Asthmatic Kitty Q & A
Who are the cats on the AK homepage?
The multi-colored short hair is Tabby; dumped at a barn as a kitten, one of Asthmatic Kitty’s founders adopted her in 1993 when the barn keeper stated his intention to dump her elsewhere. Sara, the orange and white longhair, waddled out of the woods about a year later, eight weeks pregnant, starving, and afflicted with numerous ailments, including feline asthma (link). Since Sara’s asthma is mild and Tabby survived a serious respiratory crisis, occasional conflicts erupt over who is the real Asthmatic Kitty, but no-one gets hurt. Tabby and Sara also have a younger feline sister, Millie, who drives them crazy, and canine sister Cassie, who accepts their notion that cats rule the universe.
Is the name “Asthmatic Kitty” in poor taste?
A veterinarian once referred to “asthma kitties” while examining Sara; it morphed into “asthmatic kitty” and became our choice for the fledgling label. The name honors Sara, and all imperfect beings in need of love and a home, like musicians. So no, we don’t think it’s in bad taste. One of Asthmatic Kitty’s extra-musical messages is “Please support your local pet rescue organization.” Asthmatic Kitty Records contributes to The Lander Pet Connection and helped found the LPC’s fund for stray and abandoned cats.
Does Asthmatic Kitty accept demos?
Please see our demo policy. We recently expanded our roster, have several more artists on deck, and as of this writing, we don’t anticipate “signing” any more in the near future (does not apply if you’re Brian Wilson or Dionne Warwick).
Do you hire interns?
Unfortunately, no; our office is too small to accommodate additional staff, and decent, affordable short term housing is rare in Lander and the surrounding area.
Why does Rafter Roberts wear bunny and chicken suits for publicity photos?
We’d rather not say.
How are your recordings distributed?
By Secretly Canadian Distribution.
When will Sufjan Stevens release another “state” album, and what state will it be?
We don’t know. We don’t know if Sufjan knows.
Are Asthmatic Kitty and Sounds Familyre the same label?
No, we’re separate entities, but because of multiple long-term personal and professional relationships, we consider Sounds Familyre (link) our “sister” label. We feel the same about the Soundsareactive label (link).
What does “Half-handed Cloud” mean, and is it a band or an individual?
1. See The Bible, I.Kings:18, 44.
2. Both: John Ringhofer, alone, or with friends.
Is there a secret meaning to the name “Castanets?”
Yes, and here’s how you may discover it- repeat the name “Raymond Raposa” while going to sleep; a bearded man will appear in your dreams and reveal the secret meaning, which involves rain, snow, blood, night, industry, swimming, cathedrals, ghostly buoys in Chesapeake Bay, Denton, Texas, and tour vans with broken doors.
Are Asthmatic Kitty’s artists fine Americans?
Yes, except for the members of Shapes and Sizes, who are fine Canadians, and Hermas
Do you live in Michigan?
No, but we did when we started Asthmatic Kitty in the small city of Holland in 1998. We now work from offices in Lander, Wyoming, Brooklyn, New York, and Indianapolis, Indiana. An interesting comparison: the population density of Fremont County, Wyoming, where you’ll find Lander, is 3.9 persons per sq. mile. King’s County, New York, where Brooklyn will find you, has about 35,000 persons per sq. mile. Geographically, Fremont County is the size of New Jersey and Delaware combined, but we have far more cows and horses than people.
Indianapolis is interesting too; the home of Gen Con, basketball legend Oscar Robertson, Butler University, jazz greats Wes Montgomery and Freddie Hubbard, Jane Pauley, John Dillinger, Benjamin Harrison (23rd president of the U.S.), Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., the historic Slippery Noodle Inn, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, pioneer African-American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, the Kiwanis Club, and Asthmatic Kitty’s own Liz Janes and Future Rapper.
Can I buy curtains from you? (actual question)
No, but you can buy the album “Calamity” by The Curtains, and if you’re inclined, hang it up in your window.
What do you get when you cross a bunny with a monkey?
Bunky: Emily Joyce, Rafter Roberts, and friends, whose first album, “Born to be a Motorcycle,” appeared in March 2005.
Do you forward personal messages to AK artists?
If they are in good taste and don’t concern The Second Coming, yes. Please do not send large packages, liquids, or old shoes (it’s happened). We can’t provide personal contact information unless specifically authorized by the artist.
Why is AK based in Lander, Wyoming?
AK’s co-founder moved to Lander (Elevation: 5587 ft., pop. 6700) in 2002 when his wife found a job in her profession here. Small and isolated, the better movies don’t come to our single screen and shopping is limited, but it works for us. Advantages to living in Lander include the stunning landscape, small town ambience but with a diverse populace, more good restaurants than the average town this size, and a lingering ambience of the old west along with the new- Butch Cassidy hung out in Lander’s bars and jail, Advantages of doing business here include fast service at the post office and no state income tax. On the kitty side, Sara’s asthma symptoms have almost disappeared in the thin, dry air. Among the disadvantages: mail usually takes an extra day in and out, and travel disruptions are common. Winter weather or high winds in any season may close the few roads we have, and even in the best weather air travel is iffy- all flights go to Denver. When the roads close, the grocery stores may run out of some things, so it’s good to stock up. Disadvantages aside, Asthmatic Kitty loves Lander and Wyoming.
Are Chris Schlarb and Future Rapper the names of actual persons?
What is AK’s creative and business philosophy?
It might be “There are two means of refuge from the misery of life-music and cats.”
-Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)