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Feline music [1 March 07] from Walker Kong

Although I'm no expert, I think I'm on pretty safe ground when I say that anthropomorphic felines don't figure much in music. Sure, there is some centaur music out there -- my favorite is The Centaur by Buck 65, and that's not even about a real centaur! And there are some popular big cat songs out there -- The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Eye of the Tiger are two that pop into my head.

So I was surprised to see that the new cover art of one of my favorite bands featured a human with a tiger head. Not a wemic, but still very nifty. Here's a part of that cover art:

Deliver Us From People art sample

The album is named "Deliver Us From People," and it is by Walker Kong. I was first introduced to the band a few years ago through Salon's Audiophile blog, and I've been listening ever since. I wrote to the band when I saw the new cover art:

Dear Walker Kong,

I'm a fan of wemics (mythological cat people) and a fan of Walker Kong! But I never thought these two interests would coincide.

But naturally I am very curious about the cat-mask drummer in the photo on your Web site. Could you tell me more? What does it mean? Does it relate to the new album?

I'd love to post about it on my blog.


And I got this amazing reply:
dear cayzle,

first, let me begin by saying that your website rules.

secondly, the figure on the front of our new cd is not officially a wemic per se but it certainly does bring one to mind. the songs off of our new record all have something to do with how animals relate to humans through relationships that are quite unique yet often bizarre from a naturalists perspective. there is a song about the tiger that attacked roy of the legendary las vegas duo "sigfried and roy." that is really where the tiger mask comes into play on the cover. although, if there was anyone who could hang with wemics it would most likely be our drummer emily.

thanks for getting in touch and i'll definitely pass on your website to others.


jeremy ackerman

Of course, that made me really want to listen to the album, which the band's blog said was coming March 27. But I found that iTunes was selling it right now. A quick download later I had a new Walker Kong album on my iPod!

I love music, but I can't pretend to be able to write knowledgeably on the topic. Let me just report that the album has the thought-provoking lyrics, indie-rock-pop sound, amazing vocals, great harmony, and catchy melodies that one would expect from Walker Kong.

The animal-people theme that Jeremy mentioned in his e-mail message is amazing, and fun to puzzle over as you listen to the words. The songs on the album include ones about race horses, carrier pigeons, bees, and a couple about felines. "Las Vegas Son," the one about the tiger that mauled Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy includes these wonderful lyrics:

sometimes instinct is the only pleasure you have ...
though I'm conditioned to be your friend -- there are limits to how far the stripes will bend ...
gazelles are running in my head, in my head, in my head ...

But my favorite song on the album, one that has given me a new quote to put into rotation at the top of my home page, is "Don't Give It Up." I must admit that I am still pondering the lyrics, so let me quote them in full here.

I said I never come around here ever again.
I got confused and restless souls
sleeping in my bed.
We used to carry the weight of the world.
I think that we were lions.
We used to bury all the remains,
And can't you see me trying?

Don't give up on me
-- don't give up on me.
Don't give up on me
-- don't give up on me.
And lives of mystery
-- don't give up on me.
Don't give up on me.

I'm having visions of the past --
I live them in vain.
The stars are folding up
like papers and cranes.
We used to drink all the rivers at night.
I think that we were tigers.
There are endless reasons for love,
even when we're blinded.

Don't give up on me
-- don't give up on me.
Don't give up on me
-- don't give up on me.
And lives of mystery
-- don't give up on me.
Don't give up on me.

Home | This page last modified: 1 March 2007