Yid Vicious was formed in 1995 in Madison, WI in order to ameliorate the woeful dearth of klezmer in America's otherwise pleasant heartland. Klezmer is Yiddish folk music, music for dancing and celebrating, and no band has caused more dancing and celebrating than Yid Vicious. Except Kool and the Gang, when they had that hit single about celebrating good times, come on; that caused lots of celebrating. But Yid Vicious is next, right after Kool and the Gang.
Indoors and out, at weddings, at Bat AND Bar Mitzvahs, on flatbed trucks, in ramshackle bars and luxurious ballrooms, on high festival stages and on bare sod, we've often driven crowds into flurries of freylekh-fueled dancing fury. And that's just warming up, yo.
Although our repertoire is drawn mainly from traditional secular Yiddish music, we strive to infuse the music with our collective aesthetic and experience. Rather than replicate a particular time and place, we celebrate the long-standing tradition of klezmorim incorporating new musical ideas into an organic and ever-evolving art form. Chew on THAT, Kool and the Gang!
All told, there are seven members of Yid Vicious, our musical arsenal consisting of clarinets, saxophones, fiddle, horn, vocals, guitar, accordion, tuba, drums and sometimes theremin. Yid Vicious, ever hungry for attention, is available for weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, anarchist picnics, seances, boat shows, clam bakes, lumberjack competitions, corporate downsizings, highland games and other events.
Yid Vicious' fourth CD, Dollars to Doinas, finds the band stretching the boundaries of traditional old world Yiddish dance music to embrace a bewildering array of musical styles including tango, mariachi and surf guitar. Highlights include two guest appearances by local chanteuse Anna Purnell of Reptile Palace Orchestra, and original compositions by Yid Vicious drummer Geoff Brady.