Quintron and Miss Pussycat at Baby’s All Right, 11/29

When I was a fresh young thing at art school, we would lay around on the floor and listen to Flossie and the Unicorns, whale sounds, and watch early internet animation like Miss Muffy and the Muff Mob. I was obviously high and the inter-web was just getting going as I learned to write HTML code, so one can imagine my jaw on the floor when Miss Pussycat rolls the puppet show out and I hear her voice. FLOSSIE?!?!

Yes, friends, I found out Saturday night Miss Pussycat is Flossie and the Unicorns, and I saw her puppet show LIVE for the first time—16 years later. It was a bake-off (thus sparking my memories of Miss Muffy) and the burnt hair covered demon cake won! The crowd cheered as the stuffed long red tongue licked the little cake from the giant face sewn into the backdrop. It is all just too delightfully psychedelic to even attempt to describe, so I won’t try. I’ll just say it was perfection, and I adore you Miss Pussycat.

Typically with Baby’s, I am merely passing by on my way home to have a quick drink with a friendly bartender, and I’m drawn into some amazing unexpected show; this was no exception and might take the cake, pardon the pun.

After the little demon cake and teddy bear who baked him exited the stage, it was time for Quintron and Miss Pussycat—a solid hour and a half, maybe longer, of dance mania and one man creating a cacophony of sound. He eventually is shirtless, sweating profusely never stopping for a second, playing everything at full throttle: keys, triggers, drum loops, guitar sounds, bass lines from an organ with the microphone crammed in his mouth, wind blowing from somewhere, fist pumping, crowd surfing, dance jams.

Miss Pussycat all the while on stage shouting and singing like a cheerleader with an ere of Japanese cuteness, shaking maracas decorated like ice cream cones. The spirit of the whole show sparked physical memories of the ’90s somewhere between Party Girl and Electroclash, house music with camp and humor, but mostly it just felt free and joyful. Sometimes it can be so hard to move a New York crowd, but everyone was dancing all the way back to the bar.

Sunday I sat down with my New Yorker, and these two “living legends from New Orleans” were one of three suggested rock and pop shows for the holiday weekend. “For nearly two decades, the German-born Quintron has been an active purveyor of the noise-addled dance music sometimes referred to as ‘swamp-tech.’ The multi-instrumentalist distorts his musical offerings with homemade electronics —he’s the inventor of the Drum Buddy, a ‘light activated analog synthesizer which creates murky, low-fidelity, rhythmic patterns.’”

Let’s get into this synthesizer. I could see it sitting on a table next to his keyboard, it looks like a rotating coffee can with holes in it, lights darting out of it. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s doing anything more than decoration, but my friend who was there playing synth with opener Ice Balloons explained that it most certainly is and that optical sensors detect the light circulating out of the can and trigger drum sounds.

There is even a Drum Buddy demo on youtube if you want to check out how it works. The New Orleans Museum of Art has done an exhibition on Quintron and Miss Pussycat and an entire room was devoted to the Drum Buddy—including very early prototypes.

Apparently, the exhibition made its way to Brooklyn, which I totally missed, but I’m super happy I didn’t miss their show Saturday night at Baby’s All Right.

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