Archive for the ‘Mucca Pazza’ Category


As on October 1, NPR has started the Tiny Desk Playlist page.

As of today there are 9 Playlists on the page.  I’m not going to comment on them, as I’ve already posted about all of these shows (except CHAI as of now).  I might disagree with some of these lists, but whatever the case they are a good introduction to Tiny Desks if you haven’t already seen one.

5 Tiny Desk Concerts That Will Literally Make You Cry
• Julien Baker (read more)
• Yusuf/Cat Stevens (read more)
• Bernie and The Believers (read more)
• Rev. Sekou and The Seal Breakers (read more)
• Barbara Hannigan (read more)

The 5 Most Uplifting Tiny Desk Concerts
• Lizzo (read more)
• Superorganism (read more)
• Fragile Rock (read more)
• Dan Deacon (read more)
• Mucca Pazza (read more)

The 5 Wildest Tiny Desk Concerts
• Gogol Bordello (read more)
• Red Baraat (read more)
• The Cristina Pato Trio (read more)
• George Li (read more)
• Dirty Three (read more)

The Best-Sounding Tiny Desk Concerts, Vol. 1 [selected by “the guy mixing the performances and bopping his head along just off (and sometimes on) screen” Josh Rogosin].
• Monsieur Periné (read more)
• Andrew Bird (read more)
• Nick Hakim (read more)
• Tedeschi Trucks Band (read more)
• PJ Morton (read more)

The Best Of The Very Beginning Of Tiny Desk Concerts
• Laura Gibson (read more)
• Vic Chesnutt (read more)
• Tom Jones (read more)
• Thao Nguyen (read more)
• Dr. Dog (read more)

The 5 Best ‘Before They Were Stars’ Tiny Desk Concerts
• Brandi Carlile (read more)
• Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals (read more)
• Adele (read more)
• H.E.R. (read more)
• Mitski (read more)

Tiny Desk Trick Or Treat: Our 5 Favorite Concerts In Costume
• Neko Case’s Halloween Special (read more)
• Blue Man Group (read more)
• Mucca Pazza (read more)
• CHAI (read more)
• Preservation Hall Jazz Band (read more)

#ElTiny: The Best Latinx Tiny Desk Concerts, Vol. 1
• Natalia Lafourcade (read more)
• Jorge Drexler (read more)
• Juanes & Mon Laferte (read more)
• iLe (read more)
• Café Tacvba (read more)

Lianne La Havas’ 5 Favorite Tiny Desk Concerts
• Tank And The Bangas
• Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
• Noname
• Tamino
• Mac Miller

[READ: October 28, 2019] “God’s Caravan”

This story opens with boys crouching in the dirt shooting marbles.  I assumed it was set in the 1950s, so I was surprised to see that the boy knew of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk.  But it is set in Memphis, Tennessee–“Soulsville the black part.”

Earl was kicking butt and winning marbles left and right when the boys heard an ice cream truck trundle up.  But this was no ice cream truck.  Rather it was a van and it was playing “I’ve come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee.”  On the side of the van, painted in “blood of Jesus” red were the words “God’s Caravan.”  The speakers then broadcast “When I say, ‘Ride or die’…you say ‘Amen.'”

The voice said “Ride or Die” and Earl and the other boys all shouted back “Amen.”

The door opened and there was the pastor, dressed in black judge’s robes.  He said he had sweets for their hearts. (more…)

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onfgoingSOUNDTRACK: MUCCA PAZZA-Tiny Desk Concert #419 (February 10, 2015).

Evmucca2en though I said that the Dan Deacon Tiny Desk was the most fun to watch, it is a close tie with this one from Mucca Pazza.  Mucca Pazza are a 23 piece band comprised of a huge horn section, violins, guitars, percussion, an accordion and even cheerleaders.  The group dress like a marching band (but everyone with a different colored (often ill-fitting) outfit).  The cheerleaders use caution tape as pompoms and do prompts between songs.  They tip their hats when songs are done.

They have been around for ten years (and have four albums out).  For this cramped Tiny Desk, they play four instrumental tracks (23 people and no vocalist!): “Subtle Frenzy” “J’accuse” “Dirty Chompers” and “Holiday on Ice.”

The songs are fast and fun and while there is an obvious marching band feel, they aren’t really marching band songs.  The electric guitar and strings tends to undermine the machine band tendencies (even if the xylophone adds it back).   Indeed, the electric guitars add a cool and sometimes disconcerting sound, like the guitar solo on “J’accuse” which is done on a teeny tiny guitar with a slide.

I love the melody of “Dirty Chompers”–such a fun song.  And “Holiday on Ice” is chock of full of the mayhem you might expect from the description of this band. The middle section slows down somewhat and sounds a little demented (in a good way) It also really highlights the different components of the group–with different horns playing different scales and the trombones keeping the main somewhat menacing riff consistent.

mucca 1So there’s a kind of Balkan Brass band element underpinning all of this–but there’s also discord and rock and psychedelia.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many people having so much fun before.  Their full stage show must be a riot.

You can watch the Tiny Desk here and listen to a full show (with a video of one song) here.

[READ: April 10, 2015] Ongoingness.

This book was excepted in Harper’s in December. I read the excerpt just a few weeks ago.  And then when I saw someone request it at work I found our copy and, since the book was short, decided to read it at lunch before sending it off to the requester (such power I wield!).

In my post about the excerpt, I said that I couldn’t imagine how there could be much more than the excerpt and that I wouldn’t want to read a lot more of the book.  Well, it turns out that the book itself is a brief 96 pages and the bulk of those pages are only a few lines.  So a rough count would suggest about 36 pages altogether–an easy to read at lunch request.  And that’s good, because if this book were 400 pages it would be either obnoxious or really tedious.

But at this length, it’s an interesting and enjoyable look at memory and life and how much we should be concerned about remembering. (more…)

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