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Steam Powered Giraffe

September 16, 2013

Since I spent last week complaining about how steampunk art can go so wrong, it seems only fair this week I should point out a group that gets it totally right.

Steam Powered Giraffe calls itself a band, but it’s really a mix of music, comedy, and storytelling. Not to mention that each of their three front performers goes through the entire set while miming “the robot.” That’s right, mimes who sing. The band plays as three robots who were built in 1896 to be musicians. Each robot gets an extensive backstory that the band adds to all the time. There’s even a webcomic.

This band has a remarkable range. Not only has it built up a fantastic story about three robots who cope with the horrors of the twentieth century through music, but they can play rock, rap, and pop. They’re not trying very hard to be steampunk. They’re trying to be entertaining, and if the show happens to have an 1890’s vibe, then fine.

This is something that us folks in the steampunk community ought to remember. It’s not supposed to be about corsets and gears, it’s supposed to be about breaking out of the mold of medieval Europe to tell the best damn fantasy story you can.

Check out the awesomeness:


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