Monday, June 18, 2012

Mucca Pazza-Free All Ages Show 6/20 #album review #live show shots


Mucca Pazza blew the roof off The Hideout last Tuesday, June 12th, in a sold out, sneak peek/album release party for Safety Fifth, now out on Electric Cowbell.   Check out their main site for more of a taste of Chi-Town's punk rock marching band.
ChiIL Mama has caught their head muckety muck, Mark Messing, for video interviews twice at Chicago Children's Theatre--once in a duo with Brian Selznick, author/illustrator of Hugo Cabret.  (Brian's book was the basis for Oscar Award winning hit movie, Hugo, and The Houdini Box play.)    

The other Mark Messing/ ChiIL Mama interview is in a duo with genius director, David Kersnar, in an amusingly Ernie and Bert-like bed interview on the set of Goodnight Moon!   Check them both out by clicking the links above. Mark is the mad maestro and musical mastermind behind Mucca Pazza and the scores to numerous musicals and plays including the critically acclaimed Hunchback Variations.

Freaky Facts:  

We shot the heck out of their live show, but didn't try to do anything as formal as an interview at The Hideout.   But I did have a few burning questions that Mark Messing and one of the girls were happy to enlighten me on.  

ChiIL Live Shows:   Does anyone have their old uniforms from school bands they actually used to BE in back in the day?  

Mucca Girl:   Yeah, one guy does, but he has to remain anonymous because technically he stole it....  

CLS:  Where do the others all come from?   

Mucca Girl:   We've had good luck finding cheap ones on Ebay.   Sometimes when a band is doing new uniforms they'll contact us and ask if we want their old ones.   Or sometimes thrift stores.   The wool hats are handmade, new for us, though.  

CLS:  You must be roasting!  

Mucca Girl:   Yeah, I'm ready to change outta this!  Most of the costumes are wool and really hot.   I dry cleaned mine recently and it was still a little stinky.  

Mark Messing:   We spray all the costumes with Vodka, to keep down the funk.  

CLS:   Wow!   Vodka, huh.   Does that work?!  

Mucca Girl:   Not always, but it definitely helps.  

CLS:   Maybe with all that vodka soaked wool seeping into your pores, the costumes are still ripe, but you just don't notice or mind so much anymore, eh?    


There was plenty of funk (of the good kind) to go around at Hideout, and Mucca Pazza certainly didn't stink up the joint.    

Space was at a premium and the band created some serious heat with their hot new material, but no one was complaining.   Mucca Pazza worked the space well--splitting the sizable (30 member) band to border three sides of the rectangular room, encompassing their captive audience and narrowly missing a few noggins with their brass trombones.  They even managed to "march" around a bit in the friendly confines....swapping sides and wending through the crowd.   I think I got goosed a couple of times by caution tape pom pom flinging cheerleaders.  Fun fun!   Been there...shot that...bought the t-shirt.  

We snagged a press preview of their new album, Safety Fifth (Electric Cowbell), and have been thoroughly enjoying it! 


Mucca Pazza--Italian for crazy cow or mad cow--is always high energy, wabi sabi, and entirely endearing.   Over the years, we've seen them play to a zombie cast, rock out on top of a paper mache elephant?! and even march into a port-a-let with a sousaphone!!   They're a must see live, but they can't play every night.   And when you're jonesing for more Mucca, Safety Fifth can fill the void!  

Their third disc can't help but make listeners grin ear to ear.   The drums and all the horns make the band, but we also dig all the eclectics like mandolin, glockenspiel, violin, and of course, the accordion.   Mucca Pazza defies easy classification with whiffs of New Orleans brass carousing around with Balkan folk, surf, reggae, marching band, gypsy, jazz, and the kitchen sink.   Mucca Pazza is....seriously talented musicians, being seriously funny, while having some serious fun.   Highly recommended.   Just don't lick the uniforms......

  **Check them out SOON.   They're playing a FREE ALL AGES SHOW at Garfield Park Conservatory at 6:40 on 6/20.  Go already!!**

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