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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Man Those Cats Can Jam

Pet doors are swinging wildly today all over Minneapolis regarding news that Squeak Toy, the all-cat band out of Northeast Minneapolis, will be playing a surprise gig in the alley between Jefferson and Adams this coming Saturday night.

And all the coolest cats will be there.

It is with a healthy mix of both excitement and trepidation that I report this – exhilaration over seeing Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) on the violin again, and perhaps a touch of anxiety over the crowd that Squeak Toy pulls in.

Have you been to a Squeak Toy gig?

It’s not common knowledge, but Liza Bean trained classically as a kitten, playing her way through the cabarets and pubs of Eastern Europe. She has always been light on the details, although she did once tell me, after too much absinthe and not enough cat nip, that she shared a rail car with Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello “somewhere cold” in the early 90s.

If asked she still insists he stole her lighter.

Those days are long behind her, of course, and she’s moved on to less strenuous pursuits like espionage, jewel heists, and the pursuit of, if my high school French serves – and I believe it does – “the best damn pastries in Belgium”.

Honestly, it’s right there in her diary, although that spiky, old-world script is hard to read.

And who could she possibly know in Belgium?

This still leaves, of course, Squeak Toy.

They’ve been practicing in the basement now for weeks (or, as the drummer calls it "the abasement"). Look around the room: Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) on violin; Stumpy “Lucky” Strikes on drums; Ignatz D. Katz on upright bass; and a large long-hair with yellow eyes on piano that was introduced to me, less than cryptically, I thought, as “Hairball” .

I’m playing this off as if I’m not excited, but in all honesty Squeak Toy’s gigs are great fun: wild music, unrestrained revelry, four-legged leapings from garage roof to garage roof, and, I swear to you, two years ago a cat who slipped down a neighbor’s chimney and came back up with a full-sized couch.

I’m not saying that kind of behavior is right. I’m just saying it’s nice to have a couch in the alley.

What’s that? Oh, yes. Of course. He put it back first thing the next morning…

The preparation starts today. I’ve already drunk more water today than in all of last week and shall continue to do so in the hopes of diluting the hangover that lies at the end of this particular party; I’ve got plans to go to yoga every day this week; and I’ve got a 3:00 appointment with Donna on Saturday, allowing ample time for the creation of what we like to call “party hair”.

Meow.

Squeak Toy’s in town! Wooooooooooooooooooooooo!

21 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

Pace yourself, Pearl. PACE yourself!!!

Pearl said...

Bossy, pacing myself is called "winter". :-)

mapstew said...

I'm expecting it to be one of 'those' weekends too, starting Thursday! (It's my birthday, I know, I don't look THAT age!)

(Still can't remember the way to the gym! It'll have to wait 'til next week I 'spose, sorry powdergirl!) :¬)

xxx

Simply Suthern said...

Are you insane or been hittin on the catnip a bit yourself. You just admitted you know the crowd they bring in. I myself prefer the more laid back BarnCats. Nothing like the tunes of Fiddle Feral and Banjo Bobtail for a evening square dancing. Better book ole Feral pretty quick tho as he is working on his 8th life as we speak. I guess the benefit of a basement band aside from the funky tunes would be they are running the Rat Pack out.

powdergirl said...

Screw the gym, we're all going to Minneapolis to get our party-hair on.

Pearl said...

mapstew, "those" weekends are what summer months are made of!

Very funny, Simply. :-) Sounds like music I would enjoy as well!

powdergirl, ahh, I've missed you. :-) Party hair is one of my favorite things, mostly because I'm not ashamed to pay someone to basically brush my hair...

Sweet Cheeks said...

Squeak Toy is doing another gig-eh?

I know a guy that knows a guy, that is interested in a boot leg cd of this upcoming ally event...maybe you know a guy that knows a guy that can hook me up?

=]

Pat said...

You amaze me. I laughed all the way through this.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Now that is just some fine writing. I am not even going to try to add or compete with that because the 'Tales of Squeek Toy' just can't be matched. There is a children's book in there somewhere. Bravo

Sam Liu said...

Can I still get tickets? But of course not, knowing Squeaky Toy's popularity, I bet they all sold out immediately! :D Great post, I don't know how your mind works, but it really is quite wonderful :)

Plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Really funny post. You're not exactly the same as writers, but your blog reminds me of Hunter's. Not sure why. Love you both.
*Plentymorefishoutofwater - One Man's Dating Diary*

Barbara Blundell said...

Did Liza Bean Bitey ( of the Minneapolis Biteys ) ever appear with Sir John Barbirolli at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester ? I seem to remember seeing some posters advertising a Grand Charity Concert with Liza as soloist. It was a sell out too.

IndigoWrath said...

I heard there'd be an all-naked canine cabaret beforehand. That's soooo exploitative.

Gigi said...

I love your posts. That is all..

savannah said...

damn, sugar! i have cut all my party hair off! *sigh* xoxoxoxo

(btw, i love you! in a sisterly fashion, of course!)

The Retired One said...

Me thinks you may have partaken in the catnip a wee bit prematurely!

Living Shallow, Living Well said...

Smart idea with the water- I like a girl who is prepared. Usually though, I go, 'Ok, one drink out with the girls, and then back home', and those are the nights I usually end up in a gutter puking my guts out. Can't prepare for it.

Jocelyn said...

I am officially your easiest audience: I laughed way too hard at "the abasement."

Damn, but I like you, ya crazy kitty.

Laoch of Chicago said...

A feline's tune is a mellifluous one.

The Jules said...

Are Squeak Toy the ones that play bagpipes and out-of-tune violins, because I think I've heard them?

Pearl said...

Personally, I think the comments are funnier than my posts. And just to let you all know -- although there will be no doubt that I will have a post on it -- but my home computer has resigned, citing unreasonable hours and somewhat sticky working conditions. !@#$!@#$@(*&S, as I like to say.

We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, will write for internet/keyboard access...