Author Archives: paulms

About paulms

My name is Paul Shapera, a musician working under the name Mocha Lab. I make albums, theater shows, videos, dance pieces, commercials and move around a lot.

A Peek At The Queen’s Vagabond Performance Of The Dolls of New Albion

Queen's Vagabond present The Dolls of New Albion

Playing all this weekend is of course the Queen’s Vagabond performance of Dolls, which i hope is going wonderfully. There a video trailer and some pics to check out so why don’t we do that? Hopefully they will have a smidgen of actual performance video they’ll send along for me to put up after this is all done (just a song or so would be lovely).

Here is the trailer for the performance:

There’s also a lovely review by Muse Magazine here

There’s still a few shows left and at one point there were tarot readings available, which is a quite brilliant idea.

So once again, good luck to the cast and crew, spank spank spank, people!

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Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Uncategorized


Queen’s Vagabond present The Dolls of New Albion, Live Performance, March 19-22, Kingston Canada

Queen's Vagabond present The Dolls of New Albion

Oh! Well shiver me wires and dials. There’s a performance of Dolls next weekend!

Queen’s Vagabond present The Dolls of New Albion
The Rotunda Theatre, Theological Hall
March 19-22
Tickets $15

Here is the link to their Facebook page which you should TOTALLY check out. They’d got scads of videos featuring both production staff and cast members. I’m REALLY hoping i can get some video footage of the performance. (Really. Hoping. Hint hint.)

Looking good. I wish i could attend, but alas, thousands of miles away + newborn baby = not even remotely possible. But looking good.  I will keep ya’ll updated as i get updated. But for any members of the cast and team who may read this: OMG I FREAKING LOVE YOU AND YOU GO AND YOU FUCKING ROCK THIS SHIT. SPANK THAT SHOW.


Posted by on March 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


Professor Elemental

professor elemental

Yes i know, we’ve moved a way away from steampunky things, but none the less we’re going to feature a very steampunky musician, Professor Elemental.

The reason is this: I quite enjoy listening to him. I never featured him back when i was featuring steampunky things, and yet, of all those things, he is what i still listen to. I actually love the guy. His songs are really funny, but they’re also really, really clever and have utterly stellar lyrics.

As those who know me on Facebook can contest, i freakin’ LOVE tea. I mean i LIVE on the stuff. I don’t drink coffee. It’s not that i don’t that i don’t like coffee, but it gets in the way of a cup of tea and i’d way rather have the cup of tea. I ran out of tea a little bit ago AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO FUCK WITH ME OR BE AROUND ME WHEN THE TEA RUNS DRY. SERIOUSLY. THEY INVENTED THE WORD SKULLFUCK BECAUSE O F WHAT I DO WHEN THERE’S NO TEA. Why do i mention this? Because Professor Elemental understands. I actually got immense pleasure out of watching this while waiting for reinforcements to arrive. (I can’t just pop round to the shop and grab some more. I live in a REALLY friggin’ remote place in a country with no proper tea except in one city 3 hours away. And that ONE tea shop couldn’t deliver for two weeks because… because it’s the Balkans.

Right, so THIS:

You see how i love this beyond words.

But wait, he IS always that clever. As we can witness here:

Yay! I mean come on, how can you not enjoy this? All right, one more:

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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


From The Story Of O To 50 Shades Of Grey

One of the best things that can come out of the entire 50 Shades of Grey hooplah is a lively and frank discussion of sexual and emotional abuse, what constitutes it and how to stop it.

This is however not the discussion we’re going to get into today. Nor are we going to discuss the finer points of BDSM (bondage, discipline, sado-masochism) as i am utterly unqualified. I applaud everyone’s consensual sexual  adventures but personally, i’m not into the whole pain thing. I want my pleasure to be pleasurable. Although i have gone to Indian restaurants and when asked how spicy i want my meal have told them to go ahead and hurt me, so, you know, i can maybe sort of understand.

This post obviously has lots of triggers. These are 5 pretty friggin’ kinky and potentially fucked up books, depending where you fit on the sensitivity scale.

What i’m interested in discussing today is the literary lineage. With a certain regularity, every few decades, an erotic BDSM book pops up, sells inSANEly, and is a huge cultural deal. Plenty of erotic fiction is published in between, but the thing of which i speak smashes into pop cultural. EVERYone knows about it and discusses it at some point. Like 50 Shades of Grey. Say what you will about it (like it sucks) you HAVE discussed it. Everyone around you has too. It is the latest in a line of blockbuster erotic fiction where a (mostly but not always) woman  goes through all sorts of fucked up, kinky, submissive, sexy time weirdness.

1. Justine or The Misfortunes of Virtue by the Marquis de Sade

Justine Marquis de Sade

This is an early novel and is paired with a later work Juliette, or Vice Amply Rewarded. Justine and Juliette are sisters. Justine is virtuous Juliette is… not.

Ah the Marquis de Sade. What can be said about him that hasn’t? The trail of BDSM blockbusters begins with him and might as well end with him because the shit in his books is so fucked up no one has topped it yet.

Justine was written in 1791. The plot concerns Justine, a 12-year-old maiden (“As for Justine, aged as we have remarked, twelve”) who sets off, to make her way in France. Juliette and Justine lived in a nunnery, where the Abbess of the nunnery corrupted Juliette (and attempted to corrupt Justine too). However, Justine was sweet and virtuous. When the Abbess found out about Bertole’s death she threw both girls out. Juliette’s story is told in another book, and Justine continues on in pursuit of virtue, beginning from becoming a maid in the house of the Usurer Harpin, which is where her troubles begin anew. It follows her until age 26, in her quest for virtue. She is presented with sexual lessons, hidden under a virtuous mask. The unfortunate situations include: the time when she seeks refuge and confession in a monastery, but is forced to become a sex-slave to the monks, who subject her to countless orgies, rapes, and similar rigours. When helping a gentleman who is robbed in a field, he takes her back to his chateau with promises of a post caring for his wife, but she is then confined in a cave and subject to much the same punishment. These punishments are mostly the same throughout, even when she goes to a judge to beg for mercy in her case as an arsonist, and then finds herself openly humiliated in court, unable to defend herself.

In her search for work and shelter Justine constantly fell into the hands of rogues who would ravish and torture her and the people she makes friends with.

Here we see the basic meme begin. Shy, innocent girl learns all about seediness and not just sex, very dominance oriented sex. Lots and lots of rape. As far as Marquis de Sade works go, it’s a breezy walk in the park.  By the time he gets to Juliette or heaven forbid, The 120 Days of Sodom… 120 of Sodom is so fucked up i can’t even… we’re not going to talk about. Seriously i’m still scarred and it’s been many,. many years since i read that fucker (or as much of it as i could before i just starting cursing and through the book across the room. To quote Dorothy Parker: “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

Fucking Marquis de Sade, Christian Grey would weep like a little wounded puppy if he ever encountered the MdeS.

2. Venus In Furs by Leopold van Sacher-Masoch

Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

How influential is Venus in Furs, a book published in 1870? The word masochism is literally named after the author. Yeah. I’m gonna say reeeeeeEEEEEEAL influential.

However, in a refreshing change of pace this book, actually features a man being dominated and humiliated by a woman.

The story tells of a man, Severin von Kusiemski, who is so infatuated with a woman, Wanda von Dunajew, that he asks to be her slave, and encourages her to treat him in progressively more degrading ways. At first Wanda does not understand or accede to the request, but after humouring Severin a bit she finds the advantages of the method to be interesting and enthusiastically embraces the idea, although at the same time she disdains Severin for allowing her to do so.

Severin describes his feelings during these experiences as suprasensuality. Severin and Wanda travel to Florence. Along the way, Severin takes the generic Russian servant’s name of “Gregor” and the role of Wanda’s servant. In Florence, Wanda treats him brutally as a servant, and recruits a trio of African women to dominate him. (You can just go ahead and read all the shades of racism into that last bit that you want. You wouldn’t be wrong about any of them. See, it’s particularly humiliating to have BLACK women dominating him, because, come on, how low can you go? Apparently this is the lowest.)

The book caused an enormous stir which echoes even today. There’s a famous band named after it, there’s a Velvet Underground song, there’s plays and apparently there’s a new movie coming out directed by Roman Polanski.

The book is the exact gender reverse of 50 Shades. As one woman put it: “Severin likes women. Severin likes women who are filthy rich. Severin likes women who are filthy rich and treat him like shit. Wanda is that woman.”

3. The Story Of O by Anne Desclos (under the pen name Pauline Réage)

story of o Pauline Reage

 The Story of O was HUGE. Published in 1954 in France it was an international sensation. Banned, obscenity charges, the works. Desclos did not reveal herself as the author for forty years after the initial publication. She wrote the novel as a series of love letters to her lover Jean Paulhan, who had admired the work of the Marquis de Sade.

In the Story of O we get the true precursor to Shades of Grey.

Story of O is a tale of female submission involving a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer named O, who is taught to be constantly available for oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse, offering herself to any male who belongs to the same secret society as her lover. She is regularly stripped, blindfolded, chained and whipped; her anus is widened by increasingly large plugs; her labium is pierced and her buttocks arebranded.

The story begins when O’s lover, René, brings her to the château of Roissy, where she is trained to serve the members of an elite club. After this initial training, as a demonstration of their bond and his generosity, René hands O to his elder stepbrother Sir Stephen, a more severe master. René wants O to learn to serve someone whom she does not love, and someone who does not love her. Over the course of this training, O falls in love with Sir Stephen and believes him to be in love with her as well. During the summer, Sir Stephen sends O to Samois, an old mansion solely inhabited by women for advanced training and body modifications related to submission. There she agrees to receive permanent marks of Sir Stephen’s ownership, in the form of a brand and a steel tag hanging from a labia piercing.

Meanwhile René has encouraged O to seduce Jacqueline, a vain fashion model, and lure her to Roissy. Jacqueline is repulsed when she first sees O’s chains and scars, although O herself is proud of her condition as a willing slave. However, Jacqueline’s younger half-sister becomes enamored of O, and begs to be taken to Roissy.

At the climax, O is presented as a sexual slave, nude but for an owl-like mask and a leash attached to her piercing, before a large party of guests who treat her solely as an object. Afterward, she is shared by Sir Stephen and an associate of his who is referred to only as “The Commander”.

Some early editions included several different variations of an epilogue which note that O was later abandoned by Sir Stephen, though there is debate as to whether Desclos intended it to be included in the finished work; in one such version, O is so distraught by the threat of this abandonment that she insists she would rather die and asks for permission to commit suicide, which is granted.

You will be shocked to hear that there have been enormous heated debates surrounding the book from multiple sources and it is still discussed today.

4. The Claiming Of Sleepy Beauty by Anne Rice

The Claiming Of Sleepy Beauty by Anne Rice

The Sleeping Beauty Quartet is a series of four novels written by American author Anne Rice under the pseudonym of A. N. Roquelaure in the 1980s. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Anne Rice came out as the author, which caused sales of the books to explode. The books were read and discussed far and wide, causing many debates across the cultural landscape. Some of the most interesting debates about this quartet came from various feminist factions focusing on all sorts of different aspects of these works. both positive and negative.

In the first chapter of the story, Beauty is awakened from her hundred-year sleep by the Prince, not with a kiss, but through copulation, initiating her into a Satyricon-like world of sexual adventures. After stripping her naked he takes her to his kingdom, ruled by his mother Queen Eleanor, where Beauty is trained as a slave and a plaything. The rest of the naked slaves, dozens of them, in the Queen’s castle are princes and princesses sent by their royal parents from the surrounding kingdoms as tributes. In this castle they spend several years learning to become obedient and submissive sexual property, accepting being spanked and forced to have sex with nobles and slaves of both sexes, being publicly displayed and humiliated, and crawling around on their hands and knees like animals until they return to their own lands “being enhanced in wisdom.”

In the castle Beauty meets another slave, Prince Alexi, with whom she copulates passionately. After that he tells her about the long adventurous journey he had in the castle. Alexi previously had been a stubborn prince who fought back all the attempts to break him, until the Queen sent him to the kitchen to have him tortured by crude kitchen servants. Alexi received such a savage and merciless punishment there that he began to lose his senses and, after some particularly humiliating training at the hands of a strong stable boy, Alexi became a totally surrendered slave, playing various sexual games at the Queen’s commands.

The moral of Alexi’s story notwithstanding, Beauty willfully disobeys, and the book closes with her being sentenced to brutal slavery in the neighboring village while her master weeps.

5. 50 Shades Of Grey by E. L. James

50 shades of grey by E. L. James

And here we come to the current darling of pop culture. Bought en masse, decried and slandered (amongst its critiques is that it’s horribly written, which is very true. Although not to single it out for this vice, Venus In Furs is pretty badly written in parts also, but in a different way)

I have nothing to add. You all know what it’s about. I haven’t actually read it (i haven’t actually read any of these in their entirety. I’ve read several chapter here and there of nearly all at some point, but this genre isn’t my thing and i am NOT friggin’ opening up a Marquis de Sade book again. I read as much of 120 Days as i ever need to and will happily die without reading any more).

So read 50 Shades, don’t read it, PLEASE talk about abuse and abuse awareness, seriously, that is the best and most important thing that can come from all this, but know that after all this dies down, if you wait 20 years, the next BDSM best seller will come out of nowhere and titillize another generation.

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Uncategorized





Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


Awesome Next Gen Games and The Slender Man Story Outline

cloud chamber Massively Multiplayer Story Game

You guys rock. Some of these games you make me aware of are FREAKING AWESOME.

Check these out, new types of gameplay:


Ingress is an augmented reality massively multiplayer online role playing GPS-dependent game.

Developed by a division of Google, this real life massively multiplayer, GPS-enabled mobile game is a competition between two ever-changing teams, the Enlightened and theResistance. Here’s the basic setup: the Enlightened believe that exotic matter, or XM, being collected will benefit the human race, while the Resistance think that XM can be used to control people.

The purpose of the game is to support either the Enlightened or the Resistance by collecting XM to perform tasks and capture portals. Portals are created by the players and are physical objects outside of the game. Portals can be murals, statues, historical sites, or approved locations. it’s like geocaching, but instead of digging something up, you find a cool  landmark and digitally mark it for your team. Mark enough your team gets that section of town. People working together possess better marking power then individuals.

Cloud Chamber

An online game. Cloud Chamber is a video game that attempts to cleanse itself of nearly every design element typically associated with video games. In it, players assume the role of investigator, poring through video footage and scanned evidence to piece together the exact nature of the Petersen Institute’s research into the enigmatic signal, and to figure out what happened to Kathleen. Stripped of traditional methods of interaction, players unlock a branching spiderweb of evidence by selecting a piece of evidence represented by a node, exploring it, and discussing the new information’s implications with fellow players.

The evidence in Cloud Chamber is presented with minimal context, organizing the evidence thematically rather than chronologically. For example, in Part I, where the focus is on Kathleen’s disappearance, players are thrust into the experience through a computer-generated island and presented with a single question, “What is the Signal?” Selecting that question pulls up a video that begins the faux documentary in media res, as the game’s three protagonists break into the Petersen Institute’s roof. While there, the three tap into a massive antenna to listen to a signal without ever properly introducing who they are, why they are interested in the signal, or even what it sounds like. Watching that video unlocks a winding path along the island to “Her Decision”, a series of short, unordered snippets showing a frazzled Kathleen’s emotional deterioration before finally unlocking the video “You are Entering”, where Max and Thomas explain that they plan on releasing everything they’ve learned and appeal for the player’s help in finding out what happened to Kathleen.

The game engine delivers a surreal context that takes players from the initial island into increasingly surreal dreamscapes that resemble everything from outer space to neural networks.

Dark Detour

Dark Detour was an interactive comedy-horror, ghost story told last Halloween through social media. It centered around a musician Talbot Griffin as he ends up…. in a f***** up situation.

You can recap it at It’s not a game but i mention it because it’s a clever method of storytelling that could be applied by some smart person into some new, interesting type of live gaming experience. And by the way, if you are an entrepreneuring game developing looking to create interesting next gen gaming experiences, i am an experienced, professional musician who would love to do some of this stuff.


I’ve got an outline of the Slender Man plot pretty far along. I’ll send it to a person or two to review and see if it has big holes, shit i’m missing, it’s maybe not good and i don’t see it… if you are very into storytelling and might be interested in giving it a read through so i get another pair of eyes on it, let me know. I’m going to send it to two people. I don’t want to bug my usual folks as they had to slug through the New Albion stuff and they could use a break.

Please let me be clear, don’t volunteer if you just want to read it out of curiosity. First of all, it will ruin the finished opera for you since you’ll know everything that’s happening. There’s already too much information on it out there. Secondly, what i WANT is to sit down and have a few beers with another writer who’s used to trying to think in plot puzzle pieces. Or if i WAS a writer, this is where i’d meet with my editor. But i don’t have any of those things. I don’t even live around people who can speak english. I can brainstorm with nobody. And i always worry that the road i am marching is one that will lead to sucking massively. So, if this is your thing an you want to give it a spin, let me know. (And fyi, i will likely ignore almost everything you say. That’s kind of my MO, i ask for help than almost utterly ignore every piece of advice given. It’s a thankless task and it may not make sense, but it DOES help my process, even if it just helps confirm why i’m making the decisions i’m making, or it DOES show that ONE thing i did not see or think through enough. Without Mark Swetz’s off the cuff comment on how he thought the 3rd Act of the SO dragged and ran out of steam, i would never have redone it, invented the Voodoopunks, and made a far better album. Extra set of eyes just does not hurt.)


Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


What Kind Of Game Best Opens A Hellmouth?

hellmouth, hell gate, hell portal

I ask you, my dear readers. I am open to suggestions.

What modern type of game might best open some terrible hellmouth?

As best as i can figure, some might include:

– An MMORPG: (for the… 3 of you who might not know what this means, MMORPG stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. You know, World Of Warcraft or  Star Wars: The Old Republic. It’s a good contender. There’s a lot of ways that could be used to open some terrible Hellmouth. The disadvantage is the group of people involved in opened said rift would not all be in the same place (which works better for me but is not a deal breaker)

– An RPG: Good old fashion table top role playing games. You know, Dungeons & Dragons? The million of games with modules and dice invented since? Thanks to the insights from the great Chick Tracts, we ALL know RPGs lead easily to Satan and a special one played just the right way could certainly open a live, hellish rift. Disadvantage: not modern enough and a bit of a stretch.

–  LARPing: Live Action Role Playing. People act out on site, live a role playing game. Made famous through vampire RPGs and now has branched out to numerous types of RPG games. It’s sort of the obvious one. BUT… well, it’s a little too obvious, i’d be shocked if it hasn’t been done already, AND… LARPing is not as popular as MMORPGs or even basic RPGs. I’m tempting to go with a game that might have a wider appeal.

– Console Video Games: Look, there’s no reason why a video game played on a Playstation with your buddies couldn’t do it. Maybe not Call Of Duty, but some RPG or group survival game. Some Skyrim or Alien Survival type video game played by a group together could work. Once again the people involved wouldn’t all be together in the same real world place, but so what?

– App: Tablet gaming. You play with others, but on an ipad or android device. It wouldn’t be an RPG game, it’d be something more interesting. OOOOh, it could be like a geocache game. HEY! A geocache thing! Only your prize… sucks. (Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a  (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.

– Something New. A new type of game, a new type of gaming. Something different. It’s new, it’s hot, groups of people are doing it. What would something like this be? Any ideas? Ya wanna help me out? People get together, play, but when played juuUUUUuust the right way, boom, hellmouth opened.


Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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