The Clockwork Cabaret
The Clockwork Cabaret is a live radio variety show focusing on steampunk music, created and hosted by the Davenport sisters. The show runs two hours on Mondays from 11pm to 1am Eastern Time, and until November 29, 2011, originated from the studio of WCOM Community Radio in Carrboro, North Carolina, although it is often taken on the road. The show remains in production, streamed live over the Internet, and posted online afterward as a podcast. The Clockwork Cabaret is known for its musical selection, tongue-in-cheek radio drama, and several storytelling segments such as, "Klaude's Botched Inventions", "Emmett's Poetry Corner", and "Dear Prudence", an advice column for the steampunk challenged. The hosts also encourage audience participation in such segments as "The Adventures of the Klaude-o-tron", which has audience members sending postcards from various locations around the world from the Klaude-o-tron.
The Clockwork Cabaret originally aired on Tuesday nights running from 12am to 2am on WCOM Community Radio beginning in January 2008. In December 2008, the show moved to a new time slot, Mondays at 11pm, that the program still uses today.
After researching steampunk music and what that could be, the Davenports became interested in doing a variety show on the radio. On 29 January 2008, the first live broadcast of The Clockwork Cabaret took place. They had only 3 listeners at the time; their listeners now number in the thousands. The second episode featured the first performance on the show by Phineas P. Moneyload, who became the reader of sponsorships at the top of the hour.
The show went off the air for two weeks in May 2010, when the radio station, WCOM 103.5 FM-LP, moved to a new location. In June 2010, the show returned to the airwaves with a slightly revised format & changes in the hosts.
While many of the episodes originate from Carrboro, NC, the show often "travels" to other locales around the world. In November 2011, the last on-air segment was broadcast, although the show continues as a podcast.
Each show opens with the Kyle O'Dore composition "The Clockwork Cabaret" as the theme song, which was written specifically for the program.
Music is the main focus of the program; the show is a significant outlet for music of many genres, especially steampunk music, folk and dark cabaret. There have been several notable guests and interviews on the program - Eli August, Curtis Eller, Jay Cartwright of Lemming Malloy, Melora Creager of Rasputina, Dexter Romweber & the New Romans, Andrew Benjamin of The Hellblinki Sextet and The Slow Poisoner.
Notes and poems from members of the audience (which are frequently humorous) to the hosts are read each week, as well as, the hosts own poetry.
The show is "sponsored" by several fictitious products and companies, which are often read by Phineas P. Moneyload, Rogue Financier. original "sponsors" have included
- Madame Pomegranate’s Bustle Starch
- General Horace P. Longblatt’s Wrist Mounted Pocket Watch
- Sir Thomas Buxhull Whitworth’s Mentholated Monocle Balm
- Doctor Phinneas T Norwood’s Patented Omnitism Oil, a Healing Antiseptic Linament
- Dame Leiderham’s Underbustle Wind Muffler
- Pierre DuMont’s All Purpose Food Boiler
- Ministry of Surname Normalization
- Silas Boncomb’s Hat Cement