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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Man Those Cats Can Really Swing (with apologies to Deep Purple)

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 for over a month now, up there in the attic. Look around: 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 sometimes 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 now. I’ve already drunk more water today than in all of the 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!


Ponita in Real Life said...

Oh, Lila and Pips would love a good alley gig! Although Lila's never been in an alley before, but what better introduction than a little Squeak Toy revelry?! Does Dolly Gee attend these gigs too? She and Lila could pass for twins.

Scarlet Blue said...

So long as Eugene Hutz only stole her lighter and didn't leave her with a litter...?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I have to get a cat.

Sausage Fingers said...

My cat Jimmy loves this and he loves Gogol Bordello especially the "Alcohol" song. He is inquiring about Liza's status as in if she if fixed or not....I think big Jimmy wants to get a "piece" of Liza, he has asked me to send a picture. Big Jimmy is a Maine Coon in case she asks...

Eva Gallant said...

Wow! I'm sure glad you're getting ready early. Lots of water imbibed and party hair is a must!

jenny_o said...

You're right, the name "Hairball" really doesn't leave much to the imagination...

Amber Star said...

Those are some wild and crazy kats!

JeannetteLS said...

I knew there were good reasons to follow your blog. Yup. I just knew it. If I lived near Minneapolis I would feed you lunch for sure. And they haven't posted your wanted flyers here in CT. Hey. After reading this and the warts entry, I'd bake you a damned cake from scratch, with my homemade buttercream (Yeah, REAL butter) frosting.

You are just bit off the beam. Or perhaps it's more as one of my best friends described me. "Honey, you are nowhere even NEAR the beam."

Joshua said...

What's her favorite piece to play on the violin?

fishducky said...

I'll see you there--I can't wait!!

Pat Tillett said...

It sounds like a good party! I hope no dogs show up and start heckling...

The Simple Dude said...

Next stop will surely be a gig at First Ave.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting blog about " nothing"...unless of course you are into
SACUAST..or HAMBE...or SLYZEN...which I am sure PEARL..could not possibly be.
Because those " companies" have " to do" with MP and BUNN- BUNN 5 and the MASTESPANKER 69 and who wants to go there in a Lear - Texas - Louisiana?
And with NAVY SEALS?
You gotta be some kinda JOCOR!
And that would also mean that would also mean I'd have to WRESSOLU and do the DADYWA- JARKERSH?
No thank you.
I'd rather not.
Even with REDPATH.
Because, that would also mean I'd have to be " friends" with RICK'S SETAIN and
CRUSH- CRUSH- RUSH and I don't want to be " friends" with either!
So, tell CASA DONASA to stick it all the way up his DONSUPE with
Is that clear as the SKY ROCK " you do" with VEYSBO- AMYCO-PAGIS?
I hope so.
We are trying to be " succinct" for the movie " KANSAS KINGS".
Hello to " Stan Pawloski".
And Ruth.
And Larry.
And Don.

Camille said...

Hey Anonymous - WTF?
Talk about being a bit off the beam...
Hey Pearl, ya think someone forgot to take their meds this morning? God I love this blog. :)

Michelle said...

Once a dump, always a dump.
And it has never changed.
Especially with all their drive for cash and ugliness, like you.
And GE is involved.
With Meese and Condoleeza Rice and it's all peds in " SS" bs for PETWOOD- HYDRA- OSIRIS.
And they' ll' do " anything to get whatever it is they want, because they , too, are
hicks...just another Texas and Louisiana, and another excuse for NEW VIOLENCE...with THEIRRY DASSAULT.
And it includes IRA- PLO- EL SALVADOR , and with University of Miami?
Are they the ones who gave all those logbooks on ROB LOWE & EDWARD MEESE?
There is something " to do" with METTETAL and COMETS and CONNICARS?
Harry Reid and Cher in ASOCHER?
Ryan Seacrest is political with Oliver North and Sting?

Gigi said...

Holy hell, Pearl! Methinks your blog has been hijacked by aliens!

injaynesworld said...

You must let me know if they tour. I'm a huge fan of Liza Bean and I'd kind of like to fix her up with Mason.

Liza has had such an interesting life. I really hope one day she writes her memoir.

Love this. So clever and fun. :)

Cloudia said...

party hair - ball


Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Crystal Pistol said...

I was wondering about Liza Bean today. Really. She crossed my mind. And here you are... I'm a little bit psychic, ya know.

I'm not surprised she was trained classically as a kitten. Not at all. :)

Linda O'Connell said...

Liaz Bean Bitey has more fun than I do. No fair. My brother had a swinging pet door and found his cat meowing loudly marching a live pigeon down his hallway. (true) Those swinging doors, you never know what the cats will drag in.

Suldog said...

Oh, geez, time to start filtering the comments, Pearl.

This was hilarious, surreal, and also referenced both Deep Purple and (possibly) Krazy Kat. It doesn't get any better for me! Thank you!