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Puzzled Panthers

In 1996, Thurston Moore teamed up with Mike D of the Beastie Boys and Kira Roessler of Black Flag to form a super group called the Puzzled Panthers. Sadly, the Puzzled Panthers only released one song which appears on the Small Circle of Friends: Germs Tribute album. The cover of "Now I Hear the Laughter" was the Puzzled Panthers' lone contribution that left both Sonic Youth and the Beastie Boys fans wanting more.

Prior to 1996, two of the Puzzled Panthers came together when Thurston Moore had hosted MTV's 120 Minutes and Mike D and Beck had appeared as the show's guests. The most memorable part of that appearance was an impromptu jam session towards the end, which featured all three playing bizarre instruments. Mike D, who was into using lo-hi microphones at the time, quickly ran through an old school rhyme routine and added semblance to the noise and distortion that Thurston and Beck were creating.

There definitely appears to be a certain creative chemistry when Mike D and Thurston Moore get together. Both came out of the same New York Hardcore scene and probably bumped into each other on occasion at punk shows during the early 1980s. With this in mind it would seem very likely that the Puzzled Panthers may have recorded more than one song during their "Now I Feel the Laughter" rehearsals. Perhaps the recording sessions yielded more material originally written by the Germs or covers of other hardcore groups. One has to remember that Puzzled Panthers formed during the period where the Beastie Boys were touring under the Quasar pseudonym, playing Circle Jerks and Reagan Youth covers. With the Beastie Boys Anthology: Sounds of Science long behind us, fans will just have to hope that the Puzzled Panthers will at some point decide to make another song or two available.

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