Quintron/Cave/Catacombz @ Cactus Club
Joint review by DJ Hostettler and Anthony Hanratty
DJ: To say that Quintron and Ms. Pussycat got the Cactus Club bouncing Wednesday night would be akin to saying that BP had a little “oops” in the Gulf. Nay, the Cactus Club’s performance room was a sweaty, sexed-up throbbing phalanx of humanity. If no one in that room got laid as a result of that show, well, I hear they have pills for that now. Consult your doctor.
As all QT/MP shows do, it started with a Ms. Pussycat puppet show in which jungle animals attempted to harness black powers in order to make magic pizza. When one of the jungle critters gets arrested by The Man, it’s up to the rest to hire mafia monkeys to bust him out. (Hint: I’m pretty sure the pizza was a metaphor for weeeeed, maaaaan.) This dramatic one-act play appropriately wound up the audience as Quintron took to his chair and proceeded to build the tension with a screeching Drum Buddy solo. As Ms. Pussycat worked the fog machine, light erupted from the center of the Drum Buddy’s coffee can as Quintron leapt into a set of sweaty swamp-boogie that only let up when the Drum Buddy started to develop some rhythmic issues.
Quintron’s never been one to mail in a performance, but I wonder if I’ve ever seen him work as hard as he did on this night, flailing and sending perspiration in every direction while Ms. Pussycat screamed, danced, and made her way into the crowd (to be followed a few numbers later by Quintron, who snaked his way through the charged throng during an epic opening to “Swamp Boogie Badass”). As he stripped off his shirt and suit coat and unbuttoned his pants, one had to wonder why he even bothered to get dressed that morning.
Cactus Club indeed showed up ready to dance, and a capable one-two punch of tranced-out krautrock got the folks gyrating early…
I had been looking forward to seeing Cave since I got a killer version of “Butthash” on my ipod. What is a wonderful soundtrack to the city on headphones will often fail in a live setting, but Cave held my stub of an attention span for long enough to avoid what could’ve easily been a massive disappointment. Their songs didn’t vary much, but the consistent textures and tempos made for a DJ-like production experience with the rhythm section pounding mechanically along reminding me of a fluid, funky Jesus Lizard accompanied by an engulfing wall of synth and guitar moods and melodies. The vocal passages were either inaudible or unmentionable, and the keyboardist’s thesbianisms contributed to my desire for their set to be purely instrumental. I am a huge sucker for the repetative and complex fractal-like simplicity of krautrock. Cave are practicing students of The Three R’s, and your band should be too. I feel obligated to mention the fact that these Chicagoans would be severely beaten and tormented to no end should they ever find themselves in an MPS lunchroom.
DJ: The fact that all three bands on the bill played extremely danceable music was enough to convince me they belonged on the bill together. The opening salvo of the night was provided by Milwaukee’s Catacombz, another krautrockish ensemble consisting of former members of Catacombs of Rome, Sam from Doom Buggy (sorry dude, I know you’ve been in other stuff since, but I’ll always love Doom Buggy), and Joe from BzyBodies. Catacombz’ (dang–is it z-apostrophe-s or just z-apostrophe?) short but spirited set combined with Cave’s outstanding performance left me wondering if this whole disheveled-indie-krautrock thing is a full-on Midwestern trend, complete with loud shirts and questionable mustaches? If it is, and a ton of bands have suddenly decided that Can and The Fall are their new touchstones, I can’t say I’m complaining much as of yet. Both Catacombz and Cave set the tone and primed the pump (um) for the sexually-charged sweat party that Quintron and Ms. Pussycat presided over. If you missed out on the swamp-boogie badassery…you blew it. Simple as that.