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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Man Those Cats Can Really Swing

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”.


Squeak Toy’s in town! Wooooooooooooooooooooooo!


Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

It is gorgeous here in the 'Shire today! Perfect for Squeak Toy cover bands to garage jam...ahhh the hills are alive!

Sioux said...

It sounds like it will be a purrfect night of music and hair-raising fun!

unfinishedperson.com said...

Oh, dang it. I was going to give you an award too. ;)

Okay, I wasn't, but I thought I'd say I was -- to make you feel better. Wait, you're already feeling all right as this post plainly points out. You're one hep cat.

I especially like the Gogol Bordello reference. I don't know why, but I do. A little bit off, I guess, like you -- but in a good way. :)

Bossy Betty said...

Man, you have ALL the culture up there! Hope you have a great time!

Ponita in Real Life said...

Lila is seriously jealous!!! I thinks Pips is too, but she's a little more restrained. Although I have seen her let her hair down now and then and she can tiptoe along the fence top with the best of them. Enjoy the show!!

Douglas said...

Could Squeak Toy use a canine lead singer? There's one here locally that loves to howl all night. And I would love to send him (or maybe her) to Minnesota.

Irisheyes said...

Swing on Liza Bean, swing on! But seriously, let's try to stay out of jail this time. Times are tough and bail isn't quite as accessible as it used to be.

Joe's blog said...

I wish you a wonderful Sunday!!!

tattytiara said...

I don't think I have to worry about my cats becoming squeak heads - they all hide under the furniture when the dog starts jamming on his acoustic squeak toy.

Camille said...

You know, I'm usually adverse to spilling the beans (as in Liza Bitey) but it's time to wake up and smell the waffles. Who does Liza Bean Bitey know in Belgium??? Why it would have to be dear Sarah (with Moxie)of course! Bon Vivant and friend to all, I strongly suggest she could be in cahoots with your hep cat. Sheeesh.

Oilfield Trash said...

That right there is all the culture that you need on a weekend.

Not So Simply Single said...

Meow, Maui cougar here... do you think cougars can go?



lisleman said...

have a great time but take it easy on the hairballs, they don't go down as easy as hi-balls.

I'm pleased to inform you and Mary (she follows the blog -right?) that the animated clip of you two has blown through 100 on youtube. Actually I thought it might spread quicker but maybe you had to be there to enjoy it. Well, I decided not to book my tickets to Cannes.

powdergirl said...

My little old neighbor lady is Belgish, and she always has a number of cats hanging around, I'm beginning to see an international connection here.

Gonna put on that party dress? It'll go well with the hair : )

Clipped Wings said...

Really cute cat post. Love it!

jenny_o said...

We get those feline gatherings here too, but they just sound like catfights, honestly. Does LBB ever do out-of-town gigs? We could use some fresh talent :)

Daisy said...

Alas! Our area is rather sedate and quiet so no great feline, or canine, musicals on a mild, moon lit night. Perhaps Miss Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys)would bring her troupe out west for a special concert?

Eva Gallant said...

You are a hoot! I loved this post...had to read it aloud to hubby! He loves hearing about Liza Bean Bitey's adventures! Rock on, Liza Bean, Rock on!

Antares Cryptos said...

Vive la Chateusse!

Pat said...

I'm feeling a shade catless. Even next door's ginger tom has deserted me.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Here's hoping that you've stocked up on Tidy Cat, with separate boxes labeled Toms and Queens, and that all the candy bowls are full of Meow Mix. Or caviar. Depending on how high brow we're going at this affair.

Laissez les bons temps rouler, baby! Rrrrrrrrrrrowr!

Cloudia said...


Warm Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral




HermanTurnip said...

Ooohhh...I'm excited as well! I heard that the indie canine group "Slobber Ball" is opening for 'em. Man, the place is going to be a zoo!

LeeAnn said...

Monkey's always wanted to be groupie.

Amanda said...

Did you notice how "Stumpy "Lucky" Strikes" sounds like he stole his name from Lucky Strikes cigarettes?

Sounds like it's going to be a swinging time!

River said...

I do love a well-played violin...wish I could be there.

Gaston Studio said...

I've got a toy poodle who can play a mean tambourine Pearl and she will volunteer her time and talents.

Kara said...

I think I've heard Ignatz D. Katz grooving on the upright bass before - or maybe I'm thinking of Bartos D. Claws.

Sounds like fun!