Last weekend was the first official (of hopefully many) Steampunk World's Fair in Piscataway, NJ. I will fully admit that I'd been on the fence about trying to go, as I am not much of a con-goer. I can count the cons I've been to on one hand, really. But I managed to win a contest I didn't even know I was entered in for a free comp pass (+1, even!) and when I was offered a ride down by the infamous Jake Von Slatt in the even more infamous Steampunk RV, I was sold.
And Lo, I ended up having an awesome time. Probably one of the highlights was attending the Steampunk & Social Issues Roundtable put together by Ay-Leen the Peacemaker, Jaymee Goh, and assorted friends. I've been reading Ay-Leen's blog Beyond Victoriana: A Multicultural Perspective on Steampunk and Jaymee's Silver Goggles for a while now, so it was nice to get a chance to meet them in real life. But really the best part was that the panel (and the "Beyond Victoriana" one the next day) really sparked a lot of great dialogue.
And all of this is really just a long-winded intro to what I really want to write about. Basically I sat down just now thinking "I want to make a playlist of 'Multi-Cultural Steampunk Music'." I was specifically thinking of music made by non-white artists, or from groups that had PoC's in them or...well, anything, really. And what did I find? Yeah, you guessed it: Not a single song in my iTunes library that fit the bill. Oh, I've got some music from non-white sources (My collection of A.R. Rahman tracks is actually kind of staggering), but none of it really fits in to what I think of as "Steampunk" or even anything close. Two bands did instantly come to my mind, the Harlem James Gang and Sunday Driver, but I swiftly realized I don't actually own any of their tracks.
So now I am on a mission. In much the same way some people are making an effort to find and read Authors of Color who are writing things they're interested in, I am going to bust some ass to locate and acquire music that fits that bill.
Let the research begin.