Pilsner Presents Some Sonic Firecrackers— It’s the July Picks!

Posted By on July 2, 2015

Some fireworks that are very old can still pack a wallop! So please stand back while I light the fuse on the July edition of Pilsner’s Picks. Included this month is a rare, late electrcal recording by John Philip Sousa’s marching band. “The March King” began recording on Edison cylinders back in the 1890’s, and most of his records were made in the very low-fi acoustical format that was the industry standard until 1925. Then, the new electrical recording method was perfected, and it opened up a whole new world of sound; for the first time, listeners could hear the treble and the bass, not just the midrange frequencies! The era of “tinny” acoustical records was over at last.

This innovation came just in time to capture the famous “Sousa sound” in all its glory— the grand old man was getting near the end of his career, and his life (he died in 1932, only a year after Thomas Edison, who had first recorded him). He sometimes used assistant conductors to make his records for him, but I have a feeling that on this session, Sousa himself was conducting the band. There’s a real feeling here of, “This is one for the ages, boys!,” as they tear into one of their leader’s most famous marches with all the stops out. You can hear how this “well-oiled machine” set a gold standard for military music performance that still exists today.

In its own, jazzy way, the Paul Whiteman orchestra of the same era was another well-oiled machine, as you’ll also hear. Bix Beiderbecke is featured on this number, and I don’t think that he needs any introduction to fans of early jazz. So, have a happy Fourth, everyone, and don’t get too… uh, well-oiled.

http://pilsnerspicks.blogspot.com/

The Chap issue 81

Posted By on July 1, 2015

The 81st edition of The Chap continues to reunite some old fellow travellers.

Vic Darkwood, co-founder of the Chap Magazine, continues his new column on etiquette with a look at how to handle the unexpected acquisition of shedloads of moolah, whether from an aunt assisted on her way by a slice of Battenberg liberally laced with arsenic, or more nefarious means.

Michael “Atters” Attree meets Johnny Dean, singer of popular beat combo Menswear, who spell their name in a way that we refuse to acknowledge, to discuss the paranormal, mod fashions, polka dots and the 4th Queen’s own Hussars.

Laszlo Krass, reporting from Berlin, visits a salon of exotic entertainment which leaves him surprisingly tired. Elsewhere, we examine in great detail the Breton Sweater; pay a long overdue visit to the marvellous Spencers Trousers; Meet the most eccentric pianists the world has ever known; learn about educating apes with Hector Gurgle-Smith, headmaster of the Phileas Fogg School for Amateur Baloonists; find out more about Orson Welles than we thought we already knew; and see how fabulously the gutter criminals of 1930s Sydney dressed, compared to today’s shower of miscreants.

All this, plus the usual regulars the Butler, the Lip Weasel and Am I Chap?

Purchase the latest edition or subscribe from here

Rest in Three-Piece

Posted By on June 26, 2015

Patrick Macnee, the actor who played John Steed in The Avengers, has died at his California home aged 93.

For The Chap, Steed has always epitomised the ideal to which all Chaps should aspire. Both a man of action and a louche bon vivant, he managed effortlessly to combine living the high life with solving impossible riddles set by capricious villains. Steed’s dress code was pure Savile Row gent: he was never seen in shirtsleeves, even when engaged in fisticuffs, and always wore a three-piece tailored lounge suit, coloured bowler, and always carried a whangee-handled umbrella.

His unique, though rooted in tradition, style is said to have been influenced by Bunny Roger, the greatest dandy of the 1950s, who in turn epitomised the short-lived fashion among the gentry known as The New Edwardians, which eventually declined into its more streetwise brother fashion, the Teddy Boys.

Steed’s style involved lots of velvet collars on jackets often tailored well below the prescribed hip length, and often in bold colours such as blue and green. His matching bowlers were pure New Edwardian and so were his highly polished cuban heeled Chelsea boots. Dressed to kill, John Steed cut an elegant swathe through 1960s England, acquiring an unexpectedly cool hero status in a world supposedly leaving stuffy Savile Row fashions behind.

Patrick Macnee as John Steed kept the flame burning for timeless elegance and wry panache, providing inspiration, both sartorial and behavioural, to chaps throughout the ages.

Partrick Macnee 6 February 1922–25 June 2015. Rest in Three-Piece.

The Chap Olympics

Posted By on June 22, 2015

The eleventh Chap Olympics will be held in Bedford Square Gardens on Saturday 11th July 2015.

This annual celebration of sporting buffoonery rewards those athletes who have put all their efforts into sartorial preparation, plus the cultivation of fine moustaches, yet have done no physical training whatsoever. In fact, anyone turning up to the event in proper sportswear or displaying any signs of physical fitness will be immediately turned away.

The far more important gentlemanly skills are turned into not-very-competitive sports. Tea Pursuit tests one’s mettle while holding a cup and saucer on a moving bicycle; Aunt Avoidance tests one’s mettle against marauding maiden aunts, The Corby Trouser Press Challenge sets one chap’s trousers against another’s, The Human Champagne Tower turns chaps and chapettes into conduits for flowing fizz, and Not Playing Tennis proves that we British are always on better form when asked to do something rather badly or not at all.

Tickets for the 2015 Chap Olympiad are available from www.ticketporte.com

For further information visit www.thechapolympiad.com

Live Event – Jazz Age on the Delaware – August 1st

Posted By on June 20, 2015

Jazz Age on the Delaware

It’s official. I’m on the event board for The Glen Foerd House in Philadelphia, which means I now have access to a Gatsby mansion. Mission accomplished!

My first event at the mansion will be on August 1st, and it’ll be a ragtime Roaring Twenties blowout called “Jazz Age on the Delaware.” We’re welcoming everyone with an interest in the 1920s to attend, with a special nod to the dieselpunks and steampunks in the crowd. There will be live music, cars & bikes from the 1920s – 1930s, professional dancers, food & cocktails, lawn games, vendors, photo stations, and pie… yes pie! Proceeds from the event are going towards restoring the Glen Foerd House so it can remain open to the public.

Even more exciting; this is in conjunction with my new company, Jazz Age Style, so you can use the promo code JAZZAGESTYLE15 for discount tickets. Jazz Age Style is the new marketing arm of Dieselpunks. In other words, it’s a way for me to raise money for our community without pushing Dieselpunks into commercial territory.

Dandy Wellington
Our host, New York City’s Dandy Wellington

Event if you can’t make it, please spread the word.  The more live events we can have, the stronger our group can be.

If you’d like to learn more or purchase tickets, check out www.jazzageonthedelaware.com

For the future,

-Tome

Bus Windows that Open From the Bottom

Posted By on June 19, 2015

Rob Zombie to direct biopic about Groucho Marx

Posted By on June 18, 2015

Rob Zombie is ready to expand beyond the horror genre. Zombie and Miranda Bailey have acquired the rights to Steve Stoliar’s memoir Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House. Love & Mercy co-writer Oren Moverman will write the screenplay and Zombie is attached to direct. Cold Iron Pictures’ Miranda Bailey and Amanda Marshall are producing along with Zombie and Andy Gould.

Groucho Marx

The book tells the bizarre story of the last years in the life of Groucho Marx, told by a young Marx Brothers fan who spent those years as his personal secretary and archivist. In addition to getting to know his hero, the author found himself in the orbit of Groucho’s brothers Zeppo and Gummo, Mae West, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, S.J. Perelman, Steve Allen, and scores of other luminaries of stage, screen, TV and literature. The downside of this dream-come-true was getting close to his idol as the curtain was coming down, and dealing with Erin Fleming – the mercurial woman in charge of Groucho’s personal and professional life.

There have been proposed projects about the life of Groucho and his Marx Brothers, the most recent from Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the Big Eyes scribes who were going to direct a Marx Brothers movie but just could not get the budget down. This is a different way to tell the story and the choice of director is certainly unexpected.

Read the whole story at: Deadline

Make your own Shadow Radio

Posted By on June 16, 2015

Several years ago I ran across a Majestic Charlie McCarthy Radio at an antique store. It was a midget radio with a plastic, or more likely bakelite moulded image of Charlie. They also did models featuring the Lone Ranger and Rudolph. Today each of those radios could bring up to $500- $1,000 at auction, maybe more depending on condition.

Recently I was thinking it’s a shame The Shadow never got his own radio, so I decided to see if I could make one out of paper. Personally I think it came out pretty well.

 I’ve provided a link to the PDF and YouTube instructions so you can make your own. Each paper radio is designed to work with your smartphone and includes a cradle along with a QR code to give you quick access to an online library of Shadow episodes.

The PDF – http://www.dieselpunkindustries.com/pdf/the_shadow_radio.pdf

The Instructions – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07bV1fQ1FrY

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy.
Scott

The Chap issue 81

Posted By on June 12, 2015

The 81st edition of The Chap continues to reunite some old fellow travellers.

Vic Darkwood, co-founder of the Chap Magazine, continues his new column on etiquette with a look at how to handle the unexpected acquisition of shedloads of moolah, whether from an aunt assisted on her way by a slice of Battenberg liberally laced with arsenic, or more nefarious means.

Michael “Atters” Attree meets Johnny Dean, singer of popular beat combo Menswear, who spell their name in a way that we refuse to acknowledge, to discuss the paranormal, mod fashions, polka dots and the 4th Queen’s own Hussars.

Laszlo Krass, reporting from Berlin, visits a salon of exotic entertainment which leaves him surprisingly tired. Elsewhere, we examine in great detail the Breton Sweater; pay a long overdue visit to the marvellous Spencers Trousers; Meet the most eccentric pianists the world has ever known; learn about educating apes with Hector Gurgle-Smith, headmaster of the Phileas Fogg School for Amateur Baloonists; find out more about Orson Welles than we thought we already knew; and see how fabulously the gutter criminals of 1930s Sydney dressed, compared to today’s shower of miscreants.

All this, plus the usual regulars the Butler, the Lip Weasel and Am I Chap?

Purchase the latest edition or subscribe from here

Best of Spanish Steampunk

Posted By on June 11, 2015

BESTSPSTP_grandeMonths ago, I was sent a copy of Best of Spanish Steampunk, an anthology edited by Marian Womack. There’s really nothing more awesome than waking up to find twelve hundred pages of steampunk sitting in your inbox.

It took me a long time to read, but that’s sort of the beauty of a broad-ranging anthology like this. Do you just have time for a few-page dose of steampunk on the bus? Try “Saturn’s Children” by Sergio Lifante: Short, spooky, and inspired by a Barcelona crime spree from the early 20th century. In it for the long haul? The collection closes with two novellas: I particularly recommend “Black Eagles” by Eduard Vaquerizo, which paints a detailed picture of a reimagined Spanish empire.

The sections are divided by typical steampunk tropes and themes – politics, robots, time travel, etc. – and collection is at its best where it takes those and mixes them up with Spanish settings and histories. “Shot to the Gut” by Jesús Cañadas which retells an anarchist revolt in Andalusia, is a particularly good alt history telling of a bit of Spanish history that I wouldn’t have known, but now want to read about. “Biochronography Of The Lateral Jump: Aub’s Theorem” by Guillermo Zapata also earns serious points in the use-of-Spanish-history category for featuring Salvador Dalí and other historical figures in a time-hopping murder mystery.

It’s not surprising that such a massive collection has some weak spots, but it’s a bit interesting to look at what they are: The stories that left me feeling meh were the ones that took an “add steam-tech and stir” approach, dropping in a factory or automata or dirigible, slapping London in the backdrop, and leaving it at that. For a genre that delights in its tropes (and oh, do I delight in a good automata,) it was a reminder that they can’t stand on their own without solid characters, conflicts, and, yeah, maybe traveling a bit away from London. (Though maybe not too far – there were a few good stories that left the real world behind altogether and opted for building new steampunk worlds for their settings, but the strongest pieces in the anthology were without fail rooted at least a bit in history.)

Back Issues Now in Reduced Bundles

Posted By on June 4, 2015

After months of meetings, involving employees of the Chap Magazine sitting in poorly-lit rooms with the blinds down, existing on nothing more than plumes of Latakia from their briars and cups of teeth-searingly strong Assam tea, a decision was taken regarding the sale of back issues of this venerable organ.

“It’s too blasted complicated,” was the unanimous cry, as dottle flew everywhere and tea was splashed on bow ties. “None of the poor blighters know which blessed issue to buy, since they’re all so bloody marvellous.”

“Quite so,” piped up another group at the other end of the table, whose ashtray was getting dangerously full. “It’d be so much ruddy simpler if one could simply purchase all the back issues from the year of one’s choosing….”

“I should blinking well coco,” rejoined one lone wolf sitting near the window, trying to gasp a lungful of fresh air. “And if we threw in a free issue among a bundle of five, giving them five issues for the price of six, then everyone’s a winner.”

Gentlemen, ladies – this is precisely what we have done. You may now purchase, as well as the last six recent editions, a bundle of six issues from any year in The Chap’s 15-year history, for the price of only five, all at the flat rate of only £15.00 plus postage. The windows of our offices, thank goodness, may now finally be opened. Click on one of the links below according to your preference.

» Back Issue Bundles
» Recent back issues

Industrial-Strength Pilsner’s Picks Is Back!

Posted By on June 2, 2015

Now listen up, all you Red-Hot Mamas and Finger-Poppin’ Daddies, old Pils is back with a full stack of twelve sizzlin’ platters, after that short playlist and short run last month due to some internet hoo-hah that’s better off forgotten. The Virtual Victrola is all wound up and has a brand-new tungsten needle, so get ready to croon into June!

http://pilsnerspicks.blogspot.com/