November 9th, 2009 5:33 pm | by Local Cut Music | Posted In: Columns, Tour Diary, Tour Diary

Portland Cello Project: The Truth about Cats (Toronto and Montreal)


The caveat to Toronto's wonderfulness is that there was a cat in the venue who freaked out during Thao's set crying “MEOW!!!” really loudly over and over again. And then as we played a scent rose through the stage of ammonia cat urine—completely awful. The owners said the cat was just spooked, which was fine, but it smelled really bad.

Adam Thompson—Thao's bass player—hates cats. When I first met him he talked to me about how cats have this microbial parasite issue in their poop so that, if you accidentally ingest any of it, gives you a psychological disorder that makes you love cats sexually, though your brain doesn't really process it this way and it just makes you obsessed with being around cats, which is the explanation for crazy cat ladies and stuff—like, crazy cat ladies accidentally ate some miniscule amount of cat poop at some point in their lives or something.

The hypothesis behind this microbe in cat poo is that the microbe really wants to be back in the cat, so the idea is that if the cat poops out the microbe, mice or rats like to eat cat poo or something, and the microbe makes the mice or rats sexually attracted to cats, so that they run up to the cats to mate, and of course the cat eats the rat—in which now lives the microbe—which then makes the microbe go back into the cat, where it's happy.

I have no clue if any of that is true.

But I know that now that I've heard that story it will never leave me, and so I'm passing the curse of this knowledge (however true or false) on to you.

I guess I'm passing the story on kind of like the parasite in the cat's poo. But without the ingestion, poop and bestial attraction.

Anyway, at the end of the show we're walking off stage and some guy starts yelling “I have a card for you! HEY! I have a card for you!” I ignore him. Adam grabs it and opens it and it's INGENIOUS! Someone somehow found a birthday card with a cat on the cover (clearly during the show), and scratched out BIRTHDAY and wrote Happy show in Toronto, and some other stuff, and then “PS: I think the cat was saying ‘Thao'”

Toronto was sweet. People came out to the show in spite of the fact that it was the Sunday after Halloween. These shows have been wonderfully well-attended even though neither Thao nor we have played in some of these cities.

And Toronto gained the new high score in the nationwide "Hey Ya!" singing contest, mostly because there was a dude in the front row who knew every word:


Montreal was pleasant. Truth be told we were barely there for a few hours. We've learned to cross the border at night to go back to the states at 2-4 am whenever possible to avoid lines, so we crossed that night and crashed at a motel in some small town in Vermont. It was a very pleasant La Quinta experience.

We found out the next day that Thao's group had crashed across the same town in a Travelodge for the same amount of money, but got caught trying to sleep 6 to a room.

The manager called Clyde in the room and said “how many people do you have in your room?”


“Don't lie to me – how many people do you have in your room?”


“I saw 6 people get out of your van! You have 2 minutes to bring me the keys!”

Clyde went down to the desk and the manager said, “Why did you lie to me!!”


Because it's 3 in the morning?

Because we're not rich?

Because, what difference does it really make?

Portland Cello ProjectSpace

Photos courtesy of PCP

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