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Gogol Bordello

Published: October 5, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.


I was first introduced to Gogol Bordello at a Cake show at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles.

My friend Sam and I arrived at the show a little late and we could hear the opening act as we entered the theater. We commented to each other on how much the music reminded us of something one would hear aboard a pirate ship. We asked ourselves, “who is this band?”

The band was Gogol Bordello, a rag tag group from all over the world who came together in 1999 in New York City. The music can only be described the way they describe it- gypsy punk. Its an insane hybrid of old country accordion and fiddle music mixed with contemporary punk music.

The theatrics that Sam and I experienced at this show blew us away. The band was always moving, from when their MC Pedro Erazo skanked onto stage to bust out some Spanish rap lyrics in 60 Revolutions to Pamela Jintana Racine and Elizabeth Sun rolling into shoulder-stands and using their legs as sling shots to send Gogol Bordello tee-shirts flying out into the audience.

The band was always moving especially lead vocalist, and secret love of my life, Eugene Hü

tz who hails from the Ukraine. Rocking out on a guitar covered with stickers denoting different countries world-wide, Hü

tz was truly the master of the stage.

It was amazing to see the audience and Hü

tz so in sync. He controlled the level of excitement at the show and his energy was so strong, it was nearly impossible to stop dancing and running around during their act.

This Gogol Bordello show remains one of the most amazing Ive ever been to ( Cake was fantastic as well- it was one phenomenal concert).

The band has four full-length albums all of which will get you jumping around. All four albums are amazing in that each has that Gogol Bordello sound, while still managing to remain very different from any other album.

Some songs, especially those on the first two albums, Voi-La Intruder and Multi Kontra Culti vs. Irony, are slower and reflect more on life abroad. The albums also have some of the more upbeat songs that they tend to utilize more of at their shows. One of the most famous of these is When the Trickster Starts A-Poking (Bordello Kind of Guy), which is still one of my favorite pump up songs.

My favorite album of theirs is Gypsy Punks which is their most well known. It is the most upbeat and danceable album of theirs and I feel that it captures their gypsy punk attitude the best.

The reason Im so attached to Gypsy Punks is that it was the first album of theirs that I bought and they played mostly tunes off of it at the show I attended.

The music video for my favorite song off the album Not a Crime, which is easily
available on YouTube, shows a lot of footage from Gogol Bordello shows and captures, as best as anything could, the experience of attending
one of their shows.

The band has a fourth album that came out this summer, Super Taranta!, which is really wonderful as well. This album returns back to the feel of their first two albums and one of the songs Wonderlust King (spelled that way on purpose Im sure) describes a man who travels around the world because in his day, a man was not a man until he had done so.

This song could easily describe Hü

tz, as his travels from the Ukraine to the USA were very much indirect. He lived all over Europe before he eventually settled in New York.

Gogol Bordello is an amazing band. Their lyrics, while in several different languages,
are awesome. Take Huliganjetta for example which features one of my favorite verses, And once I am over border/ I will send you pretty postcard/ With three heartfelt clichs.

Want a chance to see this band live? Gogol Bordello is playing the Roxy in Boston on October 11. Go. Seriously.

You wont regret it. Just make sure you wear your dancing shoes.