Thursday, September 26, 2013

More Fans Monday: And One and Icon of Coil

First, let's address the elephant in the room: this is a week late. Blame terrible glitches on this website; we're considering going for our own domain eventually.

Now, for this "More Fans Monday," straight from my personal favorites playlist, And One.

And One is a German Futurepop and EBM band founded by Steve Naghavi and Chris Ruiz in '89. I stumbled upon them in the delirium-filled hours between late night and early morning a couple of years ago and I've been mildly obsessed ever since.

Okay, I've been totally obsessed.

Not only are their songs completely catchy, but they fit in nicely with both the Futurepop and Minimalist Techno subcultures - both of which are amazing and addictive. And One's music is simplistic in the very best way. The best Futurepop comes from Germany (where we all know this type of music is pretty much religion), and as the inventors, they understand that it's best when kept simple and traditional with real talent involved - no laptops.

The song here is one of my all-time favorite And One songs. I listen to it when I work, when I am sleeping, and when I am doing anything creative.

The Great Commandment comes from their album, Bodypop 1½ (2009) and is a cover of the original song by Camouflage - another amazing German band I have a "mild" obsession with. I suppose they get the credit for the original score but, in my humble opinion, And One does it greater justice.

Another instance is Marilyn Manson's cover of "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics. Whoever looked at those depressing lyrics and decided, "Hey, this would make a great, happy and upbeat pop song," really needed to lay off the coke. And let's face it, it was the 80s. There probably was coke involved.

If you want to catch them live and you live in Germany, you're in luck! Here are their tour dates. Yes, you read that right; that is 2013!

Saturday, 5 October 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+02

Saturday, 19 October 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+02

Sunday, 27 October 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+01

Saturday, 9 November 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+01

Saturday, 16 November 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+01

Saturday, 30 November 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+01

Saturday, 7 December 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+01

Friday, 13 December 2013 at 19:00 in UTC+01

AND ONE - ABSCHIEDSTOUR 2013 (Set B) - Berlin
 Friday, 13 December 2013


Next, also from my personal favorites, Icon of Coil.
Icon of Coil is a Norwegian Futurepop and EBM band as well. However, you can see a drastic difference in styles. Where the Germans turn it into a simplistic pop-techno beat with a bit of an 80s feel, Icon of Coil takes it to the other end of the spectrum and goes full-on cyberpunk.
They first started in '97 with Andy LaPlegua alone, joined by former Sector 9 bandmate Sebastian Komor only when he was needed for live performances.

Kind of like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, a man who also does it all solo when not performing live.

Eventually - after their first single came out - Komor became a permanent fixture, and the two were later joined by Christian Lund in 2000, filling out the last spot in this group. 

The song featured here, Access and Amplify, gives a nice, deep look into the type of Futurepop/EBM they put out there - mostly upbeat industrial cyberpunk with familiar rave beats and synth. It the first song of theirs that I've heard when I discovered them in 2010. At first, I didn't like them very much, but the disorienting early hour of the morning and the fact that they'd been playing in the background for two straight hours kind of made them grow on me. Since then, I've heard them at multiple raves all across the Southeastern US.
Icon of Coil Discography

Icon of Coil is also currently on tour in North America. Below are the tour dates. Don't miss them if you have the chance!

Jun 09 Mexico City, MX @ Madera Club 
 Sep 06 Washington DC @ Spellbound
Sep 07 Philadelphia, PA @ I Love Industrial
Sep 08 New York, NY @ Cybertron

Sep 09 Ann Arbor, MI @ Necto
Sep 10 Columbus, OH @ Skully's
Sep 11 Milwaukee, WI @ Club Anything
Sep 12 Minneapolis, MN @ Ground Zero
Sep 14 Denver, CO @ Deathwish
Sep 15 Salt Lake City, UT @ Area 51

Sep 16 Boise, ID
Sep 17 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
Sep 18 Portland, OR @ The Fez Ballroom
Sep 19 San Francisco, CA @ The DNA Lounge
Sep 20 Special Event TBA
Sep 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Das Bunker
Sep 22 Phoenix AZ
Sep 24 Austin, TX @ Elysium

Sep 26 Chicago, IL @ Reggie's
Sep 27 Indianapolis, IN
Sep 28 Pittsburgh, PA
Sep 30 The Gothic Cruise (with VNV Nation, Aesthetic Perfection & :SITD:)

Random Video Thursday: Ylvis - The Fox [Official music video HD]

We've brought "Random Video Thursday"back from the old site! Happy Thursday from Ninja Fish!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Album Review: Hey Hey Cabaret (2012)

Frenchy and the Punk. If your head is filled with cogs and your heart is filled with steam, you'll know this amazing steampunk duo. They were nominated for "Best Band in 2012" for the SteamCon Airship Awards, "Best Band in 2013" for Steampunk Chronicle's Reader's Choice Awards, and made the "Top 25 Duos in the US" by Yahoo! Music Blog. The list of their accomplishments go on and on.
For those of you who don't know, Frenchy and the Punk is comprised of Samantha Stephenson (Frenchy; vocals, percussion, kazoo, and piano) and Scott Helland (The Punk; guitar, drums, vocals, bass, and "live looping" - and he looks pretty familiar to me for some reason). The duo was founded in 2005 and can be found in New York (when they're not touring or performing). They're labeled as "folk punk cabaret," but they're so much more than that. What I've found from listening to "Hey Hey Cabaret" is that the two flawlessly incorporate many sub-genres of steampunk into their music, creating a myriad of flavors for the listeners.
Track Listing
  1. Hey Hey Cabaret
  2. Silent Movie
  3. Steampunk Pixie
  4. Confession of Jack Bonnie and Sally Clyde
  5. The Circus Parade
  6. Birthday Fanfare
  7. Le Chat Noir
  8. Tie You Up
  9. I'm Free
  10. Lunar Frenzy
  11. Make It Happen
Obviously, we can't discuss every track in great detail (no matter how much I want to), so, as is custom, we'll pick a few. For this review, we'll take a look at the headline track, "Hey Hey Cabaret," as well as "Confession of Jack Bonnie and Sally Clyde," "The Circus Parade," and "Le Chat Noir."

"Hey Hey Cabaret" is an upbeat number that inspires exuberant dancing wherever it is played. It's rated as the most popular song on the album, accounting for a majority of the downloads. Fans and newcomers alike will appreciate this punchy, frenzied track. Aside from this being the headlining track, it was an excellent choice for an opening song for the album. It quickly draws the listener in for a fun ride.
"Confession of Jack Bonnie and Sally Clyde" is my second favorite track on the album. I was surprised to see that it didn't have many downloads from This song features a solo verse from the Punk that is pretty amazing. He seems to really get into character with it and portrays the emotion of the moment exactly as you'd expect. It's clear from this track that they are no amateurs.
"The Circus Parade" is my personal favorite. This mostly instrumental song is the epitome of neogypsy (occasionally annexed into neobedouin) steampunk, my favorite form; it breathes life into this passionate and often overlooked subclass. When performed live, Frenchy and the Punk encourage you to become a dancing circus. At once, you're sucked into a world of vibrant color and attempted belly dancing. It's a lot of fun whether you're hearing it live or simply sitting in your car. 

"Le Chat Noir" is the song all of us try to sing and end up failing miserably. As the title implies, this song is performed in French, in smooth tones and light acoustic guitar. It is the sirens' song of the steampunk world, luring your airship to dangerous landscapes of immense beauty. This song is the second most popular download for the album, and rightfully so.

When all is said and done, Frenchy and the Punk are undeniably a pillar of the steampunk community, and will be for many years to come. If you haven't seen them perform yet, you're in luck! Fall tour dates have been announced! Whether by headphone, speaker, or live event, Frenchy and the Punk will show you what steampunk is all about!

Ninja Fish thinks this is great music to... drive cross-country with.
Album Rating: ½
Band Rating: ★ ★

All images borrowed courtesy of Google images. All videos are credit to the YouTube account on which they are featured, and all performances are credited to Frenchy and the Punk and E. A. Recordings.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crüxshadows Interview (Dragon Con 2013)

If you haven't seen this yet, you really should! It's no secret that this THE favorite band of Ninja Fish!
(In fact, this has been my favorite band since I was 7 years old, and I'm now 21! - Geneve Rogan-Hawk, Founder, Head Journalist/Photographer)