Today’s TWBITW candidates come to us from New Orleans, a town known and loved for producing more than its fair share of weirdos. Robert “Mr. Quintron” Ralston is a singer, songwriter, keyboardist and inventor who writes weird little boogie-woogie tunes that he performs on a variety of mostly homemade instruments, including a combination Hammond/Fender Rhodes organ outfitted to look like the front of a car (complete with working headlights) and an amazing gadget called the Drum Buddy, a homemade, light-triggered analog synthesizer/drum machine. The demo video showing the Drum Buddy in action is almost more entertaining than Quintron’s music, which he sometimes calls (pretty accurately, we think) “swamp tech.”
As if all that weren’t weird enough, Quinton’s live performances are usually accompanied by his wife, Panacea Pussycat, and her puppet shows, which have apparently become the stuff of New Orleans legend. The duo mostly operates out of their own little nightclub, the Spellcaster Lodge, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina but reopened in late 2006.
This video for the song “Face Down in the Gutter,” featuring Miss Pussycat’s puppets, gives you a pretty good idea of the duo’s offbeat charm. It’s kinda like the B-52’s meets Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, as remixed by Aphex Twin. Or something like that.
- Quintron and Miss Pussycat official site
- Quintron on MySpace
- Quintron and Miss Pussycat on MySpace
- Drum Buddy official site