Various Artists – Mews Too: An Asthmatic Kitty Compilation

Various Artists
Mews Too: An Asthmatic Kitty Compilation

Announcer 1: Hello, and welcome back to the 2nd Annual Asthmatic Kitty Talent Show, sponsored by Meow You’re Breathin’!™ Feline Inhalers. The last performer has just finished up, and I believe the judges are now ready to announce this year’s winners.

Announcer 2: That’s right, Bruce. It was an interesting show this year, a lot of good talent, and a lot of bizarre performances. I think the judges will have a difficult time making that final decision.

Announcer 1: Indeed, John. Ah…I’m now being handed a sheet of paper, it looks like the judges have come to their decision.

Announcer 2: Let’s hear it, Bruce!

Announcer 1: And they are:

[Cut to winners, medals pinned triumphantly to their chests]

Winner: Sam Rosen. The skeletal remains of Sam Rosen stole the show when they showed up to play an encore to his last concert, performed nearly a century ago in 1908. After a kind stagehand helped the reanimated corpse set up the unfamiliar electronic equipment, Rosen’s bones jangled as he belted out some of the best Southern blues the audience had ever heard.

2nd Place: Matthew Haseltine. Haseltine’s rapid guitar playing took the cake, and he showed everyone present that you can make great experimental music without sounding like you let your cat walk across your grandma’s old Hammond.

Runner Up: Jason Brouwer. Though it was almost unanimously agreed that his performance was far too short, Brouwer showed amazing songwriting chops with just a hint of psychedelic backdrop, inciting hoots and hollers from Six Organs of Admittance fans at the end of his piece.

[Brouwer and Haseltine jubilantly raise Rosen’s arms, accidentally detaching them. Hurriedly cut to news desk]

Announcer 2: And now, the kind folks in the editing department have compiled a montage of some of the highlights of the show for your viewing pleasure. Let’s have a look:

Liz Janes wows the audience with her incredible vocal control until halfway though the performance, when an excited fan accidentally kicks off his shoe and it flies up on stage, striking Janes in the head, unfortunately causing her to lose the ability to sing in key.

Lamenting his very own birth, Maxel Toft brings a wistful smile to the audience’s faces during his performance of “Quick Fix,” after which he hands out free condoms and emphasizes the importance of safe sex.

Though a few people are injured when wild knee-slappin’ leads to a few accidental face slaps, the crowd dances an uproarious jig to Bogs Visionary Orchestra, clapping along with the twanging double bass and foot-stomp percussion as they perform “Everybody’s Broken.”

A random flash mob organized by indie hipsters randomly coincides with Sufjan Stevens’ performance of previously unreleased song “Opie’s Funeral Song,” and DOA’s founder and editor can be seen in the back of the room, shaking his head at the enormous increase in attendance and muttering “I knew I should have put Illinois higher on my end of the year list.”

Shannon Stephens momentarily makes everyone wonder if Christian Kiefer had a sex change, but the audience soon realizes that Stephens is truly a female, and Kiefer finally has some good musical company.

Denison Witmer, Welcome Wagon, Jai Agnish, and Roman Bolks remind everyone that if you know what you’re doing, you don’t need much more than an acoustic guitar and a modest voice to please the ears.

[“Heat of the Moment” fades out, cut to news desk]

Announcer 1: Powerful stuff, John. However, no event such as this would be complete without a blooper reel, so let’s take a look at some of the more…interesting performances of the night:

The age old question of why Half-handed Cloud songs are so short is answered when John Ringhofer takes the stage for a full four minutes, resulting in several patrons having to be led out as they bled from their ears, and Ringhofer having to be carted away via ambulance after he collapses in exhaustion.

Danielson flies in by means of UFO, blasts the bizarre freak-folk tune “My Lion Sleeps Tonight” from the speakers, and leaves with a few audience members after violently abducting them with a bright green tractor beam. Minutes later, the rest of the audience groggily awakens, confused as to why they are singing Billy Joel.

Lifestyles & Vistas gets booed off stage after opening with a vacuous, pseudo-intellectual Dostoevsky name-drop followed by four minutes of the some of the least intelligent indie pop imaginable.

Men of Old, a.k.a. Matthew Morgan, bangs on some disposable aluminum pie tins, attempts to play turntablist with some vinyl of Gregorian chants, and then lays down and rolls around on his Casio keyboard for a few minutes, all in the name of reckless experimentation. While exiting the stage, Morgan trips, crushing his pie tin and skinning his knee.

Momentarily confused, a stagehand moving props for the Cabaret show the following night carries a large Vaudeville-style cane across the stage, accidentally hooking Raymond Rasposa, one of Asthmatic Kitty’s strongest artists, and dragging him off stage while only a minute and a half into a track from Castanets’ latest, First Light’s Freeze.

Steven Lambke reminds everyone how boring acoustic guitar can be, too.

[Brief shot of Ringhofer, Morgan giving thumbs up from stretchers. Cut to news desk]

Announcer 2: Well, there we have it folks. It was quite a show, but I think the judges have truly picked the best of the bunch. It couldn’t have been easy, though.

Announcer 1: No, John, it couldn’t have been. I’d like to take a moment to thank those performers that didn’t get any recognition in the past few minutes, those artists being My Brightest Diamond, Chris Schlarb, Bunky, Jim Guthrie, Royal City, and Elin Smith, all of whom put on great performances, as evidenced by their exclusion from the bloopers reel.

Announcer 2: Haha, that’s right, Bruce. Well, until next year’s show, stay safe, have fun, and thanks for tuning in!