Dead Cat in A Bag / Blog

Dead Cat in A Bag su Italian Embassy

Se non mi andrà più di fare questo mestiere non sarà solo per i sopravvenuti impegni lavorativi, ma anche per la nulla volontà di ricevere dischi non richiesti, a fronte delle opere che si fanno desiderare veramente negli anni, come questa di cui vado a trattare. Già magnificai gli intenti dei torinesi Dead Cat In A Bag, ora “Lost bags” dalla gestazione pluriennale è qui per Viceversa Records.

Prodotto da Marcello Caudullo che mantiene bassa nella registrazione la voce roca di Luca Andriolo, l’album vede ospiti Liam McCahey (Cousteau), Cesare Basile e Massimo Ferrarotto (Feldmann), situandosi idealmente nella terra di tutti che ha avuto per cittadini i vari Waits, Tindersticks, Cohen, National, sullo sfondo Cave e Lanegan. Quella di Dead Cat In A Bag è musica fatta di fumo e ruggine, esplosioni noise e vagabondaggi lungo la canzone d’autore francese, il country americano, sapori balcanici più cabaret mitteleuropeo e fanfare mediterranee. Le serenate da sfasciacarrozze al cinema prevedono strumenti come dobro, banjo, mandolino, fisarmonica, melodeon, concertina, harmonium, balalaika, chumbus, moog, bouzouki, contrabbasso: Last train home origlia nella carovana mentre Johnny Cash perpetua l’allucinazione di Wasteground of your lips, Wither da cantare Presley piangendo ubriachi… Il borgo sonnecchia (A rose and a knife), il mandolino è come passero sui rami, si presagisce la tragedia che dice e non dice: i primi coloni messicani attorno Hazzard, The stow-away song (a sea shanty) è una festa di matrimonio ibrida con la sbronza che va a male, la ricca ragnatela di The gipsy song si caccia in un bilico complicato. What a sky, e capirai in un solo momento (I can’t row no more) che al weird agli angoli delle strade servono gli spiccioli per il mesto treno del ritorno e ulula alla luna: gli uccelli di Hitchcock in prova d’orchestra -la titletrack- per pièce lirica al teatro dell’Opera, si riconosce in No lust left una struggente melodia propria delle canzoni italiane Sixties, la luce non entra dallo spioncino della rented room di Sleeping fields, semmai i lumicini del vicino cimitero, la traccia viene dagli inferi e risveglia col sussulto di vita. Dawn ovvero alba all’OK Corral tra banditi e campioni, la tromba per il cambio di cavalli alla posta è la fine del gringo secondo Burns e Convertino, Gelb e Parish; Old dog uno spiritual per bawlers o brawlers, Quanti vecchi cani nelle canzoni d’oggi… Tiersen a Varsavia per Zbohom saluta un disco che è tutto quanto sopra e anche di più.

Onoratissimi! I Dead Cat ospiti del tributo a Mellon Collie

In un soffio sono passati 15 anni per Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness e tale evento non è passato affatto inosservato ne per gli appassionati seguaci degli Smashing Pumpkins, ne per gli appassionati musicisti italiani seguaci degli Smashing Pumpkins. E infatti il tributo degliAlbanopumpkins, collaborazione di numerosissimi musicisti italiani più o meno noti, consiste in Mellon Collie and the Infinite Power; non è altro che una rivisitazione di tutti i brani del più celebre album degli Smashing Pumpkins. Le Interpretazioni italiane sono molto particolari, ai puristi potrebbero non piacere, ma devo dire che invece l'ho trovato molto piacevole. Alcune possono sembrare a primo impatto, molto discutibili, ne è un esempio "Tales Of A Scorched Earth" interpretata dagli Albanopower, o ancora più discutibile la versione di "Love" di Cat Claws. Altre invece le ho trovate splendide: "Galapogos", oppure "Mazzle" con qualche stonatura e che sembra suonata in un garage (cosa molto probabile vista la natura del progetto) e infine un piccolo capolavoro "In the Arms of Sleep" interpretata dai Dead Cat In A Bag ecco il link a You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhhjIhWTC10

Ho appreso la notizia da qui (per avere informazioni più dettagliate): http://www.lastampa.it/_web/cmstp/tmplRubriche/giornalisti/grubrica.asp?ID_blog=89&ID_articolo=429&ID_sezione=160&sezione

E potrete scaricare legalmente l'album da qui (dove se vorrete, potrete anche acquistarlo): http://www.42records.it/albanopumpkins/

a few words about our name

"What's that you got?" "Dead cat." "Lemme see him, Huck. My, he's pretty stiff. Where'd you get him ?" "Bought him off'n a boy." "What did you give?" "I give a blue ticket and a bladder that I got at the slaughter-house." "Where'd you get the blue ticket Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, chapter V. Something about the name, for the very last time. We do love cats. Our living cats. And our dead and buried cats too. There is no threat in our name. Please imagine a fair-haired little girl dressed in a ragged gown sitting on the damaged, cracked stairs of a deserted Victorian hotel, holding a bag adorned maybe by little flowers of blood, as a circus parade walks marching through… Alas, that’s too gothic and old-fashioned, but that’s a good starting point. A dead cat in a bag is someone you were supposed to take care of. It’s something gone you’re still loving. A dead cat in a bag is a mystery on your way. A horrible, yet funny funeral in your childhood. And a memento mori for your future, indeed. A dead cat in a bag is the face on every fear… like your secrets and shames, and the skeletons in the closet… how does your cat in the bag look? What does it look like? It’s a burden you have to carry on. Wearing the willow and learning to hide the tears. Someday you’ll have to put it down, meanwhile… keep on whistling that sad tune. Furthermore, when you say: the cat’s in the bag, you can think you have made it -- but probably, if the cat’s still, the cat’s dead: you can’t get what you want so easily, this side of heaven. And often you happen to kill the ones you’d like to keep with you… well, maybe not physically. Then, hell, a cat is also an old prostitute in the vulgar tongue, isn’t it? A really lascivious woman – only troubles from her. Stuff her in the bag, quickly, and don’t trust her if she plays dead. When the cat’s out the bag, your trick is disclosed. Here, the 'cat' referred to is the cat o' nine tails, which was used to flog ill-disciplined sailors… And the bandits on your path will probably say they’re just carrying a dead cat in their bags, before let their knives shine in the moonlight. Oh, that’s far too bookish… Sorry, forget it. In the brokers slang, a dead cat bounce is when shares crashes, then rise but fail to recover to anything near their previous values. Quite bluesy, isn’t it? Is there any need to talk about Schrödinger's cat, his experiment and the Verschränkung? Is our cat really dead? Yes. As dead as a dead cat can be. Rest in peace. Finally, Dead Cat in a Bag is a funny, creepy, good-sounding name. Only a name, since a name was needed. Music’s far more than this.

An interview... part 3

What is your most loved/hated landscape? SWANZ: I love ruins, empty wrecked buildings, neglected gardens, abandoned roads, though I know that sounds kind of banal. I hate the new buildings in town, they’re only concrete boxes with too much makeup and neither story nor soul. ABIS: I love those places where you can hear a voice coming from the past, I love ruins and wind-swept landscapes, but I have to admit that steel fascinates me a lot. I love modern architecture (not all of it though), and I hate those ready-made sardine tins called ‘buildings’ in my town as well. Who makes you green with envy? SWANZ: Some contemporary artists – they can make a valued piece of art out of anything. Only trying to tune up a guitar they can create a deep meditation on music and have a great audience, if you know what I mean. But it’s not really envy, maybe. ABIS: I know it may sound a bit bogus or unfashionable but nothing really upsets me too much anymore … I think this is just because I am lazy, but I prefer doing my own things instead of spending too much time and energies into despising and complaining … Still some people’s success remains a mystery to

An interview... part 2

(From Uovo magazine, n.17) This issue is dedicated to ecology, what does this word mean for you? SWANZ: For me, ecology is basically our fear of the end. I’d like to be more careful with my garbage bags … and with cigarette_ butts. I shouldn’t throw them in the WC. But I don’t have a car, so I often forgive myself. ABIS: I have always been taught not to throw things on the ground, so I started picking them up, and they all had a sound to me. Most of these scraps ended up in many of our songs, so ecology is to me the voice of abandoned things, which makes me a part of ecology myself. Do you think that earth is worth saving? Why? SWANZ: I could play a maudit part and declare: no, I’m looking forward to seeing the Apocalypse …. But yes, we have to save what is left. Just to live on and keep on complaining and playing sad songs. ABIS: What would be the point in destroying all that? I value every single moment I have lived up to now, even the sad ones (not too many, despite myself). There are too many scraps still to be collected, too many voices still to be heard, too many girls to dream of. The end is fascinating, but I doubt I will ever be ready for that … If our world were to crash, who/what would you like to save first? SWANZ: The ones I love, simply, at once. My folks, my girlfriend, my cat, her dog (but I don’t like him that much). Then a suitcase filled with books and records. My music instrument. In the end, with enough time left, maybe I would save myself too. And a supermodel to hede in the cellar, but don’t tell my girlfriend! ABIS: Easy to say – those I love, a few books and all of my instruments, for they saved my life when I was younger and made me believe in something better. As to a gorgeous girl, it goes without saying … Oh, by the way! Be sure that Katie Fey gets a copy of this interview! Could you describe the childhood place you’ll never forget? SWANZ: When I was a child, my parents and I used to spend our holidays in rented houses by the seaside. When we arrived, to avoid problems with the first afternoon sun, they always sent me to bed. So I went to sleep, waiting, and focusing on my desire I happened to hear the sounds from the beach (basically, I dreamt of that). That’s why I still love to go on holiday there, though I’m too white-skinned and I don’t like swimming … I don’t know if this is a proper memory of a place, I’m sorry … ABIS: My childhood was kind of a dream, not because it was perfect, but just because there were too many things I had to hide from … So, one of my best memories is related to a crumbling house, with a green light softly illuminating the deserted, dust-covered rooms. I can’t even say whether somebody was there, or if the place was real, but that’s the house I always look for wherever I go. What is your favourite place to play your own music? SWANZ: My bedroom. Or a big stage with red velvet curtains. ABIS: My mind, at night. What is the song you’d probably play on a desert island? SWANZ: Probably some classic, nostalgic country-western song … Adventure, homesickness, solitude, wide landscapes … you know that kind of song. ABIS: A Mexican tune, a mariachi song to be sung with a trembling voice and a guitar with only four strings … or a desperate fado …

An interview with Dead Cat in a Bag part 1

AN INTERVIEW WITH DEAD CAT IN A BAG from UOVO magazine, n. 17 (The Bookmakers Ed.) Who do you think you are? SWANZ: A sorry creature with a smart necktie. ABIS: A smiling guy with a whining pedal steel sound in his heart. Who is your art for? SWANZ: Sorry creatures with no neckties … or, hopefully, broken-hearted beautiful girls. Sometimes I fear my art might be for no-one … But now a piece is doubtlessly for whoever may listen to the current compilation, isn’t it? ABIS: Lazy people looking for somewhere to head to without moving, and I have to agree on broken-hearted girls as well. Whoever tried to strum a few chords on a guitar knows what I am talking about … What do you fear most? SWANZ: Everyone has to fear the future, for everyone is going to be an orphan sooner or later, if he or she isn’t an orphan already. I fear lots of things. Death, solitude, failure … life. The guy in my closet and the one who lives under my hat. ABIS: I fear darkness, for various reasons … it is the place where all fears take the shape of my face (which can be quite scary at times …), but it is also where you have to come to terms with things, and where you can easily stumble and hit your face on the ground. What is your worst addiction? SWANZ: I can’t tell you. Anyway, I am addicted to lots of things. Once I replied to the same question: I’m addicted to life, but I’m trying to quit … can I recycle that answer? ABIS: Pretty obvious things, like any heterosexual guy would tell … But I could not live without the twang of a badly tuned guitar, and some little poems I take with me whenever I go. What was your proudest moment? SWANZ: Alas! – it’s yet to come. And sometimes I fear it will never come at all (answering your former question). Talking about music, I felt proud when I first recorded a song with my banjo, or when we managed to use the sound of a squeaking door as a muted trumpet, and not simply to suggest the image of a room (since the song is about a ride, an open space) … I played a proper solo, I swear, but nobody usually notice that. ABIS: Hard to say … musically speaking, every time I am able to play my music with my eyes closed, forgetting about time and space. As to private life, when I started being true to myself. That was a major turning point, and the proof that responsibilities can have a sunny side to them as well. What was your deepest lack? SWANZ: For further details, listen to my songs! ABIS: I would love to be as creatively mad as a certain guy with a smart tie is …