Quintron & Miss Pussycat Zoobizarre, Montreal QC - November 7, 2005

On the same site as a late August benefit party in their honour, New Orleans electro-soul puppet masters Quintron & Miss Pussycat played the second of two Montreal shows on their rock'n'roll recovery tour. The couple lost part of their home (a quasi-legal basement club) and much of their art to post-Katrina flooding, and only learned of the Montreal fundraiser when they tearfully accepted the $2,000 cheque upon arriving in town. Replacing the live puppet shows that used to precede Quintron's sets was Miss Pussycat's short (puppet) film, Electric Swamp, wherein Cinnamon the Alligator and Lolly the Crawfish try to save the swamp from raving (as in beats, drugs, glowstick raving) Formosan termites. Apart from the eerie parallels between the fictional destruction of the swamp and the unfortunate situation in New Orleans, the movie was cute and surreally funny, if a little sloppy in the editing department. Catch it on DVD, packaged with Quintron's latest, ninth album, Swamp Tech. After a negligible set by Dutch man-child Harry Merry, the star couple took the stage and the room began to shake. The rich trill of the organ, the bubbling beats of the Drum Buddy (a Quintron invention) and the soulful force of Mr. Q's rock'n'roll vocals propelled the set from beginning to end. For ladies who like his Malkmus looks, Quintron's mid-set shirt-shedding was a treat, and onlookers weren't far behind in the sweat department, engaging in more bopping and dancing than your average indie crowd. As for Miss Pussycat, she certainly lends some colour and straight-man balance to the stage, but her percussion and backing vocals are ornamental at best, unnerving at worst — that nasal "in and out" refrain is like a hair on the tongue of an otherwise great song, "Witch in the Club."