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Arts Vanity Issue: Puppetry at its Purest and Most Elemental- Top Five Puppet Punk Albums, Ranked

Amy J. Cohn

As a child, you loved Alvin & The Chipmunks. As a slightly less-discerning young adult, you loved Brian Borcherdt’s (of a very holy band) versions of old Chipmunks classics played at 16 RPM. Now, you might be wondering: What demented, ostensibly child-inspired music can I listen to next? Have I heard everything in this genre that there is?

Never fear! Miss Pussycat of Quintron & Miss Pussycat fame is here. The first couple of bizarre New Orleans noise, Quintron and Miss Pussycat have had long and storied careers of strange sonic experimentation. Quintron, the pioneer of swamp-tech, blends the sounds of the bayou with electronic exploration. Miss Pussycat, a puppeteer, has recorded far-out puppet skits under her name and with her band Flossie and the Unicorns. And so, without further ado:

Top Five Puppet Punk Albums, Ranked:

5. Miss Pussycat’s “Part of Two Puppet Shows” (7”):

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This 7”, a classic of the form, comes wrapped in a gorgeously screen-printed denim sleeve. The A-side features beautifully dada-esque puppet noise—a puppet show without the pretense of narrative. This is puppetry at its purest and most elemental. Truly groundbreaking, innovative work. The B-side features a more classic comedy sketch—the Easter Bunny gets pulled over by police officers and asked to account for himself and his healthy supply of Easter grass.

4. Flossie and the Unicorns’ “The Animals’ Clubhouse”:

While Flossie and the Unicorns’ 2003 release is not quite as conceptually or musically strong as their outstanding 1998 record “L M N O P,” it is worth at least a quarter of a listen. Album highlights include “Magic Crystal Records,” which features specific and helpful instructions on how to start your own record label. D.I.Y. at its truest and finest.

3. Flossie and the Unicorns’ “L M N O P”:

The indubitable John Peel, described this album thusly: “The music sounds like furry animals playing dance music on little tiny guitars, incy-wincy drums and itty-bitty synthesizers.”

A representative sample courtesy of vacantmoon and Flossie and the Unicorns

2. Miss Pussycat’s “Anthropomorphizer”:

Don’t fear the ferocious looking puppet on the album cover—“Anthropomorphizer” is almost sweetly nonsensical and piercingly high-pitched enough to entertain actual children or, at least, the young-at-heart!

1. Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s “Swamp Tech”

In lieu of reviewing this album, I’ll let some of its prescient, incisive, brilliant voice-of-our-times lyrics speak, essentially, for themselves.

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