Introducing Esmerelda Strange
received 01.06

Accordian Style

At Ladyfest 2000, I fell in love with these two adora-grrrls who called themselves I Mudder Accordion. They did this incredible cover of Angel of Death by Slayer. It was a rare, dramatic and wacky-fantastic thing; if you can imagine these two cute girls in dresses singing “merciless butcher angel of death” while playing crackly, slightly sinister folk instruments. It was for me one of the defining moments of the festival.

This memory came back to me with vivid recall when I first heard Esmerelda Strange. Jenn Inman (Las Vegas City Life 09.05) articulated it best when she said, “ It's like watching a punk rock polka goddess making good on a bet with some ranchero band after a tequila binge in Tijuana". Drawing on the vaudevillian tradition of the one (wo)man band, Esmerelda is a songwriter/singer/multi-instrumentalist who plays the accordion, drums and sings all at the same time!

Esmerelda describes herself as a sort of self contained punk rock band. The actual music contains elements of Eastern European gypsy music, circus music, Cumbia, and Norteno/ranchero folded into her own neu-grit, folk-punk. She sings in both English and Spanish and has become known for her “saucy sense of humor and salty lyrics”.

Ms. Strange is also THE band for the burlesque spectacle that accompanies The Life-size Game of Mousetrap (a giant kinetic sculpture based on the board game); that is, when she is not on tour with Heavy Pedal Cyclecide Bike Rodeo

We will sometimes wonder what will come next from the fantastic and the amazing, Ms. Esmerelda Strange.

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