On Lundi Gras, New Orleans duo Quintron and Miss Pussycat held their annual bash marking the day before Fat Tuesday in the French Quarter. This year, the theme was a crawfish boil, with Quintron dressed as a chef and Miss Pussycat and friends playing maracas in crawfish costumes. “It was really an amazing show and it was really the last show that we did,” says Miss Pussycat (aka Panacea Theriac) by phone from home in September. “We have the footage and it’s amazing and it’s all our friends that we can’t be around. It almost makes me cry to see it.”
Last Easter, the two donned their costumes again for a shoot in photographer Tony Campbell’s yard that would become the cover of their latest album, Goblin Alert, out on Friday, October 16. The footage from their February show was used in a new video for the album’s title track.
It’s been almost a decade since Quintron and Miss Pussycat have released a joint album, and the two return in full-force on Goblin Alert with a collection of energetic, psychedelic garage rock jams.
“Quintron and Miss Pussycat is never off the burner,” says Quintron by phone. But, in the years following the 2011 release Sucre du Sauvage, the two became occupied with other projects. Quintron, who is also an inventor known for the Drum Buddy, started developing a new instrument called Weather Warlock, a drone synthesizer that unleashes sounds derived from the weather. “That’s been a big focus for the last several years,” he says of the project, which has also spawned its own band.
Meanwhile, Miss Pussycat, who is also a visual artist well known for her puppet shows, released Anthropomorphizer: Puppet Show Soundtracks. She currently has art on view at Webb Gallery in Texas and as part of the group show, “I Forgot to Laugh” at Pensacola Museum of Art. For the latter, she made a series of papier-mâché maracas filled with aquarium rocks that are resting on pillows, since, she says, “they can’t do a rock show.”
In some ways, Goblin Alert came together in a fashion similar to other Quintron and Miss Pussycat releases. “We go through our life, we live our life and write these songs based on what we’re living and what we’re going through,” Quintron explains. “Then, when it comes time that we have enough of them, it’s time to make a record and time to think about them and sharpen the points and put it on tape and put it out.” Most of the songs on Goblin Alert, he adds, had been part of their live sets for at least a year.
Opening track, “Teenagers Don’t Know Shit,” began as a song for another short-lived band and, Quintron explains, the portion of the song that begins with “My name is Jesus Christ and I’m an alcoholic,” was initially a separate song. “It was intentionally written with the exact same structure and the exact same chords, kind of with the intention of marrying them together,” he explains. As for the meaning of the song, he says, ” I can say, for sure, I don’t mean that teenagers don’t know shit in any kind of finger-wagging, aggressive adult way.”
Another standout track, “Block the Comet,” was inspired by the Perseid meteor shower, which they saw while visiting Miss Pussycat’s family in rural Oklahoma. “It’s amazing,” she recalls. “You have to wait a long time and then you’ll see it and then you wait and then you’ll see another one.”
What’s different about Goblin Alert was the legitimacy of the recording process. They recorded at Pulp Arts Studio in Gainesville, Florida with producer Greg Cartwright. “It was very fancy, the nicest studio I’ve ever been,” says Miss Pussycat. They also brought in a few extra musicians, including guitarist Danny Clifton, talk-box artist Benny Divine and drummer Sam Yoger.
“I love drum machines. I love electronic music and I love that mode because I’ve been doing it for so long, but this was in a real studio with tape and an engineer and somebody else is pressing all the buttons,” says Quintron. “Somebody else is deciding what microphone to use for what and I just had to be me and more just singer-songwriter person. Having a drummer made it even more like that because I wasn’t having to turn the machine on and off.”
He adds, “Also, a live drummer, especially Sam Yoger, it’s like a big cushy pillow that you can fall into. That did something else to the songs that I really needed in my life, I guess.”
The dynamic gives the album a rollicking party vibe that can make you feel like you’re inside a sweaty Lundi Gras show like the one in the “Goblin Alert” video while you’re waiting for the return of tours. Better yet – the duo have just announced a Halloween Release Show that will stream live from NOLA’s DBA. “I miss everybody and I cannot wait to go on tour again,” she says. “I’m already working on a puppet show for a year from now.”
Check out Quintron and Miss Pussycat via their website for ongoing updates.