Tesla Coils to Unsettling Steampunk: The Music of Comicpalooza

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

All kinds of things are happening this weekend when the annual Comicpalooza convention rolls around, but one thing you may not know is that you can see some truly exceptional concerts there as well.

As part of our coverage leading up to the fun, here are some of the bands you will want to mark down to see appear.

Abney Park: Once just another goth band, Abney Park has launched itself to the very top of the rising steampunk movement to become a niche, but extremely popular act that puts on a hell of a show. Their song "Sleep Isabella" even made it into an episode of True Blood last season.

Art Attack:

Top 10 Things Not to Miss at Comicpalooza

Since their transformation the band has put out a steady stream of epic soundtrack music that would fit right at home in a Final Fantasy game. They're full of a lush, unsettling darkness that always entertains. They don't do things any way but big, and you won't regret catching them at Saturday's Steampunk Ball.

Oh, and just in case you question their geek credentials, they have their own tabletop RPG now.


True Blood: Steampunk and Strippers

ArcAttack: Cave Johnson said, "Science isn't about why. It's about why not" and nothing sums that up better than ArcAttack. Using a robotic drum kit, Tesla coils and a stuntman in a chainmail suit they modulate the spark output of the electrical generators to play music. It's an awesome and inspiring sight that makes for a one of a kind concert.

They've managed to make quite a name for themselves, even getting a fair amount through America's Got Talent and even appeared in the game AdventureQuest Worlds. I'm sort of surprised that they're not even bigger since, you know, they control freakin' lightning.


Top 10 Steampunk Songs

Professor Elemental: The good professor is another fine purveyor of steampunk music, but his schtick is a gentlemanly form of rap called chap-hop. He is known far and wide for his ability to bust out an eloquent flow that will wither the most ardent adventurer.

He's also got his own comic book out now. The second issue, full of dinosaurs and bagpipe goodness, should be on sale at the convention. Currently I'm digging on "Hat Full of Sunshine" from his latest album Father of Invention featuring Sadie Jemmet. It's a fresh as a daisy ode to taking it easy Victorian style with a catchy ass hook you won't forget.

Frenchy and the Punk: Their music is hard to explain, save that it calls to mind the most inventive moments of Siouxsie and the Banshees. That doesn't even scratch the surface, though. You'll hear European cabaret, punk, folk, world, pop and gypsy jazz, They're instantly engaging and very high energy in everything they do.

"Conventions are a unique environment because you can become completely immersed in the theme of the event," says Frenchy via email. "Steampunk conventions have a very specific aesthetic of Victorian meets Roaring Twenties meets Wild West meets the future. The attendees generally are in steampunk attire and it encompasses a very wide age range and is very inclusive.

"In a world that can sometimes feel a bit frigid, these conventions bring beauty and warmth back into everything from costuming to artwork and crafts," she concludes. "That is the maker's mindset, bringing the human touch back to everyday things."

Comicpalooza begins at noon Friday at the George R. Brown Convention Center. See comicpalooza.com for more information.

Here at Rocks Off we cover a wide variety of musical geekery, such as some of the best covers of the Tetris theme, or the many great tunes that were inspired by the Final Fantasy games.

Jef With One F is a recovering rock star taking it one day at a time. You can read about his adventures in The Bible Spelled Backwards or connect with him on Facebook.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.