Asthmatic Kitty Records

Various Artists

Mews Too: An Asthmatic Kitty Compilation

Catalog: AKR015
Release date: February 7, 2006
  • CD $6.00

This new compilation from Asthmatic Kitty Records acts as a social mix-tape tracing the particular relationships that make up the extended Asthmatic Kitty family and friends. The compilation gathers musicians, friends, colleagues, and collaborators from the label’s seven-year history, presenting an odd, exciting, and idiosyncratic family tree in which kinship and musicianship are thankfully confused. Joining the choir are mainstays of the Asthmatic Kitty roster, as well as old band-mates and friends, and a few artists who’ve made their mark outside of this label. “Mews Too” continues the musical conversation begun in 2001 by Asthmatic Kitty’s first compilation “To Spirit Back the Mews” by including many of the contributors to that album, and by inviting new friends as well. The twenty-four tracks include contributions from Asthmatic Kitty’s current roster–Sufjan Stevens, Half-handed Cloud, Liz Janes, Castanets, and Bunky–as well as indie luminaries Danielson, Royal City, Denison Witmer, Jim Guthrie, and Steven Lambke of the Constantines.  Like its predecessor, “Mews Too” weaves various genres and eccentric individual visions to form a testimonial to the uniqueness of Asthmatic Kitty’s musical community. A word of explanation about the artists on this album:

1.Denison Witmer played bass with Sufjan Stevens and The Michigan Militia in 2004.
2. Bogs Visionary Orchestra (Alex Tallivera) is a Brooklyn artist, a new father, and friend to Sufjan Stevens.
3. Half-handed Cloud is the musical alter ego of John Ringhofer, Asthmatic Kitty’s first signing and frequent multi-intrumentalist-singer in Sufjan’s touring band.
4. My Brightest Diamond is Shara Worden, head cheerleader for the Illinoisemakers.
5. Chris Schlarb founded the label Sounds Are Active, Asthmatic Kitty’s second cousin, twice removed.
6. Liz Janes is a blues singer, longtime friend, and team mom; she is married to Asthmatic Kitty’s A&R man.
7. Bunky is the combination between a bunny and a monkey, part Emily Joyce, part Rafter Roberts, the latter who happens to engineer and master quite a few Asthmatic Kitty albums.
8. Maxel Toft sent us a demo and we thought it was cool. We have no idea who he is.
9. Jim Guthrie (lead guitarist for Royal City) is the namesake for the Toronto label Three Gut Records and a good friend to Sufjan Stevens.
10.Castanets is Ray Raposa, our very own Star Child and surrogate younger brother to Asthmatic Kitty’s A&R man.
11.Danielson is Daniel Smith’s musical transfiguration, an ambitious artist and friend who originally helped coax and coddle Sufjan Stevens out of his shell.
12.Matthew Haseltine played fretless bass in Sufjan Stevens’ college band.
13.Sam Rosen is 18 years old. He sent us some demos and we would like to encourage him.
14. Welcome Wagon is Pastor and Mrs. Vito Auito. Sufjan sang at Vito’s ordination.
15. Jason Brouwer is an old friend from college and former drummer in a band that at various times included Asthmatic Kitty co-founders Sufjan and Lowell, Roman Bolks, and Matt Morgan.
16. lifestyles&vistas is Melissa Herwaldt Riches, wife to Aaron Riches (Royal City), a woman of ideas, poet, Catholic social activist, old friend.
17. Roman Bolks is also an old friend from college.
18. Sufjan Stevens can fold a fitted-sheet (he once worked as a professional folder in a commercial Laundromat).
19. Shannon Stephens is not related to Sufjan Stevens, but she was the lead singer in his college band.
20. Royal City played a house show at Sufjan’s loft many years ago; singer Aaron Riches later married Sufjan’s housemate Melissa Herwaldt.
21. Men of Old is Matt Morgan, the bearded bard of Redhook, Star Child, an old friend from college, who also did the art for a few Asthmatic Kitty albums.
22. Jai Agnish introduced many of us to each other; without him, we would be strangers.
23. Steven Lambke is the gentle heart of the Constantines.
24. Elin Smith is Norwegian; she is married to Daniel Smith.