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Mucca Pazza (which is Italian for "crazy cow") is a rollicking, high-energy 30-piece group from Chicago that calls itself a circus punk marching band.
"There was no good genre to describe us so we made one up," said bandleader Mark Messing. "Punk for doing it yourself."
The term is apt for several good reasons. Mucca Pazza's members are known to waltz and head-bang while playing their instruments in colorful, mismatched band uniforms. The orchestra's guitars, mandolins, violins and accordions are amplified through speakers on some of the musicians' helmets. (To see what we're talking about, check out the video below of the group performing in the streets of New York City.) Plus, the band's music doesn't fall into one single genre.
Mucca Pazza plays a free show Thursday night at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center and then again on Friday with M.A.K.U. Soundsystem at Brooklyn Bowl. Download "Bump" above, which has a Balkan folksy flavor to it, from the group's 2008 album Plays Well Together.