Ask Me Another
1:14 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The Meow Mix

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:55 am

Cats! We can't get enough of their cute, fuzzy faces and fickle personalities. Neither can musicians, apparently. In this game, Jonathan Coulton delivers some musical clues to songs that have cats in their title, or were performed by musical acts with a feline name. One song is even performed entirely in "meow."

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Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WNYC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. Coming up, we'll talk to the creator of "Freaks and Geeks," writer and director Paul Feig. But first let's get carry with our next two contestants. Joining us now are Jenny Arrigo and Bob Sukovich.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jenny, would you say you are a cat person or a dog person?

JENNY ARRIGO: I would say I'm a cat person.

EISENBERG: Do you have cats?

ARRIGO: No.

EISENBERG: Oh, interesting. Do you have dogs?

ARRIGO: No.

EISENBERG: Because that would be weird if you had a dog and identified as a cat person. OK, Bob, how about you?

BOB SUKOVICH: Definitely a cat person.

EISENBERG: Really, two cats people? And you have cats?

SUKOVICH: I do, I have one.

EISENBERG: You have one. That's - yeah...

SUKOVICH: And she was delicious.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Lovely. This game is called The Meow Mix. It's a musical game, so let's turn to our musical director Jonathan Coulton.

JONATHAN COULTON: Yes, we are going to quiz you on songs that have cats in their titles or were performed by musical acts with a feline name. We'll tell you what we're looking for before each song. Sometimes it might be the artist. Sometimes it might be a lyric. And after each song, Ophira will ask a follow-up question that either of you can ring in for, and the winner will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Are you ready?

SUKOVICH: Yes.

ARRIGO: Not sure.

EISENBERG: Fill in the lyrics to this Harry Chapin song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CAT'S IN THE CRADLE")

COULTON: (Singing) And the some kind of something and the silver spoon, Little Boy Blue and the Man in the Moon, when you coming home, dad? I don't know when. But we'll get together then, dad, you know we'll have a good time then.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Bob?

SUKOVICH: Cat's in the cradle.

COULTON: Cat's in the cradle is right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: As you probably know, the cat's cradle is an old children's string game, but it's also the title of a 1963 satire of the Cold War arms race by what author?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Bob?

SUKOVICH: Kurt Vonnegut?

EISENBERG: Yes, exactly, well done.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: All right, finish these lyrics for me...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EYE OF THE TIGER")

COULTON: (Singing) It's the eye of some kind of cat, the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge of our rival. And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night, and he's watching us all with the eye...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Bob?

SUKOVICH: Of the tiger.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Side trivia note that is not worth a point or anything, but do you know how many albums Survivor has?

SUKOVICH: One?

EISENBERG: No, that's what you would think. Eight, eight my friend.

(LAUGHTER)

SUKOVICH: Wow.

EISENBERG: Eight. Unlike the refined Yale Whiffenpoofs, of which Jonathan Coulton is a distinguished alum, the feral cats known as the Tiger Tones are a men's a cappella group at what other Ivy Leave university?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Bob?

SUKOVICH: Harvard?

EISENBERG: I'm sorry, the Tiger Tones are not at Harvard. Jenny, do you want to take a guess, Ivy League?

ARRIGO: Princeton?

EISENBERG: Yes, Princeton is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jonathan, did you ever compete against the Tiger Tones?

COULTON: It's not about competition. It's just about singing. And we were better than them. So no, we...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK, I need you to fix the lyrics in this one. I have altered them so that the song is a shout-out to our beloved listening audience.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT?")

COULTON: (Singing) Listeners, listeners, I've got flowers and lots of hours to spend with you. So go and powder your cute your cute little listener. What's new, listener, whoa, whoa, whoa? What's new, listener, whoa, whoa, whoa, ho?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jenny?

ARRIGO: "What's New, Pussycat"?

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And just so the listeners know, during that song Jonathan just played, all the ladies in the crowd threw tote bags onto the stage.

(LAUGHTER)

SUKOVICH: Did they have cats in them?

COULTON: Filled with cats.

EISENBERG: Filled with cats.

COULTON: Bags filled with cats.

EISENBERG: In 2001, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson starred in the film version of what comic book girl band?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jenny?

ARRIGO: Josie and the Pussycats.

EISENBERG: You've got it, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: OK, this is your last clue. We're looking for the artist here. To make this more difficult, I'm going to replace the lyrics with the word meow.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

COULTON: (Singing) Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jenny?

ARRIGO: Brian Eno?

COULTON: Oh, no.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Bob?

SUKOVICH: The Stray Cats?

COULTON: The Stray Cats, "Rock This Town."

ARRIGO: He's always the answer in crossword puzzles.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Stray cats like to intermingle and, shall we say, get around. In the film "Napoleon Dynamite," the eccentric Napoleon impresses his love interest Deb with a drawing of what kind of feline hybrid?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Bob?

SUKOVICH: Is it a liger?

EISENBERG: It is a liger, you are correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well, Art, how did our contestants do?

ART CHUNG: It was a great game, but Bob is our top cat.

EISENBERG: Well done, Bob.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations. You'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round coming at the end of the show. Thank you so much, Jenny. You were a fabulous contestant, thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.