Shows in PA & elsewhere, a trip to London, and a Scandinavian etymological journey

You Cat-Faced Vikings,

We’ll begin this update by addressing something that’s been causing plenty of confusion and consternation for a great many of you: Who were the “cat-faced Vikings”? The answer couldn’t be simpler! These were Vikings (8th-11th cent.) who, through rudimentary plastic surgery, looked exactly like cats. So far so good. What’s little understood is the derivation of the “cat-faced” assignation. Why not, for example, “cat-like,” or even “cat,” given that these Vikings were, in every cosmetic respect, identical to cats – legs, paws, tails, tummies, flanks, ears, and, of course, faces? One clue may lie in a linguistic irregularity found in dialects spoken by several subdivisions of the larger group known as Vikings. In these dialects, a single multipurpose word – “face” – was used to describe any specific part of the body. Thus one might say, “My body hurts,” and when asked, “Which part?” one could point to one’s stomach, from which half an arrow protruded, and say, “My face.”

If you want to come to our show tomorrow in Pennsylvania, and you don’t attend Washington & Jefferson University, take heart. The show is open to the public, though it’s only free for students, who already blew their February budgets on glow-in-the dark “hot ice” condoms and tequila, which was poured into the condoms, which were then tied shut and thrown at deer, who were largely delighted. The thing is, you can’t buy tickets online, so if you’re driving out to Western PA from Philly or New York or San Francisco, you might justifiably worry about arriving and finding that all the tickets had been snapped up by students, their shoulders too sore for the moment to feed any more deer. Well fear not. Here’s how you can reserve tickets, according to the show’s promoter:

We’re doing will call, or they can purchase at the door.  Tickets can be reserved by emailing name and number needed to, and can be paid for by cash or check at the door.  No credit or debit cards.

See you there, if you come! If you don’t, we won’t see you at all, because we’ll be there.

Luckily, this isn’t our last chance to meet up. We’re not doing any extensive touring in the first half of 2011 – we need time to begin crafting our next release (tentatively titled “Brain Thrust Mastery” again) – but we’ve set up shows in a few enticing cities in hopes that those of you whose doorsteps we won’t be muddying will consider meeting us halfway. Why not hop a jetliner to Barcelona, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Isle of Wight, or San Diego and find out first hand what we sound like? (We’ll be adding a few more options in the near future.)

A few things coming up in the immediate future post-Pennsylvania show: on Sunday we’re going to get on a Virgin Airlines airplane and watch movies all night. All the free red wine we can drink won’t hurt one bit when it’s time to push through “Yogi Bear.” When the plane lands, assuming everything goes smoothly, assuming the continents don’t rearrange while we’re up there, we’ll be in London. We’ll spend next week crafting tunes with Andy (Burrows (the First)), hitting the NME Awards in search of our two free drinks, hanging with old pals, just palling around, etc. There’s a chance we’ll succumb to the inevitable desire to play in front of people with Andy, in which case we’ll drop some hints on the ol’ twitter feed (est. 1921).

That’s all for now. Onward!