Posts Tagged ‘Pop Culture’

Steampunk Moves Between 2 Worlds

May 8, 2008

Robert Wright for The New York Times From left, Deacon Boondini, the Great Gatsby and Giovanni James of the James Gang share a vision with the designer Alexander McQueen.From The New York Times By RUTH LA FERLA Published: May 8, 2008>>read more.     “MEET Showtime,” said Giovanni James, a musician, magician and inventor of sorts, introducing his prized dove, who occupies a spacious cage in Mr. James’s apartment in Midtown Manhattan. Showtime is integral to Mr. James’s magic act and to his décor, a sepia-tone universe straight out of the gaslight era.      The structured clothing of the steampunk movement.       The lead singer of a neovaudevillian performance troupe called the James Gang, Mr. James has assembled his universe from oddly assorted props and castoffs: a gramophone with a crank and velvet turntable, an old wooden icebox and a wardrobe rack made from brass pipes that were ballet bars in a previous incarnation.      Yes, he owns a flat-screen television, but he has modified it with a burlap frame. He uses an iPhone, but it is encased in burnished brass. Even his clothing — an unlikely fusion of current and neo-Edwardian pieces (polo shirt, gentleman’s waistcoat, paisley bow tie), not unlike those he plans to sell this summer at his own Manhattan haberdashery — is an expression of his keenly romantic worldview.      It is also the vision of steampunk, a subculture that is the aesthetic expression of a time-traveling fantasy world, one that embraces music, film, design and now fashion, all inspired by the extravagantly inventive age of dirigibles and steam locomotives, brass diving bells and jar-shaped protosubmarines. First appearing in the late 1980s and early ’90s, steampunk has picked up momentum in recent months, making a transition from what used to be mainly a literary taste to a Web-propagated way of life.       To some, “steampunk” is a catchall term, a concept in search of a visual identity. “To me, it’s essentially the intersection of technology and romance,” said Jake von Slatt, a designer in Boston and the proprietor of the Steampunk Workshop (steampunkworkshop.com), where he exhibits such curiosities as a computer furnished with a brass-frame monitor and vintage typewriter keys.      That definition is loose enough to accommodate a stew of influences, including the streamlined retro-futurism of Flash Gordon and Japanese animation with its goggle-wearing hackers, the postapocalyptic scavenger style of “Mad Max,” and vaudeville, burlesque and the structured gentility of the Victorian age. In aggregate, steampunk is a trend that is rapidly outgrowing niche status.

CRAP! they’re back

April 3, 2008

New Kids on the Block boy band
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