I’ll be Your Puppet If You’ll Ride Shotgun

New Orleans has its own force of gravity -- it's stronger and more targeted than the scientific law governing the rest of nature. At feeding time, the city attracts those it sees fit like a giant magnet and swallows others entirely, allowing them the privilege to experiment deep in the city's fertile, musical belly. Call it voodoo if you like, but the act known as Quintron and Miss Pussycat might correct you, referring to it simply as love.

It has been about a decade since Quintron, a musician, was pulled in. He was in New Orleans to play a gig at the Pussycat Cavern, a venue that was helmed by a promising young puppeteer named Miss Pussycat. "That's how we met," says Quintron. "I moved there right after my tour ended."

The duo plays off of one another's strengths: Quintron riles up crowds into feverish dance frenzies, while Miss Pussycat enchants them with elaborate puppet plots brought to life. Quintron pounds the keyboards of his organ and Fender Rhodes, which are, by the way, impregnated into the chassis of a Lincoln Town Car Limousine. Miss Pussycat, meanwhile, chirps cheerleaderish back-ups while jumping and fluttering about the stage, pumping a set of maracas. When it's time for a fairy tale, Quintron lends a hand (or two) and his voice to Miss Pussycat's puppet kingdom, so that the stuffed fellows might experience their Maximum Puppet Potential.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat shows provide more than just an alternative to the apathetic club scene, they're intriguing, positively darling, and they're where you'll hear the most booty-shaking big tent revival music ever to seep from the swamp. What exactly is it that they're reviving? "I think we're trying to raise up something that there's not even a word for, and that's why it's so much fun," says Miss Pussycat. Fall in love with their beautiful experiment tonight at Churchill's Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami); They have lab assistants in the Electric Bunnies, and Mr. Entertainment and the Pookiesmackers. Doors are at 9 p.m., and tickets cost $10. Buy them at ticketweb.com.
Sat., Nov. 29, 9 p.m., 2008

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Jamie Laughlin