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!