guignol [ geen-yol ] = literally, in the parlance of the treacherous French, a puppet, or figuratively, a tale of the macabre and fantastic either petite or grand.

"Brooklyn's Guignol is the best bet for Barbez's crew of hard-working, hard-playing world-music mutants to finally party crash the art-punk party at Death By's a crew that truly understands punk rock energy and Eastern Bloc flutter--nailing the rapidfire bluster of Taraf De Haidouks and the one-two-one-two blast of klezmer, Guignol has the speed and energy of your favorite hardcore band. For their second album, "Fight Dirty", they teamed with Philadelphia gypsy-crusters Mischief Brew to beef up their sound even more--an unrelenting burst that includes the occasional raspy pop song next to their usual annihilating klezmercore." - Village Voice

"'Fight Dirty' is easily the most purely entertaining album of the year." -Delusions of Adequacy

"Guignol, featuring members of World/Inferno and the Raymond Scott Orchestrette, performs eerie accordian pieces with art-house stylings." - CitySearch

"hard-hitting klezmer quartet with accordion, clarinet, tuba, and killer drumming" - The New Yorker

"esoteric and edgy performance rock" - Boston Globe

"Guignol serves up a combination of punk, jazz, folk, tango, klezmer, cheap red wine, woolly pinstriped suits, newsboy caps and one waxed moustache." - Times of London

"...the finest in rock from the Danube to the Volga." - The New Yorker

      ...but you knew that, you crafty little buggers. What you've got here is not really one of those bands puffed up with self-importance with some political or countercultural snake-oil to sell. Why, there's not even a singer! What you've got here is the raucous, theatrical, spastic and melodramatic soundtrack for singing grifters, murderous marionettes, and grease-painted gutterballs. It's an oom-pah wedding, squealing and lyrical, that hits like punk rockers and sings like a gypsy camp.

      Guignol played its first shows in February 2002 under the name the Nothing Machine, backing up the fire-breathing, maggot-eating Lucky Devil Circus Sideshow from Coney Island every weekend at CBGBs. Since then we've opened for bands including Annie Anxiety, Against Me!, Gutbucket, Barbez, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and more. Our self-titled debut, recorded with Danny Shatsky at Vibromonk Studios in Brooklyn (Firewater, Gogol Bordello, Big Lazy), came out in 2004 on Third Story Records; followed by the Guignol/Nanuchka split EP "Drink The Best Wine First" in 2005 and the full-length collaboration "Guignol & Mischief Brew Fight Dirty" in 2009 on Fistolo. We're playing a squat, punk rock flea market, or dingy basement near you.

FRANZ NICOLAY (accordion): Member of cabaret-punk-orchestra the World/Inferno Friendship Society and world's-best-bar-band (TM) The Hold Steady, founder of DIY chamber music collective Anti-Social Music, mustachioed man-about-town.

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PETER HESS (clarinet): He's in World/Inferno and Anti-Social Music as well, plus Balkan Beat Box, Barbez, and Slavic Soul Party; has also appeared with Jabbo Ware's Me We and Them Orchestra, Ben Monder, the Long Island Philharmonic, Dave Fiuczinski, Songs/Ohia, Big Lazy, Wayne Horvitz, Jack McDuff, good god where does it stop...

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GEORGE RUSH (tuba): Hit town as a bass player but it's hard to resist such a giant horn, so: member of Hem, the Raymond Scott Orchestrette, devoted to the music of the famed cartoon composer; the Zagnut Cirkus Orchestar, a Balkan brass band; has played with Steve Bernstein in Sex Mob and other projects, Don Byron, Little Annie, Vernon Reid, and the annual "Downtown Messiah". He was a charter member of the Loser's Lounge band too.

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JOHN BOLLINGER (drums, trash): all kinds of bands from Antony and the Johnsons to singer-songerwiters (Amy Kohn) to out jazz (Blaise Siwula Trio) to random gigs like playing with the Indian from the Village People and ukelele group Songs from a Random House (see the soundtrack to “Raising Arizona”).

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So put that in your skull and smoke it.

Photos by Konstantin Sergeyev