Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Fallout Radio

Music is a big part of the Fallout games. For those unaware of Fallout, it’s a series of post-apocalyptic role-playing video games set during the 21st, 22nd and 23rd centuries. Fallout has a strong retrofuturism aesthetic with its setting and artwork influenced by the culture of 1950s United States and its Cold War paranoia of nuclear annihilation.

I’ve recently found Fallout Radio and I love it. Fallout Radio is part of the family of Old World Radio, which hosts several game themed streaming YouTube stations such as Fallout 76 Appalachian Radio, Rockabilly Radio and Vintage Radio. 

Of the Old World Radio different stations I most enjoy Fallout Radio.The music is largely swing tunes from the Diesel Era (i.e. Jazz Age) along with American Standards. As part of the fun, they include odd songs such as Radioactive Mama by Sheldon Allman along with strange and darkly humorous Cold War themed Public Service Announcements. Fallout Radio music programs are set in the Fallout universe and include Cadillac Jack's Radio Shack, The Storyteller's Old World Tunes, and Radio FNGS.

The game Fallout along with Fallout Radio raises interesting questions for genrepunks and retrofuturists. With its mix of Swing and American Standards with 1950s Cold War culture is there really a genre that we can call “atomicpunk” or “atompunk”? If so, where does dieselpunk end and atomicpunk begin? Might what we call atomicpunk simply be a variant of dieselpunk, much like decopunk?

For now, I’ll let you, dear reader, ponder those questions. I plan to return to those at a later date. In the meantime, sit back, open yourself up an ice cold bottle of Nuka-Cola, and tune into Fallout Radio.

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