Image Courtesy of Mucca Pazza
Musikfest professes to have one of the most diverse genre venues around. It’s a claim many music festivals make, but IMHO, Musikfest meets the challenge. Where else can you find a music festival that features musicians playing everything from polkas to indie punk rock? The selections are so varied, it’s hard to choose who to see.
I’m always up for a new experience, so here are my two picks for tonight.
Mucca Pazza, 7:30 p.m. Volksplatz
This is a special shout out to all band geeks. Yes, I spent my time marching 8-to-5. We were bad; bad doesn’t even begin to describe it. There were no tryouts for our band, they were begging for warm bodies. For the first four or five home football games, I carried an instrument without a mouthpiece, just to help fill out the ranks. We did run-ons that were so chaotic the director told us “if you slip, bow. Make them think you meant it.” When the sousaphone player became enamored of one of the trumpet players, our director arranged Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” with a sousaphone solo.
With that kind of background, I really need to see Mucca Pazza the rambunctious 20-piece circus-punk indie-rock marching band from Chicago that plays everything from Balkan brass to zombie mambo and demented arrangements of Dmitri Shostakovich. The group will lead a parade starting at 5 p.m. at Liederplatz and winding through the festival on the north side.
After that, I’ll go for King Paris and His Hypnotic Guitar, 9 p.m. Volksplatz. Rick Vito, who was lead guitarist for Fleetwood Mac and Bob Seger in the 1980s and ’90s (and is a Kutztown University grad), takes his new turban-wearing persona to the stage. I spent my formative years in the San Francisco Bay Area. What can I say? His videos look like a couple of parties I attended. Besides, I’m totally intrigued by someone who pairs “Ring of Fire” with belly dancers.
If neither of those float your boat, you can find something more to your taste here.