3. Dieselpunk as a Subculture
A person defined as a dieselpunk draws inspiration and entertainment from knowledge of the diesel era to achieve independence from contemporary aesthetics by blending the literature, music, artwork, fashion, grooming styles, modes of personal transportation, philosophy and technology of the diesel era with postmodern, contemporary sensibilities.
Part of dieselpunk’s postmodern nature is evident by the important role of the internet in not only its development but in the ongoing life of the dieselpunk community.
There are several dieselpunk online communities, Dieselpunks and The Gatehouse’s Smoking Lounge, which includes a dieselpunk forum titled Café Metropole. In addition, there is a Russian dieselpunk community at Live Journal.com.
Dieselpunk Web Sites
On October 17, 2013, the website DFW Dieselpunk After Dark went online. Its stated goal was to cover adult oriented Dieselpunk events in the Dallas – Fort Worth – Denton, Texas region of the United States. On January 6, 2013, the web site dropped “DFW” from its name and became Dieselpunks After Dark. According to the website, the reason for the name change was expand the agenda to include an international audience. Dieselpunks After Dark currently states at its site that it “is an online source for vintage erotica, Dieselpunk erotica and Dieselpunk related Adult entertainment around the world.”
Note: Dieselpunks After Dark is NSFW and that it is intended for mature audiences only.
The web site “Dieselpunk Industries” hosts a large collection of classic public domain movies and adventure serials that the visitor can be view online. Tome Wilson of Dieselpunks.org describes the web site as “TCM for the dieselpunk crowd.”
There are several dieselpunk blogs simply titled Dieselpunk. One is maintained blog by Lord K and another one by Larry Amyett. Another dieselpunk blog is Vintage Future: Dieselpunk, which describes itself as “Retro-futuristic resources from the golden era” and is maintained by Arthur Samuel Rowan.
The first dieselpunk podcast was the Spanish language Radio MetronomiK, which went online on August 1, 2011. At the beginning, Radio MetronomiK was hosted by Negr O Inmunsapa and Jacques Lovesteel (from Spain). In July of 2012, Von Marmalade replaced Jacques Lovesteel as co-host with Negr O Inmunsapa.
The Diesel Powered Podcast is an English language dieselpunk podcast originating from the United States. Its first broadcast was on March 12, 2012. Johnny Dellarocca, Larry Amyett, and Ava Dahl currently host the podcast. In addition, in 2013 the podcast added John Wofford and Dixie Hellcat as production staff.
Dieselpunk Online Magazines
The Gatehouse Gazette was an online magazine that published regularly between July 2008 and November 2011 though it has had special editions issued since. It covered both dieselpunk and steampunk. The Gatehouse Gazette played an important role in the development of Dieselpunk with the article “Discovering Dieselpunk” by Nick Ottens and Mr. Piecraft that was published in its first issue.
El Investigador is a Spanish language steampunk and dieselpunk online magazine. It was first published on March 1, 2011. El Investigador has published several issues in English.
Dieselpunk Radio Programs
Peppermint Candy is a radio program broadcasted on the Jazz FM radio network. Though the program doesn’t use the term ‘dieselpunk’ in its title, according to the Jazz FM web site, “Peppermint Candy is a contemporary take on the swing genre, guiding listeners through the story of swing from the classic (think Ella, Billie and Duke), to contemporary outfits such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and The Correspondents. Accompanying all this will be the latest news from gigs, festivals and events across the country, interspersed with unusual swing lingo and the day-to-day trends that swing has influenced from games, dance, food and fashion.”
Amber and Nisha who make up the DJ duo The Broken Hearts host Peppermint Candy. On December 9, 2013 an interview with The Broken Hearts was posted on the forum Dieselpunks.
The Broken Hearts
Online Radio Stations
Electro Swing Revolution Radio is an online radio station that broadcasts electro-swing music commercial free. It won “Best Electro Swing Radio Show In 2012” at the Electro-Swing Awards.
Real World Dieselpunk Organizations
Though Dieselpunk is heavily internet oriented, there are several dieselpunk organizations active in the real world across the globe. North Texas Dieselpunks (USA), Dieselpunks SA (Australia), Dieselpunk Brazil, Dieselpunk Argentina, Dieselpunk Italian Manifesto and Middle TN Dieselpunks (USA) all hold regular meetings and events.
Dieselpunk-Related Web Sites
While there are many web sites dedicated to the history of the diesel era, there are a few sites dedicated to topics that tie directly into dieselpunk. One such website of note is RetroTimes Production, which is an independent film production company dedicated to creating documentaries about “retro living, retro design, and retro style.” A few sites are springing up that have a retro pulp feel as well, including Captain Spectre and The Lightning Legion, which is an online comic written and drawn in the classic serial pulp fiction style of the diesel era, and Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, an interactive “choose your own adventure”-style pulp serial. Another online comic, Strange Aeons, is labeled “a dieselpunk retro-pulp thrillventure” by its authors.
- Nat and Gwen fly by night to the tower of Mad Doctor Rognvald. From The Toaster With Two Brains by Bradley W. Schenck, 2010
International Dieselpunk Day
In March of 2012, Dieselpunk organizations around the world agreed to establish November 12, 2012 as the International Dieselpunk Day. November 12th was set because the traditional start of the Diesel Era has been considered the end of WWI, which ended on November 11th of 1918.
The organizers stated goal is to coordinate with Dieselpunks around the world to host parties, movie viewings, as well as other events to promote Dieselpunk.
On January 11 2014, the North Texas Dieselpunks hosted the world’s first “dieselpunk event”. It was located at the Manske Library in Farmers Branch, Texas. Titled the North Texas Vintage Life Expo it was a free event. There was music along with tables by artist and group whose emphasis was combining the 20s, 30s, and 40s with modern living. Bands included The Singapore Slingers (Big Band orchestra based in Dallas, Texas) and the Three Quarters Fast Jazz Band (New Orleans-Style Jazz Group performing Traditional Jazz tunes of the early 20th century, often referred to as Dixieland, along with some Swing Tunes from the Big Band Era.)