I’m always delighted when a live show introduces any sort of theatrics into their set. Seeing Quintron and Miss Pussycat live, you are not only guaranteed a rocking dance party, but a most charming puppet show, too!
Quintron, originally known as a one man band, now tours with his wife Miss Pussycat and the Drum Buddy. The Drum Buddy is his own invention and consists of a “mechanically-rotating, five-oscillator, light-activated drum machine.” That thing is a work of art in itself, let alone the foot stomping swap rock that pours out of it.
Miss Pussycat joins him on stage with hand-sewn maracas and a custom orange and silver outfit, matching her handmade army camouflage- themed puppet booth. This stage presence is enough to get everyone hyper and dance-crazed before the music even begins, but honestly I think the anticipation of the much-adored act might have had something to do with it too.
Each song could be the opening theme for a 1960’s horror flick, and Miss Pussycat’s high-pitched vocals screaming with the beats lend themselves to this effect. Q+P are kinda like the B52’s of epic swamprock, or Bruce Haack all jacked up on a Las Vegas gambling high.
Jumping around to “Banana Beat,” I notice the rest of Red Palace is right there with me; I’ve not seen this much dancing at a show since… Hmmm, forever.
Someone requests “Do the Stomp,” and Miss P looks quizzically into the audience, “Did you just say you’re going to bring me Cristal?” The whore room laughs, and the rocking continues, but with a price. Apparently, H Street is getting super-strict with a noise curfew of some sort, and Q+P’s set was rushed because of this.
“This one goes out to Ian, who couldn’t be here today,” as they launch into “Face down in the Gutter.” “…Which Ian?” they say. “In a town full of Ians, you’ll never know.”
The place is a dance frenzy as they play the last couple of songs. A puppet show by Miss Pussycat closes out the night. It’s a little story about a couple of kids who travel into space looking for a party. I don’t want to give too much away, but they best part was when the puppet booth itself becomes a giant puppet. Brilliant!
As I mentioned earlier, Heavy Breathing are seriously becoming one of my favorite DC bands. Again, they introduce theatrics into their set, as Amanda Kleinman’s voice is omnipotent from the back of the room, greeting the crowd with distorted gender-bending vocals.
After softening the crowd up with fast facts about this date in history (the Gestapo was established!), they launch into what I’ll call TransAm-(an)them rock. Like Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” the electronic beats are furious and addictive, and like DC’s beloved Trans Am, they introduce a sexual and raw electronic element.
With Kleinman’s Antony Hegarty-esque singing over ’80s Italo dance beats emanating from The Rhythm Machine (laptop), Erick Jackson’s Van Halen-style kick-jump, and the intense pounding of Jeff Schmid’s transparent drumkit, I really can’t think of a local band that’s more fun to see live. Oh, and they had no merch for sale, but mentioned they have an LP in the works. I totally want it.
Lenorable opened the night with a set that I sadly missed. Anyway, because of the weird new curfew, they had to cut their set a few songs short to make room for the other acts. I suggest catching their synthy goth magic at a future show; I know I’ll be doing so!
Photos by Jenn Bress
Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s Puppet Show