern build across from the Castle Building).  

Upcoming this weekend!

Alas, I received notice that there is a "South Pacific" party today, from 6-9 pm, SLT, so if you happen to catch this before then, do consider a visit!

The exterior of the USO club!

It was a nice touch to see a USO club - one more of the small genre touches (ok, this isn't so small, but it is nice to see), and I admit to looking forward to seeing the eventual progress Swing Times makes in the genre in SL.

The city during the day!

To take a small jaunt to Swing Time, and see what I've been gushing over, please follow this URL to the newest Dieselpunk sim in SL!: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Swing%20Times/128/132/22

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Great Gatsby Trailer...

Fresh from a visit from Dieselpunks, the trailer for the Great Gatsby is out, and is frankly amazing!  I realize there are quibbles about the story-line, and perhaps some cinematographic aspects, but the initial views of the movie look breathtaking, and I'll certainly be looking forward to its release this Christmas - for more details, please visit their main website, at: http://thegreatgatsby.warnerbros.com/

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dieselpunk Travelogue: First Street Jazz!

The entrance to First Street Jazz

Welcome back to the newest entry on SL Jazz Venues - this time highlighting the new jazz venue of First Street Jazz!  A beautiful new sim with an outstanding selection of shopping and a slate of new performances to enjoy - and a bit of insight as to the evolution of the blog...

Master TP board, for quick shopping 
(for the "perfect" item just before hitting the club)!

I realize its been awhile since I've made an entry to the SL JAM, but due to a combination of things (e.g. RL episodes, and a bit of a quandry on the focus of this blog), I had to re-assess its direction.  Originally I would visit venues, searching for nice jazz establishments.  However, an epiphany struck when I was reviewing one of the larger SL jazz clubs - and gave some thought to the feed being piped.  For many clubs, especially medium to larger clubs, unless there is a specific theme to the build, you are essentially simply listening to a music feed while chatting.  (Yes, I can be a bit slow realizing this, but ideally even the slowest horse crosses the finish line). 

Looking down the promenade to the First Street Jazz Club

While mentally masticating this, I decided to take a gander at new "retro" era builds in SL.  In the past, the number of what I term "retro" (from the 1920's to the early 1950's) seemed a bit sparse, with only a few gems emerging from the vast bulk of SL builds.  However, a recent trip through SL has shown that many established genre venues have grown dramatically, and numerous new builds have sprung up as well!

One of the newer genre venues is a great find, the First Street Jazz Club!  Part shopping venue, part beautiful jazz club, First Street Jazz has an excellent combination for shopping and entertainment.  I would defer an fashion judgements to my partner Breezy, the editor of Virtually Classic Fashions, but the layout of the stores is easy to navigate (essentially an inverted "T" shape).  Even with the "no-flight" aspect in effect (not a personal favorite, though I do understand the rationale for it), its a minor quibble - and from my untrained fashion eye, the stores are quite good!

The spacious, two-tired dance floor at First Street Jazz

I haven't had the opportunity to visit the club in action, as I've only visited it recently.  Based on the schedule at its entrance, its is a new endeavor with numerous live performers slated to perform.  The bulk of the entertainment appears to take place on Wednesdays and during the weekend, but to pay an eye to their schedule, easily found at the entrance to the club.

A relaxing view of the Mezzaine of the First Street Jazz Club

The aspect of the sim which really grabbed my attention was its upscale cosmopolitan late 40s look.  The excellent quality of the build reflects the maturation of the Art Deco era, but the parked vehicles reflect a bit of a post-WW2 era.  Excellent for photography, and the multitude of taller builds (even though for appearance only), do an excellent job of conveying a smart and classic era feel.

The Balcony Club, located at the top of First Street Jazz!

If you're looking for a new venue to visit, shop, photograph, and relax, take a moment to visit First Street Jazz - a great location to relax and enjoy!  Just take the virtual Pan Am Clipper to: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Querido%20dAlliez/208/128/23... and remember, stay hip and make the scene!