Music to time travel to

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Some songs are perfect for the car stereo — but this Brooklyn band performs music meant to be blasted in a time machine.

With its collection of classic instruments and old-timey clothing, Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings are vying to be one of the darlings of Brooklyn’s era-bending steampunk scene — but the band sings songs about flower petals, ghosts, and river bends.

“We’ve earned a niche in the steampunk scene even though we don’t write about air ships and scientists,” said upright bass player Mike Darnell.

Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings formed four years ago, when Darnell reunited with August, who had both moved to East Coast after playing in a band together in Madison, Wisc.

Little by little, they brought in other members they met at steampunk shows or at anachronistic bar the Way Station in Prospect Heights. In fact, a handful of the members of Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings are also members of the Waysties, who are not so much the Way Station’s house band as a group of bar devotees who formed a band named after the bar where they hang out and jam.

Now, Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings is releasing its first album, “To The Weak and the Weary,” which wavers between drone and catchy bombast.

In addition to upright bass and guitar, the band also has a cellist, a clarinetist, a percussionist, and a glockenspiel player.

“I was in a symphony when I was in college and I wanted it to be like that,” said Darnell. “We tried it out on the porch and it worked.”

Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings at Brooklyn Fireproof East [119 Ingraham St. (347) 223–4211, between Porter and Knickerbocker avenues,], March 9, 8 pm, free.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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