Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dieselpunk: A New Cookbook Part 2: Gothic Dieselpunk

“Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

On September 16, 2017, I posted a blog post titled ‘VintageGoths’ in which I wrote about a subclass of Goths who seemed to have a Dieselpunk element. In this post, I propose that VintageGoths should be considered a new flavor of Dieselpunk. I call this new flavor ‘Gothic Dieselpunk’.

Gothic Dieselpunk aesthetics tend to what some authors refer to as a ‘dark allure’. A dark allure is a preference for gothic or the macabre. I define Gothic Dieselpunk as:

“A subclass of Dark Dieselpunk that emphasizes the gothic or the macabre.”

What Digitalis writes about VintageGoths taste in movies applies just as well to Gothic Dieselpunks, “They are fans of music both Goth and otherwise, and favor dark noir films like Nosferatu, Metropolis, The Golem, and the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - and, of course, old Bela Lugosi flicks!” Some Gothic Dieselpunk movies include Young Frankenstein, Shadow of the Vampire and Blancanieves.

Gothic Dieselpunk music tends to the darker side as well. Digitalis mentions Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and The Dresden Dolls. I would add the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Wolfgang Parker, Tiger Lilies and Katzenjammer. And while their music isn’t always dark Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Squirrel Nut Zippers both made some dark music and dark videos. Note: while Cherry Poppin Daddies and Wolfgang Parker are both generally considered mainstream Dieselpunk a close examination of their lyrics will see that they tend to be very dark.

Gothic Dieselpunk is only one of the new flavors. I plan to explore another in my next post.

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