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Music / Abney Park

Abney Park comes from an era that never was, but one that we wish had been.

"We tried to make a buck, but we could barely stay aloft
Tried swinging a deal, but we pissed the wrong guys off
With a clockwork guitar, and a flintlock bass
We're blasting the past all over the place—
And now there's nothing left but Post-Apocalypse Punk!"

Abney Park is a Seattle-based steampunk band that mixes elements of industrial dance, and world music influences in their work. The band has a steampunk theme that they incorporate in their instruments, music, outfits, and even their own studio, which is actually pretty awesome. Really, is there more that needs to be said?

Current band members:

  • "Captain" Robert Brown - vocals, darbuka, diatonic button accordion, harmonica, bouzouki, bağlama, ukulele
  • Kristina Erickson - keyboards, vocals
  • Josh Goering - guitar, banjolele
  • Derek Brown - bass
  • Mitchell Drury - violin

Albums:

  • Abney Park (1998)
  • Return to the Fire (1999)
  • Cemetery Number 1 (2000)
  • From Dreams or Angels (2001)
  • Twisted & Broken: Abney Park Remixed (This album is available from the band as part of a special package)
  • Taxidermy (2005)
  • The Death of Tragedy (2005)
  • Lost Horizons (2008)
  • Aether Shanties (2009)
  • The End of Days (2010)
  • Off the Grid (2011)
  • Ancient World (2012)
  • Through Your Eyes on Christmas Eve (2012)
  • The Circus at the End of the World (2013)
  • Nomad (2014)

The band also produces an award-winning Role-Playing Game called Airship Pirates, and has published a Tie-In Novel of stories set in their backstory universe entitled "The Wrath of Fate."

They provide examples of:

  • All Myths Are True: "All the Myths Are True," predictably.
  • Anachronism Stew: Comes with the Steam Punk aesthetic. Lampshaded in Rag Time Punk:
    We bolted brass and we kicked some ass
    Wrote some songs by the lamplight's gas
    Soon our history we did defile
    And made a past that couldn't be
  • After the End: The End of Days.
  • Bildungsroman: "The Clockyard."
  • The Captain: Captain Robert.
  • Concept Album:
    • Lost Horizons follows the crew of the HMS Ophelia (an airship) as they travel around the world during a Victorian era that never was — mad scientists, exploring mysterious lands, airship pirates, strange science, and the joy and heartbreak of traveling abound.
    • An RPG based on the post-apocalyptic airship pirate theme has been released in two versions, one using the Heresy System as seen in Victoriana and the other using an original system called the One-Dice System.
    • The End of Days follows the crew (and mankind in general) as they pick up the pieces after accidentally causing the apocalypse at the end of Lost Horizons.
  • Cool Airship: Linked in with the band's fictional Back Story is the time travelling airship HMS Ophelia. Just to re-iterate that: Their airship travels through time.
  • Clockwork Creature: "Herr Drosselmeyer's Doll" from Lost Horizons, a clockwork sex doll. Really.
    • Also the protagonist of "The Clockyard," who is building himself up from scrap.
  • Cool Sidecar: "To the Apocalypse in Daddy's Sidecar," based on something Captain Robert's daughter said.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Promotional photos of Capt. Robert show him smoking a pipe.
  • Downer Ending: Airship Pirates. Unless you believe that they took the people onto their crew.
  • The Game of the Book: "Airship Pirates," the RPG.
  • Hollywood Atheist: The song "I've Been Wrong Before:" Tells the listener that acting this way makes you a bigger fool than everyone else as not only are you close minded but you don't believe in anything.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: From "Throw Them Overboard:"
    "To survive this cultural urology, you have to study Alcohology."
  • Intercourse with You: From before their steampunk days: "Love," a song unashamedly about rough sex.
  • Kayfabe Music: Sort of. While the band does perform in their airship pirate personas, it's the novels and RPG that establishes the characters more than the band itself.
  • Mad Science: "The Secret Life of Doctor Calgori" from Lost Horizons.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: "The Emperor's Wives" has a particularly unusual example.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Mostly Nathaniel and his mandolin, though Robert would probably get more if he weren't married.
  • Nostalgic Music Box: "The Secret Life of Doctor Calgori" begins with one, underscored and eventually taken over by the sounds of steam and clockwork.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: In the novel, Dr. Calgori is very insistent that they can't meet up with his past self to repair the Ophelia.
  • Of Corsets Sexy
  • Pirate Girl: The HMS Ophelia's crew of drunken pirates includes Kristina Erickson and Jody Ellen. On a pirate ship retrofitted into a steampunk time-travelling dirigible. Yes.
  • Religion Rant Song: One of the ways (the most obvious way) to interpret "Virus" is as a Type 2.
    • "I've Been Wrong Before" plays with this. The singer says that he doesn't really believe in religion or anything similar. However he then goes on to say that if you don't keep an open mind about things you're much worse than the people that do believe.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their first album, which seems to have been lost to the world. They also have a song called "Abney Park" on another album (which is about the cemetery.)
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In the novel, Captain Robert and the rest try to do this, but because of the Butterfly of Doom, it didn't turn out so well.
  • Shout-Out: From "Victorian Vigilante:"
    Each night as I go walking underneath the lamplight.
    I bring my baritsu and I'm ready for a fight.
  • Sky Pirate:
    • The group logo is a goggle wearing skull, and crossed cutlass and propeller; figure it out. Also the basis of much of their music, especially "Airship Pirates," "Under the Radar," "Post-Apocalypse Punk," and "Aether Shanty." Though by the lyrics, they're not nearly as good at pirating as they'd like.
    • The hidden track on Lost Horizons ("The Ballad of Captain Robert") splits it squarely between the lifestyle being rough, and them being pretty hopeless.
    • They even named their RPG "Airship Pirates."
  • Space Western: "Space Cowboy."
  • Steampunk: Obviously.
  • Sword Cane: The person the vigilante in "Victorian Vigilante" kills has one of these.
  • Take That: The song "Jealousy" from the album Ancient World is certainly this, and the song "Waiting for You," could also be considered one... Possibly at the fans.
  • Tie-In Novel: The band has written a novel of stories, set in the Abney Park backstory universe.
  • Villain Song: "Evil Man." "Beautiful Decline" is one for the Big Bad of the novel and RPG as well.

And probably every other steampunk trope.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Music/AbneyPark