Celebrating All Things Dieselpunk

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Japan and World War II Atrocities

I’ve always found the differences between how the governments of Germany and Japan have portrayed their own actions during World War II interesting. Germany has come clean with what they did while Japan often seems to be in denial.

Here’s a very interesting article about the reactions of the survivors of Japanese POW camps to the upcoming address by the Japanese Prime Minister Minister Shinzo Abe to the US Congress.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


“Dieselpunk” In the News
The official Popular Science web site posted and article on April 3, 2015 titled “Google Takes Over Airship Hangars In California: Dieselpunk ruins to cyber-realities.”

Postmodern Jukebox Music
Back on March 10, 2015, Postmodern Jukebox released a wonderful version of Gangsta’s Paradise with Robyn Adele Anderson once again singing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Elinor Otto: The Last Rosie the Riveter

Elinor Otto, now 96 years old, was in her late twenties in 1942 when she answered the call to work in the factories during World War II. She was still working the line until last year when she finally retired.

Here’s a brief video interview with Ms. Otto.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

End Times Spasm Band: Baudelaire

End Times Spasm Band is a fantastic band headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to their official web site,
The End Times Spasm Band is a hot swing ensemble led by Lyndsy Rae and Bart Helms.

We think of our music as urban Americana. Jazz as the soundtrack of the Americans who fled farmland for the cosmopolitan cities. The music of the rivers that carried people into the 20th century.

They’re newest EP is Baudelaire and I’ve been honored with having an opportunity to hear an advance release.

As the title suggests, the EP has a French theme to it. While it’s a small EP, in that there are only six tracks, each track is a gem. The title track Baudelaire, is bouncy and fun. Longtime fans will recognize it as classic End Times Spasm. However, they switch gears with the next track, The Figure of the Dance. It’s slow and Bluesy. When they get to the third track, Little Bird, they return to their energetic pace. However, it still has a more subtle feel to it than was common on their previous EPs. The fourth song is the French classic, La Vie en Rose. Being that this song was originally released by the legendary Édith Piaf back in 1945, this might be the most dieselpunk song on the EP. The fifth song, Archæologies, is wonderfully upbeat and fun. If this this one doesn’t get your feet tapping then you must be dead. Number six, Some of These Days, is another fun and upbeat song in the classic End Times Spasm Band style.

I’m sure that you can tell that I thoroughly enjoy this new EP. With Baudelaire, the End Times Spasm Band has reached a new high.

Their new EP will be released April 11, 2015. Check out their official web site.

Want to see them live? I've seen them in concert and I highly recommend it. Following are a listing of their upcoming concerts:
4/11/15 – The Brass Rail w
5/9/15 – CS3
6/6/15 – The Phoenix

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leonard Nimoy and Dieselpunk

With the recent passing of Leonard Nimoy, I’m reminded of the two great dieselpunk episodes of the Star Trek: The Original Series.

Therefore, rather than write a bunch of stuff, I’m going to simply let productions speak for themselves.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Great Gatsby Nintendo Game

This is the second in a series of blog posts about contemporary creations based on the novel The Great Gatsby.

While researching my first blog entry in this series I came across something I had never thought to look for. I found a video game based on the novel The Great Gatsby.

In this Nintendo game, you play Nick Carraway searching for the mysterious Jay Gatsby. In your search, you move though Gatsby’s mansion and the obstacles of West Egg.

If you’re into classic Nintendo then you might enjoy this diversion.

You can play The Great Gatsby Nintendo game free online here!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Great Gatsby (1974)

This is the first in a series of blog posts about contemporary creations based on the novel The Great Gatsby.

The year was 1974. Disco was new. Richard Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal. Patty Hearst was kidnapped. “All in the Family” was the most popular television show in America.

And The Great Gatsby premiered at the movies.

All of my readers should know the storyline of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel by now. Nick Carraway arrives in New York from the Midwest hoping to make it big selling bonds as the stock market is sky rocketing. After moving into the upper class neighborhood of West Egg he meets up with his cousin Daisy Buchanan, her husband Tom (an old friend of Nick from Yale) and Jordan Baker. Then one day Nick receives an invitation to attend a grand party hosted by his neighbor, the mysterious Jay Gatsby. Nick learns from Jordan that Gatsby had known Daisy years before and that he wanted Nick’s help in reuniting the two them. Events quickly begin to spiral out of control leading the deadly consequences.

The 1974 film had an all-star cast with Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan, Bruce Dern as Tom Buchanan and Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway. Jack Clayton directed and David Merrick was the producer. The legendary Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay.
Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby
Vincent Canby's of The New York Times back in 1974 wrote in his review of the movie, "The sets and costumes and most of the performances are exceptionally good, but the movie itself is as lifeless as a body that's been too long at the bottom of a swimming pool."

In my view, Canby was being overly generous. I found the sets and most of the costumes to be horrible. Gatsby mansion was bland and the costumes at times looked more 1970s than 1920s. One might not enjoy Luhrmann’s Gatsby but at least the fashion was more accurate than Ralph Lauren’s attempt in the 1974 movie. I have no idea how the movie won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

I give the director Jack Clayton credit. It takes a unique talent to suck the life out of great an actor like Robert Redford but he succeeded. The acting was stilted and the camera angles were bizarre with strange editing. The cinematography was the same bad quality found in so many of the movies in the 60s and 70s. In addition, who in the name of all of the Gods of the Cinema thought that Bruce Dern was a good fit for Tom Buchanan? Dern was an abysmal choice for that role.
Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan
Oh, there were a few bright spots in the movie. The portrayal of Gatsby’s grand parties was spot on. The costumes of the partiers, especially the women, as opposed to the main cast, were quite accurate (maybe that was why it won an Oscar). Same for the dancing, which looked like it was straight from some of the candid films made of flappers during the 1920s. Moreover, Redford, unlike DiCaprio, was able to make the phrase ‘old sport’ seem natural although he fails to say it often enough in the movie.

The movie poster read, “Gone is the Romance that was So Divine.” That statement is a perfect description of the 1974 version of Gatsby.

Thankfully, you don’t have to spend your hard-earned money to watch this movie. If you really want to torture yourself, you can always watch it online at You Tube.