Sleepy Kitty's debut full length, Infinity City, had an informal release party last week at the Royale. The band is playing a show tomorrow at Pig Slop with Cowboy Indian Bear and Little Big Bangs. We are introducing a feature, Live and Local, to help introduce St. Louis bands to people who may not know them and give those who do a few new things to listen for. And so...
Sounds Like: Sleepy Kitty saved plenty of the good stuff for the album. The live show has been heavy of late with the wailing guitar and cavernous drums of songs like "Speaking Politely" and "Ridin' With St. Louis Tonight." Infinity City, officially out July 12th on Euclid Records, has its share of all that, but the band's debut full-length switches pace plenty, from the resonant nostalgia of "NYC Really Has it All" to the towering, jagged interlude "Heavy Mother." Urban background noise lends context: the rush of a train, snippets of sidewalk chatter, a cat meowing in high harmony on "Gimme A Chantz!"
Recommended If You Like: Post-punk, '60s pop, effortless pastiche, enthusiasm
Instrumentation: Guitar, keys, tapes, tambourine, Micron, drums, percussion, vocals
Crowd Response: Evan Sult and Paige Brubeck have earned a particularly fond place in the hearts of St. Louisians in the few years since they moved here from Chicago with clear vision, polished professionalism and complete devotion to the scene. They were rewarded on an insanely concert-heavy Friday with a bar packed full of music fans eager to buy the album.
When did you form?
Evan Sult: We formed in 2007, when I raided Paige's practice space because mine was too far away in the snow. I teched her drummer's drums for the privilege. Paige was printing t-shirts on the floor and I thought that was cool because I was printing posters at Screwball. We made music our other bands didn't want and we made shirts and posters and stuff because we could.
What is your discography?
Let me consult my Disc-O-Graph... We bound together this weird screenprinted/found objects book with a CD in it called Hustlin' Kets, so I could secretly hand 'em out at SXSW between gigs with my previous band. There was also a straight screenprinted cover of that one, featuring our former sleepiest kitty, Princess the Zen of Pooh. That was in Chicago.
When we moved here, we made a 5-track, 9-minute CD single/EP called What I Learned This Summer. To give a little context, we made a limited edition compilation called Family Tree, which includes un- or under-released songs by our previous bands: Harvey Danger, Stiletto Attack, Bound Stems, Sleepy Kitty, and a track from an album we helped produce by my dad's bluegrass band, the Prozac Mtn Boys.
Our new album is called Infinity City; it's our first LP and our first full-length CD. It's not born yet, which is why it doesn't show up on the Disc-O-Graph. July 12 is its 0th birthday. We celebrated optimistically in May, which resulted in 3% Famous, a CD compilation of us and buddies. I think we're out of everything except Infinity City, but we mean to reprint.
Previous material includes two albums by Harvey Danger, an EP by Stiletto Attack, and two albums and a very long EP by Bound Stems. Paige's last Chicago band, Little Mammoth, should have finished recording at least two songs because I loved them and wanted to listen to them, but that band blew apart into four different cities. Dag!
What are some of your influences?
We're influenced by the cities we're in and the bands we play with. I feel like a part of me was born when I first heard Pavement, and I think Paige might say that same thing about the Velvet Underground. Corners of other bands poke out of our music ― obscure bands like Guv'ner and Spent and Those Bastard Souls, less obscure bands like Jimi Hendrix and Spoon and the Stooges, and above all the Fall. Forgotten gems like Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Oscar Levant. This one time Gabe Doiron gave us a wink from onstage, mid-guitar solo: that was a pretty big influence. Seattle, Chicago, St. Louis. Gerschwin, Paul Auster, Jean-Luc Godard, Understanding Comics, Art Chantry, Sonnenzimmer, Ant Farm video collective, Steve Reich, Howe Gelb. And the beat goes on..
Beyond Cherokee Street, what is your favorite area of St. Louis and what do you like to do there?
No one has been to St. Louis, in my opinion, if they haven't been to City Museum. For the able-bodied, it's an earthly delight unlike any other; for the non-clambering set, it's a marvel to behold. Before Paige and I lived in St. Louis she took me there, and I raved about it to everyone in Chicago, Seattle, or anywhere else. It's just so magical―and that first visit is the very best. I'll even risk my neck on the rooftop Ferris wheel just to see the view of downtown St. Louis. In the country that spawned Disneyland, I feel like the element of honest bruises and lost children and unknown crevices is a treasure to keep. As bizarre as City Museum is, its status as a going legal entity might be the strangest part of all. Bless that mess!
Your next St. Louis show is at Pig Slop with Cowboy Indian Bear, right?
Damn straight! We're doing a bit of touring with Cowboy Indian Bear. Their harmonies are splendid, their song structures are tight, and they should be seen live. Also playing with Little Big Bangs. Pig Slop is the funtown of Cherokee Street, which is saying a lot, and we're preparing to have a lot of fun. Dancing shoes strongly recommended.
Note: The interview above was conducted by Bob McMahon.