There are five or so weeks left until Halloween, which gives you more than enough time to utilize your five weekly Freegal downloads to acquire These Hands of Mine and Are You Ready for an Organ Solo? by Quintron. That is, if you want your home to have the weirdest, eeriest, most chaotic atmosphere possible. Your trick-or-treaters and party guests will be beguiled, spooked, possibly annoyed, but you will be remembered.
Quintron and his wife Miss Pussycat are the sort of happy couple that perhaps only makes sense in the context of New Orleans. They exist in that less jazzy part of New Orleans that is a land of cultural crosspollination and must be described in a series of hyphens and coated in a fine sheen of off-ness. Quintron is the lovechild of Jerry Lee Lewis and Vincent Price, left neglected in a closet with only a Hammond organ and Pentecostal radio sermons. Miss Pussycat is a puppeteer and a cheerleader in the most broken and strange way. They are characters from a movie that John Waters forgot to make sometime between Female Trouble and Desperate Living. They don’t, however, come across as contrived or weird for the sake of weird. For my money, at least, they appear to be the genuine article, which makes them all the more frightening and exhilarating.
The primary instruments on the albums are the aforementioned Hammond organ and the Drum Buddy, an invention of Quintron’s damaged mind. It is something between a drum machine and a Theremin, constructed out of a coffee can, a light bulb, and a turntable. It makes sounds using light, and it has to be seen to be believed (there is a longer and much more bizarre video on YouTube if you want to search for it). It all comes together in a loose package of funk-rockabilly-gospel-punk rock-R & B-electro something or other. This is “experimental music” where the mad scientist running the experiment is Dr. Moreau meets Voodoo priest. At its most accessible, it might be easiest to think of as punk rock and at times it even hints at a sick, toxic B-52s.
I will say, this is probably not music you’re going to set around and listen to casually, or at least most people aren’t. Are You Ready for an Organ Solo? is a bit more straightforward, but that’s speaking contextually, of course, but you might actually find yourself dancing. If you still find this all too straight laced for your taste, check out The Frog Tapes, also available on Freegal, which was conceived as Halloween atmosphere music, making it extra creepy compared to the already creepy stuff Quintron normally has going on. Think Phantom of the Opera meets field recordings of frogs (the last track is just 14 minutes of frog sounds) and throaty grunts.
These albums are all available from the library through Freegal.
“Underwater Dance Club” sample from Are You Ready for an Organ Solo?
“Place Unknown” sample from Are You Ready for an Organ Solo?
“Dungeon Master” sample from These Hands of Mine
“Meet Me at the Clubhouse” sample from These Hands of Mine
“Horror” sample from The Frog Tape