Top 10 Steampunk Songs

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It's a big week for steampunk enthusiasts.

First of all, today is the 287th birthday of Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, the man who built the first self-propelled, steam-powered vehicle. He invented his three-wheeled fardier à vapeur in 1769, and went on to build progressively more complex and better models of steam-powered horseless carriages. The birth of the steam punk world received and even bigger boost near a hundred years later, when the first airship with a steam engine traveled from Paris to Trappes on September 24, 1852.

I know that a large portion of our readers feel that the steampunk movement, which re-imagines the modern with the elegance and inventiveness of the industrial revolution, is a tried, played-out phenomenon, but you didn't grow up thinking that Final Fantasy VI was loads better a religion than the Bible. The brass, the clockwork, and the dapper approach all serve to make something very timeless, and still very specific.

It's certainly made its mark on the world of music, for instance. Here are the top 10 ten steampunk songs or music videos.

10. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On": I like Nicki more as a peripheral than a feature artist, but you can't help but dig her clockwork rendition of Frankenstein. It falls just short of true steampunk, but is definitely one of the closest mainstream examples out there.


9. Professor Elemental and Mr. B, the Gentleman Rhymer Sir Reginald PikeDevant, Esq., "Just Glue Some Gears on it and Call it Steampunk": Now, I imagine that I'll get some flack in the comments over including Nicki Minaj in this list at all, since those who like to define what is steampunk and what is not are touchier than people who define what is and is not regular punk. Allow me to offer this comedic peace offering. After all, I could've put Justin Bieber there and I didn't.

Update: Due to an erroneous entry in the author's iPod this song was mistakenly credited to Professor Elemental and Mr. B, the Gentleman Rhymer initially. Thanks to reader Abelundercity for correcting the error, and apologies to Sir Reginald.


8. Ghostfire, "The Last Steampunk Waltz": This isn't the most original music video in the world, but for some reason the execution of it makes you feel that Ghostfire is actually what bar bands in a steampunk world would sound like. Good dress sense, a tight attention to the waltz form, and a sort of drunken brilliance turn a basic performance vid into a bald look at a completely fictional music scene.



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31 comments
skycadmusic
skycadmusic

i just came across this article, should check out Marquis of Vaudeville from Dallas, Texas

rhianonjameson
rhianonjameson

@aevalle_galicia You have to admit the guy was thinking outside the box. Waaayyyy outside the box. Mainly he threw away the box.

shawn3k
shawn3k

@hpjefwithonef @chrisalender @thebenlovett I think you should flip 1 and 2 personally.

penance66
penance66

No Unextraordinary Gentlemen? Must be because they don't hot glue any gears to themselves. 

mavendumordant
mavendumordant

In order to 'count' as Steampunk - it had to have been made intentionally steampunk - not made 30 yrs ago and just look like that now!  It's the same as saying Jules Vernes was steampunk - he wasn't - it's Science Fiction (aka, future prediction). Steampunk is an alternative past - Victorian by virtue of the STEAM element - but putting in punk aesthetics (like what if they had computers run by steam power?)!

 

As such - this article was SERIOUSLY off base.  While I don't agree with the pecking order, this article at least was either written by someone who KNOWS Steampunk or took the time to research it properly:  http://xerposa.com/top-10-steampunk-bands

 

bibulb
bibulb

I was wondering when Abney Park was going to show. (That said, I got really tired, really fast (like, within one listen of "Cup of Brown Joy", of Professor Elemental. I am old and a fuddy-duddy.) 

alaininvoid
alaininvoid

Jef with one f should be fired from Houston press. His articles are entirely misinformed. This is just the latest blunder in what he thinks is journalism. Get a clue and do some damn research.

tampasteampunk
tampasteampunk

Florida-based "The Cog is Dead" ranks up there with Abney Park, IMO.

Todd Spoth
Todd Spoth

Im surprised a live video of Rush didnt make the cut.

darwinprophet
darwinprophet

Greetingsm glad to see SPG among your favorites, don't forget the rest of us in the Steampunk Neo-Victorian world, there is the Marquis of Vaudeville, Unwoman, Thomas Dolby,Beats Antique, Frenchy and the Punk and my own Darwin Prophet & The Chronus Mirror. We are here and heard, hope you will continue to find our lot entertaining.

Cary Baker
Cary Baker

No Thomas Dolby? Golden Age of the Wireless?

mavendumordant
mavendumordant

Someone who is NOT TRULY into the Steampunk scene obviously wrote this list. 

 

Too bad Steam Powered Giraffe just announced yesterday that The Jon is leaving the band!!!!

 

traciemarkley
traciemarkley

@CaptianRobert Congrats! Hug the girls for me...that includes Kristina!

JonnyBGoode
JonnyBGoode

While he was no doubt inspired by Professor Elemental and Mr. B, Sir Reginald PikeDevant, Esq., should be given credit where credit is due for "Just Glue Some Gears On It." Bad form.

KaruilDryke
KaruilDryke

@CaptianRobert mind telling those of us sans FB what one it was?

abelundercity
abelundercity

At Number 9: That's Sir Reginald Pikedevant, who is neither Professor Elemental, nor Mister B.

aevalle_galicia
aevalle_galicia

@rhianonjameson I'm not sure he knew that there was a box. ;D

axiomshift
axiomshift

@mavendumordant well maven, it is about alternative technology made in a alternative past, in a time in which space travel was clearly shown to be more viable in a different way. also the thing is, steampunk IS sci-fi, just one where steam is predominant and generally portrayed as victorian style culture.

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

 @alaininvoid Over the course of 1500 articles, everyone makes a mistake or two. 

darwinprophet
darwinprophet

 @mavendumordant  How sad to hear about the Jon, first he lost his wig at the zoo...they just played here in Dallas for the Sky Commodore Ball, I know the brothers will continue, but I am glad to know I saw the original line up.

 

sis.nomad
sis.nomad

 @thekatherder I absolutely agree. Especially with their latest album release, which is absolutely GOLD! They blow Nicki Minaj out of the water in terms of real Steampunk music with TRUE roots to Steampunk. 

bibulb
bibulb

 @JefWithOneF  @Cary Baker Between Golden Age of Wireless and Map of the Floating City, I'd really toss him right in there. (Plus, I like hearing a funk-influenced interpretation of the genre as a different viewpoint.)

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