Have you ever watched anyone eat an entire can of cat food? No, you haven’t. But fear not friends!
Have you ever watched anyone eat an entire can of cat food? No, you haven’t. But fear not friends! October 17 at Backspace, Meeps, notorious consumer of durian and lutefisk from the blog “Meeps Eats,” will be dressing up as a cat to eat—and if we’re lucky—puke up a can of cat food.
No, this isn’t a freak show or some sick PETA protest, it’s a benefit for one man’s cat whose little body was victim to the ruthless injustice of maniacal automobile drivers—a hit-and-run. This is a story of great togetherness, great friendship, support and most of all, a great karmic celebration of Weasley, the cat who asked local record label Apes Tapes to host a show in his furry honor.
Apes Tapes is an infant of a label, kicking and screaming its way into the world. Dedicated to the promotion and exposure of as many self-determined musicians as possible, Apes Tapes thrives off the resurgence of old cassette tapes.
“We chose tapes,” said Cameron Spies, one of the founders of Apes Tapes, “because we feel like not only does our generation have nostalgia for tapes, but they’re also a much more solid medium than a CD. CDs are so disposable, so we like the medium of tapes better. They are a good halfway between vinyl and CD.”
In addition to tapes, they sell MP3 downloads, screen-printed shirts and comics, and soon hope to sell cassette players. They like the tapes for the authenticity and remembrance, like a subconscious analog rewind button back to times before bitterness—not to mention how cheap they are to distribute.
Although not the only label in Portland to launch a tape revival, Apes Tapes is definitely promoting some of the most genuine music known to our local community. Playing on October 17’s benefit show are four of Apes Tapes’ bands: Spesus Christ, Your Canvas, Keeps the Kids Quiet and Adventures! with Might. Many of the members of these bands beat with the heart of Apes Tapes: Cameron Spies and Lizzie Ellison of Spesus Christ and Mark Swart and Jessica Bourdreaux of Your Canvas, to name a few.
“A lot of the bands on Apes Tapes are merging,” said Apes Tapes musician Leviticous Appleton. “A lot of the music is really fun, like you can dance to it, but it also has that emotional caliber and the combination of those two things is what I’m most excited about…There’s a lot of bands that sound good and look cool, but they’re not really revealing anything about themselves or making themselves vulnerable with their performance. When I saw [Spesus Christ] it was so awesome because I could connect with how vulnerable the music and the words were.”
The bands on AT all have in common a certain honesty and passion embodied in their music that makes you want to quit your job and play with tragic intimacy all day. They all have a sound like a wild animal caught in the middle of the city, pacing back and forth, howling to its brothers in the lost mountains, exploding into expressive melodies while seeking the great escape.
So in all this beauty of vulnerability, one might wonder, where does the cat come in? Some may remember the Parlour, an all-ages, community-oriented venue and coffee shop that was recently closed down. One of the co-owners of the place, Mike Harper, developed friendships with many of the bands that played at his venue, which included all those named above. Impressed with the bands’ professionalism and musical integrity, Harper was more than willing to become an integral member of Apes Tapes promotional affairs. Weasley the cat belongs to Harper.
“I love that when Apes Tapes started forming,” says Harper, “all the really awesome people were getting together to make something really awesome happen.”
It is very awesome indeed—all of it—the cat, the story and the tunes.
The door fee for October 17’s show is donation only and all proceeds go to help out the little survivor Weasley. So if you’re interested in quality company, emotionally riveting music, nauseous performance and good karma, this is definitely the show for you. Hope to see you there! ?