The Untitled Interview #179: Starring Alfra Martini (The Kitten Covers)

To me, it is a match made in heaven. And to bring together two such perfect entities into one EVEN MORE PERFECT (purrfect?!) concept was nigh on brilliant. What the dickens am I talking about, you're quite possibly wondering? If the image to the right hadn't clued you in, friends, I'm talking about one of the best ideas since the creation of the dang internet: The Kitten Covers. Brainchild of Alfra Martini, herself a designer, musician, label honcho, and vintage poster enthusiast/official handler thereof (not to mention admirer of cute), The Kitten Covers brings together the unfathomable cuteness of kittens with the unquestionable cool of (mostly) vintage record covers. Martini's works include the AC/DC work here, along with David Bowie, Cat Power, Black Sabbath, and Dr. Dre (to name but a scant few). At times, it's uncanny how much cats resemble the humans they're fashioned after. I believe you'll find the results more than speak for themselves. And if you couldn't tell, I'm a huge fan. 

Ms. Martini was kind enough to take some time to address some of my most burning of questions. Read on to see how she feels about  "Blue Bayou," thought-swearing, and playing favorites. Oh, and kittens. There is some talk about kittens. Of course.

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you? 
Alfra Martini: I'm great. It's my day off and I just scrambled an egg. 

FL: What was the last song you listened to? 
AM: "I Feel Love" - Donna Summer produced by Giorgio Moroder. It's brilliant. 

FL: Beatles or Stones? 
AM: Impossible question. But if you had a gun to my head... I'd reluctantly say Beatles (with fingers crossed... probably). 

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this month, or of ever): 
AM: Again, this is hard to answer. Like the kitten covers, I'm compelled to exclude contemporary albums. And those who know me well would probably expect me to just list the first 5 Bowie albums (er…starting with Hunky Dory) and be done with it. But in the spirit of diversity. I'll give you this: Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie, Hounds of Love - Kate Bush, Another Green World - Brian Eno, Purple Rain - Prince, The White Album - Beatles. Alternate: Ocean Rain - Echo and the Bunnymen. This changes all the time however. 

FL: Favorite music-related movie? 
AM: Despite all the fantastic documentaries out there, I'm gonna go with Cabaret. Bob Fosse tends to be overlooked as a movie director, but this movie is fantastic. Also Liza Minnelli gives some of the most mesmerizing onscreen numbers in all history. So freakin' camp, so freakin' glam. 

FL: Half-full or half-empty? 
AM: Neither… it's always too full. 

FL: What bands are most conducive to making great works of art whilst listening to? And do you listen to the band you are currently kittenizing while you do so? 
AM: If I ever make any great art, I'll let you know. However when working on non-music art, anything electronic, particularly with emotive vocals. My go to albums: The Best of OMD - OMD and Pleasure Victim - Berlin. But I don't tend to listen to music while doing the covers. It actually takes twice as long, because I get distracted. 

FL: What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning? 
AM: What eff happened to the alarm? Why didn't I hear the effing alarm? Bleh. Except I really think "Fuck" and not "eff"… 'cuz I swear a lot in my thoughts. 

FL: The greatest record store in the world is: 
AM: Academy Records (Annex) in Brooklyn. Not only for the records, but also for the cool cats behind the counter, one who is actually quite literally a cat. And also that little hole in the wall, Fifth Avenue Records & Tapes in Park Slope, it's dusty and cramped, but so close to home, it's an easy place to pop in on a weekend stroll to the park. 

FL: It’s probably something akin to having a favorite child, but I’ll ask anyway. Are there are covers you’ve kittenized that you’re particularly rather fond of? 
AM: Oh ya? I guess I'd be a bad parent, because I do have favorites. cAtC/DC... makes me laugh every time. Those kittens look so bedraggled. And Purrliament - Meowership Connection, cuz just look at that little sucker... so happy in his little spaceship... And Bob Kitten... 'cuz the hair... oh Bob. 

FL: Last record you bought? 
AM: Mmmm… good question, you know, Zach, my boyfriend, tends to max out our vinyl budget and he's better at scouring than I am. But I guess the last one I actually bought was Jazz by Queen, because it still had the racy poster in it (no pun intended). I can't resist when the poster is still in a used LP, it's like finding a treasure within a treasure! 

FL: What’s a cover you’ve tried to kittenize but just weren’t able to make work (if any)? 
AM: If I start a cover and realize it's gonna be difficult, I put it on the back burner. It's finding the kittens that's the hardest part. You've got to stare at a billion Google thumbnails and try a billion search phrases… and you don't always get happy results… but let's see... I've got Minor Threat's Complete Discography, and Rick James' Street Songs on hold for now. Those exaggerated human poses are the most tricky. I had to use 4 different kittens to make the Purrliament kitten flying in that little craft. 

FL: Shaken or stirred? 
AM: Shaken. Definitely shaken. 

FL: Little-known Kitten Covers fact? 
AM: Despite my ensuing blindness and carpal tunnel, I haven't made a red cent from it. Also "kittenize" isn't actually a word (ed. note: it sure ought to be). 

FL: Your boots were made for: 
AM: Mud. 

FL: Have you kittenized any of your own band’s covers yet? AM: Nope. It's a touchy subject. 

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of? 
AM: I did call my latest project Virginia Plain, that's no accident, so I suppose Roxy Music, because Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno... that's something special. Wait, can I add a Roxy Album to the above list? 

FL: You deal in vintage posters. What’s your all-time favorite poster, and how come? 
AM: Currently, Erik Nitsche's Hydrodynamics (USS Nautilus). If you don't know it, it's from the Atoms for Peace series he designed in the 1950's for General Dynamics. I'm more of a sustainable energy kinda girl, but Nitsche's designs are absolutely remarkable. Such a stunning balance of organic form and geometric composition. And if you can see an original, the lithography is impeccable. He also designed some classical covers for Decca back in the day which I'm always keeping an eye out for. 

FL: Best song ever written? 
AM: Orbison's penchant for the grand climax kills me every time, so right now, "Blue Bayou" (Roy Orbison/Joe Melson). I'm rather obsessed with it, especially the Linda Ronstadt version.    


  1. I like taylor swift music song.she is a nice music artics.she give us latest music song. Are you interest in music artist, please click music


Post a Comment

Popular Posts