Abney Park
December 12, 2011 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Abney Park has evolved from their goth beginnings into the "quintessential" steampunk band, complete with industrial dance and world music influences. Also, they created a pen & paper role playing games Airship Pirates based upon their song Airship Pirates ..

.. to accommodate their identities that accompanied their music transition. Their Æther Shanties album has several more pirate themed songs.

Abney Park was a nonconformist village that became Abney Park Cemetery
posted by jeffburdges (14 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I thought Justin Bieber was the quintessential steampunker. And just in time for Christmas!
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:19 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wait, there is such a thing as a streampunk bank now?
Huh. Neat.
posted by charred husk at 10:56 AM on December 12, 2011

I don't know how, but somehow this is Cory Doctorow's fault.
posted by loquacious at 11:04 AM on December 12, 2011 [5 favorites]

I've had these guys recommended to me as the intersection of my interest in gothic music and traditional folk (see: shanties) but never gotten around to checking them out. Thanks for pointing me at them with links.
posted by immlass at 11:07 AM on December 12, 2011

Ahh, I'd forgotten that Cory Doctorow blogs from a balloon.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:25 AM on December 12, 2011

I'm finding it very easy to be cynical about this.
posted by blue t-shirt at 11:34 AM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

It's fun seeing these guys succeed. I actually played a show with them once, back when I was the keyboardist for Doll Factory. They were just another local band back then, part of a thriving and fantastically incestuous network of Seattle goth/industrial musicians, but they've worked hard over the years to get to this level of success. Good on them for succeeding at what is ultimately a very hard way to make a living.

I stopped by a gothic craft fair yesterday; my wife spent the day helping run a friend's booth. I felt a little like the '90s goths must have when the industrial kids showed up: it was all still recognizably goth, but the steampunk influence was everywhere. It's a whole new set of aesthetic references to mine, and the goths have clearly taken to it with enthusiasm.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:40 AM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

I discovered this band through reading Girl Genius and thinking "Damn, I wish there was a band that did crazy music about this stuff". Then one of my friends told me there was, and I had to adjust my crank arm before I blew a couple of gaskets.
posted by fearnothing at 2:31 PM on December 12, 2011

I like Abney Park-- they're friendly, their violinist is marvellous, they put on a great show and I entirely respect the niche they've carved out for themselves-- but I have to say that, for me, the melodic limitations imposed by the lead singer's limited vocal range are a bit of a downer. Of the two albums I've listened to, only one or two songs stand out in my head, and the rest all seem kind of samey.

They get so many things right as a band, I wish I liked their actual music better.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:18 PM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Agreed, I just can't actually listen to them as much as I *want* to like them.
posted by Foosnark at 6:41 PM on December 12, 2011

Once upon a time, I pointed out that Questionable Content's "Society for Creative Rock Anachronism" band was not real. I still get people complaining about that, interspersed with "But Abney Park exists!" comments.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:51 PM on December 12, 2011

I met these guys at the Maker Fair a few years ago.
The music was honestly, not all that memorable.
But they all had pretty good hats, and they told me a story about the awesome blimp that they pretend to live in.
So I am pro these guys.
posted by St. Sorryass at 8:11 PM on December 12, 2011

All you guys are coming at this form the wrong perspective : Their role playing game apparently beats D&D 4e, admittedly not a high bar. And their songs beat any D&D songs I've heard. ;)

Aren't criticisms like "vocal range" par for the course for punk? And steampunk is a subset of goth which is a subset of punk, right? I dislike most punk for musical reasons, but adore genre like symphonic metal, where every member needs classical training, or neo-folk with its perfectionism. In this case, I basically feel like Abney Park "did their homework" with respect to incorporating other musical styles, which makes them enjoyable.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:43 PM on December 13, 2011

Dammit, now they are popular and I have to find a more obscure band to like. *sigh*

Do I lose my liking obscure music cred if I still continue with my plans to acquire all of the albums they still have for sale, despite them being popular?

starts running
posted by Canageek at 9:39 AM on December 14, 2011

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