Maurice Chevalier said, "Thank Heaven for little girls," & Veronique Chevalier says, "Thank Hell for La Moi!"
She's a twisted Edith Piaf from an alternate reality; Parodist; Creatrix of Gothic Polka,
& Inventrix of Steampunk Haiku, aka "Steamku."

Monday, December 13, 2010

* "The Steampunk Chronicle" Reviews "A Sepiachord Passport"

Travels With the Sepiachord Passport
by DoctorQ

For those who are unfamiliar, I must take a moment to tell you all of the wonderful folks of Sepiachord. Cpt. Jordan Bodewell (aka Jordan Block) and his crew of fellow musicians on this collection scour the length and breadth of the ether and broadcast the strange and wonderful findings to all who visit their port of call,

As an arranger of musical oddities myself, I must say that this place is a regular travel destination for me, and so when they produced the Sepiachord Companion anthology last year, I grabbed it and was delighted. Thus, I have eagerly awaited this year’s audio collection – A Sepiachord Passport – and I am happy to say it did not disappoint. 

Some artists on the collection I was well familiar with. Others only from Cpt. Bodewell’s website, making this compilation one of the few ways I knew to acquire such new and unique sounds. So while the album is billed a passport, my only real criticism is that it still felt decidedly like the travels were simply around America, with the occasional jaunt to the U.K. for a few tracks. Though after opening the cover, I have to say I was very impressed with the interior design and look of the CD as a whole. Very clever, and with that I was ready to disembark.

It opens with “Roll Up” by the Tiger Lilies, which is notable as the band is rarely ever on compilations. Walter Sickert and His Army of Broken Toys’ addition of “Off With Her Head!” informs the ear of the quirky, enjoyable, and sometimes spooky songs to come. Bakelite 78’s slow tempo “Aurora Ave Motel” was a quick visit from this band I’ve heard so much about, and it simply made me wish for a more extended stay. Next, Bat Country’s “Knockin’ On My Coffin” picked up the pace and was easily among my favorite selections on the compilation. “Thief Song” by Miss Mammie Lavona The Exotic Mulatta and her White Boy Band was one part torch song, one part humorous toe-tapping delight.

As the travels continue, Nathaniel Johnstone and the Brazilian Surf Mafia take us along the “Scarlet Carpet Interstate, Part One.” I should note that Nathaniel’s musical work is often heard on Abney Park; so having his solo band featured on this compilation was a treat. I own this whole album, and I regret to say I have still not heard Part Two to this piece. Next, Huxley Vertical Cabaret Nouveau’s “Early Chill” is an enjoyable, but still down-tempo, vaudevillian affair.

Now, I must pause to relate that hearing “If I Told You Once” was a real treat. Circus Contraption is among one of my favorite bands, and so this compilation’s release gives us one of the last releases from the band, and did not disappoint. Following it, we have Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band’s “Kibosh On Your Scene,” which is one of my favorite tracks from the band’s debut release and I was pleased to see it featured here. I should note, in passing, that many of the bands on this passport require two stamps to spell.

The next two tracks give us two female vocal artists, Veronique Chevalier’s “The Dance Master” and The Clockwork Dolls’ “The Ballad of Black Jack Jezebel” were excellent additions to round out the midway point on this twenty track trip. Turning the ship back home, the somber sounds of the Blackbird Orchestra’s “Hollowland,” broken up briefly by the American debut of the famed U.K. steampunk band The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing’s “Charlie” (another favorite of mine, and am happy to see on this compilation), and then returning to the dark sounds of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s “Rotten Zurich Cafe.” Nicki Jane’s vocals make it a song that really resonates for those who love the dark cabaret sounds Projekt Records are so famed for. 

Jaunting back across the pond for another American debut, Professor Elemental gave us “Sweet Cold Consolation,” a track if you needed just one reason to add this CD to your collection – the Professor is it. And following it is Sxip Shirey’s “Mehenatta,” a song so toe-tappingly eclectic I think its instrumental oddity will be floating in my head for days… in a good way. The infectious beat continues with The Peculiar Pretzelmen’s “Hammer Nails” track… there’s something about woodwinds and banjo that I just can’t get enough of.

We slow down to the end of our trip with the final two tracks. “Lilacs from Canada” by Rhubarb Whiskey and “The Last Waltz” by The Magnificent Seven match the pace back to the album’s earlier slower rhythms, with the “Waltz” track being among the best of the slower songs on the compilation. Closing out the journey is Toy Box Trio with their usual ephemeral toy piano tones to bring this strange voyage to a close. 

Overall, this compilation was a solid addition to Cpt. Bodewell’s prior release, and I can easily recommend it to any who love the music so well embraced by the vaudevillian, neo-burlesque, and steampunk communities.

Were I to have a bit of input on it, I would only comment as to the high amount of slower songs over high energy pieces. While great music, it just seemed the energy of the album as a whole was more down than up. I also would have advised about song placement – I feel that “Hollowland” flowing into “Rotten Zurich Cafe” and “Charlie” preceding “Sweet Cold Consolation” would have a better aural progression than as it was. But, outside those details, Passport is easily a CD I would recommend to anyone that shares the musical malady for fresh, innovative sounds using old musical parts. All in all, Kudos to Cpt. Bodewell and the staff of Sepiachord.  

Doctor Q is the Media Editor for Steampunk Chronicle. He fancies himself an acoustic arranger of music and founder of the Artifice Club

Saturday, December 11, 2010

* Repost from "Trial By Steam": Please Help Keep Online

Help Keep Online

In an outpouring of generosity from the Steampunk community, a number of musicians who have been touched by Mr. Bodewell’s outstanding talent and generous spirit have offered up their music as a means to support him. This is a real win-win for everyone. You can get some great new music for yourself or for friends. The musicians can support Jordan through the medium they know best, and perhaps gain a few new fans along the way. And it all goes to support an incredibly giving member of our little community.

Below are all the offers I’ve been made of aware of to date to help Mr. Bodewell through his trying times.

Veronique Chevalier

Horrific music is NOT just for HELLoween any more!  Add “Polka Haunt Us: A Spook-tacular Compilation” to your playlist for the HORRORdaze! Give the CD to yourself, or to the top ‘fiends’ on your “chopping” list! Regularly $13, but until Dec. 31st, Only $10, including shipping! 20% ($2) per CD will be donated to, in your name (or a name of your choice) (All tracks also available on iTunes, but discount & donation offer applies only to the CD)

Learn more about “Polka Haunt Us here”: http://PolkaHaunt.Us/

Put SEPIACHORD in the subject line to get the discount, & donation in your name, by emailing: PolkaHauntUs AT gmail DOT com

Eli August

I am having a sale on my website from now until Sunday I will donate half of the sales of all music and merchandise directly to Jordan at Sepiachord. In the spirit of the season, help him keep this much needed resource alive.

You can also buy either (or both!) of the Sepiachord compilations to support Sepiachord. Both collections have received positive reviews here at Trial By Steam. Click on the covers to head to the respective websites to purchase these great musical collections.

If you are a musician who has set up an offer to help Jordan and you are not listed above, please get in contact through me through Facebook as soon as possible and tell me about the offer you have going on. I’ll be updating this post regularly as I learn about more bands reaching out to help.

And, if you have all these albums and don’t particularly want to buy more, please consider making a straight, financial gift to Sepiachord. Visit their website and click the Help Support button to make your gift.

Let’s stand together and keep Sepiachord alive!

Friday, December 10, 2010

* Veronique's Page on

Dear 'fiends' & fan(g)s - Please feel free to dress up my musician page on with videos, photos and other ephemera! With great eSTEAM, Mad Veronique

* Veronique's WikiPedia Page (& Related Community Page On Facebook)

Here is the Wikipedia page:

And the community page for my Wiki entry on facebook!

The wonderful photo on both pages of moi is by Michael Pao of Mad Calamity. It was taken at The First Temporal Adventurers Society Gala Steampunk after party at Queen Bee's Art Center, during San Diego Comic Con, July 24th, 2010.

* Mad Veronique Confirmed To Perform At Nova Albion 2011!

Save the date: March 25, 26, & 27, 2011. Join Mad Veronique and a cast(e) of characters to remember at Nova Albion. The theme? The Wild Wild East!

* "Overbury Ink" Reviews "A Sepiachord Passport"

"Steampunk as a musical genre has as many variations as it does in film and literary styles. Vaudeville, cabaret, waltz are common as well as brass and acoustic instruments – but this is hardly a definition of the style. Often the lyrics take on a macabre, darkly humorous or grim storyline – to the swell of an accordion or waltz tempo.

Singer/comedian Veronique Chevalier tackles the issue of white slavery with “The Dance Master”'

Read more here:

Nancy Overbury

* "The Big Takeover" Reviews "A Sepiachord Passport"

"Things take a darker turn on the same smoky stage with Circus Contraption‘s “If I Told You Once,” as a Gene Austin-style crooner liltingly tells the tale of a Bluebeard-esque serial killer who blames his victims’ unfortunate fates on not knowing any better than to get involved with him. Singer/comedian Veronique Chevalier weaves a similar story on “The Dance Master,” adding white slavery and other unsavory activities to the mix, while the Magnificent Seven cuts out the middleman and goes straight to the grave with “The Last Waltz.”'

Read the entire thing here:

* "Zombo's Closet Of Horror" Interviews Veronique!

Veronique's Halloween 2010 interview on "Zombo's Closet Of Horrors"! Learn more than vous ever wanted to about Mad V's spooktacular odd-itory adventures and childhood influences. Plus, find out who she deems to be the most terrifying woman on the planet!


* The Two "V's" - Voltaire & Veronique - Captured On Film By Mad Calamity Photo

Here is a fine example of the Madcap MADemoiselle Veronique & Monsieur Voltaire in action at The First Temporal Adventurers League Gala Ball, at Queen Bee's Art Center. It was the Official after party for the Steampunks who attended San Diego Comic Convention, on July 24th, 2010. A good time was had by ALL!!!

* Trial By Steam Reviews of "A Sepiachord Passport" Recording!

Yet another lovely review of "A Sepiachord Passport", with a kind mention of my track "The Dance Master". Merci to Ms. A. E. Flint for her review. Read on...

Audelia Flint

* "Internet Date" Video Screened At The Seattle International Cabaret Festival!

Miss Oblivious has to graciously invited Mad V to screen her latest vidiocy- "Internet Date". Many other exciting goings-on that night as well, Hosted by Jackie HELL!

* Geek Girls Rule Review of "A Sepiachord Passport" Recording!

"The tag line for the Sepiachord site is “Music for a Past that Never was.” Many of the songs on this compilation (and the other Sepiachord CD) have strong vaudevillian and cabaret influences. Jangly pianos and accordions feature strongly, as does the occasional theremin. Everything on this CD is more than listenable, but there are a few standouts.

“The Dance Master” by Veronique Chevalier is hands down the best song on this CD. It tells the story of an evil Dance Master who seduces girls into a life of prostitution. She has a throaty voice, with a French accent. The first time I heard the song, I texted Mr. Bodewell immediately to tell him how incredible I thought it was..."

Read the entire review here:

* Steampunk Canada Review of "A Sepiachord Passport" Recording!

"The whole collection left a good taste in my mouth – like absinthe flavoured cotton candy..." with songs by the likes of Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys and The Tiger Lillies and Veronique Chevalier and Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band and many many more!

* "A Sepiachord Passport" Compilation Released By Projekt Records!

Forget the tricks this year, and just go for a treat: "A Sepiachord Passport" compilation recording. Dark Cabaret at its finest! 20 tracks & 20 artistes (including La Moi on Track # 10!) for only less than $10!

Featuring cover art by Jamie B. Wolcott!

Order it NOW from the Projekt Records website:

* "Vampire Surprise" Played on "Out Of The Coffin" Podcast!

Huzzah! Monsieur Dan Shaurette, creator of the "Out Of The Coffin" podcast, has chosen Mad Veronique's "Vampire Surprise" as the closing musical number for his latest episode. Please do drop in and give it a listen! >:-)


* Letter of Support To Veronique & From Dr. Grymm Laboratories!

What a great honour (as well as rare artifact- Dated "Dec. 1, 1889") that Dr. Grymm has paid moi in this, a letter written to thank moi for performing at his Steampunk Bizarre- "The Experiment" in 2010.

^ CLICK ^ on the image to see a full size view of the letter