Cats in the Basement
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Cats in the Basement

Sarasota, Florida, United States

Sarasota, Florida, United States
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If Paul Simon started hanging out with The E Street Band at the beach during the day and salsa and jazz clubs at night, they'd probably wind up creating something that sounded a bit like this. With bits of surf rock, ska, jazz, salsa, and afropop mixed together, it's hard not to get swept up in its zestful charm. It's something entirely fresh and new, not something we're used to hearing. Good luck trying to accurately define this, though the band probably say it best when they describe their sound as "surf waltz pop."

"godlovesex" is from Cats In the Basement's new record DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD, out now on Atlas/Finch House. - Mixtape Muse


Chances are, if you have a ton of cats literally in a basement, things might get a little wild. And while actual cats are characterized by strong personalities that are more than likely open to stirring up conflict -- at least crammed together in a confined space like that of a basement -- these particular cats find a way to mix an eclectic range of tones and styles into one agreeable, refreshing mix that is one of a kind. There are bits of indie rock, jazz, tropical pop, punk, surf rock, pop, and more in their sound, which makes Cats In the Basement a rather exciting and adventurous listen. The Sarasota band's recently released record, DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD, showcases an infectious fervor that frames their explosive yet sharp tunes; they are at once wildly energetic and witty.

So, all things considered, it's not surprising when you find out which artist and song Cats In the Basement chose as their muse. It's a song that's actually the polar opposite of their swift-paced style, but it ends up revealing the band's cunning side that lies just beneath their tidal waves of energy. Instead of trying to pump the original full of adrenaline, Cats In the Basement comfortably interpret the song as a laid back, ukelele-based pop tune that's breezy and meaningful. Below, hear the reason for their selection as well as their version of the song filmed and performed at Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. - Mixtape Muse


Canciones de amor esquizofrénico, letras subversivas y mucho caos psicodélico es lo que CATS IN THE BASEMENT nos ofrece en el debut de su EP DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD, bajo el sello discográfico de Finch House Records.

Originarios de Sarasota, Florida. Greg Ferris, Bryan Beardsley, Michael Murphy, Patrick Lynch y DMX describen su género como surf waltz pop.

Que sirva este EP para dar preámbulo a los episodios psicóticos que le darán vida a este blog. Ya dije. - Shimara Magaly


Formada pelos loucos Greg Ferris, Bryan Beardsley, Michael Murphy e Patrick Lynch, Cats In The Basement é uma banda recem saída do forno. Seu albúm debut foi lançado há pouco mais de um mês, e se chama DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM, até agora to tentando entender esse nome. Loucuras a parte, suas músicas são tipicamente de bandas de garagem americanas, passeiam pelo synth pop, pelo indie rock e como eles mesmo denominam, surf waltz pop.

Você pode fazer download e ouvir o albúm deles aqui em baixo pelo player. Enjoy!
- Indie Basement


Cats In The Basement announce debut EP, east cost tour; offer free download of lead single, “godlovesex”

Posted by Ray Roa on Monday, February 6, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Sarasota, Fla.’s Cats In The Basement describe themselves as an “everyday library-turned-dancehall of a band delivering infectious pop music,” and their set at last year’s Summer Jam 7 certainly confirms that observation.

There were stuffed animals strewn across New World Brewery’s wooden patio, and it was certainly the festival’s looniest daytime performance in recent memory. What’s more is that the band has just announced that their debut EP — simply titled DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD — is set for release on February 21 via a collaboration between Sarasota-based Finch House Records and New Jersey-based Atlas Records.
LOOK: CATS IN THE BASEMENT AT SUMMER JAM 7 (NEW WORLD BREWERY 08.27.11)

“This release marks what we hope will be the first of many collaborative efforts for Atlas/ Finch House,” it says in a press release, “two old-fashioned ma and pa organizations dedicated to showcasing the prettiest DIY-avant-pop ponies from their respective regional ranches.”

The band is set to take their live spectacle on the road during a one-month tour that kicks off with an in-studio appearance on WMNF’s Grand National Championships before stops in a slew of locales including Georgia, South Carolina, New York Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. Tour dates, an official tracklist, and a stream of the EP’s lead single — “godlovesex” — are all available below. The official artwork can be seen above and up for grabs is a free download of the track, which can be had here. - Suburban Apologist


A decade ago, most local bands could not enjoy the benefit of a recording label, much less one that provides distribution past the borders of its city limits. Today, young musicians can finally rise above the restrictions of a broken-down tour van and homeburned CDs. Thanks to the innovations of the digital age and some good old-fashioned entrepreneurial gumption, Sarasota’s homegrown bands are making themselves known around the world.



Hear a sample of the EP today on Itunes.



This week marks the official, world-wide digital release of Cats in the Basement’s debut EP, Doo Bee Doo La Dee Day Dum Be Dum Drink Your Blood. Commemorating the new album, the Cats call for an old-fashioned press conference at the Blue Owl downtown. Guests arrive in formal dress only to find the band donning flamboyant costumes. Dollar-store plastic glasses filled with champagne pass around the press table. Then the night’s performers are introduced by front man Greg Ferris, eliciting roaring enthusiasm from the crowd. The line-up features talented guitar-drummer duo The Stiff Saints, Kansas City-based indie rock band Not A Planet, and fellow labelmates Bard and Mustache.



(Left-to-right: Greg Ferris, Erin Murphy, Greg Bortnichak, Mike Murphy, Bryan Beardsley, Adam Marret)



Joseph Arnegger (Featured artist on cover of the new EP), Mikey, and Bryan



Nothing goes better together than Q & A...and champagne!



Finch House Records, Cats in the Basement’s publishing label, has actually released several albums since its founding in 2009 -- notably, recordings by Fancy Rat and the Equines. However, most of Finch House’s releases up this point have been on a small scale, catering to a dedicated niche fanbase. Recently, though, they’ve had an urge to bring their music to a wider audience -- reaching out to international listeners for the first time.



Finch House spokesperson Greg Bortnichak ( ½ Bard and Mustache, ½ The Sparta Philharmonic) says the release is a result of a joint venture with Atlas Records, a New Jersey-based label. Thanks to their collaboration, the new Cats in the Basement EP is now for sale on every major digital retailer worldwide, from iTunes to Amazon to Grooveshark in every country with an Internet connection.




Cats in the Basement discussing their 2012 tour.



“The album needed a righteous party,” says Bortnichak, who envisioned the release in the style of a classic Beatles or Bob Dylan unveiling. “It’s a celebration of all our hard work [up to this point].” In addition to introducing the new EP, Cats in the Basement are preparing for a new tour spanning from Sarasota all the way up to Purchase, New York – their biggest and most far-flung outing to date.



As their combination of catchy pop riffs and disarmingly subversive lyrics continue earning Cats in the Basement praise in the press, Doo Bee Doo La Dee Day Dum Be Dum Drink Your Blood is poised to be their biggest triumph yet. And if during the tour, they can successfully reproduce the atmosphere of their local shows -- that cozy feeling of camaraderie masked by irrepressible exhilaration -- wherever they go, the Cats will evolve from entertainers to arbiters of culture. Waltzing into the future of music distribution and promotion, Cats in the Basement will set a precedent for all local bands to aspire to.
- Art Whisperer


Four years ago, on the same porch where William T. Finch once hatched his entrepreneurial eurekas, three local musicians schemed to make the world a better place. It was Erin Murphy, Greg Ferris, and Brian Yoder, who, in the Do-It-Yourself spirit of the indie rock scene, decided to join forces to create a musicians’ resource center.





They started Finch House Records on a shoestring budget, and in little time, began releasing EPs of local music and promoting shows. This collaboration would spawn today’s colorful Finch House Family of Sarasota bands: The Equines, Fancy Rat, and last but not least, Cats in the Basement.



"I funneled my visual art energy into this,” says Ferris, “All I ever did with my art was put beautifully odd things next to each other. So, that's what I did with these musicians.”



Cats in the Basement are a multi-talented four-piece comprised of songwriter-guitarman-artwiz Greg Ferris, hepcat-resonator-bassist Bryan Beardsley, improv-saxphonist-clarinetist Patrick Lynch, and animorph-superhuman-drummer Michael Murphy. Together, they’ve earned their title as SRQ’s pre-eminent “art party band”, playing every show with festive gusto. The group’s assortment of off-beat props match their off-color pop music, including a head impaled on a strobe light (affectionately named “Buttlegs Murphy”).





Their live sound, odd ‘n’ raw to new ears, quickly becomes infectious and irresistible! Cats in the Basement are known for getting even the most awkward crowds to move their feet. In fact, I respond to their shows by performing a dance that I like to call Skhwalzting (skuhh-WALZ-ting) – a combination of skanking and waltzing with a touch of Charles Schulz.



A cassette tape just sold out. What year are we in anyway?



The newest release from Finch House Records is a cassette edition of Cats in the Basement’s new album titled: DOO BEE DOO LADEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD



Although I had the mp3s, I immediately bought the tape so I could enjoy Cats in the Basement without digital compression. Best heard at a high volume in a hot car, this tape can turn a dull drive into a bittersweet cruise down memory lane. And if you think that’s nostalgic magic, just wait until the glow-in-the-dark 10” vinyl comes out in January 2012. Digital or analog, the production remains coherent: the jingles jangle, the beats hit, and when the chorus swells, oh, it is swell!







“Doing nothing is an act of violence.”

If you look beyond the stage tomfoolery and the nonsensical, sing-songy title of the album, you may discover poetry. Between the chords, there are dialogs of antagonism and ruin, honesty and rapture. The songs range from lower-class love stories, to far-out references to Salvation Mountain and Tom Robbins’ Still Life With a Woodpecker. That said, pay close attention to the lyrics and see if you can find the thread these cats are playing with.




So, there IS cool stuff going on in Sarasota!

What is to become of our local indie heroes? It is easy to think that the bands that make a hit are destined to move on to bigger, better venues. Seeing the bands in the Finch House family have gained touring momentum, why haven’t they flew the coop yet? They keep coming back – and miraculously, bringing more musicians back with them! Lately, there have been touring acts from Portland, Seattle, Austin, and even as far as Canada playing in Sarasota shows. Between SarasotaMusicScene.com and The Closet, and Finch House’s plans to merge with AtlasRecords, the future looks bright for the SRQ's managerie of cats, rats, and equines. - Art Whisperer


Okay! The latest Cats In The Basement EP, DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD (Finch House Records), answers the question, “What would happen if you gave Modest Mouse a drunken beach bash and got the B-52s’ Kate Pierson to spin sand circles then pee on herself during a keg stand?” The EP plays like a soundtrack to that kind of party.

Upon first listen, one can’t help but feel as if he or she’s walked into a love shack along the coastline where nobody’s showered in a week. But that might be fine. It’s a dirty, dance-floor love affair backlit by horns, spacey girl whistles and front man Greg Ferris declaring to the world that he’s just, well, a guy.

“There ain’t a drop of truth to them rumors and lies,” Ferris sings, discussing the ins-and-outs of slutting around town. The mood is quite reminiscent of a one-night stand, particularly due to the sinister side of Ferris’ vocals indicating there might be some truth to those lies after all. Like, maybe in some downtown pub he’s been caught with his pants down in a dingy bathroom stall. And maybe he pulled out a magic marker to scribble the details on the toilet. That’s the spirit of these tunes: groovy to moody in a split beat. The songs evoke an essence of rebellion before turning ugly, like a ballsy night on a binge with great friends. It’s a blast ‘til one drink too many.

“Do I shit on the stars you were wishing on?” Ferris croons in “HERBCRUST.” Yes, it’s a big splendid shindig ‘til the depression set in and the truth leaks out. That’s what gives the record an edge. Each song carries honesty, a wound. It’s impossible not to relate to such hurt, and even more difficult to imagine living without it.

Visit catsinthebasement.bandcamp.com for more info. Full-length album out February 21st, 2012. - TWIS


Want to know why you should care if people can’t have live music at a reasonable time in Sarasota? (Read Tim Sukits’ rundown of recent noise ordinance problems, if you haven’t already.) These 10 relatively new bands will help you learn the joy of the local music scene, and why it should be preserved.

Read our profile on Cats in the Basement - Ticket Sarasota


In January 2012, Cats in the Basement will release their EP “DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD” through Finch House Records. They are a Sarasota, FL, based group claiming the genre “surf waltz pop.” I’ve never been to Sarasota; however, when listening to their music, these guys create an image of what sunny Sarasota beaches and atmosphere would be like.

The group consists of four awesome guys: Greg Ferris, Michael Murphy, Bryan Beardsley and Patrick Lynch. Each songs they have created are fresh, surfy and upbeat.

You’ll be able to get a hold of and listen to the entire list of songs in January, but if you really want it now, let me know. Otherwise, you can just listen to “godlovesex” on Bandcamp or go to one of their shows. “PEANUTBUTTER” and “kingmax” are my favorite songs on the EP. - Walk Backwards


GOD, LOVE, SEX, DEATH - AWESOME!

SRQ's Indie Rock Managerie

By Van Jazmin



“Let us freshen the idea pool!"



Four years ago, on the same porch where William T. Finch once hatched his entrepreneurial eurekas, three local musicians schemed to make the world a better place. It was Erin Murphy, Greg Ferris, and Brian Yoder, who, in the Do-It-Yourself spirit of the indie rock scene, decided to join forces to create a musicians’ resource. They started Finch House Records on a shoestring budget, and in little time, began releasing EPs of local music and promoting shows. This collaboration would spawn today’s colorful Finch House Family of Sarasota bands: The Equines, Fancy Rat, and last but not least, Cats in the Basement.



"I funneled my visual art energy into this,” says Ferris, “All I ever did with my art was put beautifully odd things next to each other. So, that's what I did with these musicians."



Stage Decor





Cats the Basement are a multi-talented four-piece comprised of songwriter-guitarman-artwiz Greg Ferris, hepcat-resonator-bassist Bryan Beardsley, improv-saxphonist-clarinetist Patrick Lynch, and animorph-superhuman-drummer Michael Murphy. Together, they’ve earned their title as SRQ’s pre-eminent “art party band”, playing every show with festive gusto. The group’s assortment of off-beat props match their off-color pop music, including a head impaled on a strobe light (affectionately named “Buttlegs Murphy”).



Cats in the Basement are known for getting even the most awkward crowds to move their feet. Their sound, odd ‘n’ raw to new ears, quickly becomes infectious and irresistible! In fact, I respond to their live shows by performing a dance that I like to call Skhwalzting (skuhh-WALZ-ting) – a combination of skanking and waltzing with a touch of Charles Schulz.





Art Party Bonanza at the Blue Owl!







“Our cassette tape just sold out. What year are we in anyway?”





CATSintheBASEMENT.infoThe newest release from Finch House Records is a cassette edition of Cats in the Basement’s new album titled: “DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD” Although I had the mp3s, I immediately bought the tape so I could enjoy Cats in the Basement without digital compression. Best heard at a high volume in a hot car, this tape can turn a dull drive into a bittersweet cruise down memory lane. And if you think that’s nostalgic magic, just wait until the glow-in-the-dark 10’ vinyl comes out in January. Digital or analog, the production remains coherent: the jingles jangle, the beats hit, and when the chorus swells, oh, it is swell!





“Doing nothing is an act of violence.”





"Do I shit on the stars that you were wishing on?"If you can look beyond the stage tomfoolery and the nonsensical, sing-songy title of the album, you may discover poetry. Between the chords, there are dialogs of antagonism and ruin, honesty and rapture. The songs range from relatable, lower-class love stories, to far-out tributes to Salvation Mountain and Tim Robbins’ Still Life With a Woodpecker. That said, pay close attention to the lyrics and see if you can find the thread these cats are playing with.



“I take it back, there IS cool stuff going on in Sarasota!”



What is to become of our local indie heroes? It is easy to think that the bands that make a hit are destined to move on to bigger, better venues. Seeing that the Finch House family bands have gained touring momentum, why haven’t they flew the coop yet? They keep coming back home – and miraculously, bringing more musicians back with them! Lately, there have been touring acts from Portland, Seattle, Austin, and even as far as Canada playing in Sarasota shows. Between Sarasota Music Scene and The Closet, and Finch House’s plans to merge with Atlas Records, the future looks bright for SRQ music. - Sarasota Music Scene




Cats in the Basement
DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD



The album title the first clue to the listener of what’s to come: a dissection, reconfigured reproduction, and (perhaps accidental) indictment of doo wop and other Cold-War era pop music anxieties, united by common threads of sublimated vampirism.

The scene: topless cars parked on a Californian hillside somewhere, teens sneaking out at midnight to indulge in “necking” while the radio plays the industrially drained sonic blood of categorically exploited black musicians in the then-young Rock and Roll landscape, largely for the entertainment of white suburban kids. The make out party knows that the “light of a thousand suns” threatened by fitfully sleeping nukes (created by their parents) could turn them to ash at any moment; not unlike those times when vampires embarrassingly explode into ashes when caught out in the very unfashionable daytime hours.

The culmination of the midnight congress is a Satanic seduction, a trick played on the unassuming Sunday school regular invited out for the first time, a secret set of kicks, a root beer float, the vaporized contents of a shared joint, and a saturnalia sacrifice of sock hop proportions, and maybe even a gang brawl between rival clans.

Yeah, Cats in The Basement do things like that in this disc, but with the self-consciousness and sensibilities that pass the smell tests historical hindsight, with a sense of humor, and an inevitable nod (even if unintentional) to Pitchfork-media era music critics.

The dark side of this kind of shit gets around a lot right now; the re-animated corpse of dead record makers get to do a voodoo dance for a hot minute, vis-à-vis whichever troupe is complimenting and robbing their graves like a po-mo pop-music “Weekend at Bernie’s”. Maybe it’s the post-9-11 paranoia parallel with McCarthyism. I don’t know. My point (I have one) is that sometimes this kind of pastiche is solid and clever; sometimes it’s annoying and cheap. Cats in the Basement puts a good spin on this though, and a unique voice manages to come out of it, making it worth the time to listen to it.

I actually had a “holy shit” moment during the very first track, “godlovessex”, which is fucking awesome and fun. It is hands-down my favorite track: an energizing Harry Belafonte-esque Caribbean party track featuring one of Greg Ferris’s trademark circuit-bendings of our shared hand-me-down basket of epistemologies and cosmologies: “God is Love / Love is Sex / Sex is Death / Death Awesome!”

“Indigent King”, the second track, starts out with a Buddy Holly slow dance cadence, and then takes methamphetamines. The tempo goes back and forth like this, with occasional lyrical glimpses of “baseball bats, brass knuckles and knives”, shining the dance hall spotlight on the concealed violence (the fun kind?) inscribed into the music, because, according to the lyrics, inertia is far worse (“doing nothing is an act of violence”).

“Spy Cat” is an arpeggiated break in the action: slow, dreamy tempo, lulling bass pulses, it’s a marked sort of inverted climax in the disc. I will admit, though, that I’ve heard a version (on the Internet, a long time ago) that was a little faster and more dancey; I’ll confess that I liked that version more. Saying that, the slowed deployment makes more sense at the exact location on the disc, in context to the other songs. It is only marred a tad bit by saxophone solos that I rarely accept as appropriate stylistically.

While we’re on the topic of the saxophone: To their credit, the use of saxophone in tasteful rock music a chancy line to walk (a risk! Many bands don’t bother to take risks!). It’s instantly, by default, until proven innocent, a cultural “too soon!” joke; only a misstep away from teetering into TGIF sitcom soundtrack territory, which Patrick does not quite do, but comes close at times within that Spy Cats solo. The saxophone feels entirely appropriate through most of the other songs though; it was a common (though not mandatory) fixture of a lot of old doo-wop and rock and roll bands in early rock, and that’s reflected in most of the songs on this disc. Good job guys, it’s not embarrassing, but could have been. That’s like an A+ for any use of saxophone in rock-based music right now.

Aside from “Spy Cat”, the rest of the track continues this tilt-o-world exposé of doo-wop neurosis, winking bloodlust, and lifestyle of muted art making destrudo. Under heated McCarthyist interrogation, the speaker of the songs shrugs, says “I’m just a guy / and I don’t feel like myself much anymore...” (Peanut Butter), but we know its got designs on a new crop of undead which will shame the “Twilight” generation in its tactical use of tastes, and will certainly fuck a lot more then them. - Matt Murphy


More proof that Sarasota, Florida produces some marvelous musicians! This album is due to be released December 1, 2011, however you can download the single for free here: http://catsinthebasement.bandcamp.com/.

Cats in the Basement is Bryan Beardsley, Greg Ferris, Michael Murphy, and Patrick Lynch. The guys are part of Finch House Records and I cannot wait to see em live. You can feel the energy bursting through your speakers from this release. They will be touring soon! We will post the dates on our Jump Offs, so stay tuned, this won’t be a show you will want to miss.

The whole album is an ultra- must have, absolutely fantastic! A mellifluous mix of lyrical genius, doo- wop, and decades of parties packed into each minute of the record. The entire cut is witty, entertaining, and there is even a sexophone! Your life will feel better once you put this on!

As soon as the first track starts, you know that the festivities have begun! “God is love, love is sex, sex is death- death awesome!” This introductory melody has you pumping your fists in the air as you find your body can’t help but dance! Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself moving in ways you never knew you could!

And you might even learn something from the refrains- for instance, “doing nothing is an act of violence.” The more I thought about this line from Indignant King, the more I realized just how insightful it really is. As you hear the words being sung, you will be forced to agree, as your head will involuntarily nod. And Peanut Butter might be my favorite track, certain to “dumpster dive into your heart.” Although, with so many well written warbles, it is difficult to select just which one I love the most. Rumors and Lies is a pure anthem for anyone who has ever lived in any city. I found myself shaking it as if to say “Amen.” Greg’s voice is so unique, and there are hints of youthful rebellion and the joys of rock and roll throughout the full 7-track escapade of groove. The sound is really quite pleasurable. (Perhaps it is also the addition of that sexaphone that makes this album so sexy- for whatever reason saxophones can make songs extra sensual.)

There are “strange, limited-edition double maxi single cassettes available at shows”, beginning Nov. 4- Cats in the Basement, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt and The Equines are playing at The Blue Owl in Sarasota. Get to one of the upcoming shows and get yourself a copy of DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD. Remember: dancing improves your mental health by 76%, where as reading or doing a crossword is only a 35% increased improvement! - DOOBIOUS.org


The lovably eclectic cats in Cats in the Basement are releasing a cassette version of the upcoming EP, “Doo Bee Doo La Dee Day Dum Be Dum Drink Your Blood,” this weekend.

Called a “musical performance project” by founder Greg Ferris, CITB is a veritable superabundance of sounds (self-dubbed, “surf waltz pop”) that’s even more entertaining live, when it becomes participatory visual revelry.

Its seven-song debut CD comes out Dec. 23, but diehards who can’t wait that long will be pleased with the $4 limited-edition, pre-release cassette — provided they still have a tape deck on which to play it!

CITB performs with fellow (Sarasota-based) Finch House Records mates The Equines plus Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! (who’re on David Byrne’s label, Luaka Bop). Remarkably, Ferris plays in all three! - Ticket Sarasota


Cats in the Basement is the brainchild of Sarasota visual and multi-instrumental conceptual artist Greg Ferris (xylophone player for The Equines and co-founder of The Closet and Finch House Records). Named after the feral cats that would find their way onto Ferris’ recordings during his stint at FSU, this performance art party band can include any number of random musicians, costumed dancers, cue-card sing-a-longs, glow-in-the-dark strobing mannequin heads on sticks, or any other off-the-wall idea Ferris decides to incorporate on any given night. Ferris honed the concept for the project last year after being invited to go on tour with similar NYC-based performance art band Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt (signed to David Byrne’s label Luaka Bop) and Halifax’s Rich Aucoin. - Ticket Sarasota


The multiple people party/ musical something like a band group, Cats in the Basement, is coming to you, lucky Florida! The gigs they’ve got lined up range from an afternoon kiddie-pool-filled yard bbq send-off with touring friends The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! and Blastoids in Sarasota, in-store performance @ Sweat Records, the 20+ band Summer Jam 7 fest including Halifax’s Rich Aucoin, and colliding in Orlando with the tour path of fellow Finch House roster heroes Fancy Rat. Yeeoww boys! - Finch House Records


The Equines of Sarasota are a colorful bunch, so it's no surprise xylophonist Greg Ferris ended up touring with the similarly colorful Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt.

Now Ferris has a fun-loving side project, Cats in the Basement, with a two-song synth-pop EP, The Internet On Tape. It's trippy and psychedelic, sure, but also strangely catchy. Click here to download it for free.

Cats in the Basement are gearing up for a spring tour with some friends in Canada. "I have a small bus so we can go wherever we want," Ferris said. He added that "Cats has always been defined by my arcane home recording," but when the band performs live, it's often Bryan Beardsley on bass, Michael Murphy on drums and Patrick Lynch on sax.

On Saturday, they'll be performing alongside a slew of popular local bands (Geri X, the Rukus, the Groves, Infinite Groove Orchestra and many more) at Summer Jam 7, playing at New World Brewery and Crowbar. Tickets are $13-$16. - Tampa Bay Times


Cats In The Basement is a performance art party band that can include any number of random musicians, costumed dancers, cue-card sing-a-longs, glow-in-the-dark strobing mannequin heads on sticks, or any other off-the-wall idea progenitor Greg Ferris (xylophone player for The Equines and co-founder of The Closet and Finch House Records) decides to incorporate on any given night. - Ticket Sarasota


“Herb Crust” by Cats in the Basement was named after a line frontman Greg Ferris spotted on a box of Hot Pockets.


While attending FSU, aspiring artist and musician Greg Ferris started writing songs under the pseudonym Cats in the Basement — derived from the feral cats around his house whose meows would occasionally find their way onto his recordings. The project took a backseat after Ferris joined locals Mike and Erin Murphy to form The Equines, in which Ferris plays xylophone, and to eventually launch Sarasota indie label Finch House Records.


Then last year, after being discovered at an Equines show by Neil Fridd of NYC-based performance art party band Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt (signed to David Byrne’s label Luaka Bop), the two hit it off and Fridd asked Ferris to join TPDR on tour. The experience brought Ferris to festival stages across the country, including the Tour de Fat Festivals in Portland and Seattle and SXSW in Austin, landing him on bills with big name acts like The Black Keys, Paul Simon, Cee-Lo, Big Boi and indie super-group Mister Heavenly.


Ferris even had the opportunity to hop on stage with one of his biggest musical heroes, The Flaming Lips, while performing at The Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores with Halifax’s Rich Aucoin. Just to give you an idea of the unorthodox spontaneity of this species of band, Aucoin fits his entire show into a backpack, had 500 guest musicians on his album, and had no qualms about setting up at The Blue Owl not long after opening for Foo Fighters.


“That (tour) was definitely a big influence,” recalls Ferris. “When I first started playing music it was real personal and kind of sad. But once I started playing fun shows I got such a different response. People would come up and say, ‘That was the most fun I’ve ever had.’”


Taking mental notes on the road with TPDR and Aucoin, Ferris realized that these types of experimental improv shows could be vastly hit or miss depending on the crowd and location. So he started trying out different tricks to see how audiences would respond. “Doing each show was kind of like a test tube with different results,” he says, “so I kind of weened out what works.”


The fruits of this weening can now be found in a renewed and refreshed Cats in the Basement, complete with a rotating cast of costumed dancers, cue-card sing-a-longs, a glow-in-the-dark strobing mannequin head on a stick, and any other hair-brained ideas Ferris can muster.


With their recorded compositions varying wildly from the corresponding live performances, one can never be too sure exactly what they’ll encounter at a Cats in the Basement show. As of now Equines drummer Mike Murphy and bassist Bryan Beardsley have been filling their respective positions for Cats shows, but Ferris has been laying most of his tracks down in a solitary manner using a midi keyboard and whatever instruments happen to be sitting in front of him.


Ferris’s self-professed “affinity for violent things done sweetly” leads to an odd marriage between his lyrics and the dance-happy music that surrounds them. A prime example is the Cats song featured on this year’s Noise Ordinance 2 local music compilation, “Spy Cat”, which invokes the joy of a lovely bike ride on a warm summer day accompanied by the line, “I want to collect the sunshine / wring it from your eyes and break your neck / like a pack of candy cigarettes.” Much like Foster the People’s current hit “Pumped up Kicks”, you know there’s something dark in there, but you can’t keep from smiling anyway.


“I think everyone’s done with being angry in music,” explains Ferris. “Any resistance is just people not quite at the curve... It’s a reaction against sitting and listening. You don’t want to go out and be attentive. You want to have fun.”


Cats in the Basement continues on their playful parade of poppy performance art this Thursday, July 28 at Word of Mouth downtown. They will also be playing Summer Jam 2011 at New World Brewery on August 27, and have invited Rich Aucoin back to Sarasota that same week to play a show in a full swimming pool using waterproof microphones and a floating stage.


“We’re still looking for the perfect pool,” says Ferris.


Cats in the Basement plans to release their debut EP “The Internet on Tape” to support their September 2011 national tour with The Equines. Fans can download tracks for free and get more information by visiting catsinthebasement.info.

- This Week In Sarasota


Discography

DOO BEE DOO LA DEE DAY DUM BE DUM DRINK YOUR BLOOD
Debut seven song EP released in FEB 22, 2012 on Atlas/Finch House. Online distro (iTunes, amazon, rhapsody...)

Previous limited releases:

THE INTERNET ON TAPE (2011) - Unreleased demos on the shores of the world wide web.

NOISE ORDINANCE II (2011) - 2000 copies
Selected from over 120 area submissions celebrating music from the 941 area code. Featured track "Spy Cat" on WMNF 88.5 while "CD of The Week"

ORANGE PRESS COMP (2009) - 100 copies
One track on the indie zine companion.

FOLK SCIENCE (2008) - 100 copies
20 minute noise-pop mixtape still in rotation at 96.5 WSLR in SRQ.

Photos

Bio

"If Paul Simon started hanging out with The E Street Band at the beach during the day and salsa and jazz clubs at night, they'd probably wind up creating something that sounded a bit like this." -Mixtape Muse

In the past year we did:

-Played as the backing band for Rich Aucoin (Sonic) @ (Hangout Fest '11, Conferette 35, SXSW '11, '12, Art Basel, Hangout Fest '12)

-We also back Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! (Luaka Bop) @ (New Belgium Tour De Fat, west coast, SXSW '11, east coast, SXSW '12, Total Bummer 3D)

-Released EP on Atlas/Finch House distributed by Burnside!

-Month long EP release East coast/SXSW/Nola tour with Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! playing almost every single night (most with 2 shows!)

-We run around the state of Florida lot, but we did an official Florida tour w/ Rich Aucoin

-Pre-sold Kickstarter campaign for batch of Glow-in-the-Dark 10" vinyl!!

-Sold two 100 runs of cassette tapes, 100 shirts, 150 CDs (tour only!)

-We played a song with 25 drummers and a piano axed to pieces

-College radio play!

-Increasing Spanish/Portuguese speaking audience

-Held GrooveShark front page for 2 months

CATS IN THE BASEMENT is your everyday library-turned-dancehall of a band delivering infectious pop music. Schizophrenic love songs marry subversive lyrics to group-hug performance art starring a cast of irrational artifacts and anachronistic everyday library-turned-dancehall characters.

CATS is a musical performance project by Greg Ferris. The band is part of the Finch House family in Sarasota, FL.