I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

June 15, 2012 - 3:22 p.m.

Mucho Mucca Pazza

Welcome to a sleep deprived edition of Wise Madness. Let's see if I can remember what I planned on writing at 2:30 AM.

Last night's plan was to see Mucca Pazza. That isn't right. That was this morning's plan as they were scheduled to go on at 12:30 AM. I don't miss Mucca Pazza except under extreme duress so I didn't let the time stop me. As watching them takes a lot of my own energy, it's hard to stay still, I took not one but two naps; one in the afternoon and the other right before I left for the show. I took it easy the rest of the day. My only expedition was to go shopping.

Living in Brooklyn has changed my entire notion of what's close and far. Now close means within two blocks. Pathmark is closer to me than the closest supermarket was in either Bayside or Briarwood but now it counts as an expedition, it's four blocks away and one of them is a long block! Have I mentioned that I love living here? How come I only live in areas that start with a B?

I had dinner at the Habana Outpost again. It's my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. It's also the hotspot. If the weather is nice there's always a crowd. The tough part is that they have this amazing looking grilled corn on the cob that I can't eat. I'd want to have a get-together with my Brooklyn friends someplace in the neighborhood and it would be my first choice. I'm just not sure if there is anything for my vegan friends there. Take a look at the menu and let me know if there's something for you to eat there.

Now that I got to the food out of the way let's get to the main course, Mucca Pazza. I got to the venue, Public Assembly around 12:15. As I expected things were running late. There were a lot of bands playing there last night. On the bright side I ran into Susie, my friend in the band, and got to talk to her before the show. She introduced me to Dave, their stalker from Chicago, and my new friend. We immediately hit it off, a definite kindred spirit. He introduced himself as a stalker!

Dave says you can't describe Mucca Pazza in words. Of course explaining in words is what I do so once again I'm taking up the challenge. It shouldn't be that hard. I found out about them from Carey and she conveyed enough about them to convince me to see them in a minute. Of course Carey and I communicate in a shorthand that isn't available to actual humans.

Mucca Pazza describe themselves as "Circus Punk Marching Band." If the Mac Nac Feagle aka the Wee Free Men from Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching stories were in a band it would be Mucca Pazza. They are the musical personification of primordial chaos. They are what the universe looks like in the quantum foam near the plank wavelength where matter and energy are constantly being created and destroyed and warping space. Time is what stops everything from happening at once. Mucca Pazza is the opposite of time. Everything does happen at once.

Mucca Pazza is simply a marching band that lost its footfall team and school. They are the smile of the Cheshire Cat. They genre is alt marching band. Marching band with a violin, mandolin, and accordion. There are cheerleaders.

That's the way I've always described Mucca Pazza but it leaves out something of central importance. The randomness and chaos are in some part an illusion. As in a anthill when you look at the big picture you can see there is an actual order behind it all. In Mucca Pazza's case it is the music. It's whacky and silly but that doesn't mean it isn't serious. It's closer to PDQ that Johann Bach but PDQ Bach is serious. The music is not slapped together. It's crafted, it's inspired, it's not only good music but sophisticated. The pieces are not bombast and sounds but developed ideas. The parts all fit together marvelously if not obviously. Everything that goes on, every sound, every piece of choreography serve the music. Yes it's fun. Yes it can overwhelm your senses. But it is also serious music, and that's what makes them a band I can see every time they come to town.

One thing I have to make clear is that I'm not being a snob and saying that I don't care that it's funny what matters to me is that it is serious. That's totally wrong. What the music is serious about is being funny and being fun. When I say it is serious I mean that they just don't slap it together. It is planned and crafted with love and genius. The band that was on before them was drums and brass and they were loud and raucous but all that came out of them was an infectious beat and no other content.. Mucca Pazza works with harmony, melody, and orchestration. They use all the tools available to the composer.

Part of the fun of the show in a small venue is that you don't just watch the show, you find yourself in the middle of it. They band and cheerleaders come out into the audience. There are times where they are so thoroughly mixed you don't know where one ends and the other begins. When I was dancing was I dancing to the show or was I part of the show? The answer is both.

So next time I go to the show is somebody going to join me? It took Carey two minutes to convince me to see them the first time but I haven't ever been able to talk anyone else into going with me. Next time join me.

After the show I talked to Susie again. She's friends with Carey and Neal. The first time I saw them I carried a sign that said, "Carey and Neal say 'Hi!" Cause thats the kind of thing I do and that's how I get to be friends with such cool people as Carey, Neal, and Susie and Justin. He's also in Mucca Pazza but I didn't get to talk to him last night.

It was 2:15 when I started talking to Susie. I'm not sure what time I left. Going home I did something I never do. I took a cab. I suspected I could get one on Bedford Ave and I was right. With perfect timing it would take me half an hour to get home on the subway and as the trains don't run that often that late at night I expected it would take quite a bit longer and to get to the subway involved walking on some deserted streets. The cab ride was 10 or 15 minutes. I can't afford to do that every night but I can make it my 2 AM rule for shows in Brooklyn.

I was feeling a bit down before the show. I had spent the last few days alone and was starting to get lonely. Mucca Pazza cured my blues. On the way home I noticed how happy I was. I am out the other side of the Rabbit Hole and making the emotional adjustments. My life is good again. I'm doing things. Things are not happening TO me. Music really does have charms to sooth the savage breast.

I better get finished with this. I'm going out tonight and I have to prepare for Clearwater tomorrow. I have to get an early start. As I'm not driving I'll have to travel light. I'll bring my two soft coolers, one with ice and water bottles and the other with sandwiches, my WFUV festival blanket, my stadium seat, sun block, a windbreaker, and a hat. That should get me through the day. What am I forgetting? I'm going up by myself. I'll grab a spot down front but I'm planning on joining you on your tarp. Who do I mean by "you?" My friends of course; Especially those I haven't seen in a while.

Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017

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Horvendile June 15, 2012
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