February 25, 2011 | 4:00pm
The marquee names for local music fans at last night's Bruise Cruise kick-off party at Grand Central were likely Surfer Blood, Vivian Girls, and Black Lips. But besides the rip-roaring performances by other acts like Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, another sleeper hit was the late-night performance by Quintron and Miss Pussycat.
Though they perform as one act, each of these New Orleans artists enjoys an individual moment during their set -- and each is equally bizarre.
Quintron is the man born Robert Rolston, who anchors the musical arm of the act, and provides enough weird for the both of them. His main instruments of choice are anchored on a bank of synthesizers meant to look like the front of the car. A centerpiece of this setup is a homemade contraption that's basically a synth triggered by light. (At one point in the show, he even had to ask lighting engineers to dim the stage, because it was cramping his musical style).
What comes out, though, is amazing, organ-driven soul-rock, for which Miss Pussycat and another unnamed female companion provided backing vocals and maraca-shaking last night. It was danceable, upbeat, and catchy as hell, and took the mood of the crowd back on an uptick after the ticking clock and gruff security had dampened everyone's collective enthusiasm.
After about six songs by Quintron, though, came Miss Pussycat's time to shine -- with a puppet show. Seriously, complete with a curtained stage. The psychedelic performance was about a cruise -- we think -- upon which one of the main travelers was an alien/monster hybrid who claimed she was a supermodel and archaeologist. Eventually, the Coast Guard showed up to cramp her style, and after a bloody fight, a fellow monster decided to love her as she was. Or something. Whatever -- the puppets were impressive, complete with a nifty electric eel and an octopus that played the maracas.
We tried to capture some video, although it won't make much sense -- the audio was muffled and confusing in real life, too. But hopefully these little slices of absurdity will provide a moment of zen as you tick down the hours in your cubicle until the official start of the weekend. Long live Quintron and Miss Pussycat!