¨¨¨°º the adventures of choklit chanteuse º°¨¨¨


Goodbye, Chat Noir

When I started blogging, I promised myself I wouldn't write about my cats. This blog is just too new for me to be posting the cat already.

But sometimes one has to break one's own rules, and this is such an occasion. Late last night I had to put down Carolina, my kitty companion of 15 years.

This poster always reminded me of her - she had the exact same elegantly rumpled black fur and haughty amber-eyed stare.

She was a very good kitty and I'm going to miss her tremendously. Although there will be more room and less claws in the bed tonight, I'm going to be a wreck, and probably will be for a few nights still to come. Here she is, clearly making evil plans for household domination, in 1994.

Skyeboy made a beautiful little pine coffin for her, and sometime this week we'll have a burial.

Fittingly, the band is playing at a bar called the Black Cat this weekend - and so I'm considering it a wake for Carolina.

Farewell, sweet furry friend.


Things That Please Me: Goggles

Okay, I'll admit that goggles as an accessory are probably already passé, especially now that the steampunk movement is bursting into the mainstream media and probably shortly becoming a parody of itself. An absolute survival necessity at Burning Man, but something of a trifle in the default world, unless one is going swimming or flying or welding - but I simply don't care. Something about wearing goggles makes me feel like I'm about to embark on some grand adventure. And I've been watching with keen interest as others with my same sensibility have started modding basic goggles to be ever cooler and more funky.

So I was beside myself when I discovered BoilerGoth's creations. She offers a range of goggles for the urban adventurer, and her workmanship is incredible. And when I found her Gypsy Steampunk pair, I couldn't resist. The leather, the brass, the perfect blending of two aesthetics I love... behold:

And as if the goggles weren't enough, BoilerGoth has made me a pair of matching Skirt Lifters as well. And don't I need them! As she says, "Long skirts getting in the way during your adventure, here's your answer." Of course!

I can't wait to wear them with the Neo-Victorian safari costume I'm currently working on.

And although the Steampunk Gypsy pair clearly won my heart, there are a few other goggle-makers out there doing some very interesting work, like First Engineer Kimric Smythe of the Neverwas Haul - everyone's favorite Victorian House art car - you can see his goggles in the Neverwas Haul Explorers Supply Depot.

And last year, I bought a beautifully made monocle for Skyeboy from a shop in the UK, Professor Maelstromme's Steam Laboratory, and he absolutely loves it. It even came with interchangeable lens accessories, like a cross-hair and various colored lenses. You can see more of Professor Maelstromme's work on Flickr.

Fellow intrepid explorers, how can you resist such elegance and utilitarian beauty... have a look!


Musical Redemption

Last night we had the pleasure of seeing two amazing bands live. First, The Gomorran Social Aid and Pleasure Club came in hollerin' and stompin' with brass instruments blazing, wearing matching fancified business suits with silk-screened pictures of guns and rockets on the pant cuffs and silk hankies and fringe sewn on the sleeves, and proceeded to give a show that felt more like a tent revival than a concert. Despite the small-ish crowd, the Gomorrans showered us with a glorious blend of New Orleans jazz, banjo-pickin' roots, and klezmer-ish improvisation that was nothing short of miraculous to witness. I'm always a huge fan of unabashed theatricality, and the Gomorrans did not disappoint. This sublime picture of them was taken by the talented and charming Michael Garlington.

No less exciting was Or, The Whale, a seven-member outfit that absolutely shook the venue. The swelling harmonies and pedal steel made me shiver with delight. And they had not one, but two tambourines! This portrait of the band was also taken by our lovely Garlington. You should absolutely look up his work if you've never seen it, you can find him on Flickr as well.

Garlington is, in fact, the very same photographer who is planning to do a photo shoot with Baby Seal Club next weekend, much to our delight. I'm working feverishly on the costuming now...

I learn so much with every band I see playing out - rapport and charisma is more than half the battle, and both of these bands had it in spades. You can tell when a band really loves to play together, and really loves the music they play, and that's when the magic happens.


A Glorious Show

Our very own Baby Seal Club had a crowd-shakingly great show last weekend at the new pub in town - one of the best shows we've had in ages.

The enthusiastic crowd was an absolute gift - we had them screaming and sweating by song three, and we loved it. Amazing to be once again reminded of the symbiotic relationship between performers and crowd. So much love to everyone who came out - we can't wait for the next one.



Stache and Skyeboy are working on a new project - they've formed a small bike-modification collective called Krank-Boom-Clank, and they're building a "kinetic conveyance of whimsy" called the Hennepin Crawler ~ a four-seater pedal-powered vehicle that they can ride around the Playa in. They've been busily scavenging and welding away, writing grants and other such exciting things.

But I really wanted to write about it as an excuse to post this brilliant picture: Krank-Boom-Clank, In a Field.

Aren't they unbearably dashing? After Burning Man, they're helping put together an event called The Great West End & Railroad Square Handcar Regatta & Exposition of Mechanical & Artistic Wonders. Do visit their web site, it's written in the most delightfully florid manner. I must confess to a little crush on the site's proprietor, Dr. Erasmus P. Kitty.

It's shaping up to be an amazing steampunk-esque extravaganza, with local favorites the Spindles and my beloved Amber Lee playing music. Stache even got an inquiry about event participation from the esteemed Flaming Lotus Girls... could be some fire art in the works?

More details as the event gets closer. Gracious me, I had better start dreaming up a costume now...


The Joy of Moo

I'm beside myself with excitement... my new Moo cards arrived today!

Whee! So cute and little. Why do we love the Moos so much?? I'll be handing these pups out like candy.

And what's even better, Stache gave me a tiny felt Moo wallet with six Moo-sized pockets to keep them in, made by fellow Etsyian Claire of Stitch and Shoot. Thanks for being so darn thoughtful, Claire! Who knew the world needed Moo wallets?


Quietly Opening...

Things have been a little quiet here on the blog because I've been scurrying about getting ready to start listing items in my Etsy shop. At long last! It's still slow going, but I'm hoping to list a few items each week for the next couple weeks.

I've also been in heavy rehearsals with the band as we have a run of shows coming up.

Busy, busy, as always... but do keep an eye on the shop, more beautiful things will be unveiled shortly.