This one time? At protest band camp?
July 30, 2007 12:00 PM   Subscribe

HONK! is a showcase and annual festival for a "new kind of street band": motley, theatrical, activist protest groups working within the marching band tradition. From this central site, link to video and audio from twenty bands currently playing in the "honk" genre, from New York's Rude Mechanical Orchestra to to Atlanta's Seed and Feed Marching Abominables to Portsmouth, NH's Leftist Marching Band. Heavy on the brass and percussion, rousing, raucous, and fun, these bands form part of a worldwide musical phenomenon.
posted by Miko (19 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
There are many more such bands out there, but no comprehensive listing. As I understand it, HONK! is the first North American group trying to create an association of similar bands. Please post if you know of others.
posted by Miko at 12:06 PM on July 30, 2007

Yay! They have the What Cheer? Brigade listed. I love those guys.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:10 PM on July 30, 2007

My band's bass player's brother (wow, that sounds like the start of a joke) is in one in Chicago, called Mucca Pazza. At least I think Mucca Pazza counts as the same genre if understand things, which I probably don't.
posted by COBRA! at 12:15 PM on July 30, 2007

Is there anything more fun than the burlesque-likeExtra Action marching band. Hottest flag squad ever.

(sigh, i actually miss marching band a little!!!)
posted by armacy at 12:21 PM on July 30, 2007

This is way better than the creepy singing LaRouche supporters I saw today.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:22 PM on July 30, 2007

Somewhat reminiscent of radical cheerleaders.
posted by grobstein at 12:38 PM on July 30, 2007

Anyone know who the marching band was at this Wolf Parade concert at Lupo's in Providence, RI?
posted by sequential at 12:52 PM on July 30, 2007

sequential, could it have been the What Cheer? Brigade? They're out of Providence.
posted by Miko at 12:55 PM on July 30, 2007

I just saw Environmental Encroachment at the Michigan Peace Fest a couple weeks ago - I was totally blown away.
Gigantic hula-hooping, fire-eating, unitard-wearing craziness. And really great music.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:13 PM on July 30, 2007

I'm pretty sure that Mucca Pazza should be on here also. They are really good.
posted by mike_bling at 1:16 PM on July 30, 2007

Great title.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 1:18 PM on July 30, 2007

That's them, Miko. Thanks so much!
posted by sequential at 1:22 PM on July 30, 2007

I had the pleasure of playing with the Hungry March Band for three years, including two tours of Europe. We lived in squats, on couches, and played our asses off. I really can think of no better way to show the rest of the world what left-leaning, slightly odd Americans are capable of.
I was surprised at the level of commitment, organization, and connection to social and political causes of the european brass band scene. Sure, it doesn't hurt that they have, in general, the ability to meet and play without the harassment and repression that we often experienced thanks to New York's Finest, as well as 'centros sociales,' publicly sanctioned sites, usually abandoned buildings, for parties, practice, or the occasional communist/anarchist hobnob.
So good on HONK for the work. Keep the brass alive!
Two of my favorite groups from the EU: Titubanda (rome), and Pustule (lyon).
posted by whahappen?! at 1:30 PM on July 30, 2007

sequential: That is the What Cheer? Brigade.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:57 PM on July 30, 2007

Sadly, the Infernal Noise Brigade, which shared members with the no-way-in-hell-are-these-lyrics-protected-speech post-industrial ¬°Tch'Kung!, is no more.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:59 PM on July 30, 2007

Great post, Miko. Thanks!

One band certainly worthy of mention is Les Miserables Brass Band. I played briefly with the group when they first formed in Boston back in the late 80's. They did brass music from all over the world, and did it very well! If you can get ahold of this record, it's worth checking out.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2007

Excellent, great to see all of these bands showcased together. I was back visiting Providence on New Year's eve, The Great Big Mulp, and my husband and I were lucky enough to end up at AS220 in time for What Cheer?'s performance. Best time we've had ringing in the new year in a while.
posted by stagewhisper at 5:02 PM on July 30, 2007

Wow! This is great! I've thought of moving back to nyc just to be able to go see/hear the Hungry March Band again. Opa! --> remembering the time they played the staten island ferry....the time they played the Orange line subway to Brighton Beach... the time they destracted the masses before a game of Flaming Soccer! Yee-ha ha!
posted by tingting at 6:56 PM on July 30, 2007

Infernal Noise Brigade was the most impressive of these by far. RIP.
posted by eustatic at 7:35 PM on July 30, 2007

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