There’s nothing safe about Mucca Pazza’s latest long-player “Safety Fifth.” Sassy and brassy, the multi-member punk-rock marching band could do for marching bands what their fellow Chicagoans The Coctails did for lounge music. The cartoony tune “Touch The Police” sounds like a lost Carl Stalling composition, while “Sexy Bull” takes Herb Alpert surfing. Kick off your shoes to the “Tube Sock Tango” and then slip into a grass skirt for “Mawi Wawi 5-0.” Still, Mucca Pazza sounds somewhat stifled on this disc, leading to the conclusion that they’re probably best experienced live to get the full effect.
Mucca Pazza plays Brady Street Destival on July 28.
As one half of Local H, one of Chicago’s more blistering hard-rocking duos, Scott Lucas didn’t mess around when it came to making your ears ring. With his admirable latest musical project, Scott Lucas & The Married Men, he branches out in new and surprisingly twangy ways. Yes, that’s a violin (played by Rebecca Brooke) on “Steady Gaze” and “Heavy Lidded Love.” While Lucas rocks out heavy on this disc, he also shows that he can be downright mellow on “Blood Half Moons.”
Scott Lucas & The Married Men play Club Garibaldi, 2501 S. Superior St. in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood on July 27.
Singer/songwriter and fiddle virtuoso Andrew Bird, a survivor of the 1990s Chicago music scene, has been consistently marching to his own drum – or violin, if you will – and continues to do so on “Break It Yourself.” Bird flirts with pop accessibility on “Give It Away” (featuring the amazing Nora O’Connor on vocals), rocks out on “Eyeoneye,” sets hips swiveling on “Near Death Experience Experience” and is joined by St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) on “Lusitania,” which features Bird’s trademark whistling. The latter is one of a series of water-themed songs.
Andrew Bird performs on July 27 at the Sound Town Festival in Somerset, Wis.