Quintron and Miss Pussycat Might Write a Song About You

Photo by Andreas Staebler, provided by Quintron's publicists
It was a snowy Christmas Eve with harpist (and transgender performance artist) Baby Dee and a huckster named Chicken John, at Coney Island High," begins Quintron. "And nobody came to the show. But we played, and at the end of the night, Chicken John got drunk and let a dog hump his leg, and two long-haired acid-head guys who were really into Hawkwind who had heard us on WMFU playing our puppet soundtrack came to see us. And that," declares the singer/organist/inventor, "is my memory of the first show Quintron and Miss Pussycat played in New York back in '96 or '97. It was a beautiful night."

The New Orleans-based duo have enjoyed many wild and wooly adventures since then. Putting out 14 records since the mid-90s, the pair might be very loosely described as kitschy if quirky-smart party rock -- akin to an organ-based version of The Cramps meet the B52s with puppets -- but there's much more than their festive personas and performances that meet the eye.

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The Ten Freestyle Rap Commandments

Eddie Soto
MC Elijah Black Freestyling at Legendary Cyphers
New York's hip-hop scene had plenty of surprises in 2014, the most unexpected was probably the return of freestyling. What was once considered a niche pastime or endangered art form has found new life through fans rediscovering the joys of both extemporaneous wordsmiths creating new works in front of their eyes, as well as established MCs rekindling their love of freestyling itself.

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Ask Andrew W.K.: How Do I Stop Worrying and Just Go for It?

Photo by W.L.W.
[Editor's note: Every Wednesday, New York City's own Andrew W.K. takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution, a purpose, or -- no surprise here -- a party. Need his help? Just ask: AskAWK@villagevoice.com]

Dear Andrew,

For many years, I've been trying to find the courage follow my dreams. I gave myself until the end of this year to finally make a move, but as my self-imposed deadline gets closer, I'm feeling more and more anxiety. The idea of changing my life literally hurts sometimes, even though I really do want to follow my passion. Without going into too much detail, I've basically always had the same dream. And in my heart, I know what I want to do, but I've always had too many doubts to move forward. I end up talking myself out of following through and instead just play it safe for another year. How do I stop holding myself back? How do I follow my heart when I keep talking myself out of it? How do I do what I love when it seems too terrifying to try?

Thanks for your help!
Stuck In Stability

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A Guide to Redman's New 5 Classic Albums Set

Categories: Hip-Hop, Redman

Def Jam Records
Redman Dares to be Dark
There's still just over a month left of 2014, which means the big 30th anniversary of Def Jam Records still has plenty of time to be celebrated and records to be revisited. This celebration has been the most visible thanks to the relationship between Def Jam and retail giant Best Buy, which has been releasing various Def Jam collections all year long. As a result, a five-disc Redman Classics set, consisting of the first five Redman CDs in slim cases with a low $20 price tag just hit store shelves. Redman plays Best Buy Theater with Method Man tonight (Wednesday, November 26), and being this week includes the important holiday Black Friday, it's a perfect time to introduce the Redman collection to a loved one. But if you're only familiar with Red through his acting roles or work with Method Man, here's a quick companion guide to the Redman Classics collection.

Whut? Thee Album (1992)
One of rap's all time greatest debuts, every hip-hop fan can recall their first time hearing Redman's Whut? Thee Album in-full. With Redman having debuted alongside EPMD and K-Solo on the newly-formed Hit Squad's posse cut "Head Banger," fans were anticipating a strong debut and Red didn't disappoint. Over Erick Sermon and Pete Rock production, Red snarls and shocks all over Whut? Thee Album, a record as unabashedly explosive as it is shock. At a time when rap was all about individuality, Red early defined himself as the weirdest MC in a room full of weirdos. Its influence is long-standing, with Eminem referring to it as his favorite album of all time.

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Fame School's Ambitious New Sound Simmers from Under the J Train

Photo by Always Good
Fame School: Fame it 'til you make it.
Just on the other side of the Williamsburg Bridge, under the rumble of the J train, on Sunday night, a musical movement is happening. It's called Fame School, and the Chocolate Sundays party at the Flat (308 Hooper Street, Brooklyn) is the pressure cooker for this new sound.

Inside the small club, the crowd jumps in unison, shaking dreads, throwing up middle fingers and gun shot motions at the camera following them with a spot light. They yell the hook of newest Fame School song with an energy that is palpable and contagious. They pull Fame School hats over their eyes spilling champagne on Panty Raiders and No Deal t-shirts. It's like a family reunion after the parents have gone to bed and everyone is just glad to be getting together.

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Gwar Love New York City, Still Want to Kill All the Humans

Categories: Interview, Metal

Ed Steele/Dallas Observer
Vulvatron's breasts that spray blood
Earlier this year, the death of David Brockie, also known as Oderus Urungus, shook the rock world and left fans of Gwar wondering who would fill his large, claw-toed shoes.

Enter Vulvatron.

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Obituary's Donald Tardy on the Power of Not Borrowing Money From a Record Label

Categories: Metal

Photo by Ester Segarra / obituary.cc
Obituary's John Tardy (far left) and his brother Donald Tardy (second from right)

Super-long hair? ✔
Bushy beards? ✔
Gory song titles? ("Internal Bleeding," "Slowly We Rot") ✔
Gruesome band names? (Xecutioner, then Obituary) ✔ ✔
Decapitated bloody body artwork? ✔
Rescuing tiny adorable kitties? ✔

Donald Tardy, drummer of death metal pioneers Obituary, founded Metal Meowlisha, and when not executing blast-beats and growling lyrics, the band helps trap, neuter, and release ("TNR" is the shorthand) fuzzy four-footed friends in Florida, caring for 28 feral colonies totaling more than 200 cats.

Tardy, who formed Obituary with his brother John, spoke with the Voice from the band's Las Vegas soundcheck, revealing the kinder, gentler side of death metal, and recalled Obituary's first show in New York, ahead of its November 30 return with Death, Massacre, and Rivers of Nihil at the Best Buy Theater.

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Blonde Redhead Want to Keep Listeners Guessing

Blonde Redhead
Photo by Marlene Marino courtesy Press Here Publicity
Blonde Redhead
Blonde Redhead's bio informs "they have developed a sonic language of their own." This may, of course, be due partially to the multiculti makeup of this 21-year-old lineup. Twin brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace -- guitars and drums, respectively -- hail from Milan, spent their teens in Montreal, attended college in Boston, and live in Brooklyn. At one point Simone was studying Spanish, German, French, and English while speaking Italian at home -- and worshipping Brazilian drummer Porthino.

"But that's something really out of Blonde Redhead," asserts Simone, calling from an elevator in Los Angeles in the midst of the trio's tour. "I don't know how [Porthino] influences our music in any way. I wanted to play my own music, but when we met [Japanese-born singer-guitarist] Kazu Makino [in 1993], everything fell into place. It was a fine balance between forgetting what we learned in school" -- the Berklee College of Music -- "and trying to be open-minded about who we are in music."

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The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 11/24/14

Categories: Listings, Live

Photo by Sachyn Mital for Village Voice
Interpol at the Met
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.

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Ryan Adams and the Shining - Hammerstein Ballroom - 11/23

Categories: Last Night

All photos Vladislav Grach
Ryan Adams rocks Hammerstein
Better Than: That time where I could've seen Ryan Adams open for Oasis in 2008 and passed on it, like, "Eh, they'll both be back around soon enough," and then waited six years for a chance to see Adams for the first time.

Ryan Adams is a charmer. That's something that got lost in the shuffle back when he and the media had a more contentious relationship, back when he was a supposedly more erratic performer and person. He's a talker, and he's hilarious. Sunday night at the Hammerstein, it was goofy asides about debating the color of a guitar with a bandmate, or a long story about going through airport security back in the just-after-9-11 days, when Adams was sporting what he deemed his "drug beard." The approach gives Adams's live show a freewheeling, hanging-with-all-my-friends kind of vibe. Particularly last night -- having called NYC home for many years before moving out to L.A., Adams was psyched to be back, and the whole thing had the aura of a homecoming. "Let's do this shit," he said when he first walked onstage. "I'm in a great goddamn mood."

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