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The Weird World of Quintron Comes to Blank Club

In Music
quintron

If you want to see how strange Quintron’s shows can get, just watch the video for his song “Freedom.” He comes off as downright odd offstage, too, and is known for pranking interviewers who try to get a grip on what this indie-rock cult hero is really like (showing up in a wheelchair, claming to be married to his cousin, that kind of thing).

You’d think his bandmates at least would have some insight into the New Orleans’ musician’s psyche, but he’s cleverly made his reputation as a one-man band. Talk about insular: he’s even invented several of the instruments that go into his percussion-heavy, beat-driven sound.

They’re all pretty fascinating—the “spit machine” used saliva to change the pitch on a hand organ—but the defining Quintron instrument has got to be the Drum Buddy (pictured above), which turned the drums into a multimedia show of light and sound, and even had its own infomercial.

There is one person Quintron frequently collaborates with: his wife, Miss Pussycat. The addition of her vocals (not to mention the puppets) gives some of their songs a certain B-52s-on-acid quality. They’ll perform together at the Blank Club next Wednesday.

Another recent collaboration netted Quintron a part in an appropriately weird Grammy nomination. Cajun band Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys got a “Best Regional Roots Music Album” nod this year for their 2011 record Grand Isle, which featured a cover of the Quintron song “Chatterbox.” Q himself recorded and played organ on Grand Isle’s version.

He may never get a Grammy for his own “swamp tech” sound, but it’s not likely to affect his long run of 13 albums and various wild projects (art installations, field recordings, etc.). Still, we can all mourn for the totally freaky acceptance speech he would have prepared.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat perform Wed, June 27 at the Blank Club in San Jose, 8pm; $10.

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