Quintron | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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Since moving from Chicago to New Orleans a few years ago, Quintron has steeped himself in the gospel and vintage R & B of the Big Easy, but the songs on his fourth album, These Hands of Mine (Rhinestone/Skin Graft), seem at least as deeply rooted in after-school television. Though he sounds like a manic evangelist, testifying over churning, distorted Hammond organ swells, his lyrics are pure kid stuff: "Meet Me at the Club House" sets that fevered exhortation to what was once a tune by the Champs (who brought the world "Tequila" in 1958); on the very next track, "Dungeon Master," he commands the title character to "make me go faster"; and whenever I hear the whooping war party on "Wild Indians," I imagine the audience of a public-access children's show running amok in the studio. Offstage Quintron demonstrates the low-budget ingenuity of a science-class nerd; he built his Drum Buddy--an analog drum machine that uses light-triggered oscillators as a sound source--out of a perforated coffee can, a lamp, a turntable, and a few dollars' worth of Radio Shack electronics. His other instruments have included a homemade theremin and something he calls a "mouth machine," and he's unveiling a new Drum Buddy prototype at this show. In concert he sings, dances, and plays the organ and his other contraptions, sometimes all at once; his wife, Miss Pussycat, shakes a pair of maracas and adds squeaky backing vocals. This weekend Quintron headlines Black Friday, a revue organized by the local Skin Graft label. The eight-act bill also features Miss Pussycat's puppet show, staged in a "technicolor ice cave theater"; 25 Suaves, ostensibly an "extreme rockabilly unit from Boston" (they've also claimed to be "Chinese athletic exchange students"); Metaluxx, a local guitar-and-tape duo; and Magas, the new dance project of Lake of Dracula front man Marlon Magas. Friday, 8:30 PM, Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee; 773-276-5569. Bill Meyer


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