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Why Chickens Have Nightmares

Nat Allister
A review of "Jean Paul Geek" by El Le Faunt & His Traveling Circus
Written March 31st, 2017, 3:45 pm by

Nat Allister FROM Fox & Beggar Theater Inc.

SongLadder Editor
It's not unusual for a circus director to review the artistic work of another circus. It is a bit unusual, however, for that to happen on a music website. What's even more unusual is to find that the aforementioned circus happens to be from the director's home state. Minneapolis-based El Le Faunt & His Traveling Circus was founded in 2005 by Thomas Maddux as a reimagining of the freaky Americana sideshow days of yore. Dark, devilish, and fun, "Jean Paul Geek" tells the story of a carnival geek--which, for those not in the know, was a sideshow performer who would chase and then bite the heads off of chickens. "So all of you chickens beware, when I roll into your town, as a geek I do declare, I'll turn your smile...into a frown." The narrator sings the song in a devilish, Waits-ian rumble, accompanied by saw, trumpet, guitar, light percussion, and some extremely entertaining backup vocalists. "Jean Paul Geek" is wickedly delicious fun (especially if you're a freak like me), and I can only imagine how delightful it would be to see a full show. I'll have to look them up next time I'm in town.

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