Seems that a few of the local steampunks of LA are planning a trip to the Edison on April 30th, Friday night. So if you're looking for a night out with your fellow brothers and sisters in steam come on down and hoist a few drinks! Hope to see you there!
What started out as a gray slightly chilly day with a scattering of raindrops in the begining became a wonderful step back into time. On April 11th on the eastside of Heritage Square was a festival that every history buff should have attended. More than 70 historical societies from the Historical Society of Southern California to the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation was gathered to show off their knowledge of the past. Demonstrations and activities included blacksmithing from Adam's Forge, period dancing and audience participation by the Yesteryears Dancers, a costumed presentation recalling moments in the history of the Centinela Valley by the Historical Society of Centinela Valley, Pink's Hot Dog with no line wait, and a tour of the Hale House at Heritage Square. Six steampunks were in attendance at this event wondering about, chatting, snapping pictures throughout the day, and generally having a good time. Definitely a place to go to in Los Angeles to lose one's self in the past and return with some dandy photos.
The theme for April's Chrononaut was Tango de Vapourpunque, 'A Latin take on steampunk as if the Spanish Empire had developed a high alternate technology.' The good captain and I embarked on a rather long journey to our beloved second home of San Diego, prepped with our outfits for the Elective Surgery shots that the highly skilled photographer Jerry Abuan graciously volunteered to take for the Repo! shadowcast of San Diego.
Finally arriving and setting up the Obscure Discovery booth it was easy to see the crowd was in a festive tango mood. Soon there was a brief but compelling demonstration of the tango dance. Afterward the performers were kind enough to give anyone who wanted a chance for a lesson. At one point our dear captain while dressed in in SWAT gear as a GENcop was found under one of the tables taking pictures in which Ingrid lamented that he looked to be in the middle of a battlefield.
As the dance lesson came to an end Jerry began taking the cast photos for Elective Surgery. They can be found on his zenfolio page here. The night then came to an end, as usual we had a delightful time and was happy to have spent the evening in the land of the Tango de Vapourpunque!
The Manticore Society was on hand for the League of S.T.E.A.M.’s latest installment of A Night with the Obscure, though Captain Wong Wei was delayed in his arrival, so I scouted ahead to give my account. This was my second time at this establishment.
This evening was hosted at one of Hollywood’s well-known alternative lifestyle night spots, Bar Sinister. It is a goth themed dance club/bar which caters to Hollywood’s darker desires, promoting their place as 'A Hollywood dark decadence for AlternAttiVe PleaZures catering to the Artistic, CreatiVe & Futuristic Industrial Tendencies of a TurTured Soul in a Hollywood Mecca'.
As you walked in, the open air entrance was decorated with some of the League’s invention blue prints alongside the comfortable ottomans and smoking patrons. The lovely Miss Sheyne along side with Mr. Glenn, were at the corner booth at the end of the corridor commanding the merchandise booth welcoming the club goers, steampunk and otherwise to the League of S.T.E.A.M.’s Evening with the Obscure. I first spotted J.R. and Crackitus Potts mingling with some in attendance, always a pleasure to talk to! They wondered where my usual partner in crime was, I informed them of his tardiness.
This event was not as intimate as the last held at Rene’s Courtyard Café. The venue was bigger but very crowded and loud. No matter, I pressed on despite my unfondness for these types of clubs.
As I walked into the sage and bar area, there were already a mass of people huddled around the candle lit pit and crowded around the bar. The stage was roped off by chain of garlic and crosses in preparation for the vampire belly dancers of Twisted Gypsy. A screen was set up off to the side and was used to showcase the League of S.T.E.A.M.’s recorded adventures.
A few steps down into the second bar and dance area was becoming more crowded as people filed in, and there was my first sighting of the R.O.S.E. and what I think were a few ghostly apparitions that toyed with our senses. Zombie Zed shuffled about the crowd unleashed for most of the night, very frightening! Most of us veterans warned the newcomers to get out of the way should his collar’s timer sound off.
I re-entered the corner where the merchandise booth and found a fellow member, Liam, with a drawing he made of our beloved Zed if he were the Disney character Pluto. We met up with some new Manticore Society members and chatted, still waiting for the Captain. As midnight approached, most of us went back into the stage area for the premier of a new video, this of the League of S.T.E.A.M.’s very first ad in a silent film style. I was amused by the whole production, which featured Crackitus, J.R., and Professor Jager in pancake make-up.
Some time in the night, the heavily guarded members of the League brought out the vampire troupe of Twisted Gypsy, wrapped in chains for our protection. These ladies were very lovely and mesmerizing, so much so we were advised NOT to look into their eyes for fear of being entranced and fall victim to their thirst! I had a great view point for their second performance, as the ladies donned in various vestments, tattoos, and body paint barred their fangs as they move throughout the crowd. Despite the League’s best efforts, Crackitus was more than once put into a vampiric trance by one of these fanged vixens and was nearly bitten. Had it not been for his comrades swift actions, surly it would have been the end of a member of the League. The R.O.S.E. stood beside me as the ladies where dancing, doing her duties assisting the League in zombie control. A cute moment occurred as one of the League members standing guard saw R.O.S.E. with Zed’s chain in hand. She raised the chain in one hand and gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to the guard with the other.
While Liam and I spoke to a couple in the crowd our not so punctual friend, Captain Wong Wei FINALLY showed up with camera in hand and looking his festive self with his three feather donned flight cap. It was astounding and amusing to see people I’ve met in the past come up to me and tell me that they did not recognize me until the good Captain stood next to me! After the performances some demonstrations of different devices from the League were shown off. A lot of new friends were made through the like interest and love of steampunk that night. I hope new members of the Manticore Society are reading this review.
Some local celebrity sightings took place at this wondrous event. A delightful meeting with a very 'spirited' Professor CJ whom performs as the mustached limo driver in the Los Angeles Repo! The Genetic Opera shadowcast ATTacK took place. He came up to the Captain and I commenting on how all the limo drivers where here at one place. Captain Wong Wei plays the limo driver and a couple of other parts in the San Diego Repo! shadowcast Elective Surgery.
Captain Wong Wei also came across the fantastique Veronique Chevalier, a wonderful burlesque performer. I highly suggest you check out her talent and attend her next performance in May!
A lot of our friends were feeling too crowded downstairs so they made their way upstairs to the 'Love Loft' where some rather interesting 'services' were being administered. I was not daring enough to step up there but the adventurous captain mingled upstairs with a few other Manticore Society members.
I am very glad to have made it to another League of S.T.E.A.M. evening and I know the Captain was, too! He took some terrific photos which you should look though on his website. To those unable to attend the evenings festivities I do hope that this may have sparked some interest and that we could see more new faces!