Quintron and Miss Pussycat Record Release Party
6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday
New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins C. Diboll Circle, 658-4100; www.noma.org
Q&P with King Louie's Missing Monuments, Vockah Redu, Glitter Chariot and DJ Pasta
10 p.m. Friday
Studio 3, 3610 Toulouse St., 482-6933; www.studio3inc.com
Not long into Quintron's three-month internship at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), he mastered a fundamental skill of the American nine-to-fiver: looking busy.
"The challenge of writing in front of people was almost unconquerable," the 9th Ward musician says of Parallel Universe, his 2010 live-recording exhibition/residency with partner Miss Pussycat. "We finally started working a lot at night and on off-days, and I would just do busy work during the days. But by being forced to do busy work during the days in public, I paid a lot more attention to detail. ... By that last week, when I was living in the park and finishing the record, I was really sad to see it end."
Quintron punched his last NOMA time card May 2, 2010. Nearly a year to the day later, he and Miss P return to their onetime workplace for the unveiling of Sucre du Sauvage (Goner), the 14-track fruit of their labor. The album is a tale of two sides: Side A, the expectedly maniacal, roller-rink party-starter, in which Quintron recasts Jerry Lee Lewis as an off-the-rails organ grinder (see "Face Down in the Gutter"); and Side B, the unexpectedly meditative, almost poetic set of park-life soundscapes, captured in his final days living in a tent among the wildlife (ducks and children, mostly).
City Park was fertile ground for the audio alchemist, who mixed in everything from the Singing Tree ("Bells") to the Live Oak Ladybug Roller Coaster ("New Years Night"). "If you stand right where it goes upside-down, there's a swooshing sound and kids scream every time," Quintron says. "I started messing around with mixing and made it sound like a Beatles concert way in the background. There's a lot of water from the various fountains. I was recording with this handheld stereo recorder and flipping it around to mess with the phase and the imaging. I did that a lot, creating pans by actually moving the recorder around."
The split personalities meet on "Spirit Hair," a sprightly nod to Pussycat's episodic puppet show that's braided with a whistle solo — by NOMA communications director Grace Wilson. "She was walking through the halls whistling, as she does a lot," Quintron says. "I said, 'Grace can whistle!' I think we scheduled it for an hour later. She came in and whistled along to the song two or three times; I cut it up with a sampler and chose the parts that I thought were hooks. It really makes the song. That's the transition to the kind of strangeness. It seemed like the perfect way to get there."
"The ambient stuff is special because it's a portrait of City Park and NOMA," Pussycat says. "The show was amazing and it's great that we got to do our thing. But the museum itself is what's so amazing. It's the most beautiful park in the world as far as I'm concerned. Quintron and I just were there last week, just laying around in the grass, drinking daiquiris. The tree with the chimes, the huge chimes, and check out the ducks! To go back to these places with the sounds on the album — I'd do that every day."