Borderline Latin: Mucca Pazza, a Circus Brass Post-Punk Explosion (+ free downloads)

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Borderline Latin is an exploration of the influence of Latin music in styles, places and rhythms beyond its traditional borders, and of different types of cross-pollination between Latin music and other musical creatures. Each week, we will feature a song or musical style whose rhythm, themes, melodic inflections or influences have earned it the name of Borderline Latin.

The sooner you know this, the better, so I’ll just break it to you from the beginning: they are a marching band. That’s right: a real, marching, brass band from Chicago, together with cheerleaders and all. Their music is a mixture of brass, punk, gypsy sounds and rock, spiced up with a lot of Latin flavor –they use the expression “Circus Punk Marching Band” to describe it. And they rock. They’re Mucca Pazza (which is Italian for “vaca loca”), and if you haven’t heard them yet, you’re missing the party.

Mucca Pazza was formed in 2004, in Chicago. They started performing in a factory parking lot near the Chicago River, for free, on Sundays. Composed by talented self-proclaimed band nerds, eager to mix all sorts of genres and musical traditions, they eventually marched their way to venues like the stage in Lollapalooza. And this year they have released a new record: Safety Fifth. Their hunger for experimentation led them to record one of their new songs, “Tube Sock Tango,” on wax (literally), in an old recorder developed by Thomas Alba Edison. They are also the inventors of the helmet amp, an ingenious contraption that allows guitar, accordion, mandolin and violin players to join the metal and percussion sections of the band with freedom of movement –the guys who wear it are called the “Freaks;” yeah, only them.

Safety Fifth, their newest record, is available through iTunes (below) and Electric Cowbell Records, in CD and vinyl. You have to check it out. In the mean time, listen to Mucca Pazza in this free download. It’s an exclusive remix of some of the band’s new songs: “Tube Sock Tango” and “Boss Taurus.” Enjoy.

Mucca Pazza – 45RPM 7″ by Electric Cowbell

Download Mucca Pazza’s Safety Fifth below:

Click HERE to read more “Borderline Latin” profiles. For comments and tips, please contact me at:, and for more info on my “Borderline” works, visit Borderline Projects.